Councilor Figy: Ward 2 Update

Greetings from Ward 2,
I hope everyone is staying warm now that winter has arrived. I am looking forward to this term with mixed emotions. I will truly miss several of the councilors who are no longer on the Council. I have learned a tremendous amount from them and they will be truly missed. I wish them well in their future. I am also looking forward to working with the new council. It is a very diverse group of people and I believe that they want to do what is in the best interest of Westfield. It surely will produce some very interesting discussion.
As you can see, a lot of work is going on at the site of the old Red Cross Building on Broad Street. This is the long awaited restoration of this historic building. The restoration is being conducted under the auspices of the Domus Agency. Domus will run a homeless shelter for adolescences once the restoration is complete.  Domus is hoping for an early spring opening, depending on the weather of course.
At Thursday’s council meeting, public hearing for a proposed zoning change was closed and referred to the L&O committee. This would change the split zoning at the Mosley School and place the property under one zone for multiple housing units. Domus is the requesting agency and hopes to restore another historical building within the City of Westfield. In the process they will develop low to moderate income housing. This is a welcomed announcement for the neighbors of the old Mosley School. They have been maintaining the property, mowing the tree belt, and cleaning the gutters for too long. This will be a benefit for this neighborhood.
The Westfield Senior Center at the Mary Noble Estate had a grand opening at the end of October. Since then user ship has gone through the roof. New programs are being added and are filling up rapidly.  It is the proposal to consolidate and relocate both 2-A and 2-B poling locations to the Senior Center. This will make for a much improved polling location for the voters of Ward 2. Hats off to Director Tina Gorman and her staff for a job well done. Keep up the good work.
I am the City Council’s liaison to the School Committee and I would like to give them a loud shout out for their response to a national epidemic, opioid abuse. They authorized the Superintendant to explore training of school nurses and housing Narcon in the secondary schools within our district. It was my recommendation for this policy and I hope that it never has to be used. Fortunately, the costs of purchasing the initial dosage are going to be covered by a local Philanthropist. It is my wish that every City Department will embrace this approach.
I want to encourage every taxpayer to take the time to fill out the questionnaire of the Schools of Westfield webpage. This questionnaire allows for your input into the criteria for selection the next Superintendent. This will be the first of several methods that the school committee will use to ascertain information that will guide them in the selection process. Please get involved.  I want to wish the school Committee well as they proceed with this most important responsibility.
As you can see a lot has transpired since my last article. I would like to thank the voters for having the confidence in me to send me back to the City Council for a second term. It is my intention to represent Ward 2 to the best of my abilities. I have office hours at the Senior Center on the third Thursday of the month from 11-12. I can be reached at (413)568-9954 or by email at [email protected]. Please contact me with your concerns.
Respectfully submitted;
Ralph J. Figy
Ward 2 City Council

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not the staff, editor, or publisher of this publication.

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