Westfield hopefuls announce candidacy
March 18, 2017


Note: Last week the Republican ran the announcements of Alan Holbrook and Dennis Lutes. Below are Michael VandeVelde and Robert Cochran's announcements.

Michael VandeVelde

I am Michael VandeVelde and I am running for my 3rd term as mayor of our fantastic little village. I have been nominated by the Westfield Democratic Party. I have previously served the village as a trustee under Ron Catalano and currently as mayor. We have put together a fabulous team to direct the future of the village; myself for mayor and Robert Cochran and Alan Holbrook for trustees. This is a group that was born and raised in our community. We are Westfield through and through. We have the vision to move Westfield forward in these tough times. Don't be fooled into thinking that it is time to move backwards.

I am a lifelong resident of Westfield having lived here my entire life except for the years that I was away in the military. Following my time serving in the U.S. Navy as a Poseidon Missile Technician I returned to Westfield to lead the construction crew for Dicar Pools and drove tractor-trailer for Worster Trucking during the winters. In 1980, I was hired at Fredonia State University where I worked for the next 30 years as a computer operator, Coordinator of Admin User Services and, finally, as Assistant Director of Computing Services. I served on numerous boards while at Fredonia including New York State's Computer Center Advisory Board for 12 years.

Westfield continues to face some important decisions with limited resources. The community needs leaders who can put our money where it will do the most good. The only way to do that is by bringing people together and creating the kind of consensus we need.

The trustees and I have brought a new energy and a healthy positive attitude to the village board. I pledged; to grow our tax base, to grow our population, to grow our jobs. That is all happening here in Westfield. I said 4 years ago that I would provide the village of Westfield with a strong vision, competent leadership, and independent thinking based on my 30 years in state service, my local family roots, and a good ole' healthy dose of common sense. I have done that and promise to continue to lead us to even better times. We have improved the fiscal health of our village. Budgets have been held under control and look promising for the near future. The Westfield Development Corporation and our Director of DPW, continue to write and receive grants for the village, in just 4 years totaling close to $4 million. That's money for upgrades that we don't have to get from our taxpayers or ratepayers. I ask that you come and be part of our transition and I humbly ask for your vote on, Tuesday, March 21st.

Robert C. Cochran

I am seeking re-election for my fifth term as a Village Trustee. I have been endorsed by the Democratic Party, along with Michael VandeVelde, Alan Holbrook, and Jeff Thomas. Together, we represent the most progressive team for Westfield's future.

I graduated from Westfield Academy School and then earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the State University of New York at Cobleskill. I majored in Ornamental Horticulture, Landscape Architecture. While at Cobleskill I studied numerous business related courses, such as Business Law, Firm Management and Economics and graduated top of my class.

My wife Stacy and I own and operate Midway Garden Center and Misty Ridge Landscaping. The A+ rated businesses are thriving in these hard economic times and we have been able to add more staff to our company over the past 9 years through strategic business management.

I enjoyed my past four terms as Village Trustee, where responsibilities involved keeping a eye on the economics of our village as well as participating in sound financial discussions to ensure Westfield remains a affordable and enjoyable place to call home. The past 4 years have brought about exciting change through the vision of our current mayor, Michael VandeVelde. We have made progress in the right direction and I am thrilled to be part of a bright future for our community.

I am a member of the Local Moose Lodge 118, The Vikings Lodge, The National Federation of Independent Business and the Better Business Bureau. My wife Stacy is a member of The Union Relief. We are lifetime residents of Westfield and enjoy living in Westfield with our two children, Lauren and Tyler.

I would like to see all the residents of Westfield come out and vote on, Tuesday, March 21th. It is one's duty as a citizen to vote and become educated on today's current events. Our country is changing daily and it is so important to get involved. Feel free to participate in our monthly board meetings, where there's open dialogue on the current issues and changes in local laws, etc. These meetings are open to the public and this is where questions should be asked to receive appropriate answers in a timely matter.


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