Mayor Skibitsky's Record of Fiscal Responsibility
Friday, October 25, 2013 • 7:24pm
One of the reasons I entered public service is that, as a business executive, I am of the belief that all levels of government must relentlessly pursue cost efficiencies in the delivery of their respective services. To that end, my philosophy since becoming Mayor has been to “do more with less.” We have done just that.
The Town of Westfield retains only 16.8% of the property taxes it collects. Since I became Mayor, the council has responsibly reduced the size of the Town’s workforce, through attrition, by 20%. That means that Westfield tax-payers are paying less for Town employees today than they were in 2005.
Additionally, I worked closely with all five collective bargaining units in Town, so that each unit responded to our tax-payers’ needs in negotiating their contracts. All the while, we have continued to improve town services. In addition to decreasing our expenditures, by working closely with our elected officials at the State and Federal levels, the Town has secured over $3.3 million in grant monies from the County, State, and Federal governments.
In 2012, we refinanced our bonds at a substantially lower interest rate, yielding a savings to the Town of over $180,000. Because of careful planning, the Town correctly and promptly met all of the requirements for FEMA reimbursement after Super Storm Sandy.
My opponent cannot change history. Although he claims that I have not managed the budget responsibly, he has voted YES on 29 out of 33 of my operating and capital budgets. And, while he attacks the utility of the sewer fee, he neglects to mention that he voted in FAVOR of the fee.
Moreover, my opponent knows that without the fee, municipal services would have to be significantly reduced to what the members of the Town Council UNANIMOUSLY determined to be unacceptable levels. Similarly, my opponent voted in FAVOR of granting the contract for the mobile command center, which he has since attacked for the sake of political expediency.
If he genuinely believed that these budgets and policies were not in the best interest of the residents of Westfield, it is my sincerest hope that he would not have voted in favor of them. For my opponent to attack my record now is simply political rhetoric. The Westfield voters deserve better than that. If re-elected, I vow to continue to scrutinize every line item of our budget while improving municipal services. I thank you for allowing me the chance to serve as your Mayor, and I ask for your vote on November 5th.