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.
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.
Former Northampton City Councilmember Angela Plassman picture from Northampton Media © 2010
Two first time candidates have stepped forward: Owen Freeman-Daniels and Arnold Levinson.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.