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New council president doles out assignments

GREENFIELD — A newly reorganized Town Council has received its member assignments to subcommittees by newly elected President Mark Wisnewski.

The new president has announced that Precinct 3 Councilor Brickett Allis will remain at the helm of the Ways and Means Committee, while Precinct 2 Councilor Keith Zaltzberg, who was elected to former Councilor Thomas McLellan’s seat a year ago, will take lead of the Appointment and Ordinance Committee, the committee Wisnewski led last year.

At-large Councilor Patrick Devlin will stay as head of the Economic Development Committee, and Precinct 7 Councilor Karen “Rudy” Renaud will lead the Community Relations and Education Committee this year.

Other changes in the council’s makeup include Precinct 6 Councilor Hillary Hoffman as vice president — Wisnewski was vice president last year — and Zaltzberg as the council’s treasurer.

“I think people are going to find the council and its meetings will be run very similar to last year,” said Wisnewski. “The style of inclusiveness will not change.”

Wisnewski said as president he hopes to lead the council to help the mayor enact the town’s new sustainable master plan, which should be finished by the end of the year.

“I think we all want to work toward a green and sustainable Greenfield, just as the mayor has outlined,” said Wisnewski.

He said the first thing the council will do is look into writing an ordinance regulating “biomass,” generally understood to be the combustion of wood products to generate heat and power, as in the commercial wood-burning power plant that has been proposed — and vigorously opposed — for the I-91 Industrial Park off Adams Road.

“We’ll also be reviewing our ordinances to make sure they are in line with the goals of our master plan,” said Wisnewski.

“One of my personal goals is to increase the interaction between the School Committee and Town Council to better improve our schools,” said Wisnewski.

He said he hopes people realize he will be very approachable as council president and will welcome residents to every meeting or to call or contact him.

“I initiated the change to hold the public forum portion of our meetings at the beginning of the night so that everyone would have a chance to attend and speak,” said Wisnewski. “That seems to be very much appreciated.”

Wisnewski said he will continue to encourage open dialogue between residents and the council.

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