Letter to the Editor: Scotch Plains Republicans Reply to HM's Letter About SP Republican History

Paulette Coronato outlines her history of the democratic party.

The following is a letter in reply to Holden Magroin's Letter to the Editor. Part Two. Part Three.

To the Editor of the Scotch Plains Fanwood Patch:

Scotch Plains Fanwood Patch policy has been to accept anonymous postings from its readership commenting on news items and opinion pieces.  This is a relatively new phenomenon in media and certainly not without controversy.  It is a phenomenon evidently here to stay in the age of electronic media.  However, recently The Scotch Plains Fanwood Patch has allowed a frequent anonymous poster a more than prominent spot in its opinion pages to write scathing diatribes against the Scotch Plains Republican Party.  I believe that it is beneath the integrity of any respected media outlet to give an anonymous poster hiding behind the veil of an arguably vulgar pseudonym such a prominent platform to spew his political rhetoric.  


I have asked the Patch for equal time and thank them for granting me the opportunity.  In the interest of full disclosure I have no problem revealing my name and the fact that I served eight years as a Republican member of the Scotch Plains Township Council from 2001 to 2008.  I have been intimately involved in and aware of Township government issues for a number of years and present to you:


A History of Kevin Glover and the Scotch Plains Democrats Part One


As I have followed and served in Scotch Plains government and politics for many years, I am familiar with not only members of my own party but also those who have been involved in the Scotch Plains Democratic Party.  For the most part, I believe these are decent people who, while having differing political views than I, participate in the political process for the right reasons.  I have respect for former Mayor Geri Samuel, the late Councilman Tarquin Bromley, Former Councilwoman Sharynn Porter, and former Councilman Jeffrey Strauss with whom I now serve on the Scotch Plains Planning Board.  Unlike the anonymous poster who paints with a broad brush and condemns just about anyone associated with local Republicans, I am going to focus on the history of Democratic Councilman and candidate for Mayor Kevin Glover, who unfortunately does not have my respect.  


Having served on the same Township Council with Mr. Glover and followed his antics since I left office, I firmly believe he is not involved in our local government for the right reasons.  I have seen him alienate both fellow Council members of both parties and the professional staff at the Municipal Building.  I have witnessed him take marching orders from political bosses for purely partisan reasons.  And most disturbingly, I watched him stake out positions that would be detrimental to the community that we love.  The following chronicles his history since he arrived on the scene six years ago.

Councilman Glover Sworn Into Office

The campaign of 2006 saw the Election of two Democrats, Kevin Glover and Jeffrey Strauss.  In January of 2007 when Mr. Glover was sworn into office, the partisanship began.  He demanded that former Democratic Party Chairman Ken Lipstein or soon to be Democratic Party Chairman Dick Samuel be hired as the Assistant Township Attorney.  He also requested that now Democratic Party Chairman Lou Beckerman be hired as the Township’s Insurance Broker.



High School Parking

For the longest time, Scotch Plains and neighboring Fanwood experienced terrible parking congestion around our High School.  After working with our police department, the Board of Education, and most importantly student representatives, a student parking permit plan was devised and parking opportunities were expanded on the school campus.  Some contentious public hearings were held, a 4-1 vote was taken, and a bi-partisan agreement was enacted that ultimately improved the parking situation.   Mr. Glover was the lone dissenter in that vote and we witnessed him actually taking hand signals former a Democratic Party Chairman in the audience that night as they both saw an opportunity to be partisan and divisive.




Scotch Plains Recreation

Over the last ten years, Scotch Plains has made tremendous strides creating new and renovating existing parks and ball fields for our residents.  There has been an admirable level of leadership and cooperation between various government agencies such as the Scotch Plains and Fanwood Councils, the Board of Education, and the Union County Board of Freeholders in order to bring these success stories to the finish line.  Additionally, volunteers on our Recreation Commission and leaders in the various sports organizations were instrumental in these successes.  Unfortunately, Councilman Glover and his party boss were less than cooperative in this process.


Shockingly, the Democratic Party Boss wrote a letter to the editor highly critical of our volunteers on the Recreation Commission questioning their motives as we planned the much needed and now popular Southside artificial turf Soccer/Lacrosse field.  




