Another Broken Brindle Budget

March 31, 2021

The Brindle Administration introduced Westfield’s 2021 municipal budget last week,
patting itself on the back for delivering to residents the highest tax increase in seven years, and
for using another $3,795,000 of our surplus savings. That surplus is now projected to fall to only
$5.8 million at year end, down from $14.5 million the day that Mayor Brindle took office four
years ago, with residents realizing little in return.
In addition to depleting our municipal savings, Mayor Brindle’s proposed budget
increases town spending by more than $3.7 million since 2017. And here’s what we have to
show for it: more empty storefronts downtown, electronic signs warning us to lock our doors,
and not a single new playing field for our children.
Last year at budget time, Mayor Brindle openly criticized the town’s traditional financial
planning and surplus creation, saying that it was an “approach that a financial advisor would
apply to a couple in retirement, ensuring there is adequate funding to support basic needs for
their remaining years, while leaving something for the grandkids.” Exactly.
For decades that approach sustained Westfield as the kind of town that so many,
including you and me, wanted to move to and live in. Mayor Brindle’s approach certainly is
different: spending is up, surplus is down, and our quality of life is suffering.
We deserve more sustainable budgeting that better spends our tax dollars on reducing
crime, improving our downtown, creating new playing fields, and rebuilding our surplus. The
town cannot continue to increase spending and taxes on residents, while simultaneously seeking
to hand out tax breaks to commercial property owners and developers.
Mayor Brindle has had four years to deliver a better budget to Westfield residents. She
hasn’t. Time is up, and it’s time for her, and us, to move on.

Sam Della Fera

RELEASE: Westfield Republicans Launch Diverse Slate of Candidates Working to Unite our Community

February 17, 2021

For Immediate Release

Westfield, NJ – Today, Westfield Republicans announced five highly qualified candidates running for the offices of Mayor and Councilperson in each Ward. This diverse group of candidates seeking to serve the community is running as a team, putting Westfield before politics and working to unite our community. 

“Today’s severe national political climate has divided this community,” said JoAnn Neylan, candidate for Westfield Mayor. “I’m running to reunite Westfield around excellent public service. We need to get back to talking to our neighbors and working together to solve the problems facing our town. As your Mayor, I will listen to all residents – ensuring every person’s voice is heard – and I will always put politics aside and do what is best for Westfield.”

JoAnn and her husband raised their three children in Westfield. She formerly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn where she helped put sexual predators behind bars. From 2004-2019 she served as Westfield’s Second Ward Councilwoman. She enters the race with deep-rooted experience in local government. As the former Chair of the Finance Policy Committee, and hands-on leader during Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, she understands what it takes to implement fiscal discipline without sacrificing best-in-class government services. 

Amanda Como, candidate for Ward 1 Council added, “My family fell in love with Westfield 14 years ago and has lived here ever since. Needless to say a lot has changed over the course of those 14 years. Most recently, it feels like there’s a toxic divide trickling down from the national political scene. I am a helper and leader by nature and have decided to take action to run and serve my community in the hopes of bringing us forward together.”

Amanda is an entrepreneur and small business owner. She is a dedicated volunteer, having served as the Westfield Welcome Club Fundraising Chair and a volunteer Girls’ Basketball Coach for the Westfield YMCA, Westfield Recreation Department and Westfield Basketball Association Travel Program. She was a coach for the Girls Softball League of Westfield, Girl Scout leader and troop Variety Show Coordinator, and was frequently class parent during her children’s years at Franklin Elementary School.

“I am ready and eager to bring my leadership experience and business savvy mindset to the Westfield Town Council as a candidate for Ward 2,” said Denise Garrett. “I am committed to putting community before partisan politics, and as Councilwoman, I will champion transparency and communication, fiscal responsibility and accountability, the preservation of our small-town atmosphere and values, and ensuring we bring our children top-quality sports programs and facilities.”

Denise is a compliance professional at one of the world’s foremost financial institutions. She currently holds the position of Executive Director serving as the Americas Head of Infrastructure Compliance, leading coverage for the Firm’s Operations Divisions within the Institutional and Wealth Management businesses. As a mother to three young children, Denise is a passionate member of the community. She is an active parishioner at the Parish Community of St. Helen’s, teaching Faith Formation children’s classes. Denise is also an active part of the Wilson School community as a PTO volunteer and class parent. Denise and her husband Bill settled in Westfield 16 years ago as newlyweds with the hope of growing their family in a thriving town with traditional values, intimate atmosphere, and deeply connected sense of community.

