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My Vision for Greenfield

The vitality and prosperity of the City of Greenfield and its community members depend upon sound investments and dedicated attention to the things that matter most - education, infrastructure, housing, and public safety.

My administration will take a hard look at City's strengths and challenges, and will focus primarily on the following important priorities. And we will do so always with the values of honesty, integrity and dignity.


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Pursue Educational Excellence

Our schools are facing a number of significant challenges, including the loss of teachers and declining enrollment which presents ongoing fiscal issues. These challenges have been made much worse in recent years by impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Low income communities are not receiving adequate educational funding from the state. We cannot provide proper education to our children without addressing the inadequate education funding formula at the state level. The school funding burden cannot be shouldered by local taxpayers.


In spite of these difficult realities, I am determined to support our school system by:


  • Ensuring that all of our elementary schools are representative economically, racially and ethnically of Greenfield’s total school population and that all curricula throughout the elementary schools is consistent

  • Providing coordinated mental health and counseling services for students 

  • Encouraging parental involvement in their children’s education while upholding the standards of the state’s curriculum frameworks

  • Ensuring that teachers and staff are paid and supported well, and making sure our City budget for education is robust

  • Work with our neighboring communities to organize and advocate with state officials to bring adequate funding to Greenfield schools.


A high-caliber school system and educational excellence is what our taxpayers deserve, and is one of our city's assets that will attract families into our community and will ultimately strengthen our workforce and businesses.


Develop Diverse and Affordable Housing

People in our community, particularly those with disabilities, are struggling to find affordable, accessible housing to rent or homes to purchase. We have a rapidly growing senior population, and yet there are virtually no ADA accessible housing options for our residents.


According to the Donahue Center at UMass Amherst, Greenfield needs to produce 500-600 additional homes of all kinds in the next few years. While we do have 101 new units going in on Wells Street and in the Wilson’s building, we need to do much more to meet demand. I will work to increase the development of housing by:


  • Working with developers in the rehabilitation of blighted single-family homes for resale to first time homebuyers

  • Working with the State Attorney General to take full advantage of the resources available to our City through the Abandoned Housing Initiative Receivership Fund

  • Enforcing building codes and implementing regular building inspections to ensure the availability of quality housing for all, especially for rental properties

  • Directing our Community and Economic Development staff to work with developers to identify state and federal funding to help finance new, accessible, and affordable housing.


​I am committed to helping create housing for all economic levels to meet our residents' needs for safe, affordable, accessible, and comfortable homes. Improving housing options will increase our strength as a community, improve economic resilience as a city and will draw new community members to Greenfield.


Protect Public Safety and Health

Greenfield residents want 24-hour coverage of public safety and want to feel safe and protected in their community. I will improve public safety and health in Greenfield by:


  • Instituting a zero tolerance policy regarding racism in our community. Public employees will be held to the highest level of accountability.

  • Ensuring that the Greenfield Board of Health carries out its core duties as outlined in MA General Law, including enforcement of state sanitary, environmental, housing, and health codes, and that the Board of Health is not subject to undue political pressure.

  • Supporting City inspection staff to ensure that homes and businesses in the city meet safety and health standards

  • Working closely with state and federal officials to establish funding and methods to clean up any hazardous or toxic waste sites on City-owned land

  • Ensuring, on an administrative level, that there will be no more lapses in public safety coverage.


Implementing these and other steps will help provide community members a higher level of safety and well being.


Improve Public Infrastructure

Now more than ever, communities across the country are challenged with aging infrastructure and the pressures climate change places on sewer, water and other infrastructure.Last year our City experienced severe drought along with watering restrictions, while this year we’ve been enduring heavy rains and flooding. As a city, we must be prepared for continued extreme weather, and nowhere is this preparation more important than with our infrastructure.