He was called out on this unfortunate attack on volunteers by community members at a Council meeting and it was Councilman Glover who rushed to his defense.




When the vote on funding the Southside Park project was held, we needed to relocate the Council Meeting to the High School auditorium because the Recreation Community of all ages was out in large numbers to support the popular project.  Four bi-partisan votes were heard to approve moving forward.  Councilman Glover was the only Council member who would not support the vote.



Special Improvement District

Early in his tenure on the Scotch Plains Township Council, Mr. Glover wrote a letter to the editor critical of Mayor Marks and the Township Council for their previous decision not to move forward to create a Special Improvement District (SID) in the central business district.


            The issue was revisited in 2008 and thoroughly discussed and debated.  As had happened on the initial vote a few years previously, the public debate was divided, yet this time the sentiment was much more favorable.   Seeing an opportunity to grandstand in a mayoral election year, Councilman Glover now flip-flopped and was the lone dissenter in a bi-partisan vote to move ahead with the S.I.D.


    No doubt the fledgling SID had a rough start which could be understood with any new organization.  The intent of any Special Improvement District is for the local governing body to enact a mechanism for self funding and self-governance for business district property owners and merchants so that they could chart their own direction for success.  Unfortunately that spirit did not last long as, Councilman Glover and others on the governing body meddled and attempted to micromanage the SID’s direction which led to heated and at times ugly public confrontations.



Scotch Plains Times Critical of Behavior

It is rare for a local publication to take a position critical of the boorish behavior of those involved in local government.  I sat in amazement and at times disgust in our non-televised Council meetings on the second floor of the Municipal Building watching the Chairman of the Democratic Party position himself directly behind Councilman Glover’s seat and then insinuate himself into Council discussions and deliberations.  After several months of antics from Mr. Glover and his political party chairman, it evidently got to our local paper too.  The following is a Scotch Plains Fanwood Times Editorial critical of those antics


Part Two of the History of Kevin Glover and the Democrats to follow with a look at his Township Budget Votes, Shackamaxon Country Club, and the Sewer Utility.


