PITTSFIELD — The man who set the tone for the city's Licensing Board the past 13 years has resigned.
Chairman Carmen Massimiano informed Mayor Linda Tyer earlier this month he was stepping down, effective June 6.
Tyer formally announced the resignation in a letter read Monday afternoon at the board's monthly meeting.
"On behalf of the city of Pittsfield, I would like to extend my appreciation to Mr. Massimiano for his meaningful contributions to the Licensing Board and for his dedicated service to the community," wrote Tyer.
The mayor must now bring forward a nominee for City Council approval to fill the vacancy. Former mayor James Ruberto appointed Massimiano and named him chairman in January of 2006 to fill a vacancy on what was then a three-person panel. Tyer has named board vice chairman, Thomas Campoli as the new chairman. Campoli was one of two people Ruberto added to the board in September of 2011 when it expanded from three to five members.
Campoli said at the beginning of Monday's meeting that Massimiano resigned for health reasons. The former Berkshire County Sheriff of 32 years also cited his health as reason for not seeking reelection as sheriff in 2010. The 74-year-old has missed a number of Licensing Board meetings in recent years, but did chair the board's May 20 meeting.
The Licensing Board is responsible for issuing and monitoring 25 types of licenses that include the sale of alcoholic beverages, new and used vehicles and providing live or recorded entertainment.
Massimiano was known for being tough but fair, especially during show-cause hearings when a liquor license holder was facing potential punishment from the board for allegedly violating the conditions of his or her license.
He repeatedly urged bars and restaurants to be vigilant about carding patrons, not over-serving alcohol and cooperating with city police if they have an incident at their establishments.
"I found him to be a no-nonsense, practical guy. He set the tone for the meeting," Campoli told The Eagle after the meeting.
Board member Dina Guiel added, "He has that unwavering center. He had an allegiance to protocol."
Massimiano constantly reminded those whose name were on a liquor license they need to be present at their establishment as often as possible, especially late-night when most trouble would occur at a bar or eatery.
"Nothing good ever happens after midnight," Massimiano would often say.
Richard "Dick" Stockwell had known Massimiano for years before he was appointed to the board nearly seven years ago. Nervous about his first meeting, Stockwell told an Eagle reporter the chairman assured him he would do fine.
"'Dick, you sit here next to me and we'll get through this," Stockwell recalled Massimiano saying. "For those first few meetings he guided me."
Massimiano has also served on the Pittsfield School Committee and was part of the city's school building committee that over saw the planning, design and construction of the new Taconic High School that opened in September.
Dick Lindsay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 413-496-6233.