The following is a message from Democratic Candidates Margaret Bandrowski and David Barnett.
The second meeting of the newly-constituted Board of Health, comprised of the members of the Township Committee and appointees, will meet this coming Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Ken Faigenbaum Meeting room at Town Hall. Please attend!
At the first meeting of the new board, Marc Krauss was appointed Chairperson. By contrast, the Chair of the previous Board of Health is a doctor with years of public health experience. Unsurprisingly, the meeting was dominated by Mr. Shehady who ran most of the discussion. Reports were given by Megan Avallone, Health Officer of the Westfield Department of Health. Springfield has been utilizing the Westfield Department of Health for 12 years to provide all of our inspections, flu shots and other related needs. Much of the meeting was consumed by a presentation on behalf of the Madison Department of Health seeking to replace Westfield. Madison seemed to offer services at a reduced cost although specifics were not provided.
Committeeman Rich Huber requested a side-by-side comparison of the costs and services offered by both providers that we hope will be forthcoming at Wednesday’s meeting. However, initial information suggests that the reduced costs will come with reduced services like fewer restaurant and supermarket inspections. In addition, costs of flu shots for residents will likely increase.
The rift between the Republicans and the previous autonomous Board centered on the Board’s recommendation to stay with Westfield. Our expectation therefore is that the new Board will vote against retaining Westfield and instead will bring in Madison, which has not yet been shown to offer comparable services.
Here’s something to think about . . . if the new Board votes to retain Westfield’s services, then the entire upheaval and disbanding of our previous Board, despite loud public outcry and protest, will have all been for naught. It will highlight even further that the move was a political grab for power.
Please email your thoughts about the new Board of Health to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.