Paulette Coronato, Scotch Plains Councilwoman


Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 02:39 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and this is for Bo. Good morning. To ensure that no one thought I made stuff up and for those who don't like to open links I copied your comments exactly as you wrote them in my letter. You write how the process included the selectors as being chosen by the voters. You even asked another commenter why they would not believe malool. I then showed the malool quote saying it was fixed. Your allusion to such a fair and democratic process in selecting a candidate for the ballot does not match the exchange. It sure sounds like an attempt to mislead to me. Also, who are these unelected selectors? You never mentioned them in you comments. You only talked about the elected ones. Who chooses the deck stackers? But that's ok, you also became silent on papen and the rvsa when you got on council and saw our interests weren't being served by our local representative. It could just be a bump in the road. To quote a current mayoral candidate, maybe we can put this bumpiness behind us.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
That I became silent on the RVSA is not an accurate statement. I have been on council for two years and Papen was replaced at the RVSA almost two years ago. Actions speak louder than words...do they not?
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and this is for Bo. So you got papen booted as our representative on the rvsa due to her lack of fiscal oversight while all the partys were going on with taxpayer money? Is that what you're saying? If yes then thank you. What about the other part of my statement? Your comments I quoted in letter 2 led readers to believe it was a very fair selection process. Malool says it's not and 5 people did the choosing not the 46 that you claimed. You never mentioned the hand picked deck stackers and now you mention something about attendance and by law changes. Please explain. Without a further explanation, I stand by my statement that you lied. I show the quotes you and malool made, you are now adding snippets without explanation.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 03:34 PM
I did not get Papen "booted"...Papen was replaced, at that point it became a non-issue no matter how badly you want it to be an issue in this election. Regardless, do you think Papen was the party planner? The entire Board votes on issues and makes decisions. It is not a Monarchy...even as Chairperson she had only one vote out of 11. Can you state for a fact that she wasn't apposed to the lavish spending? You are making the "assumption" that she somehow lead the charge....but to be truthful, you would need some proof...which you do not have...nor does it exist. I will accept responsibility for not including the details in my earlier comments, however, as I said...the five associate members did not decide the outcome of the Mayor screening. The fact that Nancy could not stack the deck with a handful of her own un-elected associates did have an effect. Perhaps they would have made the difference in the final vote. But, as I have also stated, the rules were put in place well before the vote took place. If she had wanted to have their votes, she should have had them attend meetings and petition for them to have voting rights. That did not happen.
Brian Lakewood October 26, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Holden - Based on your comments above, has Paulette agreed to a retraction? "There is no mention on the "demand" to hire beckerman, in fact there's no mention of insurance agents at all. The attorney change requested was denied by Marks because it would be replacing his BOYHOOD FRIEND. Sleepy Coronato also says glover flip flopped on the SID."
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and this is for Bo. If it wasn't you who got papen booted why did you comment that actions speak louder than words when you said you have been on council 2 years and she's been gone just under 2 years? Again, without directly saying something you allude to it. So which comment is untrue, the one where you allude that it was you or the one where you say you didn't? No, I wasn't at the rvsa parties. I just helped pay for them. Papen was the chairperson, so I just assumed she had to approve the spending and the places like the echo lake country club. I've never been in there but it does look nice from the other side of the gate. Can you explain more about this attendance thing? Does that mean that the people who were voted in from the 23 districts as you explained didn't all get to vote? Why would you say they did in those comments that I copied? You're being confusing. Which is it. Do the people that get elected and as you claimed get to vote for the ticket or not?
Brian Lakewood October 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Part 2: The Retraction This is my problem, and laundry list of complaints. How can we all sit back and let Marty Marks run our town through Nancy.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I'm..... Hi mr Lakewood. No I have not seen a retraction. Possibly the editor Nicole can ask ex councilwoman coronato about it. I will say, people did yell at me about my letters, but there is nothing in mine that are not backed up by the proper links. Maybe her number 2 will be better. Oops, there I go again referencing the sewer tax.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 04:33 PM
HM...the point I made, perhaps not clearly enough, is that there was no further need to discuss the issue. Action had been taken...Papen was no longer the RVSA representative for Scotch Plains. Only you would like to complain about the fire when it has already been extinguished. As the Chairperson, (by the way elected to that position by 10 other members she was not self-appointed) she was only one vote. The Mayor in Scotch Plains, for example, is only one vote...they cannot impose their will on the group, only express concerns or give their input the same as all of the rest. And as I stated, you have nothing that shows that she didn't express concerns or resist the events that took place. As for the Committee screening...ALL elected members are allowed to vote if they so chose. Those present did vote. In addition, all of the associate members who meet the qualifications can vote if approved by the Chair according to the bylaws. In this case, there were approximately five associates which met the qualifications to vote. Regular attendance at meetings, according to the bylaws, are part of the qualification. The other associates did not meet that qualification. That qualification was in place well before the screening.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 04:33 PM
