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SP Councilman Glover Fights Back Against Republican Accusers

Councilman Glover explains his nay vote against Saridaki, responds to heat from Republicans.

In the wake of Mayor Malool’s sudden departure from Scotch Plains local government, tensions continue to rise as the Scotch Plains Town Council struggles to take the appropriate steps to stabilize.

Although Mary DePaola’s seemed to go off without a hitch, many residents and local leaders are crying foul, stating that the Republican Committee exerts too much control over the decisions made by local leaders. Upon announcing her off the line bid for stated that she and had been shunned by the Committee.

After witnessing Councilman Glover voting against the appointment of Council nominee Edward Saridaki at the last meeting, Scotch Plains Democratic Committee Chairman Lou expressing his support for Glover and Marcus.

“I challenge newly-appointed not to succumb to the whims of a few members of the local Republican Party. Our Mayor should be loyal to the Citizens of Scotch Plains – not to micromanaging political elite… Our Democratic Councilmen and candidates have never been told how to vote or promised retribution in the event that they voted to the contrary.”

Beckerman’s letter prompted a , a member of the Republican Committee. Ginsberg stated that he was appalled with Glover’s decision to request additional information from Saridaki before casting his vote to fill the council vacancy.

The Republican Committee member and longtime resident guffawed at the Councilman’s assertion that he “did not know Mr. Saridaki” – a longtime resident, candidate for Council, and former member of the Board of Education who served on the BOE for nine years.

At the last Council meeting, Edward Saridaki was one of three names submitted to the Council by the Republican Committee as candidates to fill the vacancy. The other two candidates were Llewelyn Jones and Marc Ginsberg.  In order for the vacancy to be filled, three members of the council had to vote to approve the same nominee. Mayor DePaola and Councilman Bo Vastine voted for Saridaki. Councilman Marcus chose to abstain from the vote.

After announcing that he could not vote to approve a candidate without first meeting the three and discussing their credentials, Councilman Kevin Glover voted against Saridaki.

This decision prompted Former Mayor Martin Marks – now the Republican Committee Chairman – to approach the podium and condemn Glover’s actions. Marks defended his candidate, stating that Saridaki’s family was in the audience, waiting to see him sworn in.

Patch sat down with Glover this week to learn more about his vote against Saridaki.

“That vote was not personal,” Glover said. “Whenever I make a decision on council, I do my due diligence and make sure I have all of the information before I vote. In 2002, when Marks was mayor, a councilman abruptly resigned. Before casting a vote, the current council members had the opportunity to interview all three candidates and review their credentials before making a decision. I was only asking that the same civic-minded, professional courtesy.”

Glover went on to point out inaccuracies in Marks’ speech, including his statement that Saridaki “had been a resident longer than Glover and Marcus combined.” Councilman Marcus is a lifelong Scotch Plains resident.

Glover also expressed his disappointment in the current Council leadership, noting that he had hoped that Mayor DePaola would continue to make strides in improving bipartisan communication on council.

“When former Mayor Marks stepped to the podium he was given five minutes to react to my decision. When I asked for the opportunity to respond, Mayor DePaola said no. It was only when our attorney advised her to let me speak; she gave me one minute to speak. This makes me wonder – who is controlling her decisions?”

Glover also responded to Ginsberg’s accusations that Dick Samuels had dictated the decisions he made on Council.

“It is absolutely outlandish to suggest that my votes are coming from the committee,” Glover said. “This is typical behavior seen by the Republican committee. I may bring my passion to the council chambers, but I don’t make selfish, impulsive decisions.”

After reading Marc Ginsberg’s letter, Lou Beckerman also chose to respond to the recent accusations.

“I find Mr. Ginsberg’s letter to the Editor mean spirited and full of inaccuracies. I have lived in Scotch Plains over 30 years and don’t think Mr. Ginsberg and I have ever met. I am most offended by his reference to the late Mr. Dick Samuel, former chairman of the local party. Mr. Samuel was an honest and generous man.”

