Councilman Loughlin’s Plan for an Affordable Westfield
Thursday, October 17, 2013 • 11:55pm
Beginning with my first campaign for town council in 2009, I walked door-to-door in Westfield’s Fourth Ward to hear your thoughts for improving our great town. The ideas you shared with me are the issues I am focused on as a member of town council. It is my goal to make sure Westfield remains a safe and affordable place for you to live and for your children to establish their first home.
During my first campaign, I pledged to keep municipal spending (and your property taxes) as low as possible. Upon taking office, we implemented a town-wide government hiring freeze to reduce the taxpayer cost of running our local government. Four years later, we cut the town payroll by 20% without laying off any employees.
Further, our municipal employee salaries have decreased each year since I have been on council. In fact, current spending on town wages is below that of 2006. Although the town keeps only 16.8% of your total property tax bill (the majority goes to the county and schools), we were able to maintain our outstanding police, fire, and public works services. While budget concerns are always paramount, I will never let the budget compromise public safety. The reforms led by Mayor Andy Skibitsky have preserved these essential services and produced a lower total budget than before I took office.
I also promised to look for creative ways to decrease the municipal portion of your property tax bill. During my three years as a member of the Westfield Memorial Library Board of Trustees, I led efforts to identify and return approximately $366,000 in surplus funds to the town in order to reduce reliance on property taxes. This money came from surplus funds only and had no impact on the operations of our outstanding library. I will continue with efforts similar to these in my second term.
I always welcome all suggestions on how to make Westfield an even better place to live. As always, please contact me with your ideas for our town.