Mayor Neffinger Reduces
West Springfield, MA—In 2011 when candidate Greg Neffinger ran for Mayor, he promised to cut property taxes for West Springfield residents. Critics insisted that it couldn't be done. Furthermore, they said Neffinger would have to curtail city services. Neffinger proved them all wrong. Today due to Neffinger's determination and leadership resident across our community are able to keep more of their hard-earned dollars due to property taxes being cut.
"I'm so happy to be able to provide this tax burden relief to West Side. I know that the pundits doubted it could be accomplished, but after carefully reviewing the budget to find savings I was able to keep the promise," Neffinger said. "Just as important as reducing the taxes, we maintained our services."
Neffinger used his skills and experience as a small business owner to stretch tax dollars. As promised, he has been a watchdog for the taxpayers.
The Mayor strongly believes that the fiscal health of West Side is a crucial factor driving economic development. "When a city is efficiently managed, it encourages businesses to develop and expand. When the city's finances are in order while also delivering quality services, it can then leverage its financial strength to help catalyze business growth. Everyone ends up benefits—the taxpayers and business community that creates our local jobs," Neffinger added. Neffinger is not done yet. He is working to find new savings and ways to streamline city hall so he can once again lower the tax burden.
"As a family man and taxpayer, I know how tight things are in this economy. I want to continue to find ways to reduce property taxes," Neffinger said. Neffinger believes that for a second year in a row that he will be able to reduce property taxes. While many municipalities are overriding Prop 2 ½ or implementing a new local option meals tax, West Springfield will be the only community to have reduced taxes twice.
Mayor Neffinger Opens New
Park Along the Connecticut River
West Springfield, MA—Thanks to the efforts of Mayor Neffinger West Side residents will have a new park. Last year, Mayor Greg Neffinger started the process of partnering with the WSYSC to create a new riverfront park. Together our community has developed soccer fields to be managed by the WSYSC and to be used in conjunction with the West Springfield Park and Recreation Department.
For many years, the riverfront property has been a parcel of land that the Park and Recreation Department desired and envisioned for a multipurpose athletic field complex. The land was acquired by the town in 2008 along with other parcels along the river in anticipation for the MassDOT Statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan. A detailed development plan was formed that included 2 soccer fields and a bike path along the river, but it required significant funding which was unavailable given town investments in major projects like the new High School. Through the efforts of Mayor Neffinger the WSYSC came forward with a strong group of volunteers willing to get the project started and manage it over the next 3 years.
While the construction of the new high school creates a better facility for our students, the town lost soccer game and practice fields in the process. Mayor Neffinger said that the Park and Recreation Department has started making improvements to the existing fields but the need to replace the high school fields meant looking for new field locations. "We are excited to work with the WSYSC to expand our fields with a minimum cost to West Side", Mayor Neffinger said.
Specifically the Town with the partnership with WSYSC will benefit in two ways:
1. A new field will be established and maintained without use of public dollars, while still including public recreational use (Park & Recreation Dept. Programs) usage as a secondary party.
2. The new field will reduce the usage of Town maintained fields overall and allow municipal fields to rest and receive maintenance."I am pleased that we created a new park and I'm thankful to the WSYSC for their participation and donation," Neffinger added.
Greg Neffinger Continues His
Stretch Your Dollar Plan
West Springfield, MA—Greg Neffinger continues his plan for stretching tax dollars. He wants to keep taxes low for West Side residents.
“During these tough economic times, we need to learn to do more with less. It is essential that our next Mayor be determined to find innovative cost saving solutions in order to avoid tax increases,” said Neffinger.
Neffinger’s plan includes coordinating departments to buy in bulk, implementing cooperative agreements with neighboring cities and towns for services and maintaining the stabilization fund. Neffinger also will use his skills and experience as a small business owner to keep the new high school on budget. As a professional architect, he is the only candidate with the appropriate background to limit costly change orders that can spiral a public project out of control.
“As Mayor, I have been a watchdog for the taxpayers,” said Neffinger.
Neffinger strongly believes that the fiscal health of West Side is a crucial factor driving economic development. “When a city is efficiently managed it encourages businesses to develop and expand. When the city’s finances are in order while meeting expectations in service delivery, it can then leverage its financial strength to help catalyze business growth,” added Neffinger.
