09election The Westfield Leader since 1890   Westfield, NJ
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Times since 1959

Election November 3, 2009 - Candidate Bios 

Candidates Mayor of Westfield, NJ
Four-year term

Andy Skibitsky – Republican Mayor - Town of Westfield (incumbent) 4 year term expires 12/31/2009

Web Site: www.andy2009.com (908) 313-6618 Email: andy@andy2009.com

Personal: · Married to Debbie for 23 years · Four children · Product Director, Intervet/Schering-Plough Corporation

Public Service: · January 2009 appointed chairman of the Union County League of Municipalities - a fellowship of mayors from all 21 municipalities in the county that meets on a monthly basis. The League’s mission is to share and leverage the aggregate knowledge and expertise of Union County municipal leaders for the betterment of all Union County communities. · November 2005 elected mayor of Westfield · June 2005 unanimously appointed Mayor by Westfield Town Council · November 2001 elected 3rd Ward Councilman · Past Chair of Public Safety Committee · Past Chair of Public Works Committee

Accomplishments: · Since 2006, 22 employee positions have either been eliminated or reduced to part-time resulting in nearly $1 million in savings. · Initiated Saturday morning office hours in which hundreds of citizens have participated · Primarily through traffic “hot spot” neighborhood advisory committees improved traffic safety in over 12 locations, including 6 school areas · Improved downtown parking system · Addition of over 120 more short-term parking spaces in the heart of downtown Westfield - Replaced all outdated on street meters with new meters which accept parking cards - Installed button on all on street meters to allow for free 10 minutes while running errands · Created “Westfield first” initiative encouraging Westfield residents to shop and dine in Westfield and highlighting two local businesses at each televised council meeting · Successfully directed the approval of the Rahway avenue railroad crossing quiet zone. Equipment has been ordered and installation is scheduled to be completed in late 2009. First approved zone in NJ · Created the land use task force whose recommendations are being fully integrated into the town’s master plan · Created department of public works & building department white paper committee to study & make recommendations to improve their efficiency and customer services.

Bill Brennan – Democrat - Private Practice: Callan, Koster, Brady & Brennan, • Senior Managing Partner, June 1988 - Present Owner of forty attorney firm with offices in New Jersey and New York.

H) 908-654-8627 (B) 732-345-9333, http://www.brennanformayor.net - BillforMayor@yahoo.com

Public Service • Westfield Municipal Court Judge, 2000-2004 Presided over all cases involving Municipal, Criminal and Traffic offenses. Managed Municipal Violations Bureau. • Councilman, 1990-1993 Borough of Rutherford Founding Member, Rutherford Downtown Committee Founding Member, Citizens for Fair Taxation Police Commissioner and Recreation Commissioner • Kings County District Attorney, Brooklyn, NY Assistant District Attorney, 1983-1988 Supervising Senior Trial Attorney Member of Homicide Bureau and Sex Crimes Bureau

Education: Fordham University School of Law, J.D. 1983 • Academic Scholarship Recipient (Bar Association) Seton Hall University, B.A., Political Science, May 1980 • magna cum laude • Full Four-Year Scholarship

Social • Westfield resident for 16 years • Married 22 years to Catherine. Son Nicholas and Daughters, Kate (Westfield High School) and Natalie (Roosevelt Middle School) and Golden Retriever April • Coach for all three children in Recreation Program (Basketball/Baseball) • Member of St. Helen’s Parish - Lector - Member of Pastoral Council - Men’s Cornerstone Director • Long time Religious Education Teacher • Chairman of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Review of the Westfield Municipal Budget • Chairman of the Mayor’s Committee for the Improvement of the Raritan Valley Train Service • Expert Legal Commentator on Court T.V./MSNBC

 

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates for Union County NJ Freeholder Bios
Three seats are open, each for three-year terms on the nine member board.

