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Page 2 Thursday, May 25, 2000 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION



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Tax Credits, Gun Policies Separate Mr. Farley From District Seven Opponents


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD – If Capitol Hill experience was the main criteria for selecting the Democratic nominee in the Seventh Congressional District, Joel Farley would win that race hands down.

But, in the fourcandidate race headed by Union County Manager Michael J. Lapolla and former Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, Mr. Farley realizes he is fighting an uphill battle.

The antiVietnam War demonstrator in the 1960s, however, believes he received a major boost in proposal to provide full federal income tax credits to teachers in hopes of increasing quality teachers nationwide. The plan received a boost when California Governor Gray Davis proposed a similar plan exempting teachers from the state income tax.

The candidate also supports preservation of New Jersey’s open spaces and an end to the shipping of New York City garbage into Union County, an end to discrimination against homosexuals in the military including the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy” – the candidate is openly gay — the use of federal budget surplus to strengthen and preserve Social Security and expansion of Medicare to include coverage of prescription drugs.

Last week Mr. Farley, who grew up in Westfield where he went through the public school system, sat down with The Westfield Leader and

The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood

to discuss his background and platform. The candidate’s first elective office was as Treasurer and later Student Council President at Roosevelt Jr. high school from 196869.

While at Westfield High School, he participated in the Congressional Seminar Program, where he went to Washington and meet with Congressmen and Senators including then Congressman Gerald Ford and Senator Ted Kennedy (DMass.)

The candidate grew up with seven brothers and sisters including his younger sister, Stacey, who designed the tiles on transportation history displayed in the Westfield train station underpass. His two older brothers, John and Robert, were Westfield High School valedictorians. Their mother, Eileen, was President of the Friends of the Westfield Library.

Mr. Farley’s Washington experience dates back to when he interned for the late U. S. Senator Stewart Symington (DMO).

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1983, Mr. Farley worked as a staff investigator for the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Employment in Housing under the House Government Operations Committee. The committee was chaired by Congressman Barney Frank (DMass).

Mr. Farley served as an elected member of the Westfield Town Democratic Committee in 1972 at 18. He later received an undergraduate degree from the Woodrow Wil

Kean Feels Family Name, Congressional Aide Work Puts Him Ahead of Field


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD – His father was governor. His grandfather and greatgrandfather were Congressmen. And now, Tom Kean, Jr. of Westfield, 31, the seventh generation of the Kean family to live in Union County, wants to represent the Seventh District in the House of Representatives.

Looking at the field of four Republican candidates who are seeking the party’s nomination, Mr. Kean believes the 2½ years he spent in Congressman Bob Franks’ Washington office as a legislative aide and his experience with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put him ahead of the competition.

Born in Livingston, the candidate went to The Pingry School in Martinsville and attended church in Short Hills. He resided in Massachusetts for the past few years while completing his doctorate at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

He is just three chapters short on his dissertation. Mr. Kean received his undergraduate degree at Dartmouth College.

While working for Mr. Franks, Mr. Kean put in 20 hours a week as a volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

During an interview Monday at Vicki’s Diner in Westfield, Mr. Kean said one of the big issues he is ahead of in the GOP field on is campaign finance reform.

His plan is threefold: require all people or organizations distributing campaign literature to either list who their contributors are or provide a telephone number for where this information can be obtained; end the use of foreign campaign contributions, and require full disclosure of contributors.

On the issue of Social Security solvency, Mr. Kean said the first priority in utilizing federal budget surplus funds should be to increase the life of Social Security and Medicare. After that, he would support using the surplus to pare down the national debt, followed by federal tax cuts.

Mr. Kean supports investing 2 percent of the Social Security Trust Fund in the Stock Market, in the form of personal retirement accounts that would be controlled by individuals rather than the government.

On health care, he favors including a prescription drug benefit within the Medicare program and placing more control over medical proce dures in the hands of doctors and not

HMOs. A supporter of smaller government, Mr. Kean favors the elimination of the socalled marriage penalty and death taxes, as well as lowering marginal tax rates. He said he was the first District 7 candidate to sign a pledge not to raise federal taxes.

