News & Events

PRESS RELEASE: The Trouble with Rubble

Instead of $40M Resulting in 80 New Downtown Housing Units & Preservation of a Historic Building; Mike Sullivan wanted to Demolish It

There was recently an event where the state announced a financing award for the redevelopment of the old Farr Alpaca Mill building. The $40 Million project will provide 88 units of much needed new housing in our downtown. I join the many members of the community who are excited and inspired by this project. Ironically my opponent can be seen far behind in the background, photobombing the announcement by State and Local officials who worked hard to make this project a reality. This is ironic because his approach to local economic development is also far behind. See, if it was up to him, instead of our City receiving millions of dollars to make this project a reality, there would have been a crane with a wrecking ball.

The next mayor needs to be equipped with not only a vision for how we approach economic development as a city, but also the know-how and experience in municipal management to get the job done. I have that in spades. I’m currently managing the Town of Blandford; where the buck stops with me as far as budgeting, staffing, negotiating with unions and private companies. My opponent has ZERO executive level municipal management experience. Under my leadership the team we build will streamline our permitting process, in order to make City Hall more accessible and business friendly. We will also bring in professionals who can help us market ourselves to businesses nationwide. Finally, we need to stop making short-sighted decisions that hurt us in the long term. The Lynch School is one of the most recent examples of that misguided approach; but the Farr Alpaca Mill project is what can happen when we are smart about economic development and ignore those who aren’t but will still show up to photo opportunities of projects they were too quick to write off, like my opponent did in this case.

To be crystal clear, if it were left to my opponent, the new housing at the Farr Alpaca Mill would never happen. It was his determination that the building needed to be torn down– and seeking quotes from an associate to pressure City officials to get it done. As in the case of the Lynch School, my opponent was one of the lead advocates to demolish the eloved middle school in order to make room for a stripmall.

On many issues, my opponent and I are aligned on what our end goals are; whether it is first-class schools, improving public safety, investing in infrastructure (except when he would rather destroy historic buildings) or supporting our local businesses. Our level of experience and plans of how to achieve these goals is where our differences could not be more stark. That is why–in the midst of the Farr Alpaca Mill unveiling– I urge you to examine our backgrounds and choose who you think is the best to hit the ground running and lead Holyoke forward for the next four years.