Wainstein (Precinct 5) wants economic development, safe town
GREENFIELD — Precinct 5 Town Council candidate Robert Wainstein says economic development, jobs and public safety are the three most pressing issues facing Greenfield today.
Wainstein, 63, of James Street, said he has gone door to door during his campaign and learned one thing: many people want to see a big box store of some sort built in Greenfield.
“Some want a super store, some want something smaller, and some are opposed,” said Wainstein. “This has led to a lot of divisiveness in the town. It’s one of the biggest issues dividing the town.”
Wainstein said he will keep listening to townspeople and get a sense of the community.
He said the way he will help create and support the creation of jobs in Greenfield is to give companies tax breaks and other incentives to come to Greenfield and stay and expand there.
“What I’d really like is for the Council to work with the Zoning Board of Appeals and other boards to create a mixed-use downtown, where people live and work,” he said. “We can create ordinances that will do that.”
Wainstein said he would like to see the town concentrate on its downtown.
He said his public safety concerns are mostly about the opioid addiction problem.
“We need a detox center,” he said. “I’d like the town to work with the hospital to see if something can be done.”
Wainstein has suggested the hospital, which is in the process of purchasing the former Holy Trinity School property and plans to turn it into a medical office building and parking lot, use the former convent there as a treatment facility.
“The town and Town Council need to smooth the way to make things like the treatment center and mixed-use downtown happen,” he said.
Wainstein said he decided to run for the Precinct 5 seat because he was approached by a number of his neighbors.
“I started going to meetings and started reading The Recorder in-depth,” he said. “I am completely fascinated and interested in what’s going on in town. I want to be a member of the Council and impact the lives of the people in Greenfield.”
Wainstein said being a lawyer for 35 years qualifies him to read and understand ordinances, review budgets, and make good decisions for the town.
“I know how to run meetings and am very respectful in the way I deal with people,” he said.
Wainstein said he would like to see both a skate and dog park built in Greenfield.
“I love dogs,” said Wainstein. “I think we need things for our youth to do.”
He said he was happy to see the town decide to buy the former Lunt property and save the ball fields. He said he would like to see the town bring a teen center back to Sanderson Street.
“I’m very interested in economic development,” he said. “Kennametal, if it decides to expand here instead of North Carolina, will bring high-paying salaries and boost the housing market here and that will lead to a vibrant downtown.”
Wainstein said he considers himself pro-growth when it comes to the downtown, but is a little more cautious about larger-scale development. He said downtown is where Greenfield is going to grow and where positive differences are going to be made.
He said if he is elected, he will look at the qualifications of appointees and how they treat people, as well as their temperament, when considering mayoral appointments.
“All appointees need to be courteous and open-minded,” he said.
Wainstein said he appreciates the small-town values of Greenfield and understands the importance of local government in building good schools, efficient municipal services, and creating a sustainable local economy. He said he is completely behind the town’s new sustainable master plan and can’t wait to help implement it.
He said local politics should not be bogged down with talk of party affiliations.
“Penny (Ricketts) and I don’t use labels,” he said. “We are just people who love Greenfield and want to serve, but I’m not naive to think that party affiliations won’t seep into an election.”
“We just have to do the best we can do,” he said.
Town elections will be held Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Guiding Star Grange Hall, 401 Chapman St.