Dear Editor:

What will it take for the Republican candidates to come forward and publically admit to the citizens of Scotch Plains that they’ve been ducking the truth on several important matters?
Beginning with Councilman Marcus coming forward and admittingthat he in fact has been taking healthcare benefits from the Township for well over a year, a fact, which can be verified as it is a public record. While I welcome that The Scotch Plains Times came forward to acknowledge their error of this fact, they regrettable did so by burying the truth on page 12 of their paper.  
Councilman Marcus clearly had the opportunity to simply say he takes it, and quite frankly I don’t begrudge him from doing so. But what is troubling to me is, that he, for lack of a better word, lied to us all.  As a elected official, a member of our governing body, we all need to be seriously concerned about how he handled himself on this matter. If he can’t be forthright and upfront on this very simple disclosure, how then can we be confident of his motives and actions on matters of Township policy? 
While I’m on the subject of full disclosure or the lack thereof by Mr. Marcus, why would he and his running mates Councilmen Vastine and Jones and their appointed Township Manager lobby for ending, a State and Municipal policy requiring the governing body to review, and by vote, approve all Township bills? Councils have followed this practice as long as anyone can remember as part of their responsibility to maintain checks and balances of our Town’s expenses. I prefer to not even speculate as to their reasons or motives for wanting to abandon this practice, you can draw you own conclusions. 

Finally, having no proven record of accomplishments or let me say a failed one, the Republican candidates will as they have in the past, resort to mud slinging. They assault local contractors, including myself for not wanting to bid on public work, which is a bold face lie. Let me make this perfectly clear, the only work I’ve done for the Township was awarded to me because my company won a public bid, by submitting the lowest price. I probably should clarify that I’ve done volunteer work for the Town, which I would hope, wouldn’t be confused with non-bid work.
In fact, a couple of weeks ago Mr. Don Wussler, a Korean War veteran asked me to help him repair the Korean War Memorial Clock landscaping that had fallen into disrepair. This work did not go out for public bid as my son and I proudly volunteered our time, working alongside Steve Costalos from Scapabilities, who donated the newly planted landscaping and Les Bartell who donated the stone and brickwork to repair and restore the grounds. We did so out of respect for those whose served in the Korean War and especially for Don Wussler whose outstanding personal efforts is responsible for this fitting tribute being erected to our soldiers who fought and paid the ultimate sacrifice defending freedom. 
I can only be hopeful that Vastine, Marcus, and Jones will someday learn that in Scotch Plains we are all neighbors, and that decency and civility toward one another should always come first. 
Ralph Checchio
Scotch Plains