Westfield Town Council Honors Dave Haas at His Last Meeting

Dave Haas speaks after Mayor Andy Skibitsky reads a proclamation honoring him. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
Standing: Janice Siegel. Seated in front: Kenneth MacRitchie. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — Mayor Andy Skibitksy read a resolution honoring Councilman Dave Haas for his nine years of service on the council at their meeting Dec. 17. It was Haas’ last night on the dais after having lost in the mayoral election against Skibitsky in November.

The mayor spoke of how Haas unselfishly sacrificed his time, demonstrated focus and teamwork and “earned the gratitude of his constituents,” and he expressed the council’s appreciation for his years of service.

“I’d like to thank the people I worked with,” said Haas after the resolution was read. He remarked that he didn’t always agree with them, which he thought was appropriate in a democracy. He also thanked his wife and family and said he looked forward to spending more time with them.

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Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan took a moment to thank Haas personally for his service and said, “I wish you all the best for the future.”

Many in the audience came to the microphone that evening to praise the councilman.

“Councilman Haas did an outstanding job of service to the third ward,” said former councilman Kenneth MacRitchie.

Janice Siegel, Chairperson of the Westfield Democratic Committee, called him hard-working, caring and a great intellectual.

“I know that Dave will continue to contribute to our town,” said Siegel.

Others said he served with honesty and integrity; that he showed concern and respect. After each speaker thanked Haas, the room filled with applause.

Also that evening, a public hearing was held regarding Ordinance 2014, which would keep the current flat sewer fee for a third year. Former councilman Kenneth MacRitchie objected that the sewer fee confuses forms of ownership with types of structures.

“Keeping things according to types of structures is a lot more clear,” he said.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance upon second reading. To read more about the sewer fee, click here.

The council approved a resolution authorizing the purchase of three 2014 Ford Police Interceptor vehicles, SUVs similar to the Ford Edge. And they approved a resolution authoring a contract for the lease of a new telecommunications system for all facilities. At a council conference meeting earlier that evening, Town Administrator Jim Gildea had said the new system would be an improvement over the current one and save the town money.

Also that evening, two people asked the council to pass a resolution opposing the closing of the Woodbridge Development Center and the North Jersey Development Center. To read that story, click here.

Councilman Keith Loughlin and Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins were absent from the meeting.

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