Reporter roundup

Candidates showed class

Hats off to the candidates for mayor in the spring primary election.

Too often in the news business, we see candidates in contentious races stray from the issues and resort to personal attacks lobbied at their opponents.

It leaves a sour taste for voters, who sometimes feel they are casting their vote for the least unfriendly of the contenders instead of the person whose vision they share. But that wasn’t the case in this year’s primary election for mayor.

Incumbent Chuck Fewell and challenger Judy Swift led clean campaigns, focusing on their plans for revitalizing downtown Greenfield and how they would make them a reality if elected. Neither disparaged the other while attempting to tell voters what set them apart.

The deadline for Democrats and Libertarians to slate candidates is July 6. Should there be more challengers in municipal races, they would be wise to follow the example set in May.

Program needs local support

Jobs for America’s Graduates is taking a positive step toward improving local schools’ dropout rates by pairing students with internship opportunities in fields they want to pursue.

For some of these students, who have been deemed at risk of dropping out by their guidance counselors, work that proves there really is life beyond high school is just what they need to stay motivated.

To date, JAG leaders have had little success securing partnerships with local businesses. City and county employers, especially those in trade professions, need to show their support by extending opportunities to the next generation of workers.

For some students, a one-on-one relationship with a mentor in a field that interests them could make all the difference in their decision to continue their schooling.

Cleaning up lawns worthwhile

If you’re a Greenfield resident who has looked at your neighbor’s messy property with disdain, take heart; the city is stepping up to help.

It’s an effort that not only protects property values but should remind residents their voices are being heard.

Greenfield Police Chief John Jester told the Daily Reporter the effort to crack down on problem properties is the result of a handful of complaints from area residents.

As a result, city officials are ramping up enforcement of local ordinances that govern the state of personal property. That means your neighbor whose lot is overgrown and heaped with trash and junk cars stands to get a visit from a city employee.

Keeping our city beautiful is everyone’s responsibility, but there’s only so much an unhappy resident can do to encourage a neighbor to get on board. The city has given residents a much-needed outlet for complaints, and it’s encouraging to see those with messy properties being held responsible.

Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or