Ricketts, Mass win in Greenfield
Greenfield Town Council member from Precinct 5 winner Penny Ricketts, left, and at-large winner Isaac Mass celebrate victory in Terrazza Ristorante at the Country Club of Greenfield Tuesday night.
Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »
Town Council President Mark Wisnewski shares the news after losing Tuesday’s election to Isaac Mass.
Recorder/David Rainville Purchase photo reprints »
GREENFIELD — Two of the five Town Council incumbents who ran for re-election this year lost their seats to challengers in Tuesday’s town elections, including President Mark Wisnewski, who lost his at-large seat to former At-large Councilor Isaac Mass by 306 votes.
Mass received 1,720 votes, while Wisnewski got 1,414. Wisnewski won Precinct 5, where he lives, and Precinct 6.
“I’m doing well,” said Wisnewski shortly after receiving word of his defeat. “I hope my opponent holds true to his word. I will consider running again in a year and a half.”
Greenfield will have to hold an election again next year, because the town voted 1,502 - 1,099 to extend three-year terms to four years for the mayor, town councilors and school board members. Passing the binding question means annual elections will be held in odd-numbered years and terms will end Dec. 31.
That means Mayor William Martin’s term, which would have ended July 1, 2015, will be extended to Dec. 31, 2015.
In Precinct 5, Penny Ricketts defeated Robert Wainstein by five votes, with 236 to his 231. It is not yet known whether a recount will be requested.
The two vied for the seat that former Council President David Singer decided to leave.
Ricketts said through joyous tears that she was “blown away.”
“People are ready for another voice on the council” she said. “I will be that voice, but I will also sit with all councilors and let them know I’m ready to be part of the team. We need to get busy and get the work done.”
Ricketts, 54, of Main Street, said she is ready to tackle rising property taxes, lack of jobs in Greenfield and improving services for the town’s young and aging populations.
Mass, 37, of Linden Avenue, said he’s ready to bring a discount department store to Greenfield, push for economic development and creating jobs and work on the addiction problem.
“This election showed that when people are willing to serve, voters will value and respect that,” he said.
Mass said the first thing he will do when he takes his at-large seat in July is make a motion to repeal the part of a change in the town charter that allows councilors to give themselves annual pay raises.
The Council recently voted to give itself and school board members a $2,000-a-year stipend beginning in three years. After that, councilors would be able to vote for pay raises.
“I’m just really encouraged by the tone of this election,” said Mass. “People obviously expressed that economic development, jobs and the heroin crisis are high on their list of priorities. Now, the Council has to take some concrete steps in that direction.”
There was a 28.8 percent turnout at the polls in Greenfield on Tuesday with 3,163 of the 10,970 voters casting ballots.
Council Vice President Hillary Hoffman defeated challenger Christopher Miller in Precinct 6 by 115 votes, receiving 228 to his 113.
Incumbent Steven Ronhave defeated challenger Thomas DeHoyos, who is a member of the town’s Conservation Commission, by 27 votes.
In Precinct 2, incumbent Alfred Siano kept his seat, one he was appointed to this past year, by defeating newcomer to Greenfield politics Ronald Weaver 261-190, or by 71 votes.
Hoffman and Siano could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Ronhave said he was thrilled and ready to serve another year and a half.
“This was the first time I campaigned opposed,” said Ronhave, who ran unopposed three years ago. “It was a well-fought battle.”
Ronhave, 66, of High Street, said he will make good on his promise to work on economic development, turning Greenfield into a destination point and creating jobs.
“It’s going to be a team effort,” said Ronhave.
Maryelen Calderwood and Adrienne Marie Nunez both won the two school board seats. They both ran unopposed, but there were a couple of write-ins who received a total of 157 votes.
Calderwood received 1,604 votes and Nunez received 1,825 votes.
All winners will take their seats on July 1.