Dear Editor:

On Tuesday night December 17th, the Democrats in Scotch Plains fast tracked a pay increase for Township Manager and Union County Freeholder Al Mirabella, throwing out any negotiations surrounding guidelines being made for his conduct, political dealings during business hours, etc. The Democratic machine in Union County is real, and here's some more points to consider:

In just over a week, Al Mirabella received a raise for a job where he lacks major qualifications in Scotch Plains and as a Freeholder, since that board patted themselves on the back and supported raises bringing them all to nearly $35,000 per year. Does anyone find the irony that the all Democratic part-time Freeholder board salary is more than someone working $15 an hour for year? Not bad for a gig that only meets a few times a month after work.

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Councilwoman Elizabeth Stamler, who works for Union County in the division of Weights and Measures, supported the pay increase despite the conflict of interest arising from Freeholder Mirabella being her supervisor/boss. In an instance where most people would recuse themselves, she voted anyway and has raised ethical challenges with many residents in town. It’s not often that you can vote on your supervisor’s raise and vice versa, but with Al Mirabella this is possible.

One of the most important takeaways from this is that Township Manager Al Mirabella lacks two main certifications in his post that many of his counterparts throughout the state hold. What these certifications (Qualified Purchasing Agent and Certified Municipal Financial Officer) show is that the person holding is uniquely qualified to run a town full time and be positioned to find ways to improve it that a person holding those qualifications wouldn't know.

In fact, all towns in this state require at least somebody to hold a QPA, and in Scotch Plains that someone makes significantly less money than the manager. So, this begs the question, why is he the Township Manager to begin with and why is he the glass ceiling preventing someone more deserving from having that top post?

Quite simply, instances like this happen across Union County all too often, and you can prevent them by voting Republican. Follow me at for more stories like this and how we can change them for the better!

Joe Sarno
Young Republican Federation of NJ Chairman 
Scotch Plains, NJ

Editor's Note: Joe Sarno ran against Al Mirabella for Freeholder in November 2018.