In terms of lowering local property taxes, Mr. Kean said he would move to cut “the strings” on regulations in Washington that he said “disable” states and local school districts from moving ahead with charter schools and vouchers.

On vouchers, Mr. Kean said a student should be able to attend a school where he or she can reach his or her full potential.

The candidate also believes New Jersey’s Congressional delegation needs to work together to attain what’s best for the state and region. He cited the Port of Elizabeth, where 180,000 persons are employed and which generates $20 billion in business, as an example, along with infrastructure and transportation concerns.

Mr. Kean said he would utilize his skills of bringing interested parties together to work for a solution as he did with the EPA.

On the experience front, Mr. Kean cited his work on international affairs such as on the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development while employed with the EPA. He also worked on environment, commerce, international affairs and defense legislation as an aid to Mr. Franks.

One issue on which Mr. Kean differs from his opponents is abortion. The candidate is prochoice. He said, however, that he opposes partial birth abortions, supports parental notification and favors education for parents and youngsters about pregnancy and abortion issues.

He also favors lifting restrictions to make adoption more available.

“I don’t think the federal government can legislate morality,” Mr. Kean told The Westfield Leader and

The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood.

In the end, however, he feels his theme of smaller government, accountability and bringing people together, coupled with honesty and integrity, will lead him to victory on June 6.

Noting his lifetime interest in public service, Mr. Kean concluded, “We have the responsibility to step up to the plate and make a difference.”

Officials Announce Grant Awards for Senior Centers


Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

UNION — Union County officials have announced the awarding of $3 million in grants, spread out among all 21 towns in the county, to help fund municipal senior citizens centers.

Towns received funds based on their senior population. Towns with 9,000 or more seniors were eligible to receive $250,000; $150,000 was available for towns with between 3,000 and 8,999 seniors, and $100,000 could be applied for by communities with fewer than 3,000 seniors.

Last year, freeholders and other? county officials evaluated the needs in the county and determined this year’s focus should be on senior programs.

In the next few programs (is this the right word here? Also read the rest of this graph because I moved a few words around) will be announced to provide mini buses to towns for “Seniors in Motion,” involving transportation of seniors to social functions such as shopping and entertainment, and to provide scholarships for seniors to take courses at Union County College through “Senior Scholars.”

Union County Manager Michael J. Lapolla told officials and media gathered on the grounds of a new, 11,000squarefoot senior center being built in Union Township that Union County is third in the state, behind only Ocean and Monmouth Counties, in terms of its senior population.

One out of five Union County residents are over 60 and that number is

expected to reach one out of four once the “baby boomers” reach their senior years, officials revealed.

In terms of the Senior Focus grants, Westfield will receive $150,000, which the town intends to dedicate for architectural and engineering fees for the proposed expansion of the Westfield Community Center at the corner of Palsted Avenue and West Broad Street.

Both senior and day care facilities are planned for the new annex to the existing building.

Scotch Plains will receive $150,000 to upgrade the Scotch Hills Country? Club on Jerusalem Road. County officials noted that seniors represent 44 percent of the weekday users and 38 percent of the weekend users of the club’s golf? course because of its size and cost. The facility is owned and operated by the township.

County officials said funds will be used to make the clubhouse, where seniors meet, compliant with Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, as well as to fund construction of a new pro shop and cart shed.

Fanwood will receive $100,000 to identify and renovate a suitable downtown building for a senior center and to fund the purchase of furniture and fixtures for the facility.

Mountainside will receive $100,000, to be used to purchase 10 computers and printers for computer classes for seniors in the Community Room at Mountainside Borough Hall and at the borough’s library.

Frank Guzzo, Department of Human Services Director for the County of Union, called the program “a great initiative,” noting that based on the applications submitted by the towns, there was an “obvious need” for additional senior centers.

“These (senior centers) really are places where seniors can gather,”


David B. Corbin for The Leader and The Times

LEADER AND TIMES INTERVIEWS... As part of The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood’s interviews with Seventh District Congressional candidates, Democrat Joel Farley, at left, meets with political editor Paul J. Peyton. Mr. Farley’s article is on Page 2 along with Tom Kean, Jr. Maryanne S. Connelly is on Page 5 and Michael Ferguson is on Page 17.
Copyright 2000 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)