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Town Council president backs Al Siano for seat

Alfred Siano of Greenfield.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Alfred Siano of Greenfield. Recorder/Paul Franz

GREENFIELD — Barring an unexpected rejection of Town Council President Mark Wisnewski’s appointment, former at-large Councilor Alfred Siano will take his place as Precinct 2 councilor on Wednesday night.

Wisnewski said he chose the Greenfield native, who like the council president has been a supporter of a split-tax rate for the town in the past, because of his previous experience on the council.

In the past, Siano has also voiced his support for a “green” economy, “smart growth” and downtown development for Greenfield and has been a vocal supporter of Greenfield schools.

Siano and Teresa Conti, also a Greenfield native, vied for the position and Wisnewski did interviews with both on Friday. He announced his decision on Monday.

“They are both natives and both have experience in business, but Al also has experience on the town’s Legislature,” said Wisnewski. “The person chosen for this position will only sit five months before they have to run for the last year of the term and I felt that wasn’t enough time for someone who has never been involved in town politics to get up to speed.”

Former Precinct 2 Councilor Keith Zaltzberg resigned from the position late last year for personal reasons. He said he was moving out of Precinct 2.

Zaltzberg’s term runs until the end of June 2015, so Siano, who said he wants to finish out Zaltzberg’s term, will have to run in the June election for the seat.

Wisnewski said if the council votes “yes” to his appointment, Siano will take his seat on Wednesday night.

“The vote will happen at the beginning of the meeting on Wednesday so that Al can participate,” said Wisnewski.

The council will meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the studio in Greenfield Community Television, 393 Main St.

Siano said Monday morning that he is excited about the appointment.

“I’m very excited to get back into the knowledge front,” said Siano. “I believe I can get up to speed quickly.”

Siano said he will do a lot of reading and reviewing to get up to speed and will begin participating in discussions on Wednesday night, if his appointment is approved.

The former at-large councilor said he plans to run for the final year of the three-year term in June.

“As soon as the council approves my appointment, I will go to the clerk’s office and get nomination papers to run,” said Siano.

He said serving out Zaltzberg’s term in Precinct 2 will give him plenty of time to “catch up and evaluate how I want to proceed.”

Siano said he will most likely run for a three-year term in 2015.

“I’ve lived here my entire life and love this place,” said Siano. “I want to be a part of what’s happening here.”

You can reach Anita Fritz at: afritz@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 280.

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