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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pinocchio Knows

Jim Gildea
     The public should be able to judge whether Pinocchio's nose gets longer or shorter.  TFoTM will select a recipient of "Pinocchio Knows" when appropriate.  The following is an account of what Town Administrator Jim Gildea said at last night's town council meeting.  Westfield Leader newspaper reporter Lauren Barr wrote the following about Gildea:  "He said that the town did ask for a midblock crosswalk, but that the county chose the light’s current location."  This is just one example of misleading half-truths that Mr. Gildea is known for.  At previous meetings both Gildea and Mayor Skibitsky have told Central Ave. resident Adina Enculescu that the County was responsible for putting the light in front of her home. 

     TFoTM has obtained a letter sent from Union County Engineer Thomas Mineo to Westfield resident Adina Enculescu.  Read the last line of the second paragraph.  It speaks for itself.
     For his misleading and diversionary statement, the Westfield Town Administrator is the first recipient of the "Pinocchio Knows" award.


  1. I never had sex with that woman...Miss Lewinsky. You even look a little like Bill, Jim.

  2. The Fact of The MatterThursday, October 13, 2011

    The following was found in the May 12th, 2005 edition of the Westfield Leader newspaper:

    Westfield's consulting engineer Gordon Meth referenced the intersection of Central Ave. and Clover St. "At Central Ave. and Clover St., Mr. Meth has proposed a pedestrian traffic light which would only be activated by pedestrians, particulaly Jefferson School students."

    One resident, Steven Lee stated the following: "I think this is an excellent idea....excellent compromise."

    The newspaper reported that "other residents did not agree, speculating whether that many students actually cross at Central and Clover."

  3. Hope you get the awards by the gross. You are going to need them.

  4. I'm confused. Isn't it Gildea's JOB to lie? I don't really see anything at all to be surprised about.

  5. Mr. Kasko-

    I'm confused about the yellow sentence above...

    It says: "He said that the town did ask for a midblock crosswalk, but that the county chose the light’s current location."

    The sentence structure is suggesting... "He said X but the county chose Y."

    However the actual words used are more like "He said X but the county chose X." Or, "He chose MID-BLOCK but the county chose MID-BLOCK." The light is at MID-BLOCK!

    I'm confused... or is that the point of the post???

    Also - If I were you, I'd highlight in yellow and magnify the last sentence - "Westfield requested the installation and location of the light in question." That, once and for all, settles the argument that "the county decided it."

    Great letter in the Leader today by the way. You absolutely have my vote.

    Also - I read Matt Sontz' letter as well. That letter and others I've read from him in the Leader suggest he could be a good guy as well. In your opinion, in what, if any, areas do the two of you differ significantly on key issues affecting Westfield?

    Based on your website and other postings, I think it's safe to say nearly 100% that you have MY vote. But, as we get closer to election time, I think other voters are going to need assistance with pluses and minuses for Sontz. He seems like a pretty good guy to me and I think others may end up feeling the same. Your thoughts as to how to best distinguish the two of you on the key issues probably would not be a bad idea for publication- either a posting on your website or Patch/Leader - just a thought- do as you see fit of course. Maybe a list of the KEY ISSUES- only the critical ones and in priority order, along with a column for each 3rd ward candidate and their stance on that issue??

    Thanks, as always, for your services to our town- past, present and hopefully future.

    - NR9

  6. The Fact of The MatterFriday, October 14, 2011

    To NR9
    The purpose of the story was to highlight that it was not a County decision to place the pedestrian activated "HAWK" light mid-block.

    The Mayor and Gildea have put up a smokescreen by saying the County put the light at its current location. They are correct, but misleading with regards to who recommended the "mid-block" concept.

    Originally, the Town's consulting expert engineer Gordon Meth proposed a light at the intersection of Central & Clover. After public outreach meetings, it was determined by the town and its consultant that residents were against a light at the corner, rightfully so. However, when the HAWK light was introduced into the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices in 2009, the Town should have considered this type of light for the intersection.

    Unlike a traditional red/green;amber traffic light, the HAWK pedestrian light minimizes wait time for motorists and eliminates the tendency for an impatient motorist to cut down a side street to circumvent a traditional traffic light. The HAWK light is precisely what should have been installed at the corner.

