Meet City Councilor Aaron Vega and Ward 7 Councilor Candidate Gordon Alexander on Thursday October 23rd, from 3pm-5pm, at the home of Lois and Tom Schwab at 80 Pleasant Street in Holyoke. This event is co-hosted by Jane Frey, Julia Flannery, and Susan Carey.
Light refreshments will be served.
For more information, call Tom Schwab at (413) 536-3072
On Tuesday, August 2, Aaron Vega announced his plan for enforcing ordinances towards a cleaner and safer Holyoke. Here are photos from the event.
PARA INMEDIATA CIRCULACION
El Concejal General Aaron Vega revela el Decreto Una Ciudad Limpia y Segura.
Contacto: Rory Casey (413) 650-2727 email@example.com
(Go to English version)
Aaron Vega, Concejal General de la ciudad de Holyoke y candidato a reelección, invita a oficiales públicos, residentes y la prensa a la presentación de su plan para calles limpias y seguras para todo Holyoke.
El Decreto Una Ciudad Limpia y Segura modernizará la forma en que Holyoke hace cumplir sus ordenanzas.
También fortalecerá leyes que tratan con la basura y ruinas, y aumenta programas que generan ingresos.
“Este decreto ofrece las apropiadas herramientas a las agencias que hacen cumplir las leyes en Holyoke para asegurar una buena calidad de vida para todos los que viven y trabajan aquí,” dijo el Concejal Vega.
En la creación de esta legislación, durante los últimos 14 meses, el Concejal Vega trabajó con residentes y dueños de negocios, así como representantes de agencias de la ciudad como la Oficina de la Alcaldesa, el Departamento Legal, el Departamento de Trabajos Públicos y la Mesa Directiva de Salud.
Qué: Conozca al Concejal Evento en VegaYoga & Movement Arts.
Cuándo: Martes 2 de agosto del 2011 de 5:00 p.m. a 6:30 p.m.
Dónde: Open Square, (entre las calles Dwight y Lyman), Building/Edificio 4, Studio 221
Habrá un refrigerio.
En 2009, Vega se postulo para Concejal de la ciudad, ganó y se convirtió así en uno de los primeros concejales Latinos en general. Desde su inauguración él ha cumplido su compromiso de mejorar la calidad de vida para todos los residentes de Holyoke trabajando para reforzar las ordenanzas de la ciudad mientras ofrece a los departamentos de la ciudad y ciudadanos las herramientas necesarias para bregar con los problemas que Holyoke enfrenta. Actualmente, Vega es miembro de los subcomités de Reurbanización y Seguridad Pública, el Consejo de Desarrollo Económico de la Alcaldesa, los comités de el Centro de Ancianos, la Biblioteca, y del Edificio de la Escuela Superior, así como el comité mixto del Consejo de la Ciudad y el Comité Escolar.
Contact: Rory Casey (413) 650-2727 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Vega, Holyoke At Large City Councilor and candidate for re-election, is inviting public officials, residents, and media to an unveiling of his plan for clean and safe streets throughout Holyoke.
The Clean and Safe Streets Act will modernize the way Holyoke enforces its ordinances. It will also strengthen laws dealing with litter and blight and enhance revenue-generating programs.
“This act will give the proper tools to the enforcement agencies in Holyoke to ensure a good quality of life for everyone who lives and works here,” said Councilor Vega.
In order to craft this legislation, Councilor Vega worked with local residents and business owners, along with representatives from city agencies, such as the mayor’s office, the law department, Department of Public Works, and the Board of Health, over the past 14 months.
What: Meet the Councilor Event at VegaYoga & Movement Arts
When: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Where: Open Square, (between Dwight and Lyman Streets), Building 4, Studio 221
Light refreshments and beverages will be served.
Since Aaron Vega’s 2009 swearing in on City Council, he has kept his commitment to improving the quality of life for all Holyoke residents by working to strengthen city ordinances while giving city departments and citizens the tools they need to address the many issues facing Holyoke. He currently sits on the Redevelopment and Public Safety subcommittees, the Mayor’s Economic Development Council, the Holyoke Senior Center, Library, and High School Building committees, and the Joint Committee of the City Council and School Committee.
The following is Holyoke City Councilor Aaron Vega’s firsthand account of his “Day on the Job” with the Holyoke Department of Public Works.
When I was setting up my Day on the Job at the Holyoke Department of Public Works, Superintendent Bill Fuqua must have thought I wanted the clean DPW tour. Then I spoke with Solid Waste Supervisor and Recycling Coordinator Tim Price and his eyes lit up when I told him I was in for a real experience.
Meeting the guys on trash detail at 7:00 a.m. was quick and I don’t remember many of their names but they had humorous advice for me.
“Get ready for a good workout.”
“Don’t fall in the truck.”
I was handed a reflective yellow vest and new gloves, and I was in the truck. First stop: Lyman Terrace.
With barely enough room in the alley, 30-plus-year veteran Ramon Flores navigated the trash truck through while Louis Lafountain and I swung trash bags and emptied trash barrels into the back. The smell was pungent to say the least, and I was glad I didn’t have a big breakfast beforehand.
From Lyman Terrace to Lower Westfield Road to Kane Road and the neighborhood behind McMahon School, I got my workout, never fell into the truck and even got to ride alongside it.
There was a rhythm to the work. Swing another barrel in. Turn the lever to compress the trash. Hop back on the truck. Move to the next street. Repeat. I was told by many that “If you can make it on the trash detail, you can do anything.” I believe them.
One aspect of my day that was almost harder to stomach than the smell was the lack of recycling. It was recycling day, and many people did a great job of separating, but I saw so many plastic bottles in the trash and hoisted so many bags with the sound of glass bottles rattling against each other. A lot of homes did not recycle at all.
Tim Price picked me up after about four hours on trash pick-up duty and gave me the full tour back down at “the yard.” He educated me about the recycling and reuse projects going on in our city. Holyoke does well with its recycling program–much better than many surrounding communities, even those with single stream recycling. Many of our programs have saved, and even earned, the city money. Still, there is only a compliance rate of about 48%.
Once you begin to understand the cost of trash removal, the amount of work that goes into it, and once you know the savings a city can enjoy from strong participation in recycling, it can be disappointing to see the lack of it. Do we need more education? Is enforcement the answer? Should we fine residents who don’t recycle and reward those who do? What does it mean for Holyoke to be a green community if a majority of residents don’t recycle? My mind was racing with these questions.
Before my day was over, I spoke with Bill Fuqua about operations at the DPW and the kinds of improvements we both would like to see. Ultimately, I now have an intimate understanding of what goes on at the DPW and how the men and women who work there do so with little acknowledgement or praise. The next time you see a trash worker or other DPW employee be sure to thank them for all they do. I know I will.
Team Vega marched in the Puerto Rican Parade in Holyoke on Saturday, July 10. A great time was had by all. Thanks to everyone!
On Thursday, June 9, folks from all over Western Mass came together to celebrate Congressman John Olver’s 20 years of continued representation in Congress to western and central Massachusetts.
Photos Courtesy Andrea Burns