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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 42ND YEAR – ISSUE NO. 4442 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N. J. Thursday, November 2, 2000
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
Special Election Coverage 2000
PUMPKIN PICKERS… Children in the PreKindergarten Title One classes at Brunner Elementary School and School One Elementary in Scotch Plains recently took a trip to Alstede Farm in Chester. The children experienced the sights, sounds and scents of a farm in early fall during a hayride tour of the farm. The highlight of the trip was a stop in the pumpkin patch where each child selected a pumpkin to take home. Pictured, left to right, are: Jacob Monzella, Jason Geoghan and Calvin Phillip.
Coverage Begins on Page 5 Scotch Plains Voters to Choose
Mayor, Town Council Member By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
Scotch Plains voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to select, for the first time ever, their next mayor, and will also choose a new member of the Township Council as the Republicans try to maintain their 32 majority.
Democratic Councilwoman Geri M. Samuel faces Republican Mayor Martin L. Marks in the mayoral contest, while Democrat Peter Tripet and Republican Paulette Coronato are vying to succeed GOP Councilman William F. McClintock, who is stepping down after nearly 10 years on the governing body.
The major issue during the campaign has been the two parties’ approach to municipal property taxes, with the Republicans criticizing the 1999 Democraticled council for passing a 5.4 percent tax increase and the Democrats saying that last year’s moves led to the zero tax increase passed earlier this year by the GOPcontrolled council.
Personal style has also been touted by the two mayoral candidates. Mr. Marks says he has restored open government in Scotch Plains this year, after a year in which he said Mrs. Samuel, as mayor, had often stymied comments and input by fellow coun cil members and the public. Mrs.
Samuel has countered by saying much of last year’s discord was the fault of Mr. Marks and adding that, as mayor, she was always available to speak or meet with any individual or group.
Mrs. Coronato and Mr. Tripet have run campaigns basically backing the positions of the leaders of their respective tickets.
Mrs. Coronato has extolled her service on various government bodies while Mr. Tripet has pointed to his generationslong roots in town.
There were two debates between Mrs. Samuel, who was elected to the council in 1998 and served as mayor in 1999, and Mr. Marks, whose fouryear council term ends at the end of December. The first, held two weeks ago and sponsored by The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood and the local League of Women Voters, focused on property taxes, downtown development, open space preservation, the proposed bridge across Route 22 and personal style. The other faceoff, held on Monday night, was sponsored by the Scotch Plains Business and Professional Association and dealt primarily with downtown development issues.
Mrs. Coronato, a member of the Township Zoning Board of Adjust ment and a council candidate in 1998,
and Mr. Tripet, a graduate student at Seton Hall University, met in two debates on the same evenings as the mayoral candidates.
Regardless of the results next Tuesday, the makeup of the council will be markedly different than it was two years ago after the Democrats won three seats to take control of the governing body. Mrs. Samuel’s running mates in 1998, Franklin Donatelli and Tarquin Jay Bromley, both died during their initial terms. Mr. Donatelli, who died in May 1999, was succeeded in a special election a year ago by Republican Frank Rossi, whose victory gave the GOP control of the council after a year of Democratic majority. Mr. Bromley, who died in late September, was replaced last week by Democrat Sharynn M. Porter, who will serve until a special election next year.
A victory by Mr. Marks next week will keep both him and Mrs. Samuel on council. If Mrs. Samuel is victorious, she will take Mr. Marks’ tobevacated seat, which has been designated as the Mayor’s slot. She would then have to resign her council seat to assume the mayoralty, thus allowing the township Democratic Party to name a replacement for her.
Two Fanwood Seats Up for Grabs; Council Majority to be Decided By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
In a race for two open seats on the Fanwood Borough Council, Republicans are seeking to retain the majority they captured during last year’s General Elections, while the Democrats hope to reverse it with a double victory on Tuesday, November 7.
Council President Joel Whitaker, a Republican, is eyeing a second term on the governing body. Realtor Carol Wood, his running mate, is making her inaugural bid for a council seat.
Challenging them on the Democratic ticket are Councilwoman Cynthia Swindlehurst and Matthew Glennon. Ms. Swindlehurst is running for her first full term, having been tapped in March to serve out the unexpired term of former Democratic Councilman William E. Populus, Jr., who resigned in March.
Mr. Glennon — making his debut run with this year’s elections — had also been among the Fanwood Democratic Municipal Committee’s three nominees to succeed Mr. Populus last spring. In addition to Ms. Swindlehurst and Mr. Glennon, Peter Sayles was also considered for the post.
Last year’s GOP sweep, in which Fanwood Republicans won the mayor’s seat plus two council vacancies, reversed the Democrats’ longheld, 43 edge on the governing body.
