Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Westfield Forum Brings Out the Candidates

Every election year, the Westfield Residents Association holds a forum for all candidates running for office, and all Middletown voters are invited to attend.  This year, as more than one candidate mentioned, was the first without longtime WRA activist and leader, Arline Rich, who died last year.

The common room at the Third Congregation Church in Westfield was crowded, and counting candidates, more than 75 residents came out to hear how the parties and the candidates positioned themselves.

Seb Giuliano and the Republican team.

The Republican Party, represented chiefly by Council candidate Seb Giuliano, began the evening with the proposition that checks and balances were missing in the current administration, and that electing more Republican representatives would bring checks and balances back to City Hall.  They also outlined their opposition to department mergers at City Hall, and delineated strategies for implementing supermajority votes on the Common Council to give more power to minority members.  In addition, the Republican candidates accused the Democrats of raising taxes, elevating the city budget and using excessive bonding.
Mayor Dan Drew and the Democratic team.

The Democratic Party was represented by Mayor, and mayoral candidate, Dan Drew and Council member and candidate Gerry Daley.  Drew and Daley elaborated on the collaborative nature of the current administration and enumerated the various accomplishments that the Democratically-led administration felt it should be credited with.  Drew talked about the dollars saved through the City Hall mergers, and also highlighted the settlement of numerous lawsuits brought during the last administration.

The Realistic Balance Party, which that afternoon had celebrated a judgment in court to allow candidates on the ballot, presented a
John Killian
Steve Smith
contrarian approach to local politics.  Chairman Fred Carroll provided a humorous take on his road from broom to candidacy.  Mayoral candidate John Killian used a few extended metaphors to explain his lovingly competitive approach to running for mayor.  And Planning and Zoning candidate Steve Smith explained, seriously, how important it is to have smart, independent thinkers working to make cohesive plans for Middletown's

Joe Bibisi
Petitioning candidate Joe Bibisi, who was booted from the Republican ticket, spoke about the value of cooperation for getting things done in town.

The evening ended with WRA president Jennifer Mahr reading a letter from petitioning and Working Families candidate for Common Council, Phil Pessina.

Ed McKeon is a Democratic member of the Board of Ed.


Anonymous said...

The Republicans rebutted with dollar and sense answers how the merger did not save money- why leave this out Ed?

Catherine said...

What are some of the numerous lawsuits?

Anonymous said...

maybe someone has an agenda since he is also member of the democratic party.