I have been a long-time resident of Union County, grew up in Cranford but now live a little west. I have been a fan of the great town of Westfield for all my life. The people, the downtown area, the first class athletic and scholastic programs, as well as the overall beauty of the Township have always been a beacon of light and hope in Union County. Today we seem to find ourselves in a politically charged environment of attacks, lies, mis-trust and mis-deeds, no matter your political affiliation.

I would like to offer a CHARACTER reference for Mr. Rich Bodmer who is running for Westfield Township’s Council Ward 2 this upcoming election. I am offering this because not only have I known Mr. Bodmer for over 20 years, but he is a true Patriot, serving in our nation’s Navy, he is deeply concerned how our veterans are being treated, and he supports many Veteran charities in NJ, that help our local heroes. He stands tall in the fight against corruption, and his desire to revitalize the downtown area.

I have taken notice of the many store front vacancies in this most wonderful town, and have asked the question as to “WHY”? What is happening with Westfield that they can no longer attract, support and maintain small businesses? I have spoken to Mr. Bodmer about this, and I truly feel that with his hard work, dedication to excellence, and commitment to the people of Westfield, he will work hand in hand with many of the anchor tenants in the area to create a thriving downtown area. Rich has been a long time Westfield resident, and we often recall days and nights spent at the RIALTO, the local movie theater currently standing vacant.

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Recently, when I reached out to Mr. Bodmer for help with some local Veterans, he answered the call. He draws on his Pro-Football network, his NASCAR Team, and many other local Patriots to pitch in. With our VA and the help of concerned citizens, we can win the battle against PTSD, Veteran unemployment, suicide, and we can collectively combat the effects of mental health issues that our Vets face. I trust in the integrity and leadership of Mr. Bodmer to not only to continue to aid our nations heroes, but also to act and restore downtown Westfield to the glory of old and make it a true revival story.

In short, whatever your political party affiliation, I ask you to look at the person and what they will do for your community. I stand behind Mr. Bodmer for his values, his commitment to the people of Westfield, his integrity, and his ability to overcome odds placed against him. He is a fighter, and he’ll fight for us all.

God Bless America

Robert Vicci, LTC (Ret) the CEO of VetREST, a West Point Graduate, an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and past NJ Army National Guard Blackhawk Battalion Commander (The Vandals).