Posted by: mattvote | July 28, 2011

Election 2011 – Northhampton Massachusetts – August 2

A vacancy has occurred in Ward 3 of the Northhampton Massachusetts City Council.  A map of the city’s poltical districts can be found here. Being one of the locations that Shay collected followers from one never knows what could happen!

Owen Freeman-Daniels v Arnie Levinson

Levinson, who changed party affiliation from Republican to Independent for the race says that the local Young Democrats are being partisan by endrosing the Democratic candidate, Freeman-Daniels.

BACKGROUND

Ward 3  has not been represented on the Council since April when Councilmember Angela Plassmann resigned.  Councilmember Plassmann claimed a department head harassed her and her family. The Director of Planning and Development, Wayne Feiden, admitted notifying her of a complaint regarding no permits for the trailer in her yard.

Lisa Fusco, was going to run against Plassmann, then going to run in the special election but withdrew due to the dissolution of her business
partnership.

Former Northampton City  Councilmember Angela Plassman  picture from Northampton Media © 2010

Two first time candidates have stepped forward:  Owen Freeman-Daniels and Arnold Levinson.

ISSUES

Charter Review

Both agree a balance of power between the legislative and  executive branches is needed and that term limits should be an issue. Levinson suggested  eight years because that is the term of the President of the United States.

Harrison House

Levinson said he did not know about it and would be open to  learning about it.

Freeman-Daniels recalled meeting House residences, a drug  and alcohol rehabilitation facility, and said that the community should be
proud having the service.

 Arnie Levinson and Owen  Freeman-Daniels © 2011 Jerry Roberts

Zoning Revisions Committee

Levinson supports some decisions by the ZRC.  He is nervous about narrowing distances  between homes.  He is concerned about emergency
vehicles access, noise issues, and neighbors having to police zoning issues.

Freeman-Daniels mentioned his experience to have citizen  representation added to the Committee, helped the ZRC’s understanding
sustainability, and noted this is another issue where Levinson is a late comer.

Levinson rebutted that he has started attending and speaking  before the ZRC.

Endorsements of Mayoral Candidates?

Freeman-Daniels is surprised Levinson would make an endorsement  as Levinson claims to be an Independent.

Levinson stated his endorsement was a clear choice, that he  is disappointed Freeman-Daniels has not endorsed in the Mayoral race and he
decried partisanship entering this race because the Pioneer Valley Young  Democrats endorsed Freeman-Daniels.

Freeman-Daniels argued Levinson has been a Republican for 40  years until the day before filing for this campaign when he switched to
Independent.

Rivers and Open Spaces

Levinson sees a difference between what is public and what  is private which the Meadows issue exhibits and mentioned a number of other
open spaces.

Freeman-Daniels called out Levinson noting four of the five  examples he cites are outside Ward 3,  that  ZRC decisions are mostly about private lands and called for the Meadows to be  open and accessible which received an audible sneer from Levinson.

Levinson replied that “I can’t believe that you would take  private land and turn it over to the public.  That is beyond my comprehension, Sir, We have to respect private  property, it is the foundation of what goes on, of what is important in the  United States.. .”  He also opined that
people’s front yards are like parks.

Voting Information

Ward 3 City Council voting will take place from 7am to 8pm,  August 2, Senior Center, Great Room,  67  Conz Street.

Massachusetts municipalities will hold primary elections  September 13.  For details join us at New  England Post.

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