Government

Mayors of Four Municipalities Recreate Iconic “X Marks the Spot” Photo More Than a Half-Century Later

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Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Arnesh, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey and Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp recreate the iconic "X Marks the Spot" photo on Tuesday afternoon. Credits: Darlene Cullen
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From left to right: Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith, Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Arnesh, and Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp display their signed proclamations. Credits: Darlene Cullen
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The mayors of four municipalities in Scotch Plains, Plainfield, South Plainfield and Edison spoke on unity and pledged a commitment to working together during the ceremonial event. Credits: Darlene Cullen
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Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith was joined by Township Manager Al Mirabella and other dignitaries of the Township from various departments on Tuesday afternoon. Credits: Darlene Cullen
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Credits: Azumi Baba-Ndanani
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SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Mayors from the municipalities of Scotch Plains, Plainfield, South Plainfield and Edison were joined by their dignitaries in a ceremonial meeting at the shared border on Woodland Ave. on Tuesday afternoon in an effort to demonstrate a renewed commitment to their partnership while recreating a more-than-a-century old photo.

The idea to recreate the photo was inspired by the long-time, 86-year-old Plainfield resident Al Pittis, who is currently a member of the Plainfield Cultural Heritage Commission.

“This day would not have been possible without Albert Pittis,” explained Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp, who added that the planning for this event started a couple months ago. He said to me, ‘Mayor, this is an event that occurred 54 years ago and I think it would be a great idea to reach out to your fellow mayors and recreate this event.’ We took the idea and ran with it.”

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Mapp, who opened the meeting with a moment of silence out of respect to the 22 victims who died in the Manchester bombing spoke on the symbolic gesture of cooperation and working together as a step toward a better future.

“ We need to look to our neighbors, forget the borders and know we can not do it all ourselves,” said South Plainfield Mayor Matthew P. Anesh. “I would like to thank Mayor Mapp for spearheading this event and making it happen," said Mayor Matthew P. Anesh. "Our entire governing body is present as well as our Chief of Police, Fire Chief, CFO/Administrator, Borough Clerk, Borough Attorney, DPW Superintendent, plus many of our residents.  I would also like to thank my confidential assistant Anne Daley for coordinating the donations, and working on this event with the other towns." 

Scotch Plains Township Manager Al Mirabella added that "it was a event where four municipalities and two counties dropped their borders and pledged to work together for the betterment of all our residents."

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith  and Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey echoed the sentiments on cooperation before participating in a series of photo opportunities, including the recreation of the original photo that appeared in the Plainfield Courier-News in 1963.

The mayors in the original photo were John George of South Plainfield, Robert Maddox of Plainfield, Anthony Yelencsics of Edison, and Norman Lacombe of Scotch Plains. 

After recreating the iconic photo, the mayors sat down to sign a joint proclamation and toasted to the renewed commitment of working together.  

There was a reception which followed the event and food was supplied by local businesses in Plainfield and South Plainfield. " Flanagans, KC's Korner, Paulo's and Maria Sweet Designs from South Plainfield donated an array of food and desserts," said Anne Daley, the Mayor's confidential assistant. "We can always count on our local businesses to donate."

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