Mayor Mahr, center, mom Nancy Yewaisis to her right and Committee people Adele Kenny, Pat and Tom Plante, enjoy the food, drinks and friendship under the big tent.
I am running for election for Fanwood Democratic Committee in District three. The seat I am seeking was held by former councilman Bill Populus, who was a leader in our community for decades, and sadly passed away recently.
I have lived in Fanwood for 14 years, and I cannot imagine raising my family in any other town. I l love the sense of community and that everything is in walking distance. Over the years I have worked with town officials to address safety issues on my street, an issue which continues to be of great importance to me.
A year and a half ago, I joined the Recreation Commission, where we continue to seek out new programs and events to bring to Fanwood as well as bringing new ideas to established events. Prior to that I had volunteered at many town events, including the Fanwood 5K, the Halloween Parade, Party in the Park, and the Christmas Event.
I have been a supporter of Mayor Colleen Mahr and her team. During this recent campaign, I have truly enjoyed going out in my district, knocking on doors, meeting people and receiving very enthusiastic support. Along with Amy Boroff, who I am proud to have as a running mate, we look forward to serving district three as well as all of Fanwood.
I ask all Democrats in District three to come out Tuesday June 4th and vote in confidence in myself and Amy Boroff supporting team Mahr. Keep integrity in Fanwood and vote Column B!
I am running for re-election for the Fanwood Democratic Committeeman in District 4, a position I have held for the past 20 years.
As a long time resident of Fanwood, I believe it is important to give back to the community and get involved where you can contribute best. That’s is why I had two stints serving on the Planning Board in Fanwood, including being the Board’s liaison to the Environmental Committee.
I have been an active member of the Fanwood Democratic Committee and a great supporter of Mayor Colleen Mahr. I am proud to be part of her team as we run together in the June 4th primary to keep control of Fanwood local.
I ask all Democrats in Fanwood District 4 to come out next Tuesday and vote for me and Adele Kenny, and support #TeamMahr. Vote Column B!
Fanwood Democratic Committeeman for District 4
I am a Fanwood Democrat and I will be voting in this year’s primary on June 4. I was elected to the Fanwood Borough Council in Nov. 2018. As I said in my campaign, I am honored to work with and support Mayor Mahr, the town council and the Democratic Committee. I have seen the hard work, dedication and integrity of this very diverse group of men and women as they serve the Fanwood residents.
Our town has a lot to be proud of and that includes Democrats who believe in good government while being transparent and a government that works hard for all. Mayor Mahr and the Column B team have been involved in volunteerism throughout the community while working tirelessly to listen to the residents, act on their concerns and try to provide their best for the community. I believe we have no political agenda --- just a willingness to provide leadership that will benefit all of us.
Primaries have historic low voter turnout. So, I ask, please go out on June 4 and Vote Column B Team Mahr. We are representing your voices in the Democratic Party. We are your neighbors in your voting districts and would like to continue to represent you in the Democratic Committee. We have and will continue to put Fanwood Residents First! We are approachable, available and with your help, ready to continue to provide the best governing body and Democratic Committee possible.
VOTE COLUMN B JUNE 4 TEAM MAHR
A primary challenge to long-term members of the Democratic Committee, in Fanwood, really?
I just read Carolyn Daly Brink’s letter to the editor supporting her husband’s candidacy in Column A, against me. I agree with one of the statements Mrs. Brink made about her husband. After retiring from the National Archives, I accepted a part-time position as archivist for Union County, and worked with Mark on records related projects. I became friendly with Mark and agree with Ms. Brink that he’s an honorable guy. That’s the only agreement I have with her May 22 letter to the editor.
I am not a politician! I’m a Staten Island refugee, and I’ve been a Fanwood resident since October 1985. Soon after I got to our magnificent little borough, I was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals, and eventually was elected Chair. When the Zoning and Planning Boards were combined, I was appointed to the new board by a Republican mayor. I served for more than 25 years and was elected Vice Chair.
