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(Most) of Westfield City Councilors Come to Their Senses, Vote to Accept Mayor's Budget

Deficit crows ate crow tonight at the City Council meeting.
Deficit crows ate crow tonight at the City Council meeting.
Councilor Beltrandi was met with cheers by the crowd when he presented a motion to accept the mayor's budget as submitted to the council. He said information brought forth by the mayor tonight, calling it a "rabbit out of his hat," swayed him. The mayor, in essence, said he was very comfortable with the budget, which seemed to seal the deal for Beltrandi. After a bit more debate, Beltrandi's vote carried by a 7 to 5 margin.
Much of the tonight's debate centered around who had access to what information and at what time. Accusations were leveled against the mayor that he did not provide timely information to the Council. The mayor parried these complaints by stating he had offered to communicate with finance committee members on several occasions and that they did not take him up on the offer. He also said that developing responses to the council's inquiries take time. He praised the school committee for working the past weekend to pull numbers together for the city's legislative body. Councilor Christopher Crean, a former member of the Finance Committee, criticized the current Finance Committee for not working more closely with the mayor in the first place and stirring up a lot of unneeded drama. Crean's comments were also met with approval by the crowd. SWS will link to the video of the tonight's meeting as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, checkout Westfied News photographer Fred Gore's clips from tonight's meeting.
Councilors in favor of Beltrandi's measure to approve the budget were: Ann Callahan, Brian Sullivan, John Beltrandi, Brent Bean, Jim Adams, Kevin Harragy, Christopher Crean
Councilors voting no: Mary O'Connell, Richard Onofrey, David Flaherty, Agma Maria Sweeney, Brian Winters
Save Westfield Schools thanks the seven city councilors for supporting the mayor's budget as is, and, of course, the mayor, who vigorously and triumphantly defended his position well. But most of all, we congratulate all the concerned citizens who turned out tonight who demonstrated just how true it is that the deficit crows are the minority in this community. This is what we can accomplish when we come together. Job well done!