WESTFIELD, NJ – Are you ready for the Westfield mayor and city council election on November 2?
Westfield operates under an unusual form of government in which the governing body consists of a mayor and an eight-member city council. Half of the council seats are up for election in November. Less than 5% of New Jersey towns operate under this “special charter” form of government.
Westfield Democratic Mayor Shelley Brindle and four outgoing city council members will face a Republican slate led by former Ward 2 Councilor JoAnn Neylan, a mayoral candidate. READ MORE: Two slates will compete for Westfield mayor / council seats
Brindle will take place with Councilors Linda Habgood, Mike Dardia, David Contract and Dawn Mackey, known as Team Westfield Together. The Neylon Slate consists of Amanda Como, Denise Garrett, Shawn Mullen and James Restivo.
Here are Habgood’s responses:
Gary Zanfagna, husband and son Philip Zanfagna (22) and Andrew Zanfagna (20)
Does anyone in your family work in politics or in government?
BA, College of William and Mary
MBA, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Emerging Markets Financial Advisor, 23
Lender of Projects and Structured Finance, 8 years
International Credit Auditor, 2 years
Previous or current office elected or appointed
City Councilor, City of Westfield Ward 1 2018-present
Why are you looking for an elective position?
To continue to serve my community while utilizing the management, financial and advisory skills acquired during my career, and to further advance my commitments to the residents of Westfield regarding historic preservation, long term planning, outreach to mental health, public safety and smart redevelopment.
The most pressing issue facing our (council, district, etc.) is _______, and that’s what I intend to do about it.
diversify the tax base, and I will strive to achieve this through my continued support and participation in smart redevelopment efforts.
What are the critical differences between you and other candidates for this position?
My experience in the office and professionally.
If you are a challenger, in what way has the current board or leader failed the community (or district or constituency)
Describe the other issues that define your campaign platform.
Protecting the environment, improving our parks and fields and inviting citizens (especially our young people and seniors) to get involved in commissions and committees.
What accomplishments in your past would you cite as proof that you can handle this job?
I have 33 years of experience as a finance professional and consultant in emerging markets, and over the past 3.5 years I have translated these skills into tangible benefits for residents by reducing costs in the wherever possible and by investing the city’s surplus in capital improvements and amenities that improve quality of life.
The best advice ever shared with me was:
Under-promise and overshoot.
What would you like voters to know about yourself and your positions?
I would be honored to serve the City of Westfield for a second term and look forward to continuing my work to make the best use of taxpayer dollars, preserve our city’s history, and use my professional experience and partnership funding skills. public-private to guide the city in a smart and far-sighted redevelopment.