Since I worked for the National Archives, I was appointed as the Planning Board representative to the Historic Preservation Commission. I eventually was elected the Commission chair. Anyone that knows me will read this and be puzzled by my self-promotion. Mrs. Brink’s letter forced me to respond!
Mrs. Brink referenced the national political climate. Readers might recall that a 2016 victor can’t accept his win, but continues to attempt to grind Hillary Clinton, his opponent -- oh, yeah, a strong woman politician -- into oblivion. She says Column B is “working hard to divide our Democratic party.” Really?
I hope Mrs. Brink, the Mirabellas, and even the State Senator from Linden (Nick Scutari), read my self-aggrandizing second paragraph. When I was asked to run as the male Democratic Committee person for District 5 by Mayor Mahr, I told her that I’m not a politician. I don’t like demeaning opponents, or crowing about my accomplishments. This breath-taking power-grab forced me to take fingers to keyboard.
Column B Candidate - District 5
This letter comes in response to the TAP interview with Al and Phyllis Mirabella. I have been on the Fanwood Democratic Committee for over 7 years now and have been on the Fanwood town council for 3.5 years so I have had to run for office twice against a member of another party. But now, thanks to the actions of Mr. Mirabella and Senator Scutari, I and 13 other good Democrats, have to run against people in our own party to keep control of Fanwood in Fanwood. We are having to run against our own neighbors.
The people on the current Fanwood committee, who are ALL on Column B in June with the exception of Mr. Mirabella, are long time Fanwood residents, not politicians. They don't just support "one person", as Mr. Mirabella claims. They support the good work that is going on in Fanwood and the good people who have run for office here. They support the Mayor because she has done an excellent job and is loyal to Fanwood! And now Mr. Mirabella wants to put out a false narrative that suggests that all these people don't have good and diverse ideas? He knows these people. Many of them used to be his friends. Ask yourself really.... why is he running a campaign against Fanwood residents who have supported our community for years? What agenda is at play here? Better question, if this is just about Mr. Mirabella reclaiming his seat on the Fanwood Democratic committee, why is our state Senator Nick Scutari contesting 300 committee seats across Union County? It is not just Fanwood.
Mrs. Mirabella talks about having to unite as a democratic party. This is obviously important to all democrats now. However, we should unite with honesty and integrity, motivated by the desire to do good, not for personal or political gain. The current democratic committee is and has been united with the goal of a better Fanwood. It is disingenuous to suggest these people have another political agenda or do not have Fanwood's best interest at heart.
The truth of the matter is that Mr. Mirabella has not been actively involved in Fanwood Democratic committee for several years, long before he was the lone democrat who turned his back on his own mayor for county political reasons. The other truth is that Mirabella didn't just want his own committee seat. He and the county want all of the committee seats. That is why they refused to give our committee the line and promptly presented a full slate of 14 committee candidates to run against us. This behavior has played out across the county. Is that diversity of opinion they are seeking or consolidation of power to one person? The REAL truth is, this primary fight is not about Fanwood at all. For Mirabella and Scutari, this is about the county taking control of committees in EVERY town in the county.
From my perspective, this is the opposite of good government, the opposite of what it means to me to be a real Democrat. Mr. Mirabella already turned his back on the Fanwood Democratic Organization a year ago when he did not support Colleen for county chair, and actively campaigned against her. Now, he is trying to do it in Fanwood, and for what personal or political gain? Colleen isn't seeking higher office. She is not trying to climb the political ladder. She is trying to do the right thing for Fanwood. Can Al Mirabella say that is what he has been doing? Is that what former politician Linda Stender is doing, who does not even live in Fanwood anymore but is advising him during this campaign? If he was truly Fanwood First, he would have worked with his mayor and his democratic committee for what is best for our town first. He has not done that in many years.
Please don't claim the moral high ground in this fight. The only people who really support Fanwood residents first, without seeking personal or political gain, are the current committee members who will all be on Column B on June 4. Please come out to support them.
