Courage to Reconnect Extends Commissioner Application Deadline

Courage to Reconnect is extending the deadline to apply following Hurricane Sandy. Commissioners are required to attend one meeting a week for six months.

The following information was provided by Courage to Reconnect.

Updated: Nov. 14

As residents of both towns continue to clean up from Hurricane Sandy, Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood has extended the application period for those interested in serving on a municipal consolidation commission.

Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood, a non-partisan, grassroots group of citizens who have secured state approval for a municipal consolidation study for both towns, has extended the application deadline to November 30.

The group has already received applications from a number of qualified individuals from both towns, but wants to ensure that every resident interested in serving on the commission has the opportunity to apply.

Original Story

Ten Volunteers Needed from Both Towns for Six Months of Service

Courage to Reconnect Scotch Plains and Fanwood, a non-partisan, grassroots group of citizens who have secured state approval for a municipal consolidation
study for both towns, is seeking commissioners to serve on a study

Four members of the 10-member commission would be appointed by Courage
to Reconnect, who is seeking civic-minded residents from both
communities who can analyze information objectively and without
political bias. Other commission members will be selected through the
citizens group and representatives of the municipal governments of
Scotch Plains and Fanwood.

“The purpose of this municipal consolidation commission is to
implement a fair and balanced assessment about the pros and cons of
merging the government structure of the two towns,” said Fred Lange of
Scotch Plains, a founder of the grassroots group. “The ultimate
findings may show the towns are better together, or better apart.
There are no pre-conceived notions as we approach this.”

Dan Winigrad of Fanwood, another group member, said there have been
disturbing misconceptions that such a commission is designed to force
a merger.  “Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said. “That
is why we are asking elected representatives of both towns to appoint
commissioners. And that is why this process is being closely monitored
by the state Department of Community Affairs. We are simply conducting
a transparent study; voters will ultimately decide – once they are
equipped with unbiased information, presented independently, outside
the lens of our elected representatives or municipal workforce.”

Those interested in serving on the study commission should send a
cover letter explaining their interest, ability to satisfy a time
commitment of one meeting a week for six months and a resume to:

Courage to Reconnect
Scotch Plains and Fanwood,
P.O. Box 481 in Scotch Plains, NJ 07076.

Interested individuals can also email spfreconnect@gmail.com.
Learn more at http://spfreconnect.wordpress.com.

Michael Lewis October 19, 2012 at 04:31 PM
"...Disturbing misconceptions that such a commission is designed to force a merger...". "We are simply conducting a transparent study...". Hmmm... 1) Mr. Winigrad is the only signatory to the original application who has EVER commented on it from Fanwood's side. 2) As near as anyone can tell, Mr. Lange did not lead any great charge to get 350 signatures on Fanwood's petitions - by his own admission he farmed that one out under circumstances that might have justified appeal. 3) Ms. Genovese has demonstrated a involvement in this aspect of the process that goes far beyond the role of an advisor. 4) Elected representatives were not asked ORIGINALLY to appoint representatives to this commission - THIS addition was an amendment once it became apparent that there would be even more opposition to the application were it not included. 5) Still no mention as to where the money is coming from to fund this study (and who is soliciting it) or who is actually vetting the applications. If THESE are misconceptions by all means clarify them. Disturbing? I wonder why. Transparent? I don't think so...
Just the facts October 19, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Agree Michael.... but, I think one of the key elements that keeps getting overlooked is that not only does the commission generate the study, they, ultimately have to DECIDE if the analysis of the facts are sufficient to generate a voter referendum. The fact that they keep indicating that voters actually will make the final decision assumes a foregone conclusion, that the results will generate sufficient justification that will mandate a community vote....and that is not true! The continuing concern is that if you look for opportunities and justifications you will find them.....I hope they give as much weight and research to the "cons" of consolidation as they will obviously be giving to the "pros."
Michael Lewis October 19, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Your point is well-taken (and I did forget!); in any kind of OBJECTIVE process I would have liked Fanwood's chances at either decision point. However, on the basis of what I have seen so far and continue to see, this is going to be anything but a "fair and balanced assessment" - whatever CTR-SPF might be saying to that effect. That said, I take some small comfort that - at the very least - Ms. Genovese is not acting as spokesperson in this instance.
Tired Taxpayer October 19, 2012 at 06:27 PM
We're getting closer on the time requirement - one meeting per week for 6 months. Please fill in the box on "Day or Evening" and "Weekday or Weekend" and we'll have the full story. Unfortunately it seems that it will be hard for a working stiff to volunteer.
Just the facts November 15, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Some how the challenges of the past few weeks should give even more reason and clarity why this group should simply dissolve and not move forward with this study. The disparate differences in both leadership and community spirit were clearly evident and both communities have more to gain or lose than a few tax dollars when a crisis arises.


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