DeHoyos (Precinct 4) wants to fight opioid problem, create jobs
Greenfield Conservation Commission member Thomas DeHoyos. Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Precinct 4 Town Council challenger Thomas DeHoyos says fighting the addiction problem, creating jobs and supporting schools are the three most pressing issues facing Greenfield today.
DeHoyos, who currently serves on the town’s Conservation Commission and has for the past seven years, said he will fight for a stronger police presence downtown, a police substation located in the downtown area, and more outreach and education about substance and drug abuse to try to prevent the town’s youth from going in that direction.
“We need more awareness,” said DeHoyos.
He said that while he understands the town has just so much money to fund police, he believes it could raise money other ways, like creating an ordinance to keep traffic violation fees and such in town.
“We also need more rehabilitation facilities in this area,” he said.
DeHoyos is married and he and his wife Debbie have four children between them. They own a hair salon on Main Street and he works full-time in sales. He said as a business owner he realizes the importance of creating jobs.
“We have to keep encouraging companies like Kennametal by offering them incentives to come or stay here,” he said. “We also desperately need to encourage retailers to come to Greenfield, including a discount department store.”
DeHoyos said Greenfield has a small-town mentality, but has become a small city and has to act in that way.
“We have some city problems going on here and we have to face that,” he said.
DeHoyos said a big box department store is needed for the town’s growing population of seniors on fixed incomes and for the poorer population.
“We can’t ignore that,” he said.
DeHoyos said his interest in politics, time on the Conservation Commission and sales experience will serve him well as a councilor.
“I am able to see both sides of an issue. I am a business owner, and I know how to work with people,” he said. “I have given a voice to flora and fauna on the commission and now I’d like to give a voice to the people of Greenfield.”
DeHoyos said he was motivated to run by people who asked him to in Precinct 4.
“They told me I have a point of view and that they’d like to see a more diverse Town Council,” he said. “I would bring that.”
DeHoyos said he is not ashamed to say that he is for growth throughout town. The Greenfield native who grew up and went to school in Greenfield said he remembers the town when it had a bustling downtown and two discount department stores.
“We’re slowly growing, but we need to keep working at it,” he said. “Anyone who says they are for ‘smart’ or ‘slow’ growth is really just using code for ‘no’ growth.”
DeHoyos said he does not think that party affiliations should play a role in local politics.
“Eighty or more percent of what the Council does has nothing to do with party affiliation,” said DeHoyos. “It works on town budgets and passes ordinances. I think people make party distinctions when they are afraid they are going to lose.”
Town Council recently tried to block DeHoyos’ reappointment to the Conservation Commission, but eventually decided not to do so.
“When I’m considering a mayoral appointee, I will get to know that person, find out their qualifications, find out where their heart is in terms of serving the town, and understand that there might be a learning curve for them — there has been for most of the people who have volunteered for town service,” he said. “Any time you want to serve on a board, there’s going to be a learning curve. I think desire and guts to go for a volunteer position are qualifications themselves.”
DeHoyos said even town councilors who have said board and commission appointees should be well-qualified have admitted themselves in the past that it was a learning curve for them on the Council.
“Accepting a mayoral appointment is not about one issue, it’s about who will be best serving in that seat,” he said. “We have to appoint passionate, good people who want to serve on our boards, not discourage them because of what they might have to go through to get there.”
DeHoyos said he would like to see both a dog and skate park built in Greenfield.
“I want to be a new voice on the Council,” said DeHoyos. “I really believe this Town Council is tied to special-interest groups. My special-interest group is the people of Greenfield.”
Town elections will be held Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St.