U.S. Senate, House, Sheriff, CF, GW Races On Ballot Tuesday

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OUR 124th YEAR – ISSUE NO. 44-2014
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Thursday, October 30, 2014
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U.S. Senate, House, Sheriff, CF,
GW Races On Ballot Tuesday
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
REGION – Voters will go to the
polls on Tuesday to make their choices
for United States Senate, Congress,
Union County Sheriff and Board of
Chosen Freeholders as well as a
mayor’s race in Garwood and town
council races in Cranford, Garwood
and Scotch Plains. There are no competitive elections in Fanwood and
Mountainside and there is not any
municipal election in Westfield this
year.
In Garwood, Republican Sal
Piarulli, a self-employed marketing
consultant who defeated first-term
Mayor Pat Quattrocchi in the June
Primary, will face former 21-year
Democratic Councilman Charles
Lombardo, who is employed by the
County of Union, in the mayor’s race.
In the race for three seats on the
borough Council, incumbent Democrats Sara Todisco and Lou Petruzzelli
face a challenge from Republicans
Tina Simitz, vice-president of a marketing agency in Morristown, and
Carol Kearney, owner of a local travel
agency who ran for council in 2011.
Democrats hold a four to two edge on
the council. Delays in the completion
of the Athletic Field Complex and
borough taxes are among the issues in
Paul Lachenauer for The Westfield Leader
TRICK OR TREAT…. This young witch enjoys Sunday’s Halloween Parade,
sponsored by the Optimist Club of Westfield, and costume contest, sponsored
by the Downtown Westfield Corp.
Four Cranford Candidates
Square Off on Local Issues
the campaign.
Six candidates are battling for three
seats on the Scotch Plains Township
Council, where Republicans hold a
3-to-2 edge. A potential merger of
the Scotch Plains and Fanwood police departments, and battles over the
capital budget, which failed to get the
necessary four votes for passage on
two occasions, are among the issues
in the race. Incumbent Republicans
William Vastine, Michael Marcus,
who switched parties after running as
a Democrat four years ago, and
Llewellyn Jones, who was elected to
an unexpired council term last year,
are being challenged by Democrats
John Del Sordi, Jr., an official with a
carpenters’ union; Rose Checchio,
co-owner of several day care centers,
and Luisa Bianco, who is a department manager with AT&T.
In neighboring Fanwood, incumbent Democratic Councilmen Russell
Huegel and Kevin Boris are unopposed in their reelection bids. Democrats hold all six seats on the borough
council and the mayor’s office.
In Cranford, Republican Township
Committee incumbents Andis
Kalnins, who is serving as mayor this
year, and Lisa M. Adubato, who is
deputy mayor, face a challenge from
Democrats Brian McCarthy, a information technology specialist, and
Robert V. Salvatore, who works for a
major retail chain.
Taxes, flood mitigation, the Union
County College field project and the
position of township engineer are
among the issues in the race. Republicans currently hold a 4-to-1 majority on the committee after sweeping
municipal races in the 2013 election
to pick up two seats.
At the county level, the key race
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
By CHRISTINA M. HINKE
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
CRANFORD – A debate was held
Thursday for two open seats on the
Cranford Township Committee. Republican incumbents Mayor Andis
Kalnins and Deputy Mayor Lisa
Adubato and Democratic candidates
Robert Salvatore and Brian McCarthy
answered questions posed by Cranford
residents who attended the debate at
the municipal building and asked by
moderator Dawn Clarke of the League
of Women Voters.
Each candidate began the debate with
a three-minute opening remark period,
followed by a question-and-answer
period and finalized with a two-minute
closing statement.
On the issue of controlling taxes, Mr.
Salvatore and Mr. McCarthy said taxes
last year were offset by surplus and
they had concerns about depleting those
funds. Mr. Salvatore and Mr. McCarthy
also said the surplus was put in place
prior to their opponents being voted
into office.
“What I would like to do is not spend
unwisely,” Mr. Salvatore said.
