PulseLine, November 30, 2012

I take issue with the response from Mayor Knapik provided to the PulseLine in the Tuesday edition.  His use of the royal “We” implies that he has the complete or at least a majority of the City of Westfield taxpayers in agreement with his position on the current Cross Street School Project.  The only way that this could be the case is if a citywide referendum was or had been held on this school and its location.  All the public “information” meetings have been and continue to be one sided. They are infomercials of, “This is the way I want it to be done, and it will be done”. I think that it is about time the taxpayers of this city had a vote and were consulted on financially impactful decisions of this magnitude that appear to be being made by a small cadre of individuals in the current administration. We taxpayers are, after all, responsible for the funds for staffing and maintaining these projects; and have to live with the ultimate impact they have on the City of Westfield and our quality of life.  Until such time of demonstrated support, I suggest he stop using the “ROYAL WE.” and substitute “my administration”.  Mayor Knapik: The city has demonstrated the need for this project for our children and the children of the future who will live downtown. The state agrees by providing a majority of the financing for the project.   The savings to the City that will be realized  has been documented.    The property is city owned, and the project has received the necessary permits to be built.  The taxpayers have a chance to vote, every two years for school committee representatives, city councilors, municipal light board members and for the mayor.  In a city form of government your elected representatives make the financial decisions.   If a debt exclusion or override was needed, then it would go to the voters.  As I, too, live in the neighborhood, I have heard from many more of my neighbors who are in favor of the project and the improvements that will be made on the site and in the neighborhood.  I have also heard from countless parents who are extremely excited for the chance for their children to go to a modern 21st century school that is going to be built for the world we live in today so that their children will be provided with the best opportunity for future success.  Ensuring that our children have a quality education is a city’s number one responsibility.  

Please be advised that Governor Deval L. Patrick has ordered that the United States flag and the Commonwealth flag be lowered to half-staff at all state buildings  until further notice in honor of State Representative Joyce Spiliotis of Peabody who died this morning.  This gubernatorial order applies to: 1.  The main or administration building of each public institution of the Commonwealth, e.g. town and city halls 2.  Other state-owned or state-controlled buildings 3.  All state military installations


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