I need to be blunt: I like Andy Skibitsky, I really do. His wife Debbie is great too, and from what I can tell, he has wonderful kids.  But – here’s the blunt part – it’s time for Westfield to elect a different mayor. 

I served two terms as mayor of Westfield, first elected in 1996, and reelected in 1998 (this, when Westfield had only two-year terms). And I know from experience that the energy, the perspective, the desire to try new policies and search for new ideas isn’t the same on the thousandth day in office as it is on the first day in office.  It just isn’t. 

Andy has served as mayor since 2006, having served almost 12 years now.  He’s to be commended for that.  He – like all Westfield mayors before him – earns the princely sum of $1.00 per year. He is not corrupt or power-hungry. He serves, I believe, for the reason that all local elected officials, past and present, serve – to contribute; to be an active part of their community; to try to make our town better. But as much as we should thank Andy for his service, we should not give him another four years as our mayor. 

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I’ve known Shelley Brindle for a long time. Her family is a member of my church (First Congregational), her kids and mine were active members of the Youth Fellowship group, and her husband, Kip, is involved in the Westfield Boosters and other sports-related activities. I’ve lived in this town for almost 24 years now, and quite frankly, I have never seen another person quite like Shelley.  It’s not just her can-do attitude or her exuberant optimism, it’s that she has the intelligence, the experience, the business acumen to follow through on all of the great ideas she’s put forth in her campaign. I truly believe that she will move our town forward like no one before her.

Sometimes, you have to open the windows in Town Hall and let in some fresh air. This election is one of those times – for me, it’s not a hard choice:  I’m voting for Shelley Brindle for mayor, and for the good of our town, I hope you will too