City Council Preview: Jan. 17, 2019

Ward 2 Councilor and City Council President Ralph J. Figy (WNG File Photo)

WESTFIELD – City Council President Ralph J. Figy said most of the items on the agenda at Thursday’s meeting will be referred to sub-committees for further discussion, including appropriations within the Department of Public Works Water and Stormwater divisions.
The Mayor’s office is also asking for several resolutions; all of which will be referred to subcommittees, according to Figy. The first requests authorization to enter a lease for Billy Bullens Field, which is under the Parks & Recreation Commission, with Starfires Baseball to operate a Futures Collegiate Baseball League. The addition of Westfield as an expansion team for the 2019 season was announced last week by Futures Commissioner Chris Hall.
Two other resolutions from the Mayor’s office seek to establish a special injury leave indemnity fund for the Westfield Fire Department and the Westfield Police Department, allowed by the Municipal Reform Act. Figy said if there is any settlement following injury to a firefighter or police officer, the city’s portion would go into the indemnity fund to pay for overtime.
The Mayor is also seeking authorization to execute a Host Community Agreement with Heka, Inc., located at 89 Sgt. TM Dion Way for adult use marijuana. Heka previously signed a Host Community Agreement with the city for medical marijuana, but delayed its anticipated 2018 opening.
A final resolution would authorize the Mayor to sign a five-year lease for a 2018 John Deere 331G for the DPW.
Under Personnel, a G.L. disclosure will be submitted for Tyler Wingate, as a school employee seeking to be a basketball referee for the Parks & Recreation department. Also being submitted is the reappointment of Mark Cressotti as city engineer for a term to expire Feb. 2022.
Under reports from city officers, Assistant City Solicitor Shanna Reed will submit information from the Traffic Commission relative to the heavy truck exclusion on Paper Mill Road. Figy said Reed will give on update on the status of the truck exclusion with the state, and the matter will be referred to the Legislative & Ordinance sub-committee.
A public hearing will be held on the application for a special permit for motor vehicle sales for a wholesale car dealership at 66F South Broad Street, submitted by Farzaan Mufeed of Marjorie St., Westfield.

At-large City Councilor Brent B. Bean, II. (WNG File Photo)

Among other items being discussed at the Finance Committee meeting preceding the City Council at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday is the stormwater fee increase, under new chairman Brent B. Bean, II. Bean, who said the fee increase will be sent back to the City Council tomorrow, added, “I am not sure I or Finance can justify the increase.”
A new motion by Councilor Bean asks the Police Department to come in and discuss the plan for school resource officers for the rest of the academic year. Chief John Camerota confirmed at the end of Dec. that school resource officers would be pulled to fill normal patrol shifts after students return from holiday break.
“There have been many conflicting stories on how the City is handling the school resource officers in our schools. It is a priority for all of us that there will be a full time presence,” Bean said.
Figy said the matter was discussed at the Police Commission meeting this week, and school resource officers remain a priority for the police chief.
“I’m looking forward to getting going, addressing the issues affecting the city, and moving forward,” Figy said.

To Top