Since when does Greenfield do whatever Northampton does

Published: 10/15/2021 9:15:54 AM

I am being told to vote to make it harder for me to start a referendum petition in Greenfield for the next 10 years. The main reason being given is that Northampton does this.

Since when does Greenfield do whatever Northampton does? I must have missed that policy vote.

I also wonder why the Charter Commission did not publish a list of cities that make it easier to start a referendum petition with less than 7%? There are cities that allow a referendum with 5% or 3% of total voter signatures. Why didn’t these cities make their list?

The important thing to focus on is the actual number of signatures voters will have to collect, and how quickly. Presently, it’s 556 signatures, which is based on the current charter that requires “10% of voters voting.” These numbers will change every year. If we change it to 7% of the total Greenfield voters today, we’d have to gather 909 signatures in only 23 days. That’s the highest number of signatures ever required in Greenfield in the shortest time. We’ve done this before and we know how hard it is to gather signatures.

Why would we want to make it harder on ourselves to gather signatures on a citizens referendum petition and make it harder for our voices to be heard?

Are we punishing Greenfield voters for 10 years for daring to oppose a City Council vote? Are we telling the majority of voters to never doubt what your elected officials are doing — because I think voters are already beyond that point.

I’m voting No on Question 1. I hope no one in Northampton finds out.

Charlie Kosterman



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