Hoffman (Precinct 6) favors critical thinking on budget
Hillary Hoffman, Vice President, Precinct 6 Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Precinct 6 Town Council incumbent Hillary Hoffman says implementing the town’s new master plan, supporting education and the town’s youth, and the budget are the three most pressing issues facing the town over the next three years.
Hoffman, 43, of Abbott Street, said so much of the community has come together to support the town’s new sustainable master plan that she believes Town Council needs to advocate for it and allow it to guide the town through the next decade or more.
“It’s going to have a positive impact on our quality of life,” said Hoffman.
She said education and youth resources are going to be very important, especially with the opioid addiction problem the town is facing.
“We have to support the efforts of our schools and its budget and we need to work even harder on having good communication with them,” said Hoffman. “We also have to make sure we are taking care of our kids.”
She said she would continue thinking critically about how the town spends its money and how to keep working with a balanced budget each year. She said the town should continue to look at all sorts of ways to fund the things it needs.
“We have to continue to do more with less and stay on top of things,” she said. “We’re doing a good job of that right now.”
Hoffman, who works at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as an associate director of marketing, said she believes she is most qualified to return to the seat in Precinct 6 because she has a lot of experience now that she has served three years.
“I’ve been vice president for the past year and chaired the Community Relations and Education Committee during my term,” she said. “I also sat in for the chairs of Appointments and Ordinances and Ways and Means.”
She said she also has been serving as the Council representative to the Greenfield Business Association and was on the search committee to find Greenfield’s new school superintendent.
“I’ve developed a wide range of experience and am eager to continue donating my time,” said Hoffman. “I’ve also written grant letters for the Recreation Department and library.”
Hoffman said her motivation is giving back to a community she loves.
“My husband and I are staying here,” she said. “We’re invested and believe in open government and public service.”
Hoffman, who does not have children, said she believes that even those who don’t have children should be concerned about the children of their town.
“When it comes to the opioid problem, we need to continue to participate in open dialogue,” she said. “I think addiction has touched all of us in one way or another.”
Hoffman said as a councilor she would make sure information gets out to all residents.
“I would want to work with the opioid task force and give people an additional place to come and talk — the Council,” she said. “This is a bigger problem than just Greenfield. It’s about quality-of-life concerns. Our quality of life in Greenfield. We want safe neighborhoods.”
Hoffman said she would like to help people come to some sort of compromise about building a big box department store.
“While I’m not a Wal-Mart shopper, I understand that others are,” she said. “I’m not against growth. I think the (retail development) planned for French King Highway could be smaller — maybe 90,000 square feet or so.”
Hoffman said she would like to accommodate all residents, but doesn’t want to hurt established, smaller businesses in the process.
She said she doesn’t think local politics should be about which political party candidates belong to, but believes they shouldn’t ignore their platforms.
“Platforms guide candidates,” she said. “It guides how they think and vote on some issues, like labor issues.”
Hoffman said political affiliations will always bleed into town politics, but don’t have to be the major focus.
“I think it then just starts to distract people from the issues at hand,” she said. “But, I’m not afraid to tell people I’m a Democrat.”
Hoffman said she would continue to help attract new businesses to Greenfield by, for example, approving tax breaks for expanding businesses and following a new sustainable master plan intended to improve the quality of life here.
“Companies will want to come when they see we have good schools, nice neighborhoods and people are engaged,” she said. “We’re making good inroads and companies are hearing positive things about Greenfield.”
Hoffman said she doesn’t think any of the town’s departments are over- or under-funded.
“We want to do more, but just can’t,” she said. “I make sure I’m always listening to department heads and their concerns to figure out how we might make something work.”
Hoffman said she would continue to vote for grants and other types of funding to supplement what the town does.
She said she wants both a dog and skate park to be built in Greenfield.
Hoffman said she would continue to use merit and critical thinking when voting on mayoral appointments.
“It’s great when people want to serve, but it shouldn’t be a ‘given’ just because they want to,” she said. “I think every appointee or reappointee should come before the Council and Appointments and Ordinances to talk with us about their qualifications. All councilors have to agree on the criteria we will use.”
Hoffman said she believes in fairness first and foremost.
Town annual elections will be held Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St.