AGAWAM – Bob Alves said he would bring a “unique skillset” to the City Council, if elected.
The lifelong Agawam resident is the owner and editor of Throttle Rocker Magazine, which covers local and regional motorcycle events, and the founder and director of Wicked in Pink, a nonprofit organization that raises money for Sr. Caritas Cancer Center.
This background, he said, gives him a unique edge.
“[Running for City Council] is something that I wanted to do for a long time. I come into with a different mindset. I’m a businessman. I’m not a politician,” Alves said. “I don’t come from a political background. I don’t have family members that are politicians. I do have friends that are on the City Council now. I’m coming in my skillset is a businessman.”
Alves said that it is important to be able to attract new business to Agawam, as well as support the ones that have already been in town for years.
“I consider myself community conscious and business friendly. I would like to see some businesses come. I’d like to help out some of the businesses we have here,” Alves said. “I want to make sure they thrive as well as the businesses we want to attract. We want everyone to be able to shake hands and be able to make it all work together. We want to be able to shake hands with our neighbor towns.”
Aside from attracting new business, Alves pointed to several ongoing issues in town that need resolutions. He said Games and Lanes and blight were concerns on most everyone’s mind.
As the community continues to grow, he said it is important to take care of infrastructure, namely roads and sidewalks.
His concern is that the population will continue to grow after the MGM Casino is built in Springfield.
“I’ve said it before, whether we want it or not, we’re still getting a casino, so we have to work with them. We have to create a relationship with them, whether we want them here or not. It’s now behind us. How do we cultivate that relationship? We need to cultivate the relationships that we have, not only amongst our own departments, but in the surrounding communities,” Alves said. “We’re all going to be affected by the casino. We’re a desirable community. We’re going to see, I think, an increase in population. How are we going to handle that? How are we going to make sure our streets can handle that? How are we going to work with them to help us?
Communication is key, he said, within the town and with neighboring communities. He would like to initiate talks with other towns that have municipal golf courses for advice on how to help Agawam’s be more profitable. Alves also said channels must be open between the City Council and the mayor’s office, and “it doesn’t matter who’s in there.”
Alves said he is unique to help get this done because, as an independent, he has “no political connection,” and he just wants to see the town progress.
“I just see Agawam as moving forward. With everything that’s going on, we really don’t want to get left behind,” Alves said. “I believe in the person, and I believe in the idea.”