Lyford runs for Precinct 5 seat in Greenfield

GREENFIELD — Town Council Precinct 5 candidate John Lyford says he supports an updated wetlands ordinance written by the town’s Conservation Commission and a citizen-written ordinance banning plastic bags from being used at check-out counters in Greenfield, but says an ordinance that would strengthen protection of Native American burial grounds needs more work before he could support it.

“I think the plastic bag ban is a positive thing,” said Lyford, who worked as a firefighter in Greenfield for 26 years before his recent retirement. “I always use paper or reusable bags. I just think banning them would bring up other issues, like how people with lower incomes are going to pay for reusable bags. Those are things the town as a whole would have to address.”

Lyford, 48, said he supports the updated wetlands ordinance as proposed by the commission, because they are the ones working on such issues every day.

“There are many complicated wetlands issues and the commission members are the ones who are trained to deal with them,” he said.

Lyford, like his two challengers, said he needs to know more about a proposed Native American burial ground ordinance before he can support it.

He said he is the right person for the Precinct 5 job because he has been involved with town government for 26 years.

“I think the council needs to be part of keeping town finances stable, giving town employees the tools they need to run the town efficiently and provide residents with the best services, and find a way to assist agencies working on the serious drug problem here in Greenfield and the area,” said Lyford.

He said the town needs to keep working toward a vibrant downtown and encourage people to shop locally.

Born in Norwich, Conn., he moved to Greenfield in 1984 to work in a family business and later became a firefighter.

“I want to do what’s best for Greenfield,” said Lyford. “I have to answer to my constituents, which come from very diverse backgrounds.”

Lyford said he would do everything in his power to avoid cutting budgets and laying people off as he approves town budgets.

Lyford lives on Farren Street. Following retirement from the fire department he is not working at another job.

Living in an East Greenfield neighborhood, he has been a member of that neighborhood’s committee since 2005, working to improve the quality of life for his neighbors.

He has been endorsed by Greenfield Permanent Firefighters Local 2548 and the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts. He has served on Greenfield’s Insurance Advisory Committee, addressing the cumbersome issue of health care and saving money for the town, and has also served on the five-member Greenfield retirement board.

The preliminary election will be held Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St. Two candidates will advance to the town’s June annual election.

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