Weaver (Precinct 2): school support, diversity
GREENFIELD — Precinct 2 Town Council challenger Ronald Weaver says education, diversity, growth and energy are the most important issues facing Greenfield today.
Weaver, 68, of Rockland Road, said if elected he will work with the schools, maybe by serving on the Council’s Community Relations and Education Committee, to keep improving them.
“Schools are important to the town,” he said. “We’ve made great strides, but we have to continue to do so.”
Weaver said Greenfield is a richer community because of its diversity. He said it has to be the same with the Town Council.
“We need more people with differing opinions so we make sure everyone has a voice,” he said. “It has been made up of small, homogeneous interest groups in the past. We want transparency in decision making.”
Weaver said he is interested in growth for Greenfield, which means all types of businesses, from small to a big box department store to industry.
“We need jobs and more jobs,” he said. “I believe there’s room for all types of growth and businesses.”
Weaver said he believes there’s a fourth “most important” issue facing Greenfield: energy.
“I like the new sustainable master plan,” he said. “We want to strive for a Greenfield that is energy independent. We have to continue to provide energy-efficient programs to businesses and residents, build more solar farms, and provide other incentives.”
Weaver, who is married with two children, said it is the responsibility of everyone serving Greenfield to encourage energy independence and efficiency.
He said the town needs a new library, senior center and youth center. He said he believes they will all come in time, when the town can afford them.
“A youth department is really going to depend on the town having capable leadership for it,” said Weaver. “That’s going to be very important.”
Weaver said all the talk about party affiliation in this year’s election is a minor irritation.
“I don’t think party affiliation should play any role,” he said. “I don’t know how you can stop it, though.”
Weaver said most, if not all, of the issues a town councilor will ever have to deal with are not party-line issues.
“We need to concentrate on what’s important,” he said.
Weaver said while he’s not as familiar with the town’s budget as he will become, he believes the mayor has done a good job in creating a balanced budget the past couple of years.
“I think schools, police, fire and so many other departments are doing great jobs with what they’ve got,” he said. “I would work hard to continue the department support so that services stay the same or get even better.”
Weaver said he would like to see both a skate and dog park be built in Greenfield.
He said his interest and availability — he is a retired teacher — make him a good candidate for the precinct seat.
“I have lived in Greenfield for 20 years, volunteer at the hospital and delivering meals, and am very capable,” he said. “I have a deep interest in town affairs.”
Weaver said he was motivated to run for public office as he looked around to see all of the good things happening in Greenfield.
“I want to be a part of that,” he said. “I want the town to keep headed in that direction.”
He said one of the biggest problems in Greenfield is the addiction crisis.
“I would want councilors to work with the task force to make positive moves to reduce the problem,” he said. “We should also have a detox center here.”
The newcomer said if elected he will support mayoral appointees unless there is a glaring problem.
“We should be encouraging people to serve and not criticizing them when they offer,” he said. “We have a lot of unfilled seats and it seems counterproductive to reject someone because they don’t agree with your views.”
Weaver said it has been many years since he served in government in Becket, but is a quick learner and will be up to speed in no time.