The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests cronyism and not meritocracy. Furthermore, 8 of the 9 members of the Freeholder board endorsed Nicholas Scutari in his bid to secure the Democratic Chairmanship over Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr. As for the lone dissenter, Freeholder Muhammad Jalloh, he was replaced on this year’s ballot by the daughter of a long-time Democratic donor for turning his back on Scutari.
This appointment may be a temporary victory for the Union County Democrat machine, but there are ways to fight back. In Garwood at their April 24th meeting, a bipartisan group of councilpersons led by Democratic Mayoral candidate Sara Todisco and Republican Mayoral candidate Ileen Cuccaro showed their collective concern over Ed Oatman’s appointment as County Manager. In addition, they and sought out a resolution to the County Freeholder Board disapproving of this appointment and pointing out the corruption taking place in Elizabeth. In fact, Garwood Democratic Councilman Marc Lazarow stated he had “major concerns” about Union County and the corruption taking place there and offered his support of a resolution saying as much. It is my hope that the full Garwood’s Council and other Union County municipalities approve a resolution rebuking Ed Oatman’s appointment.
Lastly I urge all voters, including elected Democrats like Sara Todisco and Colleen Mahr, to get behind the Republican ticket to send a message to Nick Scutari and his cronies that corruption has no place in Union County. If elected, we will appoint a new County Manager based on his or her merits. Together, Democrats, Republicans, and Unaffiliated voters, we can show that Union County is for all of us and not for the select few. Please support us and like at https://www.facebook.com/UCNJGOP2018
Republican Candidates for Union County Freeholder
Peter G. Kane
Joe Sarno, Former Councilman of Garwood
Patricia Quattrocchi, Former Mayor of Garwood