WESTFIELD — Planning Board member Robert Goyette is running in a June 18 special election for the Ward 5 Municipal Light Board representative.

Ward 5 was previously represented by Joe Mitchell, who resigned in November to become Westfield Gas & Electric’s assistant general manager.

Goyette, a longtime resident of Ward 5, has been attending board meetings for the past six months and thinks the position is a good fit for him.

He sees it as a way to help the city out and use his skill set. He received a finance degree from Bentley University and is owner of Heritage Homes Inc.

“I would bring the voice of not only the citizens, which is the job of the Ward 5 rep., but businesses as well,” he said.

Goyette calls himself the “common-sense, fiscally minded voice for Ward 5.” He said fiscal responsibility was his “responsibility as a rep on that board to my neighbors and fellow ratepayers.”

The biggest issue WG&E faces, he said, is the state mandate to have 100% of the utility’s power come from non-carbon-emitting sources by 2050, which he described as a plan to remove natural gas as an option. He said the state was telling him and his neighbors they’ll have to “absorb a significant cost” on electric heating.

“I understand the whole fossil fuel thing, but I think there’s a compromise there,” he said.

He also said that, as a board member, he will be asking questions and seeking out information, so that he can make the appropriate decisions.

While Goyette is the only candidate on the ballot, Westfield resident Kenneth McLean is running as a write-in candidate, according to a post credited to his wife Diana in the Westfield Community Forum Facebook group. McLean did not respond to two Facebook messages seeking comment for this story.

Ward 5 is the southeastern corner of the city, which votes at Munger Hill Elementary School. The majority of it lies south of Route 20 and bordered by the Little River and Hillside Road. Shaker Road and parts of Southwick Road — Routes 10 and 202 — run through the ward.

The special election will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, at Munger Hill Elementary School, 33 Mallard Lane, Westfield. Only Ward 5 voters can participate in the election.

This article was edited June 11, 2024, to clarify the means used to attempt to reach write-in candidate Kenneth McLean.