Westfield Council to fill Ward 3 seat

The remaining 12 City Council members will meet tomorrow night to appoint a new Ward 3 councilor, to complete the term of Peter J. Miller Jr., who resigned On April 30 for personal reasons.
The City Council conducted a special committee-as-a-whole meeting Monday, May 14, to nominate a slate of candidates for the Ward 3 post. Nine Ward 3 residents indicated their interest in representing their ward on the council.
That ward seat has a special interest as one of the two ward councilors representing the interests of downtown businesses as well as ward residents. That responsibility is shared by both the Ward 2 and Ward 3 councilors.
James E. Brown Jr., the ward 2 councilor, said, prior to the Monday session, that all Ward 3 residents who submitted letters of interest to council members should be put into the pool of candidates.
The council members nominated nine candidates for the appointment during the Monday session which concluded in less than 15 minutes. There was no discussion of the candidates.
Council President Christopher Keefe, the Ward 1 councilor, slated the Monday meeting to allow council members time to gather more information on the nine residents nominated and time to allow City Clerk Karen Fanion to vet the candidates to ensure that they are registered voters residing in Ward 3.
The nine residents named to the candidate pool are Brian R. Hoose of 60 Arnold St., nominated by At-large Councilor Agma Sweeney; Philip R. McEwan of 153 Western Ave., nominated by At-large Councilor John J. Beltrandi III; Mathew T. VanHeynigen of 6 Hawthorne Ave., nominated by Ward 5 Councilor Richard E. Onofrey; Richard Emmings Jr., of 3 West School St., nominated by Councilor Brown; Ann W. Robinson Callahan of 207 Granville Road nominated by At-large Councilor Brian Sullivan; Sally A. Memole of 20 Perkins St., nominated by Ward 4 Councilor Mary O’Connell; Junior Delgado of 38 Washington St., nominated by Councilor Sweeney; Cathleen C. Bastible of 45 Western Avenue, nominated by Councilor Brown; and Lynn E. Bannon of 68 Mountain View St., nominated by Councilor Onofrey.
Hoose is currently serving on the city’s Off-street Parking Commission and has stood for election for several posts, including state representative. Hoose, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971 (3rd Infantry Division), served on the Board of Regional Community Colleges and on the Chicopee Zoning Board of Appeals as chairman (1992-94) before moving to Westfield. Hoose hold a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Westfield State University. Hoose has served as the chairman of the Westfield Democratic Committee (2006-07) and is a union member of the AFSCME Local 17.
Philip McEwan is currently serving as the chairman of the Westfield Planning Board on which he has served for 25 years since his appointment by Mayor George A. Varelas. McEwan, in his letter of interest, stated that he has “long considered running for the City Council, but that until recently did not do so because of family obligations. McEwan said that the youngest of his five children is now in college and that his family obligations no longer impede his desire to serve on the council.
Matt VanHeynigen is also currently a member of the Planning Board (2006 -12) and holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Westfield State University, where he also served as the WSU Foundation Relations Coordinator (2004-2008). VanHeynigen said in his letter of interest that his Planning Board experience and education provide him with a “personal appreciation and understanding for much of the housing stock and character that Ward 3 represents, and the related issues and concerns of Ward 3 residents and business owners, of maintaining that character while allowing for businesses and neighborhoods to thrive.”
Richard Emmings has lived in Ward 3 for the past 30 years, graduating from Westfield State University in 1993 with a degree in psychology. Emmings is currently a network analyst at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where he has worked for the past eight years, and prior to that post was employed at Westfield State for 17 years. Emmings has served on the Greater Westfield Boys and Girls Club Board of Directors since 2004 and served two years on the board’s Executive Committee. Emmings has also been active with the Westfield Spanish-American Association for the past six years, working to create opportunities for college bound youths through scholarship programs.
Ann Callahan, formerly the executive assistant for Mayor Richard K. Sullivan Jr., has been involved in the downtown business community both professionally and through her affiliation with the Westfield Business Improvement District, serving on the BID Board of Directors since 2009. Callahan is an employee of Falcone Retail Properties, LLC, which owns the Rocky’s Ace Hardware Store on Free Street and several commercial properties on Main Street.
Sally Memole has been an active volunteer with Westfield On Weekends, working with downtown business owners to coordinate WOW events and fund-raising activities. Memole has also been involved in events raising funds for Munger Hill Elementary School following the June 1, 2011 tornado which substantially damaged classrooms in that building.
Junior Delgado has been a resident of Ward 3 for the past 25 years and holds degrees in education from Clark University (BA) and Westfield State University (MA). Delgado is currently the director of the Westfield State University Career Center where he has been employed for the past 11 years. Delgado, in his letter of interest, said that downtown revitalization will be a primary focus of his, if selected. Other areas of focus include meeting the needs of the city’s senior citizens, ensuring that Westfield schools continue to be an example of excellence, supporting business and job growth throughout the city and maintaining a fiscally sound budget for the city.
Cathleen Bastible, a resident of Ward 3 for the past 11 years, has served on the WSU Neighborhood Advisory Board and is a member of the Westfield Kiwanis Club. Bastible has served as a corporator (2006-2010) at the Westfield YMCA and been involved in funding raising for several community non-profit organizations, including Amelia Park Children’s Museum. Bastible has been employed as a physical therapist at Noble Hospital, serving as the director of rehabilitation and currently with the Noble VNA and Hospice. Bastible has also served on the St. Mary’s School Board and as liaison with the St. Mary’s PTO.
Lynn E. Bannon has been a member of the Westfield Watershed Association and an environmental advocate for a number of years. The Westfield News was unable to contact Bannon to get further details as to her background.

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