As a candidate for the Westfield Town Council and a 22-year resident, I’d like to introduce myself to Third Ward voters.  I’ve dedicated most of my adult life to serving my country and my community—as a soldier, Army Reserve officer, public servant and FBI agent.  In addition to serving over two decades in uniform, I worked in local government—specializing in affordable housing, disability access and working on behalf of vulnerable populations with the NJ Family Court.  During my 21-year career with the FBI, I pursued fraudsters, drug dealers and violent criminals, then led a multi-agency task force that made impactful arrests and recovered hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars.

I gave back along the way, volunteering with the American Legion, Community Food Bank of NJ, Westfield Historical Society and sharing my work experience at school presentations, career day events and junior police academies. Finally, I worked with my neighbors, conducted research and spoke out to the Council and Planning Board when a convenience store was proposed near our street.

The Third Ward is the Gateway to the Heart of Westfield. It has diverse neighborhoods, senior housing, schools, houses of worship, dozens of family-owned shops and restaurants, and even a swim club—all of which have been neglected by an administration preoccupied with plans for massive, no-bid redevelopment. I will advocate for the day-to-day needs of ALL Third Ward residents who simply want the services they pay so much for and don’t receive. 

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As our town budget has expanded and taxes have been raised to seven-year highs, we continue to get less in return. While this Council considers allowing a marijuana dispensary to open and banning leaf blowers, businesses have left town in record numbers. Nearly $17.5 million in surplus funds have been spent these last four years, and yet we’ve seen no real improvements to our sidewalks, open spaces or playing fields.

I will use my experience leading a successful multi-agency task force to bring together parties with diverging interests to work toward common goals. My two decades in law enforcement will also make me an effective liaison between the Council and our valued public safety professionals. Finally, I’ll utilize my FBI background to help explore new strategies to confront rising crime rates and vehicle thefts in town.

As your next councilman, I’ll advocate for targeted development that protects our town’s character and neighborhoods, while reducing the impact of future building projects on schools. Instead of creating competition, I’ll support our existing businesses who continue to struggle to stay afloat through this pandemic. 

I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months and hearing your concerns directly during my Walking the Ward events.  You can also contact, follow and support my campaign on Facebook (@Mullen4Westfield) and online at www.Mullen4Westfield.com.

Shawn Mullen

Candidate for Westfield Town Council — Third Ward