Dear Editor:

Mayor Kevin Glover has taken over $250,000 in gold-plated taxpayer funded health perks during his 10 years as a PART-TIME politician in Scotch Plains. Since July 2015, he has taken these perks illegally. 

It has been 7 weeks since our campaign first called on Mayor Glover to repay taxpayers for the $31,500 in illegal health perks he took. He refuses to pay taxpayers back claiming he "deserved" and was "entitled" to those benefits. 

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In December 2014, the Scotch Plains Township Council voted to move from private insurance to the New Jersey State Health Benefits Plan (SHPB) in order to save taxpayer money. It is illegal for part-time elected officials to receive health benefits under SHBP unless they were participating in the SHBP on May 21, 2010 and have not changed elected position since May 21, 2010 (N.J.S.A 52:14-17.26 as amended by P.L. 2010, c.2). Mayor Glover was not in SHBP in 2010, and was thus ineligible to receive those benefits as a part-time elected official. Under Scotch Plains' form of government, the Faulkner Act, the mayor and town council positions are part-time.

In our opinion, any part-time elected official, Republican or Democrat, who takes or has taken health benefits at taxpayer expense, was wrong -- whether they were eligible or ineligible to take those benefits. Public service is supposed to be about just that, service, not self-enrichment. Elected officials may work hard in their part-time jobs. But guess what? So do Scotch Plains residents who work part-time in the private sector, but they don't have the ability to take these gold-plated health benefits. Why should politicians treat themselves better than the people they serve?

The taxpayers are sick and tired of the self-enrichment mentality of Mayor Glover and other politicians. If elected officials are to restore citizen faith in our political system, they must lead by example. We will lead by example by pledging never to take taxpayer-funded health benefits. We will strictly enforce current state law to make sure that all elected officials in Scotch Plains, Republican or Democrat, cannot take these benefits.

Repay taxpayers for the money you illegally took from them, Mr. Mayor. The taxpayers of Scotch Plains deserve and are entitled to their money back. 

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