Brezinsky stepping off South Hadley board to focus on Goshen job

  • Ira Brezinsky, co-owner of BRW Electronics, sets up a Steren speaker June 14, 2017 at the new Northampton location of the business. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 1/2/2019 12:18:01 AM

SOUTH HADLEY — As the new year begins, South Hadley town government will soon be without one local elected official who will be focusing some of his efforts elsewhere.

Ira Brezinsky, who currently chairs the town’s Select Board, will not be seeking reelection to that position this year. His current term ends in April, but instead of seeking that office again, Brezinsky will be focusing on Goshen, where he took the town’s first-ever town administrator position in October.

“I basically need to devote my attention and energies to my new position in Goshen,” Brezinsky said in a phone interview on Tuesday. Brezinsky said he announced his plans not to run for re-election when he took the job in Goshen, partly because he wants to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

Brezinsky has chaired the Select Board since April, and will have served three terms. He was previously a member of the town’s School Committee, Appropriation Committee and Charter Commission, and he was the longtime owner of BRW Electronics before it closed earlier this year.

During his time on the Select Board, Brezinsky saw the town make significant changes to its government, including reducing the size of Town Meeting and making positions like treasurer and tax collector appointed roles. Brezinsky opposed proposals at that time to make South Hadley’s town government a mayor-and-city-council system.

“The results, I think, are very very positive for the town,” he said of those changes.

As for South Hadley’s future, Brezinsky said he is optimistic about two important issues: addressing taxpayer concerns over the management of the town-owned Ledges Golf Club, which has cost the town $8.5 million in operational losses over 15 years; and economic development in town.

Although he’ll be focusing on his job in Goshen, Brezinsky hopes to continue volunteering his time and work in South Hadley, where he is a longtime resident. He hopes to remain a Town Meeting member, and would be open to serving in an appointed role.

“I’ve really enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, what I’m doing in both communities,” he said.

As someone who has spent a lot of time serving in town government — both as an elected official and as a volunteer — he urged others to get involved in that kind of work.

“It’s not as onerous and time consuming a task as people might think”, he said. “It can be very enjoyable.”

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.


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