Introducing the Candidates for Borough Council

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As we gear-up for the November 3rd Council Elections, here's a re-run of a story originally posted on May 13, 2008.  It introduces the candidates.  Look for weekly features on the upcoming election.

 

Metuchen is gearing-up for the next Borough Council race.  The terms of two council members will expire at the end of the year - Richard Weber and Richard Dyas.  Mr. Weber is seeking re-election and two additional worthy residents have committed their time and service to our town and have joined him in the race:  Democratic candidate Sheri-Rose Rubin and Republican candidate Joseph Vassallo. Councilman Dyas is not seeking re-election.

 

This first post is to introduce you to the candidates.  Each has provided some info on themselves as well as an overview of what they might bring to office. 

 

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Vassallo1.jpeg Thumbnail image for Weber_Rubin0509.jpeg

Sheri-Rose Rubin is a newcomer to the Metuchen political scene.  Rubin is currently an Adjunct Professor of Legal Studies at Middlesex County College and a "stay-at-home mom."  Rubin is a lawyer who frequently volunteers her time to advise families of children with disabilities and senior citizens in need of elder law advice.  She is a national expert on voting rights law and was appointed by the New Jersey Attorney General's office to serve as a member of the Help America Vote Act State Plan Committee.  Rubin is a frequent lecturer on various public policy issues before such organizations as the New Jersey League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey State Bar Association Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and a number of local parent organizations and school districts. 

 

Ms. Rubin lives on Spring Street with her husband, Seth and two children.  The Rubins have been active members of Metuchen's Neve Shalom Synagogue for the last ten years and recently completed a documentary about their disabled son's experiences at the Neve Shalom Nursery School.  Rubin is an active member and event chairperson for the Campbell-Moss Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).  She serves as a Regional Board Member of Hadassah, a non-profit Jewish women's community service organization.  She received her law degree from Widener University and her bachelor's degree from University of Hartford.   

 

Rubin's vision for Metuchen is to move us forward into the future with a solid long range plan for the economic development of downtown while never sacrificing our old-fashioned, close-knit small town community. She knows that the task may be challenging, but her experiences as a civil rights lawyer have proven that, with compromise, competing interests can and will thrive. Additionally, her life as a mom has shown her that regardless of the obstacles in your way, with enough effort, everything is possible.

 

Joseph C. Vassallo Jr. has been a resident of Metuchen for 27 years with his wife of 33 years, Debra, who is a Senior Manager in Unrestricted Funds at Rutgers University. The Vassallo's have three children; Kristen, 27, who attended Metuchen schools, graduated Montclair State University and is currently employed as a Cytogenetics Technologist at Robert Wood University Hospital. Joseph, 24, attended Metuchen schools and St. Joseph's High School, and is a student at Rutgers University graduating this month. Joseph additionally served with the United States Marine Corps for six years and is an Iraqi Campaign veteran. Michael, 23, attended Metuchen schools and now resides in Miami Beach, Florida.

 

Mr. Vassalo graduated Colonia High School Class of 1972 and the Middlesex County Police Academy 45th Basic Training Class, in June of 1986. He is a twenty four year veteran of the Highland Park Police Department, currently serving as a Lieutenant of Police, supervising the Detective, Traffic and Records Divisions.

 

Vassalo's additional responsibilities include:

 

  • Primary grant writer for the department
  • Primary firearms instructor for the department.
  • Departmental Liaison to the school system
  • Assisting in budget preparation
  • Domestic Violence coordinator
  • Liaison to Borough Religious Institutions 

He's has extensive training and expertise in the fields of anti-terrorism, school security, narcotics enforcement, and infrastructure security.

 

And from Joe: "My intentions in running  for council are centered on maintaining, or enhancing, the quality of services offered to Borough residents in a fiscally responsible fashion. I also feel that we are fortunate to have one of the true "Main Street" districts in our downtown and I would like to see that our small town atmosphere is promoted even further. My position as an administrative officer with the Highland Park Police Department has given me insight into the needs of a similar community. In that capacity I have worked on a variety of projects which allowed me to interact directly with members of the governing body, business associations, civic groups, religious institutions and the school board. I have written numerous grants that resulted in both federal and state monies being awarded to fund various projects. In addition, I have extensive training and expertise in school security issues, infrastructure security and anti-terrorism."

 

Councilman Richard E. Weber, Jrhas served as a Metuchen Councilman since 2001, when he was appointed to fill an unexpired term.  Thereafter he was elected to a three year term  in 2003, and won reelection in 2006.  During his time on the Council, Weber has been a staunch advocate of the development of our downtown in an attempt to keep it thriving and has worked hard to keep taxes stable.  Growing up in the region, Weber's grandmother worked as a dispatcher at Metuchen Taxi.  One of his favorite memories as a child was when his grandmother would send a taxi to pick him up so that he could have lunch on Main Street and walk around Morris Stores with her.  To this end he would like to see Metuchen become a destination for the residents in the Central Jersey area.  Recognizing that there is increasing competition for local Malls and new development in the surrounding towns, he believes that the "Main Street" ambiance of Metuchen makes it a desirable place to dine and shop, so together with the Chamber of Commerce he believes that the town should try to develop its identity as a destination, and market itself throughout the state.

 

Richard is also an active supporter of Historic Preservation, and together with his wife, they have restored and rehabilitated four homes in Metuchen.  Their current home on Hillside Avenue has been their biggest and most rewarding challenge to date.   As a Councilman, Weber considers one of his biggest accomplishments to date the charge by Mayor Vahalla to explore the formation of an Historic Preservation Commission to protect the legacy of wonderful older homes and buildings that has been left to the residents of Metuchen.  Currently Councilman Weber chairs a committee which hopes to incorporate an Historic Preservation Element into the Borough's Master Plan, and also hopes to establish an Historic Preservation Commission.  (The work of the committee was previously reported on by Metuchen Matters in late 2008!)

 

Weber is an attorney and is presently of counsel to a law firm in Newark.  He received his law degree from Seton Hall Law School, a masters' degree from Drew University and his bachelors' degree from Wake Forest University.

209 Comments

Off-topic a little, but I am not sure where else on the site to ask the question --

I noticed on the agenda for the May 18 Council meeting a proposed ordinance requiring the filing of all ELEC reports with the Borough clerk, in addition to the State. It seems to me that since all the ELEC reports are available on-line anyway for anyone to see, this is duplicative work and a waste of the Borough’s resources. But I did not watch the meeting – can anyone tell me what the reasoning behind this is? What is going to be done with the reports that cannot be done now? Will they be posted on the town’s website, in addition to the state ELEC site? What is the point of the ordinance?

I think Waldron's youngest is older than Manley's but as you point out the Morrison's do have the youngest child of the 3 of them. The funniest thing is that regardless of who has the youngest one, ALL 3 of the Repubs have kids younger than Rubin's so what was her point?

Finally had time to read the Sentinel article about the council candidates. Now here's a funny quote from it.

