A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood Thursday, June 4, 1998 Page 3
Republicans to Pick Union County Officer Slate Tuesday in Westfield By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times
Next week's primary election in the Republican party has two candidates bidding for Union County's Republican Committee Chairmanship. The Republican Chairman of Union Township, Anthony DiGiovanni is running against the party's current Chairman, Frank X. McDermott of Westfield, who has held that seat for nine years.
According to information obtained from Mr. McDermott in a telephone interview, the two candidates have differing philosophies on what direction the local Republican Party should go. Mr. McDermott is currently proposing legislation that he refers to as "The Equal Representation Act."
The measure would divide the county's 21 municipalities into three basic districts for the election of Freeholders. According to Mr. McDermott, the districts would be divided geographically and would contain a Democratic district, a Republican district and a district he described as "up for grabs." Mr. McDermott said he hopes, "the people can vote on it" in this November's General Election.
"The plan," he added, "will give Republicans a chance of having some representation in the county's growing urban areas."
Mr. DiGiovanni, also a Republican, opposes the redistricting plan. The current system of elected freeholders should not change. There are nine county freeholder seats, all elected at- large. Democrats currently hold a 9- 0 majority.
According to Mr. DiGiovanni, the way for Republicans to win back freeholder seats is to "get back to basics." He added that "the work of winning back these seats in the county needs to be done in the streets."
When asked about Mr. McDermott's plan, Mr. DiGiovanni called it a bad plan. He said, "there were four or five newspaper articles criticizing the plan and criticizing Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger (of Westfield) for introducing the proposal to the (Assembly) housing committee."
The proposal is still in committee. According to spokeswoman Elizabeth Cornwell for Assemblyman Bagger, the proposal must travel from local government to the State Assembly and Senate before reaching Governor Christine Todd Whitman's office. When asked whether it was likely this would happen before November for a voter referendum, Mrs. Cornwell stated it depended on many things, but primarily on the Legislature's schedule. She noted there was a two- month summer break.
The current form of county government with a county manager and nine Freeholders was created under the Optional County Charter Law with voter approval in 1975.
Running on the GOP ticket with Mr. McDermott are current Scotch Plains Mayor Joan Papen and James Fulcomer, of Rahway, for Associate Vice Chair slots. Also on the ticket are William Palermo, of Linden, for Treasurer, and Clark resident John DeSimone, of Clark, for Secretary.
Running on the ticket with Mr. DiGiovanni are Nancy Lawrence, of Cranford, and former Union County Utilities Authority Chairman William Ruocco, of Springfield, as Associate Vice Chairs. The ticket also includes Frank Meeks, of Plainfield, as Secretary, and Summit resident Bill Franklin, as Treasurer.
The Union County Republican Committee will vote on the two slates this Tuesday, June 9, in the Westfield High School auditorium.
PARK CENTERPIECE… Members of the community are invited to join the Friends of Mindowaskin Park for their fifth annual "Party in the Park," this Sunday, June 7, from 1 to 5 p. m. at the park on East Broad Street. The organization is dedicated to preservation and beautification of the park. One of the things Mindowaskin is known for is the bandstand pictured above.
Historical Society To Present Awards To History Students
The Union County Historical Society will present awards to outstanding history students from six Union County high schools at 2: 30 p. m. this Sunday, June 7, at the Abraham Clark House on West Ninth Street at Chestnut Street in Roselle.
The students, who have been selected by their schools, attend Centennial High School in Westfield and Union County Vocational- Technical Schools in Scotch Plains; Elizabeth, Plainfield and Summit High Schools, and Abraham Clark High School in Roselle.
Each recipient will receive $100 and a plaque. The awards committee includes Michael Yesenko, Robert Fridlington and Stephanie Laucius.
Friends of Mindowaskin Plan 'Party in the Park'
The Friends of Mindowaskin Park of Westfield, a non- profit organization, will celebrate the park's 80th birthday by holding its fifth annual "Party in the Park" this Sunday, June 7, from 1 to 5 p. m. at Mindowaskin Park on East Broad Street in Westfield. The rain date is the following Sunday, June 14.
Entertaining at the bandstand in the park will be The Dixieland Band, the Westfield Brass Ensemble, the Irish Dance School, The Y Jazz Group, and local bagpipers. Each will perform for one hour, beginning at 1 p. m. and ending at 5 p. m.
A variety of food items will be offered for sale by J& M Café during the event. Antique cars from the 1920s to the 1970s will also be displayed, along with miniature sail boats.
In addition, there will be contests for which prizes will be awarded; a chalk art contest, a watermelon- eating contest, and a baking contest.
Additional activities will include face painting, pony rides, and karate demonstrations. Local Girl Scouts will instruct visitors on how to make paper hats and paper airplanes.
Individuals who plan to enter the baking contest are asked to bring their entry to the park promptly at 1 p. m. Ribbons will be awarded at 2: 30 p. m. by David Martone, the owner of Classic Thyme in Westfield.
All proceeds generated from the party will be utilized for the beautification and preservation of Mindowaskin Park.
The Friends of Mindowaskin Park, formed in 1991, is dedicated to the preservation and beautification of the park.
A volunteer organization, it is devoted to ensuring the quality of maintenance and improvements to the park. These projects are supported through donations from citizens and businesses.
Office of Bias Crime to Host Study Circles Next Two Sundays
The New Jersey Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations, in the Department of Law and Public Safety, will sponsor a two- day study circle program on consecutive Sundays, June 7 and 14, from 2 to 4 p. m. They will be held at Temple Emanu- El, 756 East Broad Street in Westfield.
Study circles are small group discussions among community members on topics of general interest, such as race and inter- group relations, and how to combat violence in neighborhoods and schools, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Verniero.
"Many participants have told us that the circles have enhanced their ability to understand the beliefs of others, and that they have a greater ability to communicate effectively with a diversity of persons," said Deputy Attorney General Robin Parker, Chief of the Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations.
Residents of the Union County area interested in attending the program or in obtaining additional information about study circles may call the Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations at (609) 984- 1936.
David B. Corbin for The Westfield Leader and The Times RAISING FUNDS... Attending Sunday's Democratic fund- raiser at the Paprika Grille in Westfield for Union County Freeholder Mary Ruotolo, of Westfield, left to right, are Westfield Fourth Ward Councilman Lawrence A. Goldman, Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, Union County Sheriff Ralph G. Froehlich, County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, Freeholder Ruotolo, Freeholder Chairman Daniel P. Sullivan and Freeholder Lewis Mingo, Jr. Freeholder Ruotolo is joined on the Democratic ticket by Freeholders Sullivan and Mingo.