The Berkshire Beacon, February 14, 2013
PITTSFIELD – Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-Springfield) has officially opened his Berkshire County Congressional Office.
The office is in on 78 Center St. in Pittsfield. It is staffed by Dan Johnson, a lifelong Berkshires resident and graduate of Hartwick College who worked extensively on Rep. Neal’s 2012 campaign, and Cindy Clark, who served in the congressional offices of Rep. Neal’s predecessors, Congressman John W. Olver and Congressman Silvio O. Conte.
The opening was held on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. and attracted government officials from across Berkshire County, including North Adams Mayor Richard J. Alcombright, 3rd Berkshire District Rep. Tricia Farley Bouvier (D-Pittsfield), 2nd Berkshire District Rep. Paul W. Mark (D-Peru), Pittsfield Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi and State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield).
“I’m glad we could have this nice cozy little event here and demonstrate to the congressman he’s got a lot of friends in Berkshire County,” said Mayor Bianchi, when introducing Rep. Neal. “He’s followed through…on his promise to stay close to The Berkshires, and he certainly has.”
“I had the pleasure of having interned in his [Rep. Neal’s] office and saw just how much he cared about making sure that our government was serving the constituents that he represented,” said Sen. Downing.
Before being elected to his current post, Sen. Downing also served on the staff of Congressman Olver, Rep. Neal’s predecessor.
“What’s noteworthy about this occasion is that…three congressman have decided they’re keeping Cindy Clark, and we just changed the names on the door of the congressman,” said Rep. Neal at the beginning of his remarks.
Ms. Clark has been working in congressional offices in Berkshire County since 1986.
In speaking to those assembled, Rep. Neal focused on the importance of constituent services.
“When people call these constituent offices, they deserve an answer,” said the congressman.
“You’re going to know something about me, I like shaking you in the hand and looking you in the eye,” said Rep. Neal. “The toughest letters I get, the toughest emails I get, they get a phone call. Tomorrow, on a snow day, a lot of people are going to get phone calls from me.”
Rep. Neal also shared stories from his time serving in elected office, many of them humorous.
“My phone number has been in the book for 37 years as an elected official,” said the congressman.
He also pledged to continue regularly visiting Berkshire County.
“I intend to be here all the time,” said Rep. Neal. “Who wouldn’t want to spend there time in The Berkshires? This is just…grand.”