Bramnick tries to limit Murphy’s power during Assembly session

June 18, 2020

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick pushed to increase transparency and balance in government at Thursday’s Assembly session by calling to move legislation requiring the legislature to review and approve executive orders issued during a state of emergency after 14 days.“Unfortunately, the present state of emergency continues without transparency or review by the state Assembly,” said […]

Hands Off Our Houses

June 17, 2020

Maybe you’re like me, and thousands of other Westfield homeowners.  You own a typical 1920s or earlier Colonial, or Tudor, or Cape.  It has been updated and well-maintained over the years, but it doesn’t include many of the amenities that current homebuyers demand.  For example, it has a detached garage, no open floor plan, and […]

An Important Op-Ed from Senator Tom Kean Jr.

June 16, 2020

Your “Historic” Home – Whether You Like It or Not

June 11, 2020

Many of us reside in Westfield because of the charming homes that line our attractive streets.  Having made what, for many, is the largest investment of our lives, we expect to be able to update and improve our properties as we like, subject of course to existing zoning laws and building codes. Over the years, […]

The Problems with PILOTs – Conclusion

June 5, 2020

This week, we conclude our examination of the many problems with PILOTs and the tax abatement programs that the Brindle Administration recently set in motion in Westfield.  It is an examination that we would have expected the Mayor and Council to openly undertake with input from all residents, preferably after the global pandemic ended.  Unfortunately, […]

A Call to Unity

June 4, 2020

We are extremely saddened by the tragic death of George Floyd. The criminal acts that led to his death are disturbing at every level. We stand with all those who condemn this hateful act that runs counter to the values of our nation and our unalienable rights to liberty and equality under the law.  We […]

The Problems with PILOTs – Part II

May 27, 2020

Last week, we began to expose the many problems with PILOTs and the tax abatement programs that the Brindle Administration recently set in motion in Westfield, without any meaningful public debate or input, and during a pandemic. The harms that can be caused by such programs are detailed in a report published by the NJ […]

The Problems with PILOTs – Part I

May 20, 2020

Earlier this month, after introducing a budget that imposed the maximum allowable property tax levy increase on Westfield’s residents, the Brindle Administration took a major step toward handing out tax breaks to downtown property owners and commercial developers. On May 12, the Mayor and Council declared the entire downtown Westfield business district to be an […]

Westfield’s Incredibly Shrinking Surplus

May 13, 2020

The Town’s surplus funds are like the savings account that we all try to maintain for our own households.  Surplus is critical for towns to address unanticipated and unbudgeted costs, for example those brought on by blizzards, hurricanes and, yes, global pandemics.  They protect against periods of economic turmoil and they help to earn and […]

Mayor Brindle’s Broken Budget

April 29, 2020

On March 10, 2020, just before the devastating human and economic impact of the COVID-19 virus would become widely known, Mayor Shelly Brindle released a “Bold Action Plan” for Westfield. In it, she criticized the Town’s prior budget policies that had, in her words, “taken a very conservative approach to budgeting which has effectively maintained […]