Lanesborough Finance Chair to Resign After Budget Season

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
Print Story | Email Story

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The chair of the Finance Committee is resigning as its leader and is considering leaving the panel entirely.

Jodi-Lee Szczepaniak-Locke announced on Monday that she will be stepping down once the fiscal 2025 budget is complete.  She told iBerkshires that her decision "most certainly" came from an attendance issue with a member of the committee not being resolved.

"I am a strong believer in following the rules as written and the bylaw was written, approved by town council, and voted on by the townspeople at some point in the past," she wrote in an email on Tuesday.

"The fact that we are now advised differently is unacceptable to me. I will serve until our most important job, the budget, is complete. I also in the meantime am considering complete resignation from the board."

Last week, she spoke to the Select Board about the issue, explaining that the committee is "essentially down to a 33 percent attendance rate."

For full transparency to Lanesborough residents, she feels it is important that they know there are elected members of the committee who are not able to be fully present and this could pose a "significant" problem throughout budget season.


One member had nine absences last year and several meetings had to be rescheduled due to not having a quorum when there was business to take care of.

The Finance Committee has five members elected on a rotating basis for three-year terms. Its main job is to make studied recommendations on all town financial matters and to prepare a budget for the annual town meeting.

Town Administrator Gina Dario pointed out that there is a provision in the bylaws that states if there are more than six unexcused absences within a consecutive 12-month period, the next step is to notify the member that they are considered to have vacated the position. In this case, the town and the committee will allow people to put in an interest form and appoint a replacement member to serve the balance of the term.

The board supported sending out a communication to anyone who meets that criteria and will follow through with Szczepaniak-Locke's request.

She announced her resignation to the committee on Monday, explaining that it will be effective as soon as the budget is voted on in May, explaining that she is "not going to desert my post through what our most important role is."

"I will be speaking with the town clerk to see when I need to notify her so that my position can be placed on the town ballot so that the townspeople can pick my replacement instead of the Select Board and the remaining members of the Finance Committee," she said.

Szczepaniak-Locke was re-elected to a three-year term in 2023, leaving two years left on her term. 


Tags: Finance Committee,   

If you would like to contribute information on this article, contact us at info@iberkshires.com.

Pittsfield Woman Dies After Being Rescued From Structure Fire

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The woman who was rescued when her home caught fire on Monday has died. 
 
The Berkshire District Attorney's Office confirmed on Tuesday that Susan Steenstrup, 67, died after she was pulled from the blaze at 1 Marlboro Drive. The cause of death has not been confirmed.
 
Steenstrup was found on the second-floor by firefighters who responded to the blaze at about 6:45 p.m. She was taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center. 
 
The two-story, 1930s home is coned off and shows signs of the emergency response such as a broken front window where crews entered to rescue Steenstrup. The fire was reported to have spread from the kitchen and a cause has not yet been determined.
 
Steenstrup was the only occupant at the time. The home had been in her family since at least the 1960s. 
View Full Story

More Pittsfield Stories