With Westfield’s good fortune any community in the country could have built our new industry, but they didn’t. Our leadership, working with experts in the sports’ and tourism industries along with municipal economist, recognized its potential as an economic magnet. We beat the world to a winning formula: now 26 baseball/softball diamonds, 31 multi-use/soccer fields and by next fall a public/private year-round indoor facility with three soccer/multi use fields, locker rooms, restaurant, observation decks, a store and conference rooms. We’re also getting a private field-house for basketball and volleyball. This Grand Park has already, in its first season, attracted enough neighboring commercial assessed value investment to produce nearly a third of the tax revenue necessary to service the city’s outlay – and it’s only the beginning.
I’m writing this because the detractors who are running for office in Westfield are trying to halt our opportunities. They are using fictional math to make their points. Please be wary of this hand full of folks with big voices. With little exception they have not attended the open discussions that they could have and they do not know what they are talking about. The council knows that the cash-flow will be there. They know that state law residential taxes cannot go over the 1 percent cap, where they are now, unless you again vote for a school tax referendum.
Most of the city councilors have listened and are keen on what it takes to attract desired tax-paying businesses. Above all is Westfield’s great fortune to have found a business seasoned visionary for mayor. Andy Cook recognized early the greatest opportunity any community could wish for. It took positive thinking and drive to accumulate the right teams, specialist and investors to put together. Andy is a natural born CEO. By definition a CEO is a leader who has a vision and communicates it well. A CEO has the will and nerve to stand by one’s principals and builds a team to manage the vision as if it were their own.
Have confidence, we will grow up into a fine, refreshed city that has worked for eight years to identify and keep its heritage. Can you imagine a more interesting clean industry to support? Good luck Westfield. I beg you to stick with our successes.