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Candidate Jennifer Hayes says she’s ready to represent District 2 in Easthampton

  • SARAH GANZHORN<br/>Jennifer Hayes is running for District 2 councilor in Easthampton. She is currently unopposed.
  • Easthampton City Councilor Salem Derby<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Easthampton City Councilor Daniel Hagan<br/> JERREY ROBERTS
  • Easthampton City Councilor Joy Winnie<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Daniel Rist

There will be a new name on the ballot, though, as Jennifer A. Hayes of 116 Pleasant St. is the sole candidate aiming to replace District 2 Councilor Justin P. Cobb. She has served on city boards in the past and when Cobb announced he was retiring, she said she decided to pursue the job as the district’s representative.

“I really like that there are so many different aspects to this precinct,” Hayes said in an interview at the Gazette office Wednesday. “We have a little of the downtown, Arcadia, the mills that are being redone. It’s a really diverse precinct.”

Hayes, 43, works part-time as the manager of the Apollo Grill in the Eastworks Building, where she has an apartment. She is the project manager for Apollo Grill owner Casey Douglass’ new restaurant, Galaxy, due to open at 60 Main St. in a little over a month. She also works as an art and furniture appraiser, appraising mid-century modern pieces for insurance claims.

A native of Westford, she moved to Easthampton seven years ago and to her current home in District 2 five years ago.

She was a volunteer on the board that helped write the city’s master plan in 2008. “It gave me a great understanding of what’s in the master plan,” she said.

She served on the Historical Commission in Northampton for about five years starting in 2001, and on the same board in Easthampton for two years starting in 2006.

Because of her interest in historical buildings, she has been closely following the city’s process of deciding how to dispose of the former Parsons School in New City. A City Council subcommittee is considering the issue and neighbors have suggested, among other things, that it be saved as a park or sold to a developer as a spot for commercial or mixed-use development.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of proposals come through,” she said. “It’s definitely an important issue for the district.”

Hayes said she would like to see information about council business be more easily accessible, and more consistent communication among residents and their councilors. She said perhaps an online forum or district meetings are the answer.

“I’m looking forward to being part of a progressive, dynamic group,” she said of the council.

The other district councilors running unopposed for re-election Tuesday are District 1 Councilor Daniel C. Hagan, 63, of 24 Highland Ave.; District 3 Councilor Joy E. Winnie, 54, of 157 Holyoke St.; District 4 Councilor Salem Derby, 39, of 15 West View Terrace; and District 5 Councilor Daniel D. Rist, 61, of 38 Plain St.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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