Letter: O’Connell on Home Rule Resolution

To the Editor,

It was surprising to read in the Tuesday Westfield News (May 26, 2020) that Westfield’s 2018 Home Rule Resolution regarding the authorization of re-categorizing private ways as public streets was, in Councilor Ralph Figy’s words, “Not really working.”

The Resolution does indeed work if the outlined steps are taken properly and methodically, as Councilor Onyski did recently for seven streets in his ward. The Resolution was authored in 2017 by Councilors Mary Ann Babinski, William Onyski, John Beltrandi, Brent Bean and myself and eventually approved by the Westfield City Council and signed by the Mayor and Governor. It is interesting to note that almost all Councilors voted in favor of this Resolution request EXCEPT Councilor Figy.

This Resolution was created and approved by the City Council and the Massachusetts State Legislature to streamline the process of accepting streets as City ways and has worked well in other communities.

I am proud to say that nine streets in Ward Four were included in the successful passage of this Resolution including Caitlin Way, College Park Lane, Bramble Hill Road, Daniel Drive, Park River Circle and Park River Drive, Surrey Lane, Alexander Place and Goose Hollow Road.

The tools are there for Westfield to help residents move their streets to Public Way status and I hope that they are utilized as well as Councilor Onyski has done.

Mary O’Connell


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