Prior to that, Democrats had maintained a majority for 12 years and held the mayor’s seat for 16 years, through the consecutive administrations of Patricia M. Kuran, Linda d. Stender and Maryanne S. Connelly.
Currently, the sixmember Fanwood Borough Council is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, with Mayor Louis C.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Jung breaking tie votes when necessary. A dual victory by Councilman Whitaker and Mrs. Wood would increase the Republican majority to 52, while a win by both Democrats would give their party back its 43 advantage. Full council terms in Fanwood are for three years each.
Elected to his inaugural term in 1997, Mr. Whitaker, a borough resident for more than 20 years, is the owner and Publisher of Whitaker Newsletters, Inc. of Fanwood. He presently chairs the council’s Land Use and Historic Preservation Committee and also sits on the Administration and Finance and Public Works committees.
Mrs. Wood, a Vice President with the Century 21 Taylor & Love real estate office in Westfield, serves on both the Fanwood Board of Health
Brooks Crandall for The Times THE FACE OF TIME… The Borough of Fanwood’s most statuesque timepiece stands proudly at the corner of South and Martine Avenues in Fanwood.
Publisher’s Note This edition of The Times of Scotch Plains/ Fanwood has been mailed to every resident in the Township and Borough to inform voters of the issues and of the candidates. We hope you enjoy the 3 rd annual edition of
Our Towns which is included. Similarly, our sister paper, The Westfield Leader has been mailed to everyone there. Please vote Tuesday, November 7 th .
Look for the candidates discussing their views on TV 34, 35 and36. Research their positions and see uptodate voting results on the Internet at www. goleader. com.
We use this edition to present ourselves to those of you who are not subscribers. I believe good newspapers help communities, and that’s what we’re trying to do. Please join us and subscribe.
Horace R. Corbin, Publisher
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Marks, Samuel Rip Each Other’s Credibility at Candidates Forum
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
In their second and final debate, Scotch Plains mayoral candidates Martin L. Marks and Geri M. Samuel talked about, and mostly agreed on, issues affecting downtown development, but also took opportunities to attack each other’s credibility.
At the end of their faceoff on Monday night at Hershey’s Deli on
East Second Street in Scotch Plains, Mayor Marks, the Republican candidate, and Mrs. Samuel, his Democratic challenger, each sought to portray the other as disingenuous and lacking in credibility.
One area of dispute was the amount of grant money each had brought into town during their respective mayoral terms. Mr. Marks, currently finishing the 10th month of his oneyear appointive term, said Democratic campaign literature stating that Mrs. Samuel, as Mayor in 1999, had secured $1.1 million in grants, compared to the $225,000 brought in this year under his administration, was untrue.
Mayor Marks said grants this year totaled more than $800,000, “and that’s after only 10 months.” He also criticized the Democrats for 1998 campaign literature that faulted Republicanled Township Councils in the early 1990s for raising taxes before last year’s Democratcontrolled council voted to hike property taxes 5.4 percent.
Mrs. Samuel, who was elected to the council in 1998, said Mr. Marks’ boast of having restored open government in Scotch Plains was dubious. She said the Mayor had failed to consult with the township’s senior citizens about how best to use a county grant aimed at meeting their needs.
She also said the Mayor’s recent plan to create a new conservation zone was rushed through without adequate consultations because Re publican campaign literature which
included the proposal had already been printed.
“Where’s the open government?” she asked.
The two candidates, vying to become the township’s first elected Mayor, agreed on a number of issues during the debate, which was sponsored by the Scotch Plains Business and Professional Association (SPBPA) and moderated by SPBPA President Ray Pardon.
They both gave their backing to the sale of the hedge property next to the Municipal Building on Park Avenue and transformation of the site into a commercial development.
Both expressed their frustration with the slow pace of actually moving forward with the sale of the property.
Mrs. Samuel said she was opposed to the new Route 22 bridge proposed by the state, remarking that it would be “very damaging to the downtown area.” Saying she feared Park Avenue would be turned into a fourlane highway, Mrs. Samuel noted that an alternative would be to construct a bridge on Union Avenue, “so it doesn’t affect the downtown.”
Mayor Marks was also skeptical about the proposed bridge, but said Mrs. Samuel’s alternative was unacceptable because, he claimed, that area of Union Avenue was a residential zone.
When questioned about establishing a special improvement district
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
FEC Complaints Among Charges In Tight ConnellyFerguson Race
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
With a week to go, Congressional candidates Maryanne S. Connelly of Fanwood and Michael A. Ferguson continue to criticize each other’s campaigns, with complaints filed from both camps with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Both are locked in a tight race to fill the open seat in the House of Representatives for New Jersey’s Seventh District, long held by Republicans, which has been filled for the past eight years by GOP United States Senate candidate Bob Franks.
