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

In a second letter, Paulette Coronato outlines her history of the democratic party.

History of Kevin Glover and the Scotch Plains Democrats Part Two

You can find the first part here. 

Scotch Plains Budgets

From his very first budget process, Mr. Glover showed his partisanship and lack of understanding of our finances.  Even with Township professionals such as our Municipal Manager, Chief Financial Officer, and Auditor, in addition to his four Council colleagues warning that expending too much of our fund-balance or surplus is dangerous to the finances of the Township, Mr. Glover would not relent.  His mantra year after year was, “We can do better.”  He said this of course without offering realistic alternatives to our budget appropriations.  Each and every time it was all about spending down our fund balance and grandstanding at budget hearings, “We can do better.”  On more than one occasion, our professional finance team labeled Councilman Glover’s proposals “Reckless.”


When I pointed out to Councilman Glover that reckless use of our fund balance in order to appear heroic to taxpayers is especially dangerous if the economy worsens and the Township revenue stream slides, I distinctly remember Mr. Glover looking me in the eye across the Council caucus table in 2007 and saying, “I think the difference is, I am optimistic about our future.”  


While it easy to be in the minority of a 4-1 bipartisan Council budget vote and simply proclaim, “We can do better,” had your local government accepted any of Mr. Glover’s “reckless” budget proposals over his first five budgets, our town’s finances would be in deep trouble; especially since this nation’s economic climate did exactly opposite of what Mr. Glover envisioned back in 2007.  To his credit, Councilman Glover did join his fellow Council members in adopting this year’s municipal budget.

Shackamaxon Golf Club

Because of the above-mentioned difficult economic times, Shackamaxon Golf Club was threatened with closure.  Officials from the club represented to the Township that there were dozens of builders that were anxious to purchase the 145 acre property and develop it for residential homes.  As the property is zoned R-1 for one acre minimum per home, total development of the property would yield upwards of 100 homes.  The impact to our community would have been catastrophic.  While tax revenues to the town would at first blush increase, the burden to our infrastructure and most importantly our school system would be disastrous.  The cost of purchasing a property and building a new school to educate the new students would be back breaking to property taxpayers.

Thankfully, our Township Council stepped in and enacted an ordinance that gave them more control of what could be developed at Shackamaxon.  The goal of the ordinance was ultimately to keep as much open space as possible at the property and prevent overdevelopment.  While Kevin Glover was initially on board with the proposal, he ultimately flip-flopped and voted against the Township plan.



Ultimately, the strategy employed by the Township Council worked.  While there was no doubt a lot of legal wrangling going on that incurred costs, the golf course and the vast amount of open space has been preserved and a plan to build age-restricted condos on the interior of the property  is moving forward.   Too many get lost in the posturing the Town’s plan that could have relocated Township buildings to the Shackamaxon site if an agreement to preserve the golf course could not be reached.  That of course is what got the necessary parties to the table so an agreement could be forged.  
Had Councilman Kevin Glover gotten his way, there is no doubt that the Shackamaxon Golf Club would be gone and the construction of 100+ residential homes would be underway.   This would have been an unmitigated disaster for our community.

Sewer Utility

This is perhaps one of the more egregious positions that Mr. Glover has taken and still promotes today.  For the longest time, Scotch Plains sewer costs were incorporated into your property tax bill.  The cost for your sewer use was not based upon what you put into the system, but rather by the tax assessment on your home.  Additionally, because there are so many tax-exempt properties in Scotch Plains, homeowners were paying the sewer costs for these facilities.  Further, homeowners were burdened for paying the sewer costs of commercial properties such as restaurants that were putting much more into the sewer system than what was accounted for in their property tax bill.

Because state government had enacted laws that capped municipal yearly property tax increases at 2%, keeping the escalating costs of sewer usage in the property tax bill would have resulted in massive lay-offs of important personnel such as police officers and a drastic reduction of essential services to our residents.  By creating the sewer utility and taking the cost of sewers out of the property tax, it prevented the massive layoffs and cuts in services and also created a more equitable system where we were no longer being charged for others’ sewer usage.   Councilman Glover opposed the creation of the sewer utility and to this day gives no reasonable plan for the necessary lay-offs and service cuts if the utility was dissolved.


The bottom line is this:  The cost of sewer usage and the utility is approximately $2.9 million per year.  If that cost were to be re-incorporated into the property tax bill it would create a massive property tax increase that would be well above the state imposed 2% cap and necessitate a voter referendum to approve the above-cap tax increase.  In the unlikely event of the voters approving such an increase, the cuts to essential personnel and services would be devastating to our town.  While Kevin Glover and the Scotch Plains Democrat campaign claim that they will eliminate the sewer utility, the fact is they simply cannot.

