Letter to the Editor

Greetings to Westfield voters for this upcoming special election for state Representative, 4th Hampden District, scheduled for Tuesday, April 1. You may know me, my name is Mike Franco. I’ve been involved in area politics since 2000. I ran several times of Governor’s Council, covering all of Western Mass., and recently I ran for the special election for the State Senator, 2nd Hampden and Hampshire District, in a Republican primary.
Even though I don’t currently hold office, I stay in the political “game” because it’s important for us to have a voice, and our campaign team improves its standing each time we run. Our message has been to work toward a predominately smaller, more accountable state government, and judicial reform through the re-certification of MA judges on the ballot, by the people, each term following initial appointment.
I’m weighing-in during this special election because it’s important that you know the candidates well. These local offices are crucial to the proper functioning of our democracy. The advantage we have in state Representatives is that there should be convenient local access so we may discuss our interests and issues with them. So now please allow me to make my point.
My recommendation is that you give John Velis upmost consideration in the process leading up to election, as well as when you vote April 1st. I have come to know John very well over the last several months. The many interactions and discussions I’ve had with him, plus what I hear about him through others who I trust, instills great confidence in me that he’ll do the best job.
John Velis is thoughtful and well reasoned. He listens carefully and is eager to learn from your perspective, but he’s not afraid to let you know how he feels or where he stands on a particular issue. John has excellent decision-making skills as well, that I have witnessed first hand. These attributes are indicative of a astute leader. I also believe that John will respect the law, and follow the Constitution while serving in the legislature.
John has deep roots in your community and is a native of Westfield. His family is well respected. John is also an Army captain and an Afghanistan veteran. These credentials should be highlighted and appreciated due to his personal sacrifice and an ability to maintain bearing in an operational setting. I speak from my 23 years in the Air Force as an enlisted man and an officer upon retirement.
Unfortunately, John’s opponent is not close to the same caliber, even though he has been useful to the “legendary” (The Reminder Publications, Feb. 7) Republican political dynasty in town. However, now it’s payback time. It’s his turn to be taken care of by them (Humason & Knapik). But the gentleman hasn’t served on the Westfield City Council for a mere two months, and now he wants to be your state Rep.
And he’s already projecting himself as a future “statesman” (The Reminder Publications, Feb. 7). I believe he has illusions – or should I say delusions of grandeur. From what I can tell, John’s opponent has an evident challenge with humility, and I question his character for a variety of reasons as well.
In closing, if there’s nothing wrong with attaining an elected position, having not served in that position one single day before telling voters that you really want another, more important position, than I think it should be just fine for John Velis, after winning this position for Representative in April’s special election, to immediately bid on the next highest job of the state Senate right here in this district.
Godspeed John Velis.
Mike Franco

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