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Former Planning Board member calls for resignation of Singer, Wisnewski

GREENFIELD — A former Planning Board member called for the resignation of two town councilors during Wednesday’s council meeting.

“I’m asking for the resignation of (David) Singer and (Town Council president Mark) Wisnewski,” said James Allen.

Singer did not respond to Allen’s request. Wisnewski is out of town, and did not attend Wednesday’s meeting.

Singer had invited Albert Norman to a Feb. 10 meeting of the council’s Appointments and Ordinances Committee, to read Norman’s re-write of a proposed wetlands protection bylaw that the Conservation Commission had spent more than two years drafting.

Commission members said they were “irate and incensed” that they didn’t have a chance to comment on a draft re-write of a wetlands protection bylaw drafted by Norman, a Greenfield resident and outspoken anti-big-box consultant.

Conservation Commission Chairman Alex Haro presented the commission’s proposal for the wetlands bylaw that night, not knowing that Norman would present his own proposal afterward.

The rest of the commission didn’t find out Norman had been invited to speak until the next day.

Singer said he’d mailed invitations to all commission members and was unsure why nobody received the invitations in time.

Mayor William Martin also expressed his displeasure with Singer’s decision.

Some voiced concerns that Norman’s rewrite may have been designed to keep Walmart and other big-box stores out of town, rather than just to protect wetland resources.

Billing himself as “sprawl-buster,” Norman has been hired to fight big-box stores in towns across the country.

Norman defended himself at Wednesday’s meeting, and said he has felt demonized by the reaction to his proposal.

“The assassinations of character and attacks on people have to stop,” he said. “We need to look at what’s said, not who said it.”

In the end, it will be the council that will decide what goes into the wetlands protection bylaw. Norman told council members he hopes they will take his proposal and the commission’s into consideration when making that decision.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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