The New Jersey Democratic Coordinated Campaign has charged Mr. Ferguson’s parents, Thomas and Roberta Ferguson of Spring Lake, with funneling funds into a personal account belonging to their son, who used the funds to pay for his second congressional campaign in two years.
The charge was backed up in complaints filed with the FEC and the United States Justice Department by party leaders.
In a letter from the Coordinated Campaign, nicknamed Win 2000, to Mr. Ferguson, and signed by New Jersey’s seven Congressional candidates, the Congressmen said they “strongly condemn this seemingly illicit moneyfunneling plan.”
They asked the candidate to return “hundreds of thousands of dollars in question,” and to pull all television ads they charge were paid for through this money.
“The accusation has no merit. It is just another example of her (Mrs. Connelly’s) negative personal attacks,” said Annie Mayol, spokeswoman for Mr. Ferguson.
Ferguson Campaign Manager Dan Quinonez has said the candidate and his siblings were given money as part
of their parents’ estate planning. Democrats say the gift exceeds the $1,000perelection donation limit.
In a separate matter, the Ferguson Campaign filed a complaint with the FEC over what they have said is an illegal coordination on paid television ads between the Connelly Campaign and Emily’s List, a proabortion rights advocacy group which has endorsed Mrs. Connelly.
As an issues advocacy group, Emily’s List is unregulated on how much it spends in campaigns. However, the organization cannot work with a campaign in producing advertisements.
Ms. Mayol reiterated the Ferguson Campaign’s charges against Mrs. Connelly, stating that, as a Fanwood Mayor and Councilwoman, she voted to raise property taxes seven times, or 87 percent, over a period of 13
Page 12 Thursday, November 2, 2000 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
CYAN YELLOW MAGENTA BLACK
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Fanwood Council Candidates
and the borough’s Long Range Strategic Planning Committee. The 28year borough resident is a former member of both the Planning Board and the nowdisbanded Fanwood Board of Adjustment.
Ms. Swindlehurst, the daughter of two former council members and a scanning administrator with A& P Supermarkets,alsopreviouslyserved on the Planning Board. In addition, her résumé includes having been President and Treasurer of the Fanwood Democratic Club.
The lifelong Fanwood resident, who chairs the council’s Public Works Committee, is also a member of the Education, Health and Welfare and the Recreation and Community Services committees.
Mr. Glennon, a licensed engineer and certified lighting safety professional, is a member of the Fanwood Planning Board and serves as the board’s Liaison to the Fanwood Environmental Commission. He has lived in the borough for eight years.
Among the issues which dominated this year’s council campaigns were property taxes, downtown revitalization efforts and the upgrading of borough parks.
In a separate race involving a Fanwood resident, former Mayor Connelly is vying with Republican MichaelA. Ferguson for the Seventh District Congressional seat currently held by fourterm incumbent Bob Franks, a Republican.
There are presently 4,794 registered voters in Fanwood. Polls will be open from 7 a. m. to 8 p. m. Tuesday at the following borough locations: District Nos. 1 and 2, Fanwood Borough Hall, 75 North Martine Avenue; District No. 3, Children’s Specialized Hospital on South Avenue; District Nos. 4 and 5, Terrill Road Bible Chapel, 535Terrill Road, and District Nos. 6 and 7, the Fanwood Memorial Library at North Avenue and Tillotson Road.
(SID) in the downtown area, both candidates said the impetus for a SID would have to come from the businesses themselves, since they would be directly affected.
Mrs. Samuel said the SPBPA and theDowntown TaskForcehave“done a lot of things a SID does elsewhere,” and noted that downtown improvements had been accomplished “without additional taxesonbusinessowners.”
Mr. Marks said a SID would provide a pool of money to work with and added that some of those funds could be used to market the downtown area to people from outside Scotch Plains. He also warned a SID would create “another layer of bureaucracy.”
Mrs. Samuel said that if she had nearly unlimited funds to spend in the downtown business district, she would move the Municipal Building, fire departmentandrescuesquad headquarters to another location, replace them with stores, and turn the area between the present Municipal Building and fire department into a pedestrian mall similar to the area behind the nearby Stage House restaurant.
Mr. Marks agreed with her idea and added he would also put money into further developing the East Second Street corridor.
Earlier in the evening, the two candidates for Township Council, Democrat Peter Tripet and Republican Paulette Coronato, answered questions primarily about business issues. Both said they would support establishing a SID if the affected businesses favored it.
