The City Council is the legislative body for the city and exercises its powers in accordance with Massachusetts General Law and our home rule city charter. The members of the City Council are elected by voters of Greenfield biannually; terms of office are four years.
- There are nine precinct councilors elected by their respective precincts.
- There are four at-large councilors who are voted on by the entire Greenfield electorate, for a total of thirteen councilors.
- Council business is conducted at regular meetings on the third Wednesday of each month.
- There are four standing subcommittees that usually meet once per month: Appointment and Ordinance Committee, Community Relations Committee, Economic Development Committee, and Ways and Means Committee.
WHAT WE DO
The City Council is responsible for:
- Adopting a fiscal year budget.
- Adopting or amending city ordinances.
- Approving appropriations and funding requests.
- Affirming mayoral appointments to multi-member boards.
- Vote on city and zoning bylaws.
- Approving the purchase and/or sale of city-owned land.
- Approving city fiscal year tax rates.
- Numerous other items within their purview.
City Council meetings take place on the third Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the main room of the John Zon Community Center at 35 Pleasant Street and via Zoom. All City Council meeting, sub-committee meeting, and public hearing notices are posted on the calendar, along with agendas and Zoom links.
WHY DO WE HAVE A CITY COUNCIL?
At the annual town election held on June 11, 2002, the voters approved a revised town charter. The new city form of government which includes a mayor and city council became effective on July 1, 2003. The City Council consists of 13 members: four Councilors at-large and nine precinct councilors elected to represent each of the nine voting precincts in Greenfield. At the urging of the citizens, the Charter Commission chose to continue to refer to the city of Greenfield as the "town of Greenfield." On January 17, 2019 Governor Baker signed a charter amendment which officially changed the name from the town of Greenfield (also known as "the city known as the town of Greenfield") to the city of Greenfield.
WHAT IS MY PRECINCT?
You can find your precinct number here.
THE HISTORY OF GREENFIELD GOVERNMENT
Greenfield was incorporated on June 9, 1753. The government functioned under the traditional open town meeting form of government. In 1921, through a special act of the Legislature, the citizens adopted a representative form of government. Again, in 1983, the voters approved a new form of government under the home rule charter which included a five-member board of selectmen, 27-member town council, and a town manager form of government.
Since a charter change in 2003, Greenfield has been governed by an elected city council and a mayor. The former town council is now called the city council and consists of four at-large councilors and nine councilors that are elected from one of the city's nine electoral precincts. Most other city boards are appointed, with the exception of the seven-member school committee, which consists of the Mayor plus six members elected at-large.
In December 2017, the Town Council voted to remove "the Town of" designation, making Greenfield known as the City of Greenfield. The Governor signed into law legislation that officially changed the name of "The City known as the Town of Greenfield" to the City of Greenfield.