Town establishes law department, welcomes attorney
| By Carley Dangona
Town Attorney William Reichelt
Reminder Publications photo by Carley Dangona
WEST SPRINGFIELD – The fiscal year 2015 budget established the town’s first-ever Law Department and subsequently officials welcomed William Reichelt as the town attorney.
A native of the area, Reichelt has a history of serving the public as a member of the town’s Planning Board, Community Preservation Committee, a liaison to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and as a member of the West Springfield Housing Authority – positions that he will vacate now that he is employed by the town. According to the budget, his salary is $72,000. He was officially sworn in on June 23.
Attorney Simon Brighenti Jr. has been contracted to assist with town matters for the past two years. He will continue to work with Reichelt during the transition period.
“I want to be involved as much as possible,” Reichelt said. “I love [the inner workings of] law in general. I am looking forward to working with the town, especially the residents.”
“It was the happiest moment of my life,” Reichelt, 28, said about learning he passed the bar exam in October 2013.
A 2004 graduate of West Springfield High School, he initially studied criminal justice but found greater interest in municipal law. He earned juris doctorate in May 2013 from Western New England University School of Law.
Reichelt stated that he was honored to get the call from Mayor Edward Sullivan about the position. “It’s awesome to come to West Springfield,” he said. He commented that he’s excited to have the opportunity to participate in court cases. Reichelt previously served as a law clerk for the town of Agawam where he assisted with cases, but was not at the helm.
His favorite aspect of municipal law is zoning. He studied land use in depth while attending college. Reichelt has completed the procurement certification for the Commonwealth.
Reichelt looks forward to “working within the priorities of the administration.” Some of the first issues he will tackled are the establishment of an Entertainment Overlay District at the Eastern States Exposition and ordinances related to towing and littering.
He described West Side as a “town that is proactive.”
Reichelt added, “[Town officials] understand that I’m young and am not going to know everything. My goals is to learn as much as possible.”