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Slogans mask the real problems in Westfield

October 22, 2015
Westfield Republican

Dear Editor:

This week while I was driving around the Town and Village of Westfield, I noticed some new campaign signs for our incumbent Town Supervisor. When I read the slogan "Progress not Politics" I almost crashed my truck. I found myself screaming, "What progress?"

In the past two years we have seen no new businesses open in the town of Westfield. In fact, we have only seen businesses close. Just take a drive out on East Main Street and see for yourself. Our largest office building in Westfield, the Welch's building, which is owned by the Town of Westfield, has remained nearly vacant since the town purchased the property.

Over the last 10 years, our waterfront remains vastly underutilized and we continue to have no lucrative businesses near our Thruway exit to serve the thousands of people who drive by or use our exit on a daily basis. All of the talk about new hotels being built has yielded nothing. I know personally a town business that was looking to expand several years ago that got little to no support from our town supervisor. And those who do show an interest in coming to Westfield are discouraged when having to deal with a code enforcement officer who lacks the slightest bit of consistency. To top things off, our incumbent supervisor has encouraged the status quo of our fire department which as a result, has trouble functioning due to lack of membership and to make matters worse, is heading back to the "old ways" of doing things prior to the improvements made by the Board of Fire Commissioners. It looks like the Westfield Fire Department is arrogantly disregarding the recommendations of the state comptroller's audit in 2012 and rulings of the Board of Fire Commissioners that had their finances getting cleaned up and heading towards transparency for the first time in many years. How hard is it for these people to understand the fact that the "Exempts" and the fire department are two separate entities as stated by the comptroller?

"Progress not Politics," really, come on now, they must be hoping that everyone is so fed up with the stagnation that this slogan will not be challenged. The election is Nov. 3. It is time for a change in Town Supervisor.

Barry Underwood




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