My family and I moved to Westfield 5 years ago without really knowing anyone in town, and certainly not understanding the local political scene. Shortly after moving in, I had the opportunity to meet Councilman Mark LoGrippo…not at a campaign event, town meeting or athletic event... but rather by a knock at my front door. It turns out Mark LoGrippo, in acting as his capacity as Ward 3 Councilman, was simply canvassing the neighborhood and checking in with neighbors. I don’t recall the conversation, but I do remember the occasion because I thought it so rare and unique for a local politician to be taking time away from his family on a weekend outside of an election season just to be knocking on doors and checking in. That is why I find myself writing this letter.
A short time later, I had a reason to reach out to the town about a construction project across the street from me. Not familiar with the local town ordinances, I had several questions and concerns regarding the number of trees the developer had cut down. I was referred by the town to none other than… Mark LoGrippo. It turns out that as part of Mark’s many duties, he serves on the Westfield’s Tree Conservation Committee. After explaining my concerns to Mark, he arranged for a meeting at my house with him and then Councilman David Oliveira. Together, they came prepared with the site plan for the project, as well as a complete listing of the trees that should not have been cut down by developer. This was apparently an ongoing concern in town, and Mark detailed to me all his efforts to enact stiffer penalties against developers for such actions. What was most impressive about this entire encounter was the promptness in which Mark responded and the time spent providing a thorough response regarding the issue.
Over the years, I have had several reasons to reach out to Mark, many times as a result of issues related to roadways, utility companies, construction projects, or the downtown. What stands out the most is not just how quickly Mark responds, but the time and care he takes to provide detailed information on the subject matter (I can’t say the same for my encounters with other members of the town council). He truly cares about our community and is always fighting to keep Westfield the great town it is, even with all of the challenges.
I have never written a letter on behalf of anyone in a public forum, and I have never been involved in local politics. However, as a resident of Westfield and specifically Ward 3, I would be concerned if Mark was not representing our interests. With the national political scene being what it is, it has become easy for folks to just vote along party lines, more specifically against national candidates, in local elections.
I am not here to tell you who to vote for, but I am telling you that if you are truly interested in the success of Westfield and Ward 3, take the time to meet Mark LoGrippo and understand what he has done for Westfield over the last several years. Experience and leadership are hard to replace.
Westfield Ward 3 Resident