WESTFIELD – While Mayor Daniel Knapik may not be looking to return to the mayor’s seat, he now has his eyes set on a return to City Council Chambers.
Knapik has taken out nomination papers to run for an at-large seat on the City Council.
After he made his decision not to run for mayor, Knapik said friends and supporters urged him to stay involved in city affairs in one way or another.
“There had been a lot of people asking me to stay involved and to keep the progress moving in the city and respecting the decision that I didn’t want to run for another term as mayor,” Knapik said. “I also want to see the progress move forward … It seemed like the natural opportunity to continue on with some of the great initiatives that have carried on over the last few years.”
Knapik served as the Ward 2 Councilor for eight years before being elected mayor in 2009. He has served three terms as mayor, which Knapik said would help him perform better for the city.
“Knowing what I now know, I’ll be that much better of a councilor,” Knapik said. “I thought I knew a lot six years ago, but now that I’m in office I realized how much that I didn’t know. That’s one of the things that astonished me the most … there’s certain things you know as a councilor, but there’s a lot more you need to know as mayor.”
One of the most beneficial lessons he learned is “how to actually get things done” and knowing “who all the players are.” He said this would only help him be more effective.
Knapik said the “falsehoods” surrounding property taxing in the city was a large influence in his decision to run.
“The problem is the shift of the burden. The way we allocate the burden of taxes has swung dramatically in favor of businesses,” Knapik said. “There is no strong voice on the council for homeowners.”
In addition to being able to continue to serve the community, Knapik has found himself back where he started in his Westfield political career.
“I always loved being on the City Council. For that point of time in my life, it was a good decision, and I was able to participate in our city government,” Knapik said. “I had a chance to make an impact on that and particularly on a level that I was able to accomplish. That’s where I am now.”