Freudian slip?
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and this is for Bo. I would submit that the fire is far from extinguished as the spending commitments from the rvsa under the watchful eye of our representative papen continue to climb. Isn't that the reason you and depaola gave for not refunding us the $800,000 overpayment that we made? Isn't it a way of keeping our money to coverup the big increases that you acknowledge are coming? No, the fire is not out and you and depaola may not wish to discuss this latest bump in the road, but we will be paying for a long time. How come you didn't talk about these associate voting members when you described the selection process. You made it sound so simple in fact you mention how the process works and tell another commenters that there's no conspiracy there. Now it comes out that it's not how you described it and that there's some attendance policy put in place a month or so before the selection. So maybe you didn't lie. Maybe you misled. Maybe depaola is misleading about contacting mahr before the consultant was hired. ( based on their statements, one of them is not telling the truth). Maybe saridaki is not lying but just misleading when he denied making the comments under his name that called taxpayers cowards with no cajones. Maybe coranato just misled when she provided a link that didn't back up her claim. Maybe malool is just misleading us when she said the selection was fixed because she got rid of the boyhood friend of marks.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 05:19 PM
The large one time expense to the RVSA a few years back was court mandated and the costs were passed on to the 11 towns who use the facility. This was the catalyst to the sewer utility being created. It had nothing to do with any parties or lavish spending. However, that was wrong even in good times and that course has been corrected by the Board at RVSA...not pertaining to any individual on the Board. The ongoing operating expenses and potential increases going forward are because the RVSA spent down their fund balance over the past few years to the point where it now needs to be replenished. SP made the decision not to spend down the SP fund balance so that rate payer's bills would not be whipsawed around from one year to the next. The RVSA gave back most of their fund balance and will pass along increases to replenish it. This was stated specifically by the RVSA management at one or more of our meetings where they attended. It is not responsible to pay down a fund balance too far, (whether it be general budget, sewer utility, etc. as former Mayor Marks has stated from his own experience doing it) because it then ends up costing you more money to refinance bonds and borrow needed money for projects and operating expenses. Or, you raise taxes substantially to compensate which is what had to happen when Marks was Mayor. With a 2% cap...that option is not available to us anymore.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin Bo you are misleading us again. The fact that Marks screamed to use surplus when he was in the minority and then changed his mind when he and coronato were in the majority was nothing other than who could score political points. The bonding you refer to had to do with $4m for the municipal building facelift marks wanted, the $2m south side field, and if he had his way the $4m for a new senior center they proposed. As far as the rvsa spending, I will again ask, if you want to lead shouldn't you take responsibility? Why do you defend and make excuses for papen? The titles are nice, but now she, with your help is distancing herself from the parties, the spending and now the higher costs to us taxpayers. I liken that to every time depaola asks us to get past another bump in the road like it never happened. If you want to lead, take responsibility and stop misleading. Which brings me to repeating my statement from my last comment, why did you mislead, who is lying depaola or mahr, why does coronato refer to a link that doesn't have what she says it does, why did saridaki deny his statements under his name, and is malool lying when she said the selection was fixed? If marks is in the middle of an extraction, I can wait until you confer.
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Regarding Mayor Mahr and when she knew...if she was unaware of anything that might be discussed in our meeting, why did she send over Donna Dolce to our meeting that night? I was there and so was she. My apologies for not including the details of associates in my original explanation. Given the fact that we were operating according to our bylaws (which were put in place a few months before and Nancy was present)...and they had little if any impact on the outcome...and there was zero conspiracy (unless you call political process conspiracy) it didn't seem germane to the explanation. Once again my apologies. Lastly, I supported Nancy from the time that I came on the council. This, despite the fact that she openly endorsed candidates Strauss and Bratti against me in the election. As I said to her at the time...this is her right...but she would have to understand that she might not have the support of the committee when her turn came around again. Then, when she unilaterally decided that under no circumstances would she support a "Joint Meeting" structure for Police merger...I made the decision not to support her for re-election.My belief was/is that limiting the Police merger scope was not in the best interest of SP and others on the committee agreed. Politics should not personal...those who run do so because they believe they can provide a better solution or outcome...if the majority of those who decide believe that they can't...they won't get elected.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Let me clarify my questions, Why did you mislead us on the selection process? Are you calling malool a liar when she says the process was fixed? Are you saying mahr is a liar and depaola is telling the truth? Why does coronato refer to a link that doesn't have what she says is in it? Do you believe saridakis denial that he didn't write those "vulgar" comments about the SP voters? (remember on this one, there is the potential for proof to be produced)
