Speranzo Nominated For Clerk Magistrate

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Rep. Christopher Speranzo, D-Pittsfield, was nominated Wednesday for the clerk magistrate-position in Central Berkshire District Court.

It was widely speculated that Speranzo had applied for the position last year at the same time he was seeking re-election. However, he never confirmed nor denied applying.

Speranzo was nominated by Gov. Deval Patrick on Wednesday for the position vacated by the retirement of Leo Evans. Speranzo has been a state representative in the 3rd Berkshire District since 2005.

The move could force a costly special election if appointed – a talking point his Green-Rainbow Party opponent Mark C. Miller used during the campaign, alleging "dirty politics." Miller claimed that the Democratic Party was aligning predecessors. The costs of a special election would be shouldered by both the city and the state.

Miller is expected to announce his future political ambitions Thursday – likely for state representative.

Speranzo won the seat initially in 2005 after a special election to fill the vacated spot of Peter Larkin, who took a private sector job after being elected. Speranzo won that seat then and returned to the seat last year.

The lifetime position pays $110,000. Speranzo would still need to be approved by the eight-member Governor's Council. A Judicial Nomination Commission was charged with recommending applicants but the application and nomination process is completely anonymous.

Speranzo is the vice chairman of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and was a House of Representatives conferee and sponsor of the 2010 Omnibus Crime Reform Bill.

He was an assistant attorney general in Springfield as well as a city solicitor for Pittsfield. He earned his bachelor's degree from Boston College, his master's degree from the University of Cambridge in 1998. He earned his law degree from Boston College Law School in 2001.

Neither Speranzo nor Miller immediately returned phone calls Wednesday.
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Pittsfield Developing Plan for Bicycle Network

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

The first public meeting on the master plan was held Wednesday.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The city is developing plans to make Pittsfield safer and more accessible to bicycling. 
 
The first public meeting for the Pittsfield Bicycle Facilities Master Plan was held on Wednesday but the plan has been in the works for the last year or two, said City Planner CJ Hoss.
 
Though Pittsfield has a few areas with bike lanes or shared road lanes, the city would like to take a more progressive approach with simple roadwork projects or more extensive plans in the future to try and take on more ambitious, safer bike facilities.
 
"There's a need to take a citywide approach," Hoss said.
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