Anthony Sytko, Councilman of Garwood (R) - Phone: (908) 400-5902 E-mail: VoteSytko@gmail.com Professional Experience: Mr. Sytko is an attorney with his own solo firm, Anthony Sytko, LLC. He specializes in wills and estate planning, as well as personal bankruptcy. Education: He earned his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law in May 2008, and is licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey.

Public Service: Mr. Sytko was elected to the Garwood Borough Council in November 2007. Since that time, he has served as liaison to the Union County Air Traffic and Noise Advisory Board and the county Transportation Advisory Council. He also sits on the Laws and Licenses Committee and Finance Committee, where he has participated in the creation of the municipal budgets for the last two years. As chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, he has overseen the creation of the municipal Green Team, which is looking to implement eco-friendly technologies to the municipal buildings. He is also spearheading a joint effort among governmental entities to purchase solar panels for use on government buildings, thereby reducing energy usage and saving taxpayer dollars.

Community Involvement: In his spare time, Mr. Sytko is an amateur genealogist, having traced his ancestry on his mother’s side back to the 1500s. He is also an avid hockey player.

Nicole Cole of Fanwood (R) - Professional Experience: Ms. Cole is an attorney in Cranford. Education: She received her law degree from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington D.C., and is a graduate of the University of Nebraska.

Public Service: Ms. Cole previously handled public policy for the State Legislature. Community Involvement: The candidate recently moved to Fanwood.

Hope Thompson of Plainfield (I) - reggaered@gmail.com - Professional Experience: The candidate is employed by Colgate-Palmolive, Co. as a business analyst for GIT-AMSSO’s Americas IT Service Center. She was previously with NBC Sports, where she was production associate and studio/field engineer for NFL Football, NCAA Basketball, WCT Tennis, PGA Golf, the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, the 1988 Olympics in Korea, and for such shows as “Saturday Night Live” and the “Today Show.”

Education: The candidate has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Rutgers University.

Community Involvement: Born and raised in Plainfield, Ms. Thompson is actively involved with the Union County and New Jersey Women’s Political Caucus and the Plainfield Cultural and Heritage Commission.

Deborah Dowe of Plainfield (I) - dnv.dowe@verizon.net - Studying journalism and urban development at Rutgers, she was the first woman to win the Blumberg prize in Philosophy. She developed “Existing Resources”, a strategy for innovation ranging from school gardens to Negro League involvement in the Fourth of July parade.

As Public Information Officer for the O’Keefe administration, she was instrumental in Plainfield being declared a Bi-Centennial All-American City. She was appointed to the Board of the NJ Math and Science Coalition.

Al Mirabella of Fanwood (D) - Democrat Hometown: Fanwood Occupation: The candidate works for the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies as an assistant vice president. Education: Mr. Mirabella graduated from Hobart College in Geneva, N.Y. with a B.A. in Economics.

Mr. Mirabella is Chairman of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders. First elected in 1997, he is serving his fourth three-year term on the board, and his third term as Chairman. He was previously Chairman in 2001 and 2006.

As Chairman in 2001, he helped implement the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund and saw some of the largest increases in Union County parkland in many generations. He also oversaw the expansion of the County's Office of Veterans Affairs.

Mr. Mirabella was also the chairman of the County's 9-11 Memorial Committee, which in 2003 dedicated a memorial in Echo Lake Park to the Union County residents killed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Also in 2003, he led the Board's efforts to provide benefits and compensation to County workers called to active military duty.

The Union County Library Directors honored Freeholder Mirabella in 2001 for his advocacy on behalf of libraries. He was instrumental in the development and implementation of the Union County Access 2002 Library Link Program which distributed grants to 19 municipal libraries to upgrade technological infrastructure.

As Chairman in 2006, his “Community Connections” initiatives included the introduction of mobile Freeholder meetings in the community; the re-design of the County’s website that included library online links; the preservation of 14 acres of open space in Clark; and the provision of more than 40 life-saving defibrillators to public buildings and centers. The County also began progress toward the creation of an animal shelter, and put together a shared services committee to explore cost-savings for taxpayers.

