A few weeks ago, a small crew came and filled some of the potholes and paved over the grass growing along the edge of our street. We have lived in our house in Westfield for over 30 years. For more than 20 of those years we have been trying to get our street paved. Not a few holes filled but actually milled and paved. We understand that it is not one of the busiest streets in town but it seems that over more than 30 years every street should be repaved at some point.

Years ago I called the Public Works Department about the condition of the street and was told to call my town council members. I never understood exactly why — is having a street paved a political issue? But I called them anyway and was told that there was a master plan and that our street would get on the list. Every year we’re told that we didn’t make it to this year’s list. I finally saw the town’s “master plan.” It is from 2002, with some minor additions regarding fair share housing in 2009 and 2013. Much of it is based on data from 1964-1997. It says nothing about paving streets. 

Shouldn’t we have a plan based on rational data about paving the streets? Shouldn’t we revisit the town’s master plan at least every decade? (Municipal Land Use Law actually requires that the master plan be reexamined every six years!) Has nothing changed since 2002? Planning is at the core of what the mayor and town council are supposed to be doing so that the town can be a vibrant place to live and work.