Westfield City Council holds final meeting before new council members take office


The Westfield city council members elected in 2019 met for the final time Dec. 27, 2023. Although not a lot of business was accomplished given the lack of city employees present to answer questions, council members ended the meeting expressing gratitude for the experience of serving the city together for the past four years. 

Here are highlights of final public comments from council members:

  • “I’ve been around for almost 20 years now, so this is like a big deal to have this be the last night. This council has been incredible, and they’ve gotten such a bad rap, and it pains me knowing the hard work that you guys put in and all that we’ve tried to do. The respect that you’ve all given me is something I didn’t always have, and I appreciate it.” – At-Large Councilmember Cindy Spoljaric
  • “I wish Scott Willis the best, and I wish the city the best. I hope in every decision, from the city council to the mayor, it is reflected that their first thought is, ‘How does this benefit the taxpayer?’ Sometimes questions are good to ask, and it’s OK to ask them, and it’s OK to ask them in public so that people can see what their business is.” – At-Large Councilmember Troy Patton 
  • “I think it would be wrong not to acknowledge someone who was a great mentor and a great leader, who we started to serve with and, unfortunately, is not with us today. No one could deliver a message quite like Joe Edwards. It was an honor serving with him.” – District 4 Councilmember Scott Frei 
  • “If we don’t agree it’s not because we hate the city, it’s because we love the city. I have disagreed, probably with everyone up here. Our time has passed. Thank you to everyone who supported us. I just believe in doing hard things and finishing well. I’m glad to see everyone up here for the last time. I do think we’ve tried to finish well.” – District 2 Councilmember Jake Gilbert
  • “I ran for office four years ago because I hadn’t served in the military, and I felt like I owed some time to my country and to my city. I said, ‘I’m going to give you four years.’ I didn’t really expect that it was going to be four years at war sometimes. But all I can say is that it turned out to be four of the best years of my life.” – District 5 Councilmember Mike Johns

What happened? Without city staff present to answer the questions of council members, a motion was made to accept the claims docket without two vehicles on it.

What it means? Willis said that the vehicles purchased for incoming staff members should not have come out of general obligation bond funding. 

What’s next? Although Patton and Frei expressed disappointment that public funds would be used to purchase vehicles for city staff, Willis said that the vehicles would come back to the new council in January for approval from normal city funding rather than a GO bond.

What happened? Council members voted unanimously to deny a resolution to have the clerk-treasurer encumber funds requested by certain departments of the city.

What it means? At the end of a budgeting period, it is normal for departments to request that budgeted funds that were unused be reserved for the originally designated intention the following year so that they don’t revert back to general spending. Because no city employees were available to answer the questions of council members, the encumbrances weren’t approved.

What’s next? Funds requested by departments will have to be resubmitted to the next city council.

What happened? The council unanimously approved a resolution to request the Indiana State Board of Accounts conduct cash basis audits of 2021, 2022 and 2023, with an amendment that bids would be sought from at least three accounting firms.

What it means? The audits are being requested to secure a Standard & Poor’s AAA bond rating.

What’s next? Bids will be received from accounting firms to perform the audit in the spring.

What happened? An ordinance to annex the Shear property at 1510 E. 216th St. was presented to the council.

What it means? This property straddles the border between Washington and Adams townships and could encounter push back from the cities of Cicero and Sheridan.

What’s next? According to the schedule, the ordinance should be open for public hearing at the Jan. 8 council meeting. The council will consider adoption at the Jan. 29 meeting.