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Scotch Plains – Fanwood THE TIMES
OUR 40th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 16-99 Published Every Thursday USPS 485200
Periodical – Postage Paid at Scotch Plains, N.J. Thursday, April 22, 1999
of of of of of
— Serving Scotch Plains and Fanwood Since 1959 —
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Arts ............... Page 20 County .......... Page 2 Editorial ........ Page 4
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Social ............ Page 6 Sports ............ Page 13
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Three Seek Fanwood Mayor’s Seat; Two to Run in Republican Primary
By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
Three candidates are now in the running to succeed Democratic Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly of Fanwood, who recently announced her decision not to run for a second term as she contemplates another bid for Congress in the year 2000.
Councilman Louis C. Jung, currently serving his second full term on the governing body, will vie with newcomer Daniel P. Valentino, 3rd, for the Republican nomination for Mayor during the GOP primary in June. Mr. Jung has received the endorsement of the Fanwood Municipal Republican Committee.
The winner of the primary will challenge Council President William E. Populus, Jr., who is unopposed as the Democrats’ choice for Mayor, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2. Mr. Populus is also in his second full term on the Borough Council.
Rounding out the Republican ticket for two council vacancies are freshman incumbent Stuart S. Kline, who is seeking reelection to a second term, and newcomer Thomas P. Ryan, Jr., who is running for Councilman Jung’s seat.
They will face off against Democrats Patricia Plante, who ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Borough Council in 1997, and first-time candidate Adele Kenny.
In Fanwood, mayoral terms are for four years each, while full council terms are for three years. The Democrats presently have a 4-3 edge on the governing body, with Mayor Connelly breaking a tie vote when necessary.
A GOP sweep of all three vacancies on the governing body, including the Mayor’s spot, would reverse the majority in the Republicans’ favor.
Mr. Jung, a resident of Tillotson Road, has lived in Fanwood for 25 years and is employed as Northeast Public Affairs Manager with Exxon Corporation. The married father of two daughters was graduated from the University of Wisconsin and holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees in Civil Engineering.
Appointed to fill a vacancy in August of 1993, he was reelected to a full term that year and again in 1996. The candidate, who was named as the borough’s Fire Commissioner earlier this year, chairs the council’s Public Works Committee and is a member of the Public Safety and Public Works Committees.
He also served on the Scotch PlainsFanwood Board of Education for 12 years, including three years as its President. Councilman Jung is a member of the Fanwood Republican Club and the Willow Grove Presbyterian Church in Fanwood.
He said he intends to focus on several key issues during this year’s campaign, particularly downtown revitalization efforts; the future of the Dean Oil property at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street; pending changes to the borough’s zoning ordinance, and increasing volunteerism.
He noted that he has worked with Director of Public Works Raymond Manfra and Borough Engineer Richard Marsden on multiple projects for the borough over the past several years.
In addition, he cited his role as Liaison to the Fanwood Memorial Library Board of Trustees, during which time a new director was hired and technology initiatives were implemented.
“I think I’ve demonstrated my commitment to the town in terms of giving my time and myself,” remarked Mr. Jung.
Reflecting on the 3-3 split among Republicans and Democrats on the council, he said officials have to work together “for the good of the town,” adding that he feels he has “helped to bridge the gap” at times between the two parties on certain issues, and that he can work effectively with colleagues from either side of the political aisle.
Mr. Valentino, who lives with his family on North Martine Avenue, has been a resident of Fanwood for 12 years. He currently serves on the Fanwood Board of Health and is a Past Vice President of the Fanwood Republican Club.
Since 1985, Mr. Valentino has been the owner and operator of D&J Trucking LLC of Fanwood, a tri-state trucking company. He previously owned DJ Luncheonette of Cranford and managed the Corner Deli of Elizabeth, a family-owned business. He also served as Project Coordinator for Summer Youth Employment Programs during 1979-1980.
The candidate, a Union High School graduate, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science with a Minor in Sociology and Urban Studies and a Sub-minor in Ethnic Studies from Rutgers University, where he also took graduate courses toward a Master of Public Administration Degree.
