The Westfield News is printing candidate profiles daily until Election Day, Nov. 5. The Westfield News encourages all citizens to vote. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. If you don’t know where to vote, visit cityofwestfield.org or contact the City Clerk’s Office at 413-572-6235.
Ward 4 candidate
Name: Mary O’Connell
Address: 25 Old Park Lane
Occupation: Owner of Wolcott Realty & Community Activist
What experience and qualifications do you have that would be an asset to the city?
I have 12 years of experience as an elected official representing Ward 4. I love working for the residents of my ward as well as all Westfield citizens. I have experience lobbying on Westfield’s behalf in Boston and Washington DC and relish connecting to State and Federal Lawmakers for Westfield’s advancement. In addition, I have co-founded two successful businesses in Westfield, both still excelling and employing Westfield residents and paying over $200,000 in real estate taxes to our municipality. I currently co-own Wolcott Realty and we have done $3,508,500 in real estate transactions in 2019, adding growth and employment to the community.
Have you recently met with city department heads to discuss their needs/concerns/budgets and if so, which ones?
I speak often to Westfield Department Heads. Fortunately, I have a good working relationship with many of them and am easily able to get my questions and concerns addressed. I have had over a dozen years of budget oversight with these folks and their departments, so I am well versed in individual department budgetary issues. In addition, I stay in touch with State and Federal leaders so that I am able to easily reach them for aid and assistance.
What is your main concern for your ward?
My concerns are many, but I will try and narrow it down to one. I am alarmed with the infrastructure in our ward, many of our streets and sidewalks are in total disrepair and we need to get our fair share of City resources for these upgrades. While I was in office. I was able to secure funding for the repaving of many of our streets but much more needs to be done. Along with disintegrating streets we have sidewalks in dangerous conditions along both main and side streets. We have issues with a major construction project along Western Avenue that is causing aggravating traffic delays. Of course, sewers are a huge issue for many Ward 4 residents. We must look towards fulfilling our promise to residents to lay sewer lines to as many homes as possible.
Why should residents vote for you?
I have a proven 12-year track record of exceptional constituent services. I have consistently voted to keep costs down and voted against increases in our budgets and fees. In addition, I have taken the job of a Council representative seriously, working on new ordinances, new hires, and new zoning.
What prompted you to run for election?
I am very troubled by the financial state of our City. While I was on the Council, I voted to curb increases in our budget and voted for spending that made sense and was necessary. I have not seen that same sense of financial oversight by my opponent in the last two years. The time is now to work towards responsible budgeting and spending. I know I am the person to do that. In addition, I have been concerned for some time with the water issue in Westfield. I am involved in the fight to bring clean safe water to Westfield. I have spent countless hours working on this issue including travelling to meet with State and Federal Legislators to bring attention to this important matter. During the past two years, I have traveled to Boston and Washington DC to meet with Legislators and to attend Congressional Hearings. It is an honor to do this for our residents. While I spent this time working on this issue I have often wondered where my opponent was. I became aware that he was certainly not working to remedy the problem through any of the necessary channels and I decided it was time for the citizens of Westfield to replace him with someone who would.