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Mass/My Turn: Staking out my campaign

My name is Isaac Mass and I want to be Greenfield’s next at-large town councilor. I believe in Greenfield and know it can be a more vibrant and prosperous city. I know if we focus on the priorities of the community, we can make our city grow and our people more satisfied.

I believe in a community with a bustling downtown filled with restaurants, art and shopping. When I had a choice of where to set up my law office, I chose to be in the newly renovated Arts Block.

And like our sustainable master plan, I believe in a community with a diversity of shopping opportunities for consumers of all socio-economic backgrounds. I want a big box store in Greenfield. One of my first jobs was working at Ames Department store. We have many young people who would love to have a job working at a Wal-Mart, Target or Kohl’s. And, yes, it would be nice to have a place to buy cheap underwear, too.

I want a community where we feel safe to work and shop and recreate. I am committed to giving our public safety departments and schools the resources needed to address the opiate epidemic. I support a dog park and a skate park. In fact, I was the first town councilor to ever propose a dog park. Our first priority, however, should be keeping our existing parks clean and safe. I believe in community policing, where trained officers work to prevent crime, so that there is less to investigate.

I believe paying reasonable taxes is the cost of living in a civilized society. At some point, people can’t afford to pay more. Next year, our property taxes will go up significantly to pay for a sorely needed new high school. Greenfield cannot afford to pay a surtax of up to 3 percent on top of our high tax bill for the Community Preservation Act. Open space, recreation, historic preservation and affordable housing are important. We just have to fund them within the limits of what people can afford.

My goal would be to bring development and better jobs to Greenfield. Those jobs will increase property values. With increased property values we will have more revenue without raising tax rates.

I am proud of our schools, but know we can do better. We have turned the corner on School Choice, now it is time to start winning back parents. I like creative solutions. I would like to see a gymnastics and theater program at the high school. I want to give students a reason to choice into Greenfield. I would like to see community service as a graduation requirement so that our students learn about community engagement in a hands-on way. Ten years before the sustainable master plan, I called for the closure of an energy-inefficient Davis Street administration building. Smart, targeted investments will actually save and earn us money. We need to listen to parents and find solutions rather than excuses.

I trust consumers to make smart decisions. I support reusable cloth bags. Our home has a bunch to use when we go grocery shopping, but not everyone can afford them or plans every trip to the store. Beyond that, plastic bags are reused in a million ways. Our family likes to use them to keep my daughter’s swimsuit in after going to swim at the YMCA with Federal Street School. If I am your town councilor, I will do as much as possible to make life easier on you and not more difficult. You will not see me support bans on plastic bags.

I do believe in protecting our natural resources and being a good steward of the land. I have a long record of supporting local farming. And I served on the Open Space and Recreation Commission that contributed to our last master plan. I support the honest efforts of qualified conservation commissioners who want to preserve our water resources. However, I don’t support overly burdensome regulations like the ones presented by Mr. Norman at the current council’s request. We need open and honest government where every citizen has equal access and the same rules apply to everyone.

You may not agree with everything I believe. I hope, however, you will believe that I will do what I think helps you and not myself if elected. You can learn more at www.Mass14.com.

Isaac Mass is a local attorney and candidate for Greenfield councilor at-large.

Isn't it a violation of Bar Association conflict-of-interest guidelines for an attorney to hold an elected office? How do you propose to circumvent this potential issue?

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