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.
Name: William Onyski
Address: 37 Hillcrest Circle
Ward 6 City Councilor and Vice President of Customer Service and Logistics for Comark Communications (Hitachi) in Southwick, MA –30+ years at Comark
What experience and qualifications do you have that would be an asset to the city?
My combination of formal education, private sector employment, and public service allows me to move the city forward and solve issues and from three unique perspectives. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Westfield State University. I also earned a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Massachusetts Isenberg School of Management later in life while working full time, raising a family, and serving on the Westfield Planning Board. In my position at Comark, I solve difficult, high value issues with our customers. Working to help customers in the private sector and helping residents in the public sector is very similar and allows me to build from each experience. My thirteen years of experience as a member of the Westfield Planning Board and three plus years as your Ward 6 City Councilor provide public sector experience.
Have you recently met with city department heads to discuss their needs/concerns/budgets and if so, which ones?
While working for Ward 6 residents, I am in regular contact with city department heads. We work to solve immediate resident issues and discuss the department suggestions and ideas to help better serve the residents of Westfield. We also talk about ways to maintain or improve services while keeping costs down. Some departments I have recently been in contact with are Police, Fire, School, Public Works, Health, Engineering, Law, Planning, and City Clerk. As Liaison to Barnes Airport, I am also in regular communications with the Airport Manager.
What is your main concern for your ward?
Ward 6 is unique. It comprises residential neighborhoods, Hampton Ponds, industrial zones, a hospital, an airport with military facilities, marijuana facilities, a quarry, and even a medical examiner’s office.
Clearly, there are a wide variety of competing interests therefore health and quality of life issues of the residents are most important. Maintaining clean and safe water for residents is paramount. Noise and safety concerns from seasonal truck traffic is an issue with no easy answer, but I will continue to work for a solution for all of Ward 6. Although many road projects were completed in Ward 6, there are still roads in need of repair, and I will continue to push forward to make that happen. We also need to be cognizant of maintaining a reasonable tax rate for our residents while maintaining services that are required and expected
Why should residents vote for you?
I feel that Ward 6 residents elected me for two terms because I sincerely care about Westfield and serving its citizens. The character of an individual is important. There are no hidden agendas……I’m not in this for recognition, to run for higher office, or to get a public pension. I simply want to help the city to the best of my abilities. My wife and children were raised in Westfield, benefitted from the Westfield Educational System and we call Westfield home. I will continue to work hard and make smart choices that effect my family and the residents so we can all continue to be proud of Westfield.
FOR INCUMBENTS: What positive effect have you had on the city?
My experience in the private and public sector has been beneficial. My logical, common sense approach to issues allows me to make fair and reasonable decisions. I strive to make all aspects of the city better. Some of the accomplishments over the past two terms include installing sewers and road reconstruction in the Papermill Road/Joseph Heights area while working with city officials to bring the project in under budget.
I am also pleased to report that traffic signals are scheduled to be installed at the intersections of Springdale Road, Papermill Road, and Union Street. Road work has commenced, and the traffic signal system is on order. I advocated for keeping this item in the budget for the safety of everyone who uses this intersection. Continued cooperation with the Westfield Police, State officials, and Hampton Ponds residents have helped keep the ponds safe.