To the Editor: Misinformation and Inaccuracies

I am disappointed to read the article submitted by Councilor VanHeynigen in Friday’s paper.
I had very high hopes for Matt when he first came on the Council and I voted for him in more rounds than any other Councilor when we had the task of choosing a replacement for Councilor Miller during a May 2012 Special vote of the City Council. Matt had served on the Westfield Planning Board and I thought he might be a good addition to our City Council. My faith in Councilor Vanheynigen may have been misplaced.
It pains me to say the votes and statements made by the Councilor have been a bit disconcerting. Personally, he is a likeable man but Matt appears to be unable to grasp some of the concepts of City finance or cast votes that benefit the residents of Westfield. In addition, his motions for new legislation have been sadly lacking.
In today’s article VanHeynigen makes the point that those Councilors voting against our 2018 budget voted against the paltry cuts that we proposed from the Council floor. Nothing could be further from the truth and the fact that he believes this is terrifying. For the first time in 12 years I voted against this Annual budget. I did not take this vote lightly but realized that the budget was untenable and reckless. Cuts needed to be made and were not. When the bell rang and Matt should have stepped up he did not. Councilor VanHeynigen must be held accountable for helping to place our entire city at financial risk.
Rather than criticize others for analyzing the budget, digging deep for solutions and taking actions to help our City, Councilor VanHeynigen has chosen to rubber stamp a failing budget and jeopardize our City’s financial future.
I hope that residents remember the Councilors who act in their best interests each day this November.
Mary O’Connell

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