Mass to run again for at-large council seat
GREENFIELD — The former town councilor who recently decided to run against Town Council President Mark Wisnewski for the only at-large seat in this year’s election had collected nearly 10 times as many signatures as needed by Monday, the day before nomination papers were due in the town clerk’s office.
“We set a goal of collecting 902 signatures, even though we only needed 100,” said Greenfield resident and lawyer Isaac Mass, who held a press conference on Monday. “That’s one more than the amount of votes Mr. Wisnewski got in his last election.” He eventually collected 969.
Mass, who previously served two three-year terms as a precinct councilor and two three-year terms as an at-large councilor, said what’s even more impressive to him is that he currently has 100 volunteers working on his campaign.
“I took out papers several weeks ago,” said the former at-large councilor. “The support has been amazing. I still have a dozen people out there collecting signatures, so we should have even more before the papers are due Tuesday afternoon.”
Mass said he believes people are showing him so much support because, they have told him, they are sick of “petty politics” and instead want to see substantive policy-making happen again.
“People of Greenfield feel like this council is listening to a select chorus and I think based on that, I am receiving overwhelming support,” he said.
Nomination papers are due in the town clerk’s office by 5 p.m. today.
Mass said he hopes the number of signatures he ends up collecting is a sign that people will be getting out to vote this year.
Mass said he is also happy that, if everyone hands in their nomination papers by the end of today, there will be a race for every council seat this year.
“That hasn’t happened in a while,” he said. “People are going to have a choice this year.”
He said the current council seems to think it has a mandate.
“When someone gets 14 more votes than their opponent and there’s a less than 20 percent voter turnout, that’s not a mandate,” said Mass. “When someone is appointed to a council seat or runs unopposed, that’s not a mandate.”
Mass said he would like to see the town head in a different direction.
“I don’t think we should be spending a lot of time working on a plastic bag ban ordinance that’s going to affect businesses,” he said. “I think we should be working on economic development, creating jobs and expanding the tax base.”
Cameron Ward, the local businessman who ran against Wisnewski three years ago and lost by 14 votes, said he is behind Mass.
“He knows what he’s talking about,” said Ward. “I like everything that comes out of his mouth. He has the experience and the know-how.”
Ward said he hopes all registered voters get out to vote in the next election.
“I lost by just 14 votes, so you can see how important every vote is,” said Ward.
Mass said his 100 volunteers have pledged to get the word out about him.
“They said they’ll reach out to the friends, neighbors and families,” he said.
Mass said he will do everything possible, if elected, to make sure every resident is treated the same and that special interest groups do not receive special treatment.
He said he was disappointed to hear that the council’s Appointments and Ordinances Committee saw nothing wrong with allowing Albert Norman — the Greenfield anti-big box development consultant known nationally as a “sprawl-buster,” a term he coined himself — to present his version of the town’s updated wetlands laws before a public hearing was scheduled.
“In a situation like that, if I had been on that committee, I would have been the dissenting voice,” said Mass. “As a council, everyone doesn’t always have to be in agreement.”