Gentile joins field vying for Hampden County Clerk of Courts
Date: 6/12/2012June 11, 2012
By Katelyn Gendronkatelyn@thereminder.com
SPRINGFIELD Laura Gentile is no stranger to the city of Springfield or the Hampden County Court system, which is why she's committed to "running for a promotion, not for office."
Gentile, a lifelong Springfield resident and assistant clerk of courts, has added her name to the list of contenders for Hampden County Clerk of Courts, which includes Springfield City Councilor Thomas Ashe, former Ludlow Selectman John DaCruz and Linda Stec DiSanti, a legal administrator and office manager at DiSanti Law Offices in West Springfield.
"I'm not a politician. This is a promotion for me and it's up to the taxpayers. If you're a taxpayer this is an important office because it is the face of justice for the public," Gentile said.
Her experiences throughout the past 15 years as assistant clerk of courts and her education she received a law degree from Western New England University and a master's degree in public administration from American International College are what put her ahead of the field, she explained.
"I've done this job for 15 years. There's no learning curve for me. I can go into the courtroom; I can run a session; I can rule on motions and all things necessary for that part of the job and handle the administrative tasks. Anybody who says that there's no legal component to this job, they haven't read the job description. This is definitely a job that a lawyer should have," Gentile said.
She called her time serving under Court Clerk Brian Lees a learning experience and one that she is grateful to have had.
When asked if Lees had offered her his endorsement, Gentile replied, "He certainly kept his door wide open for me and offered all the time in the world to talk to him. He's been extremely supportive and kind to me. "
If elected, she said some changes would be necessary in order to ensure the office remains solvent during these difficult economic times.
"We need to reinvent the way we do things. We don't have the luxury to say that we can go out and get more staff. We can cross-train our staff and have them learn new things and do multiple tasks so that the assembly line doesn't stop when people are out," Gentile explained, noting that she'd also look to streamline jury service as well as transportation services for prisoners so that overtime costs are not incurred.
She declined to give any further plans away, adding with a chuckle, "I don't want to give the book away."