OUR 111th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 08111 FIFTY CENTS (908) 2324407 Thursday, November 2, 2000 USPS 680020 Periodical – Postage Paid at Westfield, N. J. Published Every Thursday
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Special Election Coverage 2000
Coverage Begins on Page 5
Publisher’s Note This edition of The Westfield Leader has been mailed to every resident in Westfield and Mountainside to inform voters of the issues and of the candidates. Similarly, our sister paper,
The Times of Scotch Plains/ Fanwood has been mailed to everyone there. Please vote Tuesday, November 7.
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.
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Horace R. Corbin, Publisher
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Westfield School Board Holds Special Meeting To Discuss Referendum, Girls’ Athletic Complex
By MELISSA BETKOWSKI
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
The Westfield Board of Education held a special meeting on Monday, October 30, to discuss the upcoming school bond referendum, set to be decided by voters in a special election on December 12.
The main focus of this special meeting was to decide if the board would put the referendum to the voters in one question, covering the entire $21,495,000 for the renovations to Westfield High School (WHS) and the construction of the proposed Girls’ Athletic Complex, or in two questions, separating the approximately $20 million for the WHS renovations and $1.2 million for the Girls’ Athletic Complex.
Head Girls’ Spring Track Coach Nancy Carpenter said that the Girls’ Athletic Complex “has been a long time coming. The girls deserve a place to call their own.”
Ms. Carpenter said that the need for this facility in its most basic level is about equity. In the spring, Ms. Carpenter said, there is no place for the girls, with their belongings kept trackside.
Ms. Carpenter, Tom Hornish, Head Girls’ CrossCountry coach and Jennifer Buccino, Assistant Girls’ Track Coach, told a tale of desperate inequity between the girls teams and the boys teams which have threeseason access to the locker rooms at Gary Kehler Stadium.
In addition, Mrs. Buccino spoke of even female coaches have limited
access to the most basic facilities, such as restrooms.
They spoke of past situations when the girls’ teams used the locker room at Edison Intermediate School, but with 84 members of the Girls’ Track and Field team last spring, the locker room is too small.
“It should work, but it didn’t,” she said.
Mr. Hornish spoke of girls changing in unorthodox places in the high school, such as bathrooms or classrooms. He told of bathrooms in the high school being taken over by field hockey or soccer equipment at the end of the day as girls scramble to prepare for practice or games.
“They really need a place, it’s time,” Director of Athletics Ed
Tranchina said. The facility, proposed for construction adjacent to the existing Field House on the side nearer the high school, would not only house a girls’ locker room, but a weight room, not only for use by the girls teams, but which would be open for use by all athletes.
“Weight training has become an integral part of conditioning,” Ms. Carpenter said.
Board Member Kimberly Rhodes agreed, saying “the weight room is an important factor in overall physical health.”
Mr. Tranchina assured the board that the weight room, if built in the
David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader
WHERE THEY STAND ON THE ISSUES... During the forum for Westfield Town Council candidates, cosponsored by The Westfield Leader and the Westfield Area League of Women Voters, Leader Publisher Horace R. Corbin posed tough questions to mayoral and council hopefuls. Pictured, left to right, are: Democrats, Councilman Lawrence Goldman, Councilwoman Claire Lazarowitz, council candidate William Ziff, Councilman Carl Salisbury, Mayoral candidate Susan Jacobson, Mr. Corbin, and Republicans, Mayoral candidate and Councilman Gregory S. McDermott, and council candidates Peter Echausse, Rafael Betancourt, Karen Trzesniowski and Jay Boyle.
Ingrid McKinley for The Westfield Leader A WITCH, A GOBLIN AND A COWGIRL... During the Westfield Y Men’s Club’s annual Halloween Parade on Sunday, all kinds of costumed residents gathered to conjure up some holiday spirit. The parade, which started at the Elm Street Field, drew lots of spooky characters to join in the marching throughout town.
