PulseLine: Councilors Surprise and Emmershy

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Last night I watched the City Council meeting for the third time in the last two months. I was amazed the attitudes of Counselor Emmershy & Surprise. It might be a little unfair for me to say but what it looked like to me was that these individuals don’t have the City’s best interest at heart. Watching the meeting it looks like the decisions they were making were very personal and not on the project, funding or position in front of them. I am wondering if you took the meeting off tv would they act the same way. The Westfield News reached out to Councilors Matt Emmershy and Andrew Surprise for their comments and here are their responses:
Councilor Matt Emmershy:

Thursday night was a long meeting. At 3.5 hours it is hard to respond to what “project, funding, position” the writer is referring to. There were a multitude of items addressed. Those ranged from additional airport funding to a public hearing on marijuana. With employee reappointments, reports from Council Committees, and $1.5M in road funding mixed in. Thursday night was unique in that we had a $10M airport bond before us for immediate consideration. The airport started off the year about $500k in the hole. They came back for a few hundred thousand earlier in the year for matching grant funds. This bond would leave residents picking up a $615k grant match. Employee reappointments were questioned. As at least one of the individuals was admonished by a Superior Court Judge and the legal advice given resulted in the maximum fine allowed being levied against the City. This newspaper covered the story extensively just a week ago. The only other real hot topic touched on was marijuana. The Planning Board drafted additional regulations that the vast majority of the Council was not in favor of. I took it upon myself to ask PB members questions so we could better understand their position. This was in light of how they were headed in one direction and then immediately changed course with minimal discussion and voted to send us a very burdensome regulation. Ultimately the item went to committee for further discussion. If I had greater context of what the writer is referring to I could provide a much more concise answer. Hopefully this explains what was going on.  If you have any further questions feel free to call or send me an email.

Matt Emmershy, City Councilor At-Large 413-250-5818 [email protected]

Councilor Andrew Surprise:

I will not be responding to a vague negative attack on my character and motivations. If the individual which contacted the Pulseline with no particular issues mentioned, wishes to contact me to discuss their concerns, they are welcome to do so. I believe I am among the most accessible and responsive Councilors. I host office hours, and Ward 3 Meetings, both of which are publicized. Even those citizens that reside outside of Ward 3 have always been welcomed to attend my meetings or contact me, and many have. As always, my contact information is included below. I look forward to hearing from this person.

Regards, ?Andrew K. Surprise, City Councilor – Ward 3 Phone: (413) 570-0899 Email: [email protected]

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