My Goals for Westfield
Thursday, October 31, 2013 • 7:41am
I began my campaign for mayor with an introductory letter outlining my goals. In weekly updates I expanded on these goals hoping to interest you as well. The goals I have discussed come from my belief that while this is a great town we must constantly work to improve it. I close here by highlighting some of the ones most important to me.
I promise as your mayor that I will join the “Mayors against Illegal Guns” coalition. It is an organization developing moderate approaches to ending gun violence in this country with over 1000 mayors participating and 1.5 Million supporters across the country. Their legislative goals include such things as uniform background checks and prohibiting those on the no-fly terrorist watch list from buying guns. Our Mayor should be participating in Mayors against Illegal Guns to defend safety in Westfield.
Westfield deserves direct train service, during peak times, to New York City during commute hours and as Mayor I will work relentlessly to achieve this goal. This would benefit not only our commuters but increase the values of all of our homes. In 2008, our current mayor pulled Westfield out of the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition, the primary group working for the single seat ride. As your Mayor I will bring Westfield back into the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition to help bring us a One Seat ride into New York City. Today I delivered 566 signatures from my web site petition to lobby NJ Transit for a single seat ride to the new Raritan Valley Rail Coalitions (RVRC) petition.
Our taxes keep rising, almost 70% under our current mayor, and our services have declined. In 2010 we declined stimulus money available for Westfield to participate in any of the state energy saving programs. We should issue a request for proposals for a private company to manage our conservation center. This will not only save us the cost of shipping our leaves to Summit but will be a revenue source. I will insist on a clearly stated need and to see the total costs including the financing, operating and maintenance costs for any capital purchase. I will appoint an ad-hoc committee to investigate how other towns are sharing services that we are not. We need to be proactive.
I believe that our first spending priority should be safety and that the most urgent safety need is for an increase in the number of firemen, not for mobile command centers. The cuts to our fire department have left us with 7 man platoons. If a truck with three firemen arrives at a burning home there is little they can do until more firemen arrive. This has occurred many times causing unnecessary damage to occur and in one case, where the neighbors all report a 20 minute gap before the second truck arrived a house to burn down. That shouldn’t happen. We have a paid fire department and it should be sufficiently staffed. We should encourage more volunteers to supplement them and deliver the best fire safety we can.
Those are my top priorities. Beyond them, I will acknowledge the clear statistics about the Central Avenue cross walk, identify the cause of the increased accidents and solve the problem. I will change the council agenda item to “Public comments, questions AND answers" because our residents have no other time to ask their elected officials in public about issues that matter to them. You deserve public answers.
I hope you share my vision of a continuously improving Westfield and will honor me with your vote on November 5th.