October 17, 2013 at 9:36 AM
Andrew Skibitzky is seeking an unprecedented third term as Westfield’s Mayor. For as long as anyone remembers, Westfield’s mayors have accepted a self-imposed limit of two terms in office in order to keep the Town’s government close to the people. For over 100 years Westfield didn’t want, and hasn’t had, a permanent political class ruling Westfield. Mayor Skibitsky’s campaign for a third term represents a break from that small town tradition.
I understand that Mayor Skibitsky may feel that he has more to accomplish in office. That is admirable, but it’s hard to understand why he has the worst attendance record of anyone on the council if he wants a third term. He has missed about one in every four meetings during the past several years. Even after cutting the number of meeting dates almost in half, Mayor Skibitsky continued to miss 25% of them.
We need fresh ideas and new energy.
Our term-limits tradition here in Westfield is something we are proud of, just as we should be proud that we are one of the largest municipalities in the state to not pay its elected officials. We believe in voluntarism because we know that keeping Westfield led by our neighbors is important. Neighbors electing neighbors who volunteer for a limited term is what preserves our small town feeling.
The voters of Westfield have a choice to make in the general election; do we want to bring fresh ideas into government?
A review of Skibitsky’s appointments to prominent volunteer town boards shows that almost 85% of the time they are given to Republicans, even though only 24% of the voters in Westfield are registered to the party. The town needs to reach out to the other 76% of the residents who have talent and ability to serve the town. There are many ways to do this, including what the city of Summit does with an on-line form for people to express interest in volunteering. We can use TV-36 the town YouTube channel and Facebook page, as well. Even many Republicans in our town disagree with his partisan way of filling these roles.
If elected, I pledge to restore the tradition of serving no more than two terms as Mayor. I will regularly attend council meeting and appoint Unaffiliated Independents, Democrats and Republicans to our town boards.
On November 5th will be time for Westfield to vote for a Mayor who will go back to a tradition that made Westfield the best town in New Jersey. It’s time for Westfield to vote for a Mayor who’ll bring fresh ideas into the conversation and to open up our government to all residents regardless of political party affiliation.
I hope you’ll agree and honor me with your vote November fifth.