Neylan was off the hook last night and sat silent during the time in which the public is invited to the microphone to speak on matters of which the town council has jurisdiction over.
Two weeks ago, while Councilwoman Neylan filled in as "Acting Mayor", she was asked a simple question with regards to the Town's plans should their grant application for monetary assistance to hire more firefighters falls through. Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea had stated at a previous town council meeting that the Town had submitted applications for assistance provided by the S.A.F.E.R. grant. Go to the following link to review S.A.F.E.R grant http://www.fema.gov/firegrants/safer/index.shtm
He further stated that if the grants did not materialize, that the town has alternative plans. Neylan did not answer the question, instead she stated, "We hear you, we will get back to you." No member of the town council has gotten back with an answer.
Last night the same question was asked in the presence of Mayor Skibitsky. Skibitsky's response was, "Please continue." There was a brief moment of silence as those in attendance waited for the Mayor to answer the question; he did not.
Does the Town have alternative plans should they be notified this coming fall that they will not receive assistance or was Gildea blowing smoke hoping not to be held accountable for his statement, a statement that appears to be a stall tactic. Gildea is good at stall tatics.....just ask any town employee seeking his assistance on employment related issues.
|Jim "Pinocchio" Gildea|
On December 13, 2011 Gildea attempted to justify the Town's purchase of a 2012 Dodge Durango for the police department stating that the new vehicle was intended for the detective bureau which had not received a new unmarked vehicle in 7 to 8 years. Upon delivery of the vehicle, newly appointed police chief David Wayman claimed the keys for himself. Wayman's town owned Chevy Tahoe is used to transport him to and from his home, in Westfield, to police headquarters every day. While at work, he utilizes the new Dodge Durango to shuttle himself around town to places like the Muscle Maker Grill at RWJ on Lambertsmill Rd in Scotch Plains and to lunch dates at Vicki's Diner with his closest confidants. All the while, soon-to-be retired police chief John Parizeau's town owned Dodge Durango sits in the municipal parking lot.
Why was there a need to buy another vehicle with a price tag in excess of $24,000 when a perfectly operable one was available in the municipal fleet? Did Gildea lie to the town council and conspire with Chief Wayman to purchase him a new vehicle? Clearly the need for one just wasn't there; not in these economic times. Chalk another one up to Mayor Skibitsky's "Doing More With Less" motto. More wasteful spending with less revenue.
When Skibitsky can't answer a question, or does not want to answer a question, knowing that the answer will not support his position, he remains silent. Silence has been golden for Skibitsky lately. It speaks volumes of a Mayor that states he operates with transparency.
He just hasn't admitted that the transparency is as clear as a windshield with broken wipers navigating through a thunderstorm. He is praying he can steer his vehicle, in this case the town council, safely home without crashing. A few dents along the way won't hurt, or will they?
The Fact of The Matter gives credit to Councilman Della Fera Jr. for at least responding to Westfield resident Maria Carluccio during her time at the microphone during open public comment. Some might say he interrupted her. Despite the fact that Coucilman Della Fera got the facts wrong with regard to where Union County Engineering experts recommended a traffic light to be placed, at the corner of Central and Clover, he at least did what elected officials are supposed to do, he responded, he got back to a constituent. See Westfield Patch link for details of Pennoni Report by Union County Engineering experts. http://westfield.patch.com/articles/residents-question-central-avenue-light-upkeep-of-town
While Councilwoman Neylan's muzzling by Skibitsky is reminiscent of his admonishment of Councilwoman Kimmins last year, for standing up for residents asking to have the Town's engineering expert appear at a town council meeting, one has to wonder why we have an elected town council......why not just vote for a king, a dictator, a ruler of sorts, every four years.
Why, because we live in a democracy and the taxpayers won't allow it. Time to answer the questions Mayor Skibitsky. If not, the words "lame duck" might just start preceding your name. Maybe they already have and your repugnance proves it.