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Westfield Mayor Andy Cook not seeking 5th term

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Westfield Mayor Andy Cook announced Friday that he will not run for reelection in 2023.

Cook, a Republican, is in his fourth term as mayor.

“I’m in my 16th year as Mayor of the city that I love,” Cook said in a statement. “I’ve been Westfield’s first and only Mayor as we have grown from a small farming community into a city of over 50,000, listed by national publications as one of the safest and most desirable places to live in America. I’m very proud of the progress that we’ve made, but we’ve got a good field of younger people, and it’s time for the next generation to lead Westfield into the future.”

Westfield experienced major population growth under Cook’s leadership. He has spearheaded a number of large projects, including the launch of the Westfield Youth Assistance Program and the creation of the 400-acre Grand Park Sports Campus.

Cook’s tenure as mayor has not been without conflict. In December, the Westfield City Council approved an ordinance adding term limits for elected city officials, overriding his veto.

The measure limits the mayor and council members to two consecutive terms in office. The city clerk/treasurer will be limited to three consecutive four-year terms. The new term limits will take effect in 2024 and would not include any terms served prior to Jan. 1, 2024.

Cook was also engaged in a public feud with Westfield clerk-treasurer Cindy Gossard. A series of lawsuits between the two were filed and later dismissed.

In 2020, Cook ordered an investigation into the city’s payroll services and financial operations; Gossard responded by saying these services were within her purview under Indiana statute.

In Jan. 2021, Cook sued Gossard over access sought by investigators looking into the city’s finances. In Aug. 2021, the city sued Gossard, alleging she provided unauthorized access to city information. In the summer of 2021, Gossard claimed Cook was spying on her with spyware he had installed on her office computers.

Gossard announced in January that she would not run for reelection, citing hostile working conditions during Cook’s administration.

Cook will remain in office through the end of 2023. A new mayor will take office in Jan. 2024.

“We face some important challenges, including managing our future growth while continuing to attract top companies to our city,” Cook said. “I believe we helped lay the groundwork for the next administration to continue this important work on behalf of our current and future citizens.”