“Get your facts straight”

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:58

    To the editor: My September 30 letter to the editor in The Messenger criticized incumbent town council candidate, Carmen Scangarello, for not attending the Candidate’s Night hosted at Bald Eagle Village. Nothing in my letter was false. Yet, Mr. McQuaid and Mr. Scangarello chose to focus on irrelevant details and provide false information in their “responses.” I am happy to set the record straight. 1. I never said I was a member of Bald Eagle Village. I was, however, present at the Candidate’s Night there, unlike one of the candidates, Mr. Scangarello. Like any other person there, I can express my disappointment over Mr. Scangarello’s absence, regardless of whether I have a relationship with any of the candidates. It doesn’t change the fact that Mr. Scangarello was the only candidate who wasn’t there. 2. I am not the chairperson of the West Milford Democratic Municipal Committee. Two people share that title—not me. Even if I were, I believe that still wouldn’t change the fact that Mr. Scangarello did not attend the Candidate’s Night (please correct me if I’m wrong). 3. Both Scangarello and McQuaid refer to “alleged disgraceful actions/troubling remarks” made by other candidates. Neither Mr. McQuaid nor Mr. Scangarello were there, yet they have no problem implicating the Democratic candidates on the basis of hearsay. I was there. The “remarks” they refer to were actually made by a Bald Eagle resident while asking a question. Their “reporting” is irresponsible and reckless. 4. Mr. Scangarello claims he could not attend the meeting due to “a personal matter.” The candidates were invited and the date set for the Candidate’s Night back in May. Moreover, public servants usually arrange their personal schedules so they can attend to their public commitments. (When I was a candidate two years ago and could not attend a debate that was organized with only three weeks’ notice, due to my weekly teaching commitment at William Paterson University, I prepared and had a written statement read on my behalf. Mr. Scangarello didn’t attend that debate either, nor did he provide a statement—no actions and no words.) Mr. Scangarello chooses not to share any words with interested voters. I’m not surprised—he’d have to defend a pathetic record. Elimination of one of two public comment periods, reduced number of council meetings, hiring an unqualified municipal attorney, eliminating the Open Space committee, making volunteer committees political by dumping some longtime volunteers and voting against others put forward by the Democratic councilman. There’s more but that’s probably enough “action” for any town to bear. Instead of devoting time to writing a letter in response to mine—in a “smoke and mirrors” attempt to deflect attention from his being a “no-show”—he should’ve showed up and provided residents with a few words to explain his actions. Diana Romero West Milford