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The Greenfield, Mass., Mayor's Seat Is Up For Grabs. Here's Who's Running

From left, candidatFrom left, candidates Brickett Allis, Sheila Gilmour and Roxann Wedegartner at a mayoral forum broadcast on Greenfield Community Television es Brickett Allis, Sheila Gilmour and Roxann Wedegartner at a mayoral forum broadcast in August.
Dan Little
/
The Greenfield Recorder / recorder.com
From left, candidates Brickett Allis, Sheila Gilmour and Roxann Wedegartner at a mayoral forum broadcast on Greenfield Community Television in August.

There's an open seat for mayor up for grabs on November 5 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Longtime incumbent Bill Martin is not seeking re-election.

Roxann Wedegartner, who won the September preliminary contest, is facing runner-up Sheila Gilmour. And Brickett Allis, who just missed a spot on the ballot, is mounting a write-in bid.

Wedegartner is a veteran of Greenfield politics. She's chaired both the school committee and the planning board.

"I feel like that background, both in education and in economic development, gives me a leg up, [and] also gives me the broad experience that I think is required," Wedegartner said.

Gilmour is a first-term town councilor. She said her story — being a teen mom working for minimum wage, and then eventually earning a graduate degree — is something voters can relate to.

"And not all of them have had the opportunity to sort of claw their way up the way they've wanted to," Gilmour said. "I think that having someone who understands those perils, and how difficult it can be, is really important."

During a rather tame debate on WGBY, both candidates agreed on plenty.

Wedegartner and Gilmour both pledged support for a so-called "safe city" ordinance for immigrants that's on the ballot next month.

They also both said more needs to be done for the homeless in Greenfield, and to develop the local economy.

Gilmour said that includes promoting outdoor attractions.

"We've got lots of great open spaces and hiking and fishing," Gilmour said. "I think if we can bring people to town for those things, they'll eat at our restaurants, they'll stop in for a cup of coffee."

Wedegartner said Greenfield needs to stick with what's been working.

"Precision manufacturing, light manufacturing, the creative economy," Wedegartner said.

As for Allis, he wasn't invited to this debate, but was invited to a subsequent one sponsored by The Greenfield Recorder.

That didn't go over well with some in Greenfield. The newspaper felt the need to defend the decision in an editorial.

Allis finished 54 votes behind Gilmour in the preliminary, missing the cut to be on the November ballot.

During that debate, televised by Greenfield Community Television, Allis was asked about a ballot question on whether to build a new library. He said he didn't agree with the cost estimates, and said the proposed structure is too big.

"We, as a city, could decide to build a smaller building that fits our town better than a building that is a third the size of Home Depot," Allis said.

Both Wedegartner and Gilmour expressed support for the new library.

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