Mayor Brindle announces re-election campaign


Photo courtesy of Mayor Shelley Brindle

Mayor Shelley Brindle runs for a second term

Since winning Westfield’s mayoral election in November 2017, the town has been under the care of Shelley Brindle. As her first term comes to a close, Brindle announced on April 2, via Instagram and Facebook, that she will be running for a second term. 

Her opponent, JoAnn Neylan, announced her candidacy in February. Neylan is a Republican candidate and was formerly an assistant prosecutor in Brooklyn; she also served as councilwoman for Westfield’s second ward from 2004 to 2019. 

Brindle, who was a Westfield resident for many years before her first campaign, was previously the first woman in HBO’s C-suite, a position that enabled her to unite people — a sentiment outlined on her Facebook page. Also emphasized on her Facebook page is Brindle’s holistic approach to improving some of Westfield’s greater challenges in the past four years. In applying a multidisciplinary approach, Brindle focused on parks and recreation, as well as building the community through events like Addamsfest, Westfield 300 and art exhibits. 

Despite her tangible success, Brindle takes the most pride in furthering and showcasing the community’s inclusion and acceptance. “The proudest things I’ve accomplished, I think, are more cultural. I was really proud when we raised the pride flag for the first time ever at town hall, really proud of the rainbow crosswalks, proud of the things that really reflect the values of an inclusive community,” said Brindle in an exclusive interview with Hi’s Eye. 

Not only did Brindle aim to improve the town’s community involvement and accepting culture, but throughout her first term, she strived to improve things like street conditions by fixing potholes that used to plague many streets in Westfield. 

Although Brindle has decided to run again, a second term as mayor was not something that she originally planned on pursuing. “I wanted to set up the town for success in the future by laying all this groundwork, and so forth, but a lot of things take longer than you realize,” said Brindle. “I’m so excited about our future, I feel like I need to see through that commitment and see through what we started.”

By running for re-election, Brindle has vowed to continue pursuing a plan that she, along with her team, assembled and began to work on during her first term as mayor. 

“On our parks and recreation staff we did a whole new 10-year strategic plan, so we’ve done all the planning,” said Brindle. “I feel like we have done all the heavy lifting, to lay the groundwork… So it felt like I couldn’t leave, in the midst of what I think will be an incredible reinvention of our town [and] I think I need another term to finish.”

While Brindle wouldn’t have believed four years ago that she would be serving as Westfield’s mayor, the amazing opportunity for growth and development in Westfield is regarded as the true genesis for her campaign’s second term. 

Brindle’s ‘master plan’ details a successful and feasible long-term vision that empowers elected officials to implement meaningful changes within the town. Brindle’s aspirations and priorities for her second term are relevancy and memorialization of things such as the Mental Health Commission, Public Arts Commission and Addamsfest. 

“I’m hoping that a lot of those things that we’ve created have now been memorialized. So a lot of it is just making sure that the things that we started are memorialized for the long term and for the betterment of the town. I hope I can come back in 20 years and Addamsfest is still going on in a really cool iteration for whatever is relevant at the time,” said Brindle.