Holyoke is at a pivotal moment. Issues like preparing for climate change, transitioning to green energy, strengthening infrastructure, addressing structural inequities, managing finances, and enacting strategic plans and vision require many hands on deck pulling in the same direction.
We believe in our city’s future. We must work together over the coming years to realize that future. This year’s election offers a unique chance to begin to make the changes we need.
LET'S FIX THIS
It's time for a change. Last winter's chaotic and inequitable delays in trash and recycling pickup and snow removal were clear examples of municipal dysfunction. Crosswalks go unpainted and ignored, sidewalks impassable. Councilors rant about the budget, but they fail to keep sewer rates in line with real costs and refuse to give over that authority to an independent entity (as happens with our electric, gas, and water rates); this in turn threatens our standing with financial reviewers.
In a shocking setback last year for Holyoke’s taxpayers, a group of councilors -- including four seeking reelection (David Bartley, Howard Greaney, James Leahy, and Linda Vacon) and one seeking the mayor’s office (Mike Sullivan) -- voted to refuse a $275,000 grant for energy efficiency, green energy, and climate mitigation. It was free money that would also have saved money in future spending and helped ease the gas moratoria impact on small businesses. Throwing away such commonsense approaches has left us only with talking points about addressing energy needs but no action plan for our city.
Holyoke needs more effective leadership: people who put commonsense before political grudges and cronyism. It’s time for a new mayor, a brand new council, and a school committee that will work to regain local control without backsliding on progress already made. Holyoke Forward/Holyoke Pa’lante is excited to endorse a slate of candidates, talented and diverse people, who will move our city together toward a stronger future.