Westfield Gets Grant to Fix Tennis Courts and More at Town Council Meeting

The council applauded Councilman James Foerst (left, with Councilman Mark LoGrippo) for raising money for charity while running in the New York City Marathon Sunday. Credits: Jackie Lieberman

WESTFIELD, NJ — During a council conference meeting Tuesday night, Town Administrator Jim Gildea announced that the Town of Westfield has been awarded a matching grant from Union County of $85,000 for improvements to the tennis courts at Tamaques Park. Money from the park improvement fund and the board of education could be used to match it, he said.

Councilman Sam Della Fera, chair of the finance policy committee, said that the plan was for the town itself to provide 50 percent or less of the cost.

If the plan goes forward, every part of the courts except the lighting could be taken out and replaced over the winter, according to Gildea.

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During the regular town council meeting later that evening, the council approved a resolution endorsing an amendment to the town’s 2013 housing plan element and fair share plan and the 2013 land use plan element of the Westfield master plan as well as a resolution endorsing the new housing plan element and fair share obligation from 2013-2024.

Mayor Andy Skibitsky presented Jeanne Gladis, a volunteer with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, a proclamation making November 2014 Pancreatic Awareness Month in Westfield. To read more on this, click here.

During public comments, resident Greg Kasko took issue with a statement made by Town Attorney Russell Finestein at the last town council meeting.  To read it, click here.

“Mr. Finestein reported that there was no evidence of criminality found by the prosecutor. That is not a great surprise, since it would have been necessary to obtain evidence of bribery, which was never alleged,” said Kasko.

When the town bought the mobile command center, Kasko said, “You were buying a floor model from Utah for a reduced price in the same way car dealers offer demo models for reduced prices. While it is most arguable that we even needed a mobile command center, there is no doubt that its purchase was disingenuous and the claim of a low price due to bargaining is ridiculous.”

"I'm accused of wasting the town's time and money," Kasko said to Finestein. "If you would answer questions and not tell people to go to the prosecutor, this would not have happened."

He also said, to the mayor, "You told me to go to the prosecutor and I did. You were the cause of the referral."

Councilman Frank Arena echoed Finestein’s request at the last meeting for an apology from Kasko “for your self-serving ad nauseam propaganda every-other week.”

“I stand by my statement,” said Finestein. “What’s coming is not questions, it’s accusations. I think an apology is in order.”

Adina Enculescu, who has argued against the HAWK pedestrian-activated mid-block light and crosswalk in front of her home, again told the council “it is very dangerous for everybody.”

“I can get used to this crosswalk in front of my house. I cannot get used to this injustice,” she said.

Other residents stepped up to praise the town, the mayor and the council for their work recently when it came to road improvements and leaf collections.

Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan and Councilwoman Vicki Kimmins were absent from the meeting.

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