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David Ewing says he wants to be Easthampton’s next mayor

  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

    Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor.


  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

    Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor.


  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS
  • Dave Ewing, at his home in Easthampton, running for mayor. <br/><br/><br/>CAROL LOLLIS

The Treehouse Circle resident said he will soon leave his job as a candlemaker at Yankee Candle in Deerfield to devote his time to campaigning for the city’s top job. Now that Mayor Michael A. Tautznik has said he will not run for re-election, Ewing sees this as his big chance.

“I believe strongly that one person can make a real difference, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” said Ewing, 64. “I believe strongly in public service.”

Ewing was the third potential candidate to take out nomination papers July 1 to run for mayor in the Nov. 5 election.

Tautznik’s assistant, Karen L. Cadieux, has secured her spot on the ballot by turning in her papers with more than 100 signatures, and School Committee Chairwoman Nancy L. Sykes is still collecting signatures.

Ewing thinks his more than 20 years of corporate management experience would serve him well as Easthampton’s leader. He said he worked in management positions for several corporations, including Walgreens, before taking a “pre-retirement” job as a candlemaker at Yankee Candle.

A native of Holyoke, he said he has lived all around western Massachusetts and spent the 10 years in South Hadley before he moved to Easthampton.

“My wife and I looked around for a community that we wanted to retire to, and we found Easthampton,” he said.

He and his wife, Francine, have seven grown children and three grandchildren, and also serve as “foster grandparents” to children at the Treehouse Community where they live. The Treehouse Community is an intentional development off of Button Road where families with foster and adoptive children live alongside over-55 residents who support the families.

He was an elected Town Meeting member for the whole decade he spent in South Hadley, he said. That is his only municipal experience.

Ewing said that he knows what his first projects will be if he is elected mayor. The first would be to build up Union Street into a destination like Cottage Street, which was named a cultural district by the state Cultural Council in May.

“I think it’s incredible, the cultural district designation Cottage Street got,” he said. “It encourages people to come downtown and brings new businesses in. We should do the same thing with Union Street.” He hopes to secure the cultural district designation for Union Street as well.

He said he also wants to see that more Community Development Block Grants go to support the city’s “really unique arts community” that he said makes the city special. Another idea he has is to offer tax breaks to developers who agree to convert the city’s old, vacant mill buildings into affordable housing.

His campaign will kick off after he leaves his job at Yankee Candle soon, though he said he doesn’t have a date in mind for his last day. One of his first campaign moves, he said, will be to host a “meet the candidate” picnic at a Nonotuck Park pavilion.

“I’m excited about it,” he said of the campaign. “I think if you look at what I’ve accomplished in the last 20 years, I’m a strong candidate.”

In addition to mayor, all nine City Council seats and six School Committee seats are up for election Nov. 5. Nomination papers are available at the city clerk’s office and signatures are due by Sept. 17.

Two newcomers have taken out papers to run for City Council this week. Tamara L. Smith of Strong Street took out papers Monday to run for an at-large council seat and Jennifer A. Hayes of 116 Pleasant St. took out papers Tuesday to run for District 2 Councilor. Justin Cobb, who currently represents District 2, has said he will not seek re-election.

District 3 Councilor Joy E. Winnie and District 5 Councilor Daniel D. Rist both picked up nomination papers Tuesday, signaling a run for re-election. District 1 Councilor Daniel C. Hagan and at-large councilors Joseph P. McCoy, and Chester A. Ogulewicz Jr. have also taken out papers to run for re-election. At-Large Councilor Nathaniel P. Ziegler said he will run for re-election, but hasn’t picked up papers yet. District 4 Councilor Salem Derby and At-Large Councilor Donald L. Cykowski haven’t taken out nomination papers.

Also on Tuesday, School Committee member Lori Ingraham picked up papers to run for re-election.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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