Easthampton business owner signals mayoral run against LaChapelle

EASTHAMPTON — The owner of Fort Hill Brewery, Eric Berzins, has pulled nomination papers to run for mayor, though he said he will likely remove himself from the race if another qualified candidate runs against incumbent Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

Berzins, 35, believes that contested elections are healthy for democracy, and he also thinks that several aspects of city leadership should be improved.

“Once I believe that a candidate who is stronger than myself enters the race, I will likely remove myself, but I do believe I am better for Easthampton than Nicole,” Berzins said.

Berzins said that “taxation in town is skewed towards residents, rather than businesses,” which he believes needs to change.

“Even if the taxes increased on my business, I’m OK with that,” Berzins said. “It’s part of owning a business.”

Berzins criticized the City Council’s vote to support a 30-year tax break for the 1 Ferry Street mill renovation project. Thirty…

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