"She noted that Republican Councilman Justin Manley is a noticeable change from the status quo, because he has very young children."

If Councilmen Waldron and Morrison are supposed to be part of that "status quo," it might surprise you to learn they both have children younger than Justin's.

Also, she states the people who asked her to run want someone "younger," and yet, if Ms. Rubin is elected, Justin will still be the only council member under 40.

So for all the talk in the article about something new, there's not much change there, other than gender.


Again, you want to leave? See ya

8:52, Sorry but the stuck up snob comment goes both ways. The people who think the lifers are hicks are also stuck up snobs. That was the point I was trying to make. People make different choices in life. Your choices were good for you, and mine for me, and neither is "better" than the other.

Many people who have lived here a long time or returned did not travel the world "on Daddy's dime." Our daddies worked at Ford or GM or Revlon or Westinghouse or Twin County or National Lead and the kids got loans to go to college and grad school. Many of those kids returned to raise their families. Some never left. I think it gives the town stability, and see low turnover as a good thing.

9:44, I meant volunteer to be the one in charge of minding the store, i.e., run for mayor or council. I suppose DPW is technically responsibble for cleaning up litter in our parks but that doesn't stop me from doing it when I am there. Also, property owners are responsible for removing any grafitti applied to their property. Doesn't seem fair - but life often isn't.

Volunteering doesn't make you any less of a snob.

Glad to see the new people go? From what I've seen they are the only one's that spend money on Main St. I've been told that the old Metuchenites for all their big houses and nice cars they throw around quarters like they are manhole covers.

see ya!

Yep...9:22 basically sums in up on why I'm looking to move out of town. Besides the decaying downtown, rising crime and dropping school ratings, I have found many town folk to be stuck up snobs who think that because they have lived here all their lives, went to a grad school and traveled the world all daddy's dime are smarter than everyone else.

Get over yourself. Downtown may have some empty storefronts but looks better than it has in my 48 years alive. Even saw some contruction rehab going on this morning as I drove through.

Schools are in great shape, stong police and fire depts, parks are vastly improved. Roads have been paved, trees have been planted all over town, and I see nothing but progress.

Maybe you thoguht you were moving to someplace else when you moved here? Maybe things don't move as quickly in town as you would like, but that is our town. Lots of smart hard working folks who love being right here.

Volunteer?? This is the Borough's responsibility.

Why don't you volunteer?

Look around, curbs crumbling apart,sidewalks lifting up, look at what happened to the pool last year, no maintenance. Downtown is shabby at best. Defaced signs,grafitti,faded crosswalks,pot holes, fire house falling apart,several code violations, who is responsible to make sure these things are taken care of. Who is minding the store?

Maybe we think you should stop thinking that moving is better than staying put. People can have lived their whole life in Metuchen, have worked in New York, and traveled the world. Get over yourself. If you don't like the lifers here, do us all a favor and move again. All the people who grew up here, went away to college and rgaduate school, and then moved back to raise their kids will be glad to see you go.

"Wish some of the newbies to town would have kept on driving by"

Yes, it is exactly this attitude that annoys quite a few people here. You know, we do get tired of the "I have lived here all my life" statements. Stop assuming that your closed minded, clique thinking, never experienced another place mindset is actually positive.

Such shortsightedness. You have not lived here long enough to know the good from the bad. Metuchen is much better than it was 20 years ago but even then we thought it was a great place a move to and raise a family. If you only look skin deep at any town you will be driving to the border because nothing will suit your checklist. This is a great, small community with wonderful schools and terrific people. If you became more involved and volunteered in your community, you would probably appreciate it more and stop complaining so much.

Wish some of the newbies to town would have kept on driving by

Metuchens downtown was very similar in the 90s as it is today. Many empty stores. The stop and shop closed when, in early 90s. The town hall was a rundown mess. The high school was a dump. The parks were a mess also.

Time to take off the rose colored glasses.


Yes,that is true, but Metuchen has been going downhill long before this economic crisis. When they should have been doing things they were not. Penny-wise,dollar-foolish. That has been the Metuchen way for at least the last decade.

Metuchen still has charm, the houses are still more expensive than other areas. We need to keep it that way.

i'll echo a lot of the other thoughts above...
if i were looking now as opposed to 2005, i would drive right through Metuchen--empty storefronts, empty restaurants, empty car dealers, horrible traffic...

the appeal of the town is gone.shame.

Berkley Heights is nice family town and good schools.

12:44. I might start looking at Westfield , Cranford or further south in areas like Holdel,Hazlet or Middletown. It seems like most of the areas I mentioned you can get a home caparable to what you would spend here. Further south you can get more for your money. It's sad because I thought I would never move but know I'm looking around.

and how is this different than Rahway?

This Great Borough is in total disrepair? Have you been anyplace else besides Metuchen lately?

This entire country is in total disrepair....

i heard the town planner and mayor want apartments at the dodge dealership

so, 10:44, where would you want to live now?

The Borough really can't control whether or not businesses like the Dodge dealership stay or move. They had to move to a major highway to keep their franchise with Chrysler, and now they may be on the list that got cut loose.

The Dodge property is now owned by a group called EAM Investments.

8:23, get ready for more. Renaissance now owns the Cryan's property. No catering/banquet facility for Metuchen.

Under Democratic control this once Great Borough is in total disrepair. They reduced services by getting rid of valuable employees. DPW has been reduced dramatically over the years. Now the Borough is falling apart. But they saved a few dollars, big deal at what cost.

The truth is that if I was buying a home again,it would not be in Metuchen. The town seems much worse off from when I bought my home about 10 yrs ago.It seems like there are too many layers of gov't. to get anything done in this town. How many commissions and boards does a town of a few thousand need? Maybe it is time to move before the Zombies move in. They will love it here. We are the "Brainy Borough" and Zombies love brains.

To answer 9:06PM. I am involved with the Metuchen Chamber of Commerce and I can tell you that Councilman Manley has done everything he said he would do. It hasn't materialized in results yet but they're working on it. The Council has discussed the matter you refer to on two occasions and referred it to the Development Commission for their input. We were told they think very favorably of the change and there's hope they'll pass it in June so the Council can vote on it shortly thereafter. The Chamber has been trying to get this law change for over 2 years and are thankful to the work all are doing on it.

It is also very refreshing to have a Councilperson working with the Chamber again. Not since Marion Price has the Chamber had a liaison and Mr. Manley is a welcome addition. He's just one of many, many volunteers who are working for Metuchen, elected and unelected. They should all be thanked.

very dense project that was flying through the process, unlike any other application. This developer was jamming this down our throats. No developers agreement/ no concessions from the developer. Now he will not proceed unless Metuchen takes over a portion of State Highway 27 and County Road . This will cost Metuchen in the long run. The deveoper desires parking on Rt. 27 and Middlesex Ave. The county and state seem to be against the idea, for good reasons. The Borough knows better, so they will take control of these streets and then give the builder what he wants. More work for our DPW, who will have to now maintain these roads.

