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Friday, December 30, 2011

Mayor and Town Administrator Unavailable for Comment; Fire Deputy Chief Avoids Answering Question

Where there is smoke, there is fire.  Town officials unavailable for comment and others avoid the questions.. 

  The Alternative Press recently posted a two part story on the Westfield Fire Department.  Reporter Jackie Lieberman, who attends Westfield Town Council meetings, interviewed several people for her story including town officials.
Councilwoman JoAnn Neylan
     Unfortunately, the two most influential people in the daily operations of the Town of Westfield and in local politics, Town Administrator Jim Gildea and Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky, were not available for comment.  Instead, Acting Mayor JoAnn Neylan, who chairs the Town Council's Public Safety, Traffic, and Parking Committee, provided comment on behalf of the Town of Westfield. 
     Answering a question during his interview with the Alternative Press, Deputy Fire Chief Kelly responded, “Am I comfortable with the size it’s at now? I have to work with the resources that I have,” said Kelly. 
     TFoTM asks Deputy Chief Kelly......."Are you comfortable with the size of the department as it is now?" We all know you have to work with the resources you have now, but please answer the question.     
     The news article speaks for itself.
     After reading the two part story, TFoTM has other questions:
1.  Why were the Mayor and Town Administrator not available for comment? (TFoTM will remain unbiased and not answer this question.)
Mayor Andy Skibitsky
2.  Is the reduction in staffing of the Westfield Fire Department a result of Mayor Skibitsky's edict to reduce town-wide staffing by 20-25% without any expert analysis of the department's staffing needs?
3.  Does the reduction of staffing within the Town of Westfield's emergency services (Police & Fire) compromise the safety of residents?
4.  Is the staffing reduction within the fire department a budgetary issue or a desire amongst the members of the Town Council and Town Administrator Jim Gildea, to move towards a volunteer fire department through attrition?
5.  Are Westfield residents truly getting more with less when it comes to the reduction of staffing at the police and fire departments?
6.  Why hasn't Town Administrator Jim Gildea submitted a request with FEMA to obtain funding through FEMA's S.A.F.E.R. grant?   Neylan stated, “I am confident that Chief Kelly, Jim Gildea, the people who run our town—I’m confident that they’re pursing everything they can pursue,” said Neylan.  Are they pursuing everything they can?
Town Administrator Jim Gildea
7.  Have town officials "tied" Fire Chief Kelly's hands by refusing to replenish the FD's ranks?  He surely can't bite the hands that feed him, can he?.

TFoTM can.

These and many more questions remain.  Questions that Mayor Skibitsky and Town Administrator Jim Gildea are unavailable to answer, or, just won't answer.  In doing so, we are all left to ponder the answers.

Go to the following links to read two part story by Jackie Lieberman:
Part 1
Part 2


  1. ENOUGH Windbag Kasko! Stop bashing. Be positive for a change & report on something good happening! You are a negative downer! Reading your blog & listening to your rants at Council meetings is depressing us ALL!

  2. Don't read it if you feel that way. I, for one, find this blog informative. Information I can't find elsewhere in the context it is conveyed. Entertaining. Keep up the good work TFOTM!

  3. Please keep up you honest cutting edge reporting

  4. To Westfield Newbie-
    Cuba and North Korea are great places to live if you want only positive reporting about politicians/government. You can always move to one of those places if that's what you're looking for. In America, politicians/government are held accountable to the people who elected them.

  5. Westfield Newbie,

    I will bet that you voted for Obama and Hope and Change......lots of good news coming out of the white house these days.......unemployement at an all time high.....15 trillion in debt and more to come .....the government becoming an investment banking source for bankrupt companies.....I respect your right to speak your mind however you should take off the rose colored glasses when you do......