Saturday, May 27, 2023

Why I am running for Planning Board as a Write-in Candidate

 This letter was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Robert Bryant Miller- a write-in candidate for the Longmeadow Planning Board



I want to take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Robert Bryant Miller, but my family, friends and neighbors know me as Bryant. I am running for the open seat on the Longmeadow Planning Board as a write-in vote. The upcoming annual town election is on June 13th at the Community House, polls are open from 7am-8pm.

Longmeadow runs deep in my family. My wife and I met while working together at the L’amitie, a French restaurant that was in the Longmeadow Shops in the early 80s. Then, in 1996, after having our 2 children, we decided to move to Longmeadow for the school system and community. My wife, Joan, is a nurse at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home while I’ve worked my whole life as a classically trained chef in fine dining restaurants. Now I am retired and have been watching my 2 grandsons full time in what I like to call “Grandpa Daycare” for the past 4 years.

One of my first involvements in town was when I joined the senior abatement program. I was assigned the job of fire hydrant inspection and painting through the water department. After finishing the program, I was actually hired on part time for another season to continue the inspections. I also participated in the Citizen’s Police Academy, learning about the town’s police department and even going for a ride-along. These opportunities opened my eyes to the fragility of our town’s infrastructure and were instrumental to my involvement in the Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group. To this day, I am still fighting and educating, for the safety of our town, regarding the redundant and dangerous pipeline proposal.

I believe with my awareness of the town’s current issues and my goal to see this town succeed for future generations; I would be an asset to the planning board. I am more than willing to learn the procedures, rules and regulations of the board and maintain our quality of life here in Longmeadow that all of us have worked so hard for.

I would like to ask all of you to please write in a vote for me, Robert Bryant Miller, for the Longmeadow Planning Board.

With a write in vote, please remember to fill in the circle next to my name as well. 

Bryant Miller

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Why I am Running for Re-Election to Longmeadow School Committee

This letter was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Nicole Choiniere- a candidate for re-election to the Longmeadow School Committee.


Ten years ago, I moved to Longmeadow with my husband and our three children because we loved the town’s sense of community, excellent schools, public library programs, and open spaces for walking and biking. When my children were younger, I volunteered with the PTO in the Center School library and became the parent volunteer coordinator. I later spent two years serving on the board of directors for LEEF, volunteering with the committee to raise funds and review grant applications for teacher-directed educational opportunities for our students. In 2020, I was elected to the school committee, where I’ve been serving for three years.

As a history teacher who works in West Springfield, I emphasize the importance of the democratic process and civic engagement – but these values are not merely academic to me. I know from my experience, in previous volunteer positions and my current term on the school committee, that a successful and supportive education system depends upon the knowledge and cooperation of many people. It’s the administrators, teachers, school staff, and families who work to keep academic and emotional growth at the heart of our children’s learning. I am seeking reelection to continue supporting that work, especially at a time when we are in the middle of exciting and important projects, including the middle school building project, curriculum work, initiatives related to our DEIB goals, and other ongoing community projects.

School committee work is intense and multi-faceted, and it is important to rely on the experience and expertise of others. I’ve been so impressed by the people with whom I work every week, and I’m grateful to have been nurtured in my role by so many professional and attentive individuals. I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished together in my time as a school committee member. My collaboration with such a smart, talented, and dedicated group of people has helped me to acquire meaningful experience and expertise myself. I’ve learned a lot about how the educational system in Longmeadow works, from state and local funding to classroom curriculum, from building initiatives to contract negotiations. It would be my distinct pleasure to continue serving our town and applying what I’ve learned for the sustained improvement of our children’s future.

Nicole Choiniere

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Why am I running for Longmeadow School Committee

This letter was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Michaela Fitzgerald- a candidate for the Longmeadow School Committee.




My name is Michaela Fitzgerald, and I am a candidate for the Longmeadow School Committee. For the past 14 years I have worked as an educator in Massachusetts. For the most recent 7 years I have been a resident of Longmeadow with my husband Brendan and our two children, Declan and Maeve. Longmeadow is a special place to us. Over these past years we have watched our kids grow, make their first friends and reach exciting milestones. Each new class, sports team and activity has allowed me to befriend and learn from so many Longmeadow parents and caretakers. These families, and the concerns and challenges we face raising and educating our children together are the reasons I am running for the school committee.

