Westfield Newsroom

Matt VanHeynigen


Name: Matthew T. VanHeynigen

Address: 10 Belden Drive

Occupation: Higher Education Development Director

What experience and qualifications do you have that would be an asset to the city?

  • Former City Councilor (2014-2017; including serving on the Legislative & Ordinance Committee, 2014-2015, Finance Committee, 2016-2017; and Chair of the Government Relations Committee).
  • Planning Board Member (2006-2013)
  • Twenty years in professional fundraising experience at the global, national, regional and local levels has made budgets, finance and accountability second nature to my work.
  • Masters in Public Administration – with a concentration in Community Development, Management & Planning – from Westfield State University (2007)
  • Professionalism; ability and willingness to ask independently ask questions, listen, weigh the issues, take the votes, and justify my decisions
  • Native and resident for 33 years, with added benefit of perspectives gained from living elsewhere for 12 years (Boston, Metro DC, rural VA & NY’s Adirondacks), then making the conscious decision to return to Westfield to settle down & raise a family.

Have you recently met with city department heads to discuss their needs/concerns/budgets and if so, which ones?

Superintendent of Westfield Public Schools Stefan Czaporowski (September 2019)

If you could change how the Council works, what would be your priority?

My priority would be to help usher in a return to professionalism and decorum to the Council – the manner in which it has conducted itself over the past two years is not what residents deserve, and is a discouragement for businesses and residents looking to locate here.

What are your top three areas of concern for Westfield and how would you like to address them?

Loss of economic development opportunities as a result of a lack of professionalism and experience on the Council

Maintaining the quality of our schools to keep Westfield a desirable community

Continued investments in infrastructure (roads and water in particular)

Why should residents vote for you?

I offer the experience, professionalism, listening & independent decision-making skills and leadership that residents expect and deserve, and which will better serve the City as we work to attract new businesses and residents to our City.

What prompted you to seek an At-Large City Council seat?

Government and politics has always been an interest of mine, and I enjoy applying this interest and passion in service to my native City.In addition, the tenor of the Council – and the encouragement of many residents who believe my voice and leadership could help improve it – over the past two years prompted me to run for re-election.



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