West Springfield mayoral debate heated at times - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

West Springfield mayoral debate heated at times

WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Incumbent Mayor Greg Neffinger and his challenger, former City Council President Ed Sullivan, butted heads continuously throughout a two-hour mayoral debate Thursday night, covering issues ranging from the casino vote to public safety to education.

Neffinger is hoping to hold onto his job for a second term, saying he'll focus his efforts largely on economy and tax rates.

"We're going to keep taxes low and improve on services, that's my promise to the people of West Springfield," Neffinger said.

Ed Sullivan has his own plans.

"Tier one schools for all the kids, public safety, getting the crime rate down," Sullivan said.

The two clashed over and over again during the debate at West Springfield Town Hall

A packed crowd got heated at times as well.

Neffinger criticized Sullivan for what he called a lack of campaign promises.

"My opponent does not respect the people of West Springfield enough to say why he's running or what he's running on," Neffinger said.

"A lot of politicking going on out there, I believe everyone knows what I'm running on, it's been spoken to a number of times," Sullivan fired back.

The two also took on topics like the town striking down Hard Rock's hopes of moving in.

Neffinger says the town can bolster its economy another way.

"We lowered taxes without a casino, ask the chamber of commerce, they'll tell you lower tax rates are good for business."

They also touched on the crime rate and Sullivan says there's a need for more officers.

"We need our police officers out there, we need them visible, we have to re-energize our neighborhood policing program, which is down in district one."

The debate was sponsored by the West of the River Chamber of Commerce.

CBS 3 Springfield was part of the panel asking questions in Thursday night's debate.

The election will be held on Nov. 5.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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