Erin McElroy Barker
Mayor Mahr visited the Chelsea Monday (May 20, 2019) to give residents an update on the latest Fanwood news. They were especially happy to hear about the new grocery store, Fanwood Larder, coming to within walking distance. The Mayor also handed out flyers showing where to find COLUMN B candidates on the June 4 primary ballot. Chelsea residents reside in District 3 and vote at First Children School right up the street on South Avenue.
I am a lifelong Democrat and have been a part of the Fanwood Democratic party for over 15 years. I have worked closely with all the committee men and women running on Column B as well as Mayor Mahr each and every election.
I have seen first hand their hard work and sense of community they bring to our party. Those men and women in each district have put in the work and helped campaign time and time again for Fanwood Democrats. We have celebrated our victories and our defeats together.
I, along with many Democratic voters, reject Freeholder Mirabella and his wife, Phyllis's self-serving characterization of why they are mounting a challenge to those who hold the positions currently. I will be proudly voting the ENTIRE Column B "People First Democrats" slate on Tuesday, June 4, and ask my fellow Fanwood DEMOCRATS to do the same.
The good folks at Monk's Remodeling Studio on South Avenue opened their doors to us Thursday evening, May 16, 2019, as Mayor Colleen Mahr hosted a wine reception to introduce herself and members of the Column B ticket to voters. She touted the ongoing success of our downtown redevelopment, a direct result of which is Monk's and the residents who live above it. Some of them joined us. She also spoke of the challenge our Committee candidates face from the slate backed by the County Democratic machine which seeks to take control of our local Committee. Council candidate Kathy Mitchell was in attendance, along with committee candidates Steve Falco, Tom and Pat Plante, Adele Kenny and John Celardo. DON'T STAY HOME JUNE 4TH. VOTE COLUMN B!
We are the Fanwood Democratic Committee seeking your support on the June 4th primary ballot on Column B, along with Mayor Colleen Mahr and a slate of Democratic Council Candidates.
We read with great interest the recent interview given by Union County Freeholder and Scotch Plains Township Administrator Al Mirabella and his wife, Phyllis, on the upcoming election. We felt it merited a response from those of us who were personally and directly affected by their representations of who we are, what we think, what we are allegedly saying and why we are running on Column B, the People First Democrats ticket.
The Mirabella's are backed by Union County Party Chairman/New Jersey State Senator Nick Scutari who has forced a primary challenge here in Fanwood and in several municipalities across the county. The Democratic chairman has pitted Democrats against each other.
While they speak of how Mayor Mahr was "offered the line but didn’t take it,” what they conveniently leave out is that Senator Scutari refused to allow us, many long-standing committee members, to run with Mayor Mahr on the County Democratic Party line. His motive is simple--build a party that supports him, and him alone. So let’s call this primary challenge what it is--political retribution for supporting Mayor Mahr over him for County Chair.
Mayor Mahr and the Column B Council candidates did not and would not turn their backs on us for the idea of running on the County Democratic line, something that would have made their lives easier. Instead, they chose to stand shoulder to shoulder with us. Who are we? We are Fanwood Democrats who represent a town with people of different ages, from a variety of cultural, ethnic and professional backgrounds, who are joined together by our common Democratic beliefs. Some of our members are new to our team this year. All have impressive resumes as volunteer members of Fanwood boards and commissions, as well as other community activities. We are invested in Fanwood. Together, we are all working to build a better Fanwood and a stronger Democratic Party.
The call by the Mirabella's to bring a diversity of opinions and new ideas to our local Committee is curious since they have been absent from our meetings, social events and local efforts to elect Fanwood Democrats, all opportunities to share these so-called new ideas. Freeholder Mirabella has been on our County Freeholder Board for 22 years and has been supposedly active in our committee for 16 years, ample time to present ideas and bring new members to the committee. So, you can see why this new-found interest in rebuilding our party came as a surprise to the entirety of the Fanwood Democratic Committee.
In reading the interview, one thing is very clear--this election is indeed about more than one person. It's about two people--County Chair Scutari and Freeholder Mirabella who are both trying to control what happens here in Fanwood.
