Westfield council: New fire chief sworn in, $2,500 donated to Student Impact, BKD invoices still unpaid

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The Westfield City Council met Jan. 10 for the first time in 2022. Its next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 24. For more, visit westfield.in.gov.

What happened: Council member Troy Patton gave an update on unpaid invoices from BKD, a CPA and advisory firm.

What it means: Late last year, the council formed an ad hoc committee to examine thousands of dollars of unpaid invoices from legal and accounting firms. Patton said the committee has been unable to meet with BKD, so the invoices will remain unpaid until committee members and BKD representatives can meet.

 

What happened: Westfield Mayor Andy Cook conducted a swearing-in ceremony for new Westfield Fire Dept. Chief Rob Gaylor.

What it means: Former WFD Chief Marcus Reed retired in 2021. Gaylor’s wife and two children participated in the ceremony, with Gaylor’s son, Blake Gaylor, pinning the chief’s badge onto his father’s uniform.

 

What happened: Council member Scott Willis requested the council to donate to Student Impact, a faith-based nonprofit that builds relationships with students.

What it means: The council voted 5-2 to approve a $2,500 donation to the organization, with council members Scott Frei and Troy Patton voting against the request. Each year, the council budgets a specific amount of money to give to nonprofits. In 2021, of $34,500 budgeted, the council only donated $11,000. This year, $30,000 is budgeted. Several council members who voted in favor of the donation also said the council must be careful about which organizations to donate taxpayer dollars to because some, like Student Impact, are religious nonprofits.

“We could probably get some flak about (donating to) church-related nonprofits,” council member Joe Edwards said. “I think we do have to be careful, and we have to walk a fine line there. It’s public money.”

 

What happened: The council unanimously elected Mike Johns council president.

What it means: Johns served as president last year as well. After being elected, Johns appointed council member Joe Edwards as his vice president.

 

What happened: The council unanimously voted to retain council members Johns and Cindy Spoljaric as liaisons on the council’s advisory plan commission.

What it means: In February 2021, the council approved an amendment to an ordinance to allow the council president to also serve on the Advisory Plan Commission. Previously, the council president was unable to serve on the APC. Council members also appointed Westfield resident Bob Beaudry and Linda Naas to remain as the council representatives on the redevelopment commission.

 

What happened: The council unanimously approved a voluntary annexation of the Marla Ailor property on 203rd Street.

What it means: The area is now part of Westfield’s city limits and is in council District 3, represented by Councilor Joe Edwards.


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