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 06:03 PM
So then mahr is lying? And malool is lying? How about when depaola said taxes will go up $2.9m if the sewer fee goes back into the budget? I would believe that you understand that it is legally impossible for that to happen with 2% cap laws So did depaola lie about that or does she not understand the law? Andlease don't say it was hyperbole.
maureen October 26, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Sorry I missed that -- what did she say????
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I would not use the word lying...that is not appropriate. I would say that the evidence speaks for itself. Why would Donna Dolce show up at the Scotch Plains meeting when Fanwood was meeting on the same night? Perhaps you can explain that "coincidence"? What DePaola said last night in the debate about taxes going up, if the sewer fee goes back into the budget, is that there would need to be an offset because of the caps. This would result in the maximum tax increase at 2% and deep cuts in other areas to offset. The same decision that was contemplated at the time the sewer utility was established. As far as Malool is concerned...hey, if I were rejected by my party and felt slighted...I too might lash out with less than accurate assessments. That doesn't change the facts...it only creates an illusion. Furthermore, at the time, we chose to say nothing out of deference to her family and the desire to move forward. FYI...Woodward and Bernstein want their private detective kit back....and they said don't forget the secret decoder ring.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Yoo hoo Bo? Bueller? Crickets? Marty?
Don King October 26, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Bo, I have always wondered this. Had you and Paul Malool not been separated by Republican Chairman Bill McFlintcock from fighting on SP day , do you think you could have taken him?
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 06:36 PM
So Bo. When asked questions you resort to the saridaki response of sarcasm? And we are to believe that as you say here you changed bylaws a couple of months before you booted malool for depaola? You imply mahr is a liar but it's not appropriate to say that? Marks/coronato/depaola put a headline grabbing release that taxes will go up $2.9m and you don't directly answer if she was lying or just dumb? And marks and coronato for the first time in 16 years decided to keep quiet when malool said the election was fixed because she has a family? Wow, saridaki was wrong, some people on here have BIG cajones with what they peddle to us. Oh, no Woodward or Bernstein. Just someone asking why you make comments and then have to spend about a dozen comments qualifying and apologizing for not being straight with us.
Don King October 26, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Bo, I Don King could promote the fight. We will call it the "Downtown Throwdown". It will be you and Malool. Mano Y Mano. Don't worry you'll win. See what will do is , we will call Marty and will will stack the deck with five judges in your favor. Then later we can say it was on the up and up. Sound good. Look it work before it should be no problem doing it again
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 06:50 PM
When did Mayor Mahr say that she was NOT notified prior to our meeting? The article states, "At the Oct. 16 Fanwood Council Meeting, Mayor Colleen Mahr announced that she learned Scotch Plains added an item to their agenda to hire a consultant on the issue of merging the police departments of both Scotch Plains and Fanwood". Given that the two meetings start at the same time...she had to know prior to her meeting. The committee changed the bylaws which were voted on by the majority...I'm not sure how you always make it personal like she did this or he did that. It all happens by a VOTE. Just like four years ago when Glover ran for Mayor and was rejected by the voters in SP. Are we to believe that somehow someONE made that happen? As far as my sarcasm...I am not sure you should be the one making an issue of sarcasm in this discussion...it come across as very disingenuous.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 07:04 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and this is for Bo. I think the people who may read this will get it. That's all I'm looking for. I have to go to the A&P for my supplies now in case depaola comes for her storm photo op. I will meet you later in coronato's number 2. Yes I read the letter and the reference to number 2 sure holds both meanings. Ttyl.
Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Uh Bo, if you read the article mahr says she was "blindsided" with the agenda addition when there was a meeting 2 days later. So maybe the repub leadership just likes to blindside ladies who begin with "m". Malool, mahr. I will ensure that Pat MaGroin lies (I mean misleads) low for awhile.
Don King October 26, 2012 at 07:23 PM
The SID has announced that they will put up the 4 million dollar prize money. This about half the amount that they have stolen from the downtown business owners and not seen a penny in return. And the event I now understand will be sponsored by Port-O-Potty. Since that's what's will all will be using here in Scotch Plains when the RSVA shuts down due to its mismanagement by Pappen and friends.
bgporter October 26, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Well, I did hear that Ms Dolce was moving out of Fanwood. Maybe she only made it just a little over the border?
Don King October 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Bo, It's all set. I have booked the venue . It's going to be held at the mini golf course on Jerusalem road. I called recreation and they told me they had plenty of availability. In fact all 365 dates were open. It's going to held April 1st. Seems only appropriate. Plus that gives us plenty of time to stack the deck. Wink-Wink
Bo Vastine October 26, 2012 at 08:27 PM
lol...don't forget the secret decoder ring.
Tired October 27, 2012 at 03:43 PM
Bernard, my comment is obviously in response to Groins erroneous statement. You're keenly aware of what I say, try to pay more attention to Groin.


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