Dear Editor:

The past few months has truly been an incredible experience, walking the various neighborhoods of Scotch Plains, and meeting with residents to learn about their thoughts and concerns. We thank everyone for the incredible support they have given us during this campaign. We have heard directly from the people, and developed a 5 Point Plan and vision for our shared values to move Scotch Plains towards a more Affordable and Prosperous future.

As husbands, fathers, and fellow taxpayers, we know firsthand the challenges facing families in Scotch Plains. We have a plan and vision for Scotch Plains that will help us meet those challenges.

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I know you share our love for our great town. But you also share our concern that Scotch Plains is heading in the wrong direction.

For the past two years, Mayor Glover has steered Scotch Plains down the wrong path. His big-borrowing, red-ink agenda has given us $7.5 million in new debt, bringing total town debt to over $20 million. This dangerous rate of debt spending will deliver a crushing blow to Scotch Plains property taxpayers. His illegally taking of gold-plated taxpayer-funded health perks for the last 16 months is an affront to our hard working taxpayers who work hard and play by the rules, and expect their elected officials to do the same. Leadership from town hall is lacking in the area of providing basic services and downtown development. Under Mayor Glover's "leadership," Scotch Plains is losing a soccer field behind Park Middle School much to the disappointment of our recreation community. 

To protect the Scotch Plains we love, we must take action now. We have a chance to do something for Scotch Plains families and for our future generations, starting on November 8th.

Let us share with you our 5 point plan and vision for Scotch Plains' future.

1. Eliminate Taxpayer-Funded Health Perks for Part-Time Politicians.
2. Support Downtown Development & Free Municipal Parking. See our Vision for Downtown at smithandspera2016.com/downtown
3. Pursue Shared Services and make government more Efficient and Accountable with In-Depth Department Reviews.
4. Support Recreation Programs and acquire New Field to replace soccer field the Mayor lost.
5. Support Fiscally Responsible Budgets by keeping borrowing and spending in check.

Visit our website, www.smithandspera2016.com, to learn more about our 5 Point Plan.

We believe the people of Scotch Plains share the goals of our 5 Point Plan and vision. But to make our plan and vision a reality, we must work together and send citizen-leaders to town hall whose mission is to serve, not be served. When we do that, we will have a more vibrant and honest democracy in Scotch Plains.

We have the education and experience that will help us advance our shared goals. Al holds BS and MS degrees in Physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University, and was a licensed Professional Engineer for 38 years specializing in Electrical Engineering. Al is also a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer. He most recently worked at AT&T as Assistant Vice President of New Jersey Governmental Affairs, and was responsible for working with the Governor's Office, State Legislature, and the Board of Public Utilities. Ted holds a BA in Political Science, and works as a Territory Manager for Bausch & Lomb Specialty Vision Products. He has served on the Planning Board as well as the Planning Board Liaison to the Environmental Commission.  

Most importantly, our experience as husbands and fathers, has taught us that change comes not when we talk, but when we take action. This campaign is not just about getting us elected. It's about giving a voice to our shared values -- values that make our great town even greater. Now is the time for action. Will you join us?

With that, we humbly ask for your vote on November 8th. Because together, we can make Scotch Plains more Affordable and Prosperous.

Thank you!

Al Smith, Candidate for Mayor
Ted Spera, Candidate for Council