Our Fanwood Democratic Committee’s door has always been open to all who want to join our cause. We encourage the voters to visit our website, fanwooddems.com. From now until June 4th, we will be actively working to re-elect Mayor Mahr and the entire Column B team!
Sincerely and in unity,
Patricia "Trisha" Walsh
Erin McElroy Barker
For the first time in decades, Fanwood voters have choices to make among local candidates on a primary ballot. While Mayor Colleen Mahr and Council candidates Kathy Mitchell, Jeff Banks and Kevin Boris are running unopposed in the June 4th primary, our incumbent Democratic Committee candidates face a challenge from a slate supported by the Union County Democratic organization.
In my 20 plus years serving Fanwood as a volunteer and a Councilman, it's been my privilege to see these dedicated men and women working to make our town better in many ways. They believe in small-town values and have been busy in activities over the years, mostly as volunteers, to further those values. This is what our local Democratic organization is all about supporting our politics, our values, selecting excellent candidates and keeping those priorities in Fanwood.
The County Democratic machine has turned its back on these people and is interested in consolidating power for reasons that have very little to do with us.
I urge Fanwood Democrats to turn out on June 4th and vote for those friends and neighbors you've known for years, along with several new and involved community leaders, as your grassroots representatives in our neighborhoods. They will be listed on Column B, right under Mayor Mahr and the other candidates I mentioned above. Their slate is called People First Democrats, and includes Freeholder candidate Jack Molenaar. They are campaigning to keep Democratic political power in local hands and out of the hands of county power brokers. You can read all about our Committee candidates and confirm which district you are in at fanwooddems.com.
You'll be greeted at the polling places this year by brand new voting machines. They have easy to use touch screens and poll workers will be there to assist. It's a good idea to go to http://ucnj.org/board-of-elections/how-to-use-a-voting-machine/ and watch a short video to familiarize yourself with them.
By the way, if you are registered as an unaffiliated voter, you can still vote for our Democrats in the primary. You need only declare yourself a Democrat for the purposes of this primary--you don't have to change your registration. You can do that right at the polling place before you go to the machine. A poll worker will show you how.
Please remember to vote for Mayor Colleen Mahr and your Committee candidate under Column B to keep your representation in the county Democratic committee local. The phrase "every vote counts" really matters this year.
THE COLUMN B BRIGADE! Mayor Colleen Mahr, Council candidates Kathy Mitchell, Jeff Banks and Kevin Boris, several of our Committee candidates and supporters from the community came to the home of Scott Sinclair on Shady Lane in Fanwood on Sunday May 5th to promote the People First Democrats slate for the June 4th primary. Scott is one of our 14 candidates for Democratic Committee who you'll find on Column B of the ballot along with Mayor Mahr and the Council candidates on June 4th. They need your vote to keep our Democratic representation right here in our town. VOTE COLUMN B, PEOPLE FIRST DEMOCRATS, ON JUNE 4TH!
Councilwoman Patricia Walsh joins the Council in the seat vacated by Jack Molenaar. She was elected in November, 2018.
Councilman Jeff Banks assumed the Council seat held by Russ Huegel, who resigned in late December to become Borough Attorney. Under state law, Banks was chosen by the Council from three nominees selected by the Democratic Committee. Banks must run for election this year to remain in that seat.
Councilwoman Erin McElroy Barker was sworn in for her second term, surrounded by family. She was re-elected in November.
Did you know that, in addition to serving as our Mayor, Colleen Mahr is also the newest President of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities?
The League is a voluntary association created to help communities do a better job of self-governing through pooling information resources and brain power. In her role, Mayor Mahr works to lead municipalities to better self-governance and connecting officials across town and county lines for a more productive New Jersey.
Mayor Mahr is featured in the January issue of the organization's publication, NJ Municipalities, where she discusses her role as the President and also mentions her mayor duties in Fanwood. The magazine is available as a subscription-based publication for municipalities and professionals.
Congratulations to Councilwoman Erin McElroy Barker for being re-elected and to Trisha Walsh for being elected to the Fanwood Council. They were joined by Mayor Colleen Mahr, friends, family and supporters at Sheelen's Crossing on election night, Nov. 6th, 2018.
