Letter to the editor: Fiscal responsibility will be top priority of Sullivan administration

Letter to editor
In my recently released issues platform, I stated that a primary objective of my candidacy for mayor is to

lead and support effective government that benefits and enhances the lives of our citizens and our city.

At the core of that objective is responsible government that is fiscally strong and well managed. As I

think of responsible government, I am guided by the fundamental needs, concerns and well-being of our

citizens. As father of two children, Tori and Christopher, both WHS graduates and now college students,

I understand and fully appreciate the day to day challenges our citizens face attempting to make ends

meet. I live with these same daily concerns as you-the cost of health care, education, general cost of

living, and yes unfortunately taxes.

The city of Westfield requires a solid fiscal foundation to provide the essential city services and other

resources necessary to maintain a thriving, healthy and innovative community. In fact, in March 2015,

Standard & Poor’s, the independent credit rating service, affirmed the City of Westfield’s ‘AA’ long-term

rating and underlying rating on the city’s outstanding General Obligation debt. This rating is based on

S&P’s assessment of a variety of key fiscal factors. In particular, the rating agency noted Westfield’s

strong management, with good financial policies; very strong liquidity, providing strong cash levels to

cover both debt service and expenditures; and strong budgetary performance. This independent credit

report reflects the sound fiscal management I supported resulting in the city’s current stable financial

position. I am proud of this accomplishment.

As mayor of the city, my highest priority will be centered on providing the vision, leadership and

effective management of maintaining a fiscally sound and balanced budgets that support our local

government. The budgetary process prioritizes and allocates investments in education, basic city

services, community services, economic development, assistance for our seniors, veterans and related

social services, park, recreation & quality of life activities, to name a few. However, to be undertaken

properly, the process requires strategic, thoughtful and yes, oftentimes difficult decision-making

designed to serve the best interests of the city and its citizens for the short and long term.

During my eighteen years as a City Councilor and eight years as City Council President, I have been a

leader actively engaged in the budget process and proven my ability to make the tough choices required

to balance the needs of our growing city while being fiscally responsible. Having worked collaboratively

with city council members and various mayoral administrations over the years, I have also demonstrated

my knowledge and deep experience to guide the city through demanding economic times. While at

times quite challenging, I have made the difficult but financially prudent decisions responsive to the

needs of the citizens of Westfield and consistent with the laws and ordinances governing municipalities.

Every decision I make involves a full consideration of the value received for our hard earned tax dollars.

I voted to support quality public education that will help every child to succeed. I voted to support

school building construction, technology advancement and support for our dedicated teachers and

administrators. I have also voted to support public safety initiatives that will keep our neighborhoods

safe. I voted to support the construction of the new senior center that will provide much assistance to

support the independence of our elderly citizens. I voted for needed road, sewer and water

infrastructure repair and development.

My leadership commitment as mayor is to engage all of our elected officials in a governing partnership;

as I have successfully done as council president. I intend to foster teamwork, collaboration and

respectful discourse so that we are as productive as possible in our work together. We need our city

government to reflect who we are as a community – a diverse, richly talented community of family,

friends and neighbors working together toward a better Westfield.

While the City of Westfield is clearly on the right path despite facing tough economic challenges, we can

and must do more. Now more than ever, the city needs an experienced, proven leader that will make

informed, prudent fiscal decisions in support of effective and responsible government. I am a candidate

for mayor of this great city because I believe I am the right leader with the right experience at the right

time for Westfield. I ask you for your vote on November 3rd.

Brian Sullivan

Candidate for Mayor

City of Westfield

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