MANVILLE: Corradino responds to recent letters

To the editor:
It is time to set the record straight about recent letters by members of the Republican ticket.
   In a recent letter, it was stated that I would receive lifetime benefits from the borough if I were to serve one day in office. The truth is that I am retired and will be receiving my state pension around the same time I will be taking office, killing that theory.
   My opponent, on the other hand, will be receiving two pensions, one from the N.J. Education Association and the other from the Public Employees Retirement System. Who is doing the double-dipping on our dime? It looks like Ms. Asher.
   The other issue regards health benefits. The Council passed an ordinance this year (maybe Mr. Onderko forgot), which stated only those serving during 2011 will be grandfathered and receive lifetime health benefits. Isn’t it ironic that the only person who qualifies for this benefit is Steve Szabo, who is running for Council this year? If he serves one day he will receive lifetime benefits at the expense of the borough, not Lou Fischer or I?
   I will receive no more compensation than any other elected official will receive, with the exception of Mr. Szabo.
   Why aren’t they talking about the issues? The reason is they have no answers. They accomplished nothing over the last four years except giving us, the residents, a lot of lip service and no real solutions.
   They talk about a hiring freeze initiated in 2002 when I was in office and, due to the problems with cash flow, I had to downsize our police force by three officers. This was accomplished through attrition and no one was laid off. The public works department was downsized by four employees; again this started in 2002, not recently.
   The zero-based budget concept was adopted by Kathy Quick and we worked together to accomplish this task again during my administration. Mr. Onderko and Ms. Asher also brought up Frank’s Citgo and how that is going to gain revenue for the town. Aren’t they aware that there is no tenant occupying the building and we are not collecting rent? However, we are stuck with a cleanup bill for the building, which was devastated by Hurricane Irene.
   We also, as a community, have to pay for all the testing to see what degree of contamination is on that property and how much Manville will have to spend to clean it up. We were stuck with an albatross when Ms. Asher and Mr. Szabo blindly took over that building without waiting for the state to do the testing to see what degree of contamination is in that soil before foreclosing.
   The other rumor they are spreading is that I am in favor of opening an OTB at the Rustic Mall site. The fact is that is a dead issue and there are no plans to resurrect that, especially since the state no longer runs these facilities. I assure you that, if I am elected, the plans would be put on a referendum with all the pros and cons placed for the public to decide what is in our best interest but there are no plans to open an OTB in Manville.
   We have a lot of serious problems facing our community and it is going to take serious people to resolve them. Ensuring everyone who qualifies for a buyout receives an offer; redevelopment of the Rustic Mall; cleaning up Main Street and making it pedestrian friendly again; filling all the store vacancies we now have on the south side of town; and stabilizing taxes.
   It takes a proven leader, not someone who, due to a lack of leadership ability, was voted out as Council President by her own party.
   I have overcome obstacles facing Manville before and I am asking you to give me the opportunity to do it again.
   I would be more than happy to discuss the above issues with my opponent at an organized public forum if she is willing to do so.
Angelo Corradino