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Two vie for vacant Town Council seat

GREENFIELD — A former at-large town councilor and a native businessperson are vying to fill a short-term vacancy on the Town Council.

Town Council President Mark Wisnewski said he will be interviewing former Councilor Alfred Siano and businesswoman Teresa Conti of French King Highway this week for the Precinct 2 seat left vacant by Keith Zaltzberg late last year.

Conti, who grew up in Greenfield and whose family has owned a couple of businesses in town over the years, said she would also like to serve the town.

While Conti boasts her longevity with the town and her experience as an involved resident and businessperson, Siano said his experience as a town councilor, first as a Precinct 6 councilor for three 3-year terms and then as an at-large councilor for two terms, would serve the council well.

“I’ve stayed out of politics in Greenfield, but I’ve always had a great interest and always been involved,” said Conti. “I know this town well.”

Conti said she would bring “balance” to a council that she believes consists of members who think similarly.

“I really know the people of Greenfield,” said Conti. “I know the ones who grew up here and have lived here their entire lives. I know what they need and how they feel.”

Conti said Main Street was her first playground.

“I’d like to finish out this year’s term and then see what happens from there,” said Conti.

The person Wisnewski chooses will serve through June 30. That person will have to run in this year’s election to serve the last year of Zaltzberg’s 3-year term, which expires in 2015.

“Right now, the council is stacked against the people who grew up here,” said Conti. “This is my hometown.”

Siano ran for mayor against Mayor William Martin in 2009, and when he lost he finished out the last year of his three-year term as at-large councilor. He said he’s always thought about returning at some point.

“I had a unique chance to come back, so I’m taking it,” said Siano.

He said he has always enjoyed serving the town.

“I don’t have an agenda,” he said. “There’s no one reason I want to come back.”

Siano said he is familiar with the town’s budget process, which will begin for Fiscal Year 2015 in March.

“There’s a lot going on with talk of a new public safety complex, the purchase of Lunt, the budget, and so many other issues,” said Siano. “I’d love to be a part of all of that.”

When he served, Siano tended to take his time with issues and leaned more toward “smart growth” policies and a “green” Greenfield.

Wisnewski said he will make his appointment, which will have to be approved by the full council, as soon as possible.

“I will most likely call a special chairs meeting to bring my appointment before them,” said Wisnewski. “I’d like to put the appointment on the January agenda so that the new councilor can begin that night.”

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