Agawam Mayor William Sapelli won’t seek re-election

William Sapelli has announced that he will not be seeking re-election for a fourth term as mayor of Agawam.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 10:31 AM EDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 4:54 PM EDT
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AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - After three terms as Agawam’s mayor, Bill Sapelli announced Tuesday morning that he will not be seeking re-election. It’s the end of a long career of serving the town of Agawam.

Sapelli has served the town in multiple capacities for 46 years from overseeing the school system as superintendent of schools, to serving the town as a whole for three terms as mayor, having been first elected in 2018. He said this decision was not an easy one, but he felt the time is right.

“Right now, in my opinion, we’re financially sound here in Agawam…The staff is all set to go. We’ve hired some new people in the last five or six years, so we’re fully staffed. We have a very, very good crew here of department heads and staff in general,” Sapelli said.

Additionally, Sapelli told Western Mass News several projects are now in the works including the new police headquarters and developing a recreational park at the former Tukahoe turf farm that are already funded, as well as street and sidewalk projects.

“The town’s in excellent shape and it’s probably a time that I can turn it over to somebody else,” Sapelli noted.

Looking back on his time as mayor, one of the most unique and challenging times was during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an experience that brings a sense of pride and accomplishment.

“You know the expression, I’ve used this before, people said ‘this is not our first rodeo.’ Well, when it came to the pandemic, it was everyone’s first rodeo and I think Agawam, the school side and town side, did an outstanding job of dealing with that, dealing with the masking, dealing with the schools, dealing with the remote learning. Agawam was out in front of that,” Sapelli added.

While he said the job of mayor is never done, Sapelli said he looks forward to taking a step back and observing the town as a proud citizen, but as far as future plans, he explained, “With me, you never know. As I joke, when I retired from the school system six years ago, I didn’t have a very good retirement plan then because this is where I ended up. I say that jokingly. Of course, I’ve enjoyed every minute of being here…That’s what I’m going to miss most. I’m going to miss the people I work with and, of course, the residents.”

Sapelli has served three two-year terms. Voters will now be faced with choosing their next mayor in November.