Ingrid McKinley for The Westfield Leader
COLORFUL AND COLORING.. This youngster enjoyed adorning her Colonial craft during a recent festival at the MillerCory House Museum last month. The historic landmark generously offers tours, a gift shop and special demonstrations for the public and recently participated in the Four Centuries in a Weekend celebration sponsored by Union County’s Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.
FEC Complaints Among Charges In Tight ConnellyFerguson Race
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
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 Democrats, 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 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. Connelly has turned to her prochoice 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
McDermott, Jacobson Vie for Mayor’s Post
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
Westfield voters will go the polls Tuesday to select a Mayor and at least one new Town Council member. Twoterm Mayor Thomas C. Jardim and fourterm Second Ward Councilman James J. Gruba are not seeking reelection.
Democrats are looking to hold onto the mayor’s office and three seats on the council this election cycle. Republicans have concentrated on winning back the mayor’s seat. If Republicans sweep Tuesday, they would take a commanding 90 majority on the governing body. A Democrat sweep would give that party a 54 advantage. Democrats have never had a majority on the council.
Mayor Jardim, who was the first Democrat elected Mayor in 85 years when he won in 1996, is instead serving as the campaign manager for Mayoral contender Susan Jacobson, a former fourterm Westfield Board of Education member.
She faces opposition in the form of secondterm First Ward Councilman Gregory S. McDermott, the son of former state Senator and exUnion County Republican Chairman, Frank X. McDermott.
The race to fill the Second Ward vacancy is between Republican and former town prosecutor Rafael Betancourt and local attorney William Ziff, a Democrat, to replace Councilman Gruba.
Mrs. Jacobson has cited her leadership as Vice President and later President of the local school board combined with her leadership post as Vice President of the Union County Chamber of Commerce.
The candidate also chaired the school board’s finance committee during her last year on the board. She retired from the board in 1999 after 12 years.
As the election takes place, the town is in the planning stages to construct a parking deck at a cost estimated to be in the $10 million range. The deck location is planned on existing surface lots located at Elm and Prospect Streets. Candidates on both sides of the political aisle have supported a deck. Early in the campaign, however, Council Republicans and candidates indicated they would not vote in favor of deck on the South Avenue train station lot.
Council Democrats had pushed for a deck on the south side but decided to back the north side plan when it was apparent they did not have the votes for a South Avenue facility.
Mr. McDermott and his runningmates are campaigning on bringing a longrange plan of
three and five years for capital projects to town government. He is joined on the Republican ticket by Peter Echausse, Mr. Betancourt, Karen Trzesniowski and Jay Boyle, running in the First through Fourth Wards, respectively.
In addition to Mr. Ziff, joining Mrs. Jacobson on the Democratic ticket are incumbents, Carl A. Salisbury in the First Ward, Claire Lazarowitz in the Third Ward and Lawrence A. Goldman, running for a third term in the Fourth Ward.
Councilman Goldman was part of the 1996 Democratic ticket that beat Republicans, winning the mayor’s office and two council seats in the process. John J. Walsh, the other part of the ticket, resigned at the end of last year and was replaced by Ms. Lazarowitz.
Republicans have held a 54 edge on the council three of the past four years. Democrats, meanwhile, have stressed the need to continue twoparty government in Westfield. Prior to their victory four years ago the GOP enjoyed a 81 majority.
Mr. Goldman, during last week’s candidates’ forum, plugged some of the laws he has helped bring to town as Laws and Rules Committee Chairman the past four years.
Mr. Goldman has worked to create ordinances to ban political fundraising in town buildings and to require the town to seek competitive proposals for professional services such as for engineering and other consulting matters. The councilman also helped initiate an exterior property maintenance code in town.
Councilman Salisbury has said he would like to be reelected in order to continue to work in the direction of reducing, if not eliminating, annual tax increases to support the municipal budget.
