Read this Letter to the Editor as it originally appeared June 14, 2023 on TAPintoWestfield.

Vargas-Garrison Will Work for Westfield and be a Voice for Everyone

I have had the privilege of representing the residents of Ward 2 for the past four years. When I decided not to seek reelection as my term was coming to an end, I wanted to make sure that we found the strongest candidate possible for the upcoming election this fall – someone who was best qualified and most capable of continuing the momentum that has brought so much positive change to Westfield over the last few years. That’s why I’m so pleased to endorse Erika Vargas-Garrison for Ward 2 Council.

I first met Erika and her husband, Rob, a few years ago. I was immediately struck by her lengthy background in public service, together with her intelligence, empathy and adaptability. I know from my conversations with Erika that she believes in a Westfield that is rooted in its history and is committed to its promising future. She will prioritize the revitalization of our cherished downtown and the public space and streetscape projects in that area. She is committed to strengthening safety measures for pedestrians and cyclists. Erika's focus is providing a government that can work for its citizens, and she understands the importance of listening to people, being open to new ideas and fighting to make government work for its residents.

Professionally, Erika is an experienced public servant. She has more than two decades of service working across the state, having worked regionally, in Trenton, and for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Currently she and her team are responsible for managing private investment projects that have delivered impactful, high-profile infrastructure initiatives that will significantly benefit motorists throughout the tri-state area for many years to come. She has gained significant real-world experience in that position negotiating contracts and finding common ground and efficiencies between private and public entities. Her ability to share that experience and background in infrastructure and public-private entity partnerships is absolutely critical to the success of Westfield as the Town continues to move towards the future.   

Most importantly, Erika was able to achieve all that she has accomplished through hard work, persistence, creativity, vision and resourcefulness – and that’s why I am certain Ward 2 residents, and the town as a whole, will greatly benefit from her experience and dedication.

I strongly encourage all Ward 2 residents to support Erika Vargas-Garrison on November 7th.  


Mark Parmelee

Ward 2 Councilman

Westfield, NJ