I’m writing to express enthusiastic support for Jim Boyes’ candidacy for Westfield Town Council. As a 40-year Westfield resident, I’ve encountered a lot of candidates for local office. I’ve read their biographies and campaign literature and followed the conduct of their campaigns. Over the years, I’ve voted for Democrats and Republicans but this is the first time I’ve stated my preference in a public forum, and I am happy to do that for Jim.

Jim is an environmental engineer and risk management expert. His background will be especially important as the town seeks to meet current challenges while creating a clear vision for its future that builds on and enhances the qualities and opportunities that make living in Westfield desirable. This is especially relevant to me. I raised my family here. I have children and grandchildren living here and I want to be able to live out my retirement here.

I first got to know Jim about 20 years ago when he was appointed to the Parking Advisory Council and worked with local residents concerned about plans to construct a parking facility in the First Ward. This was a highly contentious and often emotional debate. Jim distinguished himself throughout by a calm search for facts, a willingness to listen to all points of view and a forthright determination to bring concerns of residents to the Advisory Council and ultimately to the Town Council. I am also well aware of Jim’s hard work to reinvigorate Westfield’s Green Team where he’s been engaging local businesses in finding new ways to make their operations more sustainable while reducing costs and environmental impact.

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And then there are the goats. There is probably no better example of Jim’s willingness to find new, environmentally sound and sustainable solutions to old problems than exploring how some neighboring towns are using goats to manage vegetation in public open space areas.  This is the kind of unabashed out-of-the box thinking Jim will deploy in all aspects of town governance. He will not be afraid to investigate, consider, and assess with his engineer’s acumen the efficacy and potential application of creative or what some might consider unconventional solutions.

Jim’s willingness to volunteer and to serve the community — Green Team, coaching youth sports, the Neighborhood Watch, Ward One Community Connect — is well-known and appreciated among his neighbors. He’s a commuter who knows how important a reliable transit system is to the quality of life of residents and the economic vitality of the town. He’s a homeowner lovingly restoring a 100+ year-old house who knows first-hand how Westfield’s history should inform its future. He’s a fact-driven professional who will bring years of relevant experience to Westfield governance. Westfield has made great progress over the past two years in financial management, delivery of services, infrastructure, and improving the vibrancy of downtown. Jim is the right person to help continue that progress. And he is the right person to help finalize the Master Plan so important for building Westfield’s future.

One final point.  I make this recommendation because I’ve come to know Jim as an optimistic, open-minded, positive, and decent person. In my opinion, these attributes are as important as professional qualifications. I urge my neighbors and First Ward residents to vote for Jim Boyes to represent us on the Westfield Town Council.

Neil Brown

Prospect Street
Westfield, NJ