We must deploy many strategies to prepare for and/or mitigate the impacts of climate change on our community and its infrastructure including:


  • Securing funding through the Infrastructure and Jobs Act and other federal and state funds to repair, upgrade or replace aging infrastructure including water and sewer systems

  • Fully funding and staffing the Department of Public Works to address a backlog of infrastructure projects including sidewalk and road repair and replacement, as well as essential day-to-day services essential to keeping our City running well

  • Refocusing the work of the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee to have as its primary purpose the urgent work of climate change preparedness and resilience

  • Supporting our DPW Director in implementing natural solutions - such as stormwater collection systems and street trees - to decrease stormwater runoff and reduce the pressures on our wastewater treatment facility, and to protect our aging drinking water and sewage collection and treatment systems

  • Empowering our Department of Energy and Sustainability to pursue more energy reductions, including but not limited to increasing the City’s fleet of electric vehicles and adding EV charging stations


Deliberate stewardship of our infrastructure is essential for expanding business and industry in our community, and ensures that Greenfield remains an excellent place to live and work.


Foster Economic Vitality

Greenfield is fortunate to be home to creative small businesses, cooperatives and industry. But Greenfield needs to foster an environment to attract more businesses and industry, to encourage existing businesses to expand, and to address the need for more industrial and entrepreneurial space.


Greenfield’s business community members, particularly those in downtown, have not received the attention they deserve. I will foster more economic vitality by:


  • Working with downtown businesses to create coordinated events that will bring people into the downtown, using locations such as the new library as focal points for those events.

  • Learning from other communities who have vibrant downtowns and implementing similar successful programs and events in our downtown

  • Meeting with as many business owners as possible, as I have already begun to do, to make sure their perspectives and expertise are valued and utilized

  • Collaborating with Greenfield Community College, UMass, and other local colleges to encourage their entrepreneurial graduates to start new businesses in Greenfield

  • Involving the Greenfield Redevelopment Authority in an aggressive campaign to advertise and encourage new and expanding businesses to locate in the open slots in the Industrial Park

  • Improving the access and use of the parking garage so that it becomes an asset to the businesses downtown


Bringing and retaining more businesses in our community will bolster our tax base and provide more exciting and interesting places for residents and visitors.

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Protect Natural Resources

In the face of the climate crisis, our natural resources are even more vital and valuable assets to our community. Clean and abundant water, diverse forests and fertile farmlands are just a few of the many types of natural resources that we value in Greenfield.


We will prioritize preserving and protecting the natural resources that surround us by:


  • Refocusing the work of the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee to have as its primary purpose the urgent work of climate change preparedness and resilience, with a particular focus on natural resources

  • Working with the Greenfield Conservation Commission to identify, prioritize and acquire environmentally sensitive areas, as they become available

  • Increasing the practice of pro-forestation on Greenfield-owned woodlands for the purpose of maximizing their contribution to mitigating climate change

  • Improving urban and downtown spaces by increasing the City’s tree canopy, pollinator gardens, and other green spaces


A commitment to caring for our natural resources makes us more resilient to climate change and provides a healthier, more fun place to live and play.


Ensure Affordability and Accountability

Property taxes are a pressing concern for many in our community, especially those who are already struggling to pay their bills and provide for their families. We have historically had one of the highest tax rates in the state.


Greenfield’s economic structure needs a serious review, including:

  • Bringing in new businesses who will pay their fair share of taxes

  • Reviewing the entire tax structure of the city to ensure fairness for everyone

  • Ensuring properties are being fairly assessed so that the tax burden does not fall disproportionately on those who can least afford it

  • Working closely with our senators and representatives to ensure that the city is applying for and receiving all state funding for which it is eligible

  • Making grant money subject to appropriation, thus ensuring there is oversight in how our grant money is spent

  • Advocating to change state funding formulas and laws that disadvantage Greenfield and cause us to get fewer state resources than richer communities


Additionally, in terms of accountability, as your mayor I will establish a new, collaborative spirit in our City government by:

  • Working cooperatively and honestly with our City Council and all members of our community. 

  • Providing true transparency and access to public records

  • Listening to and considering the many points of view of our citizens

  • Providing remote access to all public meetings, to the fullest extent possible


Taking these steps will help ensure that we have a fiscally stronger community and a much greater trust in our City government.

Photo: Sarah Adam

Photo: Sarah Adam

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