Town Council candidate Joseph Gochinski

Recorder Staff
Friday, September 08, 2017

GREENFIELD — At-large Town Council candidate Joseph Gochinski, a former Greenfield selectman, is hoping to bring his budgeting experience and historical perspective to the council table.

“I kind of got the political itch, I wanted to get back into it,” he said.

Gochinski, 50, works for the University of Massachusetts and is a lifelong Greenfield resident. In addition to serving on the selectboard for a total of 12 years, Gochinski also served on the town’s two charter commissions.

“I like to bring some historical perspective to the council and some experience, and the willingness to listen. I always try to listen on the council, even if I disagree with somebody,” he said. “I’m always concerned about the budget, I’m sure there’s some zoning issues that seem to pop up. We’re a small community as far as land goes.”

Gochinski said in particular, he hopes to focus on rising health care costs for the town. Though he noted it’s a problem Greenfield can’t tackle alone, Gochinski said town leaders should be aware of the issue, as it takes away resources that could go toward the schools, infrastructure, public safety and more.

“I don’t have a set agenda going in, I want to go in and get the lay of the land again. I’ve been poking around with the budget and going over it with a fine-tooth comb,” he said. “I want to focus on the budget — good, tight budgeting — and keep an eye on the zoning stuff.”

Gochinski said there’s no doubt that the town needs a new library, and his decision would boil down to location, cost and how the library would serve not only Greenfield, but all of Franklin County.

He said the former First National Bank building, which is planned to be turned into a downtown cultural center, is a worthwhile project that’s long overdue.

“If the building could be used, it would be perfect,” he said. “The way the building sits, it’s just ideal for something like that.”

However, to make the project viable, Gochinski thinks the center would have to be tied into the new parking garage.

“It has a lot of potential, and it’s probably something that some government entity would have to do, because, given the fact that it would probably take several million to get it up to snuff,” he said, adding it could eventually be turned it over to a private owner to get it back on the tax rolls.