Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Dear Friend:
Fall is here and so is another campaign season. I am pleased to announce my candidacy for re-election as your Ward Five city councilor. For the past two years, it has been my pleasure to serve you and our ward. I am asking for your support once again on November 3rd so I can continue as your Voice for our Ward and City.
Many of you participated this week in the preliminary election to choose a new Mayor to lead or city. We may not have agreed with all the decions that Mayor Sullivan made during his tenure, but Mayor Mike deserves or gratitude and appreciation for his leadership over the last 10 years.
This election is about leadership new and old. When a poorly planned development that did not address the concerns of the neighborhood was proposed I lead the fight to defeat the proposal. We need development in our city but it must be done correctly with proper planning, community involvement and addresses the concerns of neighborhood, such was the case with the proposed Lowe’s project and I took the lead for its passage. The Lowe’s development will bring Jobs, Tax Revenue and much need traffic improvements that will be paid for by the developers.
  “As you know due to increasing overtime costs it was decided to shut down E-6 on an as needed” basis to manage the dwindling overtime budget.  It was through the swift actions of Local 1693, Councilor Brunelle and other city council members that we were able to work with Chief LaFond and Mayor Sullivan to avoid, for now, the dangerous closing of fire apparatus which would have effectively left an area of the city without adequate fire coverage. “
Mark W.Fortin                                                                                                                      President , I.A.F.F. Local 1693

Making sure that your public safety needs are met is my top priority. This is the kind of leadership that you have counted on from be as your ward five city councilor and I will continue to be a leader for our ward and city.

Once again, I am asking for your vote and support on November 3rd, 2009.
John Brunelle
Ward Five City Councilor
413-532-0627 or 413-210-6448 or


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lowe's Yes

Jobs, Traffic Improvements, Increased Tax base. YES!

No matter how hard we may try to deny it or hope it away, it can’t be ignored. Layoffs, home foreclosures and depleted savings are all constant reminders that our nation’s economy is in shambles. Businesses in Holyoke are enacting layoffs every month.

Yet in the face of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression national retailer, Lowe’s Home Improvement, has decided it wants to call Holyoke home. Lowe’s is looking to build on an 18+ acre parcel of land on Whitings Farm road owned by the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department.

The benefits of this project in Holyoke are many. The project will create approximately 145 needed, new jobs. Over half of the jobs will be fulltime. The remainder will be flexible, part-time jobs, which will benefit students, stay at home parents, seniors, or anyone looking to supplement their household income. The additional retail spaces that will accompany this project will also bring an additional 20 to 40 full- and part-time jobs.

Once Lowe’s completes the permitting process with a needed approval thru site plan review, which is public hearing process, the developer will pay $3 million dollars to the Holyoke Gas and Electric Department (HG&E). That $3 million can be used for capital project and city improvements, including helping with traffic in the Whitings Farm, Ingleside area. In this or any economy, where else is Holyoke going to find $3 million for city improvements and investment? The utility use by Lowe’s alone will generate another $300,000 in annual payments to HG&E.

Lowe’s will also pay the City of Holyoke approximately $350,000 in tax revenue each and every year. An extra $350,000 on our tax rolls each year can certainly help to stablilize our tax base, maintain our schools, protect our neighborhoods, and make traffic improvements.

If the zone change passes the city council, the developer will still have to go through the site plan permitting process, which requires the Developer and Lowe’s to mitigate and improve traffic conditions on Whiting Farms Road. The traffic on Whiting Farms Road has needed City attention for many years but no money has been available. Now we have the catalyst to make those long overdue changes.

The Developer has agreed to work with the City’s traffic engineers, who are themselves just completing their own traffic improvement study, to design the most effective improvements possible for the area. For those who oppose Lowe’s on the basis of traffic, just remember that without Lowe’s, there is no catalyst or money for traffic improvements.

In good economic times or bad, the opportunity to welcome Lowe’s to Holyoke is one that cannot be missed. In the midst of a recession, the idea of turning away 150-plus jobs, $350,000 a year in new taxes, $300,000 per year in utility revenues, a $3,000,000 windfall and the opportunity to resolve the traffic issues in this area seems ludicrous.

In previous campaigns and on previous votes I have been very vocal about making sure our neighborhoods were protected from unwanted development that would be a determent to our ward and city. In this case the developer has been upfront with the city and residents of the area about their plans. They have spent many thousands of dollars that they were not required as part of the zone change permitting process. The developer completed traffic studies, produced conceptual plans and held two neighborhood meetings prior to submitting the zone change request.

As the Ward Councilor for which this project is being proposed, I strongly support this zone change and encourage all my colleagues to vote in favor of the required zone change. I also encourage all the citizens of Holyoke to call or email your council members to vote in favor of this project. Let your voice be heard.


John Brunelle
Ward Five City Councilor