By Jennifer B. Calder - Westfield
I am writing this letter to voice my unequivocal support to re-elect Mike Dardia as our Ward 2 councilman.
My family has lived next door to the Dardias (as in, we can pretty much touch each other’s houses) since the fall of 2014.
From the very beginning, we were well aware this was a new type of neighbor… one who came over with his snow blower after a blizzard and plowed our driveway and walk; one who insisted we hook up a cord to his generator whenever we lost power; and one, who most recently, patiently and non-condescendingly — as this is something I really should have known how to do — talked me through how to get my son gas when he ran out, giving me a portable tank from his garage and telling me just to keep it as with three boys, this is bound to happen again.
As some know, I lost my husband in 2018. Both before, and certainly after, Mike and his family have been quick to check on us during emergencies and provided a sense of community. Just going that extra little bit to make us feel cared for and watched over.
But beyond Mike as a person, I have been equally impressed with the way he has handled his role as councilman, although I suppose the two are intricately connected.
When he first ran, he spent an hour on our back porch, listening to my late husband’s concerns as well as time with so many of our neighbors.
And Mike really listens.
But he doesn’t just listen. He acts.
He takes in all the information, all of the concerns, and then acts.
Recently, there was a tree on my front lawn that had grown all interwoven with the power lines. I held my breath every time the wind blew. I knew it needed to be removed and was about to pay out of pocket to do so when Mike came over and took a look, telling me it was a city tree and he would handle it. I think that tree was down within the week.
Then, most recently: Ida.
Like many others, our neighborhood was hit hard.
Mike was out first thing in the morning, with wet vacs, moving from house to house seeing where and how he could be of the most help. As a neighborhood, we all were worried as there is a drainage pipe that runs along the back of all our yards and, based on the fact we get flooding every storm (usually fairly minor, thankfully), we all voiced our concerns with this pipe. Perhaps it was clogged? How did we know this extreme devastation wouldn’t happen again?
Mike investigated and then called the DPW to make sure the pipe is patent. He looks out for all of us in his Ward.
Mike listens and then acts. I feel so lucky to have him as my councilman.
Please vote to re-elect Mike Dardia, Ward 2, on November 2nd.