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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Council Meeting: Controversy & Collusion

     If an NFL football team can run an offense with its third string quarterback, so can the Westfield Town Council.
     In the absence of Mayor Andy Skibitsky and Acting Mayor JoAnn Neylan, Councilman Jim Foerst filled in as "alternate" "acting" mayor.  TFoTM was hoping 4th Ward Coucilman Keith Loughlin would get the nod so the public might once and for all find out if he actually takes a position on anything controversial.
     Controversy was front and center Tuesday evening with resident Maria Carluccio standing her ground demanding answers to specific questions from a town council that has remained silent for way too long.
      In an attempt to ask each attending councilman questions, Carluccio was reminded to direct her questions to alternate acting mayor J. Foerst.  Carluccio reminded the town council that 17 accidents have occurred on the stretch of roadway between the Central Ave. HAWK light and Clover St.
     Councilman Della Fera said that drivers trying to make a left turn off of Central Ave. onto Clover St. were being hit by inattentive drivers and he (Della Fera) "Didn't know what to do about that."
     May TFoTM suggest that Councilman Della Fera read the Traffic Safety Report issued by consulting engineer Gordon Meth, an expert that was paid for by taxpayers.  In his report, Meth recommended a traffic light at the intersection of Central Ave. & Clover St.  Left turns off of Central Ave. were identified as a major issue in need of attention due to the number of accidents occurring, 9 in eight years........and that was before the HAWK light was installed.
     Since the HAWK installation, 17 accidents have occurred in three years.
Tony Del Duca
     Following residents Maria Carluccio and Adina Enculescu to the microphone to speak during the public comment portion of the meeting was "certified driving instructor" Tony DelDuca of Westfield.  DelDuca, a regular attendee of council meetings, will typically wait until after everyone else has spoken against the current location of the HAWK light, to commandeer the microphone and stroke the ego of Mayor Skibitsky and other council members with a conglomeration of opinion void of factual data.
     Last night was not to be his crowning moment as Councilman Dave Haas countered DelDuca's "driver's education" opinions with factual data, scientific analysis, and an educated hypothesis to which DelDuca backed down stating, "I don't want to argue" echoing the sentiment of anyone on the losing end of an argument, debate, or discussion.
     DelDuca had earlier suggested that there were variables involved that may have contributed to recent accidents including whether or not a vehicles radio is on or off.  Far reaching effort there Tony D.   Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.
     TFoTM understands Tony DelDuca's purpose and Maria Carluccio hit the nail on the head, "a Skibitsky Hack."  Enough said.
     While Councilman Della Fera contends the HAWK pedestrian light is operating as intended, it's intention is not in question, it's location is.  The current location was chosen by politicians while the experts recommended a light at the corner of Central & Clover.  Until Westfield politicians correct their political decision to locate the HAWK light mid-block, accidents will continue to occur at a proven rate five times greater than the frequency of accidents taking place prior to the HAWK lights mid-block installation.
     In the picture to the left, Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea flashes his usual "tomato red" flushed face while speaking in response to questions regarding the alleged impropriety surrounding the bidding process that resulted in the purchase of the Westfield Police Department's mobile command center.  The bidding process that resulted in the towns purchase of vehicles and/or equipment is supposed to be void of any collusion as per state statute.  TFoTM will follow up with a story on this topic in the future.
     While Disney character Pinochio grows a rather long nose when he is "less than truthful," one might suspect Gildea's flushed face is indicative of ..............you be the judge.

     Take notice Mayor Skibitsky and Councilwoman Neylan: You both can be rest assured that Councilman Foerst maintained his composure and appeared to be fair and impartial throughout the council meeting, including stopping the time clock when Westfield's town attorney cut into a speakers allotted 10 minutes of public comment.
     Unlike Skibitsky and Neylan, Foerst's mannerisms and facial expressions were void of any contempt, disgust, or disagreement while residents spoke.  Can't say the same Mayor Skibitsky, for your town clerk Claire Gray.  Definitely not neutral.  





16 comments:

  1. How can the “certified driving instructor” explain that the numbers of accidents did not increase all the way to the end of Central Avenue, except for the 113 ft. between Clover Str. and the famous crosswalk in the middle of the road, where it increased 580%? Does anybody believe that the weather condition is specific to this location, all Westfield having a wonderful weather while stormy weather happens only in this location? Does anybody believe that all the drivers are good, pay attention to the road all the way Central Ave., and all of them turn on the phones, the radio, only on this location? Does anybody believe that the “distracted driving and increases in traffic through the town due to the sports club and the change in demographic of both Westfield and Clark” happens only in 113 ft. from Clover? Turning to left on Clover is a problem because the intersection traffic is not controlled as it hasn’t been controlled for 32 years. Even more, during the last three years a driveway has been between the lights not a street, and the cross walk is not at a corner like any other place in the world but in the middle of the road. All these anomalies are completed by all kind of white marks on the pavement and announced by 12-14 warning signs, some of them flashing all the time. It is a mistake, and it is revolting the way Mr. Skibitsky denies it, and refuses to correct it by moving the crosswalk and all this paraphernalia to the intersection. It shows only his total disregard for safety, for people’s property, his total dismissal of the experts’ advice, and his despise for the Ward 3 people’s opinion.

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  2. At least the Council members weren't bullying their constituents as in the past. That is one ray of sunshine in this ordeal.

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  3. But Ms Carluccio still spews her venomous, and sanctimonious, "holier than thou" BS. Is she trying to be the next Joan of Arc and have the Pope make her a saint?

