Mayor Connelly Speaks Out On Senior Citizens’ Issues
Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, the Democratic challenger for the Seventh Congressional District, and United States Senator Frank Lautenberg held a press conference last Friday to discuss issues of importance to New Jersey senior citizens.
Mayor Connelly supports proposals outlined by Senator Lautenberg to strengthen Social Security. “We need to ensure that people who work hard their whole lives have enough money to continue a decent standard of living after retirement,” she told a group of senior citizens gathered at the F. Edward Biertuempel Senior Center in Union Township.
Mrs. Connelly listed her accomplishments as the Mayor of Fanwood, which include advocating senior housing. “Seniors should be able to stay in the area where they raised their family, supported the school system, and contributed to the community,” she remarked.
She further commented on the importance of Medicare and health main
tenance reform, and on what she called the “poor record” of her opposition.
Mayor Connelly is opposing Republican Congressman Bob Franks to represent the Seventh District. The incumbent is running for his fourth term in the House of Representatives this year.
“My opponent, Bob Franks, is not a friend to New Jersey seniors. He voted to cut Medicare by $270 billion dollars and to increase Medicare premiums by $1,000 a year,” stated Mrs. Connelly.
She continued, “The National Council of Senior Citizens rated Bob Franks 27 out of 100 for his poor record on seniors’ issues.”
The Seventh District includes portions of Union, Middlesex, Somerset and Essex Counties. Among the 17 Union County communities in the district are Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Westfield and Mountainside.
Mayor Connelly, who recently retired after working 28 years at AT&T, is the immediate Past President of New Jersey Elected Women Officials.
Democratic Candidates Call To Deny ‘Reserve’ Project
SCOTCH PLAINS —The three Democratic candidates for Scotch Plains Township Council called upon municipal officials last week, in a written statement also released to the press, to reject plans for construction of 116 townhouses on 7.7 acres of land on the north side of Route No. 22 behind a McDonald’s restaurant.
An application to build a multiunit facility at the site, otherwise known as The Reserve, has been before the Scotch Plains Planning Board this year.
Democrats Franklin P. Donatelli, Tarquin Jay Bromley, and Geri Morgan Samuel are looking to unseat Republican Councilman Robert Johnston and gain two other seats which will be left vacant by Republican Councilwoman Irene T. Schmidt and Mayor Joan Papen.
The Democrats charge that the proposed development could cause flooding in the north side of Scotch Plains and place a tremendous strain on an already overcrowded public school system.
Mr. Donatelli, a lifelong Scotch Plains resident, said in his written statement, “The project is slated to be built in the natural flood way of the Blue Brook.
“Many long-time residents such as me remember all too well the devastation wrought on Scotch Plains when the Blue Brook overflowed its banks in the early 1970s. Property damage was enormous and life actually was lost further down stream in another community,” he continued.
“Earlier this decade, too, our Park Avenue central business district was flooded due to torrential rains bringing flood waters from the north side of Route 22,” Mr. Donatelli remarked.
Mr. Bromley was quoted as saying, “It has been publicly reported that this development will add 30 to 60 students to the public schools. With per pupil costs estimated at about $9,400 per pupil, the economic cost is staggering in itself, but the adverse impact upon our public schools goes beyond the potential costs. One must ask, ‘Where will we put these new students?’”
Mr. Bromley went on to say in the statement, “The board of education presently is looking into various options such as converting the board
DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGE...Democratic candidates for Scotch Plains Township Council, pictured left to right, Franklin P. Donatelli, Tarquin Jay Bromley, and Geri Morgan Samuel, gather at the Blue Brook dam behind a restaurant on Route No. 22. The three want the 7.7-acre site preserved for open space and flood control rather than have it developed, according to a statement released last week.
office into classrooms and either buying or leasing office space. The board also is looking into adding additional classrooms on Coles and/ or McGinn School to accommodate our burgeoning enrollments.
“There also is a possibility of converting Terrill Middle School into a sixth elementary school, creating a district-wide middle school,” he added. “The influx of 30 to 60 additional pupils from the 116townhouse project could be the straw that will trigger costly school construction projects.”
Ms. Samuel added in the statement, “Building this enormous project of 116 townhouses on such a restricted piece of land equates to 15 housing units per acre. The additional pressure put on our water supply, our sewerage system, and storm water runoff capabilities of the land is enormous.
“Then there’s land needed for roadways, parking, patios, trash dumpsters, and some landscaping,” she commented. “The potential flood damage to north side residences is frightening. It is contrary to the nearly 20 years of study towards vitalizing the downtown business district, which can ill afford to be flooded out.”
The statement concluded, “This land is contiguous to Union County park land. It readily could become part of a flood detention basin. The county has funded such flood projects. Acquisition of the land by the county would provide a number of critical benefits: (1) flood protection to north side residents and merchants, (2) increasing park lands in Union County, (3) preservation of open space in Scotch Plains, (4) less pressure on the rising enrollment in our school system, and (5) the property owners would still be able to sell their 7.7 acres.”
Bob Franks Made Honorary Local Campaign Chairman
David Trumpp and Wilfred Coronato, Republican candidates for Fanwood Borough Council, announced that Congressman Bob Franks will be Honorary Chairman of their election campaigns.
Announcement of Congressman Franks appointment was made at the Fanwood Republican Club’s annual picnic on August 23.
Mr. Trumpp said “I think it’s an honor to have the top of the Republican ticket involved with a local campaign that is committed to the same level of service to Fanwood as Congressman Franks does for the seventh congressional district.”
Mr. Coronato said Congressman Franks has set a standard of public service which he hopes to match in Fanwood. “It’s a wonderful opportunity — to have a well-respected public servant such as Congressman Bob Franks — to assist our campaign.”
Mr. Trumpp said Congressman Franks is sensitive to national issues that concern Fanwood residents, and pledged that he and Mr.
Coronato will be equally responsive to Fanwood residents on their local concerns.
Neighborhood Council Will Hold Street Fair
The Westfield Neighborhood Council (WNC) will hold a Street Fair on Saturday, October 10, at the WNC Center on Cacciola Place, in Westfield, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. A rain date of Sunday, October 11, is scheduled.
The fair will feature a variety of multi-ethnic entertainment including gospel singers, a barbershop quartet, and step and jazz dancing. There will be rides and a “moon walk’ for young children, carnival games for all ages, and a variety of foods prepared by WNC members.
In addition, the WNC invites the Westfield community to tour its Center to demonstrate the achievements of the last 29 years, since its founding. The WNC is an integral part of Westfield and the association encourages the community to save the date and enjoy the street fair.
Robin Fry 973-994-9890 • 908-233-4943