A Beloved Berkshire Politician Will Step Down This Fall
He is best known as The Berkshires delegation dean who has served the county for 22 years. An announcement was made on Tuesday that State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli will not run for re-election this fall. The news has been a shock to his fellow peers and constituents in southern and central Berkshire counties.
His "Let's Talk" chats were a fixture on our south county airwaves every Monday morning. Here is a photo with artist and author, Julie Bishop. Pignatelli's decision came with mixed emotions. This is an excerpt of why he has made this difficult decision in an article that was featured at on www.iberkshires.com
"Driven by a deep desire to make our community better and fueled by the support and love of family, friends, constituents, and "Team Smitty" through the years, I wake up every day ready to serve our commonwealth and that will not cease. There is always more to do but, I feel it's time for a new generation of leadership to, hopefully, make the people of the 3rd Berkshire District their priority as your new state representative."
Ironically, the Lenox Democrat made the announcement on what would have been his father's 100th birthday to give potential candidates "plenty of opportunity" to consider running in this race as his successor will have big shoes to fill when elected. His term is scheduled to end in January, 2025.
Smittty first represented the 4th Berkshire District when he was elected back in 2002 and then the 3rd Berkshire after the area went through redistricting a few years ago. there are 18 Berkshire county towns in his jurisdiction including Alford, Becket, Dalton, Egremont, Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlborough, Otis, Richmond, Sandisfield, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, and West Stockbridge.
He also serves as vice chair of the House and Joint Committees on Rules and an active member of the joint committees on education, financial services, tourism, arts and cultural development. There are reports he will continue this role when he leaves office.
Smitty spent four years as a county commissioner and was serving his 11th year as a Lenox selectman when he was elected to the House. Before that, he joined the Select Board, served five years on the Planning Board and 10 years volunteering on various appointed boards.
He's also served on a number of non-profit boards as public service was the best job he ever had:
"Serving in elected office has been extremely fulfilling but I've learned that serving your community outside of elected office can be just as rewarding. Making this decision has not been an easy one because I still love my job and have been inspired every day to help others".
BOTTOM LINE: Smitty is "The Real Deal" and it's a badge of honor to know him on a personal level. I'm sure we haven't heard the last of him as we know his activity in our community will remain intact.
(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.iberkshires.com)