Dear Editor:

As a member of the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force, I encourage all Westfield residents to read the group’s comprehensive Initial Report of Research and Recommendations concerning our acclaimed downtown. The report is available on the Town’s website at www.westfieldnj.gov.  I'll be happy to mail any resident a copy upon request.

Residents can share their thoughts on the report with the mayor and town council by emailing mayorandcouncil@westfieldnj.gov.

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I look forward in the coming weeks and months to working with Mayor Skibitsky and my council colleagues to implement many of the exciting changes proposed in the initial report, including reduced parking enforcement hours, reduced overtime parking fines for those with few violations, modernized parking meter heads, improved streetscapes, more permitted and innovative uses of downtown properties and enhanced public spaces and events. These efforts will supplement the actions already taken by the mayor and council in recent years to keep our downtown special, including eliminating archaic restrictions on the use of liquor licenses, improving the intersection of Elm and Broad Streets and extending the sidewalk café season.

We already have created a nationally recognized downtown that is a destination for businesses and residents alike.  Even so, with steady and informed leadership and a continued partnership with businesses and residents, I am convinced that the best is yet to come for Downtown Westfield.