I have been an active member of school communities both as a teacher and a parent. In my career as a public school teacher (3 years in Salem, MA and 10 years in Springfield, MA) I have had a successful track record of improving educational outcomes through my involvement in a variety of school-based teams. I have served on school improvement teams, instructional leadership teams, literacy teams, and have held elected roles on School Centered Decision-Making teams. In 2017—in perhaps my proudest achievement as an educator—my school was awarded a National Blue Ribbon for Closing the Achievement Gap. This was the result of outstanding school leadership, innovation, and the tireless teamwork of educators taking an active role in school improvement planning.

Since graduating from college, I have never left the classroom professionally and I have had the opportunity to hold a variety of roles within the classroom setting. I firmly believe my background in Special Education, teaching English as a Second Language, and a decade in Springfield Public Schools meeting the needs of a diverse group of learners will be an asset to the committee and to the district. Public Education is for everyone, and every single student deserves access to an outstanding education. This drives me as an educator, and I will work hard to make sure this happens in our district.

Currently, I am a preschool teacher at St. Mary’s Academy in Longmeadow, a parent member of the Blueberry Hill School Council, a youth soccer coach, and a PTO volunteer. 

I have concerns about the direction of school committees nationwide and the increasingly divisive tenor of conversation surrounding them. There is a growing lack of focus on what is conducive to building the best outcome for students and making schools places where teachers and children want to be and excel. I—and many other Longmeadow parents—moved to Longmeadow in large part due to the stellar reputation of its schools. And now with one child completing his first year and another beginning in September, I am happy to say that I have found that reputation well-deserved. I want it to remain so, but like many others I have come to realize that we can’t take the continued stability and excellence of our most important institutions for granted.

During my years as a teacher, I have seen staff changes, curriculum changes and societal changes. I know firsthand the massive impact decisions made by administrators and school leaders have on student achievement. Well-intentioned and carefully considered decisions can flop when they finally reach the classroom. The classroom is the heart of education: it should be a safe home and a hub of learning for our children. I want a seat at the table so that I can utilize my classroom experience to make sure the needs of all students are considered, to keep our district a place where the best teachers want to come and establish careers, and to keep the education provided by the district a point of pride for all Longmeadow residents.

On June 13th, please vote for Michaela Fitzgerald—an experienced and driven educator.  Here is a link to my Michaela Fitzgerald for the Longmeadow School Committee Facebook page.

Michaela Fitzgerald  

Friday, May 12, 2023

Why I am running as a Candidate for School Committee

This letter was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Kency Gilet- a candidate for the Longmeadow School Committee in the upcoming Annual Town Elections.


My name is Kency Gilet and a candidate for the Longmeadow School Committee. I moved to Longmeadow with my three children, Alicia, Adam, and Abigail specifically because of the exceptional Longmeadow Public Schools. In a year of many changes for us, a community that welcomes diverse families was a comfort. Two of my kids attend Wolf Swamp Road Elementary and one attends Glenbrook Middle School.

As a full time, single father to three LPS students, my stake in the continued success of Longmeadow Schools is clear. I believe our students can overcome the most difficult circumstances life will throw at them. They are not the victim of their traumas, but the champion of their strengths and skills. The dire situation in our schools regarding the rates of depression and suicidal ideation is a concerning trend that requires a proactive response. I’m running to support our students in leveraging their strengths and community resources to create their own legacy of success and happiness.

Professionally, I am a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and National Certified Counselor with over a decade of experience treating kids, teens and families suffering from emotional, behavioral, and mental disturbances. My private clinical practice is in East Longmeadow, and I serve as Vice President of a nonprofit mental health organization treating children and families with mental illness in Easthampton. Additionally, I have been an adjunct professor of psychology at Pace University for over a decade. Maybe my favorite professional experience was serving as PTO President of Pottenger Elementary School in Springfield from 2015-2017.

I am deeply committed to promoting mental wellness, life readiness, and parental engagement in our schools.

If honored to join an already well-functioning committee, I will prioritize the following areas:

Mental Wellness: I believe that mental wellness is essential to student success. I’m motivated to work with the full committee to ensure that our schools provide the necessary resources and supports for students to maintain good mental health. This includes promoting self-care practices, implementing social-emotional learning programs, and providing access to mental health professionals when needed.

