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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sal Caruana: An Open Letter To A Former Councilman

     Mr. Caruana,

     During the time you served as a Westfield Town Councilman, there were many adjectives used to describe your character.  Some of the words used to describe you as you served the Town:: intelligent, wise, caring, fair, articulate.  What transpired at the Westfield Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening (May 24th) tarnished the tenure of a councilman that some may have considered a "shoe-in" had he run for the Mayor's office in 2013.  A "shoe-in" IF, Skibitsky vacates the office and IF, Ciarrocca leaves for Union County's Superior Court bench.  The Republican Party will now have to consider their chances of endorsing a candidate that appeared in a video berating a resident and losing his composure at a time when diplomacy and self-control would have been much more  beneficial.

     That's not to say you don't have a right to run for the Mayor's office.  Just as you have a right to run for elected office, Maria Carluccio had a right to her personal space of which appeared to have been violated during the heated debate captured by the Westfield Patch.  I use the word debate, and not argument, because I believe that everyone has a right to their opinion and your opinions were displayed in the political arena of a Town Council meeting.

     Perhaps if you had the opportunity to do it all over again, you may have chosen a more diplomatic approach to the way you handled Westfield resident Maria Carluccio.  Despite the fact that you called her a "fraud, a bully, and out of control," she can also be defined as "credible, compassionate, and articulate" when not confronted by a person who she might deem a "fraud, a bully, and out of control."

     Maria Carluccio's fears of retaliation as a result of her efforts in helping out a neighbor, a friend, another Westfield resident,are real.  She has been told by Mayor Skitbitsky, Councilman Ciarrocca, and Councilman Foerst that those fears are ridiculous and unfounded.  TFoTM strongly disagrees.

     Mr. Caruana, you served alongside each of these men during your time serving the citizens of Westfield.  There is no doubt in my mind that you know first hand "EXACTLY" what Mrs. Carluccio fears.  A blog posting yesterday on the Westfield Patch, by local resident John Blake, details what transpired during your tenure on the Westfield Town Council.  As a result of my attempts to report to Town Administrator Jim Gildea "EXACTLY" what was happening to local residents as described by J. Blake, I was retaliated against and targeted for termination by an administration that had run amok.

The following is the posting by John Blake at  I have highlighted the text, in yellow, that addresses the issue of police computer checks on Westfield residents including yourself.

A. John Blake
Tuesday night the ladies who object to the new light on Central Ave were again the victims of the evasion by distraction so well done by the administration.There is never an answer to their objection that the light should have been placed at the corner of Clover and Central There is never an answer as to why these ladies were told they were in the wrong forum, that this was a County decision, and that they had lost the right to complain because they had not attended a badly announced public meeting. There is never an answer as to why two Westfield citizens were abused the way these ladies were when they first voiced their objection.
I was most surprised that Mr.Caruana attacked these ladies after they claimed they were reticent because of possible retaliation. My Surprise stems from an incident in the past where both Mr.Caruana, I, and others were the subjects of improper background checks claimed to be in the possession of a Town employee. These "checks" were supposed to show what unsavory characters we were. He was most upset when he was the possible subject of retaliation, especially since it was the second time around for him. A record check was done of him and, due to the typist's inability to spell, the record of someone else came up and was attributed incorrectly to Mr.Caruana. He was most upset.
Mr. Caruana is correct that, in a perfect world, the ladies from Central would be polite, calm and specific in their objection. This is not a perfect world. If it were, these ladies would not have been the subject of improper information,mis-direction,and abuse.T heir reaction, while not polite,calm,and direct, is understandable. For Mr.Caruana to jump on one of their arguments having to do with diminished value, and make them look mercenery, overlooks their real hurt at being treated so badly by elected officials who are there to be helpful not abusive.
Mr. Caruana was ,very correctly, avid in his opposition to the duplicity surrounding the parking decks, I am surprised he attacked these ladies as he did. While they are not as dignified as he was when he had a problem,they are as motivated as he was.
A.John Blake

     Mr. Caruana, the Town of Westfield decided to settle with me and allow me to retire after they weighed their options.  To continue my case would have opened up a "Pandora's Box" to the eyes of the public and quite possibly cost the town millions in settlements as a result of potential lawsuits filed by those who's civil rights were allegedly violated, including your own.  The Town decided to sacrifice the source of the information instead of the corruption that existed.  It was a matter of economics, a cost analysis.
Sacrificing the career of one to cover the corruption of another/others is understandable when you consider the economical ramifications that could have been inflicted on the Town, but it is inexcusable.

