Facebook Live

Go take a look at our Facebook page on Friday at 2pm for a Facebook Live interview. The interview will be conducted by Ward 1 resident and New York Times best selling author Eva Natiello. 

TAPInto Westfield: We Support Linda Habgood

September 28, 2017 at 3:16 PM

tapintologo-2.pngDear Westfield Community,

It is with proud enthusiasm that we support Linda Habgood for the 1st Ward seat on the Westfield Town Council. We have had the privilege of knowing Linda, her husband Gary Zanfagna, their boys Philip and Andrew, and their extended family for the past 12 years. In addition to being a wonderful friend, Linda is a successful finance professional, a community activist and a tireless volunteer. She has consistently applied her professional knowledge, work ethic and good character to fuel her passion for our Westfield community.

We have personal experience with the way Linda immediately steps up to build lasting relationships. Linda and Gary invited us into their home on our very first night in Westfield following a long move-in day. We recognized their hospitality as gracious and welcoming. Three weeks later we attended our Arlington Avenue annual block party that Linda helped organize and valued her ability to integrate our family into our new community. After that it was getting us involved in the Washington School show or some other local fundraiser. That same concept has manifested itself time and time again and we, as Westfield residents, have continued to be the beneficiaries. Linda has an extraordinary ability to build relationships and it is through those relationships that she has created the trust that has generated volunteer efforts from so many others. This is the essence of leadership.

So many of us know and respect Linda, but may not truly know how much time and effort that she has dedicated as a volunteer. It’s worth knowing because it speaks volumes about who Linda is as a passionate and benevolent volunteer and why she will be a successful councilwoman. She co-chaired the Citizen Action Committee that supported the “Centralized Kindergarten Bond.” She was the finance chair for Presbyterian Nursery School and Kindergarten board. She continues to be active in the Westfield Presbyterian Church as a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Youth Commission, an advisor of one middle school mission trip and three high school trips and the head of the Associated Pastor Nominating Committee. She was both a producer and director of the Washington School Show; a member of team in Training Triathlon Team; fundraising chair on WHS PTSO; and a member of the Board of New Jersey Festival Orchestra. These efforts evidence Linda’s ability and willingness to give of herself and her time to make a positive impact on our community that benefits all of us.

It is a rare occasion when you can whole-heartedly support a candidate because you firmly believe in them, their character and ultimately their ability to do what’s best. Linda is that candidate!

Danny and Chrissy McManus

Westfield Residents

TAPInto Westfield: Linda Habgood Will Get the Job Done!

September 22, 2017 at 12:58 PM

tapintologo-2.pngLadies and Gentlemen:

I encourage the residents of Westfield’s 1st Ward to support the candidacy of Linda Habgood for town council.
I’ve known Linda for 25 years and believe that her character, integrity, determination, and professional and community experience will serve the 1st Ward and the town extremely well.
I first met Linda in the early 1990s while working at Chase Manhattan. Linda’s first role at Chase was to travel the world for two years auditing the credit books of the bank. As a newly minted trainee based in New York, Linda had to walk into Chase’s overseas offices, meet with the senior bankers and determine whether their loans were performing and properly booked.

After tackling that first tough job, Linda moved on to help finance major U.S. corporations such as FedEx and American Airlines, before moving to Washington, DC, and taking a position with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the US government’s private sector lending arm. Shortly thereafter, she earned her degree from The Wharton School. Finding her calling in international project finance, Linda joined and then became an equity partner in Delphos International, a specialty advisory firm focused on delivering public/private financing solutions to clients in the emerging markets.

But it was early on in her career that I gained first-hand knowledge of Linda’s precise and indefatigable approach to business when she would drop by my office to ask advice on how to solve a complex problem. A curious thinker and better listener, Linda persistently drove for answers. In the process of finding solutions for clients, Linda developed a supportive network of professionals within the bank which she has maintained and built upon throughout her career.

In 2000, I bumped into Linda in Westfield of all places when she, husband Gary and young son Philip (now 18!) relocated from DC and settled on Arlington Avenue. Linda and Gary welcomed Andrew in 2001 and their family became a fixture of activity in the neighborhood and in the Washington School district.

Ward 1 Residents Gather at Hertell's for Linda Habgood

Longtime residents of Westfield's Ward 1, Keith and Kathleen Hertell hosted an event for council candidate Linda Habgood, with mayoral candidate Shelley Brindle in attendance.

Over 100 friends and neighbors came out on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to hear from and talk with both candidates and enjoy wine and cheese in the gardens. A fresh approach and new ideas were discussed as residents discuss making a change this election day, Nov. 7.


TAPIntoWestfield: Linda Habgood: As a Finance Professional, I'll Focus on Reducing Reliance on Taxes

September 14, 2017

tapintologo-2.pngMy family and I moved to Westfield 17 years ago from Virginia. We didn’t know anyone, but the community embraced us. Our new neighbors quickly became friends and we now call Westfield home.

