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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Council Meeting Recap: Mayor Remains Silent, Fire Chief In the Dark

     At last night's Westfield Town Council Meeting, Mayor Andy Skibitsky was asked, "Mayor, do you know where the mobile command center is tonight?"  Skibitsky's response, "Please continue."  When asked again, the Mayor muttered, "I'm sure you know where it is."  Why would one ask such a question, to the Mayor, if the person knew the answer?
     The Westfield Police department's tax payer funded Emergency Mobile Command Center was M.I.A. last night.  Not parked in front of police headquarters ready to respond to an emergency, or a bomb threat as a clearly uninformed Councilman Foerst had suggested.
     A police source has confirmed that the Emergency Mobile Command Center is in Philadelphia.
     At the conclusion of last night's council meeting, Westfield Fire Chief Dan Kelly was asked point blank, "Chief Kelly, as the Town of Westfield's Fire Chief and O.E.M. (Office of Emergency Management) Coordinator, do you know where the mobile command center is tonight.  Chief Kelly's answer, "NO I DO NOT."  Thank you for your honesty Chief Kelly.....perhaps you should run for Mayor.
     TFoTM to Councilman Foerst:  Even if the Westfield Police Department had to respond to a bomb threat last night with the mobile command center, it couldn't.  Councilman Foerst, please refresh our readers' memory.  Wasn't it you that stated, if we experienced another catastrophe like Super Storm Sandy, we could move the mobile command center "to higher ground" and run our emergency communication center from that "higher ground?"
     First of all, police headquarters has never been flooded by the overflow of Mindowaskin Pond, and secondly, our Town's emergency communication center has never failed or not been backed up that would necessitate the $300,000 purchase of a toy for Police Chief Wayman.  This "strategic piece of equipment" as Foerst called it, has been the ridicule of neighboring police chiefs, some of whom have said it is "overkill," "not needed," and "a waste of tax payer money." As for Councilman Foerst's suggestion that the mobile command center be used for a bomb threat........Jim, the Union County Police have a bomb squad that responds throughout Union County to such emergency calls for service..  Why not do what your fellow councilman Frank Arena had suggested during his re-election campaign 2 years ago and "Get more bang for our buck from the County."  Words slung during what Arena calls the election season......"Silly Season."  The silliness of Foerst's defense of the mobile command center was made last night at the near pinnacle of this years "silly season."
     When Adina Enculescu, the Central Ave. resident forced to live with a pedestrian activated HAWK light at the base of her driveway, approached the microphone, she asked Mayor Skibitsky about the Town's sewer fee.  As most residents will agree, this fee is a tax separated from the property tax bill to allow room under the state's 2% cap on property tax increases.
     Enculescu asked Mayor Skibitsky why she should be forced to pay the same amount of money for this tax as does a family such as Skibitsky's household?  She explained that she lives alone while he has multiple family members living with him.  She held up a Skibitsky campaign postcard that showed a beaming Skibitsky sitting on his home's front steps surrounded by his wife and four children.  In true Skibitsky fashion he responded, "I don't understand your question."  The response drew laughter from the audience who seemed to fully understand Ms. Enculescu's inquiry.  Remember, its "silly season" and Skibitsky is running for re-election.
     Mayor is some simple math, a word problem of sorts....... If multiple occupants of a dwelling flush the toilet and do loads of laundry, and a single occupant flushes the toilet and does a load of laundry.......who causes more sewer water to enter the sewer system?
     When Enculescu asked again, in the most simplest of terms, Skibitsky responded, "I don't understand your math."  TFoTM suggests that Mayor Skibitsky need not apply to be a contestant on the tv game show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader."
     When Enculescu moved on to the topic of the pedestrian activated HAWK light installed at the base of her driveway, one response from the Mayor couldn't have been any farther from the truth.  Skibitsky stated, "The thousands of families and children that use the light every month, they appreciate it."  Mayor Skibitsky used to say "hundreds" of people but now its "thousands" of families.  TFoTM understands Skibitsky's motive.....remember people, its "Silly Season" aka......election time.  Skibitsky referenced "children" as well to lead people to believe he is the Pied Piper of traffic safety.
     The meeting wasn't over just yet as others approached the microphone to speak during the Open Public Comment portion of the town council meeting including Maria Carluccio and Karen Egert.  Just as the meeting wasn't finished, neither is this story.

TFoTM will post Part II of this story later tonight.  It only gets better.  Two words, "Tony DelDuca" or "enough said."  Actually that's five, but who's counting.


  1. Just wondering.....who was assigned to take the MCC to Philly....?????.....and how much overtime is that costing the tax paying public.????? arent only a few Chosen Ones allowed to play with Dave's new toy????.....or is Wayman piloting the SS Command Center.???????.....I am a tad confused here with the new sewer fee.....isnt your sewer fee based on consumption of water.????? the logic being what goes in must come out.??????

  2. I find it troubling that when I, as a tax paying resident, asked Mayor Skibitsky at a town council meeting last night where our Mobile Command Center was, he refused to answer.
    I find it equally troubling, that when I asked Westfield Fire Chief Dan Kelly, our OEM coordinator, if he knew where the mobile command center was, he responded, "No I do not." At least he was honest.
    What if Westfield had an emergency and the mobile command center was needed?
    Wasn't that the reason for the purchase of the mobile command center to be able to respond immediately to an emergency in Westfield?
    Mayor Skibitsky did mumble a response to me after I asked the same question a second time while at the microphone last night during public comment of the Westfield Town Council meeting. He said, "I'm sure you know where it is Mr. Kasko?"
    If I knew for sure, I wouldn't have asked the question. Maybe I should have asked, "Why is the MSOC in Philadelphia?"
    The purpose of my question was to confirm the Philadelphia rumor. I couldn't even get a straight answer from the "horse's mouth."
    Regardless, when a resident asks a question, he/she should not be met with silence or Mayor Skibitsky's usual response to a question that might embarrass him, which is "Please continue."
    If it is true that the mobile command center is in Philadelphia, at the International Association of Police Chiefs convention, who is paying for the transport of the MSOC to Philadelphia?
    Who is paying for the manpower needed to showcase the MSOC in Philadelphia?
    Is the showcase of the MSOC, out of state, part of the Town's "back room" wheeling and dealing with the mobile command center's manufacturer to get a better price as Councilman Sam Della Fera has stated?
    Wouldn't that be a violation of New Jersey state bidding/contract laws?
    Westfield residents deserve answers and not silence from a Mayor and Town Council that preaches transparency.

    1. The above posted text was sent in an email to the mayor and Westfield Town Council. I have not received a response from anyone.

  3. This is a very expensive piece of town-owned equipment that is normally parked right outside the very building that he was in at the time. Unless it’s being used on a top-secret assignment in fighting crime or serving the public in some other way, refusing to answer is not acceptable. An answer like “I’m not sure where the police chief has it right now” is acceptable. But, actually refusing to answer is not cool. Very shady.

  4. I remember in the years past that the chief of police attended council meetings....I guess Wayman has done away with that process or has one of his subordinates take care of him .... If the Chief of Police are meeting in Philly that answers where Wayman is, another free trip

  5. Hey just got back from the International Police Chiefs Conference website and low and behold there is Power Innovations International of Utah listed as an exhibitor....booth number 130 for anyone whos going to Philly

  6. Is Bomar Tactical attending.????????

  7. So where is the command center and why is it not in Westfield????

  8. Rumor has it that Dave and his newest butt boy Battiloro got back from Philly and werent happy....could it be that the Mayor wasnt happy that their dirty dealings have been uncovered.....Hey Dan arent you glad you stayed home and took the heat for those two......what a mess...