Wow Justin must be powerful - it was him (and many other people) asking questions at public meetings and not the collapse of the global economy that is responsible for the project not moving forward. Impressive.

Wait he did accomplish something, he held up the stop and shop development for so long that it aint getting built.

Mission Accomplished!

They have made one zoning change regarding change of use. But really, who is going to start a business in this economy? Drove through Westwood recently, a very nice downtown with many shops, but they also have several vacant storefronts.

Justin is unable to accomplish anything, he is all alone, in the minority even in his own party. He is only one person, seems everyone is expecting miracles from him. He tries but the old guard will not stand for any change or improvements. They are all very close-minded.

Maybe Hollywood could film some zombie/teen slasher/urban wafare movies downtown to boost the economy.

What has our town's leaders done ? I remember Mr.Manley's campaign info stating he had ideas to ease the laws that discourage shops from opening in town. Has any changes been made?

The longer the old stop and shop and now the diner and dodge dealership are decaying in open view, no private industry is going to want to invest here. We look forgotten, the government needs to do whatever it can to encourage growth. I am alarmed because when I bought here, the town did not look like this and honestly, if I was looking to relocate now, like I was back then, I would pass on Metuchen without too much thought. It is a nice town to live in, but buyers do not see that, they see run down buildings.

It's all Ed's fault

I guess the no tax increases of the 90s was the same as no pension contributions on the state level. But I can't understand how tax increases in the 90s would help fill the store fronts in 2009??? Paying property taxes to the Borough has nothing to do with whether or not the privately owned stores along Main Street are full. I don't see how you can equate the two things?? We live in a Free Market Economy, not a communist economy controlled by the state. There is obviously a market for 4 or 5 nail salons, and two or three tanning salons. There was no market for the children's shoe store or the pet store or even the bike shop, so they closed. I don't know what the Borough government can do about that?

Almost only counts... well you know the saying.

We never had zero tax increase in this town

Some years the big increase might have been the school side, some year might have been the muni side, some years might have been the county side.

So we are in trouble because we didn't raise taxes enough? Really? That is your argument?

2:57 and 3:13 are right - the municipal part of the budget was flat - obviously not the school part! Is one of the reasons Dyas isn't running again because at a council meeting he actually said that, looking back, maybe that wasn't such a good idea?

Almost 7 years of zero tax increase. Check your facts. Referring to the municipal side of your tax bill. Call the tax collector.

We never had zero tax increases, check your facts

You know what ruined Metuchen, several years of zero tax increases. We are now paying for politicians trying to get reelected by touting zero tax increase. Nothing more than a smoke & mirror tactic. Surplus does not exist, and now we are paying the piper. There is no free lunch.

Downtown changed from retail to one large food court. That was a vision of someone and now there is nothing. Food alone can't exist without other shopping. When times were good we should have been taking care of our Borough now we can't , because we can't afford to. The Borough is beginning to look like a decrepid city.

Give Rahway credit for building up not down, attempting to be more that what it was. Franklin Square is nice but it does not add anything. I think that is the point.

It really is a shame because the town has such potential. The parking should be moved to where the ghost town is now and the large parking lot should be developed into a park with some retail with their backs to the train tracks. Where the parking lot is now could be a park which would be the centerpiece of downtown where you could have concerts, festivals and such.

10:09, you don't have to go all the way back to the 1950s to find a vibrant active downtown in Metuchen. In the late 1970s you could still buy almost everything you needed on Main Street, and it was still pretty good through the end of the 1980s, even the early 90s.

9:34: Rahway? Would you live in Rahway? Rahway is a City, with twice our population, jammed into 4 square miles.

Well, change is coming like it or not. Standing on the corner of Main and 27 shows how diverse we are becoming and that is just a sign of the times. Let's be realistic and move in the right direction.

Oh Silentrees so nice to have you back.

Ha, I remember that website calling the 3 and 4 story building proposed at old Stop and Shop "skyscrapers"

I think some folks in town need to get out more

No, we cannot develop Metuchen because that's too scary for the old guard in Metuchen, the people who like to often reminisce about what it was like in the 1950s in town, and who would like Metuchen to stay antiquated, outdated, and undeveloped so that their idea of the town does not CHANGE, because they hate change, even if it means that Metuchen dies because of their hatred for change.

Nothing has changed over the last 20 years because every time plans are made all of the old timers worry about more traffic or more kids in the schools or the buildings being too high, and nothing happens. At the same time Rahway has been busy building a new hotel, a big parking garage, and lots of new housing and retail very near their train station. Lets not keep talking about what should be done...and lets DO SOMETHING.

I do not live in town-I just shop here plenty. Is there a redevelopment plan for Metuchen? How long is "some time" for the old stop and shop, any idea? I am assuming the new, vibrant downtown is part of the district.
Thanks.

Isn't that the truth. This town is overrated. The leaders of this town over the last 12 yeras or so allowed the town to decay. Their heads were in the sand. Absolutley no planning, no forsight. Infrastructure falling apart. They will not listen to anybody or any professionals. Their ignorance and stupidity is ruining Metuchen. The Borough has changed dramatically in the last 20 years or so and it has not been good. We all allowed it by being complacent.

Metuchen- The most overrated town in NJ. Schools are slipping, crime creeping up, kids maybe using heroin, more and more stores closing downtown. Maybe it's time to get out of Dodge while we still have outsiders fooled.

The truth hurts. Honesty, open government, that is what I see. God forbid if someone disagrees with the machine, or even raises a question or two.

He's good at motivating the attack dogs, (or should I say attack bulldoggee's?). These forums and the NJ.COM forums are perfect examples of his politics. For christ's sake, he setup a website against one of the few glimpses of hope for development in our town.

What comment? At a council meeting or another meeting?

Guess Who?

Developer wrote his own ordinance???? Is that true! Who allowed that to happen.

Justin has done more in 5 short months than any of the council. They are all afraid of him, did anyone hear Weber's comment. He is feared because he speaks up and does try to at least get a dialogue going on various topics. Remember the meetings use to last about 10 whole minutes. We now have some discussion and once in a while some dissent. WE can't always agree. Seems more like a democracy instead of a dictatorship like it once was.

Any news on the old Dodge site? How long does the "We moved to East Brunswick" sign stay up? Isn't that sign free advertising? It looks awful to me and if I were a potential buyer to the area, I would look to move somewhere else. Tat site looks so abandoned and given up on.

There were public info sessions on both proposed sportsplex projects, which were convened by the Development Commission, not the council. It really is awful when developers have to explain to the public what they plan to build and how they have cleaned up a contaminated site. What were they thinking? Who cares if our kids inhale VOCs?

Who cares if the developer had to spend money? Towns are not supposed to allow developers to custom write their own ordinances. They've already gone back for modifications to the original plans and obtained a hefty tax cut on the former supermarket proprety.