I’ve always been an avid volunteer in our town, eager to take on challenging tasks and give back to the community that has given my family and me so much.

From starting a scholarship program at my sons’ elementary school, to organizing fundraisers to support youth programs across our community, to co-chairing the committee that got the bond approved to create Lincoln School — I know what it takes to lead in Westfield.

I have built a career in finance and economic development. I started on Wall Street, earned my MBA from Wharton, and am now a partner in my own financial advisory firm. I’ve closed on more than $11 billion in funding for over 1,000 clients to support communities and businesses around the world. The money I raise improves infrastructure by taking advantage of long-term, low-interest rate financing, creates jobs and more vibrant communities, and ultimately strengthens towns just like Westfield.

These are projects and deals that require creative solutions and attention to detail.

On the town council, I will focus on creating new revenue streams to reduce our reliance on property-tax increases, smart development that embraces Westfield’s historic buildings and homes and improved services for our residents of all ages.

We need a leader with experience building public-private partnerships to push Trenton for more one seat-rides during rush hours and to hold Union County accountable for our tax dollars.

Local politics should not be partisan. I’m knocking on every door in Ward 1 because joining the council means representing every single one of you

Vote for me, Linda Habgood, this Nov. 7. I’m ready to work for you.

For continuing information please visit habgoodforwestfield.com and facebook.com/habgood4towncouncil or email me at linda@habgoodforwestfield.com

Starting September Off Right

It's been a very exciting and busy week for the Habgood for Westfield campaign! Back-to-back Meet & Greets, lots of canvassing, a Fall Kick off with my fabulous volunteers, a Franklin School Coffee, a presentation to the JayCees and a 5K Run for Everyone. Thank you so much to our wonderful hosts! I have enjoyed the opportunities to connect with friends and meet new neighbors! Let us know if you want to get involved!!



Downtown Business District Top Concern for 738 Westfield Residents Polled in Public Survey by Westfield Together

by: Westfield Together

Westfield’s downtown business district was the top concern among the 738 Westfield residents who participated in a public online survey conducted by Westfield Together, the Democratic slate of candidates running for council and mayor.

The survey, which was posted online May 3, asked residents to identify the top five issues most important to them from a list of 24 choices. Those who completed the survey, reported the following:

  • 71% cited the condition of downtown as one of their top five most important issues, and 133 or 22% found downtown the most important issue of all.
  • Property taxes and schools were tied as the second most cited in respondents’ top five issues at 59% each.
  • 32% cited property values in their top five issues.
  • 28% cited parking as their top issue.  
  • 21% cited schools as their top issue.
  • 17% cited property taxes as their top issue.
  • 6% cited property values as their top issue.
  • 4% cited public transportation as their top issue.
  • 3% cited parking, housing teardowns, and government transparency as their top issue. 

36% of those who took the survey reported living in Westfield for 20+ years, and 32% reported living in Westfield between 11-19 years. Of those residents who participated in the survey, 96% are registered voters. Residents in all 4 wards participated in the survey with the most, 30% from Ward 1, and the fewest, 19% from Ward 3.

Residents had the opportunity to respond to an open-ended question asking respondents to include additional feedback. 87 residents submitted written responses, with the majority expressing concern about the downtown vacancies and parking. 

Residents accessed the survey via the candidates’ Facebook pages, the Westfield Together website, and in this TAPinto Westfield article. This survey was created and controlled through Survey Monkey, and results were tracked by the responder’s unique IP address. Party affiliation was deliberately not included as a question on the survey. The data cited above was collected from May 3 to May 24, 2017.

To maximize communication and transparency we have appended the complete unedited survey results PDF. We hope this survey contributes to the productive conversation on local priorities. Polling residents on the local issues that impact them will be routine practice if the Democratic slate of candidates is elected November 7th.


Westfield Leader: Linda Habgood Continuing Door-to-Door Campaign In Ward 1

WESTFIELDLEADERLOGO1000PX.pngNow that primaries are over and the ballots are set for November 7th, I want to take a moment to reach out to my neighbors in Ward 1.

I hope this letter highlights my qualifications and my commitment to our town. As your representative, it will be vital that you know me; but more importantly, it is critical that I know you. Whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or an unaffiliated, you have my word that I will represent you and achieve our common goal to live in an engaging and vibrant community with an outstanding downtown, excellent schools and smart financial management. As of today, I knocked on 352 doors across our Ward and met almost as many of you personally. My goal of reaching everyone will take several more months, but I hope my actions speak as loud as my words – as your councilwoman, I will work for you.

If I haven’t reached your door yet, I want to share that: I listen, I get results, and I am qualified for the office I seek.
I listen: I hope the conversations we have on your porches, in our downtown eateries and on the train evidence the importance I place on listening, getting to know you and your concerns. I look forward to these conversations as I visit the nearly 2,500 households in Ward 1. You can follow me on Facebook (@LindaHabgoodforTownCouncil) for updates, and information about my next meet and greet in your neighborhood, and upcoming canvassing events.

