Walking door-to-door since spring, the most important thing I’ve learned is that behind the doors of the homes in Ward 1 live some of the most honest, hard-working, family-oriented and generous people you’ll ever meet. Some have been kind enough to support my campaign through donations, walking our neighborhoods with me, and hosting events. For that, I’ll be forever grateful. The decision to run for office — for me — is about helping these same friends and neighbors by taking responsibility for our Town and the families who live here. I want to make sure their tax dollars are spent on the things they should be. That they feel safe coming home and letting their kids out to play. That our kids want to do what so many others who grew up in Westfield have: come back home to raise their own families.
I’ve unfortunately learned a lot about negativity. There is no justification, no exception for engaging in the same behavior that our schools work hard to eliminate from the character of our children. Our residents have real concerns and cares; having met so many of them, I can say with certainty that they do not care to see this behavior any longer. If you want that sort of thing in your government, you’ve unfortunately got plenty of options. If you’re tired of it and want local politics to be about what it should — neighbor helping neighbor — then I’d love to have your vote.
Finally, I’ve learned enough about the challenges we face as a town to see them in a different light: as possibilities. Yes, we have empty stores downtown. I see them as places reserved for the new businesses that will make Westfield an example of Downtown success in a new era. We will do this through incentives to tenants, a home and Downtown business referral network and modernized parking that uses solar panels to provide weather protection, power for lighting and charging stations and power to spot sensors that will let shoppers know the location of available spots through a new downtown app. We don’t have the fields we need for our kids. But we have a plan on the shelf — one formulated with the input of sports leagues, recreation commission and yes, residents. We can put it in place now as part of a larger planning process so that our kids can play their home games at home. As the only one of the candidates with actual experience on a Planning or Zoning Board, I’m looking forward to being part of that process with your vote. And while it is unfortunate we have become targets of theft, we can use that an opportunity to build a real neighborhood network that will bring us closer together as a community.
These ideas have all sorts of detractors and naysayers, and that’s ok — that’s how most successes come about. Working together, we’ll push past negativity and make local government about what my kids think it is: public service for the benefit of community. If you agree, please trust me with your vote, and put me to work.