Dear Editor,

I feel compelled to write in response to the letter signed by Art Osterberg last week regarding Jeff Seider, who is running for Borough Council. Sadly, we continue to see the campaign of half-truths and distortions continue from the Republican camp. Let’s set the record straight.

Jeff Seider served on South Plainfield’s Board of Education for six years. In those years, he championed two budgets that contained no tax hike whatsoever (The Observer 4/7/00 and 3/30/01), and one that actually cut the tax rate by four points (The Observer 4/4/08)! When Jeff Seider was making tough decisions to keep the school budget properly and honestly balanced, South Plainfield’s voters supported those budgets (The Observer 3/29/02 and 3/30/07). And, when our community voted “no” on the school budget in 2006, guess what? So did Seider (The Observer 4/7/06)!

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Let’s compare that record with that of Matt Anesh and the Republican-controlled borough council. In 2008, Anesh and the Republicans raised our taxes by $100 per household, and in that year, our taxes went up roughly $250 over the last six months of the year (The Observer 1/25/08). In 2011, they raised our taxes another $40, and again they did just that in 2012 (The Observer 8/5/11 and 7/27/12). Not to mention the constant nickel-and-diming of our families from the increases in sewer fees, user fees, building and pool fees implemented by the Republicans.

When he was on our board of education, Jeff Seider was governed by very strict state laws regarding surplus, budget caps, and putting the budgets before the voters for approval. He more than passed that test of open, honest leadership.

That’s the funny thing about having a record, they can prove things. The record proves that Jeff Seider acted responsibly and honestly balanced our school budgets. Too bad the record also shows how far Matt Anesh and the Republicans will go to distort their own record for political gain.

Perhaps Matt Anesh should go back to the record and reread his own letter in The Observer from February 22, 2008: “Let’s leave the creative political mailers out of the process and deal with the issues facing our residents today. Let’s deal with them honestly.”

We’re still waiting for you to live up to your words, Matt.


John Grimes