Dear Editor:

All the recent talk of “county machines” is getting ridiculous and does nothing for the residents of Fanwood. Petty personal politics doesn’t improve our quality of life, it doesn’t make us feel safer, improve our neighborhoods; nor does it improve parks or preserve open space.

Demonizing my family, The County of Union or Senator Nick Scutari -- a man who’s dedicated his life to public service as a Board of Education Member, a Freeholder and now as our State Senator (all served with distinction) -- continues to be a cheap shot.

Sign Up for E-News

I care about Fanwood, always have… and long before Phyllis and I even moved here. Sixteen years ago, we picked Fanwood to raise our children, Alex and Micayla, because of the excellent school system and the family atmosphere we felt in our neighborhood. Let me now take just a few moments to concentrate on my record of service for our town.

I’ve been serving as a Union County Freeholder for over 21 years. County Freeholder might be an obscure position for some, so I’m happy to describe the position in terms of concrete action. First of all, this year as finance chairman, I helped reduce Fanwood’s county taxes; critics will say it’s not by much, but in a state where we have a history of high taxes climbing ever higher, any reduction is not just rare, but almost unheard of.

Over my term of service, I’ve brought back over $1.1 million in grant money for Fanwood alone. This has been in the area of infrastructure and park improvements, open space, historic preservation, library funding and senior citizen services. Union County has saved Fanwood over $900,000 in dispatch operations since 2010, delivered nearly $20,000 in arts and history grants since 2016, and administered over 1,700 paratransit rides and 700 Meals on Wheels deliveries in the last few years alone. And who can forget the roads? The County efficiently delivers paving services; almost every year, we repave critical Fanwood roads, such as La Grande, Terrill Road, and North Ave. Next year, we’ll be repaving Martine all the way from Portland Ave. to King Street.

Furthermore, it has been a great privilege in my life to represent Union County and the Borough of Fanwood where I was able to lead the creation of the Union County Vocational-Technical School district, which currently enrolls many Fanwood students, and the Union County Office of LGBTQ Services – the first department of its kind in the State of New Jersey dedicated to helping our gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer residents. 

I’ve also worked to earn a Aaa bond rating (which is an indication of sound management and strong fiscal health in Union County) and also preserve hundreds of acres of open space for future generations.

So let me not take any more of your time: on Tuesday, June 4th, you have the opportunity to elect a Democratic County Committee on Column A to keep these incredible programs going and who has provided Fanwood with millions of dollars in services and savings. We need to focus on 2020, and our party is bigger than one person.  I humbly ask for your consideration by voting for Phyllis and me, as well as the rest of Column A in the Democratic Primary.

I promise to continue my record of putting Fanwood First!

All my best,

Al Mirabella
Fanwood, NJ