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Worgaftik/My Turn: Your input remains crucial to us

In July, I embarked on a two-part experiment. Would people I met on the street answer two questions: What do you like about Greenfield? What would make Greenfield better for you? The second part of the experiment involved whether they would allow themselves to be videotaped while they gave me their replies.

As a member of the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee, it was important for me to hear from people who do not attend our meetings. I also thought that my fellow committee members should hear them as well. The videotaping was essential to meet both of these criteria.

On July 12 and 13, during the downtown Summerfest, folks weighed in on what they thought about our town. The video of ideas that came from residents, merchants and visitors can be seen on GCTV (What Do You Like About Greenfield?) or at its website (http://www.gctv.org/videos/what-do-you).

This very unscientific person-on-the street survey told us several things. Overall, folks who live here like Greenfield. They like its small-town atmosphere; that you are likely to meet someone you know, and that we help each other through hard times and in response to issues that concern us. They like our downtown, though they are concerned about empty storefronts, cleanliness and public safety and suggest that there be some additional beautification.

No surprise, there were differences of opinion on parking. Some said that there should be more free parking; others said there is plenty of parking. Mostly, folks don’t like paying for parking.

They like our access to parks and green spaces, but are concerned that our young people need more things to do. They support the development of a new skate park, more activities downtown on the weekends and evenings, and other recreation that engage people of various ages.

We need more jobs and better public transportation to get around within Greenfield and to points north and south.

Most people agree that we need some kind of discount department store, but some would prefer that it not be a Walmart.

There were ideas that had not come up in committee meetings, like making town stores more accessible to wheelchairs.

All these thoughts were important in assisting me and my fellow committee members in considering the future of Greenfield in 2025. But we still don’t think that we’ve heard all the ideas that are out there. After all, we met with about 100 folks at our March 3 community meeting and I interviewed another hundred or so for the video. We have received still more information through Facebook and the Mindmixer online forum. But we really do need to hear from everyone!

Do these thoughts represent your views? If not, we really need to hear from you. If these concepts do represent your ideas, the committee needs to hear from you, too, so that they know how important various issues are to you. What are your priorities?

Join us on Thursday, Sept. 26 on the Greenfield Town Common from 4 to 7 p.m. (rain site: the Pushkin building on the corner of Main and Federal streets) to give the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee your ideas for Greenfield’s future. It is a drop-in and fun event for adults and children alike. You may come any time to give your “two cents.” The future of Greenfield is being planned — be part of this futuristic venture! We really do want to hear what you think.

Can’t come? People who cannot attend are invited to share their ideas online! Click on MindMixer at www.GreenfieldMasterPlan.com or Facebook: GreenfieldSustainableMasterPlan Plan.

Susan Worgaftik is a a member of the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee.

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