WESTFIELD – This week, The Westfield News asked city councilors and the mayor to share their New Year’s resolutions, personal or for the city, lighthearted or serious, with our readers. We couldn’t reach them all, but here’s what they shared:
City Council President Brent B. Bean, II
“Something we need to take a look at is the lack of communication throughout departments and different segments, schools, WG&E and City Hall – we need to be better about communicating. We have yet to take advantage of all the assets the city has to make this community shine. Not many communities, especially in New England, can say they have an airport, hospital, college, gas and electric, own sewer and water department. They can’t say they have a river that runs through their town, and a new rail trail in town. We just don’t take advantage of our assets because we’re all living in silos, and we need to get better at that this year. It’s a fast moving environment and we’re all just reacting rather than planning, and we need to get together for a common goal. All I can do is call a meeting and start the process. My number one goal is to entice businesses, and make it a better community for all of Westfield.
“I have to stop eating after I eat dinner. At 9 p.m. every night, I am starving. Need to figure out a way to curb that bad habit of eating at night.”
Ward 3 Councilor Bridget Matthews-Kane
“In terms of the city, I want the Greening the Gateway Communities tree planting project in Westfield to hit the targets the state’s program has set. The planting goal per crew is 800 trees a year, and I want to do what I can to see Westfield reach that goal for its first year.
“Personally, my family has gone on a lot of hikes during the pandemic. Our current favorite spots are the Keystone Arches Trail and Sanderson Brook Falls, but my New Year’s Resolution is to check out at least three new local hiking trails. This year we’re going to try sections of the New England Trail and are especially curious to try the Metacomet section and the Seven Sisters Trail. I am open to suggestions if Westfield News readers have a personal favorite I should check out. If so, people can reach out on my City Council Facebook page or email me. I’d love to hear suggestions!”
Ward 2 Councilor Ralph J. Figy
“My New Year’s Resolution is to get the labs at our high schools updated. And to have more trees planted in Ward 2 than in Ward 3.”
Ward 3 Councilor Bridget Matthews-Kane, Addendum
“On top of having the 800 trees planted this year, I want the majority of them to be in Ward 3. I’m looking forward to winning my bet with Councilor Figy and having a delicacy from Ward 2 to celebrate my victory!”
Ward 5 Councilor John J. Beltrandi, III
“2020 has been a challenging year for all, but especially our first responders and health care providers. Clearly, these people in our community have stepped up and done a terrific job, I want to thank them. Also all of our residents and City employees for their patience and understanding while our City properties were not accessible to the public. Please keep all your families safe for the duration and let’s make 2021 a much better year.”
Ward 6 Councilor William Onyski
“My resolution is to continue to work hard for the residents of Ward 6 and all of Westfield. I enjoy the opportunity to help residents and make sound choices on all issues.”
At-large Councilor Dave Flaherty
“Expand vocabulary by avoiding using the word `awesome’ and learning at least two new `woke’ words, phrases, and/or pronouns every month so that I can communicate better with the younguns.
“Read at least six new books a month.
“Improve physical fitness with targets of: reducing BMI by 5 points; improving range of motion and posture; being able to jog at 10 minute mile pace for at least a half hour; being able to bench press at least half of body weight for 10 reps; competing in at least three racquetball or pickleball tournaments; backpacking one weekend per quarter; and, being able do the 22 challenge in under 3 minutes.
“Block and/or ignore negativity and partisan spin and rants on social media platforms. Reduce personal social media time to less than 20 minutes a day.
“Donate, recycle, sell, or throw away at least 3 cubic feet of stuff every month.
“Invest at least 8 hours per month on creative or artistic activities.
“Take weekend getaways at least once a quarter.”
BIZ – “Focus on what matters most. Improve profitability in business ventures. Increase investments into retirement plans by 5%.”
GOVT – “Enhance communications with residents and business owners, and encourage their engagement with government by writing at least one article per month for the local news and social media platforms.”
GOVT – “Continue working for fiscally responsible government behavior and long-term thinking by making at least one significant proposal per quarter.”
At-large Councilor Kristen Mello
“While I am dubious about making a resolution on the cusp of a second year of pandemic… in 2021 I intend to reinforce protections for our environment, aquifer, and public health, and have set myself the side goal of learning all 41 sections of our Rules of Council as well as Councilor Flaherty has.”
At-large Councilor Rick Sullivan
“I think COVID has shown us what is important in life so I will spend more time with family and friends, travel and have a glass of champagne at a romantic location with my wife. I further resolve to support the completion of the rail trail (only taken 20 years) and properly funding education as it’s the most important investment we can make as a community. And to keep my resolution shorter than Councilor Flaherty.”
At-large Councilor Dan Allie
“To be thankful each day for all the blessings in life.”
Mayor Donald F. Humason, Jr.
“My resolution for 2021 is the same as it was last year: I resolve to recommit myself to being the best father, husband, and Mayor that I can be. Those are my three favorite and most important jobs.
“For years I have written on my desk blotter `My Goal Is Greatness!’ Not that I want to be great but I want to do great. I believe you only live once, but if you live right then once is enough.”
Happy New Year!