     Mr. Caruana, how dare anyone confront corruption and question the authority of which allows corruption to exist; what do you think?
      Two famous quotes describe what many believe exists within our town's government and administration.  Mr. Caruana, you had an orchestra seat at the show during the time you served as a councilman.  I was sitting front and center with you.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it"
     Westfield town government and its officials should be held accountable for their actions.  Mr. Caruana, don't shoot the messenger, attack the message.  Until you and others do so, we will continue to present the facts and seek the truth, including Maria Carluccio, the person YOU called a "fraud, a bully, and out of control." 

     Might that be an example of the "pot calling the kettle black?"

     Mr. Caruana, as a Westfield Town Councilman you were in a position to seek the truth.  When it was suspected that the Westfield Police Department ran an alleged illegal background check on you, was there an investigation?  Did you allow Chief Tracy to retire without seeking the truth of whether or not Chief Tracy had run the alleged illegal access of your personal information via a CCH check.  Prior to having that information, you had my vote in any potential run for Mayor.  Did you back off any Town Council inquiry into Chief Tracy's alleged misconduct because of the possible ramifications it might have had on your political career.  Might the retaliation have been something you feared?

Maria Carluccio's fears are confirmed.


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  1. Unbelievable! You have to write a book. I have been following this blog and your postings on the Patch. Keep it up. Oprah is no longer on the air so I have between 4 pm and 5 pm free every day. I will be tuning in and listening to your show.

  2. Maria CarluccioSaturday, May 28, 2011

    I am fifty-five years old. Upon graduating H.S. at the ripe age of seventeen I moved independently to Arvada, Colorado chasing a dream. I was blessed to have found work and rented a cute little home for three years. I never attended a town council meeting.
    I moved back to my home town in Bergen County, N.J. at twenty to attended a state college and lived on and off in Cresskill, N.J. as an adult for eight years (this does not include my years in Cresskill as a minor). I never attended a town council meeting.
    I lived in Bergenfield, N.J. for one year,(what was I thinking?). I never attended a town council meeting.
    I lived in Closter, N.J. for four years. I never attended a town council meeting.
    I lived in Demarest, N.J. for fifteen years. (At least I kept moving up). I never attended a town council meeting.
    Are we getting the picture here?
    My husband was relocated through work to Cranberry, N.J. and we thought the town of Westfield would be a favorable midway point for us between work and family who primarily reside in Bergen County. We have lived here very happily for seven years now.
    Last September, 2010 when I walked to the foot of my driveway to pick up the paper I saw my neighbor across the street flipping out as this giant street light pole was being planted in here front yard. I equally was immediately crazed and ran in my house picked up the phone and called, who else, THE MAYOR! I left a message like any other totally shocked resident would have and to this day he never returned my call. Yes I voted for him and councilman Ciarrocca. I even permitted Mr. Skibitsky to use my front lawn being so high profile a location, to plant a giant lawn sign which was approximately six feet by four feet that read "ANDY SKIBITSKY FOR MAYOR" during his first run for mayor. WE had just moved to Westfield back then and if memory serves the very first people to come to our front door to welcome us to town was, you guessed it, Andy Skibitsky and Mark Ciarrocca. My how things have changed since then.
    I invite all the residents in Westfield to drive past our home on Central (1463) and if you've lived here for more than seven years you may remember the previous condition of our home. We obviously take care of our home and take great pride in the neighborhood and town we chose to live in. We also care deeply for the home owners and people who surround our home. THEY ARE OUR NEIGHBORS. Remember we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. Or is that just another old bible saying we have collectively chosen to throw by the wayside.
    Sorry Mr. Mayor, not me. Sorry town council of Westfield, not me. Sorry Mr. Caruana, not me. Sorry any and all of the residents of Westfield who are tired and disgusted with this crosswalk and streetlight war we now find ourselves in here on Central. If the right thing had been done from the start none of this would be happening. Do the right thing mayor and trust me, we'll go back to living our peaceful lives here in Westfield.
    I've said it before and I'll say it over and over and over again. If that was your house Mr. Mayor that light would never be there. If that was any ones home on the town council that light would never be there. If that was a relative or friends house that light would never be there. In plain language sir, you stink and so do your policies and I rue the day I ever voted for you and Mr. Ciarrocca. Live and learn.
    See you at the next council meeting. Looking forward to seeing what other big guns you've got in your arsenal of political cronies and panderers. Mr.Caruana was extremely effective if you call shooting yourself in the foot a political enhancement. You're going to have to do a lot better if your goal is to silence me.
    If running back round checks is still the status quo in Westfield I hate to disappoint you, I'm clean. And just as a footnote I know a few people myself who hold some pretty high positions in federal law enforcement. Lucky for me huh?

