Simple Solutions to Save Ward 3 Residents Time and Reduce Frustration

As I’ve canvassed Ward 3 and talked to nearly 1,000 of our neighbors, the same themes keep coming up. Residents want proactive leadership from their town government that addresses the issues that matter most. Here are some of my fresh ideas to save Ward 3 residents time and reduce frustration.

-- Get Creative with Downtown Parking. Every voter I’ve spoken to says lack of parking is a frustrating deterrent to shopping downtown, and real estate agents say the lack of parking impedes some businesses from opening in Westfield. We need to get creative in addressing the capacity issue. For example, let’s explore ways to better utilize the South Avenue train station lot, which has plenty of free parking on Saturdays and Sundays while other parking lots are filled. Could running a downtown trolley help move shoppers to/from this lot—and provide an easy way to get around town without a car? How about renting/leasing space from other downtown business entities that may have available parking in their lots? What’s more: let’s create an app that tells you instantly how many parking spaces are available downtown and where, which can be done now that wireless parking meters are being installed. Chances are, there are available spaces but not everyone wants to drive all over looking for a parking spot. I’ll make sure we explore all of these ideas as your Councilman.

-- Address parking enforcement. Most voters I’ve spoken to say that aggressive parking enforcement deters them from shopping downtown. In fact, many residents can recount stories of parking enforcement officers giving them a ticket right after their meter expired. Let’s make sure our parking enforcement approach is in line with our neighbors with thriving downtowns like Cranford. And if you do get a parking ticket, let’s explore ways to make the process of challenging a parking ticket more efficient, such as giving residents a specific time slot in court versus waiting around until you are called, something that busy residents don’t have time to do. And, how about letting people pay a reduced fine if they go to the Clerk’s office within 15 minutes of receiving the ticket like some other town’s because sometimes you make a mistake. I’ll make sure we explore all of these ideas as your Councilman.

-- Simplify Town Recycling. Every time my neighbors and I separate paper and plastic every other Tuesday night, only to watch the recycling crew throw EVERYTHING into the back of one truck the next day, I wonder: why are residents required to spend time sorting everything? Let’s sit down with the recycling contractor and revise this approach to save residents time. Also, let’s explore ways to add recycling bins downtown so plastic yogurt cups and paper coffee cups for example can be recycled instead of thrown out. I’ll make sure we explore all of these ideas as your Councilman.

These are just a few ways I plan to bring Fresh Ideas and a Proactive Approach to government to make Westfield better. My goal will be to continually challenge the status quo and push our local government to find the best—and most economical—solutions to the issues our town faces. What I often find is that simple, inexpensive solutions to problems just require new, sometimes out-of-the-box thinking and an openness and willingness to try new ways of doing things. I do this every day at work managing brands for Fortune 500 companies. I look forward to applying this approach as your Ward 3 Councilman.

Please let me know what you think by contacting me anytime – by email at or on Facebook @contractforwestfield. To learn more, visit or PM me. And most importantly, vote Contract for Council on Nov. 7th! Thanks!

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  • John Beil
    commented 2017-10-02 18:34:55 -0400
    Great ideas!