The Recorder - My Turn: Greenfield is a great place to feel at home and raise a family

My name is Derek Helie and I am running as a written candidate to represent constituents in District 9 as a city councilor. After learni...



My name is Derek Helie and I am running as a written candidate to represent constituents in District 9 as a city councilor. After learning who I am and what I believe in, I hope voters feel confident in writing my name on the ballot on November 2.

The most important aspect of my life is my family. I have been married to my loving and supportive wife for 12 years. She is truly a blessing and without her I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Together we have four amazing children, ages 12, 9, 7 and 3, who attend all of Greenfield’s public schools. Three years ago my wife and I decided to open our home to children in need and we became full foster parents. I cannot explain how rewarding it was to help these children through their times of desperation and hardship. I am also very grateful for this opportunity because without this choice of life, I would never have met our adopted 3 year old daughter.

I am very active in the school system. I have volunteered many hours on many school events including building the Newton School playground, reading to kids at a sleepover, book fairs, and tree planting. at Newton School.

We moved to Meadow Lane in Greenfield in 2011. I studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and got my bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. I am currently a senior manager for a large design-build company.

I have lived in many places throughout my career and my life, but none are bigger than the town of Greenfield. I truly believe the town of Greenfield is a great place to feel at home and raise a family. I also believe that all great things can be better and this is what I would like to discuss here.

TAX CHARGE: New property taxes have continued to skyrocket since I moved into my house. We currently have the third highest tax rate in all of Massachusetts and are narrowly behind the race to become the highest taxed city in Massachusetts.

GCET FOR ALL CITE 9: When GCET was announced, I paid a deposit to reserve a space. After years of monopolization by Comcast, it has been almost six years since GCET was established and yet we still do not have access to this service. As Greenfield taxpayers, there is no excuse that this service has not been provided to the entire 9 compound.

RETURNING BUSINESSES TO GREENFIELD: It seems businesses are leaving Greenfield or not coming in the first place. I would like to change that attitude and bring businesses back to Greenfield. My goal is to help find solutions to make Greenfield attractive to business and bring employment opportunities back to Greenfield.

DOWNTOWN GREENFIELD REVITALIZATION: Let’s face it, in my opinion, downtown Greenfield is in need of a major makeover. How can we work with homeowners to revitalize downtown Greenfield? I would love to represent your voices and help revitalize downtown Greenfield.

CAPITAL PROJECTS: We have major capital projects underway in the Town of Greenfield. I would like voters to understand my beliefs in the big projects to come. My goal is to use my design-build and project management experience to improve forecasting of major capital projects and help reduce the burden on taxpayers.

LIBRARY PROJECT: As a parent, I voted for a new library in Greenfield. I voted this way because I agreed that the current library was too small, outdated, and did not comply with current building code regulations. However, I believe that due to the expiration of state grants the library project was rushed and not properly planned.

RELOCATION OF THE FIRE HOUSE: Anyone who has visited the fire hall with knowledge of municipal finances and assets would have agreed that the fire hall was undersized, outdated and in need of major repairs. I agree that a new fire station is needed. However, due to a lack of planning, taxpayers are now burdened with several large capital projects in consecutive fiscal years.

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS: Our sewer and water infrastructure is collapsing and costing taxpayers significant amounts of money. With proper planning, these projects could have been improved year by year, relieving taxpayers of a major financial capital investment in a short period of time.

Please take the time to read this. I look forward to representing you all and would appreciate your vote on November 2nd.

Derek Helieis lives in Greenfield and is a written candidate for Zone 9 City Council.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The Recorder - My Turn: Greenfield is a great place to feel at home and raise a family
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