“When serving this country in Law Enforcement and the military, politics wasn’t even an afterthought,” said Shawn Mullen, Ward 3 Council candidate. “Serving on local government should be no different. I believe in putting community first and giving back as evidenced by my background. Westfield has offered my family so much over the years and now it’s my time to give back to Westfield.” 

Shawn, a 22-year resident of Westfield, is a retired FBI agent with a long career in public service, including more than two decades as an officer in the US Army Reserve. As an FBI agent, Shawn investigated fraudsters, drug dealers and violent criminals. He led a multi-agency task force that arrested dozens of individuals who defrauded public programs and recovered hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Shawn has also served his local community for over 20 years as a member of the American Legion, Martin Wallberg Post #3. During the 2003 Iraq War, he ran the local Blue Star Banner program, which recognized the families of Westfield service members deployed to the war zone.

“At the local level, it is important to have a bias towards action and get things done. The only way we can overcome the challenges before us today is as a unified Westfield, putting party politics aside,” said James Restivo, candidate for Westfield Town Council Ward 4. “As Councilman, I will work hard for you to preserve our tax dollars, improve our parks and fields, and rebuild trust between the town and local government. I will work with all council members to erase the lines that have divided us and put the needs of Ward 4 residents, along with the entire Westfield community, at the heart of every decision.”

James and his family have lived in Westfield for over 13 years, raising their 2 children in a town that has “just always felt like home.” He and his wife, Jennifer, are active in the McKinley School community, Westfield sports and are big supporters of the Westfield Music Programs. James is currently employed at an industry leading organic and all-natural sweetener company here in New Jersey, focusing on marketing and managing national sales accounts.

Mayor, JoAnn Neylan – Read more about JoAnn 

Ward 1 Council, Amanda Como – Read more about Amanda

Ward 2 Council, Denise Garrett – Read more about Denise 

Ward 3 Council, Shawn Mullen – Read more about Shawn 

Ward 4 Council, James Restivo– Read more about James 

Today in Washington, DC

January 6, 2021

The constitution must be respected. Democracy must be respected. The peaceful transition of power must be respected.

What we are seeing in Washington right now is sickening.

We completely condemn the violent acts in our nations great Capital today. Pray for peace.

Today is Election Day!

November 3, 2020

Please exercise your civic duty and VOTE! This election is unique in that it is almost entirely Vote by Mail! Please be sure you received, filled out, and returned your Vote by Mail Ballot. Ballots can be returned to one of the following locations until 8pm this evening.

You can also return your ballot by USPS (make sure it is postmarked), or hand it in today at your polling location. Click here to find your polling location.

With the exception of persons with disabilities, voters who go to the polls today will NOT be permitted to vote on a voting machine, and will instead be given a Provisional Paper Ballot. A Provisional Paper Ballot is similar to voting on your VBM Ballot but requires that you wait in line to receive a ballot from a poll worker.  An ADA-compliant voting machine will be available for persons with disabilities which prevent them from voting on a paper ballot. Such voter must certify on an affidavit that they cannot vote on a paper ballot due to their disability.

We URGE you to use your Vote By Mail Ballot, as Provisional Paper Ballots are counted last and must be checked against the VBM Ballots that have already been cast before they are accepted.

Still have questions? 

Visit for answers to all your questions, or email us at for more information.

Are You Registered to Vote?

October 13, 2020

Check your voter registration status at if you are not sure if you are registered. If you aren’t registered, you can register at Today is the last day to register to vote to be eligible to vote in the November 3rd General Election.

Registered to vote, but haven’t received your Vote By Mail ballot yet?Please sign up for an account at to track your ballot at and see when it was mailed to you. If it shows as sent and has been more than 8 days since sent, please contact the Union County Clerk at 908-527-4996. Please note that newly registered voters or voters with recent address changes will have ballots mailed around October 20th.

Please check for answers to other questions you have about voting in the 2020 General Election.

All Union County Vote By Mail Ballots Have Been Mailed!

