Throughout the last six months I have had the pleasure of meeting so many new Ward 4 neighbors. I’ve also had an opportunity to have discussions with people I already knew on a new level. There soon emerged repetitive themes. In the 4th Ward, neighbors are dismayed over the condition of our roads. They worry about pedestrian safety and the state of our downtown. “Teardowns” are a hot topic as well, with many asking ‘what happens to all the extra tax revenue?” Another theme has also emerged; although less tangible, still vitally important. Many homeowners shared stories of attending council meetings and not feeling like their opinions were considered, or even welcome. Several talented residents with specific relevant and valuable skills offered their services to the town and were rebuffed. The topic of the Downtown Task Force came up with frequency. Residents wanted to know why they didn’t get a chance to participate. They wondered who got chosen and why. This is a valid concern that can be easily addressed through a more inclusive process of selecting future task force members. I am committed to opening up committees through a well communicated application process that includes the collection of resumes from those who would like to serve.
It makes sense to match skills with the appropriate positions. It doesn’t serve Westfield well to leave willing experts sitting on the sidelines. I believe improving the committee selection process in a logical and meaningful way will lead to substantial growth in civic engagement on the part of our residents. When citizens feel that their voices are valued, they are more apt to participate. When this happens our community grows stronger. I promise, as Ward 4 Councilwoman to be a strong voice — yours.
Ward 4 Council Candidate