PulseLine, October 11, 2012

I understand your concern about safety, and certainly all turns and intersections should be approached with caution. However, the Massachusetts driving manual states on page 98, “Passing on the right is only allowed in certain circumstances. It can only be done when the road is clear and is wide enough for two or more lines of motor vehicles. You can pass on the right in the following circumstances…  The vehicle you are passing is making, or is about to make, a left turn.”

Integrity Lost – October 4, 2012. As we watched the City Council meeting on October 4th, it appears that the “abstaining seven councilors” had evidently made up their minds on the Ward 2 seat some time ago. They delayed acceptance of Councilor Brown’s resignation until this meeting so they could plan on how to circumvent the Law Department’s opinion. The Law Department’s opinion was disregarded and the abstaining votes left the council with no available majority vote. Seven of the abstaining “no vote” members cited that they were named in litigation relative to the Cross Street School proposal. Seems to me you take the good with the bad when you serve on the council.  Obviously, they feel that their integrity was harmed because some citizens (including the Ward 2 candidate) questioned their vote on the school. The suit does not expose any councilor to a financial loss but if they voted against seating the write-in candidate, they would be exposed to litigation individually without the city’s protective shield. They apparently felt that abstaining would protect their “collective rear quarters.” Council President Keefe recently filed suit against West Springfield for wrongful termination after he was fired as principal assessor. In his suit he alleges that he was terminated because he “complied with and followed the law” and because he would not comply with the mayor’s request/order to “circumvent the law.” Mr. Keefe was not comfortable with circumventing the law in West Springfield; however, that does not appear to be the case in Westfield. We challenge why we even need a Law Department. The council asked for an opinion of the Law Department then totally disregarded their advice. If a write-in candidate received one more vote than a person running for office and listed on the ballot, the write-in candidate would win that election. If write-in candidates are not viable candidates, then explain why our city, state, and country have a write-in option on the ballot? Two councilors, Bean and Sullivan were very vocal concerning the opinion of the Law Department. Councilor Bean stated, “I hope common sense rules this body, not an opinion from the Law Department.” Councilor Sullivan stated, “He got one vote. If he had gone to other people asking for their write-in vote, got three or four or five votes, that would be a candidate. Dealing with lawyers, my experience is that you can get any answer you want based on how you ask the question.” Note: Sullivan has two brothers who are lawyers. Our newest council member, Kevin Harraghy, stated that he abstained because he was named in a superior court lawsuit to which the Ward 2 write-in candidate is a party (Cross Street School project). Litigation concerning the Cross Street school project was filed in December 2011. Councilor Harraghy began his term on the council in June 2012; thus he could not abstain from voting on the grounds that he was a party in the lawsuit even if one were to believe that the reason given to abstain was valid. As residents and registered voters of Westfield, we are appalled at the councilor’s lack of integrity in handling this issue. On a vote of 8-4, Mayor Knapik will now make the selection for the Ward 2 council position. We urge you Mayor to do the right thing; follow the opinion of the Law Department and City Charter which states, “…legally obligated to seat the resident with one write-in vote” – appoint Brian Winters to the position.

Good afternoon, PulseLine. I just got The Westfield News and I was very disappointed there was nothing on the Westfield High School Varsity or Jr. Varsity soccer game played the other day at our own high school in Westfield at 4:00 p.m. St. Mary’s had a full page; Westfield soccer had nothing. I was very disappointed. Thank you. We’re sorry for not making it to that specific game. With just one sports editor and one photographer we’re trying to get to as many games as we can but we are only able to make it to so many events per day. Isn’t our local sports coverage significantly better than has been in a very long time? Lastly, we strongly encourage readers to submit pictures if we’re not at an event. 

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