Health Benefits

Members of the Township Council are considered part-time, yet up until two years ago, they were entitled to take the Township’s health benefits plan for their families.  In the past there have been several Council members, both Democrat and Republican, who took these benefits.  Two years ago NJ State government passed legislation prohibiting part-time Council members from taking the health benefit plan.  Kevin Glover has taken the family health benefits since he arrived on the Council and continued to do so after the State Legislature ruled it was illegal to do so because he took advantage of a loophole that allowed his benefits package to be “grandfathered.”

Now, Councilman Glover is the only member of the Township Council that takes these benefits that cost taxpayers approximately $25,000 per year.  Considering he has taken the benefits for six years and now wants four more years as our mayor, the cost to taxpayers just to pay his health benefits could total nearly a quarter million dollars!  “We can do better,” indeed


Vote of 2008—Vote of 2012


Here is an interesting tidbit with which to conclude.  Below you will find a link that tells the election results in Scotch Plains for 2008.  In it you will see that in Scotch Plains, Democrat Barack Obama defeated Republican John McCain by nearly 1300 votes.  Democrat Kevin Glover was making his first attempt to run for mayor and lost by 700 votes.  While there were 100 fewer voters casting ballots in the mayoral contest than the presidential contest, it is obvious that hundreds of Scotch Plains voters made the conscious decision to vote for the Democrats at the top of the ballot and then make a change to the Republicans in the municipal race.  




There is a reason for this and much of it can be attributed to many of the items I wrote about in this expose.  It was my intention to remind the citizens of Scotch Plains why they rejected Kevin Glover for mayor four years ago and that reasons remain the same as we head to this year’s Election Day.



Paulette Coronato, Scotch Plains Township Council



Holden MaGroin October 26, 2012 at 11:25 PM
In regards to Shackamaxon you scold us taxpayers for getting "lost in the posturing of the town plan that could move the township building" to Shack. But it is part of the plan!! You also pooh pooh the legal costs about this, but isn't about $100,000? That's almost the cost of the sewer truck, 1 1/2 cops, or ironically the amount you are saying that glover is stealing because he's taken health benefits. Bo Vastine mocks me saying I have a decoder ring, when in fact it looks like we should all carry a BS meter. You then term glovers health benefits as illegal but through a loophole he still gets them. Did you or marks or mctincock or anyone else dem or repub think it was more noble when you took them because there wasn't a change in the law? As you school us on the sewer fee how come you ran the headline that taxes will go up $2.9m? Now that would be illegal. Did you just find this out or did you lie as well? Next time I would suggest that marks write the letter.
Amy G October 26, 2012 at 11:47 PM
Holden(s) do you even read the links? The mayor asked Mr. Atkins, Ms. Majeski, Mr. Korecky and Mr. Swisher whether they believed the budget was fiscally sound and whether using more of the surplus to offset taxes would be a mistake. All four answered in the affirmative
Amy G October 26, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Holden(s), I won't answer for any previous council member as to whether taking health benefits before the law change was more noble. However, once the law was changed to make the benefits illegal requiring him to use a grandfathering loophole to maintain them, you would think anyone with a half a brain and aspirations to run for mayor again would have received the clue and quietly drop them.
Brian Lakewood October 27, 2012 at 01:53 AM
Interesting read, however, $25k seems a bit much. 1. Can you prove that it truly does cost $25k? If not, this is another firm representation of republican propaganda in our township and only furthers my blocks support for Glover. 2. The problem with shack is driven by current leadership. Holden, would you agree? Appear to have more knowledge on the subject matter. 3. What about the cell towers? Glover tried to save scotch plains property value. Am I wrong. 4. Good riddance.... It appears as if the local republicans are frightened. But Maybe bc it's Halloween wknd!
Ms King October 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Yoo Hoo Paulette, Yoo Hoo. Hey girl. As you may or may not know my husband Don, hes such a card, is trying to put together this grudge match between your boy BO BO and Mr Malool. I think you know him. Him and his wife Nancy used to be good friends of yours. Oh, and I heard Nancy is recovering fine at home. Unfortunately she gut run over by a bus. Can't believe that someone threw her under it like that. Well anyway like I was sayin hubby Donnie, is trying to get this together. And well they have been promoting as the "downtown throwdown" and now I heard on here it was called the "brawl at town hall". But I was thinkin how about "The Danger in the Chamber". well since you got 8 years of experience and all, I was wondering if you could way in with your thoughts. Oh and BTW all the girls at the Lemon Tree say keep on postin. Meow


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