What does he get done? Seems like he is good at grandstanding but thats about it. Tryed to stop Rennaissance, did nothing but delay it and cost the developer more money. Tryed to stop Sportsplex and forced the developer to spend more money on public info sessions. Tryed to get a fully paid cop in our schools cause little Johnny is booting up horse in the mens room. But failed at that.

What has he done that helps the taxpayer?

???

So true, however that is the way it works. Watch last nights council meeting. The only one who seems to be on top of things is Justin. Everyone else is waiting for someone to push their button, or pull their strings. Does anyone think on their own? Justin is a forward thinker and gets things done. A welcome addition to this council.

Sad thing is it shouldn't be about politics. Take the Forum. A strong theater would be good for Metuchen, right? Debate that. What difference does it make what someone's political party is? If its good for Metuchen, we should do it, not because it was sponsored by a party, but because it is good for Metuchen. If its not good, then we shouldn't support it.

Personally, I think a strong theater would be very good for Metuchen, because it would bring in visitors from surrounding areas that would eat in our restaurants, maybe visit our shops, eat in our Ice Cream store.

Debate the issue, falling back on the "well, they are from X party so it doesn't matter" is just dumb. Anyone can have good ideas, not just those that choose to run for office, be in a party etc.

I have no problem with anonymity. Posting your name and your political opinions on the internet could cost you a job opportunity.

becaues it would be nice to see who he is. its accountability. Maybe I see him everyday in town or at the grocery store. Would be nice to know who he is.

Well if you read Gallup, latest congressional approval rating is 37%

Take a look, make sure you see the big increase in the past 6 months, the graph is the first one on the report


http://www.gallup.com/poll/118318/Approval-Congress-Remains-Steady.aspx


Big increase from what it was in the past.

And look at the second graph, shows the big drop in approval from 2000 to 2009, and then the climb back up that is happening now.

So you were saying?

By the way, it must be nice to HIDE in the "nameless" internet. If your name was something other than "anonymous", perhaps we could have a meaningful conversation, and your opinion might mean something.
Kudos to Anne Sardone, Justin Manley and any others who are willing to express their ideas and opinions above their signatures.

Actually, my data came from Gallup. You may want to check there stats on "Congressional Approval Ratings".

There is a certain group in Metuchen who is so partisan, so attack driven, that they just want to insult every public official who is a member of the "opposing party." Fortunately, this is a very small group of people, who constitute the fringe elements of political life here, and most people do not give their attacks the time of day. I truly hope that all Councilmembers do not give these people any credence and are not swayed by their venom.

They do not have the same pull or influence that renaissance has. This town is about who you know.

If the type of comments on this forum are at all representative of the attitude across the borough, I'm shocked that anyone would run for local office here. Baseless, personal attacks and name-calling seem to be the norm. No different than at higher levels, I suppose, but it's a little disappointing to see.

I understand that people are frustrated, but it seems that we can sometimes forget that these politicians are people who live among us and presumably want the best for the town as well. There are no EEEEEEVIL secret plots to overthrow anything, etc., that would warrant the type of invective that frequently gets thrown about.

Does anything pass for fact on here anymore? People just making stuff up as if they know what they're talking about. Just too funny.

Weren't the new councilmen all elected because they tryed to stop the develpoment of Rennaissance (the old Edwards/Stop & Shop)?

Was one of their big campaign issues. Even had a fancy website and a newsletter.

Also came out against the Sportscomplex development.

Accussed the mayor and planner of all types of nefarious dealings, accused them of overdeveloping the town.

Now folks want to know why these areas are still unbuilt and vacant. Just too funny.


Maybe you shold check here before you post any more

pollster.com

fivethirtyeight.com

pollingreport.com


Or look at the latest Gallup report just released today

http://www.gallup.com/poll/118528/GOP-Losses-Span-Nearly-Demographic-Groups.aspx

Here is the headline from that poll

GOP Losses Span Nearly All Demographic Groups

So I understand why the Republicans are having such a hard time getting a candidate to run, there aren't many left!

"20 something [Republican] approval rating"? Sounds like an improvement to the Democratic Congress' 2008 average of 19%. (oops)

If you're not selling right now it doesn't really matter how much you "lose" on paper.

Renaissance just got a big tax cut on the former Stop & Shop property via a tax appeal.

I know: let's give Stanley Lease and Eric Berger and Ken MacPherson property tax cuts so they can pass them along to tenants by lowering the rents, and also to fix up the outside of THEIR buildings. That should get things moving in downtown and shouldn't be that much of a burden to the rest of us who will have to make up for the lost revenue.

reply to Anonymous May 18,2009 10:42

When the Franklin Square development was introduced to the citizens of Metuchen, it was touted as the "anchor" to the downtown.If you lived here then you would know there were many controversies. We sat through many hours of RFP's and arguments about such things as density and loss of open space. Obviously, those that live there now are a bit unhappy that the vibrant, "walkable" town center has yet to sprout up around them. South Amboy has a redevelopment agency as an arm of their government which is why they have been able to push a revitalization so quickly using their Transit Village designation as a way of revitalizing their community. I have no first hand knowledge about Red Bank or Westfield, but Highland Park has a redevelopment plan along with their Master Plan that was put together back in 2005 and is a "work in progress". Bottom line is these things take time.

Well what has the Metuchen government done about the war zone that is central/middlesex avenue? How come towns like Westfield,Cranford,Red Bank and Highland Park seem to be doing OK and our town is starting to look yhe the South Bronx. Even South Amboy's downtown looks better than ours. This town seems to have a small army of people on boards and commissions, you think you would see more results.

We all have to wait until the economy comes back? How much will I lose in property value by then? We just went through the biggest building bubble in history and that building has been left rotting for eight years and now the rotting has spread. That does not make you angry?I guess only the unfortunate people who live in the wrong side of town have to suffer. We don't look like Highland Park or Red Bank or Westfield. Look around you and tell me not to complain.

Ask the Mayor he should have some idea.

in reply to "anonymous" posted May 18 at 7:57AM


How would you suggest the Borough Government remove the decaying boarded up buildings? Government can do very little when it comes to private property other than issuing fines for code violations or, blight the area and take the property for redevelopment under a condemnation or eminent domain action. If that is your only "issue" you obviously live in close proximity to these locations and are very happy with our town in all other areas. I would suggest you have a little patience because until the economy comes back you may be disappointed with the "look" of the Central Avenue/Middlesex Avenue corridor for some time.

enough of personal invective. lets at least hear the candidates before we decide if they are ego driven, or bored, or whatever. Finally, maybe Vasallo didn't put up a picture because the Demorats of Middlesex do a better job of funding and supporting their candidates. what difference does it make anyway?

Is Joseph VAssallo afraid to put up his picture?

All politicians are power driven, not just Metuchen. Look at the numbers. Look at the political corrruptness in New Jersey and the nation for that matter. It is society in general,we have lost our way.

If you feel that way about every politician in Metuchen, no matter who you're talking about, why not move to another town where the politicians aren't so ego and power driven? I'm sure we'd all be happy to help you find another town to live in.

power and ego that is why they do it. It all goes to their head. They forget where they come from, and all of a sudden they are experts in every field. Those are Metuchen politicians.