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  4. Put yourself in her shoes. Her councilman is the one who put the light in her front yard. She attends council meetings and is disparaged by the council, then her complaints are met with silence. Cars are mistakenly pulling into her driveway thinking it is a street. Accidents are occurring more frequently in front of her home. The vast majority of people would be upset if this happened to them.

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  5. @ Anonymous Mon Sep 30th. Although you may not like Ms. Carluccio's frequent references to her religion, that does not make her opinions on the subject of the location any less valid.

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    1. Expressing opinions is one thing. Playing God and judging others using biblical scripture is stupid and inappropriate. She is an ass.

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    2. If you're going to accuse Ms. Carluccio of "playing God" then you really have to do the same of Mayor Skibitsky. Early on, three years ago, Ms. Carluccio, and many others in our community, pointed out that the new traffic arrangement was causing a lot of driver confusion. Back then, he was somewhat agreeable to taking a "wait and see" attitude whereby he would wait and see how things go after the new traffic arrangement was allowed to operate for some time. Clearly, 17 accidents later, the situation is far more dangerous than before. But he refuses to admit that these 17 accidents even took place! Despite such overwhelming evidence that the traffic pattern has made things worse, he still won't admit that safety there is now far worse. And, he refuses to listen to any citizens pointing this out. This is what I would call "Playing God" (using your terminology). I would agree with you that Ms. Carluccio's "delivery" is not always very polished but the underlying message Ms. Carluccio is expressing really is supported by facts (and expert reports) while Mayor Skibitsky's message (usually silence) is not at all supported by any facts whatsoever.

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  6. When you're placed in a position where your back is up against the wall, you had better have some religious faith.

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  7. Perhaps if Mayor Skibitsky had more faith in the experts recommendations to locate the Hawk light at the intersection of Clover & Central, motorists wouldn't have to be continuously sacrificed. Skibitsky's willingness to allow motorists to be crucified for his ill-advised decision to place the Hawk light mid-block is reprehensible. While Skibitsky and his disciples continue to claim that the light is working as intended, the drastic increase in motor vehicle accidents in this area, can be considered an epiphany rendering the intent of the light insignificant.

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    1. Very funny, Kasko. You a martyr, too?

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  8. I need to clear a few things up, first of all my driveway and home is not the house directly affected by the misplaced mid block crosswalk and Hawk light. That would be Mrs.Adina Enculescu whose private driveway now intersects with a crosswalk and street light.If anyone reading this blog wants to know exactly how I am affected by this mess on the 1300 blk of Central Ave. it's very simple, LOVE THY NEIGHBOR AS THY SELF! I challenge anyone to tell me they wouldn't mind having this ridiculous monstrosity placed in their front yard. They wouldn't mind witnessing day in and day out hundreds of cars in the last 3 years not yielding to the red signal risking the lives of men, women and children. They wouldn't mind eye witnessing the aftermath of 17 multiple unnecessary car crashes in the immediate vicinity of their of their home where there was once hardly any.They wouldn't mind after living and paying taxes in this town for over 30 years seeing their property substantially devalued. Want more? It's so painfully simple that I can't believe we're even having a dialog about this disaster. IT'S ALL ABOUT POLITICS, NOT THE SAFETY OF THE RESIDENTS AND MOTORISTS ON CENTRAL! Wake up. If the mayor truly cared about doing what is best for the people he never would have violated Mrs. Enculescu (realize that could have been your property) and now with 3 years of overwhelming DATA proving how dangerous this location is he would suck it up and do what is best for the public but he doesn't. What is up with that Westfield? I hope you all factor this mayor's inability to make the RIGHT DECISION'S for our town when you have an opportunity to boot him out in November. And may you all also keep in mind that councilman David Haas has been the only member of our puppet council to publicly speak out about the overwhelming evidence proving that this mid block crosswalk was and is a mistake!

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  9. My apologies about mixing up the homeowners who have HAWK light located in their front yard.

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  10. Is this an official “hot spot” location and if not, should it be?... Train station parking lot. Drive into main entrance (from South Avenue facing the Christmas tree and actual train station building). Then, make a right turn by the newspaper stand into the main lot as though you’re going to drop someone off at the tunnel/platform area. Meanwhile, consider a car riding in the main parking lot parallel to the shrubbery with the shrubbery on his/her left hand side (shrubs are high making it tough to see cars driving on the other side) proceeding to turn left by the newspaper stand into that same little plaza by the train station building/Christmas tree. The car making the right and the car making the left have a potential head on collision or side-impact situation there. I recently had a near miss and truthfully, I don’t think I’d consider myself or the other driver to really be at fault had we collided. Maybe there should be a one way from the entrance plaza along with “Do Not Enter” signs from the main parking lot (such that those exiting the parking lot must instead use either of the two exits that go directly onto South Avenue)? Or, at a minimum, maybe the shrubbery should be removed? Please weigh in on this one. Has this location experienced a large amount of accidents? Should it be examined for possible changes? Or, do you think my recent experience at that location was unusual for that location?

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    1. I would suggest you contact Councilwoman JoAnn Neylan. Councilwoman Neylan is the chair of the town council's public safety committee and has fielded such inquiries before. She had a tree cut back/removed at a stop sign in town due to a complaint by a resident. No guarantee she will help you without the blessing of Mayor Skibitsky. TFoTM will follow up on your concern/complaint with a story and present it to the town council at an upcoming meeting. You have a valid concern based on Mayor Skibitsky's recent campaign pledge that he ha improved safety.

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    2. Thanks so much for the quick reply and advice. Do you know if there has been a large number of accidents at that location during the past 10 or 20 years? Thanks.

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    3. I am not aware of any accidents but will make an inquiry to find out.

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