To the Editor

Hello Westfield, especially Ward 3.  Did you watch the City Council debate the city’s budget?  And, prior the Finance Committee creating it.  I wish more did and would discover a problem we pay for.  As well, it is our civic duty and responsibility to know what is going on.  We hire these people, and we pay for all they do and don’t do.  While I cannot expect voters to watch them all, these are important to you as you witness the process.  Over the past few years I have seen some very old and usual political tactics to make people thing up is down and down is up.  One year they gave you a per cent of your property that made it sound large, but only turned out to low when you figured it is over the course of a year.  Then you get the sob story of how impoverished the people of Westfield are.  While many are not rich, have you checked out the home sales sections of the newspapers?  I find $400k-$700k homes for sale and selling.  Half million dollar to three quarter of a million dollar homes!  Look I am a home owner and I make under $20k per year.  No, I do not like tax increases, but the necessities of running a city costs.  Tell me what costs go down, especially in the for profit sector, from whom we purchase goods and services?   For the old folks like me: remember how prosperous things were in Industrial Massachusetts from the wars, recovery after the wars, and all the markets we opened due to our leadership in the world.  Then the Industrial economy began to sink for us.  Industries moved South.  And, what happened: NOTHING to adapt.  We went Rust Belt.  It took until 70’s into the 80’s to get things profitable.  Voters woke up and demanded up grades in the infrastructure, and whatever else it would take to get our cities functioning again.  It costed a lot, but we came out of it.  New Englanders adapt.  Remember how much it cost us to renovate city properties.  We let them convince us it was too expensive it was.  But with some courage and smart people, it is working.  Now we have another wave of so called fiscal, no spend until we are falling apart conservatives when it will cost us eve more.  These days our economic evolution is happening so fact, and globally; if you do not keep up you may not catch up.  There are things we can do better, but the same complainers, and blamers do not want to change how we do things, even though they hate what is happening: too invested in the past, or conditioned by the past?  Americans have always been risk takers, often as there was no choice, and that is how we became so successful.

Anyway, back on task…In Watching these I was astounded on how the Finance Committee made their decisions.  How much got last year subtracted from how much they want this year, and from that, oh how about X’000 of dollars then in a budget cut.  What were they cutting, oh that is up to the department to figure out.  WHAT?  That should have been the point of their meeting with the departments: to explain the expenses and why and for what they were needed.  Then, TOGETHER, look at options and alternatives.  I loved it when one councilor said that if the airport did not come up with revenue their problem, and LET THEM SHUT DOWN.  Really, shut down Barnes?  Imagine the lost revenue it enables, and the cost of violating contracts.  Likewise I felt sorry Capt. McCabe.  He is not only a good man but a well-qualified one as well.  He was trying to explain the intricacies of running a police force to almost no avail.  Later, DPW’ Fran Cain, likewise over a vehicle need, to enable them to SAFELY do one of their jobs.  It was a small crane attached to a truck to lift things big things left on the street.  These same councilors complain about the costs of workers that get hurt.  Hello, this is what can get them hurt, but you do not want to do anything to prevent their injuries.  Anyone who lives in Ward 3, and others with high populations of college students, know of appliances, furniture, etc. left when they leave in summer, especially when they graduate.

OK, last time I was emotionally charged, this time frustration charged.  Growing up in civic affairs; one of the first things I was taught by mentors was: if you don’t like something, saying no is not enough…what is your alternative?  And, public services are just that, services of necessity to our public.  Your former Ward 3 City Councilor, Brian Hoose…[email protected]

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