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Thursday, February 03, 2011

The Plowman Cometh: Part Deux (See Video)

At Tuesday nights Town Council meeting Mayor Skibitsky admitted that the sidewalk leading to the crosswalk at the cul-de-sac'd intersection of Cambridge Rd. and Central Ave., where Jefferson Elementary School children cross Central, was owned by the Town of Westfield. 

Access to the crosswalk has been hampered by snow and ice from recent storms dating back to December 26, 2010.  The Town has neglected to shoulder its responsibility to clear the snow from the sidewalk.

I emailed Mayor Skibitsky and Town Council members at 8:14 pm.  on Wednesday evening 2/2/11.  See the previous story and contents of email sent at the following:

At 9:41 am. today, Thursday 2/3/11, I received a response to the email I sent last night at 8:14 pm.  The email was sent to the Mayor and Town Council to follow up on the issue of the inaccessible crosswalk at Cambridge referenced at Tuesday nights Town Council meeting.

The following is the Town's response:

Your e-mail has been received by the Mayor and Council. Thank you for your report.

The Public Works Department was working at that location when yesterday's ice storm necessitated that all our public works' resources be diverted to respond to numerous emergencies around the town. The DPW was scheduled to return to the site this morning.

Joan Thermann
Executive Assistant to Mayor Andrew Skibitsky

We at the Fact of The Matter do not dispute that the intention to clear this walkway for Jefferson School children was made a priority after it was brought to the attention of Mayor Skibitsky on Tuesday night.   

What we question is why it took an appearance at a Town Council meeting and an email sent to the Mayor and Town Council to get this town sidewalk shoveled.   It should not have had to come to that.

This "traffic hot spot," as Councilman Ciarrocca and Mayor Skibitsky have called the location, is a sidewalk and crosswalk designated for Jefferson Elementary School children to use while they cross perhaps one of the busiest roadways in Westfield.

How could a town owned sidewalk go 39 days without being shoveled when the Town of Westfield has it's own ordinance requiring that, "The owner or tenant of land abutting or bordering upon the sidewalk and gutters of public streets, avenues, and highways in the town shall remove all snow and ice from any laid sidewalk of any kind in front of such land within 12 hours of daylight after the same shall fall or be formed thereon.  Where ice is frozen to the sidewalk it should be removed or covered with sand or ashes."

The Fact of The Matter is, the Town of Westfield says, "Do as I say, not as I do."


  1. Mismanagement and wasted tax dollars under the Skibitsky regime. Now that Cambridge road has been turned into a cul de sac for no apparent reason a new sidewalk was constructed. The initial argument was that Cambridge would be used as a cut through street. Interestingly
    it is virtually impossible with the placement of the new mid-block street light to cut through to Cambridge. Why then was it turned into a blocked road? How many tax payer dollars were wasted on this nonsensical project? How many extra tax payer dollars will now have to be spent to deploy a backhoe to make a path for children or anyone to cross Central when there is snow on the newly constructed previously unnecessary sidewalk? It comes as no surprise that there is not enough money in the Skibitsky regimes budget for crossing guards all along the Central Ave. corridor. I could write a book citing all the negative aspects of this awful project that the Skibitsky regime pushed through. Bottom line is it's a mistake so fix it now mayor so we can put it to rest.

  2. Answers to some of your question will be provided in a story that is auto-scheduled to post at 8 am today.

  3. When this part of NJ is under strained resources it would be smart for the WF Board of Education to use the taxdollars at their discretion to clear crosswalks,curbs along school property,etc. They get 2/3s of each WF tax dollar.Instead of BOE employees pushing snow into public streets & crosswalks(at all 9 schools)why shouldn't the BOE ADM see that the mountains of snow be put on large school lawns to keep kids safe?Everytime businesses(Eurosport,Wheat's Auto Body,American Tire,ArtLab,Rich's Cleaners,McEwen Flower lot,etc)residents & schools put the snow from their property into public right of way it contributs to the problems in the streets.Given the sense of entitlement in WF by masses it isn't surprising that so many could care less about the safety of others or what's right&wrong. If the DWC used part of their big budget plus the 10s of 1000s in the9/11 fund they manage they could pay for private snow removal instead of calling DPW every 10 minutes and tying them up.Dpw was downtown at 8am yesterday sweeping streets with a broom &dustpan.Idoubt the mayor knows what happens every minute but agree that the town needs someone to take control of all these problems

  4. Maybe the same way the fire dept inspects and often digs to be sure hydrants are clear the board of Ed should do the same with crosswalks

    The BOE is responsible for the safety of each kid from when they leave their home to arrivinging in the classroon and viceversa when school is over

    WHy aren't they being called on the carpet along with the town?They get most of the tax money

  5. Good point those workers that work for the BOE are just as lazy as the town workers. They all sure LOVE stopping at Hersheys on South ave in Westfield and Quick Check in Scotch Plains every morning for a good 1/2 hour to an hour when that break is 15 minutes as per there contract. They also LOVE to stop actually working at least a half hour before there lunch 1/2 hour even starts and then take there time getting back from that 1/2 hour lunch. If you ever have time ,,,,, follow a town truck one day, it will TURN YOUR STOMACH how much they DON'T DO!

  6. I wonder if the DPW can explain why they waste time plowing memorial Pool parking lots. After the snow last week I had to go to town. There was only one municipal lot plowed. I thought to myself did I just see DPW trucks plowing the pool 10 minutes ago or was I dreaming. So on my way home i checked and low and behold the parking lot at the pool that no one uses in the winter oh wait the tennis courts nope its still winter were perfectly plowed curb to curb unlike the lots in town and even my street didn't look as good. Something needs to change. WAKE UP WESTFIELD

  7. wasteful spending did you forget the nightmare on S. Chestnut....when they put in a traffic calming measure that they were told was illegal and had to rip out......