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A WATCHUNG COMMUNICATIONS, INC. PUBLICATION The Westfield Leader and THE TIMES of Scotch Plains - Fanwood Thursday, September 16, 1999 Page 7


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choosing the mayor from amongst themselves for a oneyear term, there will be four council members elected for four year terms and a mayor directly elected by the people for a fouryear term.”

Mr. Wiener also noted that, “There would be checks and balances on whomever was the mayor. With elections held every other year in even years, as is done now, the voters could either affirm or disagree with the leadership provided by the mayor based on which council candidates the voters elect just two years down the road. For example, in 2000 the mayor’s post and one council seat will stand for election. In 2002 the other three council seats would be up for election.”

“The system allows for the optimum in checks and balances,” advised Mr. Wiener. “It will be the voters, hereafter, who deter

Philip Wiener Supports Elected Mayor System


mine who shall lead Scotch Plains, not any three council members. Passage of the ballot question this November, will allow the citizens to nominate candidates for mayor in this coming spring’s primaries and then elect the best candidate as their mayor in the year 2000.

“As an added bonus, the mayoral elections will fall in presidential election years when voter turnout tends to be the largest. This will help assure that the greatest number of citizens have participated in electing the highest elected official in the community.”

Mr. Wiener concluded by stating, “There will be no additional cost in the parttime salaries of the members of the mayor and council. Whatever they would receive as five council members would remain the same.” Republicans to Host Reception

For Candidate Frank Rossi

SCOTCH PLAINS — A reception in honor of Scotch Plains Republican Council candidate Frank Rossi has been set for Sunday, October 10, at the Scotch Plains home of Janet and Donard Gaynor.

A number of state legislators, including Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco and Assemblyman Alan M. Augustine, both of Scotch Plains, are expected to attend. Anyone interested in attending should contact Paulette Coronato at (908) 7534481.

Mr. Rossi is a lifelong area resident, and has been involved in numerous community and civic activities during his 36 years residing in Scotch Plains and seven years in Fanwood. He is running against Democrat Philip Weiner for the one open Council seat, left by the sudden death of Franklin Donatelli in May, in the Tuesday, November 2, election.

Mr. Rossi is currently an alternate member of the Scotch Plains Board of Adjustment and previously served for twoandahalf years on the Fanwood Council, where he was Chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee in 1992 and 1993.

He is an attorney who started his legal career as an Assistant Prosecutor with the Union County Prosecutor’s office. During his ten ure he served as Deputy Supervisor

of the division responsible for enforcement of the county’s drug policy and was involved in a number of drug education efforts throughout the area.

He is currently Corporate Counsel with Bristol MyersSquibb Company and is serving as a Chairman in the company’s 1999 United Way Campaign.

Mr. Rossi has been out campaigning since mid summer, walking door to door to meet residents to gain their input on issues facing the community. More recently he has been attending a number of informal evening gatherings at residents homes to discuss his views on issues and get a direct sense of what is on the minds of residents.

The candidate stated that he views a dialogue with as many residents as possible as one of the best ways of knowing what people expect in their administration and will prepare him to be responsive to those expectations, if elected.

He said that he also looks forward to a number of debates with his opponent so the public “can see where we stand on the issues.”

Anyone interested in attending or hosting one of the evening discussions is asked to contact Mrs. Coronato.

LindaLee Kelly to Face James LaCorte in Race

For County Surrogate By PAUL J. PEYTON

Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

ELIZABETH — A former freeholder will face the son of a former Elizabeth mayor in the race to succeed the late Ann Conti as Union County Surrogate this November. Mrs. Conti died of cancer in July after serving 17 years as Surrogate.

Union County Democrats last Thursday tapped Elizabeth attorney James S. Lacorte, the son of the late former Mayor Nicholas S. LaCorte and a cousin of two ex Cranford mayors, as the party’s choice to succeed Mrs. Conti, who resided in Mountainside.

He will now face former freeholder LindaLee Kelly in the race for the $101,679 per year surrogate post. The office carries a term of five years.

“At this stage in my career, when this position became available, I thought it would be something I would be interested in,” Mr. LaCorte said during a telephone interview with

The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch PlainsFanwood on Friday.

Mr. LaCorte’s father served as Elizabeth’s mayor from 1952 to1956, and his cousins are former Cranford mayors Nicholas and Paul LaCorte. The candidate received his bachelor’s degree in finance from Fordham University in The Bronx in 1972, and his law degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex.

Mr. LaCorte, who was named during a party caucus on September 8, joins Board of Chosen Freeholder candidates Nicholas P. Scutari of Linden and Linda d. Stender of Fanwood, both incumbents, and Angel Estrada of Elizabeth on the county Democratic ticket. Mr. LaCorte was chosen over Westfield attorney Joe Ascione.

Both were the only two persons who had submitted resumés for consideration by the Union County Democratic Committee (UCDC), according to Committee Executive Director Angie Bowen Placa.

Republicans picked Ms. Kelly, a former twoterm freeholder and

Elizabeth resident, over former Westfield Board of Education member William J. Sweeney during the party’s convention on Tuesday night.