Both candidates, who are seeking to succeed Republican Councilman William F. McClintock, Jr., said a strong andprosperousdowntownwas important to the overall wellbeing of Scotch Plains. Mrs. Coronato said the SPBPA and Downtown Task Force were “doing a wonderful job” of enhancing the central business district.
Mr. Tripet said that, without a vibrant downtown, “our town would be a ghost town.”
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
SP Council Candidates
years. Mrs. Connelly has accused Mr. Ferguson of advocating a $3 trillion tax cut for the rich, which would leave the Social Security “lock box,” which he supports, empty.
Ms. Mayol said that Mrs. Connelly is trailing in polls and thus her campaign appears to be desperate and has turned to launching personal attacks against Mr. Ferguson and his family.
Meanwhile, in recent days, Mrs. Connellyhas turnedtoherprochoice stance on abortion, compared Mr. Ferguson’s antiabortion position, in all cases. She held a prochoice rally outside her Union campaign office last week, at which she was joined by former Vice Presidential contender Geraldine Ferraro.
Mrs. Connelly has said Mr. Ferguson supports Governor George W. Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, a plan she and other Democrats said would drain the Trust Fund of $1 trillion over the first 10 years of the program. Mr. Ferguson has said he supports privatization as an option to extend the solvency of the program, although he does not support any particular program.
The Connelly Campaign has also cited Mrs. Connelly’s 20plus years in the district as a resident of Fanwood, versus Mr. Ferguson, who only moved into the district in January.
Sujata Tejwani, Mrs. Connelly’s Canpaign Manager, accused Mr. Ferguson of trying to duck out of a recent debate so he would not have to answer questions regarding his campaign positions.
“Perhaps the thought of actually having to answer questions about his opposition to a woman’s right to choose, a real Patients’Bill of Rights, and protecting Social Security is a little too scary (in a reference to
Halloween),” Ms. Tejwani said in response to Mr. Ferguson exiting a League of Women Voters’ forum before the audience had a chance to ask questions.
She said at a News 12 StarLedger
debate on Monday that Mr. Ferguson continues his “bobbing and weaving on issues.”
On the issues, Ms. Mayol noted that Mr. Ferguson’s priorities are expanding Medicare to include a prescription drug benefit for seniors, protecting Social Security, paying down the $3 trillion national debt and looking at tax breaks such as ending the marriage penalty and estate tax, as well as simplifying the federal tax code.
Meanwhile, Mrs.Connellyhassaid she supports using the federal budget surplus to fund an extension to the life of Social Security, while opposing an effort to privatize the entitlement program. She favors using nonSocial Security surplus to strengthen Medicare.
Mrs. Connelly also favors using the annual budget surplus to pay off the national debt, while making targeted investments in education and health care and achieving targeted tax relief for families.
She also endorses extending Medicare benefits to include prescription drug coverage and requiring pharmaceutical companies to offer prescription drugs to seniors at the same discount rates they offer the large insurance companies.
Cheri Rogowsky for The Times ADDRESSING THE ISSUES... Scotch Plains Business and Professional Association (SPBPA) President and Nuts n’ Plenty owner Ray Pardon, center, moderated a special debate forum for the Mayoral and Council candidates seeking office in the township. Pictured beside Mr. Pardon are Mayoral candidates Geri M. Samuel and Martin L. Marks. The forum was sponsored by the SPBPA.
FEC Complaints In ConnellyFerguson Race
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
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• Partner, Pisano, Triarsi and Betancourt, L.L.C. • 15 year resident of Westfield • Former Municipal Prosecutor, Town of Westfield • Former Municipal Defender, Town of Westfield • Former Board of Governors Treasurer and President,
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Committee on Attorney Ethics • Former Union County District Chair of NJ
Supreme Court Fee Arbitration Committee • Former Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation • Former Assistant Prosecutor, Union County
Prosecutor's Office • Former Municipal Prosecutor Borough of Roselle Park • Former Board of Adjustment Attorney
Borough of Roselle • Youth Baseball, Basketball & Soccer Coach • Married to Epie, sons; Diego and Andres
Dedicated to Principles of Responsible Government
Vote For The McDermott Team for
Mayor and Council
Paid for by Betancourt for Council Committee, Jay MacDonald Treasurer, 219 Linden Avenue, Westfield, NJ 07090
LINING UP… Scotch Plains Candidates for Mayor and Council pose prior to debating the issues. Pictured left to right are Peter Tripet, Pauline Coronoto, Fred Rossi, Martin Marks and Geri Samuel.
Covering Fanwood, Mountainside, Scotch Plains and Westfield, Union County, New Jersey (NJ)