He has served on the Veterans Affairs Committee, the Fire Services Advisory Board, the Industrial Pollution Control Authority and the Union County Vocational-Technical School Board of Education. In 2007 Freeholder Mirabella was awarded the prestigious Alan Augustine award from Union County’s Prevention Links in recognition of his outstanding support of drug and alcohol prevention. He has also been honored by Community Access Unlimited for his efforts on behalf of the disabled.

Freeholder Mirabella was first elected to the Roselle Park Borough Council in 1991 and served until 1996. He was Council President in 1994 and 1995.

Residents of Fanwood, Mr. Mirabella and his wife, Phyllis, a former Councilwoman in Roselle Park, have a son, Alexander, and a daughter, Micayla.

Deborah Scanlon of Union (D) - Democrat Hometown: Union

A lifelong resident of Union County, Freeholder Deborah Scanlon was elected to the Freeholder Board in 1997 and is in her fourth term. In 2003 she was Freeholder Chairwoman. As Chairwoman, she oversaw the creation of the Committee on Homeland Security. She also oversaw the expansion of the Child Safety seat program. The Union County Police have provided more than 42,000 free inspections to date, and replaced approximately 175 faulty child safety seats each year.

Freeholder Scanlon has been a strong advocate for women, children and families in need. Through workforce development programs, she has been instrumental in connecting job seekers with businesses.

Since 2006, Freeholder Scanlon has served on the Union County Shade Tree committee that offers free trees to schools and sponsors the “Young Writers of Union County” Poetry contest for sixth, seventh and eighth grade students.

She has served as liaison to Runnells Specialized Hospital. She is a strong supporter for maintaining the hospital’s status as the state’s premier County-run health care facility. She also served on advisory boards for hospice and home health care, juvenile justice and voter accessibility.

Freeholder Scanlon is a former member of the Union Township Board of Education, where she served as Finance Chair, liaison to the Union County School Boards Association and representative to the Union Township committee.

She was born and raised in Summit and moved to Union in 1983. She is married to Patrick Scanlon, former Mayor of Union and former member of the Union Township Committee. She and Patrick reside in Union Township. They have three children Tammie, Lisa and Patrick IV and six grandchildren.

Mohamed Jalloh of Roselle (D) - mjallohesq@gmail.com

Mr. Jalloh is an attorney who lives in the Borough of Roselle. A Union County native, he attended the Newark Boys Choir School and Saint Elizabeth’s Middle School in Linden before graduating from Roselle Catholic High School.

Mr. Jalloh earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Rhetoric and Communications with a minor in African-American Studies from Syracuse University. After Syracuse, he attended Rutgers University Law School in Newark and earned his Juris Doctor degree.

He served as the director of the Tenth Leadership Institute at Syracuse, was a Student Representative to the Syracuse University Quality Council, and was a founding member of the African American Male Congress Honors Society. At Rutgers, he became a member of the Student Bar Association, served as the student representative on the Curriculum Committee, and was a member of the Association of Black Law Students and the Association of Latin American Students. 

He is a staunch advocate for education. He served as an undergraduate teaching assistant while at Syracuse and he conducted research about the world origins of rhetoric. His research later became a part of the Communications Department’s core curriculum. He is an adjunct faculty member at Kean University, where he teaches negotiation, debate, citizenship and public speaking. He volunteers as a member of the Board of Education for Saint Joseph the Carpenter Middle School in Roselle and he is a volunteer youth mentor in public speaking and drama for the NAACP ACT-SO program.

Mr. Jalloh has worked for both the Northwest Jersey and Essex Newark Legal Services programs, where he represented low-income individuals in matters involving family law, consumer and housing laws, and domestic violence. He currently serves as an Assistant County Counsel for the County of Union where he deals primarily with contracts, tort litigation and government regulations. 

