TAPintoWestfield: Shelley Brindle: My Platform For Mayor
As a 23-year resident, I’m running for mayor because we deserve better and can do better.
I retired from HBO as an executive vice president last year to pursue a new chapter in public service, motivated to honor my dad’s sacrifice as an Air Force pilot killed in Vietnam, and my mom’s resilience in raising three kids on her own.
It’s time Westfield’s tradition of citizens as public servants be revived; I’m committed to honoring the two-term limit agreement that was in place before the current mayor ran three terms ago. Westfield does not need, or benefit from, career politicians.
I’m also committed to being your mayor full-time, at no pay. Here’s how we can lead our community in building a vibrant and exciting future. Together we will:
1) Chart A Vision. Our future needs to embrace smart growth, innovation and new technology. We must reignite our historic downtown, enhance community engagement, preserve historic properties, and drive new sources of revenue, without relying on property tax increases, to improve services and enhance our overall quality of life. The first step is to work together as a community to develop a visionary and relevant Master Plan to replace the outdated plan from 2002. This Master Plan will include a short and long-term vision for Westfield, serving as a roadmap for smart development that increases town revenues, creates a retail destination anchored by a vibrant work/live/play environment, and establishes a fiscally responsible parking solution that meets the needs of today and tomorrow. My role as mayor will be to work with our town administrator, planner and council to guide this public and open planning process, and seek the expertise of our residents who are leaders in architecture, planning, municipal finance, sustainability, historic preservation, and more, to participate in creating this vision. The end result will be one that vests the entire community in its success.
2) Empower our Residents. The onus is currently on residents to discover what’s happening in town, instead of town officials openly sharing information. We will establish a new town governing culture that reflects the spirit of this community: open, inclusive, and collaborative. We will live stream every public meeting possible so that you don’t have to miss dinner with your kids to find out what’s happening with issues important to you. You will know exactly what is going on with your government in real time. We will use digital and social media to communicate budget updates, board agendas, minutes and recaps, empowering you to digitally engage with town officials on your terms, and ask for your input and feedback. We will publicize open applications for board and committee seats so our local government reflects our town. Your ability to serve your community should be based on what you know, not who you know.
3) Challenge the Budget. It’s been 12 years since “fresh eyes” reviewed the town budget. It’s time to challenge previous assumptions, identify new operating efficiencies, seek more shared service opportunities, and proactively apply for every grant possible as our neighbors Cranford and Fanwood have done. It’s time to put politics aside to ensure that Westfield gets its fair share of grant money for parks, facilities and playing fields. Growing revenue outside of tax increases, parking tickets and tear downs requires creativity and imagination, the same skills I demonstrated throughout my HBO career leading a $4.5B business.
4) Champion Issues That Matter to You. Our quality of life is what makes Westfield so special, and public safety is critical to maintaining it. Our police and fire departments will operate with the essential resources needed to ensure citizen safety. Obtaining a peak one seat ride will finally become a top priority because I will personally be a relentless advocate for you with the governor, state officials, NJ Transit and the Raritan Valley Rail Coalition. Having commuted to NYC for over 20 years, I know the impact a stressful commute has on families, as well as the benefit to property values for us all.
In order to make this vision a reality, I humbly ask for your vote. Not just for me, but for the four town council candidates running alongside me: Linda Habgood for Ward 1, Mike Dardia for Ward 2, David Contract for Ward 3 and Dawn Mackey for Ward 4.
The choice this Nov. 7 couldn’t be clearer. It’s about:
- Proactive Leadership vs. Reactive Leadership
- Instilling a Culture of Engagement vs. A Culture of Complacency
- Progress vs. the Status Quo
Let's do this!
For information on where and how to vote in Westfield, click here.
For continuing information from your Ward Candidates visit: Linda Habgood (Ward 1) @habgood4westfield, Mike Dardia (Ward 2) @dardiaforwestfield, David Contract (Ward 3) @contractforWestfield, Dawn Mackey (Ward 4) @mackeyforwestfield