Greenfield Town Council busy over coming months

GREENFIELD — It looks like the Town Council has a busy two to three months ahead of it.

Tonight, the chairs of all of the council’s committees will meet with President Hillary Hoffman to discuss the issues coming before the council in the near future, many of which will have to go to committee before reaching the full council for a vote.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in 114 Main St.

Appointments and Ordinances will begin reviewing a citizen-proposed ordinance that would ban plastic bags, plastic bottles and other plastic products.

The proposed ordinance is the work of a group of about 10 Greenfield residents led by Garrett Connelly, the man who proposed a plastic bag ban late last year. That proposal was eventually rejected by the council because it needed work. T he citizen group calls the new ordinance Greenfield Biodegradable Packaging and Litter Reduction Ordinance. Connelly said he hopes the ordinance will make it to voters this year or next.

Appointments and Ordinances will also over the next month or two consider an amendment proposed by At-large Councilor Isaac Mass to the ordinance that gives school board members and councilors a $2,000 stipend each year beginning in three years. The ordinance was passed by the council late in the last fiscal year.

That ordinance also allows the council to give itself cost-of-living raises and allows $500 per councilor per year, with a two-thirds vote, for continuing education, professional development, registration fees, mileage and travel expenses.

Mass said he would like to see the cost-of-living increases and continuing education allowance removed from the ordinance, saying it will cost the town $38,000 a year for stipends for six school board members and 13 councilors beginning in fall 2016 and another $9,500 a year if each takes advantage of the education allowance. Mass said he believes cost-of-living increases should go before voters.

Other issues chairs will discuss tonight include a proposed noise ordinance that the council recently rejected by voting to sustain Mayor William Martin’s veto of it.

Hoffman, who was one of the authors of the ordinance, said she would send it back to committee for a rewrite. Hoffman has said all along that Greenfield needs a noise ordinance to protect the rights of its residents.

It appears one of the council’s committees will continue review of a vacant and foreclosed property ordinance the mayor has proposed, which would require all property owners to maintain their properties, at least to the point where they don’t abandon them and let them slip into disrepair, but it isn’t clear which one, yet.

The Economic Development Committee has been reviewing the ordinance.

Mayor William Martin said he will attend tonight’s meeting to discuss that and other town business.

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