October 5, 2020

ALL registered voters have now been sent their Vote By Mail Ballot for the 2020 General Election. PLEASE check your mailbox for your ballot. Did you receive your Vote By Mail Ballot and need help filling it out? Are you concerned that you have not yet received your ballot? Do you know where and how to return your ballot? Please visit for answers to all your Vote by Mail questions.

Remember, you will NOT be able to vote at your polling location on a voting machine on Election Day (with a few exceptions for those with disabilities). Please educate yourself on how to make your vote count!

Vote By Mail ballots have hit Westfield mailboxes!

October 3, 2020

Most registered Westfield voters should receive their Vote By Mail ballots in today or Monday’s mail. Please check your mail! 

This is what your ballot will look like.  Don’t throw it away!  You will use it to vote in the 2020 General Election.  

Please visit for answers to frequently asked questions about Voting By Mail.


Do not throw anything away.  Keep all the contents of your Vote By Mail package together.  

Written instructions for completing your Vote By Mail ballot

Video instructions for completing your Vote By Mail ballot

Make sure you are registered to vote.
Check your voter registration status with the NJ Division of Elections.

If you are not registered to vote, register to vote by October 13th to be eligible to cast a ballot in this year’s General Election.

If you have recently moved or need to update your address, contact the Clerk’s office right away: 908-527-4787.

Request a duplicate ballot.
If your voter registration information is correct and you do not receive your ballot by October 13th, immediately request a duplicate from the Clerk’s office: 908-527-4787.

We strongly recommend that you register with the New Jersey Voter Registration System so that you can ensure that your ballot has been received and accepted by the Division of Elections.

You will need your voter ID number to track your ballot.  If you don’t have your voter ID handy, please obtain it using this link.   

Please visit for answers to frequently asked questions about Voting By Mail.

You can also email us at or join our mailing list.

Will I be permitted to vote in-person on the voting machine if I go to my polling place on November 3rd?

October 2, 2020

NO. You will NOT be permitted to vote on the machine if you go to your polling place.  Voters who appear at the polling location will be permitted to vote ONLY on a Provisional Paper Ballot. A Provisional Paper Ballot is similar to voting on your VBM Ballot but requires that you wait in line to receive a ballot from a poll worker.  An ADA-compliant voting machine will be available, however, for persons with disabilities which prevent them from voting on a paper ballot. Such voter must certify on an affidavit that they cannot vote on a paper ballot due to their disability.
We URGE you to use your Vote By Mail Ballot, as Provisional Paper Ballots are counted last and must be checked against the VBM Ballots that have already been cast before they are accepted.

SO… Keep an eye out for your ballot in the mail…

The office of the Union County Clerk is mailing ballots out in waves town-by-town, alphabetically. Westfield ballots will be some of the last to be mailed. All ballots will be mailed out by October 5.  

If you do not receive your ballot by October 13, please contact the Union County Clerk at 908-527-4996.

PLEASE watch THIS VIDEO for instructions on how to complete your Vote By Mail Ballot.

The 2020 General Election is Almost Entirely Vote By Mail

September 24, 2020

Ballots for all registered voters have begun being mailed in Union County. EVERY registered voter in NJ will be receiving a mail-in ballot, whether or not it was requested. Westfield residents should expect to receive their ballots in the next 2 weeks.

We recommend that you complete your ballot as soon as it is received and deliver it to the secure ballot box in Westfield located at the Fraser Building on 300 North Avenue. Ballots can also be returned to any ballot box in the county (see for the full list of secure ballot box locations), to the Union County Clerk’s Office or Board of Elections, via the U.S. Mail, or turned into your polling location on Election Day. Votes cast in person at your polling location on Election Day will be provisional ballots (with the exception of ADA compliant machines for the disabled), which can take weeks to certify. Please don’t discard your ballot when it arrives!

For more information please visit:, the Union County Board of Elections Website, or the Westfield General Election Information webpage for more details and information regarding WHERE TO CAST YOUR VOTE in this primarily vote by mail election. Don’t wait until November 3rd!

Please join us for a Virtual Wine Tasting Fundraising Event

September 18, 2020

Hosted by Old York Cellars Winery on Thursday, October 15, 2020, from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm

To participate register at:

Registration includes:

3 bottles of wine (red, white, blush)

1 box of chocolate wafers

Sommelier instruction via Zoom

$75 per Tasting Kit (per couple)

Please register by October 9, 2020 to guarantee home delivery of your tasting kit and select “pick up” at checkout