We all learned in grade school 2+2=4. Very simple. Our city needs an expert on the City Council who is independent to make sure we have the proper growth at the proper cost. Anyone of us can create a city of tomorrow if we start with $100 million! However, if we only bring in $90 million in taxes and benefits to our community, it is likely not a great deal.
I am not against growth. Like the old saying, “measure twice and cut once,” could never be more accurate when it comes to Westfield. Let’s make sure we do the math, not just for the few, for the Westfield Community and the people who live here today and tomorrow. Let’s make sure that if we take on debt for Westfield of $8,000 per household the money is going to return not just $8,000, but three times this amount or more for each and every one of us.
Taxes are on the minds of every Westfield resident. Regardless if you have children at home, starting a family in Westfield, or empty nesters, all should be concerned about taxes. As residents we need to ensure we have financial integrity over the taxes we all pay. Our property taxes are some of the highest in the state and we need to make sure we are appropriating those dollars in the right place. Our current council needs a finance committee as well as someone who is used to working with large organizations in valuations, finance, and projections to make sure we get a return on the taxes we all pay.
Growth and taxes seem to be the topic of the day in Westfield and it will be again for the next decade. I am not opposed to growth, but I would like to see controlled growth. The Council should be watching over this growth and understand the vision of Westfield and convey this simply to the residents. This way a healthy conversation can be had knowing what is in store for all of us. Growth just for the sake of growth or simply because other communities around us are spending money with no end in sight, does not mean we can’t be more fiscally responsible. The Council’s job is to watch over this and make sure we are balanced in our growth, taxes, and return on this growth is adequate. Clearly, we have spent quite a bit of money, one may argue it is worthy and others that it was not. That is water under the bridge. Going forward, let’s make sure we spend appropriately on growth that benefits all of Westfield. A financial expert on the Council will help ensure monies are allocated appropriately.