As a Union County Freeholder, Mr. Jalloh will support educational opportunities and ensure the safety of Union County’s citizens. He believes in working to ensure efficiency in government while maintaining a level of service to the community that is second to none. Additionally, he will use his legal experience and insights to improve the economic climate and protect the quality of life for the residents and businesses of Union County.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Westfield Town Council Ward 1 - Bios
Four-year term

Sam Della Fera (R, Ward 1) - www.samforcouncil.com - samforcouncil2009@gmail.com

Sam Della Fera, Jr. and his family have been residents of the First Ward in Westfield since 1996. Sam and his wife Sheryl are the parents of Stephen, an eighth grader at Roosevelt Intermediate School, and Samantha, who is in fifth grade at Franklin Elementary School. Sam and his family are parishioners of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in town.

Born in Newark and raised in Kearny, Sam graduated in 1989 from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a minor in Business, and in 1992 from the Rutgers University School of Law – Newark with Honors. He has been an attorney in private practice for more than 16 years, first as an associate and then partner with the law firm of Gibbons, Del Deo in Newark, from 1992 to 2004, and presently as a partner with the firm of Trenk, DiPasquale, Webster, Della Fera & Sodono, P.C. in West Orange. He was chosen by his peers as a Super Lawyer of the State of New Jersey in three of the past four years, including 2009. Sam’s legal practice consists primarily of the representation of business entities in financial restructurings and bankruptcy. He also represents municipal and other public entities in various state and federal court matters.

Sam’s substantial experience in the bankruptcy arena has prepared him to address how organizations, including local government, can continue to operate effectively and deliver needed services with limited resources. Having represented municipal and other governmental bodies, he is particularly sensitive to the need to achieve a beneficial result for the public good without breaking the public bank.

For the past five years, Sam has volunteered as a coach for the Westfield Soccer Association’s in-town soccer program, and also has been and currently is an assistant coach with the town’s baseball program. In 2006, Sam served on the Westfield Board of Education’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Enrollment, and since the beginning of this year has served as a member of the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission. Over the past several years he also has volunteered to assist with various programs benefiting Franklin Elementary School.

Sam looks forward to continuing the industrious public service that Councilman Sal Caruana has given to the residents of the First Ward and the Town of Westfield, and also to working with the rest of Mayor Andy Skibitsky’s team during these fiscally challenging times to sustain and advance the Town’s quality of life and sense of community.

Janice Siegel (D, Ward 1)

Contact Westfield Democratic Committee, 649 Westfield Avenue, Westfield, New Jersey 07090 (908) 868-3707

Mrs. Siegel has lived in Westfield for more than 13 years with her husband, Dr. Lloyd Marks and their sons, Matt and Michael. She is a graduate of Hunter College and earned her law degree from the University of Michigan. Ms. Siegel has worked as an attorney for the United States Department of Justice; for the Office of the United States Attorney (E.D.N.Y.); and for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She now manages the business aspects of her husband’s medical practice (pediatric cardiology). Ms. Siegel is a former chair of the Westfield High School PTSO’s Community Service Fair and has been an active participant at Franklin Elementary School fairs. Ms. Siegel has held leadership positions in several professional organizations, acting as Chair and Vice-Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association Environmental Law Committee, Chair of the Credit Committee and Member of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Legal Defense Fund (now known as National Partnership for Women and Families), and Member of the Board of Directors of Lawyers With Children Network. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of Temple Emanu-El.

