I have been a Westfield resident for over 22 years. My first child, Meghan, arrived four days after closing on our Southside home in April 1997. Although my two children are adults now, I have always been interested in innovative ideas that will improve outdoor spaces for children in order for them to have the freedom and choices to pursue activities either inside or outside those offered by the school system, the town or various other league sports. 

Scott Katz is extremely enthusiastic in maintaining our public parks while making sure that we have enough field space for organized team sports.  He is also interested in increasing use of our parks and open spaces by improving upon and/or creating bicycle and pedestrian safety measures when moving around town. I am particularly energized about bicycle and pedestrian safety innovations.

My second child, Brian, is pursuing his career as a skateboarder and this falls in line with my thoughts on bicycle paths and pedestrian safety. It is common knowledge that after middle school, the ability to play on a high school team is limited by talent and roster numbers (rightfully so). Increased bicycle and pedestrian safety (which is included in Mayor Brindle’s work on Westfield’s first parks master plan) will allow kids to access spaces where they can be involved in individual activities, such as skateboarding, biking, scootering and the like. While these are individual sports, they are comprised of a community of kids who gather, socialize and support each other as they hone their individual skills. After meeting with Scott Katz for coffee, early on in the campaign, his dedication to alternative activities and these kids and their needs has impressed me.

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An important issue is Westfield’s need for a peak one seat ride on the Raritan Valley Line (RVL). Near and dear to my heart is Mayor Brindle’s fight for peak one seat rides and just plain better train service. Scott’s gung-ho attitude in joining Mayor Brindle in this fight is encouraging. As a former Manhattan commuter, I feel the pain of the current commuters. My husband Jerry is currently experiencing the myriad of delays on a daily basis. The peak one seat ride is a must for Raritan Valley Line (RVL) commuters. It is no longer a once or twice a month experience of late and cancelled trains.  It is 2-3 times per week each way. In my own house, I’ve got a grumpy and stressed spouse arriving home anywhere from 7-9 pm (7 being hopeful). I cannot imagine the toll this takes on a household with young children wherein both parents are commuting and need to get home to child care providers, dinner for children, baths, homework and a proper bedtime. Scott, working along with Mayor Brindle and the RVL Mayor’s Alliance, will do everything in his power to change this attitude among the powers that be that RVL riders will just deal with the status quo.

In closing, if you haven’t met Scott Katz, he will probably be at your doorstep to answer all your questions sometime soon.  Go to his FB page at Scott Katz for Ward 4 and see how he stands on issues that concern you. Whether you meet him on-line or in person you will be greeted with an ever smiling, enthusiastic, proactive Westfielder who will do his utmost to improve the lives of Westfield residents from tiny tots to seniors. I’ll be casting my vote for Scott Katz via early voting at the office of Union County Clerk, 300 North Ave, Westfield.  Join me or vote by mail or at your polling place on November 5, 2019. 

Lisa Donovan O'Dwyer
Westfield, NJ