Boldyga seeks re-election for 3rd Hampden District

Nick Boldyga the State
Representative in the 3rd Hampden District. (Photo by Greg Fitzpatrick)

SOUTHWICK –Nick Boldyga has held the position of State Representative for the 3rd Hampden District since 2010 and will be taking on first-time challenger Forrest Bradford of Agawam in the Tuesday November 6 election. This is the second election in a row where Boldyga has seen a challenger. The 3rd Hampden District includes Southwick, Agawam, and Granville

The 38-year-old Boldyga lives in Southwick with his three children and wife, Jessica, who is a member of the Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Committee.

As the cost of goods and services continue to rise, Boldyga has had constituents throughout the district express concerns on their ability to be financially stable for the future. He added that people are concerned about the difficulty to save for their retirement or their children’s college education.

“I think people are really concerned about that, providing for their families,” said Boldyga.

Boldyga worked different jobs in order to put himself through college at Western New England University and was the first person in his family to attend college. Because of this, education is something that Boldyga focuses on.

“I think we can do a little bit better with the exorbitant salaries,” said Boldyga.

According to Boldyga, in 2016, Derek Kellogg, the former Head Coach of the University of Massachusetts basketball team was the highest paid state worker in Massachusetts, earning $1,063,678 a year.

Boldyga believes the highest paid individual should be someone involved in education.

“As a society, we really have to place value on it,” said Boldyga. “I think there’s a lot of room for improvement for our public education system.”

Boldyga wants to make sure public-school students have enough resources and with the opening of charter schools, Boldyga wants public schools to remain strong. He and his wife both went to public schools and their three children do the same.

“We have a very vested interest in it,” said Boldgya. “We’re very interested that making sure all of our kids in Southwick, Agawam, and Granville get a phenomenal public education.”

The discussion then shifted towards infrastructure and education in the Agawam and Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional School Districts.

At a recent conference in Washington D.C., Boldyga discovered that Massachusetts is leading the country in educational scores for grades four through eight. The Southwick native then said that Southwick has done an expansion on the structure of their buildings and Agawam Public Schools were claimed to be in good condition by the state.

“I think that the school facilities in the district are actually doing quite well,” said Boldyga.

Recently, Boldyga has helped Agawam upgrade their high school auditorium for the first time in over 50 years as well as Southwick Regional School receiving funding for improving school safety.

Marijuana is an issue that legislators are focusing on. Boldyga would like to see the state make more progress with recreational marijuana retail stores.

“When the voters vote for something, it’s incumbent upon legislation and elected officials to implement the will of the voters,” said Boldyga. “I’m disappointed that they haven’t got the stores open up as fast as possible.”

The Cannabis Control Commission in Massachusetts has continued to work on their regulations. Boldyga believes there’s no reason the members of the commission should drag their feet.

Boldyga feels that the recent tax cuts will benefit businesses in Southwick, Granville, and Agawam, allowing them to invest more money, expand their footprint, and attract more businesses to those communities.

In Boldyga’s district, companies such as Whalley Computer have received workforce training grants. Boldyga mentioned that he helped Six Flags extend their park days this year so they could keep it open to hold a winter festival.

The long term impact of MGM Springfield is unknown and will be a big part of whether local businesses succeed or not. Despite MGM, Boldyga is confident the casino’s presence will only help local businesses.

“I do think it’s going to positively affect them because there has been a real influx of people coming into Springfield,” said Boldyga. “It’s only drawing more people to the area.”

Boldyga thinks the arrival of MGM will make visitors spread out and try other tourism destinations in the Greater Springfield area. He hopes that places like the Summer House, EB’s, and Coopers Commons will benefit from MGM.

With police and fire being an integral part of a community, Boldyga is always trying to secure funds for first responders. According to Boldyga, funding for training police and fire was passed at the state level.

“The training for both police and fire throughout the state is pretty well,” said Boldyga.

He also mentioned that he’s recently assisted with Agawam in receiving a new fire rescue vehicle for Robinson State Park.

Believing that fixing roads and bridges in towns and cities is an important issue, Boldyga wants to work with the state and put money aside annually in the budget.

“There’s never long-termed planning,” said Boldyga. “That would be something that would help.”

Boldyga wants to find out how towns build their roads. Last winter, the state representative saw a lot of the freezing and thawing, causing potholes resulting in damage to vehicles. He wants to consider spending more money up front on roads and looking at other possibilities to build them.

Representing communities that have rural and recreational features, Boldyga is in favor of preserving land, noting that there are thousands of acres in his district with agricultural preservation restrictions.

“There’s a lot of farms and a lot of land that’s already been preserved,” said Boldyga. “I think it’s great because it really allows us to have a really beautifully looking community.”

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