Dear Residents,

Many of you have asked about what I intend to bring to Westfield as the Ward 2 Councilman.  After living here for 14 years and sending my sons from elementary into the high school, I’ve come to understand what I want to see from our representation in municipal government. Listening to over 400 residents in our ward, I’ve learned most of you have the same expectations.  As the Ward 2 councilman I can assure you that I will be reliable and accessible. What else should you expect from me?'

Insistence on the development of a master plan with the full participation of residents and business owners. Our Ward 2 neighbors and local business owners are key stakeholders. Your input must guide the process to create and implement a long-term vision for retail and parking. These crucial decisions affect our neighborhoods, home values, and the town’s economy. Part of Westfield’s charm is our picturesque downtown and landmark homes; we should be strengthening our investment in the preservation of historical properties whenever feasible. 

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A critical review of expenditures and maximization of transparency. Residents of Westfield should have a clear understanding of how our local government budget dollars are being spent. It should be the responsibility of our public officials to assess the town’s finances with a critical eye to identify monies that could be better spent elsewhere, such as infrastructure including lighting, signage and other areas of repeated resident concern.

Lessen the tax burden by finding alternative revenue sources.. Westfield’s property taxes are among the highest in Union County. Our elected officials should be researching sources of income  beyond taxes and fees to help our town maintain the highest level of services.  We need to investigate available grants and public-private partnerships to reduce our dependency on tax increases to cover expenses. 

Establish sustainable environmental programs that pay for themselves. Our beautiful town should have programs in place to cultivate and improve upon the town aesthetics and environment. Initiatives could include energy audits of town buildings, a reinvigoration of Westfield’s existing Green Team, and incentives to encourage more solar paneling.  Additionally, I will partner with local businesses to promote their participation, and to find ways to make in their financial interest to do so.

Most importantly, I will foster a culture of collaboration and public engagement.  During my campaign for Town Council, I’ve met many of my neighbors who feel that their voices aren’t being heard.  Our town government needs to build relationships with residents as we move toward the future.  We should be creating a collaborative vision for Westfield, not one developed by just those holding office.

Michael Dardia
Ward 2 Town Council Candidate