Moreover, Greg will find innovative solutions for other city building projects. He is concerned that adding to the city’s debt could threaten West Springfield’s fiscal stability, and increase the tax burden on citizens. Greg also wants to strengthen the pedestrian character of downtown West Springfield. Any new plans should include ways to strengthen the civic and business core of downtown.
Mayor Neffinger Passes
Senior and Veteran Rebate
West Springfield, MA—After of months of pushing the issue Mayor Greg Neffinger has established a city ordinance that will provide a rebate for seniors and veterans.
"Our seniors helped build this great community and our veterans have done so much to protect our freedoms. It is the least we could do to pass an ordinance that will help alleviate their tax burden," Mayor Neffinger said.
Last November Neffinger sent two ordinances to the Town Council to help provide seniors and veterans rebates on their property taxes. The Town Council recently accepted the Mayor's proposal.
Town Attorney, Simon Brighenti, drafted a senior rebate statute that revises previous wording adopted by Town Meeting in November 8, 2000 but never carried over to the ordinances when Town changed to a city form of government. "This statute was adopted but its validity as an orphan ordinance is unclear," explained Attorney Brighenti. The tax abatement is based on performing volunteer work for the Town thereby receiving monetary reductions on the individual tax bills. Since 2000 the Massachusetts legislature has amended the original law to remove income limitations. The final recommendation from the Town Attorney is for the Town Council to adopt the original ordinance and then immediately afterward adopt the amended version.
The veteran's tax rebate was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature in May of this year and is similar in concept to the senior rebate program where veterans can provide volunteer services in exchange for reduction in their property tax obligations. The maximum reduction in the property tax bill is $1,000.00 which is approximately 125 hours per calendar year.
Neffinger Affirms Senior Pledge
West Springfield, MA - —Greg Neffinger, West Springfield's Mayor, announced his plan for helping seniors across the city.
“All too often our seniors are forgotten. I know who helped build this city and I want to show them the respect they deserve. Our seniors must have the opportunity to live their retirement years in peace and dignity. I don’t want to see them frightened that they might be taxed out of their homes,” said Neffinger.
“We must stop criminal elements from preying upon our elderly with scams or frightening them on the streets. At City Hall, I will be devoted to assisting the fastest growing and most vulnerable segment of the population-seniors,” stated Neffinger. “We can do better for our seniors.”
Neffinger has regularly visited senior lunches and other events to help keep them informed. His other goal is to help with the accessibility of the senior center by using his experience as an architect to find ways to increase parking at the senior center.
Neffinger ContinuesAccountability Pledge
- Has an open door policy.
- Conduct regular office hours. Neffinger will hold office hours both during the day and evenings to make himself available to all West Side residents
- Hold regular city meetings. When needed, Greg will conduct town hall style meetings on the important issues confronting the city. He believes that it is crucial to keep people well informed.
- Customer Service Program. West Springfield residents want efficient, friendly and quality services when dealing with municipal offices. Neffinger will work with managers to implement a customer service training program to help with professional development and customer service.
- Leverage the Internet to keep citizens both engaged and informed of community resources and events. Neffinger will help create an online forum where city departments and community groups can research programs, share best practices, and communicate with constituents.
Neffinger is a distinguished community leader and experienced businessman. As both a an architect and small business owner, he is uniquely qualified to help improve the local economy and help rebuild the areas devastated by the tornado. He has served on the West Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals for 16 years. His other community service includes being a member of the Historic District Commission for 12 years, President of the West Springfield Rotary Club, President of the West Side Neighborhood Rehab and Board member of the Theatre Project. Neffinger graduated from West Springfield High School and earned his Bachelor’s degree from the Minnesota College Architecture. He is married with two daughters.
Neffinger Names Campaign Staff
Neffinger also introduced his brother Steve Neffinger of Ware as Campaign Treasurer.
Steve Neffinger lives in Ware, MA and is Greg's brother. He grew up in West Springfield and a graduate of West Springfield High School. Steve and his wife Janet have been married for 26 years and have three children. He is co-founder and Vice President of Med Exchange International, Inc. a company specializing in the purchase and sale of used medical equipment. Steve is a graduate of Nichols College with a BA in Finance.