Had he been chosen, Mr. Sweeney would have been the first Republican from Westfield to be on the county ticket since Vic R. Trevesniowski lost his bid for freeholder in 1991.

The party’s choice will head the GOP county ticket which includes Freeholder candidates Albert D. Dill of Summit, Wally K. Shackell, Jr. of Cranford and Richard A. Revilla of Elizabeth.

Ms. Kelly has been Principal of the 750student Hamilton Middle School, the largest public school in Elizabeth, for the past year. She noted that in this capacity, she administers an operating budget of over $5 million and a staff of 91. By comparison, the Surrogate’s office includes a staff of around 20 and an annual budget of over $720,000.

In addition, Ms. Kelly stated that she has “a good grasp of county government and how it works,” including the “interplay of the Surrogate’s office with the rest of county government.”

Ms. Kelly said she would like to continue the efforts made in the area of senior citizens issues by educating this population on such topics as the importance of having a will.

The candidate served as Assistant County Counsel from 1983 until 1989, during which time she was responsible for the prosecution and defense of litigation in state and federal courts on behalf of the county.

Ms. Kelly serves on the YWCA of Eastern Union County Board of Directors, which oversees the county’s battered women’s shelter.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in biological studies, a master’s degree in plant pathology and a law degree, all from Rutgers University. Her law career included both civil and criminal cases.

Mr. LaCorte, who served as Deputy Counsel to the Union County Board of Social Services, said he has been

Campaign Forum ’99


Fanwood Republicans Post New Web Page, Address

FANWOOD — Building on a tradition that started with the campaign for Fanwood Borough Council in 1998, the Republican candidate for Mayor, Louis C. Jung, and Republican candidates for Borough Council, Stuart Kline and Thomas P. Ryan, Jr. have announced the opening of their campaign Web page: www. home. att. net/ ~fanwoodfirst.

“We are committed not only to open communication in government, but also to open communication in our campaign. That is why we have established a campaign Web site so that the voters can get to know who we are and where we stand on issues,” Mr. Jung.

“The Web site has our biographies, photos and statements on issues. In the coming weeks, we also plan to provide

links to other Web sites, including newspaper articles covering stories on the campaign. Press releases will be available online as well,” stated Mr. Kline.

“We’ve also established an email address: fanwoodfirst@ att. net. A link to this address is available on the Web page to make it easy for the voters to ask us questions. If voters choose, they can also be advised by email when the Web page is updated. Our plan is to have a Web site that is continually updated throughout the campaign one that voters will want to come back to again and again,” remarked Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Jung noted that, “Last year, the Republican Party in Fanwood was the first political party in the borough’s history to establish a Web site for its campaign.” Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood

and Mountainside, since 1993. He was elected in 1992 to replace the retiring Republican Congressman Matthew Rinaldo. Prior to that, Mr. Franks, a Berkeley Heights resident, served in the State General Assembly for 13 years.

In order to run for the Senate, Mr. Franks would have to decide not to seek reelection to the House of Representatives.

The Congressman had been considered as a potential candidate for the GOP nomination for Governor in 2001. He served as GOP state chairman in 1988 and 1989.

If Mr. Franks runs for the U. S. Senate, that would eliminate a potential GOP Gubernatorial nomination battle in Union County with State Senate President Donald T. DiFrancesco of Scotch Plains.

Had Mrs. Whitman been successful in winning the U. S. Senate seat, Senator DiFrancesco would have been Acting Governor in 2001.

Among the other Republicans mentioned as possible Senate candidates are Essex County Executive James Treffinger, Congressman Frank A. Lo Biondo of Cumberland County, State Senator William L. Gormley of Atlantic County, former Westfielder and current Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler and former Congressman Richard A. Zimmer of Hunterdon County.

Former Governor Thomas H. Kean has also said he would at least consider a possible run for the seat. He has opted against a Senate run on

two previous occasions. Mr. Kean is currently the President of Drew University in Madison.

Mr. Zimmer, as the 1996 GOP Senate nominee, was defeated by U. S. Senator Robert Torricelli in their battle for the Senate seat vacated by Bill Bradley, a 2000 Democratic Presidential candidate.

Heading the list of potential Democratic Senate hopefuls are former Governor Jim Florio.

If Mr. Franks decides to run for the Senate, the race for his Congressional seat could be fought locally. Fanwood Mayor Maryanne S. Connelly, the Democratic nominee last year, has decided not to seek election to her Mayoral seat this year in order to concentrate on another Congressional run in 2000. She had a strong showing in the long held Republican district, which includes portions of Union, Essex, Middlesex and Somerset Counties.

She could face 22nd Legislative District Republican Assemblyman Richard H. Bagger of Westfield, a former mayor of the town. Other possible Democratic candidates include Warren Township Committeeman Jeff Golkin, a declared candidate for the Congressional seat, Assemblyman Joseph Sulliga of Linden, and Edison Mayor George Spadoro.

Republicans seen as potential candidates include Assembly members Christopher Bateman and Peter Biondi and Assemblyman Joel Weingarten.

Congressman Franks Considers Senate Run

Copyright 1999 - The Westfield Leader and The Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood