With local roads needing repair, and in some cases reconstruction, the Westfield Town Council recently voted to spend nearly $300,000 of Westfield tax dollars on a mobile command center. 3rd Ward Councilman and candidate for Mayor David Haas ultimately voted "No" on the expenditure of tax dollars to fund this purchase. Also, consider that Houlihan/Sid Fay fields at the end of Rahway Ave. will need replacement in the near future and the Town Council has cut school crossing guards from intersections where children have had assistance in the past.
Local politicians, including most recently 4th Ward candidate for Town Council Keith Loughlin, have publicly stated, "I'll be focusing on controlling municipal spending." TFoTM asks, "When?"
The mobile command center was approved for purchase and is currently sitting on South Ave. in the driveway of a local business adjacent to the old Thomas Lincoln/Mercury dealership. The trailer still displays a Utah license plate while the towing Ford F350 pickup truck has no license plate displayed. This vehicle, presumably now owned by the Town of Westfield, was delivered rather expeditiously considering that the special bond ordinance to approve its purchase was just recently passed leading some to speculate if the vehicle had been purchased prior to the bond vote, making the vote just a formality. New Jersey has strict municipal purchasing laws that must be adhered to.
Mayor Skibitsky is touting "Making Public Safety a Priority" while "Managing Your Tax Dollars Efficiently" in one of his recent campaign donation solicitations. Mayor Skibitsky and members of the current Westfield Town Council have reduced the staffing levels at both the police department and fire department in recent years causing delays in response time in the police department and hampering the fire fighting abilities of the fire department on initial response to residential and commercial structure fires.
Hmmm, perhaps $300,000 could have been allocated to hire public safety personnel in departments depleted of manpower or at least repair some the many failing streets in town among other municipal "priorities."
The cost of a public safety hire........approximately $65,000
The cost to mill and pave a 400 ft long x 30 ft wide dilapidated street.... approximately $30,000 to $35,000
The cost to the taxpayer when Town Council members approved
Voting out incumbent Skibitsky and his fellow council members seeking re-election....PRICELESS!
UPDATE: A source has confirmed that the mobile command center has been in Westfield for "Several weeks if not months" since its arrival from Utah for an exhibition at the Westfield Armory. Mayor Skibitsky and the Westfield Town Council gave the approval for purchasing the mobile command center only recently, or was it a "done deal" sealed earlier than the public council vote?. The mobile command center has since been removed from the parking lot of Print Tech on South Ave. to an unknown location after the posting of this story.