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Wainstein/My Turn: ‘Come Alive in Precinct 5’

My name is Rob Wainstein and I am running for Town Council in the 5th Precinct.

My father was the manager of a small grocery store in Suffield, Conn., and my mother a secretary for Allstate Insurance in Holyoke. My mother would say to me that the only reason she was a secretary and not an agent, and hence earn a much higher salary, was because she was a woman.

Not surprisingly, as a result of witnessing that inequity, law became my career path. I attended Western New England College School of Law in its evening program while working full-time at Western Mass. Legal Services during the day. I have now been a practicing attorney for 35 years with a primary focus in elder law. After decades of practicing law, I have learned that there is always more than one side to a controversy. I am a good listener, love to learn and am very open minded.

I have been involved in the periphery of Greenfield politics for decades. I am the past president of the New England Learning Center for Women in Transition, the past president of the Massachusetts Justice Project and was on the board of directors of the Franklin County Community Health Center for years. I am excited about being involved in the governance of Greenfield, which is why I am running for Town Council.

Greenfield is at a crossroads. Great things are happening. The mayor has proposed a balanced budget for 2015 with an increase of 3 percent over this year’s budget. The Town Council in its current makeup shares with the mayor kudos for this increase in revenue. Mark Wisnewski, Town Council president, should be applauded for the council’s inclusiveness and transparency.

If elected to the Town Council, my role would be to continue the effort to ensure that Greenfield is a community that stands apart from others. Greenfield has a great small town appeal and the opportunity to play off our strengths as “everybody’s home town.”

My campaign theme is “Come Alive in Precinct 5.”

As a member of Greenfield’s Town Council I will do the following:

∎ Make sure that our new Sustainable Master Plan gets implemented (with a heartfelt “thank you” to the 36 people who worked so hard on this project).

∎ Encourage the development of livings spaces for more people closer to the heart of our downtown, using as many as possible the downtown’s upper floors for apartments, so we have consumers using our downtown stores and entertainment venues.

∎ Begin planning for the potential that future rail service will create for marketing Greenfield as a regional destination point for travelers, including assessing and promoting the town’s present and future hotel accommodations and its possibilities for day-trip excursions.

∎ Support and do all I can to contribute to the important and thoughtful contributions made by Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, Franklin County Register of Probate and Family Court John Merrigan and Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan to the public safety issues of drug and alcohol abuse. We need to establish a facility for detoxification and more beds in residential programs for those men and women who want to obtain sobriety or confront their drug addiction. We also need a more visible police presence downtown.

∎ Foster a serious discussion about the Community Preservation Act to raise money dedicated to open space preservation, to acquire and reuse blighted properties to develop affordable housing and cultural events, outdoor activities and a combined senior center and congregate meal site.

∎ Work with the School Committee and our new superintendent to ensure that our schools are safe, adequately staffed, ideally with a (1:22) student/teacher ratio, and have Wi-Fi and continually current computer technology.

∎ Work with the GBA to partially fund a marketing professional to oversee implementation of the tourism marketing plan and “branding” of Greenfield, with specific performance milestones.

Work for healthy economic growth, including major retail development, in a scale and site consistent with the Sustainable Master Plan and Greenfield’s environmental, cultural and other interests.

I know what it takes to run a small business and to have local employees. I appreciate the small town values of Greenfield and understand the importance of local government in building good schools, efficient municipal services and creating a sustainable local economy. I would be honored to serve on the Town Council

Rob Wainstein was one of the founding partners of the Greenfield law firm of Esser, Singer, Eisenberg & Wainstein. He is an elder law attorney in Greenfield and a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.

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