It's so nice to be missed.

"Self interest is the only interest of any politician, including local pols here in Metuchen. Self-serving people, very little integrity and usually full of themselves. Generally speaking of course."

Wow. Stereotype much? Obama wouldn't approve of that kind of statement. Neither would Jesus, or pretty much anyone else not wearing a tinfoil hat.

the name of a poster on nj.com

I feel sorry for that commenter too but more sorry for the volunteers who have to contend with the likes of him/her. These aren't highly paid seasoned professional politians with a staff to deal with this stuff. They are your neighbors and they spent a lot of time working for the community. For free. You spend time skulking in the shadows and throwing stones. It's creepy.

who or what is bulldoggee?

You are the problem with our local political scene. You have a baseline of hatred and resentment towards our Councilmembers, solely because they take the time to volunteer to contribute to Metuchen. You happen to be incorrect, but people like you believe what they believe, and nothing will change your mind. I feel sorry for you.

Self interest is the only interest of any politician, including local pols here in Metuchen. Self-serving people, very little integrity and usually full of themselves. Generally speaking of course. Take a careful look at those on the council and those who would like to become, they have their own agendas.

I am not Metuchen1001, but I suspect that one of these anonymous posters is indeed bulldoggee, because she is involved in every politics related post either here or on NJ.com. She has tried to get people to vote down the school budget, unsuccessfully of course, so that the budget would be reviewed by the Council. So, anyone who thinks that the Council has NO involvement with education is entirely wrong, especially with people like bulldoggee here, who always wants to play partisan games.

So if ego is everyone's motivation it can come out of the debate. clean slate.
The comments have been so ridiculously biased against the new democratic candidate its a joke. Without anyone really getting to know her! To comment that one poster is a friend of the candidate is a joke too - who are your friends? Your comments are annoying but no one takes them seriously. You taint the good folks from your party who are on the council. You taint the image of our town too. Its sad.

All about egos

It is unfortunate that elections of any sort bring out the nastiness in people. We have many good, hardworking, civic-minded people in our town who will not run for any public positions because of the negative behavior that surrounds the offer to donate hours and hours of time and careful thought to serving our community. Most people who run for council or school board simply want to serve the community that they live in and care about. There are those who don't choose to volunteer but rather attack the integrity, intelligence, and dedication of these individuals - whether running for office or currently serving. We should instead be thanking those who have served and those who are willing to cast their name into the process. If you are one of the individuals who feels he or she has all the answers, then run for office and we will see what you are made of.

So we should vote someone with educational experience and expertise onto Borough Council so that she can deal with the budget in the off chance it's defeated at the polls during her 3 year term? OK Metuchen1001.

For the person screaming so early on a Monday, no one said "bored housewife" you added housewife. Stop trying to create a sexist scandal where one does not exist.

It was Rubin's friend and someone that has known her for YEARS that posted on May 17 at 10:14AM, "Sheri has kids in public school, worked for the state as a lawyer for years representing the interests of children, especially disabled children. If you are concerned about our schools, or have a classified child, she may be your candidate. If you are concerned attracting business to Metuchen, creating jobs and broadening our tax base, she is probably not your candidate. As far as I know she has no experience in business."

A friend said that. Someone who has known her for years. Thank you for the insight. All that has been pointed out is that of those two items, schools or business, only one is within the purview of the Council. The other is for the Board of Ed.

My vote for council is whoever is going to concentrate on removing the decaying, boarded up buildings and do something about it. Are we going to have to look at the old Dogde dealership with it grass growing through he pavement and lousy "We moved to East Bruswick" blaring window signs for the next eight years,just like the rotting old grocery store. Come on, people, we deserve better than what they give us.

The Council has NO say in educational matters? Ask bulldogggee if that's true, because she was advocating that we vote no on the budget so that the issue would go to the Council for review. I suspect that bulldoggee is knee-deep in this discussion on this board, because she inserts herself into every topic in Metuchen and dominates every board, so which is it bulldoggee? Does the Council indeed have NO say in educational matters?

I agree, thanks for saying it - my thoughts too.

Well said.

Has anyone actually read what is being posted? It seems like you are all trying so hard to find something to complain about that it is getting ridiculous. First Rubin is a LAWYER so that is BAD. Then she is a stay at home MOM so that is BAD. Since she is a mom and a woman she must be a BORED HOUSEWIFE and that is BAD. If she cares about her children, then she is too much of a PARENT to care about Metuchen. If she is a WOMAN who cares about children, then she must only care about the SCHOOLS and can't possibly know anything about BUSINESS. Why is it so hard to believe that she is actually a WOMAN who had a CAREER who is also a MOM and spends time with her CHILDREN while working as a PROFESSOR of BUSINESS LAW who might think living in METUCHEN for any length of time is a good thing just like most of the other people whom she would be representing?

Mickey Mouse would be better than all of them. The entire council are all clowns anyway. Never any substance.

The drama, oh my. And it's mid May. Saying someone is bored is sexist? Since when? If someone said it of Obama would being board be racist too? This is going to be a very interesting race. I agree that her interests and expertise seem more fit for the Board of Education. The town Council has no say in educational matters. NONE. Police, Fire, Roads, Public Works, Downtown, Planning, Zoning and Parks. These are the issues for Council people. Oh yeah, Shade Trees are a big one too!

If her strengths are children and education, maybe she should be running for the school board?

You only have to hit submit once.

That last comment about Sheri doing this because she is bored is unfair. I vote republican, am resident of Metuchen, a woman and have have known Sheri for years. I think it is silly to vote for someone because they are a woman, just as silly as it is to vote against them because they are a woman. You should vote for them based on their ideas. She is running for a small position in a very small town. The issues we should concern ourselves with are local ones. Issues like our public schools and attracting business to our town. Sheri has kids in public school, worked for the state as a lawyer for years representing the interests of children, especially disabled children. If you are concerned about our schools, or have a classified child, she may be your candidate. If you are concerned attracting business to Metuchen, creating jobs and broadening our tax base, she is probably not your candidate. As far as I know she has no experience in business. In either case, hear her out. Make up your own mind. But to say she is doing this because she is "bored" is disrespectful, possibly sexist. She has something to say. Decide for yourself if you agree with her or not. There is no need to put her down for having the courage to put herself out there. If you don't like it, why don't you run.

maybe she is just bored

yes, some people do things and volunteer thier time for the right reasons. Some people coach so their son can be the starting shortstop. Some people do it for ego.

No, some people really have an understanding of community and that's what drives them, not ego. They realize it takes many hands to make a town work. But there are plenty of crazies in town who try to tear apart the volunteers offering their time and huge amounts of it. Yes it's part of the deal when you agree to put yourself out there but it sure is nasty.

easy answer....ego

you wonder why anyone would want the job.

