I am deeply humbled and excited to announce that, after careful consideration, and with the support and blessing of my family, I have decided to run for re-election in the hopes of continuing to serve as your mayor. Many will ask why I want to continue to serve as an elected official in this highly polarized political environment. My decision to run for re-election turns, as it has in the past, on my love for this town and for the beautiful fellowship that exists among our residents and numerous institutions and community groups — our houses of worship, schools, athletic leagues, charitable, cultural and artistic organizations, the Westfield Community Center, the Westfield Neighborhood Council and our business community, to name a few. It is a fellowship that is inspiring.
We live in a complex world where there is no “one size fits all” solution for real issues that face our families and communities. As mayor, it is important to foster an environment that encourages input and problem-solving from all perspectives. To that end, I consider my temperament to be one of my strengths, and civility in our town government to be one of my successes. By working closely with community leaders, opening the mayor’s office for Saturday morning office hours and recruiting talented professionals and volunteers, I am proud of the achievements that the town has seen under my leadership.
For example, during my first term as mayor, I vowed to rein in spending and to set a course for sustainable and fiscally responsible budgets. These efforts of cutting costs and optimizing resources have proven successful. In fact, Westfield is one of only 17 of the 565 municipalities in the state to carry the coveted S & P triple-A rating. Under this rating, the town’s financial situation has been described as: “strong management,” “strong budgetary performance,” “very strong budgetary flexibility,” “very strong liquidity” and “strong debt and contingent liability profile.” I am running for another term because I am committed to not only preserving, but advancing, our fiscal strengths.
We are in the midst of many wide-spread cultural and demographic shifts and our response in this time of transition has the potential to positively influence and secure the quality of life in this town for decades to come. For example, our downtown remains at the heart of our community. In light of store-front vacancies that Westfield and similar towns are experiencing as a result of the changing retail paradigm, I created the Downtown Task Force to develop a plan to address those conditions that fall within the town’s control and to ensure a welcoming and fruitful business environment under the “new normal.” I am encouraged by the successes we have already witnessed. For example, by removing some of the antiquated restrictions attached to liquor licenses, iconic Ferraro’s was able to expand its restaurant offerings and the town was able to attract the Harvest Group to open the popular Addam’s Tavern on Elm Street.
I am running for another term because I want to see that the goals we have set and the projects we started come to fruition – from improvements to our municipal parks, including Mindowaskin 2018, new bleachers at all our fields, the addition of bathroom facilities at Memorial Park, and superior field maintenance to an aggressive but fiscally manageable road paving schedule; from the beautification of public spaces, including hundreds of tree plantings, to implementing the forthcoming recommendations of the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force.
I am proud of Westfield’s progress under my leadership, and I am excited about our future. Armed with a sense of fellowship and community and supported by talented professionals and volunteers, I know that Westfield will continue to thrive and become an ever better place to call home. Thank you for your support four years ago. I look forward to serving the residents of this wonderful town for another four years and, as always, my door is open.
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