I get results: I secured over $10 billion in financing for over 1,000 companies worldwide, and I want to bring the tools behind this success to Westfield. With almost 30 years of experience in banking and emerging markets project finance, I’ve learned that unless the correct formula of leadership is in place, a deal can die in the blink of an eye. When I’m working to secure financing for a cable company in Kenya or an agribusiness enterprise in Brazil, I know what it takes to create and sustain successful outcomes.

I am qualified for the office I seek: Structuring financial solutions that bridge public and private interests is at the core of my professional career. I have an MBA from Wharton, have worked in a U.S. government development agency, achieved successes on Wall Street and am a partner in an international financial advisory firm. I am already rolling up my sleeves, eager to dig into our town’s budget numbers to make sure your tax dollars are working hard for you. I want to explore avenues for new revenue streams and will work diligently to cut costs. We need new ideas and effective, time-tested financial management in Westfield; I have all the bona fides and desire to deliver.

Additionally, as a 17-year Westfield resident I’ve been an ardent and dedicated community leader and mom, working with fervor to raise money we need for important projects. I co-led the successful effort to pass the bond that established Lincoln School; I directed, produced and danced in the (almost) world-renowned Washington School Show; I serve on the board of our widely-revered Westfield Symphony (now called the NJ Festival Orchestra), and this week I will don my hat of youth advisor for the fourth time on the Presbyterian Church’s mission trip to North Carolina, leading 71 youth in their service to a community devastated last fall by Hurricane Matthew. In all of my roles as a leader in our town, I have learned what it takes to represent, serve and achieve results in our greater Westfield community.

I’ve had the privilege and honor to work alongside 30-plus Westfield High School interns who have volunteered their time to get involved and make a difference. I want to thank them for their inspiration, encouragement and enthusiasm. Words cannot express how energized I am by them and YOU to continue to make Westfield an even better place. Congratulations to the 2017 graduating class and their families!

Over the next few months, please look for me on your front steps! Answer the door and challenge me. I want to listen, formulate a plan to meet our common goals and win in November so that I can get to work.

Linda Habgood, Candidate Council Ward 1, Westfield

TapintoWestfield: Dems Tout Historic Primary Results for Westfield Election

tapintologo.pngWestfield residents came out in record numbers, doubling the number of votes cast in the mayoral and council primary elections in 2013. On Tuesday, 4,871 ballots were cast compared with 2,326 in 2013. All nominees for Westfield mayoral and town council candidates ran uncontested within their respective political parties.

“I couldn't be more energized; which is good, because the real work has only just begun,” Shelley Brindle said in a Facebook Post, “I’m here to listen to you first then put in the real work Westfield needs to thrive. All of us won tonight, but we have a long way to go to win on November 7!”

Results for the 2017 primary were the following:

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Shelley Brindle (D): 1,695
Andrew K. Skibitsky, (R): 763

First Ward:
Linda S. Habgood (D): 463
Sam Della Fera (R): 206

Second Ward:
Michael J. Dardia (D): 374
James J. Corcoran (R): 188

Third Ward:
David M. Contract (D): 380
David Oliveira (R):182

Fourth Ward:
Dawn Mackey (D): 440
Keith Loughlin (R): 180

Westfield Leader: For Westfield Council Ward 1, I Endorse Linda Habgood

WESTFIELDLEADERLOGO1000PX.pngI am thrilled to endorse Linda Habgood for Westfield Town Council Ward 1.

As someone who has never been politically active, as a result of recent political turmoil I have been shaken and awakened. And while, like many, I may never become “politically active,” I know that there are some very basic and necessary things we all can do to make our voices heard so that the very best elected officials are representing us and this starts on the community level. Two of those things are: get to know the candidates and vote. This may sound rudimentary, but it’s alarming to learn how many people vote for candidates they know little about and more alarming how many people don’t vote.

So I was thrilled to hear Linda Habgood is running for Westfield Town Council in Ward 1. Apart from knowing Linda personally, and that she is an intelligent and successful businesswoman, an amazing mother of two wonderful sons, a tireless volunteer of organizations near and dear to her heart, I have learned even more about her vision for Town Council. She is determined to use her business savvy, tenacity and compassion to build on Westfield’s strengths while tackling its issues, and I know she can do it.

One of Linda’s goals is to “engage all our citizens” by tapping into the wealth of skills, expertise and creativity Westfielders are known to have and to “build a culture of collaboration based on what you know, rather than who you know.” This is important to keep in mind especially when you consider that today our local Westfield government is 100 percent Republican and 89 percent male. Yet that doesn’t come close to represent our constituent base of 31 percent Democrats, 43 percent Independent and 53 percent women. It’s time for our local government to represent more of us.

I urge you to get to know Linda Habgood. Her strong leadership, innovative problem solving and passion for Westfield is exactly the combination our town needs.

Eva Natiello