Life Readiness: Our schools prepare students for success beyond the classroom. I will support efforts to ensure that LPS provides a well-rounded education that includes essential life skills such as financial literacy, career readiness, and civic engagement. I will also advocate for experiential learning opportunities that allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world situations. There are many paths to success that should be presented to our students.

Parental Engagement: Caregivers play a critical role in education, and I believe that strong parental engagement is essential to student success. I will leverage my experience strengthening partnerships between schools and families to provide opportunities for parents to get involved and have a voice in their child's education. This includes creating a welcoming and inclusive school environment, promoting regular communication between parents and educators, and providing resources for parents to support learning at home.

I am ready to work collaboratively with school administrators, teachers, parents, and community members to ensure that our schools provide the highest caliber of education for our students. If elected, I will be a dedicated advocate for mental wellness, life readiness, and parental engagement in our schools.

I humbly ask that you vote Kency Gilet for Longmeadow School Committee on Tuesday June 13.


Kency Gilet, LMHC, NCC

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Why I am running for School Committee as a Write-in Candidate

This letter was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Adam Rosenblum- a write-in candidate for the Longmeadow School Committee. 


My name is Adam Rosenblum, D.O. I am a write-in candidate this June 13th for the Longmeadow School Committee. I am excited to run for the post on behalf of my two children, who will soon enter the Longmeadow School District, with the goal of fostering an even stronger educational community in Longmeadow. I hope my voice on the committee will ensure our exceptional schools will continue to flourish as they support Longmeadow families. 

My community service with the Longmeadow COVID Vaccine Clinic and Little League has allowed me to meet so many neighbors, leaving me inspired. We have the overwhelming potential to furnish our children with the tools not only to thrive but to shape our society. While I am a physician by training, I began my career as a public school science teacher and afterward continued to teach at the college and graduate levels. 

My comprehensive experience in education will be an asset to solving issues facing Longmeadow Public Schools. I grew up in Western Michigan and was fortunate to gain my secondary education in schools of similar quality to Longmeadow. I have seen the dedication required by individuals to maintain and improve such outstanding schools. Support for the teachers and staff that make these incredible opportunities possible must be steadfast and frequently reinvigorated. I will stand by our teachers and staff, working tirelessly to realize the promise that education can fulfill in Longmeadow. 

When the voters cast their ballots on June 13th, they should have a choice of candidates. This is an opportunity to bring in a new voice with a positive attitude, the essential experience, and the community dedication to meet the responsibilities of this noble committee. I’m thrilled to see what we can accomplish working together for Longmeadow!

Check out my Adam Rosenblum for Longmeadow School Committee FB page for more information.

Adam Rosenblum, D.O.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Being An Effective Longmeadow Select Board Member

I asked Mark Gold- current and the longest tenured member of the Select Board (since 2009) for an outline of the “homework” that is required for him in order to adequately prepare for meetings. Below is his response: 

Contrary to what many people believe, being an effective Select Board member is more than committing time for the meetings- two nights a month.

Mark Gold
Select Board member since 2009

Mark attends an average of 8 meetings outside of the Select Board each month.

(As a minimum Select Board members should attend those meetings for which they are the SB liaison.)
Mark attends on a regular basis the following standing committees:

  • Scantic Valley Regional Health Trust
    Meets 9:30 - 11 AM/ once/month
  • Pioneer Valley Transit Authority
    Meets 12 – 2 PM/ once/month
  • Pioneer Valley Planning Commission- PVTA
    Meets 10 AM – 12 PM/ once/month
  • Longmeadow Permanent Building Committee
    Meets 3-5 PM once per month

In addition, Mark is also a member of the PVTA/ Paratransit subcommittee (Dial-a-Ride) because it is an important service in the Longmeadow community. He also attends the meetings for the Director review and compensation committee. These two sub-committees meet about 4-6 times per year in addition to the board meetings (for about an hour at a time).

Mark also tries to attend a couple of Longmeadow Finance Committee meetings during the year, at least one Community Preservation Committee and one Longmeadow Capital Planning Committee meeting as well. These meeting are "seasonal" -generally during budget time. He also attends all of the town sponsored forums on the budget and related topics which typically occur 1-2 times/ year.

Mark has no idea how much time (if any) other Select Board members spend outside the regular meetings.  He does know that the SB chair (currently Josh Levine) has to spend an hour before every meeting reviewing the agenda with the Town Manager Lyn Simmons.