Re: "From what I remember, when it became clear how disabled her son was, she rolled up her sleeves, put aside her own ambitions and tried everything until she found a set of therapies that seemed to work for him."

You make it sound like she did something remarkable by taking care of her own child. What else was she supposed to do?

She certainly seems like a qualified candidate but not because she made sure her own child got the help he needed. That is what parents are for.

There are many parents in town who are strong advocates for their own children's health and welfare. That doesn't make them good candidates for council.

Strangely enough, some of us actually like Metuchen and don't want to change it. But that doesn't mean we don't want to change who is on council.

Mickey's voice couldn't be any more annoying than having a Law Firm running the town.

MM's main street is far different than ours.

I've seen that Mouse guy scurrying around town once in a while, too. He is kind of big for a mouse, if you ask me. And a big mouse is awfully close to a r_t. I'm not sure he even has a real job. He has some land in Florida, I hear. California, too. Someone even says he has some land in Paris. Why would we think he cares about Metuchen? Does he have any mouse-lings in the school? And his voice? Can you imagine listening to that on METV?

Two new borough hall council would be great. Why is it taking so long for them to build on the old stop and shop site. Why has that building been left to rot for eight dreadful years. What was the hold up, every town was building up except Metuchen. We look empty like bound brook.

I've known Mickey Mouse for a number of years. He's been around Metuchen for years. He has probably been in every house in town. Can't think of anyone better equipped to bring a smile to Metuchenite faces, even in these trying times. Of course, he doesn't have much political experience, and we don't need any reckless apprentices running the shop right now. He has some goofy friends, too, come to think of it. That one friend of his, Donald, that guy ought to be hauled in for child abuse - have you seen how he treats those nephews? And is Mickey ever going to marry that lady friend of his? What is her name, Minnie? Still, forever I will hold my banner high for that guy.

Vote Vassallo and Mickey Mouse

The funny thing is that political parties don't really matter.

The GOP went on a spending spree under GWB. Obama said he would change things. He didn't.

Close Gitmo? Ummm, no. Haul into court those responsible for torture? Umm, no, unless you want to bring in Nancy and other Dems. End the war? Ummm, just shift it to somewhere else. Transparacy? OK, no pictures of prisoners, no CIA trials. No lobby in govt? Hahaha, look at all the appointments. Bank bailouts with better supervision? No bonus for AIG? The current guy was there when they were drawn up.

Nothing changed, just the party name. There is no difference. The average tax payer is screwed. The politicans are all owned by big business and by the unions. If you are not part of that, well, that is just too bad.

What a joke. Public workers receive 46% MORE in compensation vs. private workers. What is there unemployment rate? Do they worry about getting laid off? They fight against current pay INCREASES. Who else out there is getting a raise?

The common joe is the one who is hurt by all this, that and our economy. Sure, lets blame it all on the GWB. Everything is all his fault. Too bad the current policies are really not much different. The only difference is that the current direction is just going down faster.

Vote Weber& Rubin

Hate to break the news to you, but taxes are high everywhere in this state. There is no escape. You do get a good bang for your dollar in Metuchen, included in the tax bill is sewer,garbage, most towns this is extra.

The future will tell who is an idiot. Metuchen as we know it can't sustain the services we all love and enjoy. Hello Edison.

She "feels" like she has lived in Metuchen? Maybe she needs a few more years in town to feel the pain we she sees her tax bills.

The person who wants to consolidate with Edison is an idiot.

Elections not needed, Metuchen will cease to exist in about two years. WE are finished.

Help the country is sinking faster than the titanic.

I am beginning to think Metuchen is the political bizzaro world. Last year we had a Republican run the "Change" campaign that relied very heavily on marketing and message discipline. This year we have the Democrat Mom running a campaign trumpeting the fact that she has done great things for her disabled child. Obama? Palin?

Length of residency doesn't guarantee how well someone listens, pays attention, understands. A person who has been here longer might just have attachments to special interests, old friends, a yearning for how things used to be (even if they weren't that great). Maybe they do but it's no guarantee either way. The best way to find out who a candidate is is to ask them questions, talk to them.

rubin has only lived here 1 year

not saying we need a lifelong resident, but how well can you know a community and what the residents want after 1 year?

My idea of a great candidate is someone well rounded with a broad view and understanding of issues and how things all fit together. Someone with an eye for detail AND the big picture. Not saying that a life-long resident doesn't bring these qualities but I believe someone who has been other places, seen how things were somewhere else, might have a broader perspective. Life long residency might mean a deep love for and understanding of Metuchen. It could mean someone too afraid and small minded to venture out and experience something else. It's been said before but I'll say it again; judge the individual - not the silly tags someone tries to assign.

I don't know how long Rubin has actually lived in Metuchen, but she has been going to Temple here for 10 years. Quite a few "lifelong" Metuchen residents need to get over themselves. Who cares if you lived here your whole life? So what? You think you are the only ones who care about their city? You think you are the only ones who want to improve things?

Look at it this way, you were the ones who made things the way they are, the same things you want to change. Stop being so closed minded and listen to others for a change.

Who will be left to pay the taxes,if no one is working? Who will be paying for all of the entitlement programs? This economy is spiraling downward and know seems to know waht to do other than eliminate jobs, that is not the answer, if no one is working ,no one is paying taxes.

There will be no one left to support the special interests, welfare and support those who have never worked, have no intention on working, the leeches of society, that some of us taxpayers will be paying for. This country is going down the tubes faster and faster. We are in big trouble , we meaning the hard working American middles class American.

Yes, we are on a collision course, and it is one of countless tax increases.

You can make a study come out any way you want? So looking at total compensation can be manipulated any way you choose?

No one is talking about eliminating anything, but why when everything else is in the tank, the public unions are adding jobs, increasing compensation? Shouldn't that be tied to what is going on everywhere?

Yes we should,how about another study. You can make a study come out anyway you desire. Get rid of public workers and find out what happens to quality of life. No DPW workers,no recreation workers,bare minimum of police, there goes public safety, and property values. You have all the answers, watch and see what happens. We are on a collision course.

It is time to consolidate with Edison. Metuchen is in trouble and can't afford to provide services. One thing our taxes will not go down!! The politicians have no idea what they are doing. What is the stand by the three candidates on these issues.

Rubin may have only actually lived in Metuchen for a short time but feels as though she's lived here for years. She's been taking part in Metuchen life all along, at the pool, at Neve Shalom, on Main St.

And although I don't know her well -- not at all well -- I suspect she is more of a pragmatist than an ideologue. From what I remember, when it became clear how disabled her son was, she rolled up her sleeves, put aside her own ambitions and tried everything until she found a set of therapies that seemed to work for him. Nobody knew the answer. It took hard work, grim determination, an ability to generate community and a kind of creative flexibility that helped her find something that did work for Max, spectacularly.

Seems like just the sorts of skills we need on Borough Council . . .

So we should ignore the studies that show that public sector compensation is 46% above private sector?

