Q&A: City Council candidate Penny Ricketts


Published: 10/25/2021 3:25:46 PM

Editor’s note: This questionnaire was completed by Penny Ricketts, one of five candidates on the ballot for Greenfield City Council in the Nov. 2 election. Ricketts is running unopposed for an at-large seat. Look for more questionnaires from City Council and School Committee candidates throughout the week.

Occupation (past/present): Call center representative with Eye and Lasik in Greenfield.

Political experience: School Committee, Human Rights Commission, Planning Board and City Council.

How long have you lived in Greenfield? Since 1992.

What qualities would you bring to the City Council? The ability and desire to listen. I think about the diversity in the community with each vote I take.

Are you up-to-date on property taxes? Have you ever been delinquent on your taxes? I do not own property. I have experienced increases in rent, so I fully understand how what goes on in the city fully impacts landlords and other taxpayers.

Which subcommittees would you be interested in serving on and why? The Economic Development Committee and Appointments and Ordinances Committee. I care not for only downtown but for the economic health of the whole city. I want to work with prospective new businesses who will pay good living wages. I like to read the resumes of people wanting to serve. I won’t forget that someone read my letter of interest and gave me an opportunity. Ordinances could help move the city forward. Things have progressed over the years and it’s OK to welcome change.

What should the city’s priorities be in terms of the revitalization of downtown? I hope we are marketing any and all empty storefronts to entrepreneurs as well as established businesses. I think events are key! Anything that brings out families as well as people from out of town is a winner! When COVID-19 regulations relax, we should do everything in our power to keep outdoor seating, signs and events without fees attached. Businesses donate in so many ways throughout the year; they do not need to pay more than taxes to the city.

What is your stance on ballot Question 1, regarding the proposed change to the city charter? I watched the Charter Review Commission work during inception and recently with these changes. A compromise was made and I know voting Yes protects the voter’s choices on ballot questions. It also protects who they want representing them on the council floor. When that no longer works, it will be evident when people aren’t re-elected or pushed to no longer serve. At some point we need to understand there is a process in place for all big decisions. We all need to do a better job communicating what is authority of council versus mayor. I will vote Yes on Question 1 and stand by the will of the voters no matter the result.


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