Mark believes that the other three current SB members do not attend many outside meetings. A Select Board member with a full time job and family commitments would be hard pressed to participate in many of these types of board meetings that are regularly held during "normal business hours”. For the most part, it's important that there is a representative from Longmeadow.

Mark participates in as many Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA) training webinars as possible. This past year he participated in 3 or 4 of them and usually skips the annual training on Open Meeting Law and Municipal Finances since he has completed them several times and they really don't change. There are two required training programs that all town employees (including Select Board members) must complete on Open Meeting Law and Conflict of Interest. These training programs are conducted on-line and take about 2 hours each to complete. Select Board members must complete a "test" at the end of the course and pass to be certified. Mark also attends the MMA annual meeting in Boston for two days every January. Only Mark and Tom Lachiusa as Select Board members attended the most recent event in January - which is a real shame because there's some GREAT information being shared there.

Prior to each Select Board meeting members receive a packet of information to review. The packet generally comes out on the Friday before our Monday meeting. It can take anywhere from 1 to 4 hours to review the information (depending if you read the many department monthly reports that are included). When there's a SB hearing (usually a utility or liquor license), Mark will review the information more closely and if there are questions he tries to send them to the petitioner in advance of the meeting so they have the answers. Mark has decided some time ago that "got-ya" questioning doesn't work well in town government. He also believes it's a waste of time when they say "we'll have to get back to you on that" which just wastes everyone's time. “I can't tell you how many times I have found an error in the packet, but I suspect I'm the only one who reads it anyway.”

Around budget time the time he spends on reviewing the budget can be as much as 6-8 hours in advance of the budget review meeting which this year will take place next Monday, March 6. As good as our Town Manager is in the preparation, he believes that oversight is worthwhile and wants to understand the budget as well as the Town Manager and our acting CFO Paul Pasterczyk. This same preparation goes for development of water and sewer rates. Second to Paul, he probably understands what makes up those rates better than anyone in town, and takes the time each year to closely review the proposal. This secondary review will be even more important when Paul finally retires.

Mark has not added up all the meetings and times, but his best estimate is that he spends 6-8 hours per week on town business, not including phone calls he gets at home and being present at meetings that he has with the Town Manager (his last meeting with Lyn lasted two hours).

Being an effective Select Board member is more than committing two nights a month for meetings.   

Mark has been a Select Board member since 2009.  While this is a salaried elected position at $2000/ year,  Mark does it primarily as a give back to Longmeadow where he has lived with his wife Ellen for over 45 years.  His two sons Daniel and Eric attended Longmeadow Public Schools.

Mark has made many significant contributions to the financial health and well being of our town by being adequately prepared for the regular biweekly Select Board meeting and getting involved with the business of our town.  During his reelection campaign last year he outlined his Top 10 Accomplishments.

Thank you Mark for your commitment to our town. 


There is a Special Election next Tuesday, March 7 to fill the empty Select Board seat.  There are two candidates in this election: Walter Gunn and Vineeth Hemavathi

Their election candidate profiles can be found on the LongmeadowBuzz blog. 
Here are the links: Walter Gunn and
Vineeth Hemavathi

Do your homework by reading these profiles to become an informed voter and then go to the Community House to vote for the best candidate. 
Polls are open from 7 am - 8 pm.

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Why I'm Running for Longmeadow Select Board - Walter Gunn

This information was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Walter Gunn who is running as a candidate in the Preliminary Election on February 7 for the open Select Board seat. 


Walter Gunn- Candidate for SB
To the residents of Longmeadow:

Our town government needs the proper representation our people deserve. A special town election is required when a seat on the Select Board is vacated, as it was in July of 2022, and must be filled in a timely manner. 
I am excited, not only as a resident of Longmeadow for sixty-one continuous years, but as someone who has worked for the community for twenty-two years, to be elected to the Select Board. Longmeadow thrives with excellent schools, public safety, public works, and resources for our seniors. Above all, we are a friendly and a great community dedicated to making this town the best in the Pioneer Valley.

I want to thank the Town of Longmeadow and its residents for putting their faith in me to serve the town. I also want to recognize and appreciate the support of the community members and town employees who get the hard work done day in and day out.