We should ignore what higher taxes do to the overall economy? High taxes turn it into a zero sum game that does not allow for growth. Without growth, you just have more losers.

Vote for the Dems, they have what it takes.

thats good for the public workers, even good for the economy. Someone is working and paying taxes,and feeding the economy. Hey, public workers pay taxes, did you know that, they have families, they sacrifice, they pay into their pensions,pay into their health plans.

Stop bashing public workers, you so called private sector workers kill me, jealousy will get you no where. Look back at the years before the recent crash. Private sector way ahead of public sector. Public sector keeps the state operating. Stuff still needs to happen and get done.If not for unions you all in the private sector would trample all over the lowly public sector.

Interesting piece in the WSJ today.

Some clips:

In New Jersey, which faces a $3.3 billion budget deficit, angry state workers have demonstrated in Trenton and taken Gov. Jon Corzine to court over his plan to require unpaid furloughs for public employees.

Private-sector workers -- unionized and nonunion alike -- can largely see that without compromises they may be forced to join unemployment lines. Not so in the public sector.

A study in 2005 by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute estimated that the average public-sector worker earned 46% more in salary and benefits than comparable private-sector workers. The gap has only continued to grow. For example, state and local worker pay and benefits rose 3.1% in the last year, compared to 1.9% in the private sector, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Some five million private-sector workers have lost their jobs in the last year alone, and their unemployment rate is above 9% according to the BLS. By contrast, public-sector employment has grown in virtually every month of the recession, and the jobless rate for government workers is a mere 2.8%. For anyone who thinks such low unemployment numbers are good news, remember that the bulging public sector must be paid for with revenues that most governments don't currently have. This is one reason for a spate of state and local tax increases.

Now powerful and savvy, public unions have moved effectively to quash antitax movements. In New Jersey, public unions derailed a taxpayer revolt in 2005 by using their legislative clout to water down a bill that would have created a state constitutional convention to enact property-tax reform.

In the private sector such efforts will still be subject to the demands of the marketplace. Employers who are too generous with pay and benefits will be punished. In the public sector, however, more union members means more voters. And more voters means more dollars for political campaigns to elect sympathetic politicians who will enact higher taxes to foot the bill for the upward arc of government spending on workers. That will be the pattern for the indefinite future unless taxpayers find a way to roll back the enormous power public workers have acquired.

Note the study that said that public workers total package is 46% greater than private sector workers.

Shouldn't really be a tough choice. A long time town resident who served his country and two lawyers that posed for a "Sonny and Cher" photo.

Green Party!

that has to be the worst campaign photo since russomanno ran for office

"This economy and recession has everyone despising public workers" What a huge assumption as to what someone thinks. Did I say did I say I despise public workers? What I think is keep the public worker non-political. NJ failed and failed miserably at this. It is time to correct the ship of state and to protect the public worker. Let their unions represent them before the body politic but do not elect them to public office till they are out of public service. In other words ex-officio. A true second career and no double dipping on pensions permitted.

She has my vote!

This economy and recession has everyone despising public workers. When those in the private sector were making loads of money and the public workers were being paid peanuts no one complained. Now that those in the private sector find themselves out of work they feel the need to blast public workers, unbelievable. When we pull out of this recession and the big pays and bonuses start again , you will once again look down your nose at the poor lonely public worker who is trying to make a living. An honest living I might add.

A woman, a mom, and a smart one at that - just the diversity I'm looking for.

The former Mayor was also a former teacher and was a teacher while he was a Mayor and councilman. Yes, I know that and I thought it stunk too and should give reason to your argument why never again till he/she is out of office. Are you instead suggesting to perpetuate that nonsense?

Yes, and when he resigns from HPPD, he will get my vote but not till then.

The former Mayor was also a former teacher and was a teacher while he was a Mayor and councilman. As a matter of fact most of the council people during his tenure were school teachers or married to school teachers. But they had the gall to bust other public workers. Two-faced at best. The question is who do we vote for? More lawyers, a teacher or a public worker. Those are the choices. You know what they say about incumbents ( GRIP).

Vassalo brings much more to the table, his years in Metuchen can only bring the insight that we need. He is not a career politician with larger aspirations. A very good addition to the council.

Partisan. That's your version and double edged at best. I can deal with an ex-school teacher as Mayor but not a current school teacher. Truth is the R's did not have the better candidate. So what was left?

I will not deal with anymore council members being paid state employees; Nor, will I not vote for any person R or D or I on the school board who holds a compensated position in this state. This nonsense must stop. It is out of control in this state and so bad people can not tell the difference between good and bad anymore. They have to move out of state to find out. To tell you the truth the reason I like Metuchen is because we pay elected officials so little and if you combine that with no other paid government jobs for the elected officials all the better. If I were running for office I would be a dollar a year man. But, I am not.

Well said, For to long the democrats have been i lockstep, so much so that when their leader left,they had no idea what was going on. It is apparent with Dyas and Vahalla. For all of their years on council,they seem like newcomers. They were the yes men of their former leader,never questioned anything, no discussion, now they are in he dark.

The Republicans have changed that and exposed the roughshod democrats. However, Weber appears bi-partisan,thinks for himself, and I would be willing to bet that Rubin is her own person. The old regime is just about gone,bring on the newcomers, with fresh ideas,and self thinking, not just partisan head nodders.

So you'll vote for another partisan instead? Funny. Will, Chris and Justin have all voted differently on measures than each other and have proven to be quite independent thinkers. Go ahead and cast a vote for the head nodders who vote and act in lock step. I'll cast a vote for someone on the independent TEAM.

I agree. I do not believe Mr. Vassallo will resign because I asked him on a blog either. I will not vote for him because of being on HPPD actively. My Grey hairs have taught me a few things about goverment officals in New Jersey. I had the experience once and never never again. I am a believer in one office or government position at a time anywhere and at anytime in this state to totally mitigate the chance of conflict of interest.

Vassallo wants to join Chris, Justin, and Will's "team"? So they will all be on one "team" against the other "team" on the Council? If that's how Vassallo views things, we don't need yet another partisan in our government.

I'm going to vote on who will do the best for our town, not because of their gender. Plus I think the lawyer/politican have done enough damage to this country already. I would like to see someone who knows what it's like to struggle to make ends meet with both parents working running the town. But I guess all of those people are too busy working to be on various committees and run for office.

I hope the GOP wins, then maybe we will see some positive changes in this town. Regardless of who wins, getting rid of Dyas is a good thing, he is useless. Next we have to get rid of Vahalla and get a leader in the mayors office.

I actually know Joe, he's a neighbor of mine and a great guy. I don't know the exact amount of time he has left but am pretty sure he's within a year of retirement. He told me that one of the reasons he's running is because he wanted to get more involved in the affairs of Metuchen as he prepared to leave HP. I don't think he'll resign because you asked him on a blog but should you change your mind and vote for him, he wouldn't be in both roles long. The other reason he said he was running was because he really listened to what Will, Chris and Justin said during their campaigns and since being elected and wanted to join their team. I am pretty sure he was registered as a Dem before filing for his candidacy.