He is active in the Lions Club of Fanwood, UNICO, the Knights of Columbus and the Vietnam Veterans Association. Mr. Valentino is a parishioner at St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church in Scotch Plains.
“There must be a conscious effort by the government to meet the needs of the people, in particular the needs of the family,” Mr. Valentino stated.
“There should be a tendency of the elected officials to work together to
Fanwood Borough Officials Hope to Recruit Volunteers at Community Fair This Saturday
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
By KIM KINTER
Specially Written for The Times
Fanwood wants you. On Saturday, April 24, from 1 to 4 p.m. the borough is holding its first ever Volunteer Fair at the north side of the
Fanwood Train Station in the Community House to acquaint residents with the various organizations and civic boards that need volunteer help.
“Our goal is to showcase all the opportunities that are available in Fanwood and let people know about
what the time commitment of each one is and what they can realistically expect,” said David Pickering, who is heading the effort.
About 27 organizations and civic boards and commissions will be represented at the afternoon fair. Tables
and booths will be set up and staffed with people who can both answer questions and take information from people who are interested in volunteering.
Fanwood, Mr. Pickering explained, is
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Future of Dean Oil Site Remains Uncertain; Affordable Housing Is Focus of Discussion By SUZETTE F. STALKER
Specially Written for The Times
The developers seeking to construct a two-tier apartment complex at the Dean Oil site in Fanwood indicated Monday night that they would resubmit their petition for 24 units, possibly in May, although the future of the long-vacant site remains uncertain with no application currently in place.
John D. Mollozzi and Vincent Bontempo, partners in LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC, appeared at the Fanwood Planning Board’s agenda session for a concept hearing on their recent proposal, after having withdrawn their application days before a scheduled public hearing on March 25.
The informal hearing opened on a tense note, with Mr. Mollozzi stating that he and his partner pulled their application last month after learning that plans for the apartment complex, which they had delivered to the Planning Board office, had somehow been removed and copied.
He charged that the plans had been taken to a Westfield printer and reduced to 8½-by-11 inch copies, which were then distributed in the community in conjunction with a flyer opposing the project, which he said erroneously implied that affordable housing units were part of the package.
Mr. Mollozzi said, following the concept hearing, that reproducing
documents copyrighted by an architect is a violation of trademark and patent laws. During the meeting, he had suggested that an investigation into how the plans got out of Borough Hall might be pursued.
According to Mr. Mollozzi, he and Mr. Bontempo, who have a contract to purchase the Dean Oil property from Savers’ Shares of Morristown, had “never contemplated” lowand moderate-income housing units when developing their proposal.
He argued, however, that he and his business partner had a right to know whether affordable housing would be an issue if the application were resubmitted.
The developers had initially proposed a three-story complex with 36 units for the corner lot at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street, which has been dormant since Dean Oil shut down its storage and distribution facility there in the 1980s.
A Planning Board hearing was set for February 24, but was postponed after an overflow crowd packed the Council Chambers where the meeting was being held, and had been rescheduled for March 25 at Park Middle School in Scotch Plains.
Mr. Mollozzi maintained that Richard Preiss, the planning consultant retained by the borough, had only reviewed the plans for 36 units, and that his evaluation did not reflect the revised specifications. The second set of plans had only arrived shortly before
the last scheduled hearing date, according to one board representative.
A residents group, known as Fanwood Citizens for Responsible Development, has rallied against the
project, arguing that apartments are not a permitted use for the property, which is zoned as general-commercial, and have stated that multi
Mr. Saridaki, Dr. Sheldon, Mrs. Simpson Reelected to BOE; 1999-2000 Budget Passes By Margin of 1,757 to 1,079 Votes By SUSAN M. DYCKMAN
Specially Written for The Times
The 1999-2000 school budget of $44,551,453 passed by a comfortable margin of 1,757 to 1,079, according to the unofficial election results posted at Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education offices Tuesday night. Voters also approved a 2.99 percent increase in taxes to finance a general fund tax levy of $39,401,685.
Experience means something to local voters who elected incumbent
Edward J. Saridaki, Jr. and former Board President Dr. Donald E. Sheldon in Scotch Plains, and incumbent Jessica M. Simpson of Fanwood to new three-year terms on the board.
