Dear Editor:

The residents of Linden will have to make a choice in the Democratic primary this June for the position of Mayor, I would like to encourage the city voters to make sure that they educate themselves and not vote blindly because of name recognition or race or gender! There are only two candidates who have declared that they are running for the Mayor’s seat thus far and one, the incumbent is not the choice that voters should make and here is why; Derek Armstead has manipulated the residents of Linden for far too long serving as the fourth ward councilman. Our ward rarely received services, unless you count lip service. Promises made and not kept. As the Mayor Mr. Armstead has made no noteworthy improvements here in Linden, yet, he will tell you that is because the council people will not work with him. As an adamant observer of the council meetings, I say, that is contrary to what has been seen. Furthermore, he has to my knowledge only sought to drive agendas that benefit him, his comrades or a business to which he himself or a cohort has an interest in. He misrepresents the truth as well as his non-existent agenda for the city of Linden.

This man now has his third confidential aide in his office, a flurry of retirements in the police department, The first black police chief served only one year under his leadership only to retire, the resignation of the entire Mayor’s Youth Commission executive board, hiring of unqualified personnel to serve in key positions for the city and colluding with employees to defame and discredit other elected officials. This man has no interest in “moving Linden forward.” He uses his office as a campaign headquarters and the resources of the city public relations firm as his personal publicist. He should never be re-elected.

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The city of Linden and the democratic bosses should learn from his most recent actions and steer clear of supporting him in any future elections.

This is a man who does not keep his word to those who have supported him, to his colleagues within the governing body and most important, to the voters of the city of Linden. On January 18, 2018 Senator Nicholas Scutari, endorsed this man and pledged his support to his re-election campaign and on January 25, 2018 he announced that he will turn his back on his chairman who is seeking the nod from county democratic committee to serve as the chairman! I will not mention how he routinely complained about and bashed the very party he claims to want to mend and that now supports him. He has stated publically that he wants power and has always waged adversarial campaigns against the party’s candidates in the hopes of gaining some sort of power. He ran Jackie Williams against Michele Yamkitias in the 8th Ward, He ran Ty Gaines against Rhashonna Cosby-Hurling in the 5th Ward, he ran Michael Anderson against Gretchen Hickey in the 10th ward. I want people to know that many of us have not forgotten when he supported Richard Gerbounka an independent candidate for Mayor over Mayor John Gregorio. He should never have been trusted after that. He has never been a victim yet, his rhetoric would have you believe that he was never given any opportunities or support from the local party bosses. This man is not trustworthy, he has no vision for the city other than what his minute circle of political hacks tells him he must be doing so they can benefit. He will shout about the inequities of the black folks yet when he has the ability to appoint members of the community to city boards he has appointed less than ten blacks in this three-year tenure. Please do not give this man any more power to further ruin the city of Linden’s reputation in Union County and our community morale.

Senator Scutari, please support Rhashonna for Mayor the right choice, the choice you made in 2014. Linden residents, vote for the best interest of our great city, vote for someone who you can see has been working for us all!

Respectfully submitted, hopeful for my city’s future.

Linden resident

R.A Garcia


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