Photo: Group, left to right: Eryn Sinclair, Recreation Commissioner; Hannah Sinclair; Scott Sinclair, left rear: Kevin Boris, former Councilman; Mayor Colleen Mahr in blue top; Trisha Walsh, Councilwoman-elect; Councilwoman Erin McElroy Barker; Anthony Carter, back row between them; Councilman Jack Molenaar, Fanwood Democratic Chairman; front row Connor Barker, 15; Kieran Barker, 12.
OFFICIAL RETURNS AS CERTIFIED BY THE UNION COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS:
McElroy Barker: 2341
Fanwood voters who live in Districts 4 and 5 will no longer vote at the Terrill Road Bible Chapel. Voters in those districts will now go to the LaGrande Park Building on Election Day. Entry is best from LaGrande Avenue at 3rd Street.
If you are unsure of the district you are in, or would like to see the full voting map, click on the links below.
Our fundraiser on October 25, 2018, at the Fanwood Grille for Council candidates Erin McElroy (incumbent) Barker and Trisha Walsh featured fabulous food thanks to hosts Paul Watterson and John Mooney and words of encouragement from State Senator Nick Scutari and Freeholder candidates Andrea Staten and Kimberly Mouded. Councilman Russ Huegel was master of ceremonies, accompanied by Councilmen Jack Molenaar and Tom Kranz and Councilwoman Kathy Mitchell.
Bruce Walsh, a Fanwood attorney and three-time Borough Councilman, died Saturday morning after a long illness. He was 73.
Mr. Walsh served a total of 12 years as a Councilman. He was first elected in 1988 and served through 1991. After a year off, he was elected again in 1992 when he and Council President Maryanne Connelly made Borough history by capturing majorities in all seven of the town’s voting districts. He served from 1993-1998, then again from 2006-2008. He served varying roles on the Council including Council President, Police Commissioner and Fire Commissioner. In between Council terms, he served on the Planning Board.
“I had the pleasure of serving alongside Bruce and was educated by his calm, thoughtful approach to governing,” said Mayor Colleen Mahr. “He loved Fanwood. He made a lasting impact on our community. I send my deepest condolences to his family.”
Mr. Walsh, writing in the Fanwoodian newsletter in 2008, his last year on the Council, spoke fondly of his years serving the town.
“In the last twenty years I suppose I have attended well over 1,000 meetings on matters related to Fanwood, and met hundreds of volunteers working for this wonderful Borough. I have had the pleasure and privilege of getting to know the dedicated people who work for Fanwood. I have special admiration for all the volunteers I have met, from the members of our volunteer Fire and Rescue Squads to all those who serve on our various Boards and Committees. These are the people who get little public recognition but who deserve the gratitude of all of us who love Fanwood.”
Mr. Walsh’s sister, Trisha, following in her brother’s footsteps, is currently running for Fanwood Borough Council.
Mr. Walsh is survived by his wife Pat and three children raised in Fanwood--Jennifer Fazzino, who lives in Fanwood with husband Sal, Michael Walsh and Emily Crispino, and eight grandchildren, Matthew, Alex, Mary, Timothy, McKenzie, Michael, Natalie and Thomas.
Those interested in paying respects may do so Tuesday, July 31, 2-5PM at the Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home, 156 Main Street, Newton, NJ 07860.
Erin and Trisha were joined by Mayor Mahr, Fanwood Democrats and supporters from around the region for their first fundraiser of the 2018 campaign at Houdini Pizza Lab on South Avenue. More photos below.
Erin and Trisha marched with the Fanwood Mayor and Council contingent in the 2018 Memorial Day Parade, along with Mayor Colleen Mahr, Councilman Tom Kranz and the Mayor's sons Liam, Dan and Colin.
Democratic Council candidate Trisha Walsh joined the clean up during Fanwood's annual Earth Day Community Clean Up event.
Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr Featured in The Wall Street Journal:
"Meet the Women Reshaping New Jersey Politics"--by Kate King