Mr. Saridaki and Dr. Sheldon defeated two-term incumbent Morris H. Gillet and newcomers Ava McNamara and Dominick Bratti. Mrs. Simpson bested Victoria Manduca, who was making her third bid for the board.
Unofficial results showed Mr.
Susan M. Dyckman for The Times
VICTORIOUS!...Dr. Donald E. Sheldon of Scotch Plains and Jessica Simpson of Fanwood stopped into the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Board of Education offices Tuesday night to view election results. Both won seats along with Edward J. Saridacki, Jr. Mrs. Simpson and Mr. Saridacki were reelected while Dr. Sheldon, a five-time school board president until his loss last April, rejoins the board.
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Selection of Mr. Samuel Sparks Heavy Criticism
By FRED ROSSI
Specially Written for The Times
Scotch Plains Mayor Geri M. Samuel’s appointment last week of her husband, Richard Samuel, to a committee to study the question of directly electing a mayor drew fresh criticism from Republican Councilman Martin Marks at Tuesday night’s agenda meeting.
“Although the recommendations the committee makes will not be legally binding,” Councilman Marks said, “if they’re implemented, they will have a direct impact on (the council members’) terms as well as on the mayor’s term.”
Reiterating the position he stated last week, Mr. Marks said the appointment of Mr. Samuel to the study committee presents a problem because the panel’s findings “will have
a direct impact on the Mayor’s term, on her job, on her salary.
“I’d have less of a problem if there were seven Democrats (on the committee) than I do with having the Mayor’s husband,” he added.
But Township Attorney Andrew Baron informed the council that he had told the Mayor it was “a critical issue” that the committee’s makeup be bipartisan. The seven members include three Democrats, three Republicans and one Independent.
In addition, Mr. Baron reminded the governing body that the panel is advisory in nature; its recommendations will not be binding.
As for Mr. Samuel, Mr. Baron told Councilman Marks that the Mayor’s husband, an attorney, “is one of seven members” and that “the six others
Ordinance Would Allow Public to Decide if Boro Purchases Dean Oil Site
Council President William E. Populus, Jr. of Fanwood announced yesterday that he intends to present an ordinance for introduction next month that would permit residents to tell the governing body whether they want the borough to purchase the Dean Oil property at LaGrande Avenue and Second Street.
According to Mr. Populus, acquisition of the property through the municipality’s right of eminent domain would result in the site not being developed for a 24-unit apartment complex, as has been proposed by LaGrande Realty Associates, LLC, a potential purchaser of the property.
“We have heard a lot of rhetoric about this property and its possible
use as a rental apartment complex,” according to the councilman, who said he plans to unveil the ordinance at the Thursday, May 13, regular meeting of Fanwood’s governing body.
“We, the Mayor and Council, need to hear what the public truly believes should be done with this property,” continued Mr. Populus, who chairs the council’s Administration and Finance Committee and is the Democratic candidate in Fanwood’s Mayoral race this year.
“I, for one, will not permit this major project to be forced on the residents without their input. I also
Saridaki leading the field with 989 votes.
He was followed by Dr. Sheldon (950); Mr. Gillet (897); Mrs. McNamara (627) and Mr. Bratti (395). In Fanwood, Mrs. Simpson received 502 votes, Mrs. Manduca, 411.
“It’s nice to know I was the top vote-getter,” stated Mr. Saridaki from his home. “With all the nastiness, people recognized who the person is who works hard for them on the board. I’m very satisfied. My getting reelected was a true community effort.” He begins his second term on the board.
Dr. Sheldon, who teamed up with Mr. Gillet during this campaign, sat on the board from 1992-1998, serving five of those years as president. He was defeated in his bid for reelection in 1998. “I’m very pleased to be reelected, and will continue to do the best I can for the children and taxpayers in our community,” he said.
Mrs. Simpson was first appointed to the board in 1992, then elected to two consecutive terms in 1993 and 1996. She seemed confident that go
ing door-to-door to speak with residents, and conducting a personal letter-writing campaign made the difference for her.
