Candidate hopes to bring change

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Howard

GREENFIELD – It’s time for some new blood on Greenfield City Council, according to a candidate seeking the seat for District 4 on the west side of the city.

Michael Howard is running against two-term incumbent Jeff Lowder in the Republican primary.

Howard grew up in Hancock County and has lived in Greenfield off and on his whole life. He has been an electrician for over 34 years and has owned Arc Electric for over 25. Howard also spent over 20 years in facility maintenance at Keihin IPT, now Hitachi Astemo, in Greenfield. He and his family are working to turn the former 1st Baptist Church building at 404 S. West St. into a dinner theater.

“I’ve just always had a good head on my shoulders, know what’s right and wrong, and my opinions may be different than somebody else’s, but like any democracy, the majority vote is the way it’s got to be, whether it’s right or wrong,” Howard said. “I’d just like to see some new blood and serve some time on the council and see if we can improve Greenfield. … I’m just a good, level-headed person and feel like I can make a difference in the community.”

He said he doesn’t like some of the decisions the city council has made in the past.

“I just see a lot of things – some of it’s good decisions, some of it’s bad decisions – and so I’m just trying to put my two cents in,” he said.

Streets make up much of his concerns, Howard continued, adding he feels like the city is inconsistent and subpar with improvements to parts of them.

“We’re expanding all the time, we’re growing all the time, and that’s a good thing, but I just see things that I feel they need to put the money somewhere else,” he said.

When making decisions on new residential developments, he said, it’s important to not only weigh tax revenue and providing places for people to live, but also locations and impacts to people already living in the area.

If elected, he would be open and receptive to constituents, he said.

“Whatever the public needs, they’ll be able to call me or email me,” he said. “And if they have a concern, I can bring it to the board and we could see what we could do with it. … If there’s a concern or something – a tax hike or an extra fee or something like that – if they’ve got a concern, we can bring it before the board, find out what’s going on, get them an answer.”

The upcoming primary election marks Howard’s first time running for office.

“I’m just a blue collar worker and have been my whole life,” he said. “I know what it takes to keep your house up and going and keep the bills paid and stuff like that. And the economy and way things are today is tough, but we have extra expenses happen all the time, and so I want to be able to help people keep their expenses down.”