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:
Keeping Westfield Great
In April 2015, New Jersey Family named Westfield its editor’s pick for best mid-size town for families in the state. In the September 2011 issue of New Jersey Monthly magazine, Westfield was named the “Best Medium-Sized Town in New Jersey” (population of 30,000 to 69,999), and #12 overall in their “Top Towns” list. I continue to work hard to make Westfield the best town in New Jersey.
Controlling Municipal Spending
During my three years as a member of the Westfield Memorial Library Board of Trustees, our Board returned approximately $366,000 in surplus funds to assist the town’s finances. Upon taking office, we instituted a government hiring freeze which has resulted in a reduction of 50 employees from our town payroll through attrition without the need for layoffs. I continue to look for ways to control property taxes.
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 or Twitter @KeithLoughlin.
I support environmentally responsible initiatives. 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
As Vice Chair of the Public Safety and Parking Committee, 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 to bring about a permanent solution for residents and students.
Partnering with our State Officials
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.
As a member of the Public Works Committee, 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, and Tice Place.
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.