“I had the experience and demeanor and dedication, and people recognized that,” she stated.
While 115 more residents participated in this year’s budget vote, most of those additional votes were cast against the budget.
There were some tense moments at board offices following the close of the polls before the unofficial results were tallied. Figures from some of the Scotch Plains districts that voted at Evergreen and Coles Schools were not immediately available because envelopes had been sealed with the results inside before the ParentTeacher Association representatives at those schools could get a copy to hand-deliver to board offices.
In Scotch Plains, school taxes on the average assessed home will rise 3.13 percent or $115 per year. Fanwood residents will see school taxes rise by 1.54 percent or $49.80 annually on the average assessed
David B. Corbin for The Times
LET’S PLAY BALL...The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Youth Baseball Association had its opening day on Saturday at Booth Field, as the Mets played the Tigers. The opening ceremonies included distinguished guests, Scotch Plains Mayor Geri Samuel, Fanwood Councilwoman Katherine Mitchell, and Scotch Plains-Fanwood Varsity Baseball Coach Brian Homm.
Page 12 Thursday, April 22, 1999 The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains – Fanwood A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION
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SCOTCH PLAINS POLICE BLOTTER WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7
· A Terrill Road restaurant reported finding a cash register short by several hundred dollars during the afternoon.
THURSDAY, APRIL 8
· A small brush fire was put out by the Scotch Plains Fire Department on Breezy Court at approximately 3:20 p.m. Two Scotch Plains teens were reported to be playing with matches and accidentally set the fire.
FRIDAY, APRIL 9
· Both sides of a vehicle that belonged to an employee of the Scotchwood Diner were reported scratched.
· Vishwa Sukhu, 36, of Richmond Hills, New York was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at approximately 9 p.m. in connection with a complaint involving a NJ Transit bus on which he was traveling.
· A resident of East Second Street reported the fraudulent use of a missing ATM card from his residence.
· Contractors at a site off Woodland Avenue reported the theft of approximately 150 pieces of lumber for new construction.
SATURDAY, APRIL 10
· A resident of Jackson Avenue reported that unknown suspects damaged light fixtures on the front of the property.
SUNDAY, APRIL 11
· John Vence, 19, of Fanwood, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while under the age of 21 in connection with a motor vehicle accident investigation on Route 22, West at approximately 1 a.m.
· Graffiti was reported spray painted on the building in Greenside Park.
· An employee at CVS reported that a shoplifting occurred at approximately 3 p.m. The suspect fled the scene with a box of cigars and could not be located. Several boxes of Visine were recovered outside the premises. achieve the results that would have the
people in mind and display a conscious attitude that is absent of political arrogance,” he added.
He said that, if elected, he “would display a continuous open door policy in fact and not just in theory,” and stated that he is not and would not be “above reproach.” Mr. Valentino remarked that if, as Mayor, he did not meet the needs of his constituents, they “should never hesitate to render criticism upon me.”
A resident of Shady Lane, Councilman Kline has lived in Fanwood for 10 years and is an attorney. The married father of three young children is a former President of the Fanwood Republican Club.
The candidate was awarded his Master of Business Administration Degree from Cornell University and his Juris Doctor Degree from Rutgers University. He has additionally worked in corporate finance at Johnson and Johnson and AT&T.
Councilman Kline is Chairman of the governing body’s Education, Health and Welfare Committee and also sits on the Public Safety Committee – serving as Liaison to the Fanwood Volunteer Rescue Squad – and on the Recreation and Community Services Committee.
He said his goals for a second term are “to keep taxes as low as possible, to continue our focus on shared services and looking to see what services we can share with other surrounding communities, and, of course, attracting businesses and developing the downtown.”
The candidate, who served on the borough’s Pocket Park Committee, noted the group’s success in delivering a park plan he described as “well within the
boundaries” of a matching grant awarded to Fanwood by the county last year.
He also cited efforts by the governing body to control municipal spending, saying “we’ve worked to maintain services while keeping taxes flat or (with) minimal increases.”
