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  Responsible Leadership for Difficult Times

EDUCATION: Someone once said, "As business goes so goes the country". I say "As education goes so goes the region"
Without a sound education system we cannot maintain a good future for our children. Someone may ask
"why pay for more education when I have no children in the School system." The answer is simple. A good education system keeps the value of you home up. We need a comprehensive School Program for all students from Kindergarten to high school. We have to continue a drug prevention program. Our district schools are not immune to the epidemic our entire society is facing as it relates to drugs. We need effective ways to combat this problem. The city council has to work with the schools during budget talks to ensure
our schools have adequatte funding . Education is one of my main reasons for running for City Council.

TAXES:   While on city council I debated the tax issue for The Berkshire Power plant. I led the way for a defeat of the tax deal that had been worked out for Berkshire Power. I initiated a fair tax structure based on the value of investment in the project. "We must have a tax base which can pay for our goods and services". As a business for myself I understand the difficulties of running a business but you cannot give away your taxes. The council was able to restrict the tax structure and we have been able to receive many millions more in tax revenue."

SENIORS : As the citizenry of our district ages we must look to the future and have the facilities in place to serve our senior population. I am not only talking about just buildings, but the programs that go along with them. I wish that our younger population would take some time out of their day and visit the senior center and observe the programs that are in place at this time. The services we are providing for our seniors in our region with the facilities we have at this point are some if the best in the state of Massachusetts . The "Baby Boomers" retire at a higher rate every year. The need for good insightful programs for seniors will become even more of a concern in the coming years.

ROUTE 57 CONSTRUCTION: Construction has been delayed, postponed and shelved for a variety of reasons over the 20 years. I have had meetings with state Highway officials and talked directly with the Governor about the lack of progress as it relates to Rt. 57.

BUSINESSES/JOBS:   In today's economy and the competitive natural of business. We are compelled to maintain and encourage the business and jobs in our region. We are completing with other regions within the state, with other states and globally for business and jobs.

DEVELOPMENT: The need for a solution to the result of our development is one of our major concerns . We have relied upon septic tanks in Feeding Hills. The septic tanks are failing and we do not have a viable solution to the problem. We talk about sewers, which at this point seems like the only answer but there is no way of funding it. The Council and the Mayor are going to have to work together to find a solution to this problem. Our water table is being contaminated and the state and federal governments may step in and mandate a solution. Before that day comes we must have found a solution on our own. This is not just an Agawam problem it affects the entire region. Innovative ways to pay for town problems is a must.

YOUTH PROGRAMS: Many of our towns have   very good parks and recreation department but in some towns much more is needed for our youth. A dream of mine would be to see a youth center built in Agawam. A program like this is not easy and would not happen overnight or without a lot of committed volunteers and paid staff. You have to start somewhere and to identify a youth center as a goal would be a start.

TOWN SECURITY:   Our Police and Fire department are first rate and have been given the resources they have needed to protect us, but we must make sure they maintain the levels of proficiency they are at and continue our support for new programs as necessary. The DARE program is a much needed program. Federal funds are available for many projects and a regional overview or needs assessment of our districts could be a good idea.

ZONING / LONG RANGE PLANNING: As the urban sprawl increases, we have to keep our zoning bylaws tight. As I have driven through the 3rd district from Agawam to Russell I see new homes going up in every town. In most cases this is welcome development but we must be certain the added development doesn't impact our resources in a negative way.