Madison, NJ News — The following is a letter from Rob Catalanello, a Madison resident and former Borough Council Member, which was recently submitted to the editor of the Madison Eagle in Madison, NJ:
I was amused to read that the two Democratic candidates for town council visited the Madison Community Gardens (MCG) to celebrate ‘Open Gates Weekend’. It is unfortunate they don’t visit when they are not campaigning. While I am pleased that they realize what a great success the MCG is, I must say I am saddened that, just like everything else at the Madison Recreation Complex (MRC), the democrats chose to politicize it.
In 2011, when I sponsored the legislation that created and funded the MCG, I did it not because I was a Republican, but because it was good for the town. I felt the same way when I voted for the creation of the Turf Field Complex at the MRC, which was a hugely controversial project that town democrats vehemently opposed. A council member at the time, current Mayor Bob Conley voted against the turf fields. During the Council debates in October of 2011, Mrs. Vitale stated she would have voted against the project had she been on council. The democrats claimed the cost would bankrupt us (false) and that the runoff from the fields would poison our water supply (also false). “Think of the elderly and the children!”, they cried. Democrats went so far as to accuse supporters of using our children as guinea pigs on the turf, a technology that has been widely used for over 30 years.
I was criticized for my work at the MGC in 2013 while I was running for my second term on council. I had secured funding for an American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant greenhouse/shed for the MGC. Maureen Byrne, who was running for council at the time, claimed I was not transparent in securing the funding. Clearly, they were not paying attention as the funding was unanimously approved at an open public meeting. Alas, the ADA compliant greenhouse was never erected at the MGC as the democrats killed the idea once they attained a majority on council. I had hoped the MGC would be a place of learning and joy, not a political trophy to be rolled out during campaigns.
The list goes on and on, like the last time Mrs. Vitale ran for office and she claimed responsibility for the walking paths at the MRC. Too bad those same paths were actually built as the Eagle Scouts project for a Madison teen, who is now of voting age.
We need candidates that will do the right thing for Madison, not for their party. When I was on council, I voted my conscience, not my party. I routinely voted against my party if I believed it was the right thing to do for Madison. Mrs. Vitale has voted unanimously with the other democrats in her last six years on council. There has not been a single dissenting vote from a democrat for six years. How is that possible? How can 4 or 5 people agree on every single issue for 6 years? Is this the politburo? Our democratic council members are not voting for Madison, they are voting for their party.
The best example is the ridiculous ‘Welcoming Resolution’, passed with unanimous votes by the democrats, earlier this year. The Resolution did nothing to benefit Madison, absolutely nothing. Madison can be pro-immigrant and support refugees without passing a nonsense resolution that puts us at odds with Federal law. When you consider the recent events surrounding the arrest of an illegal immigrant on the lam from Costa Rica where he has allegedly raped a minor child, one could argue the resolution actually could (and still might) cause us harm. The only people who benefitted from that absurd resolution were the county, state, and national Democratic Party. It had very little to do with making Madison a better, more prosperous, more secure place to raise a family or operate a business. It was all about politics and pleasing the party overlords in West Orange, Trenton, and Washington D.C.
Please remember to vote this year. Please vote for the candidates who will put Madison first, who will vote their conscience, and will truly represent you, the residents.