Letter: Bridging past, future
It was my great pleasure to serve with Isaac Mass on the old 27-member Town Council. Isaac always showed leadership by listening to colleagues and trying to reach common ground. Isaac did not go along to get along, though. At times, he was voting with only one or two other councilors, often voting with people whom he disagreed with on many other issues. He always did what he felt was right. He always understood why he felt a particular vote was in the best interest of Greenfield. And he could explain it in easy-to-understand language. He was not afraid to compromise or to take suggestion on how to make his ideas better.
The public never felt intimidated or ridiculed when they spoke before Isaac and the rest of the Town Council. I have heard councilors say “This is not your grandfather’s Town Council anymore.” As a member of your grandfather’s Town Council, I can tell you we did a pretty good job. We worked with the selectmen, got things done and everyone had a seat at the table. There was far less backroom dealing and jockeying for power. Isaac Mass was one of the few people who served on the council under the old form of government and the new city form. Right now, only Brickett Allis and Dalton Athey have that kind of experience. Institutional knowledge is important especially in understanding how our town works and how to solve small problems without making them bigger or controversial. I don’t think we do well by denigrating the service of the people who have served on the council on the past, or who currently serve on our boards and commissions. Isaac Mass gets my vote for councilor at large because he understands both our past and our future.