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Mass wants speeding ticket fines to go to Greenfield

At-large council candidate suggests new ordinance

GREENFIELD — The former town councilor who will challenge the council’s current president for the only at-large seat this year says he would like to see the town adopt an ordinance prohibiting speeding, so tickets would be paid to the town, instead of District Court.

“We only recover a small fraction of the funds from tickets we issue,” said former At-large Councilor Isaac Mass. “Most of the money goes to the commonwealth and never comes back.”

According to Mass, a local lawyer who grew up in Greenfield and graduated from Greenfield High School and Greenfield Community College, such an ordinance would allow the town to keep 100 percent of the fees from each speeding ticket issued on town roads. It would not apply to state highways like Interstate 91, which would continue to be governed by state law.

He said an ordinance like the one he is suggesting would save the town money, because he believes offenders would be more likely to pay a ticket, rather than contest it, so it would take town employees less time to deal with them.

Mass said tickets issued by the town would not be reported to insurance companies or the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which would benefit drivers.

“Residents all across Greenfield continue to express concern about speeding in their neighborhoods,” said Mass.

He said the money recovered from tickets could be used by the town to provide additional traffic enforcement in those neighborhoods, but could also be used to fight the drug problem in Greenfield.

Mass said the town could decide to go even further and add minor state civil offenses to the list of tickets it would issue, including driving without a license and possession of under an ounce of marijuana.

He said a comprehensive review of those types of minor civil offenses, with the advice of the town’s Public Safety Commission and Police Department, is the first step toward bringing tens of thousands of dollars of new revenue to the town and especially its police.

Mass said violators wouldn’t pay any more than they do now, but the town would receive all of the money, instead of just a portion.

Mass will face off against Town Council President Mark Wisnewski on June 10. All nine precincts will have the opportunity to vote for the position, because it is a councilor-at-large seat.

The town’s annual election will be held in the Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St., from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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