Ms. Adubato, who has served as
finance commissioner with Mr. Kalnins,
said hiring a full-time chief financial
officer has helped to control taxes as
well as she and Mr. Kalnins working
closely with the officer and the township administrator. In her opening remarks, Ms. Adubato said, “Cranford
this year had the lowest tax increase of
all municipalities in Union County.
Our municipal tax increase this year
was 0.5 percent, which translates to
about $4 per household.”
Mr. McCarthy said fellow Democrat
Commissioner Tom Hannen, Jr. was
“at the forefront of putting the full-time
CFO into position.”
Ms. Adubato rebutted, asking her
opponents, “With all due respect to
Commissioner Hannen, and he is not
running tonight, and it is only fair to
voters that you talk about your accomplishments and how you would move
forward with the town.”
Mr. Kalnins said, “We decreased the
use of surplus.” He added that the township had successful negotiations with
unions this year.
On where to allocate the reserve
funds, Mr. Kalnins and Ms. Adubato
looked to improving roads, while Mr.
McCarthy and Mr. Salvatore looked to
flood mitigation and road improvements.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 12
By BRIAN TRUSDELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
GARWOOD – The long-delayed
Athletic Field Complex will be completed by the end of November, Mayor
Pat Quattrocchi announced at Tuesday’s
council meeting, and will be officially
opened for use Sunday, December 14.
Mayor Quattrocchi said project contractor Flanagan Construction informed
her earlier in the day of the expected
completion, without specifying a date.
Councilman Lou Petruzzelli, the liaison to the council on the matter, said
the reason for waiting an extra two
weeks before holding a ribbon-cutting
ceremony was “wiggle room” to allow
for obtaining all the necessary permits
and inspections, particularly a health
department approval for the kitchen in
the clubhouse.
The council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, November 13 to dis-
By BRIAN TRUSDELL
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
GARWOOD – Candidates for borough council faced off at The Pointe
condominium complex like their
mayoral counterparts, but without
much of the rancor of the debate
between the executive hopefuls.
Both incumbent Democrats Sara
Todisco and Lou Petruzzelli and Republican challengers Tina Simitz and
Carol Kearney faced awkward questions and moments at the October 23
cuss a draft of the ordinance that will
establish the regulations for use of the
complex. Council President Ann
Tarantino noted that the ordinance will
officially rename the park on the south
side of town bordering Cranford the
Garwood Sports and Recreation Complex.
The announcement regarding the athletic field brought smiles and plaudits
from several members on council,
clearly happy to see the project nearing
an end 18 months after it was scheduled to be finished.
But it also sparked tense moments
among residents during the public comment portion of the work session, indicating the sharp divide and raw emotions among some regarding the $3.2million expenditure.
After Garwood Baseball League
President Scott Kessler praised the volCONTINUED ON PAGE 12
Voters to Decide BOE
Races In WF, CF, SP
By PAUL J. PEYTON
Horace Corbin for The Westfield Leader
Garwood Council Cands.
Answer Ques. at Forum
AFC to Be Done In Nov.,
Ariemma Suit Settled
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader
GOOD GUYS…Westfield School Boosters gather at the train station last Saturday for their annual button day. Pictured, left to right, are: (names withheld to
protect the innocent).
Paul Lachenauer for The Westfield Leader
WE’RE NOT IN KANSAS…This family chose The Wizard of Oz as their Halloween costume theme for Sunday’s
Halloween Parade, sponsored by the Optimist Club of Westfield, and costume contest, sponsored by the Downtown
Westfield Corp.
REGION – Voters will decide competitive school-board races in
Westfield, Cranford and Garwood this
Tuesday.
In Westfield, incumbent Mark Friedman is seeking a second term. Also
running are David Sexton, Michael
Bielen, Margaret Oster and Christopher Langhart.
In Cranford, incumbents Michael
C. Caulfield, JoAnn Boyle and Trevor
Shaw are seeking reelection. Also
seeking board seats are Lisa A.
Carbone, Daniel DeMarco and
Jacqueline Carr.
Garwood incumbents Christine
Guerriero, Aaron Watkins and Linda
Koenig are unopposed in their quest
for reelection to full three-year terms,
as is Kimberly Ficarra, who is running
for a two-year unexpired board seat.
Also seeking reelection is Mountainside incumbent Dante Gioia.