Thomas P. Ryan resides on Marion Avenue with his wife and daughter, who is almost 2. He has lived in Fanwood for nearly two years and is a member of St. Bartholomew the Apostle Church.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Fordham University and obtained his Juris Doctor Degree from the Fordham University School of Law.
A partner in the New York City law firm of DeMaggio and DeMaggio, LLP, Mr. Ryan said he was asked to join the Republican slate after he became involved with Fanwood Citizens for Responsible Development, a grass-roots organization which has been fighting a proposal to build an apartment complex on the Dean Oil property.
“There are some issues in town that closely concern me, and the Dean Oil site is one of them,” remarked Mr. Ryan, who said he can see the lot from his front window. “The development of that property is of keen interest to me.”
The candidate, whose wife grew up in Scotch Plains and graduated from Union Catholic High School, said he is also interested in bringing more commercial development into Fanwood.
He added that he wants to help the borough to remain “fiscally conservative,” while simultaneously ensuring a successful future for the community.
The deadline for candidates to file petitions with the Borough Clerk’s office was last Thursday, April 15, at 4 p.m.
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a community that relies heavily on volunteers. “Volunteerism in Fanwood has been a strong tradition, more so than in other communities,” he said. “People love Fanwood and will do anything for it. But a lot of volunteers are burned out. They need to be replaced with new blood.”
Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly added “volunteers are the backbone of the community and without them” the borough would not be able to run as it does. She pointed out that even the Mayor and Borough Council members are paid only $1 a year and that the rescue and fire squads are volunteer.
And, at the end of each year, the Mayor must make assignments to numerous borough boards and groups that run only with volunteers and she often spends many hours searching for the right people to fill posts.
With the fair, Mr. Pickering hopes that Fanwood organizations and administrators will have a “brand new data base of interested volunteers” who have indicated what their interests are and how much time they can commit.
Although he would not say how many new volunteers he would like to recruit on Saturday, he did say that a turn out of 50 to 100 “new faces” at the event would be considered successful.
Mr. Pickering said the decision to hold the Volunteer Fair actually grew out of the Fanwood Community Assessment Committee, which began in 1997 to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Borough of Fanwood.
Mr. Pickering is also Chairman of the Community Assessment Committee. As part of the Committee, Fanwood paid a consultant who conducted about 100 community interviews. Following the interviews, volunteer focus groups zeroed in on weaknesses that had turned up.
As a result of the committee’s work, volunteerism was deemed to be one area
that needed attention. Many of the 100 original residents interviewed commented that when they wanted to volunteer they did not know where to go or who to ask, Mr. Pickering explained.
The idea to hold it this weekend tied with in with national Volunteer Week, which began April 18 and the borough clean-up day that will be taking place Saturday morning.
First, questionnaires were sent to about 80 local organizations so that it was clear what groups existed in the community and who needed the help of volunteers, Mr. Pickering said. About 85 percent of the organizations responded.
Ultimately, 25 groups were invited to participate in the Volunteer Fair, and about 15 of those will be there Saturday. In addition, about 12 borough boards and commissions will be represented, Mr. Pickering said.
To inform residents about the Volunteer Fair, a full-page flyer was mailed to all homes in March and periodic reminders ran on Fanwood’s public access cable station, TV-35.
Another volunteer-oriented event that grew out of the committee’s work also will occur this week. “Kids as Volunteers Networking Night” will be held tonight, Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. also at the Community House. It will be a brainstorming session between school staff, community organization staff and parents who will discuss ways to get Fanwood and Scotch Plains youth more involved in volunteering.
Some ideas that will be tossed around will be ways that youth may be able to help Fanwood’s senior citizens, which make up about 20 percent of the borough’s population, Mr. Pickering said.
Mayor Connelly added that another idea is to have students help with the continuing renovation of the Patricia M. Kuran Cultural Arts Center, formerly the Carriage House. The borough has been restoring the circa 1880 structure for use for local and civic events.
Marianne Kranz, who suggested the idea, said that the session was planned to bring together the different groups so that students who want to volunteer have an idea of where they could go to help.
Ms. Kranz has been active in starting a volunteer program at McGinn Elementary School and was one of the volunteers on the focus groups that formed after the Assessment Committee reported its findings.
