Since I was sworn-in in January 2010, I am proud of the work I have done as a member of the Westfield Town Council. Some of my accomplishments are:
Westfield has been recognized by several publications in recent years, including:
Voted as best shopping destination in New Jersey by Gannett New Jersey in 2017;
Ranked #28 City with the Best Money-Management Skills in the United States by the leading personal finance outlet WalletHub in 2017;
Ranked #73 Best Small City in America (out of a total 1,268) by the leading personal finance outlet WalletHub.com in 2016;
Ranked #20 of the Top 50 Safest Cities in New Jersey by BackgroundChecks.org in 2016;
Editor’s pick for best mid-size town for families by New Jersey Family in 2015;
Ranked #3 in the Top 10 Cities in NJ by Movoto Real Estate in 2014;
Ranked #11 of the Top 25 Communities in the country for renters raising families by Renter.com in 2014;
Ranked #30 Safest City in America by Neighborhood Scout in 2014;
Named a “Great Place in New Jersey” by the American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter in 2013;
Named “Best Medium-Sized Town in New Jersey” (population of 30,000 to 69,999) by New Jersey Monthly in 2011.
I continue to work to make Westfield the best town in the state.
I am working to implement several of the recommendations from the Mayor’s Downtown Task Force. A copy of the initial report and recommendations is available on the town’s website.
Controlling Municipal Spending
During my three years as a member of the Westfield Memorial Library Board of Trustees, I identified surplus funding in a budget review and was able to apply the funding to unpaid employee pension and contributions for approximately $366,000. Standard and Poor upgraded Westfield’s AAA bond rating in February 2014 and then reconfirmed our rating in August 2015. I continue to look for ways to control property taxes and municipal spending.
Direct Train to NYC
Since March 3, 2014, riders on the Raritan Valley line have a one-seat ride to New York Penn Station during off-peak hours. Since January 2015, one-seat service to and from NYC is offered weekday nights after 8pm. I am working with local elected officials and our state delegation to lobby NJ Transit to phase in one-seat locomotives on weekends and during peak hours. For updates on the one-seat campaign, please visit Raritan Valley Rail Coalition.
Since 2005, I have volunteered with Mayor Andy Skibitsky at his weekly Saturday morning office hours to hear residents’ thoughts for improving our town. I encourage you to contact me with your ideas by email, on Facebook or Twitter.
I support environmentally responsible initiatives. In 2015, our conservation center received upgrades with grant money to enhance recycling opportunities. As a member of the Westfield Memorial Library Board of Trustees, I helped bring solar panels to the Westfield Library to reduce our energy costs. As Councilman, I voted to amend the town tree ordinance to protect our shade trees.
High School Parking
I spearheaded efforts to improve traffic and pedestrian safety surrounding the high school. Our Council, in partnership with the Board of Education, unanimously approved my plan to add parking capacity at WHS, Edison, and the Armory and a dedicated bus lane on Rahway Avenue to improve safety and bring about a permanent solution for residents and students.
When the Westfield Armory proposed to construct a 150 foot tall cell tower on the grounds of the Rahway Avenue complex, Councilman James Foerst and I immediately reached out to Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz and Mayor Andy Skibitsky for help in defeating this proposal. Together, we successfully stopped construction of the Armory Cell Tower and preserved the quality of life and property values of the neighborhood.
I continue to explore ways to increase the number of roads paved each year while reducing costs to our residents, including sharing paving resources with Union County and surrounding towns. I successfully advocated for the paving of all or part of Ardsleigh Drive, Bell Drive, Cayuga Way, Dorian Road, Downer Street, First Street, Graceland Place, Highgate Avenue, Kensington Drive, Knollwood Terrace, Newark Avenue, Rahway Avenue, St. Georges Place, Shackamaxon Drive, Shadowlawn Drive, St. Johns Place, Summit Avenue, Summit Court, Surrey Lane, Talcott Road, Tice Place, and the oval at Tamaques Park.
We continue to pursue grants and work with all levels of government to fund road improvements in Westfield. Senator Tom Kean, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz helped us secure a grant to pave parts of Rahway Avenue. In addition, we worked with Union County and the State of New Jersey to pave Lamberts Mill Road and South Avenue through their respective budgets at no additional cost to the Westfield taxpayer.
Please contact me by email on these or any other issues.