Civic leaders offer New Year’s resolutions

  • Massachusetts State Representative John Scibak speaks during the Mohawk Northeast Envelope Converting Center grand opening in South Hadley Falls in July 2015. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING










Staff Writer
Published: 12/30/2018 11:16:09 PM

It was a banner year for politics in the Pioneer Valley in 2018, with a major changing of the guard, and five new state legislators representing the region, four of whom are women.

Looking ahead to 2019, the Gazette asked a number of local leaders about their personal and political New Year’s resolutions. Here is what they had to say.

Retiring 2nd Hampshire District Rep. John Scibak, of South Hadley:

Personal: My personal resolution is to enjoy the move to Florida and not rub it in when there’s a foot or two of snow in western Massachusetts.


■ To do what I can to make Florida a bluer state than it currently is.

■ To not second-guess any of the decisions being made by any of the new members of the western Mass. delegation. There’ll be no need for it. They’ll do the right thing.

■ I resolve to keep reading the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

Lindsay Sabadosa, state representative-elect for the 1st Hampshire District


■ I need to get back to running more. I ran less during the campaign.

■ Establish some sort of balance, so that I’m there for my friends and family.

■ Make sure that I’m approaching all relationships, both professionally and personally, with integrity and authenticity.


■ To move forward on Medicare for All in the Statehouse and to have robust discussion and a well attended (Medicare for All) Caucus.

■ To really form some strong partnerships with colleagues so that we can work to mitigate climate change.

■ To make sure that I show up everywhere in the district. … (Because the district is so Northampton-based) it’s easy for the other towns to feel left out. That’s not something I ever want to hear them say.

Chelsea Kline, Democratic candidate for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate seat

Personal and Political:

■ More pleasure for everybody. Life is short and we should be enjoying good food … and really inhabit our bodies. … Getting rid of shame. … Ending fat shaming.

■ Working as an activist on food insecurity.

■ Really recognizing my role in how I can dismantle white supremacy.

■ Working to dismantle the gender binary. … Not making assumptions (about people’s gender).

■ Raising my kids to be intersectional feminists. … Always questioning and always curious and always gentle people.

John Hine, Democratic candidate for the 2nd Hampshire House seat

I’m not very big on New Year’s resolutions. ... Things happen during the course of the year.


■ I’m still on the Municipal Light Board (of the South Hadley Electric Light Department.)

■ I don’t see anything happening right away (politically.)

■ Sometime in the future I’ll be getting involved in other things. … I don’t envision going out to pasture quite yet.

Steve Connor, Democratic candidate for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate seat

Personal: I’m trying to give up pork products. I have two pot-bellied pigs. I’ve discovered how smart pigs are. … Pigs are very bright and perceptive. The thought of eating them now … is just really hard.


■ I don’t think I want to run for office again, but I’ll not say never.

■ Keep trying to improve the lives of the veterans that I serve. … I’m going to take what I learned on the campaign trail.

■ Campaign again for people like me who have suffered from sexual trauma. … People don’t think about it happening to men … one in one hundred male veterans have been victims of military sexual trauma.

Diana Szynal, Democratic candidate for the 1st Hampshire House seat

Personal: I’m going to spend a little more time on me. … Last year I most certainly didn’t do any of that.


■ I really want to be starting out focusing on Hatfield again.

■ I’m focusing on some community projects that really give me pleasure.

■ I want to keep doing things for my community, not necessarily in a political way.

Mindy Domb, state representative-elect for the 3rd Hampshire District

Personal: To read a few books for pleasure, to make sure I stay connected with friends and family, to learn poker, and to stay optimistic!

Political: That our politics reflect hope, caring, honesty, a respect for different views and diverse experiences, and a commitment to justice.

Retiring 1st Franklin District Rep. Stephen Kulik


■ I am going to resolve to read more books.

■ Spend more time outdoors. ... Being in the hilltowns it’s a great place to be outdoors.

Political: To think about politics much less than I have for the past 25 years. … Take a step back and appreciate other things I love.

Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz (who is not a New Year’s resolutions person)

Three Things He Would Like to See in the New Year in Northampton:

■ Increased state funding for our public schools (Chapter 70) and roadway infrastructure (Chapter 90).

■ Successful expansion of passenger rail service to Northampton via the promised state pilot program adding additional morning and afternoon trains.

■ Continued progress by our city to address climate change through ongoing public planning efforts, renewable energy projects, alternative transportation expansion, neighborhood tree planting, and other key initiatives.

Ryan O’Donnell, president of the Northampton City Council, Democratic candidate for the Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester Senate seat

His political New Year’s resolution: Some would say the City Council already considers too many resolutions.

Bera Dunau can be reached at

Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061


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