WESTFIELD, NJ — Shelley Brindle, Democratic candidate for mayor of Westfield, held a campaign kickoff party at Ferraro’s Restaurant Thursday night.

Brindle was introduced by former Westfield Mayor Tom Jardim.

Speaking to a crowded room (about 200 people had registered, according to her campaign), Brindle rallied supporters.

Sign Up for E-News

Brindle spoke about her background as an executive at HBO, where she said her success stemmed from empowering the people she worked with.

“It’s not anything kind of thing that you do It’s the people, right? And if you can actually be honest and open with people you teach them, or you listen to them and you empower them appropriately and you hold them accountable. When you do that, you create a culture where people feel valued, rewarded and trusted. And when people work in that environment, anything is possible,” Brindle said.

“My people-focused culture at HBO ultimately resulted in our best subscriber performance in 30 years and some really pretty interesting, innovated products — HBO Go and HBO NOW," she said.

Brindle explained why she left her job at HBO.

“I honestly believe that at some point it is time to create opportunities for the next folks to lead,” she said.  “I didn’t want to be that person that stayed to long. And we all know what happens when people stay too long. Group-think sets in. People get insular. They get defensive. You hear commonly, ‘We tried that before. That won’t work here.’ We know that, right?”

Brindle said that when she looks at Westfield, she sees unrealized opportunity.

“I see it in the untapped potential of our residents, or in our landlords and businesses who are so vital to the town and our town employees,” she said. “And so I want to be mayor because I want to create an inclusive and open government where everybody has a voice, where everybody matters.  Because I see when you create that culture what you’re capable of doing together. And that’s certainly not what we’ve experienced in this town for certainly the last four to eight years.”

Brindle's opponent Mayor Andy Skibitsky, who is running for a fourth term, will hold his re-election campaign kickoff party next week.