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Cohen kicks off campaign for fourth term

By Michelle Kealey

Staff Writer

AGAWAM In front of a crowd of friends, family and supporters, Mayor Richard Cohen formally announced his candidacy for re-election during a campaign kick-off event at the The Oaks Banquet Facility last Thursday.

Cohen said that he decided to run for a fourth term because of his "continued concerns which affect our community."

Cohen outlined concerns about areas that help the community maintain a high quality of life and mentioned public service and safety programs, caring for the city's senior citizens, education for the city's children and economic development.

"I am proud to be Agawam's mayor and I love this city and the people who live here all of the people and I truly love this job," he said. "Love is about making a long term commitment to work through the tough times and celebrate the victories together, and believe me, there have been plenty of both."

Cohen said that it is essential that the community preserve the quality of life.

He said that no one has had a better team than the one standing before him and called it "Team Agawam."

"Our Agawam dream is a simple dream to continue to build our town to be the place where you can own a home, educate your children, live free from fear, and retire in security," Cohen said. "Our team is not just working to make Agawam better we are striving to make it the best community in the Pioneer Valley."

Cohen told his supporters that he believes that together, they can build a greater Agawam.

"I run for re-election because I believe I have the energy, the passion and the vision to continue to move Agawam forward," he said. "My goal and my agenda is not driven by political or personal gain. The job of mayor is not an easy one. It requires focus, a vision and the ability to make tough decisions."

Cohen told his supporters that being mayor is "something I cherish" and that he will continue to work and listen to members of the community.

"If you will join me in this journey, I promise to continue to do all I can to never, ever let you down," he said.

In closing his speech, which was followed by applause and a standing ovation from the crowd of supporters, Cohen said, "I am proud to be your Mayor."

Prior to his speech, Cohen was introduced by Hampden County Sheriff Michael Ashe, who said that there is no place he would rather be than "the kick-off of Mayor Cohen's campaign."

Ashe said that Cohen was one of his children's coaches and told the crowd that he knows first hand that Cohen is dedicated to youth.

He also said that he knew Cohen as a teacher at Springfield Technical Community College (STCC), where he gave people the opportunity to make a better life for themselves.

"It is great to get excited about somebody you believe in," Ashe said.

He described Cohen as an person who is honest, caring, sincere and very genuine.

He added that Cohen expresses "passion and intimacy in his work" and has continued to offer low taxes, quality education and "outstanding" public safety.

"[You have] more and more people moving to Agawam," he said.