GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The House has released its proposal for the finalized districts and it is already getting pushback from local officials.
The new map would split the City of Greenfield between two districts. Mayor Roxann Wedegartner plans to formally object to that split through written testimony.
Greenfield is in the first Franklin County District along with Shelburne, Deerfield and Montague. However, the other half is in the second district, with Gill, Erving and Orange. The Mayor of Greenfield said this could lead to confusion for voters but could also make Greenfield less of a priority to state leaders.
“Greenfield is the largest community in our county, and we also were one of the few communities to gain population in the latest census. In no uncertain terms I am opposed to the City being split in half. We should be a cornerstone for any House Legislative District. I hope our City Council and other citizens of Greenfield will join me in opposition during the public comment period,” said Mayor Wedegartner.
“It was our belief up there that if we did not split the town of Greenfield the district would look kind of crazy, it would not make sense,” said Michael Moran, Assistant House Majority.
Committee members will be taking public testimony on the new maps over the next week or so. Chair members say they they are hoping to finalize the new districts by early November.
The mayor has submitted a letter to the state house requesting that they not go forward with the current proposal.
“We are the place where everyone comes for their services… we are the draw and we do not need to have to go to our legislators as a split voice but as a single voice,” said Mayor Wedegartner.
It’s worth noting there are some communities that are split up that are not major cities in western Massachusetts on this proposed map, like Westfield and Monson.