Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky made an appearance at Tuesday evening's town council meeting. Skibitsky's 2014 attendance record has been less than stellar and when he was greeted with "Welcome back Mayor," he looked like he wished he had missed this meeting.
Mayor Skibitsky has become predictable and his emotions tend to get the best of him when he is confronted with facts that refute his opinions.
Case in point......on Tuesday night, Skibitsky continued to mislead the public regarding the safety of the HAWK pedestrian crossing on Central Ave. at the intersection of a residential driveway across from a cul-de-sac'd Cambridge St.
Skibitsky reminded the public in attendance that "The HAWK light is working as intended." Guess what Mayor Skibitsky, the crossing guard holding up a STOP sign, and crossing pedestrians at Clover St. for decades was working as intended with far less accidents occurring.
The facts are the facts and here they are........In the 8 years leading up to the installation of the HAWK pedestrian mid-block crossing, there were a total of 9 motor vehicle accidents at or near the intersection of Central Ave. & Clover St. with 7 out of the 9 accidents occurring while a vehicle was slowing down or stopped to make a left turn onto Clover St.. (The reason why residents had requested a traffic light at the location.) Since the HAWK installation a little over 4 years ago, there have been 18 vehicle accidents between the HAWK crossing and Clover St.
Mayor Skibitsky was reminded that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that something has changed that has caused the increase in accidents. If you believe Westfield resident and Skibitsky lemming Tony Del Duca, its because of an increase in traffic from the Clark Bally's gym. Nice try Tony.
Skibitsky has repeatedly downplayed the lights location as a reason for the increase in accidents stating the accidents are happening when the light is not activated. Well then Mayor Skibitsky, perhaps the lights location at the base of a residential driveway is being confused as an intersection to unsuspecting or out of town motorists? Nope, way too obvious to this mayor.
Mayor Skibitsky's ego and stubborn stance on this proven dangerous pedestrian light location will not allow him to admit a mistake was made. The Westfield town council has been collared on a leash by a mayor that refuses to allow an independent evaluation of the lights effectiveness and safety.
Ultimately, Mayor Skibitsky's hostile and agitated demeanor on Tuesday evening was a tell tale sign that he refuses to admit a mistake even when confronted with facts that contradict his non-expert observations and opinions.
Mayor Skibitsky should never trust that a document from his police chief, detailing the number of accidents at a particular location, is accurate. That's a proven fact.
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