Mr. Pickering said that Fanwood wants to make the Volunteer Fair an annual event. He added that he also is planning three other smaller volunteer fairs to reach new homeowners in Fanwood, bringing to a total of four annually that the borough will hold.
Fanwood Officials to Recruit Volunteers at Upcoming Fair
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will provide checks and balances.” Democratic Councilman Franklin Donatelli asked whether an elected Mayor would have a vote and how many voting council members there would be in any new setup. Mrs. Samuel said councils are typically made up of five, seven or nine members, but answers to questions about voting rights and other matters were put off until the committee begins its deliberations.
In other matters, several residents of the Golf Street-Wood Road neighborhood, which has been besieged for the past 25 or so summers by thousands of starlings, blackbirds and grackles, met with the council to discuss strategies for dispersing the birds.
Last summer’s pyrotechnics effort, which lasted about 10 days, was not a complete success, and residents had urged a more intensive effort when they met with the council early last month.
Township Sanitary Inspector Andrew Snyder said a new idea under serious consideration is an intensive fogging effort that would penetrate the trees and drive away the birds. The food-based chemical emits a grape odor, but is nontoxic.
“All species of birds hate the product,” he told the council and the residents. The company that makes the spray reports great success in similar situations, and Mr. Snyder said he thinks “the methodology is worth further examination.”
He said multiple applications would be needed — probably over the course of three to five days — in July, when the birds return to the neighborhood, and again later in the season.
The pyrotechnics used last summer could be used again this year to supplement the fogging effort, if necessary, he added.
Separately, the organizers of the annual Freddie Spencer Memorial Bicycle
Race, which is held each May, informed the council they will not be holding the race this year.
In addition to not having enough time to file the necessary paperwork for permits and insurance, race Chairman Paul Mecca told the council in a letter that “there also was a lack of sponsorship money because we did not know if the race was going forward.”
Mayor Samuel, noting that the race benefits the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad, said the squad normally received about $8,000 a year, or about 8 percent of its budget, from the race.
The township’s Departments of Public Works and Engineering have submitted their proposals for possible roadway projects in the year 2000 (in addition to the 12 projects for 1999 listed in last week’s edition of The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood).
They include Coles Avenue (from Henry to Jerusalem), Parkwood Drive (from Wood Road to Brookside), Fenimore Drive (Huron to Martine), Stoneleigh Drive, Mapleview Court, Fox Hill Lane, Clover Lane, Grand Street and Heritage Road.
It was noted that if some unanticipated funding becomes available this year, perhaps some roads slated for work in 2000 could be dealt with in 1999.
Township Manager Thomas E. Atkins said that “we’re not getting a lot of cooperation from Plainfield on Cushing Road,” the repairs of which are to be shared by Scotch Plains and Plainfield. He said it was therefore possible that Scotch Plains’ $16,000 share of that proposed project could be shifted to other roadway work.
The council’s next regular meeting is Tuesday, April 27, at which time the 1999 budget will be discussed and comments from the public will be heard.
Choice of Mayor’s Husband Remains Controversial Planning Board Discusses
Future of Dean Oil Property
family housing would put a strain on the local school system, recreational programs and emergency services.
At the time their previous application was before the board, Mr. Mollozzi said LaGrande Realty Associates’ plans called for two-bedroom garden apartments that would rent for between $1,000 and $1,200 per month.
He anticipated the complex would attract working singles and couples, many of whom he anticipated would commute to their jobs from the Fanwood Train Station.
The borough’s revised Master Plan stipulates that a fee be charged for any new development in the borough, residential and non-residential alike, which will be used for expenses related to compliance with state Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) requirements, local officials confirmed.
These fees would be half of 1 percent of the assessed market value of the project for residential development, and 1 percent for non-residential. Officials have noted, however, that the Dean Oil lot is the last parcel of undeveloped land in the 1.3-square-mile borough.
If LaGrande Realty Associates’ proposed apartment complex were approved,
the developers would either have to designate 20 percent – roughly four units – for affordable housing or make a monetary contribution toward the building of affordable housing units in another community as part of a regional agreement.
