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Letter to the Editor: Colleen Gialanella's Statement from the Jan. 1 Reorganization Meeting

At the Jan. 1 reorganization meeting for the Township of Scotch Plains, Colleen Gialanella was sworn in as councilwoman and also named deputy mayor. Below is a copy of her statement at the meeting.


To the editor:

I want to start by thanking each and every one of you for being here today to support Kevin and I, and, in particular, I'd like to thank my friends and family for all of their hard work throughout the campaign and for the support they will be continuing to give me over the next few years. I love you all so much and I wouldn't have been able to do this without your support. In so many ways, my desire to serve the people of Scotch Plains was really about families just like mine, who have chosen Scotch Plains over every other place in the World. In the next four years, more than anything, I hope to be part of a leadership that will inspire an even greater sense of pride in this place that we call home.

 

I am very grateful for the support I received from so many of you throughout the campaign and would like to publicly thank our former mayor and each of the members of the former and present Council for their courtesy to me and to my family during this past year. I have a special debt of gratitude to our newly elected Mayor, who has entertained calls and questions from me at ungodly hours. He and wife put up with a barrage of traffic through their home for the sake of our campaign and are now much more prepared to one day become grandparents after spending the past few months with my children.

 

If you'd indulge me for just one brief moment, I'd like to tell you a few things you may not know about why I was so enthusiastic about joining Kevin Glover on this campaign ticket. Kevin believes that government is at its best when it is doing things that make sense, and when its leaders are guided by what is right for the taxpayers. He is passionate in his commitment to what's right. I joined Kevin in this campaign because I too believe that common sense government doesn't have to be a cliche.

And while the support of my party has meant more to me than I can begin to express, the time for politics is over. As I said many times during the campaign, there is just no room for party politics at the local level. To that end, I look forward to working with Councilman Vastine and welcome constructive contributions from many other members of his party. A successful municipal government cannot be influenced by anything other than a commitment to the people who have placed their trust in them. I promise to be diligent in my service to each of you and to do my very best to make my friends and family proud of the work I am a part of here.

 

Before concluding, I'd like  to speak briefly about how Scotch Plains will become the very best place possible. I truly believe that the future of Scotch Plains is in it's history, a history deeply grounded in the spirit of family, community, and in the talents brought to it by its amazingly gifted residents. On Christmas Day, I attended an incredible mass at our very own St. Bart's. I know some of you were there as well. On that day, the homily was so well suited to what brings us here today, that I can't help but to borrow parts of its message. The message to those in attendance was about the talents of the members of the parish, and how their gifts came together to make the parish community strong. It's my position that the underlying message is one that could easily be adapted to have great meaning to our Township as a whole.

The success of this community doesn't lay in the ideas or talents of one or two people. In a community of more than 23,000, imagine the possibilities if the time and talents of more of us came together for the benefit of our beloved Township.  Each of us has something to offer, some attribute that can help to make our community stronger and more vibrant than ever and allow us to continue to move forward and to make advances that will serve our residents for generations to come. My primary focus in the next four years will be to encourage new names and faces to be a real part of what make Scotch Plains so fabulous. Imagine the possibilities if each one of us made some level of commitment to make our community the best it can be, if more of us chose to be an active part of groups like the Rotary Club or U.N.I.C.O, or to volunteer as members of the fire or rescue squads or to coach a team. Imagine how the spirit of community would spread if more of us attended community events like the summer concert series or how our downtown would thrive if more of us made a conscious effort to support our local businesses.

The success of Scotch Plains is a shared responsibility and I look forward to working with all of you. I promise to do my very best to live up to your expectations, to be reasonable, and most importantly... accessible. Four years from now, with a lot of hard work from a lot of people, I know we will look back on what we've accomplished together with great pride.

Colleen Gialanella

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