 

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Westfield Town Council Ward 2 - Bios
Four-year term

Vicki Kimmins (R, Ward 2) incumbent unopposed

Current: Member of the Junior League of Elizabeth-Plainfield and Delegate A to the State Public Affairs Committee where she advocates for legislation promoting the welfare of women and children; Chair of the Union County Republican Women; Member of the Westfield Historic Society and College Women's Club; Volunteer FOR the Agape Soup Kitchen in Elizabeth. Past: President of Children's Specialized Hospital Twig Group; Second Vice President of the Junior Women's Club; Westfield Schools PTO committee chair and volunteer.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Westfield Town Council Ward 3 - Bios
Four-year term

David Haas (D, Ward 3) incumbent

Mr. David Haas seeks re-election in Westfield Ward 3. He lives on Shackamaxon Drive with his wife, Dana, and daughter, Claire. His son, Jacob, is a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. He is a member of the council’s Finance and Public Works Committees.

Tom Delaney (R, Ward 3)

Phone: 908.419.5748 - email: tdandmel@verizon.net - website: www.tomforcouncil.com

Tom Delaney and his family are lifelong New Jersey residents and have been residents of Westfield’s Third Ward since 1998. Tom and his wife Mary Ellen are the parents of Leo, a fifth grader at Jefferson Elementary School and are active parishioners of St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church located in Westfield.

Born in Jersey City and raised in Bridgewater, Tom graduated in 1986 from Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and a minor in Management Information Systems. Since graduating from Fairfield, Tom has spent his entire 23 year career in the banking and financial services industry, the vast majority of which as an Assistant Vice President with JPMorgan Chase. His responsibilities have included managing, budgeting, and mentoring a staff of 20 plus employees in all areas of home lending operations.

Prior to working at JPMorgan Chase, Tom was involved in the start up of a local bank, Watchung Hills Bank, where he appeared on CNN to discuss financial issues. Tom was also later involved in the sale of the bank to Golden West Financial which led to a capital gain for its stockholders. Presently, Tom is a self-employed financial planner working in tandem with Parsippany based Langdon Ford Financial.

Tom has served in the past as an assistant coach in Westfield Little League, Westfield PAL flag football, and most recently as an assistant coach of St. Helen’s CYO Boys Basketball. He has also volunteered his time with Cub Scout Pack 673 as well as with various activities benefiting Jefferson Elementary School. He also volunteers at the St. Mary’s Dinner program, a soup kitchen located in Plainfield, which was co-founded by his in-laws. He also assists in other areas of St. Mary’s parish where his proficiency in Spanish has proven to be valuable to the community.

Tom looks forward to walking the Ward and meeting with the residents of Westfield to discuss the issues facing the town today. The fiscal challenges facing the town have never been greater and Tom looks forward for the opportunity to lend his financial acumen and support to Mayor Skibitsky and the Town Council.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Westfield Town Council Ward 4 - Bios
Four-year term

Tom Bigosinski (D, Ward 4) incumbent

Councilman Tom Bigosinski has been a practicing attorney for the past 15 years, specializing in defending employment-related lawsuits. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and received his law degree from Seton Hall Law School. He is currently a Partner in one of the state’s largest law firms, with over 200-attorneys in four states. Mr. Bigosinski lives with his wife Viera, a registered nurse, and their two sons Luke, a second grader at McKinley, and David, who will go to Lincoln School this September.

Tom has taken an active interest in the Town Budget, exploring ways to lower the residents’ tax burden while improving municipal services. He has served on the Public Works, Code Review and Transportation, Parking and Public Safety committees. He is frequently engaged in issues such as High School parking, improving traffic patterns in and around the schools, traffic calming, and improving recreation options, including the maintenance of parks and fields. He previously served for three years as a member of the Westfield Tree Preservation Commission, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life by improving the community forest through a balancing of the environmental, aesthetic and economic needs of the community.

Keith Loughlin (R, Ward 4)

Website: http://www.keithloughlin.com/ Email: info@keithloughlin.com Work: (908) 233-9000

Keith Loughlin is a longtime Fourth Ward resident and works at the law firm Johnstone, Skok, Loughlin & Lane, located on East Broad Street in downtown Westfield. Keith is a member of the Westfield Library Board of Trustees, the Westfield YMCA Men’s Club, the Westfield Rotary Club, and as a youth football coach in the Westfield Police Athletic League.