In my many years of service, I have chaired and clerked for the Planning Board. I was also appointed commissioner to the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission and today I am its chair, serving Longmeadow and the 43 communities within our region. I also serve as a voting member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), important in the process of distribution of federal transportation dollars to our region. In each of these positions I have advocated for Longmeadow and brought much needed support to the projects that keep our infrastructure and institutions working, and thus our town.

To detail some of my accomplishments: 
  • Helped create the responsibilities of the Town Manager 
  • Planning for parks, recreation, and conservation for Longmeadow 
  • Hazard Mitigation to make Longmeadow proactive and resilient to climate change. 
  • Complete streets making our roads safer for cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians 
  • No Chandler Avenue development preventing unnecessary invasion of our historic past. 
  • Action on commercial development in the interest of the for today and tomorrow. 
  • Zoning By Law updates to continue protecting our Town’s Amenities. 
  • Expedited the rebuild of Converse Street ahead of schedule, assured a new sidewalk and crossing at Bliss Road to Blueberry Hill School will be completed this year, that Converse Street and Longmeadow Street intersection will be upgraded and Longmeadow Street will be rebuilt.
As a Select Board member, I will: 
  • Support the Charter and Town Meeting Form of Government. 
  • Stop the Eversource pipeline from Longmeadow to Springfield forever and follow the state’s lead on clean energy implementation, including new solar energy power, to keep the promises we have made as a green community. 
  • Preserve open space now and for generations to come. 
  • Assure safety to pedestrians and bicyclists 
  • Keep roads efficient, safe, and neighborhood friendly 
  • Support our first responders assuring that Longmeadow continues to be safe for our residents. 
  • Stop the East Longmeadow “warehouse,” a proposed project that will flood our town with trucks destroying roads and congesting traffic 
  • Provide resources to the Middle School Building Committee to ensure the town gets a Middle School now, not later.
    (I’m Williams Middle School ’73) and make sure we have the resources to keep our 3 elementary schools modern and safe (I’m Converse Street School and Center School). I supported and helped the Town get a new high school (I’m Class of ’79).
  • Evaluate the proposed move of two town hall facilities to Greenwood Center. 
  • Work to create more housing for our deserving seniors. 
  • Repurpose former town property in new and innovative ways. 
  • Ensure our fair share of state money for schools and roads.
As a Select Board member, my primary responsibilities will include supervising fiscally responsible annual budgets (as a former small business owner budgets are the difference between success and failure), performance-based appointments to committees and commissions, and timely revue of the town manager. 
Speaking of budgets: We have come and are perilously close to the “$25 per $1000” limit on taxation. With good fortune and good budget management we have kept under the threshold. This year’s budget, FY 2023 is no exception. Longmeadow is boxed in by this persistent problem. Regrettably, we have very little space to build out and generate new revenue within the town. Perhaps, we are not the only town of 351 in the Commonwealth to feel this pain. We will need to show leadership and engage our legislative representatives to help resolve this problem for the benefit of this community, when required. 
Finally, please vote for democracy in our Town’s primary, February 7th and the Special Election March 7th and preserve our form unique form of New England Town Government. 
Thank you for your support and belief in me to keep our community vibrant.


Monday, January 23, 2023

Why I'm Running for Longmeadow Select Board - Sanjiv Reejhsinghani

This information was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Sanjiv Reejhsinghani who is running as a candidate in the Preliminary Election on February 7 for the open Select Board seat. 


Sanjiv Reejhsinghani

First of all, I want to thank the editor of the LongmeadowBuzz blog for allowing all the candidates for the upcoming Select Board Special Town Election to post profiles on this very valuable site. Hopefully, these profiles will allow our townspeople to make as informed an opinion as possible while voting in the preliminary election on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. 

For those people that don’t know me, I have deep and long-lasting ties to the community of Longmeadow, MA. Although I originally spent my adolescence in the nearby community of Wilbraham, MA, my family moved to Longmeadow after I turned 15, and I spent three rewarding years at Longmeadow High School (LHS), where I served as editor of the high-school newspaper, The Jet Jotter, and participated on the varsity swim team, concert band, wind ensemble (thank you Michael Mucci and Peter Thomsen), National Honor Society, as well as captained the math and science teams.

Over the past 30 years, the bonds of friendship I forged with my LHS classmates have only strengthened with time. Many of these friends have now moved back to the area and have started their own families, and their children now attend schools within our elite Longmeadow public school system, which I believe to be the town’s greatest resource and attraction for other families hoping to move into Longmeadow so that their children can also share in the greatest educational opportunities possible.

