Westfield Together - Team Accomplishments

Strong Fiscal Oversight

  • Maintained AAA bond rating and appropriate levels of surplus
  • Utilized surplus to benefit residents by lowering tax rate, investing in public improvements, and offsetting COVID related revenue shortfalls
  • Averaged an annual 1.1% municipal tax rate, lowest four-year average in history, including 0% tax levy in 2019 for the first time in decades
  • Reduced Town budget for first time in eight years by 1.32% in 2020 in spite of 2% increase in non-discretionary expenses
  • Received over $3 million in pursued grants

Infrastructure & Investments

  • Over 30 miles of roads already paved with 17 miles planned for 2021
  • Invested in capital equipment including pick-up trucks, dump trucks, sewer truck, hybrid vehicle, street sweepers and more
  • Continued expansion of Conservation Center’s revenue generating capabilities
  • Invested in automation to improve service and efficiencies including Westfield Connect App, digitizing town code, online permitting & payment

Strong Accessible Leadership

  • Led our community through a global pandemic, prioritizing health, safety, and communication, while adapting operations to ensure the safety and welfare of employees, residents, and businesses
  • Co-founded the Raritan Valley Line Mayors’ Alliance and prioritized the fight for peak one-seat rides with NJT, key legislators, and the Governor; and as Co-chair have successfully lobbied for restoration of off-peak one-seat rides and additional same platform transfers️
  • Operated as a full-time volunteer Mayor with a commitment to proactive leadership, resident outreach and responsiveness

Commitment to Communication

  • Initiated live streaming of Town Council meetings, Town events and important updates
  • Published the names of all appointed Board & Committee members on Town website for the first time
  • Established part-time Public Information Officer position allowing for timely and frequent communication via Town website, email, and social media channels of board agendas, minutes and recaps, and major Town updates, including 140 COVID updates

Reimagining Downtown

  • Completed and adopted Master Plan Reexamination with unprecedented public input
  • Adopted redevelopment plan for the Lord & Taylor properties and the train station parking lots in partnership with Streetworks Development
  • Designated our Central Business District as an area in need of rehabilitation to incentivize private investment in aging buildings and infrastructure
  • Introduced policy improvements to incentivize Downtown business climate, and saw the opening of over 50 new businesses including Westfield’s first brewery Lion’s Roar Brewery as well as BareBurger, Buddha Fish, Cinnaholic, Beyond Trends, Osteo Strong, Acting Out, J. McLaughlin, Warby Parker, Atlantic Health, and more.

Improved Business Climate

  • Introduced initiatives to drive downtown foot traffic, including:
    • Holiday Downtown Welcome Center
    • New festive holiday lighting funded by Westfield 300 sponsors
    • See Saw public art exhibit
    • Expanded outdoor dining capacity
  • Raised $300K for #welovelocal fund to support our businesses during the pandemic
  • Reduced parking enforcement downtown and expanded free parking to support businesses
  • Renovated train station coffee kiosk & Initiated plans to convert north side train station to a restaurant/bar with anticipated late 2021 opening
  • Established Public Arts Commission
  • Created AddamsFest with 11,000+ attendees in its inaugural year and has since become an annual, signature self-funded event.
  • Launched Open Quimby with outdoor yoga, holidays in July, Dog Days of Summer and country music.

Creating Community

  • Established open volunteer application process for the first time, resulting in 500+ applications and more diverse representatives on our Board & Commissions, 57% of whom are now women (vs 25% previously)
  • Formalized councils to engage historically disenfranchised groups of the community:
    • Senior Advisory (Lifelong Westfield)
    • Mental Health Commission
    • Access and Inclusivity Council
    • Human Relations Advisory Commissions
  • Celebrated and acknowledged LGBTQ Pride Month by raising the Pride Flag for the first time in Town history and painting rainbow crosswalks downtown.
  • Introduced Westfield’s first multicultural festival celebrating the diverse heritages of all of our residents

Parks and Recreation

  • Completed and adopted first ever Parks & Recreation strategic plan, laying out a 10 year roadmap for park and recreation improvements
  • Plans underway for new Edison Athletic Complex
  • Improvements to Houlihan/Sid Fay under consideration to include expanded parking and new bathrooms as part of potential cell tower proposal
  • Awarded Innovation in Governance Award from NJ League of Municipalities for the public/private partnership that brought the Westfield Rink to Gumbert Park
  • Improved Mindowaskin Park with new accessible playground, new pet friendly ADA accessible water fountain, a sensory garden in collaboration with the Girl Scouts, and repaved pathways
  • Enhanced Memorial Pool with new deck chairs, new food vendor, and expanded play area.
  • Installed new playground at Sycamore
  • Renovated Tamaques pavilion and added art and ADA-compliant picnic tables and installed Town’s first rain garden
  • Partnered with newly established Friends of Brightwood for extensive clean up and expanded educational opportunities

Sustainable Westfield

  • Awarded Silver Certification by Sustainable Jersey for the first time in Town history, increasing eligibility for grants and funding
  • Planted over 1800 trees and strengthened tree preservation ordinance
  • Expanded Conservation Center recycling programs
  • Passed ordinance to require EV charging stations in all new development plans and partnered to install six EV chargers in Town parking lots at no cost
  • Adopted revised solar ordinance allowing front facing solar panels
  • Installed first permanent bike lane on Prospect Street
  • Launched annual Free Market Day and robust Earth Day Initiatives

Prioritizing Public Safety and Security

  • Appointed new Police Chief Chris Battiloro prioritizing community policing model; achieved department accreditation for the first time in Town history
  • Initiated first-ever Land Use and Circulation Plans to address traffic and congestion issues
  • Completed first ever town wide Bike and Pedestrian Plan with recommendations to be incorporated into circulation plan
  • Conducted a grant funded North Avenue Walkability Study resulting in planned pedestrian safety improvements along section of North Avenue
  • Outsourced crossing guard program to third party resulting in optimal staffing, cost efficiencies, and better allocation of Police Department resources
  • Appointed new Fire Chief Tony Tiller who is ushering in a new era of department leadership
  • Introduced numerous pedestrian safety measures, including new stop signs at various locations, new striping patterns and pedestrian activated beacons at critical locations near Kehler stadium, West Broad, Tuttle Pkwy, & South Ave.

Celebrating and Preserving our History and Neighborhoods

  • Commemorated Westfield’s 300th anniversary with a variety of events funded by private donors and sponsors.
  • Passed revised Historic Preservation ordinance prioritizing preservation efforts and discouraging and mitigating tear downs
  • Successfully designated six Historic properties in collaboration with Historic Preservation Commission and property owners, the most in Town history
  • Passed ordinance requiring registration of vacant and abandoned buildings to hold owners accountable for property maintenance