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Editorial: Full slate of candidates

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

Contested races: that’s something we’ve been seeing less and less locally for some time. So it’s good news that for the first time since 2008, there are contests for all of the Greenfield Town Council seats on this year’s ballot. This kind of competition makes the candidates work, helps generate voter interest and can lead to more and better information being put before the public. Kudos to all those who have stepped forward to run.

Frontier revisits School Choice

According to a recent Recorder story, Frontier Regional School District is examining the idea of continuing to accept School Choice students. That makes sense, given the shift in school-age population that is occurring in the district’s feeder communities. It’s an important discussion to have, especially if it appears that — despite the money from the state gained through School Choice — there’s an unequal balance. Those students add to the strain on the district’s financial fabric in ways that don’t show up on a ledger sheet. Perhaps the answer lies in down-scaling the number of spaces that Frontier and its towns have available, based upon their own home-grown enrollment. But it’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle once it’s open.

New training program holds promise

The new job training program that Greenfield Community College and others are initiating is a good example of thinking out of the box. The idea is provide manufacturing and work readiness skills for unemployed and underemployed people in the area via an 80-hour program of training. In other words, specific training for specific jobs that companies want to fill quickly. That plan would seem to be beneficial to everyone involved. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that it proves to be a success and another tool to improving economic growth in the area.

Dead end for new safety complex

We’re sorry to see the WMECO building turned out not to be the best fit when it came to a public safety complex in Greenfield. Mayor William Martin said recently that taking the property for such a move would create additional traffic issues on an already-busy street. This is probably correct, given the existing stores and businesses in the area. Another consideration, said the mayor, was keeping the property on the tax rolls. He should keep this in mind should the municipality turn back to looking at the former Lunt Silversmiths property on Federal Street.

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