Tuesday, June 28, 2016 07:25am
North Adams, MA now: 68 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
LOG IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
Return to election home page
Voter Guide: State Rep. Candidate William 'Smitty' Pignatelli
By Andy McKeever On: 11:45AM / Saturday November 03, 2012
William 'Smitty' Pignatelli
Democratic candidate
Pignatelli's Ballot
Q1: Right to Repair: Yes.
Q2: Assisted Suicide: No
Q3: Medical Marijuana: No


Other issues:
  • Get invasive species out of the county by whatever means necessary.
  • Does not support standardized testing as requirement for students to graduate but supports the use of testing to measure districts.
  • Supports further restricting the use of Electronic Benefit Transfer cards.
LENOX, Mass. — After 10 years on Beacon Hill, William "Smitty" Pignatelli says there is still work to be done.

"I still love my job. I still have a lot of passion for this job and we're doing great things," the incumbent Democrat said on Thursday. "I think Massachusetts is on the right track for fiscal stability."

Pignatelli will be back on the ballot on Nov. 6 against challenger Lee Scott Langenour for the state House of Representatives seat for the 4th Berkshire District.

Coming out of a recession, the state is getting stronger and now Pignatelli is hoping to increase funding for cities and towns, increase fairness in transportation funding, close tax exemptions and further support education.

Being the incumbent, the Lenox native, who began his elected career in 1986 as a member of the Lenox Planning Board, points to the accomplishments the Legislature has already made and said he hopes to continue building on that progress. The state is one of three with a $1 billion or more in surplus funds, he said, but the other two are dependent on oil.

That surplus, along with the highest bond rating the state's ever had, positions Massachusetts to make more investments in roads, bridges and dams, he said. With a lower interest rate on bonds, Pignatelli said there will be a serious discussion about rebuilding the state "for the long term."

Transportation, however, is expected to be a major debate soon as Beacon Hill looks at the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. The MBTA receives about $27.4 million of sales taxes generated from the Berkshires but only $1.8 million comes back to the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority. Pignatelli said he will be fighting to let the county keep the money it generates to fund and expand the BRTA.

For cities and town, Pignatelli said there is growing investment from the state in local aid but the Legislature has also given municipalities tools to raise their own revenue with the optional hotel-motels and meals taxes as well as the Community Preservation Act.

"The state can't be the answer to all of a community's problems," Pignatelli said. "They have to be somewhat self-reliant."

The state could also have tools to raise additional revenue by re-examining the tax code and making sure the exemptions are going to the "right" people. While Pignatelli said he'd like a progressive tax, he doesn't see a constitutional amendment to make it happen passing. Instead, 2013 should be the year the Legislature picks through the tax code and adjusts it, he said..

"The idea of taxes in any shape or form is always an uphill fight with the Legislature," Pignatelli said.

Municipalities and businesses will see an economic benefit from the health-care cost reform the Legislature passed this year. The reforms emphasize preventive care and limits cost increases to 3 percent, he said.

"Health care was bankrupting our state," Pignatelli said. "We have to start stressing healthier living."

That change will be monitored but Pignatelli said he believes the bill will limit the rising costs.

Education has also seen an increase in state funding, he said, in both infrastructure as well as aiding cities and towns. Regional school transportation is still underfunded, he said, and to help the district's schools that "promise" needs to be reached.

"I think we to recognize and embrace the importance of education," Pignatelli said.

While there has been a push in the state for regionalization in schools and municipalities to lower costs. Pignatelli said he doesn't support a "full-blown" regionalization but would like to see great collaboration.

However, the threat to the district's growth is an "epidemic" of drug use, Pignatelli said. He said he will be voting against the state ballot initiative to allow medical marijuana the same way he voted against the ballot initiative to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug a few years ago.

"Since then, we've had an increase in South County teens using marijuana," Pignatelli. "We have an epidemic and I don't want to introduce another drug that we don't have control of."

Pignatelli said the state has made strides toward reducing drug use by implementing the prescription monitoring program, which monitors which pills doctors prescribe to patients. Pignatelli said he'd like to see an increase in rehabilitation centers along with strong controls to keep addicts in them. He'd like to see more beds in the already existing detoxification clinics like the McGee Unit at Berkshire Medical Center.

As for the environment, Pignatelli says he supports solar the most and would like to see more Berkshire buildings with solar panels because those are "out of sight, out of mind" but reap a benefit to the owners.

"I am a huge champion of solar. I think we can do more on solar. I think we need to incentivize individuals and communities to tap into that solar market. Currently, the money goes to the wrong people. The incentives go to the corporations and developers and I'd rather see those dollars go to the consumer," Pignatelli said.

The Berkshires draw tourism dollar because of its "natural beauty" and Pignatelli said he wants to preserve it. Wind could be unsightly, though he isn't against the use of wind in all occasions. He said he voted against the wind siting bill because it lacked local control and thinks such projects should go through local planning boards.


0 Comments
     
Election Text Ads
www.iberkshires.com
www.iberkshires.com
Advertise on iBerkshires.com

Where to vote in Berkshire County

State Election
Tuesday, Nov. 4

Voting is from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Deadline to register or change party affiliation was Oct.15.


