Curious, has anyone else noticed how most of the vacant store fronts on E. Broad and Elm Street have a “Shelley Brindle for Mayor” sign hanging in their windows?

I ask this because on Sept. 28, 2017, Ms. Brindle put out an article where she questioned the current administration’s leadership in having a vision to combat storefront vacancies. Well, if she has such close ties to those building owners (who are charging inordinately high rents, thus chasing away possible mom and pop businesses) or to the commercial real estate agents promoting those high rents, shouldn’t she have tried (pre-mayoral candidacy) to leverage these ties and her vast know-how as an EVP at HBO to help come up with solutions to benefit our town? Maybe she could have volunteered to be part of the Downtown Westfield Corporation? Or volunteered with some other official town group that takes on the challenging balancing act of capitalism and real estate ownership in a downtown?

Why didn’t Shelley get involved years ago with Westfield? Why did it take Shelley getting involved in a mayoral race (in a post-Trump election) to suddenly care about “master plans” and the future of our downtown? I know from my perspective I would feel better about a candidate running to become my mayor if she/he had ANY track record of being involved in our town prior to running for a significant office such as mayor.

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Westfield is a great town and Mayor Skibitsky has done an admirable job. He is also a true member of the community. I get the sense that Shelley might be a little bored after her amazing 27 year run transforming HBO and taking on NetFlix. I am sure she is a good person, and a very smart and accomplished corporate leader … when it comes to cable subscribers. But what in being a cable subscription leader (without any track record in doing anything with/for Westfield over those past 27 years) makes her qualified to be our next mayor? Being a long-time resident is not enough. My advice to Shelley: Go volunteer to be on the school board. Or do something with the library. Or vote consistently in local Westfield elections. Then come back in four years and run for mayor. I’ll give you a closer look then.

My message to my fellow Westfielders is that we live in a great town and Mayor Skibitsky and the town council have done a tremendous job being stewards of our hard earned dollars and fighting to maintain and increase property values. Yes, there are always areas we can improve – and I believe the current administration truly understands what those issues are and is working hard to keep our town a vibrant one. Also, our mayor and current council have done a great job holding the line against Trenton's efforts to remake our town and the all Democratic Union County Freeholders’ desire to take and take and take from the hard working residents of this town.

Sometimes change is good and called for, but this year don’t let an inexperienced, opportunistic mayoral candidate, or an unqualified, highly politicized town council candidate (who is trying to make this election somehow about Trump) push out positive, proven leaders with actual track records fighting for our town.