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Greenfield Town Councilors considering office hours

GREENFIELD — The Town Council has begun talking about holding office hours at least two hours a week so that residents can make appointments or simply walk in to discuss any issue they want with councilors.

“We’ve been discussing different options,” said Town Council President Mark Wisnewski. “What we do know is that we’d like residents to have greater, more reliable access to councilors.”

According to Town Clerk Maureen Winseck, councilors never held office hours in past years.

Wisnewski said the idea would be to have one or two of the 13 councilors in the office in Town Hall a couple of fixed hours each week. People could schedule an appointment or walk in to discuss any issue they like.

“If they wanted to speak with their precinct councilor, they’d have to wait until it was that councilor’s turn for hours — we would man the office on a rotating basis,” said Wisnewski. “Or, they could talk to the councilor on duty and that councilor would take a message and relay it to the resident’s precinct councilor.”

Wisnewski said in most cases the councilor on duty would be able to help the resident.

He said some councilors, for instance, have talked about having someone in the council office in Town Hall one evening a week from 5 to 7 p.m., but he said nothing has been set in stone.

“We want anyone and everyone to be able to talk with us about anything they want to talk about,” said Wisnewski. “We want easier weekly access so we have a better idea of what people are thinking and what they want.”

The council meets on the third Wednesday of each month and holds a public forum at the beginning of each meeting, where people can discuss any topic they would like.

Wisnewski said he and other councilors believe people should also have a more private setting where they can express their thoughts without being taped for television cablecast.

Residents may also call or email their councilors anytime.

“This is something we will continue to discuss until we decide exactly what we are going to do,” said Wisnewski.

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