The borough received certification in 1993 that its plan for complying with affordable housing requirements under the Mount Laurel decision met with COAH regulations.
That certification expires on Wednesday, August 4, and the borough has filed for re-certification, according to Planning Board Vice Chairman Jack Molenaar. The Mount Laurel ruling mandated that New Jersey municipalities provide a certain amount of lowand moderate-income housing.
Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly emphasized that issues concerning LaGrande Realty Associates’ development proposal are still “hypothetical,” since the Planning Board presently does not have an application for the project.
“We do not have a plan right now, and (LaGrande Realty Associates) has to start the process all over again if they want to pursue the project.”
Senator DiFrancesco to Chair The Arc Candlelight Ball
State Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco will chair The Arc of Union County’s 50 th Anniversary Candlelight Ball on Saturday, April 24, at L’Affaire in Mountainside.
The Arc of Union County, 1225 South Avenue, provides support, advocacy services and programs annually for 700 individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
It maintains 18 group homes, five work centers, two child development centers, a private school, a summer day camp and an adult medical day care facility.
“Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco has always been a supporter of The Arc,” said Frank X. Caragher, Executive Director of The Arc. “Anytime we have needed a friend he has been there. When we began our plans for our 50th year anniversary Candlelight Ball, he was our choice for honorary chairperson because of all he has done for us and as in the past he was gracious and generous in his response.”
Senator DiFrancesco of Scotch Plains was reelected by his colleagues to serve an unprecedented fourth term as the President of the New Jersey Senate during the 1998-1999 legislative session. He was first chosen by his colleagues to serve as the President of the Senate in 1992.
During the course of the dinner dance, The Arc will honor several United Ways and individuals for their outstanding commitment to the organization. These include: The United Ways of Cranford; Union County; Eastern Union County; Mountainside; Summit, New Providence and Berkeley Heights, Inc. and Plainfield, North Plainfield; and Scotch Plains.
The Westfield United Way will receive The Arc’s 1999 Community Ser
vice Award. Bert and Sylvia Schwartz will receive the Betty McGhee Spirit of the Arc Award for their support of the organization. Dr. Jerry Fry, a member of The Arc’s Corporate Advisory Board, will be honored with this year’s Humanitarian Award.
Pat Duda will receive the first Mary Lou Panella Award for her advocacy to individuals with developmental disabilities. The 1999 Florence M. Levine Community Achievement Award will be presented to Kevin O’Brien of Westfield and Karen Faye Schwenderman of Clark as The Arc’s 1999 Ambassador of Goodwill.
The Arc will also present a preview of its new video. A raffle and silent auction will also be held. Prizes will include Kiwi Airline tickets, brunch for two, theater tickets, and autographed sports memorabilia.
For more information on the Candlelight Ball, please call The Arc at (908) 754-7826.
Historical Society Plans Civil War Sing-Along
SCOTCH PLAINS – The Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood will welcome musician, Nancy Shill, at a sing-along on Tuesday, April 27, at 8 p.m. at the Fanwood Train Station.
Ms. Shill has previously performed for the Society, offering singing, clog dancing, guitar, and fiddle-playing songs. This year, she will feature the Civil War era.
Refreshments will be included. For more information about the event or the Society, please contact President Richard Bousquet, P.O. Box 261, Scotch Plains, 07076 or (908) 232-1199.
Shade Tree Commission Sets Arbor Day Event
FANWOOD — The Fanwood Shade Tree Commission will hold an Arbor Day program on Friday, April 30, at 4 p.m. in the playground area of LaGrande Park.
Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the importance of trees and promotes tree planting and care. This year’s program will focus on the efforts to revitalize LaGrande Park, which lost 27 trees that fell or were damaged during last year’s Labor Day storm.
Refreshments will be served, and the public is invited to attend. do not believe that the Mayor and council
should be spending significant public funds to purchase this property through condemnation without a public referendum,” he stated.
The Council President disclosed that he had requested that Borough Attorney Dennis Estis prepare an ordinance which permits a non-binding referendum to be placed on the Tuesday, November 2, General Election ballot.
