To the Editor:
As the Scotch Plains Democratic Chairman, I want to wish Mayor DePaola and her running mate Mr. Saridaki well. I know how difficult it is to campaign, work and continue normal family life at the same time. It is a major commitment and I know that you both did it for your concern for the Town of Scotch Plains.
This was a landslide victory for the people of Scotch Plains. This is the first time in the history of the town that the Democrats carried 20 of the 23 districts electing Councilman Kevin Glover as Mayor and Colleen Gialanella as Councilwoman. The voters clearly sent a mandate for change. I want to thank each and every voter regardless of which candidates or party that you voted for, for coming out and exercising your right as a citizen. It was a tough day. Blocked roads with trees down, lack of electricity, phones and the darkness of night, yet you came out in record numbers to vote. Republican Chairman Marty Marks blamed the hurricane, fortunately our democracy works regardless of adverse conditions.
I realize that election night is filled with emotion especially if your candidates lose. I know, I have been there. One comment made in the local press has particularly troubled me. Republican Bo Vastine said, “as the last Republican Councilman, felt it was unfair of the electorate to “punish” Mary for circumstances beyond her control. “I hope Scotch Plains is ready for the reality of Kevin Glover. It will be interesting over the next four years to see if he can deliver. I am laying down the gauntlet and I will be paying close attention to what he says versus what he does.”
Mr. Vastine, suggesting that you are laying down the gauntlet and sitting back and watching what happens is not the role of a Councilman. Now is the time to put the politics behind you and do what you were elected to do. The people of Scotch Plains need you to work together with the newly elected Mayor as a team player and work for the betterment of Scotch Plains. Mayor-elect Glover has always welcomed and will continue to welcome constructive dialogue with everyone who steps up to the microphone. Councilman Marcus, Councilwoman-elect Gialanella, will certainly follow that tradition as well. And although the line between being constructive and being disruptive is bold, I hope it is never crossed. And by the way, Kevin has a phone and email. I am sure he will be happy to listen to any constructive advice that you or any member of our community has. The elections are over, our new Mayor and Council has work to do. Let’s put the politics aside and work for a better Scotch Plains.
Louis Beckerman, Scotch Plains Democratic Chairman