Mr. Vassallo appears to be very qualified and that said, I wish him well. If Mr. Vassallo were to resign from the Highland Park Police. I would vote for him without question. I will not vote for anyone anywhere or at anytime in New Jersey no matter what party who is a compensated employee of another government organization in this state. This crap must end. Resign from HPPD and you get my vote.

I lived in a town once where the Director of Police of a NJ city was a councilmen in that Boro and it was a disaster for municipal employee relations. I am not putting up with that again.

she's only lived in metuchen for 1 year though...

i'm all for diversity but i'd also like to vote for someone with knowledge of our town

Yes, diversity is good and right now there are no females on the council, she would be a very good addition to the council.

Key democratic word or phrase "DIVERSITY". Should reflect the community that they serve. Both Weber and Rubin sound like very good people, but do they represent the people they are to serve.

good to see a succesful smart woman running

no -- too many of any group is adding something unfavorable...

the more diversity (gender, race, economic class, profession), the better

which implies you think those there are adding something unfavorable. I think they're great. Individual merits folks, that's all.

I agree , nothing against lawyers per se, but lets het some insight from a differnt group, we wnet from all teachers, to all lawyers or at least a majority. Nice to have a regular person up there, a housewife, a businessman,a plumber, whatever, but all lawyers not good.

12:42 - 2

I think we are saying no MORE lawyers, which is quite different from no lawyers.

Kindly reread the postings and amend your accordingly

How about we all do what is right for Metuchen, be more considerate, approachable,be nice to people, treat pepole like decent human beings. Don't belittle and bully people. That is what is needed. The Democrats are heading in that direction , and it would not have happened without being humbled by the last elections, or should I say the Republicans, who come off at being more considerate and not bullies.

looks like a bullet vote for me

So Chris and Will have been bad additions to council because of their occupations? hmmm.. seems like folks are arguing both sides of a coin. The new repubs are great! Breath of fresh air! and then.. No lawyers! Hot air! Which is it? Stop generalizing and judge an individual on his or her personal merits.

Agree, Thank God Dyas is going. His methods and attitude were not good for the Democratic party. That is the way we did things attitude, don't let the door hit you on the way out attitude. Good Luck to Weber and Rubin, good candidates, excellent background. Young ideas, from different perspectives.

please...no more lawyers...can the air system in borough hall even handle the hot air we have already

agree - enough with the lawyers...

No more lawyers! Four lawyers at every meeting is enough!

The local dems are pretty good now, they just need to cut their strings and association with former council people and Mayors that still think they control Metuchen . Actually they very well might still control.

Taxes, my friend are going up due to Trenton politics and reducing aid to Metuchen, all of our tax money goes to Newark. Taxes going up in Metuchen are not the fault of any of our local politicians. They do their best, we still must function and have certain services.

We are going to have to learn to do without, if Metuchen is going to exist. Also the school tax is out of control. Our national and state leaders must come up with another means to fund schools, property tax is not the way.

I am not going to get into who's done what but if you really think the Council discussions haven't changed over the last two years, you obviously haven't been watching over the years.

Here's just one example of good change in my opinion. The Gallery at the Rotunda. The GOP can not claim that they "did it" but given how the Mayor and Dyas reacted to it, do you think the idea would have even made it to the Council for discussion in the old days? O'Brien would have just said "no" and that would have been the end of it.

I am not making up my mind on any candidate prior to the primary let alone seeing the campaigns but I am a registered "national Dem" and the local GOP guys have shown enough that I should openly consider their candidates.

What have the GOP done? You said they are moving us in the right direction, which way is that? I have not seen any major change, just more squabbling.

My taxes are still going up, and they stopped leaf bags.

As for being split, the arguments and BS may be split but votes were pretty much the same from both parties.

I think you are just a Republican and want the GOP candidate to win, regardless of which candidate is the most qualified. Which is ok, but don't try and dress it up as more than it is.

I heard the Republicans tried very hard to get the seats mixed up so it wouldn't be so partisan and the Dems, in particular Dyas, said NO!

Watch the meetings, they are already split, everyting is partisan, yes even in Metuchen. Look how they are divided on the dais, looks like the Hatfields & McCoys. They disagree just for the sake of being partisan. The Democrat party in Metuchen and in this county has been just a good ole boy network or club. They ran this Borough into the ground with their bully like tactics. I agree vote for the best candidate. Right now it would have to be the Republican candidate. They are moving us in the right direction. The old guard is still running the show here in Metuchen, from behind the scenes.

Our political system is also a disaster so trumpeting it as partisan doesn't help your argument. Answer me this if you're so in favor of the staunch party way, name 2 things that each local party stands for in Metuchen. The issues must be Metuchen issues and the party has to be clearly for/against them. I don't think you can do it.

Our political system is partisan. If you want Metuchen to change to non-partisan government, with elections is May, it is possible. Look how well it worked out for Perth Amboy.

Why not just vote for the best candidates? Why be so partisan?

They can still write someone in during the primary, who would then be on the ballot in November. Heard they had someone else but they changed their mind at the last minute.

Would like to seea split again, let the Republicans have the majority and see what they can do. If they fall flat , vote them out in 2010. They will have two seats up in 2010. The Democrats have been in control way to long. With Republican oversight they have changed their dictatorship style of government. We need checks and balances. Split the vote, Weber and Vasallo.

Looks like 3 great candidates. Thanks to all of you for stepping up, for your willingness to serve our town.

Still want to tell them to eat my shorts!

Please, the smoke screen of partisanship in our tiny Borough again? It's about the issues and the integrity and brains of the candidates. I'm not too worried about council reps supporting the wrong nominee for Supreme Court Justice!

I hear ya, but cant someone else step up? Would be nice to get both seats so we can tell those Dems to eat our shorts!

From 2000 through 2006 the GOP was 0% in Metuchen. They've won 3 of the last 4 seats and 3 of the 3 they competed for. They did so by putting forth very good candidates and well executed campaigns. I am certain they will do it again.

I think Manley only won by like 30 votes. If they had had 2 candidates and some people decided to split their ticket one Dem, one Rep and picked the other Rep, then no it would not have been good for them. They would have lost both seats. The fact they won when Obama got 75% of the Metuchen vote was incredible.

The GOP went 1 for 2 last time, 50% is good? If they would have run two candidates last election and won they would have controlled the council, no?

Hard to attract Republicans these days, with their 20 something approval rating...

The GOP had one candidate last year and things seemed to work out OK. Maybe rather than throwing any one up there for no good reason, they are looking for highly qualified candidates that can win. Sure looks like Lieutenant Vassallo is highly qualified. Lived in town almost 30 years. Raised 3 kids here that went through the school system. Respected and high ranking member of HP Police force that faces issues just like the Metuchen force. Perfect fit to compliment the people already there.

Do we need another attorney?

GOP only has one candidate?

Huh?


I am just happy Dyas is done.

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