    When the project broke ground in 2010, residents were not advised that a light was being installed mid-block. A traditional light was installed, then changed to the HAWK. The HAWK should have been installed at the intersection based on safety statistics obtained from Tucson, Arizona, the "birthplace" of the HAWK where it has been proven to be safer at intersections than mid-block.

    Despite Mayor Skibitsky's claim that the light is located in the safest location, he has not produced any evidence by way of expert reports, data, or other. He relies on a report from his own Chief of Police that does not make the determination of which location is safer, but that the HAWK satisfies its purpose. That purpose, in addition to an increase in pedestrian safety would be evident at the corner.

    The Mayor and Gildea are able to say that the County placed the light at its current location because their own expert Gordon Meth had placed the crossing approximately 80-85 feet off the corner. As per the MUTCD, prdestrian hybrid lights such as the HAWK must be located a minimum 100 ft from an intersection or driveway controlled by a stop sign, if the HAWK is installed mid-block. The TOWN placed the endorsed the mid-block concept, the COUNTY corrected the Town's mid-block location. This mid-block concept could be used where there are stretches of roadway with no homes and a wide open roadway not bordered by treesand other sight-line issues.

    TFoTM hopes your questions have been answered.

    This site will not compare and contrast the candidates running in town council elections. I'd be more than happy to answer your election related questions through email. You can email

    To view Greg Kasko's interview with the Westfield Leader go to the following link:

  7. OK. I just found it a little confusing to follow. Yes, I fully agree- a HAWK light at the intersection of Clover makes the most sense.

    I'm not sure from your response if my request for you to compare and contrast candidates is either not allowed of candidates or deemed to be bad etiquette for candidates to do. (I've never been involved in the political/public service arena - just a "regular citizen" in town). If so, my apologies for the request. I just thought it was something voters could find to be a helpful resource prior to Election Day. I'll see what I can learn about the others from the Westfield Leader, Patch and other sources.

    Right now, you strongly have my vote. Keep up the good work and good luck!


  8. The Fact of The MatterFriday, October 14, 2011

    Candidates do have websites, however their campaign websites are not used to compare and contrast each other. This website will agree with you that it is an ediquette issue. Your request is valid, no need for an apology.

    Prior to election day you can attend the Town Council Candidates Forum scheduled to be held on Monday, October 24th in town hall/courtroom. It is open to the public and doors open at 7 pm. It has been well attended in the past and I would expect no different this year. I think that is the appropriate forum to compare and contrast the candidates.

  9. It's simple, Westfield requested a midblock crossing, based on residents opposition to a crosswalk at the intersection and Union County placed it where it legally had to go. So yes Union county chose the location, based on legalities, not safety. Nobody at Union County checked to see exactly where it would sit and Westfield never mentioned the new location would straddle someones driveway.

  10. The Fact of The MatterSaturday, October 15, 2011

    On the contrary, Westfield's engineering expert Gordon Meth proposed a pedestrian activated crossing at the intersection.

    He must have thought this was the "safest" location or he would have never proposed it. It wasn't until after all the outcry from a few residents that the Town Council asked for a mid-blocl location because a full traffic light was not acceptable at the corner for the above stated reasons.

    The HAWK light was not considered at that time because it was not approved by the MUTCD until 2009. Once it was approved, it could have been placed at the intersection; construction had not broken ground until 2010.

    It didn't "legally" have to be placed mid-block, it could have "legally" been placed at the intersection. It is a matter of safety at this point, not legality.

    The legality was solved, with regards to where it should be mid-block when Westfield asked for a mid-block crossing which County officials don't typically aprove. It legally had to be 100 feet from the corner if it were to be a mid-block crossing legally recognized by the MUTCD.

    That location has to be 100 ft from the nearest intersection or driveway controlled by a stop sign, if the crossing is placed mid-block, not the 80-85 feet from the corner that Westfield had placed it.

    We wouldn't be having this debate if the Town had accepted their own expert consultants original proposed location for this crossing which was, in fact, and documented, at the intersection. Your comment is appreciated.