Polls are open this Tuesday, November 4, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Publisher’s Note
This is our special Election edition. Please vote on November 4
and good luck to all the candidates.
We mailed this edition to all residents in Garwood to support the
mayoral election. For those who
are not subscribers, please take advantage of our free trial subscription. Go to www.goleader.com/
form/sub_trial.htm.
forum, defending previous votes or
campaign statements and at times
even agreeing with one another.
The format was similar to the mayoral event a week earlier, with the
candidates taking turns responding to
previously submitted questions and
eventually from the floor.
Ms. Todisco, a social studies teacher
in Chatham, and Mr. Petruzzelli,
owner of an electrical contracting
business, were put on the defensive
with the first question when debate
moderator and Pointe communications chairman William Connolly referred to the still uncompleted Athletic Field Complex (AFC) as a “$3million embarrassment.”
Both rejected the characterization,
with Mr. Petruzzelli essentially blaming the 18-month completion delay
on the contractor, Flanagan Construction, and rules that require the government accept the lowest bidder.
“I don’t think it’s an embarrass-
Westfield Taxes Due
WESTFIELD — The office of
the Westfield tax collector will be
open on Monday, November 3,
from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., for the
collection of property taxes. The
last date to pay without a penalty is
on Monday, November 10. The
municipal building will be closed
on Tuesday, November 11, in observance of Veterans’ Day, and interest will be charged beginning on
Wednesday, November 12.
To look up the amounts due and
to pay your property taxes or sewer
fee online, please use the
municipality’s website, which is
w w w. w e s t fi e l d n j . g o v /
PayMyTaxes/.
In using this website, please note
that if using a credit/debit card you
will be charged 2.95 percent of the
tax amount. Using a VISA debit
card you will be charged a flat
$3.95, and using an e-check the
charge is $1.05.
Taxes are due February 1, May
1, August 1 and November 1. The
2013 sewer fee was due April 1,
2013. The 2014 sewer fee is due
April 1, 2014.
Susan Noon
Tax Collector
Town of Westfield
ment at all,” said Mr. Petruzzelli, the
council’s liaison on the project.
Ms. Todisco similarly defended her
vote for the AFC, which she said she
considers a “recreation complex”
since it will be available to everyone,
from children to senior citizens.
“Although I am proud to say I support the project, I can say that I’m
completely frustrated by the delays
as residents are, as Councilman
Petruzzelli is as liaison, and I just
want this done,” she said.
Mrs. Simitz criticized the decision
to not put such an expenditure out for
a voter referendum, calling it over
budget from the initial cost projection of $2.1 million in 2007 and blaming it for increasing the borough’s
debt 66 percent.
Ms. Todisco disputed the phrase
“over budget,” saying “things change”
and also saying the AFC was 36 percent of the borough’s debt.
Ms. Kearney, the owner of a travel
agency, and Mrs. Simitz, a marketing
executive, had their own uneasy moment shortly thereafter when Mr.
Connolly had them address the split
among the Garwood Republicans,
asking why they were not campaigning together as a team.
Mrs. Simitz noted she has worked
with Republican mayoral hopeful Sal
Piarulli and deferred to Ms. Kearney
to explain her campaign.
“I made it very clear from day one
that I was going to run my own campaign,” Ms. Kearney said. “I did not
want to be tied to anyone.
“I am an independent thinker and
again I do not like to be tied to anyone,” she said.
Ms. Kearney ran with incumbent
Mayor Pat Quattrocchi and Richard
Dolan as “regular” Republicans in
the June Primary. Both Ms. Kearney
and Mr. Dolan ran unopposed, while
Mr. Piarulli, running under the Conservative Republican banner of Councilman Jim Mathieu, defeated Mrs.
Quattrocchi.
Mr. Mathieu also won control of
the Garwood Republican Party with
his slate of candidates, and shortly
after the Primary, Mr. Dolan withdrew, allowing Mr. Mathieu to put
Mrs. Simitz on the Tuesday, November 4 ballot in his place.
Ms. Kearney has separated herself
from Mr. Mathieu, sending him an eCONTINUED ON PAGE 12
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