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|
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.