Says Diana Szynal already knows district

In February of this year, I was shocked to learn of the passing of state Rep. Peter Kocot.

The very next day, our town administrator received a phone call from Diana Szynal, Kocot’s longtime district director assuring us that Hatfield’s needs would be looked after. Szynal explained that she was reaching out to each district community to let them know that she would be staying on to continue her work on behalf of Rep. Kocot and that she had already been in touch with local legislators who agreed to help her with any legislative needs that should arise.

This was not an unexpected gesture on Szynal’s part. Anyone serving as a local elected official learned long ago of her commitment to serving the communities of the 1st Hampshire District. As Rep. Kocot’s sole district employee for his entire 16-year tenure, Szynal already had very well-established relationships with Select Board members, city councilors, school committees, school superintendents, Department of Public Works directors and police and fire chiefs.

A very important function of the state representative is to help district communities with issues requiring legislative remedy or the assistance of state agencies. In just the five months since Rep. Kocot’s passing, Hatfield has relied on Szynal to help with several important issues.

Most recently, Szynal has stepped up to help Hatfield secure a $2 million grant which will extend and upgrade our water and sewer systems on West Street and allow a green energy company to expand into a new facility.

Here in Hatfield, Szynal is well known as a deeply dedicated and highly qualified public servant. Prior to being hired by Kocot, she had already built an impressive resume of government work beginning in the 1980s.

The communities of Hatfield and Northampton have lost both their state representative and their senator. As a public official, this has caused a great deal of concern as we look at projects and issues we have ahead of us.

It is imperative that our next state representative has a sound understanding of the concerns of district communities as well as the knowledge and ability to assist with them. No other candidate even comes close to Szynal’s qualifications.

I urge you to vote for Diana Szynal as our next state representative Sept. 4.

Brian Moriarty

Hatfield

The writer is a member of the Hatfield Select Board.