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Forgey/My Turn: These candidates can make a difference

As Greenfield gets closer to going to the polls on Tuesday, I would like to voice my support for these three candidates for Town Council.

Precinct 5

Every so often a candidate comes along that demands the attention of the citizens. In Precinct 5 … it’s Penny Ricketts!

I have known Penny for more than 15 years, having first been introduced to her as she advocated for a “big box” retail option in Greenfield that long ago. She has remained committed to that necessity even today, knowing that residents still need and want affordable access to goods they must now leave town to buy.

Being a single mom with two children to raise, she has shown steadfast determination in working to make this community a better place for all. Currently she is a member of the Mayor’s Human Rights Commission having served for over 10 years. Currently she is working with District Attorney David Sullivan’s Citizen Advisory Board.

But government service is not the only thing that involves Penny. She is also past president and president elect of the Rotary Club in Greenfield, has worked doing fundraising for a myriad of causes and has her finger on the pulse of this community. She knows firsthand the needs of the working poor, the value of strong educational opportunities for all and the importance of a civil and just community especially here in Greenfield.

And the part I like best? Penny works hard, giving of her time and herself because she believes that the effort of an individual can make a difference. Running for a council seat in Precinct 5 is just a continuation of her endeavor to make things change, to “stick her neck out for Greenfield.”

Precinct 4

Voters in Precinct 4 do not have to settle for a “custodial councilor” anymore. A new face is on the scene, a citizen of Greenfield who has had enough of the status quo and has decided to seek office.

Tom DeHoyos has stepped forward and offers those living in Precinct 4 an opportunity for new representation.

I have known Tom and his wife Deb for a number of years, having really come to know them when they moved their business, after a fire in Shelburne Falls, to Main Street in Greenfield. To me their choice of relocating that business is very telling. Simply put, they chose Greenfield, and by doing so made a strong commitment to this community. Now, Tom is confirming that commitment by seeking a seat on the Council.

He does not seek election lightly, knowing the political scene can be very challenging as he has already experienced on the Conservation Commission here in town. He will represent you well by being a full participant; accessible, visible and attentive to his responsibilities and duties. He will listen, pose questions, search for answers, embrace compromise and defend and uphold the interests of all citizens.

As Tom likes to say, “I will always tell it like it is.” That is a refreshing change and he deserves your vote.

At-large seat

Many people in this community choose to serve Greenfield in various ways. Some volunteer their time with groups and organizations, some donate what they can, some select public service as their way to effect positive change where they live and work. Isaac Mass, candidate for councilor at large, has again stepped up to the plate to help represent Greenfield’s citizen on the council.

I have known Isaac for a long time, watching him grow into this community. In the past, he served four terms on the Town Council, as a member of the licensing commission and as a member of the Planning Board. He has never missed an opportunity to share ideas and opinions, even though many around him might disagree with his point of view. When I was mayor and he a councilor we oftentimes did not see eye to eye. And, I must admit, there were times when I was totally opposed to his view of things. Nevertheless, we were able to listen to each other’s arguments, respect what was being said and seek some resolution to the matter. That is what good government is all about.

Whether in favor or opposed, Isaac always spoke distinctly and effectively on the subject at hand. He reasoned, debated and voted for the benefit of his constituents and always did so respectfully. He was never rude or condescending in dealing with others during his time in office and all citizens were served well by his representation.

After a journey of military service, higher education, law school and the beginning a family, Isaac wants to return to his political roots and serve again. With his intricate knowledge of Greenfield and his personal experience of the needs and wants of the citizens, I urge you to join me voting for Isaac Mass, councilor at large.

Chris Forgey was Greenfield’s first mayor.

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