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Cut the Red Tape

Jay believes that bureaucratic red tape is a primary obstacle to new development in the City of Holyoke. Well funded, reputable business investors have been discouraged by the seemingly limitless layers of bureaucracy standing between them and the completion of their projects. Jay will work with his former colleagues on the Holyoke City Council to establish a "Cut the Red Tape Committee" made up of area business leaders to stream line the current processes. There is no reason an investor looking to put hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Holyoke economy should have to spend dozens of hours attending five or six meetings to proceed. Holyoke needs a more streamlined approach.

Roll out the Red Carpet

 The City of Holyoke ranked dead last among the 25 Massachusetts Gateway Cites in New Growth in 4 of the last 5 years (we were second last in 2013). In 2017, Holyoke's total new growth of 8.8 Million Dollars paled in comparison to surrounding municipalities including Amherst (47.7 Million), Northampton (45.3 Million),  Pittsfield (43.8 Million), Westfield (37.3 Million), West Springfield (35.5 Million) and Chicopee (34 Million).  The fact is, whether you are comparing Holyoke to other Western Mass Municipalities or Gateway Cities statewide, Holyoke has fallen far behind in New Growth over the past 5 years.  This trend is particularly unsettling when you consider all of the advantages Holyoke has to offer to a potential new business including cheap green energy, access to major highways and an abundance of inexpensive property.  Simply put, Holyoke can do better. 

Jay will immediately create a Red Carpet Committee to welcome every potential new business to Holyoke and ensure they are given full access to every last resource the City of Holyoke has to offer.  Every potential New Business will have the opportunity to meet with the Mayor, City Department Heads and Community Leaders, in the same room, at the same time, to find out exactly what needs to be done for that business to choose Holyoke.  Holyoke is competing for new businesses.  If we are going to improve upon years of abysmal New Growth, then the days of the casual email response or a "we have a pamphlet for you" need to end.

Retain and Grow Existing Holyoke Business

Jay believes that existing Holyoke small businesses should be treated with the same level of attention and respect that the largest companies would be given.  Often times, small details can be the difference between a Holyoke business remaining open or closing their doors.  Whether its a Variety Store or Barber Shop, a Sports Pub or the Holyoke Mall, Jay will take the time to meet with small business owners and make sure that the City of Holyoke is doing all they can to help support and grow that business.

Get City owned property back on the Tax Rolls

Jay believes that City Property Auctions are often Pennywise and Pound Foolish. In many instances the highest bidder of a property has been unable to pay even the original purchase price, leaving the city with only the small downpayment needed to enter the auction and the property undeveloped and not paying taxes. In other instances, properties have sat unchanged and vacant for years after auction.

Our focus should be on development, not getting the most money up front for a property. Jay believes it is far better to sell city owned property at a lower purchase price to a developer with the financial resources and experience to actually finish the project. Well advertised Requests for Proposals will attract reputable developers with the experience and financial resources to return these properties to city tax rolls much more efficiently.