Mike McCabe is running for Mayor of the City of Westfield. He has worked for the Westfield Police Department in various capacities for 36 years and has lived in the Greater Westfield area since 1975. Mike graduated from Westfield State in 1984 with a B.S. in Criminology and a Masters in Criminal Justice in 1994. He is married to Jennipher McCabe and they have one daughter, Kate.
Throughout his career, Michael McCabe has been an active member of the Westfield Community. He has been on the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Westfield as well as Baystate Noble Hospital. He also became a Charter Member of the Westfield Centennial Lions Club in 2017. As an avid runner himself he became a volunteer coach for the Westfield High School Cross Country team in 2014, and in the winter season found himself volunteering poolside for the Bombers Swimming and Diving Team.
COVID-19 transmission and vaccination rates are a major challenge facing the City of Westfield. Clearly, we did not get out in front of the issue when it broke in early 2020. We are at a vaccination rate of 52%. We need to encourage people to be vaccinated by advertising our belief in the vaccine and to explain the devastating effect it is having on the public safety personnel and our medical people. The wait for any type of hospital admission went from under an hour to roughly 6-7 hours. The majority of patients that are in our waiting rooms are unvaccinated COVID patients and they present in critical need. Almost all of which could be avoided through vaccination.
While I would not mandate vaccinations, I would promote this practice on social media and in the print media.
I have extensive knowledge of the police department’s issues. The city should bond for a new one or purchase an alternate location and retro fit the site. I am aware the city is looking into a feasibility study which is a shame since we, Chief Camerota and I, requested the original study in 2010. The building was meant to serve about 40 people and routinely services over 100.
Both the police department and fire department have vacancies in their commissions. I would look to fill those positions with people who have personnel management backgrounds and civil service experience if possible.
I would reprioritize the current thinking that ARPA (American Recovery Plan Act) should be spent on infrastructure and sewers almost exclusively. That was not its only intent.
I would give $2,500 stipends (negotiable) to local businesses earning less than $50,000 (also negotiable) in retail sales whose primary business are located in the Elm, Franklin, N. Elm, and Main St. corridors. They are the ones who struggle the most.
While, rents are not steep in some areas some small businesses are in arrears. I have spoken with many of them. All I would ask in return were paid receipts for items purchased after the stipend was agreed upon.
The mission of the school for me would be to provide students with the ability to compete in the academic world and job market beyond high school. I would like to set a goal of figuring out a pathway towards increasing SAT and ACT scores.
Additionally, I would look to create a new comprehensive school with shared facilities and educational opportunities by advocating for a-la-cart options.
Our athletic programs currently have to find alternate locations and compete in substandard conditions.
Not all students respond to academics and many depend on extra curricular activities to get through a successful high school journey.
I would not be in favor of adding personnel to the Mayor’s office. It is simply not necessary. I would be in favor of a 4-year mayoral term and eliminate the cost of two-year elections. I would ask departments to submit -5, 0, and +5 percent budgets to see what they believe could be economized.
I would separate the DPW and the Water department. They are two different disciplines with competent leadership in place already.
I would hire an advancement officer which is already in the budget and hire a new building department assistant to help the director with her responsibilities. The advancement officer is already in the budget, and I would cut the second proposed full-time position in the mayor’s office.
I view the building department as a constant problem for promoting business because there are unnecessary delays built into the process. The second largest complaint I heard while walking the city was the perceived difficulties working with the building department. The department has been understaffed for years. I would fix it.
The traffic on Holyoke Rd. has become a serious issue for the residents there. Lanes Quarry has been there since 1902, but they have grown recently and now have almost exclusive contracts to pave MDOT projects because of their capacity. That is exacerbated by the 10pm-6am schedule they run so as not to inconvenience pike traffic. Holyoke Rd. needs to be reconstructed (City and ARPA). The speed issue was addressed recently when I was chairman of the Traffic Commission. We lowered the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph, and have seen a decrease in accidents. We also hoped that by decreasing the speed limit we would decrease the amount of impact trucks have with structures in the road that had created unwanted noise. I don't believe we are where we should be with the noise on Holyoke Rd. and believe we as a city are obligated to fix it.
Both Cityview Rd. and the Cowles bridge projects are underway. I have spoken with the project managers directly, and I am trying to figure out the best method to expedite those timelines. Some of the issues are beyond the sole scope of the city, and are dependent on state and federal resources. That being the case, that does not stop focused attention on those two projects. I offered a solution that might bring the Cowles Bridge project to a close a year ahead of schedule. The key is, keeping your eye on the ball.
Additionally, there are several private roads that should be public ways and fixed. There are areas that need sewers that ARPA relief is perfect for.
We have not accessed media markets at all. “Why Westfield” should be a top mayoral priority. Create social and digital media ads in collaboration with other entities to drive interest. We have not seen fit to fill the advancement officer’s position. Yes, it’s a large salary, but the loss of economy far exceeds the officer’s salary. I am not sure there needs to be large industrial development. Focus on existing commercial and industrial sites available in the city. We should partner with Mass Development and others for mixed use markets and hire a DPW maintenance person for the downtown area.
There are many factors to consider. How many services are provided? How is our school system? How is the public utility? How is public safety? Is the trash collected? What is the value of my home? Do I have disposable income? The issue is further complicated when assessments are considered. Recently the tax rate dropped because of two key administration errors. If all of the preceding questions were positive, taxes are apportioned correctly and do not adversely affect businesses.
I would try to effectively use the ARPA money on sewer and road problems that have not been done due to lack of resources. I would hire a person to steward the process and make sure allocations are correct, based on key criteria, i.e., experience in city
management, understanding of procurement law and grants and command of the MUNIS system. I would create a ‘grants’ system to help small business rebound and rebuild after COVID, based on their net yearly sales. I would also try to tackle equitable distribution of hazard/premium pay.
Reconstruction Holyoke Rd. is a must. Explore innovative avenues to relieve congestion in the Southampton Rd. corridor by prohibiting commercial vehicles from going northbound on Service Star Way after Campinelli Dr., and opening a second access onto the turnpike.
Continue to address, public health concerns such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid epidemic through the creative use of media and the power of the office.
I have been an executive leader in Westfield for more than two decades and a public servant for nearly forty years. My background is in problem solving and organizational management which I have been doing for Westfield city residents all of my adult life. I have a myriad of different work experiences which allows me to relate to different organizations both public and private. I understand unions and municipal finance. I have successfully negotiated from both sides of the table and have prepared many police department budgets.
I am a tireless worker both in my paid employment life and my volunteerism. As a professional, I maintain regular business hours. During the COVID pandemic I was in my office throughout the entirety up to my retirement in April of 2021. I knew I owed it to my community, my department and my supervisors to be there when the city needed me.
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