The Edison Blog: Edison, New Jersey

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Archive for April, 2011

Edison School Board results 2011

Posted by edison1205 on April 27, 2011

I have updated numbers from county clerk website below. No changes — just a few more votes for each of the candidates, probably from absentee ballots.

Anu GARRISON  2,715 YES  3,808 √
William BRUNNER  1,319
Arthur ESPOSITO  895  NO  3,585
Anthony MASSARO  2,634
Frank HEELAN  2,789 √
Sapana SHAH  3,185 √
Lois YUKNA  1,959
Gene MAEROFF (i)  3,089 √
William VAN PELT (i)  1,072

Congratulations to those who won today!

If you experienced difficulties voting today, contact one or more of the following:

League of Women Voters Assistance Line (800) 792-VOTE

N.J. State Division of Elections (609) 292-3760

U.S. Attorney Voter Hotline (609) 656-2558


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Board of Education candidates and budget vote

Posted by edison1205 on April 20, 2011

If you are still having trouble making up your mind about who to vote for in next Tuesday’s school board elections, you can read bios of all the candidates at the Sentinel‘s website here.

Voters will also be asked whether to approve the school’s 2011-12 budget of $204,998,572, of which $188,291,721 is proposed to come from local property taxes.

If you don’t know where you vote for the school elections — keep in mind, it may be different from your November polling place — use the State’s locator service here.

However you decide to cast your vote, please remember to vote on April 27.  Polls are open from noon to 9pm.

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Gonzo is gone-zo (updated)

Posted by edison1205 on April 12, 2011

The Home News is reporting that Edison mayor Antonia Ricigliano has fired the township business administator, Dennis Gonzalez.  The termination is effective May 17.

Coverage here.  Also see the Star-Ledger’s coverage here.

No announcement has been made about the mayor’s process for receiving resumes for applicants to replace Gonzalez.

The S/L coverage explained that from Ricigliano’s standpoint, Gonzalez had “demeanor” problems that “made it difficult for people to get along with him.”  Last April, we commented on Gonzalez’s appointment, explaining that his management style as observed in Trenton would not go over well here.  Here is what we wrote:

Journalists have also observed that he had an “abrasive style” during his tenure in Trenton and council persons have commented on his “arrogance.”

According to the author of this site, Gonzalez threatened a citizen with a lawsuit “for asking questions about Trenton’s economic development activities, or lack thereof.”  Threats like that will not go over here very well, especially considering the outspokenness and litigiousness of the township’s residents and employees.

So neither his dismissal nor the stated reason for his dismissal, surprises us.  The unfortunate part is that the mayor who appointed him and the council who confirmed him did not heed these danger signs.

On another note, in answer to the question asked in email about whether the council can still subpoena Gonzalez to appear even though he’s been fired, the answer is yes.  The council is allowed to subpoena, in addition to municipal officials, any third party who has relevant information to the council investigation.  The law says that the council may subpoena “any person within this state, to appear before it to give testimony or information required.”

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Candidate filings (updated)

Posted by edison1205 on April 11, 2011

Petitions to run as a partisan nominee for this year’s elections were due today.

Democrats Barbara Buono, Peter Barnes and Pat Diegnan will be unopposed in their respective primaries for re-election for the 18th district.

Republican Gloria Dittman filed to oppose Buono for the Senate seat.  Joseph Sinagra of Helmetta and Marcia Silva of South River filed for the Republican nomination for the 2 Assembly seats.

Independents wishing to run for any of these seats have until primary day, June 7, to make their filings.  One hundred valid signatures from registered voters are required on each petition.

This post will be updated once we receive word on county and local filings.

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Court denies Bryan’s reinstatement request; prosecutor takes over internal affairs

Posted by edison1205 on April 4, 2011

A Superior Court judge today denied EPD chief Thomas Bryan’s request to be immediately reinstated.  An April 15 disciplinary hearing will go forward as scheduled.  The April 15 hearing will come the morning after the township council’s nighttime meeting where it has subpoenaed the mayor and her aides to answer questions.

In other news, the Middlesex County Prosecutor has taken over, or superseded, the EPD Internal Affairs Department.  County prosecutors have been known to take over an entire police department, or parts of it, when needed to ensure justice is being served.

Star Ledger coverage here. Home News coverage here with photo.

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Committee of the Whole scheduled

Posted by edison1205 on April 4, 2011

The Next Special Council Meeting, which is a meeting of its Committee of the Whole, is scheduled for Thursday, April 14, 2011 at Herbert Hoover Middle School, 174 Jackson Avenue, at 6:00 P.M.

This is the second of a potentially long series of meetings where the council questions mayor Antonia Ricigliano and two of her aides, management specialist Bill Stephens and business administrator Dennis Gonzalez about township business.

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Legislative redistricting (updated)

Posted by edison1205 on April 2, 2011

Round 1 of the legislative redistricting process is now complete.  Now we wait to see whether the Republicans, Tea Partiers, minority voting coalitions, or others, will sue to invalidate the map.

Assuming the map holds, it will not have a substantial impact on Edison, which is in the 18th Legislative District (now represented by Barbara Buono, Peter Barnes III and Patrick Diegnan).  The 18th will remain as-is, except it will lose  Spotswood and gain Highland Park.

This decision avoids the absolute mess that an earlier version of the map had proposed: merging Edison and Woodbridge, and leaving Buono to face Joseph Vitale in a Senate primary.

On the other hand, this shift makes the district slightly more progressive, which is good for Buono but which may make things more difficult for the pro-life Peter Barnes.

Interestingly, Highland Park was formed out of Raritan Township (as Edison was then known) in 1905.  With this new map, Edison and Highland Park will again have a political connection.

We won’t know until April 11 whether there will be any partisan challengers to the Buono-Barnes-Diegnan team.  That’s the day nominating petitions are due for Democrats and Republicans seeking seats in the Legislature (and all other county and local offices, for that matter).  Independents who want to make a run for the seat have until June 7, the day of the primary election, to file petitions.

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Edison man sentenced for money laundering

Posted by edison1205 on April 1, 2011

From the U.S. Attorney:

Nilesh Dasondi, owner of Sterling System LLC (formerly Cygate Software & Consulting) and a former member of the Edison Township Zoning Board, was sentenced today to six months in prison for money laundering in connection with the trafficking in immigration documents used to procure H-1B Visas and Green Cards for ineligible or unqualified Indian nationals, United States Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

More information is available from the U.S. Attorney website.

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