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In The News
December 19, 2014:
Holyoke police supervisors president Fred Seklecki 2nd union head in week to criticize councilors Jossie Valentin, Rebecca Lisi for march

December 17, 2014:
Holyoke Council sets tax rate that favors home over business owners

December 17, 2014:
Holyoke City Council resolves 12-1 to call the Christmas tree at City Hall a 'Christmas tree'

December 16, 2014:
Holyoke patrol union president Ed Moskal criticizes councilors Rebecca Lisi, Jossie Valentin participation in march that included 'antipolice' chants

December 10, 2014:
Holyoke City Treasurer Jon Lumbra's work arrangement clashes with views of some Councilors

December 10, 2014:
Holyoke Council Ordinance Committee votes 3-2 to block Christmas tree discussion, but Councilor Dan Bresnahan vows to continue

December 9, 2014:
Holyoke Board of Assessors sets public hearing on tax classification

December 2, 2014:
Holyoke Council Finance Committee recommends rejection of Mayor Alex Morse plan to use $700,000 from reserves to balance budget



Local News Archive



HOLYOKE MASSACHUSETTS
WARD 5 CITY COUNCILOR
THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE YOU AS YOUR WARD 5 CITY COUNCILOR!
I promise to work hard and do the best job I can for you and Holyoke


Linda and John Vacon attended the flag raising at the Holyoke City Library where the American flag and the State flag were raised on the one year anniversary of the renovation of our library

Pursuant to Agenda Item 23 of October 21, 2014 City Council meeting, the following report on delinquent fees and taxes of over 6 months of appointed or elected Holyoke officials:
View or Print report

Ward 5 City Councilor Linda Vacon honored to present "2014 Veteran of the Year" Award on behalf of
State Senator Don Humason to Tom Paul

Veterans Day, November 11, 2014:
Veterans Day 2014: Tom Paul, Holyoke veteran of the year

"Homeless Hotel" issue


September 19, 2014:
WWLP Ch. 22 Video - Holyoke residents voice concerns over homeless hotels


Recent Press releases:
  • NEEDLE EXCHANGE HURTING PUBLIC SAFETY
    Holyoke, MA.Today Holyoke Ward 5 City Councilor Linda Vacon announced that she will continue to fight the needle exchange program. "We need to keep our streets safe. Unfortunately, the needle exchange program that costs taxpayers over $150,000 annually, acts like a magnet and is bringing more problems into our community. ... Continue reading ....

  • VACON SUPPORTS ZONING CHANGE
    Holyoke, MA…Today Holyoke Ward 5 City Councilor Linda Vacon announced that she is supporting both zone change petitions submitted by residents of Ward 5; the Whiting Farms and the Lower Westfield Road/Homestead Avenue parcels.

    “I strongly believe that changing the Whiting Farms road from general business to industrial is in the best interest of the local neighborhoods. This rezoning will encourage quiet development with more regular hours of operation,” said Vacon.
    ... Continue reading ....


Homestead/Lower Westfield Intersection Proposal
May 2013


Mass. DOT Report on Big Y Project


More Info on Needle Exchange

Letter to Editor by Linda to Holyoke Sun
PDF pg. 6 | Jan. 18, 2013 Holyoke Sun issue

Transparency needed

Op-ed by Linda, Herald Publications

Aug. 28, 2012
Holyoke Board of Health Chairwoman Ms. Katherine Liptak, RN, promised me references (during the public meeting) of studies the board utilized to come to their decision in favor of needle exchange. There has been no information forthcoming from the Board of Health at the time of this letter, so I have done some research.
Click here to continue reading ...
It was shown at the meeting that we currently have approximately 30 drug addicts using needles here in Holyoke with illness, and it was shown that male to male sex with multiple partners is responsible for 40 percent of new cases of AIDS. So, in the interest of public health do we spend $150,000 of taxpayer money for a needle exchange, or spend money to continue to educate people to reduce all high risk behaviors to lower the burden of illness and death for many more?

Meanwhile people who continue with their drug use (the root cause of the problem) will continue to seek money to fund their habit. They often endanger others in the commission of crimes. They will also often die from drug abuse.