Holden MaGroin June 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and I'm tired of this. It's still June and they're already bickering. I'm also annoyed that it's June and there are political signs up on lawns. I've seen 1 Depaolo sign, 3 Kyrillos signs and more Deegan signs than I can count. Enough, take these signs down until September or October.
Emily Everson June 28, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Hi Holden, I heard some rumblings from the community complaining about political signs along the Memorial Day parade route, What do you think about that?
Holden MaGroin June 28, 2012 at 08:56 PM
I'm Holden MaGroin and I thought the political signs along a Memorial Day Parade route was wrong. We line the streets to commemorate those who served to protect our freedoms and we have to look at signs from people saying "vote for me vote for me". I find it disrespectful. And that candidate Deegan is the worst offender. His signs are all over.
A Touch of Sanity June 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM
If what Mr. Glover is true and he actually did his due diligence, he would have made an effort to find out about the candidates who were put forward by the republican committee. He would not ahve been able to say "I know nothing about the any of the 3 candidates." Two of these candidates already serve on Community Boards that report to the Township Council. Callig for Mayor DePaola to be operate with a greater sense of cooperation after failing to appoint Mr. Saridaki smacks of hypocrisy on the part of Mr. Glover and Mr. Beckerman. Having been a friend of the late Dick Samuels I agree that he was a good friend and a nice man, but his open contempt for certain politicians in Scotch Plains was distressing.
haljalikea kick June 29, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Good for Councilman Glover!! If in the past(2002), the steps taken to replace a council member included current council members interviewing the candidates, he had every right to expect the same process now. Why skip that step?
Tired June 29, 2012 at 05:00 PM
First of all Mr Glover wanted to discuss their "credentials"? As far as I know there isn't much in the way of "credentials" needed to be a Council Member. Who is Mr Glover to base his decision on credentials? As Mr Glover had these names in advance why not take the initiative to do some "due diligence" on your own? Didn't the council and the BOE have joint meetings when the budget was voted down two years ago? Was Mr Sardacki present for those meetings with Mr Glover? Was there zero interaction between the BOE and the Town Council throughout Mr Glovers long tenure? For Mr Glover to express his disappointment over current council leadership smacks of Politiacal rhetoric based on his mayoral run. Isn't the current council arrangement really just in place for a matter of days? Even though the council may be an R majority Wouldn't Mr Glover be concidered the senior member of the council based on the length of time he's served on the council? Furthermore when Mr Glover states Mayor DiPaola let him speak only after being advised to by the towns attorney. This is incorrect as the attorney was merely advising the Mayor of a procedural matter on rebutals, not Mr Glover specifically. Please leave the partisan bickering for behind closed doors. The showmanship in an election year really isn't fooling anyone.
Mike Smith June 29, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Dear Friend Who Is Tired - I am tired as well, but I take it you support Marksism within the Scotch Plains community? And the way the town has been run over the past few years? If you are tired, you should support Glover to help make a difference in the community. And if I read into your argument, why would the attorney "merely advise the Mayor of a procedural matter on rebutals" if Mary DiPaola did not want to let Glover speak? Seems odd. Also, during Glover's tenure, while he might be on the council the longest, he was always in the minority. This is why we need to elect him as Mayor.
Tired June 29, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Michael, since you asked I am a registered as an "I". I am just a poster on our little community web page. I've lived in SP over 30 years. I don't "support" any side. I support what is in my and my family's best interest. I simply read and I comment. I give to the R's as much as the D's when I see BS. Since you seem to be on the D side here's a few thoughts, Your sides recent terminology of "Marksisum" while cute at first, is I assume, confusing to knowledgeable locals since historic MarXisum is quite different then what it appears Mr. MarKs believes. I assume you do understand how the local political committees works since your side participates in the system as well? Would you say it's rare for a locally elected official to remain involved in local politics after he's served his time? In my experience I think not but it appears you have a different philosophy. Mr. Glovers shift to suddenly spend thrift is admirable but those of us who have watched local council meetings over the years can easily trace the history of his evolution.
Jenni June 29, 2012 at 08:16 PM
While trying to reseach the candidates, a quick google search of the last name Saridaki/SPFk12 brings up an employee named Deborah? Maybe Mr. Saridaki's wife? Also. I do not think Mr. Glover & Mr Saridaki served on council/SPF BOE at the same time? Definitely not 2years ago, when the school budget was voted down.
Imogene June 29, 2012 at 08:31 PM
@Tired. Marxism is named after Karl, Markism is named after Marty. Just because they sound the same does not mean they should be expected to be the same. See, under Marxism it's redistribute. Under Markism, it's screw you, I'm in charge. Saridacki hasn't been on the BOE for about 6 or 7 years now. His wife works in the business office of the school. And no, she did not work there when her husband was on the BOE. Marks turns my stomach. I'm hoping that if Saridaki is elected, he will have the will to vote on his own without the "old guard" influence. I hope so, but I'm not too confident.
A Touch of Sanity June 29, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Jenni & Imogene, You are both correct in your notes. The new Business Administrator, just appointed last night, for those who don't follow BOE activities, is indeed Mr. Saridaki's wife. She is a CPA with extensive experience. If you search Sridaki with his first name you will find several articles from the local papers fro Mr. Saridaki's tenure on the BOE form1996-2005. THe one from his retirement is especially enlightening. In it his priased for his principles, harwork, knowledge and dedication to all the citizens of SPF. And, these comments came from well known Democrats from Scotch Plains. I for one am glad we have the opportunity to elect an open minded free thinker with high principles to the Township Council. Instead up the supposed puppets that have been elected in the past.
A Touch of Sanity June 29, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I meant to say supposed pupits from both sides of the aisle.
neveragain June 29, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I am very familiar with Saridaki's tenure on the B of E, and to call him a "free thinker" is a bit of a stretch. He was, at best, a stubborn contrarian. We'll see how he responds to the puppet-master when he's on Council. It always amazes me how almost all the people jobs in this town go to someone with family connections - past or present.
neveragain June 29, 2012 at 08:58 PM
meant to say - public - jobs
Jenni June 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM
New Business Administrator? Not the job previously held by Mr Delsordi & recently taken over By Mr. Davis? If so, what happened to Mr Davis? I Missed the BOE meeting last night?
Courage June 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Hey Fanwood, come merge with us and join the fun!
Jim Timko July 01, 2012 at 09:39 PM
Holden MaGroin? I think its time you let go.

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