Agawam Mayoral candidates debate business plans

AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – We’re less than a month away from the preliminary elections, and the mayoral race in Agawam is starting to heat up.

Vak Chonmany, Bill Sapelli, and Jimmy Cichetti all hope to replace outgoing Mayor Richard Cohen.

The candidates got a chance to try and win over local business leaders at the West of the River Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday by detailing their business plans, and answering questions.

Candidate Bill Sapelli is the former superintendent of Agawam. “We have to make it more business friendly. There could be some tax breaks, tax incentives, there are things that have to be done to help businesses thrive so we attract more businesses, and so we can keep the businesses that are currently in town here,” he said.

Agawam City Council president Jimmy Cichetti agreed that they need to draw in more businesses, in order to boost revenue. “We need to increase our building population because with that increase, it’s going to increase our revenue from tax bases from the businesses, and in turn that’s going to allow us to do more things for the community,” he said.

Local business owner Vak Chonmany said he if he were elected mayor, he’d want to look at the current regulations. “Some of the zoning is outdated. We need to rethink and relook at it. Like I said, if we enforce blight ordinances in place, we can develop better places for that, because we all want Agawam to be prime real estate for businesses,” he said.

The three candidates will be narrowed down to two at the preliminary election, October 10th.

West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt emceed the event.