“Mr. Estis has advised me that he will have the ordinance ready for preliminary discussion at our agenda session on May 5, so that it can be introduced the following week at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Council,” Mr. Populus explained.
He remarked that members of the community “are entitled to tell us how they feel about the borough’s possible purchase of this property, especially since it will undoubtedly cost the taxpayers several hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
He said many citizens “have expressed a belief that the property should be utilized for commercial purposes and not for apartment or residential use.”
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According to Councilman Populus, “conducting a referendum on the question of whether the Mayor and council should condemn this property enables us to gauge the true sentiment of the people.” He described such a process as “democracy in action.”
Councilman Populus said he was advised by Mr. Estis that if the governing body were to adopt such an ordinance before Sunday, August 1, directing County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi to place on the municipal ballot the question of whether the people want elected officials to purchase the Dean Oil site through condemnation, “it can be put on the ballot for November 2, and give each citizen the right to vote on the issue.”
A statutory mechanism adopted by the New Jersey Legislature enables a municipality to place non-binding questions on the ballot to determine the feelings of voters on questions or policies related to municipal government.
“We should make use of this mechanism in this instance,” the Councilman concluded.
Public May Decide if Boro Should Buy Dean Oil Site
Fanwood TV-35 Weekly Schedule Friday, April 23, 7:00 P.M.
Pictures at an Exhibition
Friday, April 23, 7:00 P.M.
Fanwood Community Assessment/Action Committee
Sunday, April 25, 8:00 P.M.
FYI Fanwood Mayor Maryanne Connelly’s Show
Sunday, April 25, 9:00 P.M.
Fallen Flags History of Railroads in Union County
Tuesday, April 27, 8:00 P.M.
Three Seasons in The Sun A bee’s eye view of the flowers of Fanwood
Tuesday, April 27, 9:00 P.M.
Thursday, April 29, 8:00 P.M.
Cop TV Local Police Issues
Thursday, April 29, 9:00 P.M.
Fanwood Community Assessment/Action Committee
Jeremiah O’Dwyer Selected As Employee of the Month OUTSTANDING SERVICE…Assistant County Counsel Jeremiah O’Dwyer,
second from left, is honored by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Manager Michael J. Lapolla as Employee of the Month for March, for having saved the county thousands of dollars during his 15 years of service. With Mr. O’Dwyer, pictured left to right, are: Mr. Lapolla, Mr. O’Dwyer’s wife, Zell, and Freeholder Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari.
ELIZABETH — The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and County Manager Michael J. Lapolla recently named Assistant County Counsel Jeremiah O’Dwyer of Scotch Plains as Employee of the Month for March.
He was recognized for saving the county thousands of dollars during his 15 years of service.
“Jerry is a true professional who is consistent and hard working. He regularly spends many hours after work researching the county’s liabilities and obligations. Also, he has generously contributed to a number of charities within the county, particularly those that provide relief and support to children,” Freeholder Chairman Nicholas P. Scutari said.
“He has often provided legal advice, guidance and direction to county employees who did not know where to go or what they needed to do,” Freeholder Scutari added.
Mr. O’Dwyer and his wife, Zell, have a married son, Dennis O’Dwyer.
“The Employee of the Month Recognition Program is a way to recognize and reward employees for valuable contributions and accomplishments, professional growth and quality performance,” Mr. Lapolla said.
Each employee honored receives a plaque from the County Manager, a resolution from the Freeholder Board, and a day off from work.
“Jerry is a lawyer’s lawyer and I often go to him for advice,” Mr. Lapolla said. “He is very popular, and friends and coworkers enjoy his great sense of humor. We are pleased to recognize him,” the County Manager added.
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Saridaki, Sheldon, Simpson Reelected
To School Board
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Two to Run in GOP Primary For Fanwood Mayor’s Spot
home in the borough. The 1999-2000 school budget represents an $822,403 or 1.88 percent increase over the 1998-99 spending plan. District administrators and board members are proud of the more than $600,000 in program improvements built into the budget, which was well below the 3 percent cap on increases imposed by the state.
The board’s reorganization meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 3 at 8 p.m. At that time, board members will elect a president and vice president for the coming year.