Through his work as Policy Director for Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, Keith has developed relationships with many local elected officials of both political parties. Keith Loughlin will focus on expanding the use of shared services to reduce taxes and bring fresh ideas to our town. Keith is dedicated to controlling municipal spending, improving our roads, supporting eco-conscious initiatives, preserving our recreational facilities and parks, and keeping Westfield the premiere place to call home in the region.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Fanwood Borough Council - Bios
Elect two, Three-year term

Donna Dolce (D)

Professional Background: Owner, Dolce Consulting, a non-profit consulting business; Retired, CEO, Girl Scouts of Washington Rock Council Director of Volunteer Center and Government Grants, United Way Essex and W. Hudson.

Educational Background: MA, HR Management, Rutgers University M.Ed. in Education, University of Pittsburgh BA, Bethany College, W. Va.

Community Service: Fanwood-Scotch Plains Rotary, member Fanwood Council President Fanwood Strategic Planning Committee, past chair Personal Information: Fanwood resident for 20 years Union County 2006 “Women of Excellence”

David Valian (D)

Professional Background: Vice-President for Sales, Petro Plastics, a family-owned plastic extrusion company in Garwood, N.J. New York Mercantile Exchange and Smith Barney to manage natural gas, heating oil, and unleaded gas accounts.

Education: B.A. – Rutgers University Union County College Linden High School graduate.

Community Service: Fanwood Councilman, three years Fanwood Recreation Commission, Volunteer coach for football, basketball and baseball youth leagues for the past four years.

Personal Information: Married to wife, Michele; they are the parents of three sons and a daughter Fanwood resident since 1997; Rutgers football player as a walk-on.

Michael Szuch (R)

Professional Background: Electrician with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 102, Traffic Signal Technician, Level 3, International Municipal Signalman\'s Association.

Education: B.S. in Botany, Rutgers University, Cook College, 1985; Graduate of Elementary, Junior, and High Schools of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood school system.

Experience: A Fanwood Resident since 1969, Mr. Szuch resides in the Historic Osborn House with his wife Angela and son Forrest, who is a third grader at Brunner Elementary School. Following college, Mr. Szuch became a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Rwanda. As a volunteer, Mr. Szuch worked directly with local farmers and the Government Agricultural Service as a Farmer Extension Agent to assist farmers in improving crop yield.

He is the Assistant Cubmaster and Camping coordinator of Scotch Plains-Fanwood Cubscout Pack 4. His experience includes installation and maintenance of traffic systems and he has worked on traffic signals throughout Union County and North Jersey.

Robert Manduca (R)

Professional Background: Mr. Manduca is vice president for Liberty Information, a technology resources company with offices in New York, Florida and San Francisco.

As a third degree Knight and Officer in Council 1711 of the Knights of Columbus, he serves as the Council\'s Chancellor.

Education: He is an honors graduate of the College of New Jersey with a B.S. in Economics and a Minor in Marketing.

Experience: Mr. Manduca is a lifelong New Jersey resident who has lived in Fanwood since 1990. Under the auspices of the Knights, he has co-chaired an annual fundraiser for unwed mothers, helps stock a local food kitchen and provides relief for mentally-challenged residents. Mr. Manduca is a former member of the New Jersey State Senate’s Technology Advisory Board. He is an active member of Holy Trinity Parish, where he serves as both a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. For several years, he coached in the Fanwood-Scotch Plains Soccer League, and was a participating member in YMCA’s Indian Guides Youth programs.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Garwood Borough Council - Bios
Elect two, Three-year term

Keith Sluka (D)

Married 14 years to Barbara Regina; Two children, Gabriella and Zachary; Garwood resident – 12 years; Garwood Councilman, 3years

Occupation; Senior Loan Officer and Division; Manager, ISB Mortgage, Millburn, NJ

