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Residential and Commercial Growth

Growth is a part of life. Trees and plants grow. Children grow. Towns and cities grow. Growth is a wonderful thing, as long as it is organic.

I believe that the vast majority of Westfield residents view growth as a positive. When people express concerns about growth, I don't think they are opposed to growth. I believe they are opposed to the manner in which the growth is being managed.

Westfield is one of four cities in Hamilton County. We have several neighboring communities, large and small, which are still towns, both in Hamilton County and in neighboring counties. We have several growth models upon which we can draw to develop our strategic plan for growth.
The Carmel and Fishers models have some very strong appeal to many of our residents. These two thriving communities have built their growth on the strength of an economic base of technology and financial services companies. These companies draw thousands of highly-paid employees to large office buildings along well-established corridors (US 31 and I-69). These people commute five days a week, basically 52 weeks a year. They have developed strong and diverse tax bases through years of well-planned development.

The Noblesville and Zionsville models also have some really significant support among a large segment of Westfield's population. Both of these communities have found ways to benefit from significant growth and development, while embracing a "small town charm" in their "historic" districts. These communities have been developed by maintaining and accentuating the "quaint feel" of certain areas, while focusing new development on the outer areas of the community. Both communities work diligently to maintain the balance between "old" and "new".

In Westfield, we have a very unique opportunity to build upon a hybrid approach to these two models. We have a well-established corridor (US 31) upon which to build a tax base similar to that of Carmel and Fishers. Unfortunately, our community has not been able to develop this valuable commodity to its fullest potential. We have a richly historic district, which is embraced by many as an area where we can capitalize on our "small town charm". We also have a several significant areas where new development can be focused and flourish in the Grand Park area, west of US 31 and north of SR 32.

So, as Mayor of Westfield, I would seek to update the city's Comprehensive Plan to reflect the lessons learned from the development of our neighboring communities over the past twelve years. In economic and civic growth, a decade is both a blink of an eye and an eternity. We have awesome opportunities in Westfield to grow in exciting ways, without employing a singular approach and abandoning all others.

We can develop a welcoming and charming "old downtown" area around SR 32 and Union Street, without demolishing existing structures. We can build a more stable economic tax base by developing our US 31 corridor with buildings which house high-tech companies that draw highly-paid commuters into our community on a daily basis. We can thoughtfully and carefully develop new housing in our southwest and northeast corners, without disturbing the lifestyles of residents who have built sprawling homesteads of rural bliss. We can develop the west SR 32 corridor and Grand Park areas with new development which compliments our travel and tourism base.

We need to work together, collaboratively, instead of divisively. We need a city administration that brings all viewpoints to the table and develops plans based on consensus, not contention. We need to respect our diversity, instead of forcing uniformity.
Our community has a tremendous opportunity on its horizon, however, we must recognize, understand, and learn from our misjudgments. We must coalesce our visions of Westfield into a cohesive plan that is constantly adapting to learnings as we develop a hybrid community which provides a Westfield of which we are all proud to call home.

This is my plan for Westfield. I do not believe in squashing or devaluing dissent. I believe in working together, with open mind and heart, to honor and respect the values and opinions of all. I believe that we can build a Westfield where we can have the "old" and the "new", the rural and the suburban.

If you share my believe, I would appreciate your vote for Mayor of Westfield on November 5, 2019.

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