In The Arena

In the Arena: Awaiting a chain reaction on HRC recommendations

Thursday, January 14, 2016

If it wasn’t before, the Dan McCarthy-Confederate flag flap is certainly now a political issue for the Greenfield Town Council and Mayor Bill Martin. That came this week courtesy of the Greenfield Human Rights Commission, which has recommended that the entire Greenfield Police Department undergo sensitivity and cultural awareness training, a proposal that grew out the recent public forum held in reaction to McCarthy’s decision to hang the flag in … 0

In the Arena: Rocky start for Town Council leadership

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Greenfield’s new Town Council president might just wind up having the shortest honeymoon in the history of that office. To no one’s surprise, Precinct 3 Councilor Brickett Allis was elected council president at Monday’s organizational meeting, and promptly ran into a political buzz saw less than 24 hours later when he released his first batch of committee assignments, containing moves that confused some … 0

In the Arena: As the year winds down

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas falls on a Friday this year, so this will be my last offering for 2015. For a while now, I’ve been tempted to write a Festivus column, a la “Seinfeld,” because, quite frankly, I’ve got a lot of problems with you people. Well, OK, not really. But since I’m not a big fan of feats of strength and I’m fresh out of … 0

In the Arena: Let’s not rush to judgment

Thursday, December 3, 2015

When Lyndon Johnson made his surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election in 1968, one network anchor reportedly remarked that he was so stunned he’d rather go home and wait until the next day to comment. I had sort of the same reaction to the recent controversy … 0

In the Arena: Let’s lose the label

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The “old boy network.” It’s a term which has historically been thrown around a lot in Greenfield politics, but perhaps no more so than in this year’s race for Greenfield mayor, where the growing divide between the town’s “natives” and its “newcomers” seemed wider than ever. And at … 0

In the Arena: Mayoral recount politics

Thursday, November 12, 2015

We’ll know by the end of business today whether the Greenfield mayoral election is, in fact, over. That’s the deadline for supporters of candidate Patty Morey Walker to decide whether to formally request a recount of her 169-vote loss to incumbent Mayor Bill Martin. Town Clerk Deb Tuttle … 0

In the Arena: Quick election takeaways

Thursday, November 5, 2015

After months of talking and triangulation, the voters of Greenfield finally had their say Tuesday, and they spoke volumes. Here are a few initial thoughts. Closer than expected Probably the biggest surprise from Tuesday’s balloting was two-term incumbent Mayor Bill Martin’s slim win over challenger Patty Morey Walker. … 0

In the Arena: A different feel to this campaign

Thursday, October 29, 2015

There are often a lot of emotions flying around the weekend before a big election. Candidates have often told me that there is a certain release that occurs even as they run around trying to squeeze out every last vote possible. I think reporters, even the most seasoned … 0

In the Arena: Hot about heating system

Thursday, October 22, 2015

If the cost of political dysfunction could be translated into a dollar figure in Greenfield, today, that number would be $90,000. That is the price Greenfield taxpayers are being forced to pay to install a new heating system in the Davis Street School administration building, a structure that … 0

In the Arena: Case of special treatment for candidate?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

There is a certain advantage to political incumbency, assuming the candidate in question has a record worth running on. That is clearly the case in this year’s race for Greenfield mayor, where incumbent Bill Martin has gone to great lengths to tout the many economic development project’s his … 1

In the Arena: Clearing the air

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It always amazes me how people can attend the same meeting and come out with a completely different version of what happened. The latest example occurred this week following a Greenfield Town Council subcommittee forum on home wood stoves and chimneys. The Monday night gathering was billed as … 0

In the Arena: Skipping debates

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It looks like 2015 is going to be the year of the “nonpolitician” in Greenfield. Greenfield School Committee candidates Jesse McMillian and Cameron Ward took to Facebook last week — and, Ward’s case, the pages of The Recorder — to announce that they would not be running traditional … 0

In the Arena: On board with schools

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Somewhat lost in the histrionics of last week’s Greenfield School Committee meeting was the appointment of a new board member. Greenfield native Douglas Mayo was the lone applicant to serve out the unexpired term of Jeff Comenitz, who died recently after a brief bout with cancer. It’s the … 0

In the Arena: Not leaving without a fight

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I’ll admit it: I’m going to miss having Maryelen Calderwood on the Greenfield School Committee. I know that may shock some people, because we’ve had our differences, but it’s simply not going to be the same without “Lord Caldermort” holding the gavel on the first Wednesday of every … 0

In the Arena: Rosenberg’s road ahead

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A few quick hitters as we prepare to say adios to the summer of 2015. Senate President Stan Rosenberg appears to have taken to heart the criticism over his perceived silence regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline. After months of trying to ride down the middle … 0