  3. Hey Sal

    Go decorate your house 4th of July is closing in.

  4. Why? I can have the hired help decorate, cut my grass, clean my house and maybe even get them to speak for me at the next meeting.

  5. Little Sally Caruana has a Napoleon Bonaparte complex. Or maybe Benito Mussolini is more applicable. It doesn't say much for the Skibitsky regime if the best they can do is come up with this little man-child Sally Caruana. What an embarrassment.

  6. Maria CarluccioSaturday, May 28, 2011

    It just dawned on me, where has Mr.Caruana been for the last nine months on this issue? I had absolutely no idea who this man was last Tuesday evening when he approached the microphone at the town council meeting and began to rip me to shreds. Obviously now I know who he is and I am even familiar with his home. Believe it or not a few years ago when I used to attend a bible study at a home on Dudley I'd pass his house. It was known as the Halloween House. I was in shock that anyone could glorify evil and decorate their beautiful house in such an ungodly fashion. I actually have prayed for this man. Wow, isn't God amazing? I don't want to cause a fire storm of postings for all you Halloween lovers and have you insinuate that I'm saying anyone who decorates their house for Halloween is evil. Read and understand my words carefully. Halloween is now right behind Christmas in holiday celebration and decor. (What a dichotomy). I am saying as a bible believing Christian that I'm certain the God of the universe is not a proponent of man worshiping the dark side such as put forth with images of dead bodies, witches, goblins, sorcerers, etc.. . and if you don't believe me just crack open your old dusty bible and show me where God asks us to glorify satan.
    I'm not holy. No one is. As a matter of fact I'm in need of a saviour. Praise God I know who he is. And I will continue to pray for all the lost souls, even Mr.Caruana, although I'm sure he'd tell me not to.
    I did hear a rumor this past year that this was the last year the Halloween house would be decorated and I was totally relieved. Despite what anyone may think about Halloween being innocent and fun, its not. It's another disgrace we've been duped into believing. Start looking up people, for your own sake.

  7. Maria.... should have stayed in CO

  8. Maria CarluccioSunday, May 29, 2011

    And in true form you remain under the cloak of Anonymous. Believe it or not after my posting I said to my husband "you know someone is going to say you should have stayed in Bergen County." It was so predictable. Too bad anon, you're stuck with me.

  9. Adina Toescu-EnculescuTuesday, May 31, 2011

    Thank you Mr. Blake.
    Watching the tape of the last Council meeting on Channel 36, anybody could see and hear that Mrs. Carluccio never insulted anybody. Still, Mr. Caruana exploited a misunderstanding with the purpose to publicly discredit and demean Mrs. Carluccio. It was absolutely appalling. He continued after the meeting to insult Maria Carluccio, repeatedly. I had no idea who Mr. Caruana was, what he has been and what he envisions for the future but I never thought that a former or present official with high aspirations for the future, could be capable to insult so terribly a resident of Westfield. There is no justification. If Mr. Caruana tried to silence the residents who advocated for the change of the location of the light in the middle of the road on Central Avenue, he made an awful mistake.
    Some people could be more emotional, more passionate, but this lady did not insult anybody, did not deserve this treatment, and Mr. Caruana should retreat his words and should present apologies to her publicly.