Sunday, May 26, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

William "Smitty" Pignatelli

State Representative Wm. Smitty Pignatelli is a lifelong resident of Lenox, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the Lenox Public Schools. Smitty, as he prefers to be called, was named after his father’s best friend, William Smith, who was killed during World War II. After graduating from Lenox Memorial High School in 1977, Smitty became a licensed Master Electrician and worked in his family’s electrical contracting business for twenty years. Smitty took over the full operation of the business at the time of his father’s retirement in 1991. Smitty left the family business to his brother Scott, in 1998, when he was offered a position as the Business Development Manager for Lee Bank. While at the bank, he attended Babson College School for Financial Studies, graduating in 2001. Longing to serve the people of his beloved Berkshire District, he decided to leave the bank to pursue his dream of public service and run for higher office. Smitty won the seat of State Representative for the 4th Berkshire District and has been proudly representing his constituents for over 12 years. Smitty was first elected to the Lenox Planning Board in 1987 and served on that board for five years. In 1992, he was elected to the Board of Selectmen, and was elected Chairman on four different occasions, serving until May of 2003. Smitty also served from 1995-1999 as a Berkshire County Commissioner including two years as Chairman of the board. Representative Pignatelli serves on the Laurel Lake Preservation Association and previously served six years on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross. With over 37 years of public service experience, Smitty has also been involved in many local associations. He is a member of the Berkshire County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, a past member of the Berkshire Association of Retarded Citizens, the Board of Directors of the Berkshire Visitors Bureau and is a former President of the Lenox Historical Society. As State Representative, Smitty represents twenty communities in Berkshire and Hampden Counties. At the State House, Representative Pignatelli serves on three appointed committees: the Committee of Ways & Means, Committee on Higher Education, and the Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development. He is currently the House Chair of the Cultural Caucus.

written articles

Keeping Massachusetts on track for the next generation

If we begin building the east-west rail line in Boston and move west, the money will dry up and the link will end in Springfield, leaving the Berkshires in the dust. If we start in Springfield and build both east and west, everyone wins.

Expanding health services in assisted living facilities just makes sense

Right now, seniors residing in Massachusetts must pay out of pocket to bring in outside providers to administer injections, manage oxygen supply, give medication, apply ointment, or handle wounds — simple healthcare procedures that quickly become costly.

Time to act on affordable healthcare

Making the health insurance tax credits permanent should be at the forefront of any discussion about how to best support our nation’s recovery.

It’s time to act on H.O.P.E.

In Berkshire County, nearly 60 percent of first-responders do not carry Narcan. This is why I filed the H.O.P.E Act. When first-responders arrive on the scene, it should be a guarantee that they can administer life-saving treatments.

Infrastructure revitalization is critical for regional equity

The goal is not regional equality — it is regional equity, giving Western Mass residents the same diligent action on infrastructure that is the focus at the other end of the state.

CommonWealth Builder should be for all

"While a focus on racial equity is critical, the sole focus on Gateway communities is shortsighted and will force towns to bear the brunt of unaffordable and inaccessible housing alone."

We can do better, we must do better

Teaching inclusion at a young age gives us our best chance to shape the minds, hearts, and attitudes of our children, creating a more just society as they become adults. For this reason, I have filed a bill HD4112 - An Act establishing a cultural diversity curriculum in Massachusetts public schools.

Our duty to create a more perfect union

It is vitally important for those of us who have not been affected by racial discrimination and oppression to be the allies of those who are.

Let’s all get creative: Let’s all #BeBerkshire

Perhaps some have lost hope for a fast Berkshire recovery. For me, though, I remain very optimistic and bullish on the Berkshires.

Our cultural organizations need us because we need them

In the Berkshires, the negative impacts on our arts and cultural organizations and the tourism they bring will have ripple effects throughout our local economy.

An integrated solution to pain management and the opioid crisis

The new law does not currently specify acupuncture or any other particular form of pain management, but rather a “broad spectrum” of therapies that can include yoga, massage, diet, nutrition, and mindfulness, just to name a few others.

COMMENTARY: Dental bill extracted from committee – at last

It has become a well-established fact by now that good dental health is a necessary and  contributing factor to good overall health.

State did not abandoned protected state forests

If the Otis State Forest case had gone to a higher court and lost, that would establish precedent for the entire state.

The future is shared community services: Let’s not miss out

Our future filled with enhanced services at affordable rates while maintaining our independence is in our hands now.

Dental practitioners would provide critically needed access to dental care

The Berkshires has the second-highest rate of hospital visits for dental conditions in the state. If you have MassHealth in the Berkshires and you’re trying to access dental care, you are likely to be turned away by roughly 4 out of the 5 dentist offices that you call.

Sharing services: Reinventing the Berkshires for the future

It's time to reinvent ourselves and think about a Berkshires for the next generation. We need to envision a Berkshires for the generation yet to be born.
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