Dear Editor:

Mayor Kevin Glover has taken over $250,000 in gold-plated taxpayer funded health benefits during his 10 years as a PART-TIME elected official in Scotch Plains. Even more troublesome, he has apparently been taking the benefits from taxpayers illegally since July of 2015.

Public records confirm that Glover takes the benefits; benefits that cost taxpayers $23,250 in 2015 and will total $23,750 in 2016. It is against the law for part-time elected officials to take benefits under New Jersey State Health Benefits Program. The Township Council voted in December 2014 to move from private insurance to the New Jersey State Health Benefits plan, under which Mayor Glover as a part-time elected official is not eligible to continue receiving health benefits. (N.J.S.A 52:14-17.26 as amended by P.L. 2010, c.2).

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Kevin Glover should never have taken health benefits from taxpayers in the first place. But if he is going to do so, he should at least follow the law. Our campaign is calling on Mayor Glover to repay the $29,500 in illegal benefits he has taken from taxpayers since July, 2015.

Taxpayers are sick and tired of politicians who see holding office as a vehicle for personal financial enrichment, rather than as a means of public service. Glover’s taxpayer-funded gold-plated health perks for part-time work make him out of touch with the people he represents.

In the real world, part-time employees don’t get health benefits from their employers. Yet, Scotch Plains taxpayers have been working to pay for Kevin Glover’s family health-care expenses for the past decade. Why should politicians treat themselves better than the people they serve?

Instead of taking from taxpayers for the last decade, Kevin Glover should have refused the health perks and instead used the money to improve our downtown, support recreation, and provide real property tax relief to our hardworking families who need it — all things he has failed to do since getting elected.

This issue is about saving taxpayer money, and more importantly, about leadership and restoring the public’s trust in our political system. If elected, we pledge that we will never take taxpayer funded health benefits or any compensation, pension, or stipend that part-time elected officials can take at taxpayer expense. Public service should be about just that — service. We will put that principle into action and fight to make Scotch Plains more affordable and prosperous without burdening the taxpayers.

Al Smith and Ted Spera
Scotch Plains

Editor's Note: Al Smith is the Republican candidate for Mayor of Scotch Plains this November. Ted Spera is the Republican candidate for Township Council.