Mayor candidate Q&A: How will you attract large-scale development?

Reminder Publishing sent both Westfield mayoral candidates identical questionnaires covering several topics of interest to voters. Answers are in the candidates’ own words and have not been edited, except for spelling and punctuation. Responses are listed in the order that candidates will be listed in the ballot: incumbent first, then challenger.

Today’s question: What sort of large-scale commercial or industrial development does Westfield need, and what new thing will you do to attract it?

Donald Humason: My team and I have courted the much-anticipated $2.7 billion Hyper Data Center campus proposed for zoned industrial land on the city’s north side, which will bring jobs and tax revenue, and act as a magnet for similar high-tech job centers that don’t bring truck traffic, warehouses, noise, pollution or traffic to our city. This is a project the residents of our city deserve and have long desired. When the election is over, the City Council will again fund my city advancement officer position to partner with Planning and Community Development to market and promote Westfield to more companies.

Michael McCabe: We have not accessed media markets at all. “Why Westfield” should be a top mayoral priority. Create social and digital media ads in collaboration with other entities to drive interest. We have not seen fit to fill the advancement officer’s position. Yes, it’s a large salary, but the loss of economy far exceeds the officer’s salary. I am not sure there needs to be large industrial development. Focus on existing commercial and industrial sites available in the city. We should partner with MassDevelopment and others for mixed-use markets and hire a DPW maintenance person for the downtown area.

Pick up the newspaper tomorrow for more questions and answers with the mayoral, Ward 1 City Council and School Committee candidates. For previous questions and answers, visit thewestfieldnews.com/tag/election-2021Election Day is Nov. 2. Early voting is also available today at City Hall, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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