My parents both emigrated from India in the 1960s, and my father, now retired, worked as a chemical engineer at a plant in the Indian Orchard section of Springfield, while my mother continues to work full-time as a solo pediatrician in her late 70s. Theirs is the American dream personified: my father was able to come to the United States in the 1960s by pursuing a doctorate degree, and my mother started her own successful medical practice when no commercial landlords would rent her office space to practice medicine in the early 1970s because she was both foreign-born, and a woman (back then, there were relatively few women enrolled in American medical schools).

After graduating from LHS, I enrolled in Emory College of Emory University in Atlanta, GA, where I graduated with a B.A. in English, then I finished up a dual Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)/Master of Healthcare Administration (M.H.A.) graduate degrees at Georgia State University in Atlanta. I was also lucky enough to volunteer as a First Responder/medic both in college and at the Paralympic Games in Atlanta. In Atlanta, I worked in administration for the State of Georgia Health Planning Association and the Georgia Department of Medical Assistance.

After moving back to Longmeadow in early 2000, I worked as an outside sales consultant for several pharmaceutical companies, and I also helped my mother with back-office duties at her pediatric practice. I went to Western New England School of Law as a part-time evening student, where I served in the student government, was president of the Health Law Association, participated in the National Health Law Moot Court competition, and was elected as Senior of the Year of my graduating law school class. I also completed three legal aid trips to under served areas of the country while in law school.

My commitment to public service has continued since finishing law school, where I currently am on the Board of Directors of the South Asian Bar Association of Connecticut, and I volunteer regularly via the Hampden County Bar Association pro bono outreach initiatives. I currently serve on the Executive Board of the Real Estate Section of the Hampden County Bar Association, and I am one of 16 attorneys across Massachusetts currently leading the Business Law Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association.

I’ve had the benefit of serving as a key volunteer for both former State Senator Eric Lesser (whom I’ve known since he was in high school) during his 2014 and 2016 campaigns, as well as State Representative Brian Ashe during numerous election cycles. Indeed, it was Dr. Martin Lesser, Eric’s dad (and whom I’ve known for decades), who, in part, inspired me to run for political office, after he recently asked me “when I was going to run for something”. This, along with inspiration gleaned from President Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote that “the courage belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,” have led to my candidacy today for this Special Election for Select Board.

I believe that my business acumen, and my experience as an attorney in the real estate sector, as well as my experience as a real estate broker and active real estate investor, can help Longmeadow navigate some challenging budgetary times ahead.

Longmeadow is facing an existential crisis as its tax revenues have a continuous shortfall compared to the rising expenditures of running the town. By 2033, it will have reached the Proposition 2½ tax ceiling (it is estimated), and state legislative approval would be needed to increase the mill rate beyond the $25.00 per $1,000 in property tax value. Right now, Longmeadow has a property tax rate of $22.92/ $1000 tax rate, and residential real estate and commercial real estate rates are both taxed at the same rate.

It may be possible for Longmeadow to institute different tax rates (like in Springfield) where commercial buildings (the commercial tax rate) are taxed at an elevated rate to residential homeowners to generate much-needed tax revenue. 
However, for certain types of commercial leases (especially double-net or triple-net commercial leases), the commercial tenant (business owner) might have to shoulder such a pro-rated commercial property tax increase (especially if there's a tax escalator involved), so I am not in favor of a dual (residential and commercial) tax rate at the present time.

Furthermore, Longmeadow needs to actively plan for budgeting for a potential new consolidated singular middle school if renovations are not practical or feasible for either or both middle school locations. This is a given in that both Glenbrook Middle School and Williams Middle School are both in disrepair, and the useful life of both buildings has long begun to wane.

Finally, after enjoying Long Meddowe Days for decades on the town green, I found it unfortunate when that mid-May festival disappeared a few years ago. Last October, the Long Meddowe Fall Festival was a welcome destination for families and townspeople that sorely missed the old fair. I believe that these types of festivals and gatherings should be encouraged (and funded) at the town level to bring a greater degree of social touch points to our town, and possibly a Long Meddowe Spring Festival could be considered, as well, down the road, in either the short or long-term.

