Letters to the Editor

Slater Thanks Westfield for Two Terms on Board of Education


Last week I concluded my second term as an elected board of education member thanks to the support of Westfield voters over the last six years. I wanted to take this opportunity to say "Thank You" to all the hard working taxpayers of Westfield that support the nearly $100 Million Budget annually through their property tax revenues.

When I ran for the board in 2010 I promised I would do my best as one out of nine members to be the voice of the taxpayer. I know that with every decision made at our table, regardless of topic, when money was involved tremendous due diligence was done by the board and specifically the Finance Committee which I was honored to serve on. I can assure you during my tenure every budget was meticulously analyzed, scrutinized and our Board Secretary Dana Sullivan, worked tirelessly to make sure all budgets were balanced, fair and that is why our audits were so successful year after year.

It is interesting how little one knows when first sitting on the board. Though I had a strong background in financial management and my day job involves that as well the world of New Jersey (specifically Education Funding) is in a universe by itself. The rules, regulations and codes alone take time to comprehend and then changes (for good and bad) are constantly being made by the DOE. But at the end of the day I am so proud of what is the most critical part of our board of education, and that is educating our 6000 kids to the best of our abilities. I couldn’t be prouder of our teachers, administrators and leaders at all of our schools. What really matters is that have made our kids feel welcome, wanted and worthy every single day.

Sign Up for E-News

There are those that question why didn’t we rank better or why did this magazine or that magazine include us in their best of issues. To me that's not the important question a parent should be asking. Perhaps asking your kids, especially those who have recently graduated like my children and you will hear how well prepared they feel day one in college. Guided by the great leadership of Dr. Dolan, the administration and the BOE Westfield Schools are challenging our students to reach their highest potential and encouraging them to become creative thinkers and responsible, productive citizens in our global society. The current board of ed led by President Gretchen Ohlig will continue to do that for years to come.

Being on the board of education is all about checking your ego at the door and although you are elected as an individual, you have no real legal authority on your own to fix problems or decide issues. The ultimate judgment is not what one board member accomplishes but what we do as a team. I can proudly say that the 15 board members I have served alongside, including the current board, have always acted together and with great respect on every critical issue we face. We may not always agree, which is democracy in action, but at the end of the day whatever decisions are made we all support them 100 percent. Sure, I would have preferred to win a few of the votes I lost and although I fought hard (and lost) a few contractual issues it is not about what's best for me, but what is best for the greater good of the entire district.  As Nelson Mandela wrote, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."

I couldn’t be prouder of all we have accomplished and once again I thank each and every taxpayer and voter and parent in Westfield for honoring me to serve you the last six years. I know I did my best, put in thousands of hours and although many call this the most "thankless" job in the world, I disagree. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to help make a difference, especially by leading our Technology Committee along with the incredible administration to get us where we needed to be- improving the infrastructure and integrating 21st Century Teaching and Learning Skills. Westfield is now not only "state of the art" but truly leading the way in Technology and STEM going forward.

Thank you again fellow Westfielders for giving me the opportunity to give back to a home my family has called home now for 25 years. I would buy you all a drink if that was possible!

By the way if you would like to view my actual farewell speech where I spoke more in detail please feel free to use the attached link in your browser.

Mitch Slater Farewell Speech -Board of Education on Vimeo

Mitch Slater

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Westfield Firefighters Give Assist at Overnight House Fire in Garwood

July 12, 2018

GARWOOD, NJ - The Westfield and Clark fire departments were on hand to assist at a house fire early Thursday morning in Garwood.  The fire was in the upper levels of a vacant home on Willow Avenue, according to officials.

Clark Fire Chief Frank Cerasa confirmed that five Clark firefighters took one engine to the site. One witness reported seeing emergency responders from ...

Change The Early Morning Timing on Central Ave. Traffic Light

July 12, 2018

In connection with asking Union County to review the signal timing, PLEASE also consider the timing early in the morning. I frequently am heading south on Central to Metropark Station to catch the 6 a.m. train. Whenever I am at the intersection prior to 5:30 a.m., the timing is such that a green light (going south) lasts for less than the amount of time it takes to get one car through the ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 6:00 PM

Westfield Presbyterian Church, Westfield

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Education Health & Wellness


Wed, July 18

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Westfield Area YMCA Wellness Wednesdays

Health & Wellness


Thu, July 19, 7:30 PM

Mindowaskin Park, Westfield

Free Swing Band Concert in Mindowaskin Park

Arts & Entertainment

Westfield Police Blotter: Car Scratchings, Car Burglaries Continue & More

July 11, 2018

July 2, 2018 11:37 p.m.

Chad Doriral, age 32, of Brooklyn, NY was arrested for possession of CDS pursuant to a motor vehicle stop. Subject was processed and released on summons.

July 3, 2018 11:08 p.m.

Divine Kennedy, age 19, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $1,000.00. Further investigation ...

Fall In Love With A Great Cause

July 14, 2018

The New Jersey Workshop for the Arts' Music Connection program provides children with special needs the opportunity to study music in a nurturing environment at a low cost, thanks to generous donations and grants. A $500 donation would provide one child a full course of music therapy and personalized music lessons.

During the ordeal of cancer diagnosis, Emmanuel Cancer Foundation steps in ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

Understand NJ's Shared Responsibility Act

Last year, the President signed legislation that repealed the “penalty tax” for not having health insurance for tax years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2019.


On May 31, Governor Murphy signed into law the “New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act,” which establishes a “shared responsibility tax” for state residents without ...

5 Things You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner

How an air conditioner works

Air conditioners use refrigeration to cool indoor air. When a liquid converts to a gas, it absorbs heat. This process is called phase conversion. Air conditioners use phase conversion by forcing refrigerants to evaporate and condense over and over in a closed system of coils. 

What air conditioner filters do

Filters remove particles from the air, keeping ...

14 Homes Sold July 1 - July 8, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Mountainside & Fanwood

Fourteen homes sold July 1 through July 8, 2018, in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Fanwood and Cranford.*

TOWN                  ADDRESS             STYLE    RMS       ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

'Servant of Two Masters' exudes foolish fun

‘Servant of Two Masters’ makes for foolish, frivolous fun

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ –Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters,” in a rousing translation and adaptation by Bonnie J. Monte, has the outdoor audience at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey laughing and clapping all the way through.

The yearly production, held at the amphitheatre on the ...

Commencement Collapse

July 1, 2018

Along with hundreds of parents in Westfield, my sons just graduated from high school (congratulations all!). It’s a funny thing being on the inside, being one of the moms who’s actually got kids in the flowy gowns. It’s a completely different vantage point than the one I’m used to; on many graduations past, I’ve felt deep joy while driving on Grove and seeing the ...

Westfield H.S. Students Receive Honorable Mention in NYT Podcast Contest

WESTFIELD, NJ — A podcast created by a group of Westfield High School students received an Honorable Mention in a first-ever podcast contest by the New York Times.

"By way of background, student groups in our Humanities class worked tirelessly on researching one of seven assigned renaissances and created a podcast that explored a particular innovation or innovator from the ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Woman Struck by Car in Bridgewater Mall Parking Lot Dies

July 12, 2018

Bridgewater, NJ - A Bedminster woman has died from her injuries after she was struck by a car in the parking lot of the Bridgewater Commons Mall Monday.

Marion Kelley, 62, was struck by a vehicle while walking in lot four near the Macy's merchandise pick up area at around 3:20 p.m. Monday.

The 2017 Mazda was driven by Chinmayi Parikh, 33, of Piscataway.

The crash is still being ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more