TAPintoWestfield: Shelley, She was Born to Run!

This article originally appeared in TAPintoWestfield on Oct. 6, 2017 

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As a resident of the 07090 since 1991 and a two term board of education member I am officially declaring my support for Shelley Brindle to become mayor of our great town on Election Day. This election is not about Republican vs. Democrat. This election is about the future of our town and realizing that we must look forward and not in the rear view mirror anymore. The time for back slapping and talking about the good old days has come and gone.

 

I mean no disrespect to our current Mayor and must say Andy is a very good man and deserves all of our gratitude for his long service to our community. Having worked with him while on the board of education I know personally of his caring and dedication for Westfield. But the future is what matters now and I believe, like we have in the Presidency, two terms is enough. Three is kind of ridiculous and four, well that's just not giving anyone else a chance.

The Westfield of today I am proud to say has one of the best school systems in the country. We continue to have dedicated taxpayers willing to support our 6600 students and send out into the world our children with a huge advantage. Credit for that goes to the taxpayers willing to support the best teachers, administration and, yeah, board of education possible. But there is more to Westfield than just that and Shelley is running for mayor because she actually has a plan and a vision for what is possible in Westfield and as a taxpayer, I don't really see any choice but to vote for the future, not the past.

Shelley has seen a culture of complacency and wants to "create a town governing culture that is reflective of the spirit of our community, open and collaborative which reflects the makeup of our town."  More citizens need to be involved so all voices can be heard. I believe she can change the very stale local government of today using the latest technology to get everyone involved.

Westfield needs "Fresh Eyes." I think all of us want to know why we have a $12Myn surplus when clearly we have infrastructure needs not being met. All of our taxes since 2005 when our current Mayors tenure began have gone up over 65 percent and the value has diminished. Shelley has been researching extensively what our neighbors are doing right so we can make the changes necessary ourselves.

Lastly our downtown issues need to be seriously addressed. Why are towns around us thriving when other towns are not losing tenants on a daily basis. The answer is simple, parking. Former Mayor Tom Jardim was right in the 1990's and all you have to do is look at Summit to see what went right there, and what went wrong here. Shelley has a plan. I for one am willing to give her a chance to make it happen.

So the choice is clear. Westfield needs progress, not status quo. I look forward to casting my vote for Shelley Brindle and in my local ward Michael Dardia, who shares her vision. I would also strongly suggest my good friend Linda Habgood for Ward 1.  I will address Linda and Michael in a future letter.

Mitch Slater

Member Westfield Board of Education (2010-2016)

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