Why I'm Running for Longmeadow Select Board - Vineeth Hemavathi

This information was submitted by Vineeth Hemavathi to the LongmeadowBuzz blog who is running as a candidate in the Preliminary Election on  February 7 for the open Select Board seat.


My name is Vineeth Hemavathi, and I’m running in the February 7, 2023 Preliminary Election for the Longmeadow Select Board. I’ve spent my entire life in public service as a: 

  • Teacher

  • Organizer

  • National security analyst

  • Attorney advocating for victims of domestic violence 

  • Attorney representing victims of housing discrimination right here in Western MA

Public service has always been my day job, and it’s provided me with the experience to be a valuable Select Board member. I didn’t choose which child walked into my classroom, or which victim of domestic violence called our office asking for help. I had to assess every person and unique situation as it came and work within the budget and time constraints to develop creative solutions, engage community partners, and employ the necessary resources to deliver results. I’ve always fought for those who had nowhere else to turn. These skills and this commitment to public service are exactly what our Town needs in their elected officials.

I will also bring important perspectives to the Select Board. The Select Board has five members, and to ensure the best decisions are made, we need to have folks of different experiences, expertise, and perspectives sitting at the table. If elected to the Select Board, I would be the first person of color ever elected, the only member with a career in public service, and the only member with preschool aged children. These perspectives matter when we’re making decisions today that will affect our Town’s tomorrow.

I plan on running in the June Annual Town Election, but first thing’s first, I hope to have your vote in the February 7, 2023 Preliminary Election. Voting will take place at the Longmeadow Community House at 735 Longmeadow Street, and the polls will be open from 7 am - 8 pm.

If you’d like to learn more about our campaign, check us out on Facebook at Vote Vineeth for Longmeadow Select Board and on Instagram at vote.vineeth.

I look forward to talking to you and earning your vote.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Why I’m Running For The Longmeadow Select Board- Dan Zwirko

This information was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz blog by Dan Zwirko who is running for Select Board on June 14.


My name is Dan Zwirko. I am running for the Longmeadow Select Board and I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday, June 14th. I grew up in Longmeadow and I am a product of the school system from first grade at Center School to graduating LHS in 2003. I went on to the University of Vermont where I was captain of the D1 lacrosse team. I came back to Longmeadow to serve my community as Representative Brian Ashe’s first legislative aide for nearly 5 years. This position allowed me to fight for local aid, assist with constituent issues, and build relationships with our local and state officials. Since then, I’ve been working in software security sales.


I am running for Select Board because I care about helping people and I want to give back to the community that has given so much to me. The challenges we face in the years ahead will impact the next generation of residents. We know that what has been tried, hasn’t always worked. Bringing new ideas and a new voice, and working with all stakeholders, will be my approach.


Over the past 3 months, I have knocked on over 1,000 doors to hear concerns and ideas from our residents. Our elected officials need to engage more with our residents, be visible, and approachable. With many working families in town, we should also leverage technology and social media to interact. Residents have appreciated the positive campaign I’ve run. 


Longmeadow provides many quality services and beautiful green spaces for everyone to enjoy. We need to maintain these through sound fiscal management. We must identify creative ways to increase our revenue outside of residential property taxes. By engaging with the Massachusetts Municipal Association, councilors outside of Longmeadow, and our own residents, we will identify innovative ideas to implement here.


My relationships in our region, as well as on Beacon Hill, are deep. Like it or hate it, we are dependent on state funding. Because many of our challenges will require assistance from the state, I will use my knowledge and relationships to shine a light on our needs and aggressively advocate for funding. Whether it is the looming tax ceiling, local aid, or infrastructure, I can lead in this area.


As our community grows, so does its make-up. For Longmeadow to be a community open to all, we must recruit a more diverse set of candidates to fill our current vacancies on various boards and committees. Our current demographic make-up isn’t well represented and we can do better. Longmeadow can be the community that brings people together, not pulls us apart.


Finally, I would like to see Longmeadow do more community-wide events to connect all of us, such as a winter carnival, outdoor concerts, art displays, fishing derbies, and summer porchfests that highlight local musicians and our unique neighborhoods. These are ways we can showcase ourselves and build our community together. 


Please join me in moving Longmeadow forward. I respectfully ask for your vote on Tuesday, June 14th!


Thank You,


Dan Zwirko

Candidate for the Longmeadow Select Board