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Wainstein runs for Precinct 5 council seat in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Town Council Precinct 5 candidate Robert Wainstein says he does not support a proposed ordinance that would ban plastic bags from being used at checkout counters in Greenfield at this time; he would support an updated wetlands ordinance recently written by the town’s Conservation Commission, as long as a clause was included that protected the town financially; and would have to do more research on a citizen-proposed Native American burial ordinance.

“I support the concept of banning plastic bags, but would have to check with merchants to see how they feel about it,” said Wainstein. “I use reusable bags, but wouldn’t want the ordinance to have a negative impact.”

Wainstein said he supports the commission’s recent rewrite of the town’s wetlands laws, but would like the town to add a clause that would require a developer to provide a bond, at least concerning large-scale development, because if wetlands replication or mitigation was necessary and the developer were to abandon the project, for instance, the town wouldn’t end up footing the bill.

“I really need to know more about the Native American burial ordinance, because I believe the town needs to be respectful of Native Americans, but we have to truly understand what the ordinance is asking for and how it conflicts with the federal and state statutes.”

Wainstein, who is a huge fan of the town’s new sustainable master plan, said he would definitely be an advocate for following it, especially its ideas and implementation strategies.

Born in Springfield and raised in Longmeadow, Wainstein, 63, moved to Greenfield in 1981.

Wainstein said he wants to become involved with governance of the town as it moves forward, especially as it gets ready to implement the new sustainable master plan.

“We need to make Greenfield more vibrant and busy,” said Wainstein. “I would support hiring a marketing specialist whose job it would be to market and brand the town.”

Wainstein said he considers himself a reasonable person who listens to everyone.

He said some of the biggest issues facing the town over the next three years include turning the former First National Bank building on Bank Row into a cultural center and building a parking garage.

“I would also like to see more residential property in the downtown area,” he said. “I’d love to see the buildings downtown used as mixed-use properties.”

Wainstein said the council, and the entire town, needs to begin planning for the potential that future rail service will create for marketing Greenfield.

Wainstein lives on James Street.

He is the past president of New England Learning Center for Women in Transition (NELCWIT), past president of the Massachusetts Justice Project, and was one of the founding partners of the Greenfield law firm Esser, Singer, Eisenberg and Wainstein. He currently has his own practice and works in elder law.

The preliminary election will be held Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St. Two candidates will advance to the town’s June annual election.

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