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Wednesday, October 16 2013

Public Input Sought

Adapted from two press releases:

Next week, Greenfield's Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG), along with other towns and state agencies, will be looking for your feedback.  On Monday evening, options for improving Hillside Park will be discussed with the HRC, Mayor Martin, and Margaret Betts.  Then, on Tuesday night, the FRCOG invites you to learn about, and share your thoughts on, local clean energy options.

Adapted from a Greenfield Human Rights Commission press release:

On Monday, October 21, 2013, at 6:00 PM in the Greenfield Town Hall meeting room, the Greenfield Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing on public and private initiatives proposed to maintain the safety and further the recreational purpose of Hillside Park subsequent to the discovery of vandalism and alleged criminal activity at the park brought forward in September by a citizen to the town council.

The human rights commission has been involved with investigating and advocating against the proliferation of racist and antisemitic graffiti at Hillside Park since May 2012 when Nazi swastikas were first discovered there. The Commission communicated with and partnered with the recreation department, police and public works to help eradicate the problem at that time. In September 2013 it was discovered that this problem had returned with associated increased vandalism. Since then, numerous public and private proposals have come forth to help alleviate the problems at Hillside Park. These include, but are not limited to, enhanced lighting, increased police patrols, citizen patrols, video cameras, and mixed use possibilities such as concert venues, plays, a skate park, a dog park, baseball/softball games, and a neighborhood crime watch program.

The public hearing of the commission will seek to refine, clarify, and recommend some of these proposals and best practices based on citizen and local government input. The commission will seek to explore how government and private groups may partner to further these goals and the funding and process for implementing them at Hillside Park.

Greenfield Human Rights Commission chairman Lewis Metaxas said, "There are a number of positive and exciting proposals for taking Hillside Park back for the community brought forward by a number of people. The purpose of the public hearing is to provide a further forum for the evolution of those ideas into actual policy and to keep the positive momentum going for the Hillside neighborhood and the town at large. Our community is right at the cusp of turning this around. I hope that people give it some further thought and join the discussion."

Greenfield Mayor William Martin and Greenfield resident Margaret Betts, who brought the Hillside park matter before the town council, will be the guest speakers of the commission just prior to the public hearing. It is anticipated that Mayor Martin and Ms. Betts will report as to progress being made at Hillside Park and the efficacy of proposed solutions.

All residents of the Hillside neighborhood, the town of Greenfield, and Franklin County are welcome to attend and encouraged to speak at the public hearing.

Adapted from Greenfield's Energy & Sustainability Coordinator and the FRCOG:

You are invited to join with your friends and neighbors in an evening of discussion that will advance the communities of Buckland, Greenfield, Montague, and Shelburne towards a clean, secure, and more affordable energy future. Propelled by their citizens, businesses, and municipal officials, many communities in Franklin County are already recognized as clean energy leaders but there is more we can do.

Please join us at the Clean Energy 101 Forum to kick-off the Franklin Regional Council of Governments' Community Energy Strategies program for Buckland, Greenfield, Montague, and Shelburne. The forum will provide an opportunity to share ideas for the development of a community driven clean energy roadmap.  The forum will be hosted at the Greenfield Community College (GCC) Cafeteria from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Doors open at 4:30 pm. Drinks and refreshments will be served.

The Community Energy Strategies Pilot Program (CESP) is an initiative developed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in collaboration with the Department of Energy Resources Green Communities Division. The program, delivered in partnership with local officials and community volunteers, helps communities identify and develop strategies for implementing the mix of clean energy projects and incentives best suited to address local interests, needs, and opportunities for clean energy development across all sectors.

Register for this event:

More information can be found on the MassCEC page:

This event is accessible. Please contact the FRCOG's Stacy Metzger (413- 774-3167 x128) with any requests for accessibility.