Editorial: Final thought or two on Greenfield election

Another Greenfield municipal election has come and gone.

For some, it’s a chance to step squarely into the spotlight that shines on the Town Council, the legislative branch of town government. For those who weren’t elected, it’s a time to take a break, consider the future and analyze what went right and what went wrong during the campaign.

In this particular election, we saw some things we liked as well as some we didn’t.

In general, we like contested races — having two candidates working to earn votes benefits the community as a whole. You learn more about those wanting to serve, including whether their take on issues facing the town align with your own.

Before this election, there were too many times when uncontested races dominated the ballot. We would like to see the trend toward multiple candidates continue, especially with the change in Greenfield voting that was approved on Tuesday.

Greenfield voters not only voted to move municipal and school elections to November, but extended to four years the length of terms for mayor, Town Council and School Committee.

In order to make this adjustment, all these elected positions will be on the ballot in 2015. We’re guessing that the time from now to then is likely to fly by, while still giving residents plenty of time to decide whether they want to throw their hat into the ring.

On the other hand, as we’ve written before on this page, we didn’t like the attempt to turn municipal and school elections into ones based on party registration.

As it happened, it appears that many of the town’s voters agreed and rejected this partisan approach by some Democrats. While this wasn’t the first attempt at making the candidate’s party or political leanings an issue when someone decided to run for town or school post, we would like for this to be the last.

Someone could, we suppose, begin the dialogue proposing a change to the Greenfield Town Charter, where it states “... All Town elections shall be nonpartisan and no party mark, emblem or other designation shall appear on any ballot used at a preliminary or general election for Town offices.”

If that were to happen, of course, we’d oppose this change.

In the meantime, those freshly on the Town Council and School Committee have plenty of work ahead. We wish them well.

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