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Miller appointed treasurer, replaces Kallfa

Date: 11/7/2012

By Carley Dangona

WESTFIELD — At the Nov. 1 City Council meeting, Councilor Brent Bean II, chair of the Personnel Action Committee (PAC), announced Meghan Miller as the city's new Treasurer.

Miller, a life-long Westfield resident, will succeed Gregory Kallfa, the retiring Treasurer, who's served the city for 28 years. The Council voted 10-2 in support of the PAC's recommendation. According to Bean, once appointed to the position, she will serve a three-year term.

"I'm very excited [about the opportunity]," Miller said. "I'm looking forward to getting in there and helping however I can."

Bean explained the difficulty of choosing a candidate. "All four candidates were qualified and interviewed well. It was not an easy decision. Meghan has the knowledge and the skill set to be successful as the next city treasurer," he said.

Councilor David Flaherty disagreed with the PAC's recommendation.

"Other candidates were overlooked because she's a local candidate," he said. "All the other candidates have worked for the municipal government. She has no state certifications, which several of the other candidates had."

City Solicitor Peter Martin announced that the first stage of the charter review was complete during the Council meeting.

He reported that on Oct. 26 Gov. Deval Patrick signed the "new" charter, which revised the previous language to remove sections that were "rendered obsolete" by ordinances and amendments adopted since the parts were devised and it modernized the wording of the charter to reflect current standards, such as gender neutrality.

"The document was revised and restated no changes were made. The revision took away things that were superseded by laws adopted as of 1920," Martin said.

He added that phase two will "grapple with the structure of the charter," but that the "scope and breadth of that process is for the Council to define."

The Council also discussed the issue of illegal ATV use in open spaces in Westfield.

"I would like to make a recommendation to reactivate the Police Department's ATV task force, to put some control on it [the situation]," Councilor Christopher Crean stated. "It's become uncontrollable [again] — we don't want any more accidents [referring to the fatal incident last month]. We've received complaints from citizens and private property owners."

Councilor James Adams offered his ideas about the re-launch of the unit. "It's become a huge problem — again. We've done these patrols before and as soon as we let off it, people return. It needs to be part of the department's budget. People need to understand it's not free reign to drive ATVs or dirt bikes in our town," he said.

"Folks are out there [at all times of the day]," Mary O'Connell, Ward 4 councilor, said.

"The mayor's office needs to develop an education component. While a step in the right direction, $10,000 [the amount requested in Crean's motion to supplement the task force] is not enough to solve the real problem," Flaherty stated.

Crean responded, "This is a start. It needs to become a line item in the budget. The mayor's office is working to acquire funds for an ATV education program."

The Council voted to refer the motion to the Finance Department and the mayor's office.