Northfield Councilman reflects on two terms in office

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Steve Vain addresses the crowd gathered at the dedication of the Veterans Park memorial on Nov. 17. Steve Vain addresses the crowd gathered at the dedication of the Veterans Park memorial on Nov. 17.

NORTHFIELD—Steve Vain was first elected to City Council in 2006 representing the second ward. He will not be returning to council in January and had a few things to say Thursday, Dec. 20 about representing the city where he lives and works.

Vain teaches seventh grade social studies at the Northfield Community School. For the past six years he did more than simply teach his students about how the government works, he was a part of it and able to give his students the inside view of how a municipality works.

Maybe not ever in the lesson plan but Vain also showed his students that a community runs on its citizenry and volunteers who step up to the plate and agree to help.

As a member of council Vain said he is really proud of the work he was able to see to completion. He highlighted the redesign of the Zion, Cedarbridge and Burroughs avenues as a big improvement to traffic in that end of the town. “I was really glad to be able to come up with a plan that worked and then get all sides to work together,” said Vain.

He pointed to the speed humps installed on the roads leading to the school and lowering the speed limit along Burton Avenue. Vain was also the push behind the crossing lights at Mill Road and Burton Ave along with Tilton at the bike path. “I feel really good about those projects; I think they really helped make Northfield safer overall.”

Vain was also involved from the start with the Veterans Park project. “I have a deep respect for veterans and really enjoyed working on this project. I guess because my dad was a Marine, it felt like something I should be a part of. I was glad because it honors all of our veterans and it was something that my brother Bill could get involved with and he enjoyed working on it as well,” said the outgoing councilman. 

Vain said he hopes to continue working on the veterans’ park project in some capacity. “There is a parking lot and more in the next phase that will make it a great asset for the city.”

Vain also spoke of Northfield Mayor, Vince Mazzeo and said, “The mayor and I might be from different parties but I can honestly say there is not a better person for that job.

Reflecting over the past six years Vain said, “I have really enjoyed my time on City Council. It’s not an easy job; you miss a lot of things in your own private life because you have made a commitment to the residents of the city. But sitting back and not getting involved is just not my style; being able to help the town where you live, work and raise your family leaves you with a good feeling,” concluded Vain. 

Jim Travagline will represent the second ward on Northfield City Council after the January 2 reorganization. 

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