Speakers at the Board of Health meeting made assumptions about the success of the needle exchange programs reducing Hepatitis C and AIDS. Scientific studies have shown these assumptions do not hold true. See the Dr. Lucy Sullivan, 1997 study that states "there is no sign of an impact on the rate of decline (of HIV incidence rates) with the introduction of needle distribution in 1992." Also see the Vancouver study by Strathdee, 1997 showing an increase in HIV among drug addicts using needles. Then there is the Montreal study Bruneau J et al, 1995, showing that drug users participating in the needle exchange program were twice as likely to become infected with HIV as those who did not participate.

To those at the meeting who heckled, booed, and chastised speakers who opposed your views or dared to ask questions, such bullying is unacceptable behavior. It dishonors our democratic process as it discourages freedom of speech and public debate. Such actions should not be condoned by city leaders.

Linda Vacon
City Councilor and Candidate for State Representative
Finished reading

Needle exchange, an outdated, failed program

Letter to the Editor by Linda Vacon, July 18, 2012

A needle exchange program was approved by the Mayor shortly after City Council meetings ended for the summer. This action is contrary to the campaign rhetoric by our Mayor who promised transparency in our government. The Board of Health appointed by the Mayor voted unanimously to approve this. Is anyone surprised by that?
Click here to continue reading ...
This needle exchange program was clearly voted down by our citizens by a significant margin.

A news article stated that the last needle exchange program was approved around 1996. Perhaps that is because this program is outdated and has failed to accomplish the goal of reducing drug addiction. Now it is recast as a program to reduce AIDS and Hepatitis C for approximately 100 city residents, if we are to accept the stated statistics.

While it is a commendable goal to reduce illness, the scourge of drug addiction with its collateral damage from robbery, assault, and deaths, as drug addicted individuals seek any and all avenues to satisfy their drug cravings, is unaffected by this program.

What happened to the image of Holyoke and the marketing for businesses downtown? Who will be the first to open their new business next to the needle exchange? This is hardly the image we need to renew our city.

There is already a needle exchange in Northampton. For those who are drug addicted, syringes are readily available. Let’s not enable the very behaviors that take the majority of time and effort by our dedicated police force.

Linda Vacon, City Councilor Ward 5
Finished reading
As your Ward 5 City Councilor, I will continue to represent you:
By hearing concerns and ideas from residents.
By serving on committees to make things happen.
By making informed decisions.
By keeping you informed on issues and decisions that affect you.
Getting to know Linda:
Professional Profile   Contact Linda   Support Linda

Please feel free to contact me by phone 210-6077 (cell) 533-6498 (home) or use the Contact form with any questions you may have.
Thank you, Linda

4 important local issues, my perspective:

..... Click here to continue reading

First: Our local government needs to be affordable, efficient and effective for the residents. Homeowners and small businesses cannot continue to pay more and more, so the size of our local government must fall in line with the available revenues. Rather than increase taxes even more, we need to provide the essential government services, which include police, fire and public works. Other programs need to be evaluated for affordability and value to the taxpayers.

Second: Our City Council is established to represent our city. When Holyoke had 60,000 residents, the fifteen-member Council was large, even then. Now with the population less than 40,000, the size of the Council is disproportionately high.

Third: I favor the establishment of a City Charter review committee. It is a healthy process for us to re-evaluate our current government structure to see if we can better serve our residents. Many believe that the current model results in a high level of in-fighting between factions on the Council and frequent power struggles with the Mayor. Many wonder if the interests of the residents are well served. I am open to hearing new ideas, have set forth some thoughts on the matter in another section of this web site and look forward to input, discussion and vigorous debate on this topic.

Fourth: I will not promise my vote on a matter before I have listened to constituents, considered input from concerned citizens, and become well informed on the subject. When I do decide on a matter, I will share the reasons for my decisions. While it is impossible to please all of the people all of the time, it is possible to conduct public business in a manner that is open, responsive and has integrity.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve you.

Sincerely,
Linda Vacon

Finished reading, close document

More views on Local Issues

Residential & Commercial Property Tax Issue
See more info HERE.......

"Helping to Keep You Informed"

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Holyoke Code of Ordinances

Title 5, Septic Systems, MassDEP

Zoning Ordinance Water Protection & Aquifer Recharge Areas

Pioneer Institute's MassCityStats

Pioneer Institute

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Linda Vacon - Keith Davis, Treasurer
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