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Morse opens campaign office for mayoral run

Date: 8/31/2011

Aug. 31, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — Holyoke mayoral candidate Alex Morse said he envisions the role of mayor as not being just someone coping with today’s issues, but planning for the future development of the city 15 to 20 years from now.

Morse spoke to Reminder Publications at the opening of his new campaign headquarters at 1548 Northampton St. on Aug. 26. Morse greeted supporters as they gathered at the office, which already had charts on the walls to track the voting by ward on the primary election night.

Morse, Daniel Boyle and Daniel Burns will be facing incumbent Mayor Elaine Pluta in a preliminary election on Sept. 20.

Morse said the city needs an “energized positive candidate for mayor” and he is that person. He added, “A candidate raised in the digital age is an incredible asset.”

He explained there are “tangible things” he would do as mayor in his first two years to get the city moving in the right direction, but some developments, such as attracting new businesses to the city will take longer.

Vowing to continue running an ideas oriented campaign, Morse said, “I’m tired of petty politics.”

He said that while campaigning, people talked to him about the same subjects: job development, education and public safety.

Speaking about several other topics, Morse said that it is “unacceptable” the Holyoke Geriatric Authority owes the city money, but he doesn’t believe it should close. Instead he would work out a payment plan with the organization. He added there needs to be a financial plan in place to ensure the Authority’s solvency for the next decade.

Morse said he is the only candidate in the race who is not encouraging casino gambling coming to Holyoke.

“I’m opposed in the sense that when it comes here, it comes here,” he said.

If the expanded gaming legislation is passed and if a Holyoke site is selected, Morse said he would work with the developer. He believes, however, that the casino for Western Massachusetts will be located in Palmer.

“It’s really appealing for politicians to grab at casinos,” he said. “People only propose casinos during bad economic times.”

On the other hand, he thinks the new role of the former Mountain Park as an outdoor concert venue “has been a good thing to bring people to the city.”

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