Garwood Council Discusses Allegations Against Candidate

By KIMBERLY A. BROADWELL
Specially Written for The Leader/Times

GARWOOD — Last Thursday evening, members of the Garwood Borough Council met to discuss agenda items for the borough, yet local and national politics became topics of conversation.
Discussion over current Garwood Republican candidate Jesse Wilson filtered into the meeting without mention of his name.

An article published last week in The Westfield Leader noted Mr. Wilson’s social media posts and the accusations of bigotry by social media users and Garwood politicians.

In the article, Mr. Wilson denied being racist or homophobic and stated that he would take legal action against people making such allegations.

In the article, writer Lauren Barr quoted him as saying that his girlfriend is a woman of color and that the racist allegations have put stress on his four- or five-month-old relationship. In addition, in the article, Mr. Wilson said that he is not homophobic and that he stands against the sexualizing of children in any way. He said, “Kids don’t need to learn homosexual history, and young girls shouldn’t be losing scholarships to transgender boys.”

Council members discussed some of the posts they have seen by Mr. Wilson in public forums through social media and stated that they thought the posts were not appropriate for a candidate running for public office.

Mayor Sara Todisco stated that she will always take a stand against racism, bigotry, homophobia, anti-Semitism and any other form of hate that she encounters.

Additionally, Councilman Mike Ince addressed the audience to endorse and promote Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

During the public portion of the meeting, resident Bruce Paterson, who did not promote a candidate, took issue with an elected official using his position at a public meeting to promote one candidate over another. He further expressed his disappointment that no one from the governing body made an attempt to stop him.

In other business, it was reported that an event held earlier in the day which made Covid-19 testing available to senior citizens had been a success. The governing body confirmed that 135 tests were performed in the community room of the borough’s firehouse.

It was noted that another such event would be held soon where a saliva test would be available. A saliva test was not administered to seniors because it sometimes is hard for seniors to produce enough saliva for the test, the council said.

Mayor Todisco stated there were two more Covid-19 cases reported in the borough in late August, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases in Garwood to 48. She also said that two deaths had been reported from Covid-19.

It was announced that there would be an Outdoor Senior Walk on Saturday, October 3, and that all participants will receive a safety vest. Water will be provided.

In addition, it was announced that Garwood was sending all its residents a full Fall recreation brochure. The brochure is posted on the website as well.

The next Garwood Borough Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, at 7:15 p.m. A resolution honoring longtime Department of Public Works employee Richard Burns will be read at the next meeting, as he will be retiring. Instructions for residents on how to view the meeting or call into the meeting can be found on the borough’s website.