Education; John Jay College; City University of New York; BS, Criminal Justice; Graduated Cum Laude

Military Service; U.S. Army Veteran, 1984-1987; Served in the U.S. Army, Military Police, European Honor Guard based in Stuttgart, Germany

Council Activities; Current Council President; Shared Services Committee; Athletic Complex Committee; Fire Commissioner; Council Liaison to Celebrations Committee; Former Chairman, Laws and Licenses

Community Involvement; Garwood Baseball Coach, 2003 to present; Garwood Basketball Coach, 2003 to present; Garwood Recreation Commission, Chairman, 2004-2006; Education Foundation of Garwood Trustee, 2004-2006; Garwood Planning Board, member 2005; Church of St. Anne, Finance Committee

Affilitations; Church of St. Anne, Communicant; Garwood Democratic Club

Kathleen Villaggio (D)

Married 31 years to Anthony; Daughter, Lisa; Garwood resident – 28 years; Garwood Councilwoman, 9 years

Occupation; County of Union, 32 years, Bureau Chief; Data Processing and Telecommunications

Education; St. Michael’s School, Cranford; Mother Seton Regional HS, Clark; Taylor Business Institute; Kean University, Certificate of Public Administration

Council Activities; Former Acting Mayor; Former Council President; Former Police Commissioner; Former Chair, Laws and Licenses; Chair, Finance Committee; Former Chair, Recreation Committee; Shared Services Committee; Liaison, Garwood School Board; Mayor’s Representative to the Union; County Community Development Revenue; Sharing Committee; Council Representative to the Garwood; Planning Board; Senior Citizen Liaison

Community Involvement; Education Foundation of Garwood Trustee; Former Resident Member, Garwood Zoning and; Planning Board; Former Member, Original Garwood Schools; Facilities Committee

Affiliations; Church of St. Anne, Communicant; Garwood Democratic Club

Timothy Hak (R)

2008 Data Onfile: Professional Background: Mr. Hak manages a local holding company. He was formerly owner and operator of Horan Lumber and Coal Co. in Cranford, which served the community for more than 50 years.

Education: He is a graduate of Cranford High School and attended Central Connecticut University.

Experience: Mr. Hak was the former president and is the current vice-president of the Garwood Lions Club. He is a member of the Garwood Knights of Columbus and a parishioner of the Church of St. Anne. He volunteers his time with the Garwood Little League, Travel Baseball, the Union County Soccer Program and the Cub Scouts. Tim and his wife Peggy, a teacher in the Garwood school system, have two children, Patrick and Erin

Jim Matheson (R)

2006 Data Onfile: Education: Mr. Matheson earned an economics degree with a concentration in accounting from the College of Staten Island.

Family Life: The candidate has been married for 18 years and has two teenage children educated in the Garwood school system.

Experience: Mr. Matheson has six years of experience on the Garwood Board of Education, including two as vice-president. He has been the Garwood representative to the Clark BOE, and has been the Garwood BOE’s finance chairman. He is scoutmaster with the Garwood Boy Scouts, a basketball and soccer coach in the borough and the treasurer and a coach with the Garwood Little League.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates Scotch Plains Township Council - Bios
Elect one, One-year for unexpired four-year term

Dominick Bratti (R)

Public Service: Scotch Plains Township Council 2009; Environmental Commission 2003-04; Planning Board Liaison 2005-08; 
Planning Board 2004-08

Community: Cub Scout Den Leader 2006-07, Assistant Den Leader 2005; Board Member, Youth Consultation Services Inc. 1994-present, Chairman 2006-08; Board Member, Fighters’ Initiative for Support and Training (F.I.S.T.) 2002-2009

Education: Rutgers College, B.A. 1984, cum laude; Eagleton Undergraduate Associate 1984; Seton Hall School of Law, J.D. 1987, cum laude, Seton Hall Law Review, Survey Editor

Business: Partner, Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer 2009; Former Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP

Personal: Resident of Scotch Plains since 1992 with his wife Donna and two children.