Candidates on the ballot in races for state office; all others on the ballot are unopposed. Links will take you to their campaign websites.

U.S. Senator
Edward J. Markey, Democrat
Brian J. Herr, Republican

Governor/Lieutenant Governor
Charlie Baker & Karyn Polito, Republican
Martha Coakley & Stephen Kerrigan, Democrat
Evan Falchuk & Angus Jennings, United Independent Party
Scott Lively & Shelly Saunders, Independent
Jeff McCormick & Tracy Post, Independent 

Attorney General
Maura Healey, Democratic
John B. Miller, Republican

Secretary of State
William Francis Galvin, Democratic
David D'Arcangelo, Republican
Daniel L. Factor, Green-Rainbow

Treasurer
Deborah B. Goldberg, Democratic
Michael James Heffernan, Republican
Ian T. Jackson, Green-Rainbow

Auditor
Suzanne M. Bump, Democratic
Patricia S. Saint Aubin, Republican
MK Merelice, Green-Rainbow

Municipal Elections

The cities of Pittsfield and North Adams will hold municipal elections for mayor, city council and school committee in 2015

You may vote absentee: if you will be absent from your town or city on election day, have a physical disability that prevents you from voting at the polls or cannot vote at the polls because to religious beliefs.

2010 Special Senate Election Results

Election 2009 Stories

Election Day 2008

 

 

 



Categories:
1st Berkshire (42)
2010 (0)
2011 (69)
2012 (59)
2013 (60)
2014 (75)
2nd Berkshire (29)
3rd Berkshire (16)
4th Berkshire (14)
attorney general (6)
auditor (5)
campaign (67)
candidate forums (48)
city council (38)
Congress (25)
election (69)
endorsements (47)
events (29)
fundraising (10)
governor (26)
letters (9)
local (16)
mayor (47)
news (8)
school committee (20)
selectmen (21)
selectmen (16)
sheriff (28)
state (23)
statements (45)
Archives:
Tags:
Letters To The Editor 1st Mass Primary Town Elections North Adams Mark Mayor Election 2013 Republican Party Szczepaniak Independent Selectmen Democratic Party Campaign Democrat Bosley Macdonald Debate Governor Lieutenant Governor Special Election Cariddi Bowler Pittsfield Williamstown City Council Debates Berkshire Brigades Election 2014 Preliminary Bissaillon Candidates U.s. Senate Boucher Town Election
Popular Entries:
Election Day 2010
Bosley Looks to Wind Up Legislative Career
Three Make Case for 2nd District Seat
Longtime City Councilor Cariddi Kicks Off State Rep Campaign
Cariddi Clear Winner in 1st District
Candidates Forum Scheduled for Aug 17
There's a New Sheriff in Town
North Adams Mayoral Debate Video
Bissaillon Campaign Hosts Pancake Breakfast
Bump Would Audit Publicly Funded Criminal Defense System
Recent Entries:
Independent Falchuk Hits Threshold To Start New Party
Baker Wins Governor's Race
AG Candidate Healey Hears Concerns on Hospital
Candidate Kerrigan Stops in Pittsfield For Get Out The Vote Push
Suzanne Bump Seeking Re-election as Auditor
U.S. Senate Candidate Brian Herr Fighting for Name Recognition
Area Democrats Making Final Push For November Election
Coakley Stresses Commitment to Berkshires
Candidates Showing Differences As Governor's Race Heats Up
Gubernatorial Candidates Spar In Springfield Debate


View All
Berkshire Mountains Faerie...
The first annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival was...
BFAIR Walk 2016
BFAIR held its fundraising Walk for Independence from the...
Urban Individual Nationals...
The more than 200 youngster who took over Williams...
Family Center Duck Derby
The Family Center of Northern Berkshire County, a program...
North Berkshire Emergency...
North County emergency responders held a mass casualty...
Pittsfield Adult Learning...
The Pittsfield Adult Learning Center graduated 40 students...
Baseball: McCann Tech vs...
Lenox Tops McCann for Western Mass Title 7-2 win at...
Tennis: Mount Greylock vs...
Mount Greylock Boys Tennis Repeats as Western Mass Champ
McCann Postsecondary...
McCann Technical School presented diplomas and pins to 27...
McCann Tech Earns Trip to...
Rob Pecor doubled in a run to start a four-run second...
Wahconah Wins Western Mass...
On Saturday, Schneider went 3-for-3 with two doubles, five...
Softball: Hoosac Valley vs...
Turners Falls softball win over Hoosac Valley 7-0 for...
Pittsfield High Graduation...
Pittsfield High School presented 204 diplomas on Sunday at...
Lenox High Graduation 2016
Lenox High School awarded 40 diplomas at graduation...
Taconic Graduation 2016
Taconic High School seniors graduated Sunday afternoon.
Drury High Graduation 2016
Drury High School graduated 92 seniors on Thursday night.
Berkshire Mountains Faerie...
The first annual Berkshire Mountains Faerie Festival was...
BFAIR Walk 2016
BFAIR held its fundraising Walk for Independence from the...
Urban Individual Nationals...
The more than 200 youngster who took over Williams...
Family Center Duck Derby
The Family Center of Northern Berkshire County, a program...
North Berkshire Emergency...
North County emergency responders held a mass casualty...
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved