A third candidate has stepped forward seeking to become the next mayor of Westfield in a race that could be historic.
Kristen Burkman announced Jan. 5 that she was seeking to become the first woman to serve as mayor in Westfield.
“I’m thrilled to embrace this opportunity to lead Westfield for what is next for this great city,” Burkman said. “To represent the voices of the people of Westfield would be an incredible honor.”
Burkman joins a field that also includes candidates Scott Willis and Jake Gilbert, who are both city councilmen. She serves on the Westfield Advisory Plan Commission and said she is leading an initiative to revitalize the downtown Westfield streetscape.
It remains unclear whether Mayor Andy Cook will seek another term. Cook, who has been mayor since 2008, said in December that he would likely make a decision by the Feb. 3 primary election filing deadline.
Burkman cited her experience as a certified master citizen land planner combined with a professional background in marketing and strategic planning that she said creates a foundation of preparedness for serving as mayor. She is enrolled at Marymount University in metro Washington, D.C., pursuing a doctorate in leadership and organizational innovation, noting that the training has prepared her to implement the most current leadership and strategic planning trends in Westfield.
“As Westfield moves to its next phase as a city, planning for the future is imperative,” she said. “The ability to seek new businesses, optimize the potential of Grand Park and revitalize our downtown will be key indicators for Westfield’s long-term success and sustainability.”
Burkman, who is a lifelong resident of Hamilton County and has lived in Westfield for 13 years, said her campaign emphasizes the need for citizen involvement and engagement.
“The ability to honor Westfield’s rich history while planning for the future requires a leader willing to listen to all stakeholders,” Burkman said.
Burkman said to address that need, diplomacy, collaboration and data-driven analysis are cornerstones for her leadership strategy. To learn more, visit kristenburkmanformayor.com.