Theresa Mullen (D)

Political: She has been active in the local Democratic Party since moving to Scotch Plains five years ago, and has been a committee representative for the 14th District for the past few years.

Personal: She and her husband, Scott Phillips, a captain in the Kenilworth Police Department, have three young children.

Business: Ms. Mullen has practiced as a trial lawyer in New Jersey for 14 years and is an officer of the Union County Bar Association, and presently the co-chairperson of the county bar’s Civil Practice Committee.

Community: She was also a member of the Scotch Plains Memorial Day Committee.

Education: Ms. Mullen received a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University in 1989 and received a J.D. from Albany Law School in 1993.

Election November 3, 2009: Candidates for Union County Surrogate - Bios
Elect one, five-year term

James S. LaCorte, Candidate for Surrogate (D)

He entered office on January 1, 2000. Surrogate LaCorte was a practicing attorney in Elizabeth for 25 years prior to assuming office. In November of 2004 he was re-elected to another 5 year term. A significant portion of his former private practice was devoted to probate law and related matters. Surrogate LaCorte has extensive experience in all the subject matters and services provided by the Surrogate’s Office. Having given up private practice when he was elected, he now devotes full time to his position as Surrogate.

There is no specific number of cases that the Surrogate can take on. It is a matter of the residents needing the services offered by the Surrogate to take care of the estate, guardianship or related matters of loved ones who have died, become incapacitated or need direction from the court.

He conducts on average 60 speaking engagements every year to various organizations in the county. The various topics include, probate of Wills and Estates, the need for a “Power of Attorney” both medical and personal, the possible fraudulent attempt on the elderly with respect to sales of “Estate Planning” and the need for professional services when preparing legal documents. He conducts self proving seminars for groups and organizations to make sure their current Wills are valid and self proving and he provides an essential service to the residents of Union County.

He extended the informational services to the communities by a series of newspaper articles in the Senior News and other local papers with distribution throughout the county. He maintains a web site with informative information for the public and the residents of Union County (www.ucnj.org/surrogate). He serves as the Surrogate’s State Liaison to the Superior Court Committee to protect the interest of the public.

The Surrogate Court’s primary responsibility is to conduct all business matters related to the probate of Wills and the administration of estates. During 2009 the office assisted over 4467 clients, and received over 10,000 calls from the public for information and assistance. In addition to the services offered at the Union County Court House, as Surrogate he has established evening hours four times a month in Cranford, Summit, Rahway and Union by appointment. In 2009 there were over 200 outside appointments conducted by the Surrogate. These evening hours assist individuals who cannot make it to the office during regular working hours or who are physically unable to come into the office.

He is available to speak to groups or organizations anywhere in Union County on the importance of making a Will, understanding the probate process and the significance of Advance Directives or Living Wills.

Arthur Zapolski, Candidate for Surrogate (R)

Mr. Zapolski is a Union County resident with a solo law practice In Linden for the last 10 years. Mr. Zapolski is originally from New York where he attended Manhattan College, graduating in 1974 with a Batchelor of Arts Degree in English Literature.

He was commissioned a second lieutenant through the Air Force ROTC program. He then went to St. John's University and worked on his Masters Degree before attending Loyloa University in New Orleans, obtaining his law degree in 1978.

Mr. Zapolski entered the Air Force as a lawyer. He spent 5 years on active duty and 25 years in the Reserves. Mr. Zapolski recently retired the Air Force Reserves as a Colonel.

Mr. Zapolski practiced law in Texas between 1984 and 1989 and attended Tulane University obtaining his Masters of Maritime Law. in 1990 Mr. Zapolski moved to New Jersey working in New York City from 1990 until 1998. In1998 Mr. Zapolski opened his law practice in Linden.

He is married to Dr. Alice Britain, a dentist with a practice in Linden.