His opponent, Mr. Echausse, has stressed the need for the town to develop a longrange improvement plan that would also help officials to better forecast the impact on property taxes in advance. Mr. Echausse is a credit analyst with a background in municipal finance.
Mr. Ziff, running in the Second Ward against Mr. Betancourt, has said he believes the hiring of a professional planner would help the town
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
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 new facility would be used yearround.
Board Vice President Arlene Gardner posed a question about the possibility of attaching the proposed facility to the existing Field House, to keep the structure further away from the houses on the side of the athletic field. However, due to egress issues from sporting events, that would not be possible.
Ms. Rhodes followed up with a question about constructing the facility elsewhere on the property, such as on the open space across from Edison Intermediate School, which Mr. Hornish pointed out, is a competition field for discus and javelin throwers.
Board Member Eileen Satkin, thanked the coaches for attending the meeting, saying that it was more convincing to have them there, hearing their side of the story.
Questions were raised about putting in showers in the locker room that might never get used. The board was assured by the coaches, as well as girls’ track team members Rachel Ackerman and Alexis Anzelone that the facility would definitely get use.
Board Member Anne Riegel questioned the possibility of giving up one locker room in the existing Field House to girls teams.
This, Superintendent of Schools Dr. William J. Foley said, would be “more equally unfair.”
Ms. Gardner said that it is important to be sure that the taxpayers’
David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader TV 36 LEAFPICKUP PRODUCTION… Westfield’s new TV 36 Coordinator Doug Black, center, and volunteer technician John Russitano, lending use of his equipment, left, prepare to film a leaf pickup public information production. Starring in the video, which is taking place near the gazebo at Mindowaskin Park, is Town Engineer and Public Works Director Kenneth B. Marsh, right.
Rafael J. BETANCOURT
• 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,
Nomahegan Swim Club • Benefactor, Westfield Symphony Orchestra • Foundation Partner, Westfield Foundation • Former Y's Mens Club Member • Former Member of NJ Supreme Court
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
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Concentrating in personal injury and malpractice cases.
Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP
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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. Connelly has said 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.
money be spent wisely, raising questions about ways to save money on the interior and exterior finishes to the building. According to the architect, the exterior will be complementary to Kehler Stadium.
Board Member Annemarie Puleio said that it is important not to skimp on cost now because it is important to be costeffective in the long run.
This facility will serve generations of girls to come, she said. After the discussion, Ms. Gardner felt that posing the referendum to the voters as two questions would be more honest, since the construction of the athletic facility is not eligible for state aid.
Ms. Satkin urged the board to propose a bond that will support the expense of construction as well as have a contingency for exceeding costs.
On the issue over the possible separation into two questions, Board President Darielle Walsh said, “We need to include items that are important to our students.” She said that the board must do what’s best for the students and their overall student experience, and therefore urged the board to make the referendum one question.
Board Member Michael Kessler noted that athletics develops intangibles that cannot be learned in a classroom, and agreeing with Mrs. Walsh said that athletics are equally important.
Ms. Puleio said, “We should take a stand, say it’s as important.”
Complaints Mark Congressional Race
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
better prepare for future projects, such as how to address the impact of a ShopRite on North Avenue in Garwood, currently before a state appeals court, as it applies to traffic flow in town. Mr. Betancourt favors better educating motorists on traffic laws.
Other issues raised during the campaign include road repair, the upgrading and maintenance of town parks and fields, pedestrian safety, following the deaths of two pedestrians in 1999, and speeding, particularly near schools.
Polls will be open Tuesday, November 7 from 7 a. m. to 8 p. m.
David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader A LIGHTER MOMEMENT... Westfield Mayor Thomas C. Jardim shares a laugh with Vic Trzesniowski, whose wife, Karen, is running for Town Council from the Third Ward, and Fourth Ward Councilman Lawrence A. Goldman. McDermott
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
Westfield School Bd. Discusses Bond, Girls’ Athletic Complex
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