Westfield Mayor Andy Skibitsky was a "no-show" once again last night for the town council meeting. This has become a habit of his and only adds to the belief he is merely keeping his political poker in the fire until he can run for a higher political office......but even that might be on the back burner since Govenor Chris Christie and his "political hacks" have been left out of President-elect Donald Trump's future staffing plans.
Until NJ State Assemblyman Jon Bramnick vacates his state office, possibly running for governor, which is now a long-shot at best, Skibitsky will continue to dabble in local politics. Westfield deserves better.
Skibitsky has overstayed his welcome, occupying the mayor's office longer than any other Westfield mayor and long after the "gentlemen's agreement" of no more than 2 consecutive terms that has been honored by every previous mayor before him.
Maybe, Mayor Skibitsky chose to dodge the public, knowing that many residents are concerned about vacancies in downtown store properties. Perhaps he did not want to face questions regarding the anticipated decision from his politically appointed planning board members on whether to allow the demolition of the "Watcher" house on the Boulevard. (See previous TFoTM story below.) Or, maybe he regrets the town councils approval to ban on street parking during snow storms resulting in an accumulation of 3 inches or more, with no contingency plans for residents that don't have access to off-street parking. Also, allowing the new 7-Eleven to operate 24hrs a day has some residents requesting face time with Skibitsky.
BTW...... Who will measure the depth of the snow? Will the Westfield police be equipped with a ruler to check the depth?
Assemblyman Keith Laughlin suggested that the new rule was established as a result of residents recommending it........really? The fact of the matter is that the town council has the authority to institute rules, town ordinances, etc., and they voted in the affirmative for this "suggestion." Nice try Keith, pinning this one on the residents of Westfield.
Maybe those without off-street parking should park in Mayor Skibitsky's driveway as one person recently suggested in an online Westfield Patch forum. Councilman Laughlin, will you back that suggestion? Maybe Mayor Skibitsky can charge $$$ for off-street parking on his property and donate the money to his political party.
Once again, Westfield Councilwoman Jo Ann Neylan was "Acting Mayor" in Skibitsky's absence. She's auditioning for the lead role of Mayor once Skibitsky seeks to leave Broadway (Westfield) for Hollywood (Trenton).
TFoTM believes 3rd ward Councilman Mark LoGrippo will arrive in Trenton long before Skibitsky, if the prognosticators are correct.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all! If anyone should receive a gift-ticket from the Westfield Police Department for parking on the street during a 3 inch snow "storm," understand that they are merely the messenger of a town council that has a stockpile of coal to fill your holiday stocking. Kinda like Santa's elves.
Oh, and let's not forget that former Westfield Town Councilman Jim Foerst is representing the Broaddus family, owners of the "Watcher" house, when they go before the planning board with their request to demolish a historic home to make way for two smaller "McMansions."
Does Jim address the members of the planning board by their first names or does he use a more formal greeting to mask his political relationship with them?
While Governor Chris Christie's approval rate has sunk to an all-time low of around 18 percent, Mayor Skibitsky shares in common, with the governor, a common trait.....both have been a "no-show" during their current terms in office. The only difference is that Skibitsky has no respect for Westfield's unwritten term limit while Governor Christie is a "lame duck" while serving out the rest of his final term in office.
At least Trader Joe's is open once again. Take a bow Andy after you cut that ribbon.
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