Dear Editor:

Today in the Scotch Plains-Times was another baseless and inflammatory letter to the editor. This particular letter was drafted by the owner of Scotch Plains current risk management firm, Rich Duthie.

First, my disappointment and disgust. Between my husband and I, we have volunteered as coaches and assistant coaches in three organizations in this town. In this year alone, my children have participated in cheerleading, soccer, softball, and basketball. I love recreation and believe it is a mainstay of our community. I also have had a great deal of admiration for Mr. Duthie, who serves with my husband on a local board and volunteers his time to several local organizations. Volunteerism is good, and it has helped to keep recreation and athletics alive in this town.

The part that disturbs me, is that the exchange reported in his letter in no way represents what really happened in the hallway that evening, or my relationship with Mr. Duthie as a whole, but then, truth doesn't seem to be a priority in the desperation that has entered this election. My request is that readers use caution when reading his letter to the editor and proceed with the knowledge that he is the owner of a company who was awarded a township contract by the current majority for which his firm has been paid thousands of dollars. Point being: is it really Recreation that he's protecting here?

Moreover, the question of the recreation commission was raised by an acquaintance and fellow republican committee member of Mr. Duthie's at the meeting prior to the one he reported on. Mr. Duthie then spearheaded a false smear campaign that we were looking to eliminate Recreation, culminating in several representatives turning out to the meeting at his behest. In spite of his behavior, I still reached out to him cordially that evening, primarily because I don't believe any of this is good for the town.

I'd also like to touch briefly on another topic he included in his letter, one of the great untruths of this campaign, the capital bond ordinance. The short version is this: Both the Mayor and I supported the parts of the capital bond ordinance that included the repairs to the zoo property and Brookside Park, along with many other aspects of the ordinance. Unfortunately, neither the manager nor the Republican majority would show any flexibility on the ordinance. It was all or nothing.

Colleen D. Gialanella
Scotch Plains