Ward 1 councilor candidate Q&A: What would you add to the budget?

Editor’s note: Reminder Publishing sent both candidates for Westfield Ward 1 city councilor identical questionnaires covering several topics of interest to voters. The first two answers appeared in the Oct. 21 edition of The Pennysaver. Additional questions and answers will appear starting today in The Westfield News. Answers are in the candidates’ own words and have not been edited, except for spelling and punctuation. Responses are listed in the order that candidates will be listed in the ballot: incumbent first, then challenger.

Today’s question: What new program or service would you like to see included in next year’s city budget, and how would it benefit Westfield?

Nicholas Morganelli: I’d like to see three council members assigned as liaisons to the budget made up of at least one Finance Committee member. This would create more transparency, dialogue, ideas and communication from residents and business owners. I had planned to create a Westfield Finance Summit where taxpayers can weigh in on spending. COVID-19 put the brakes on that and I hope to initiate this in the coming months.

Marybeth Berrien: I would like to have some type of environmental monitoring included in the budget. If we can make decisions based on data collected, then it would benefit the entire city. For instance, the apartments by the Mass Pike entrance/exit could absolutely benefit from air quality studies due to the amount of traffic in the area.

Additional questions and answers with the Ward 1 candidates will appear on Oct. 23, 26, 28 and 30.

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