PITTSFIELD, Mass. — After four terms, Ward 7 Councilor Anthony Simonelli will not seek re-election this November.
Simonelli sent an email to his constituents on Thursday announcing his intentions to "retire" from the council.
"I have enjoyed my 7 1/2 years as your city councilor and have met many wonderful people, but now is the right time for me to "retire" (again). I'm not going away. My wife is soon to retire and my 2 grandchildren (ages 9 months and 2 months) will certainly occupy my time. I might even be able to improve my golf game," Simonelli wrote.
The former teacher and coach retired from Pittsfield Public Schools in 2011 and was elected to the City Council later that year, taking office in 2012. He ran unopposed his first two times and fended off challengers in the last two elections.
"Upon retiring in 2011, I decided to run for City Council and represent Ward 7. I stated that my sole objective was to be an independent voice and represent our Ward and the City to the best of my abilities. I believe I have stayed true to my promise," Simonelli wrote to his constituents
Simonelli's announcement is the first move in this year's city election. Simonelli wrote that he opted to release his intentions early to allow for potential candidates to have "plenty of time to think it over and plan ahead."
"I want to thank you for your continued support and understanding these past 7 1/2 years. It has been my privilege and honor to represent you. While we may not have agreed on every issue, please know that I always did what I felt was in the best interest of our Ward and the City of Pittsfield," Simonelli wrote.
"Although I am announcing today, I will continue to devote my time and energy over the next 8 months representing you, as I have for the past 4 terms."
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Community Development Deny Marijuana Dispensary Extra Parking
By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A proposed Merril Road marijuana dispensary was denied a parking expansion by the Community Development Board.
The board last week denied a request by Slang LLC, doing business as the Bloom Brothers, to amend a special permit for its proposed marijuana dispensary at 392-400 Merril Road / 2 Larch St. that would allow it to construct additional parking adjacent to Larch Street.
Bloom Brother principle Nathan Girard said they originally planned to only have parking on an upper lot, meeting the city's requirements, but felt because parking abundancy is generally an issue at dispensaries there would ultimately be a parking shortage.
"We are trying to be proactive with our approach and we just saw that there was going to be a shortage of parking no matter what we did," he said. "So we reached out to our architect to try to find a space that we could do it."
Girard said they reached out to the city's engineering department, building commissioner, and the permitting coordinator and submitted some new plans. He said because the change was so minor the building inspector signed off on it and they blocked off the area and prepared for construction.
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The reported was shared by Superintendent Jason McCandless at last Wednesday's meeting. School Committee member William Cameron noted that some of the exiting employees were only hired at the beginning of the school year.
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The path on Friday night was a yellow brick road to "A Night in the Emerald City," the theme for these year's fundraising gala for the nonprofit that was held at Country Club of Pittsfield. Phelps donned a purple witch's hat to welcome guests to the event that also included recognition of several... click for more
After McCandless' evaluation by the School Committee on Wednesday, he confirmed that he is a finalist for the superintendent's position of the Silver Lake Regional School District in Kingston, just north of Plymouth.
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