For whatever reason, Mr. Caruana launches into an attack on Westfield residents Maria Carluccio, Adina Enculescu, and Greg Kasko, all of whom are not named in Caruana's creative writing project and all of whom have attended town council meetings to question the placement of the Hawk pedestrian light on Central Ave., among other issues.
What his rant has to do with this years election is unknown. Quite frankly, Mr. Caruana goes so far off the beaten "election" path that TFoTM questions his motive. Hence the title of this story, "Former Westfield Councilman Sal Caruana: Political Hack."
It is widely known that Mayor Skibitsky and his sidekick, Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea, along with Police Chief "puppet" Dave Wayman, are all disgusted with the amount of information this site has been able to obtain and disseminate to the public over the past three years. Their attempts to "shoot the messenger" to silence the message has fallen short of their target.
What follows is Caruana's fear mongering letter and the rebuttals by residents Greg Kasko and John Blake that appeared in the December 5, 2013 edition of the Westfield Leader newspaper.
Letter to the Editor by resident Greg Kasko
In last week’s Westfield Leader, “former” Westfield Town Councilman Sal Caruana wrote an interesting “rant” that went from his observations of this year’s municipal election process, into a personal attack void of any fact but full of conjecture in an attempt to fear monger.
As a “retired” Westfield Police Officer, I have the right to carry a concealed handgun. I have included the following that illustrates that right.
In 1997 N.J.S.A. 2C:39-6.2 was signed into state law .
In July 2004, H.R. 218, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act was signed into federal law.
Under both state and federal law, as a “retired” police officer, I am legally permitted to carry a concealed handgun.
To set the record straight Mr. Caruana, as a United States citizen, I have a right to “bear arms.” In addition, as a retired police officer, by law, I have the right to carry a concealed handgun provided I have complied with the state statute with regards to application, testing, re-testing, and the overall qualification process.
While I legally obtained a carrying permit after my retirement from the Westfield Police Department in 2007, I allowed it to expire and have not renewed it. I DO NOT carry a concealed firearm, furthermore, I DO NOT even own a gun; both are MY choice.
If only Councilman Caruana, and other town officials, had been as concerned about a rogue police chief abusing his right as a law enforcement officer, to do illegal background checks on Westfield residents during the parking deck debacle in 2004, as he (Caruana) is about whether or not I carry a concealed weapon into town council meetings, perhaps I might have a little more faith in some of our town officials.
Letter to the Editor by resident A. John Blake
Mr.Caruana,you are mistaken when you entitled your articles a "Post Mortem". Those are usually based on facts. Your's was a flight of fancy in which you did not allow facts to impair your rabble-rousing. First of all, the affair of the Central Ave. light began with a proper application by the affected lady to the Town Council. She was told she didn't belong there, had lost her right to complain and that the decision was not the Town's. Each of these has been proved to be untrue. She was abused and mistreated.
Has the conduct at the meetings on both sides always been good? No. But let us not forget how it started. The then Council mistreated a citizen of Westfield.
To my amazement, you then launch into a flawed rabble-rousing attack on Greg Kasko. You begin with the fact that Mr.Kasko, as a retired cop, is allowed to carry a gun. You then proceed into a virtual warning to all that he might be attending the Council meetings armed.You skip two important facts. He has allowed his permit to lapse and has not sought to renew it ,which he can do as his right as a retired cop and, he doesn't own a gun, much less carry one.
I'm surprised at you because you have been the victim of such baseless abuse when an official ran a record check on you but didn't spell your name correctly. When he advertised the rap sheet of the wrong man, you were angry. The official opened his mouth without the proper facts. He did what you just did to Kasko. Another difference is that you kept quiet about it rather than ruffle Party feathers.
The Westfield police have attended Council meetings for years. Don't make it sound like the present disagreements with your fellow Republicans has required an upgrade of security. You should remember the presence of policemen at the "Parking Deck" meetings. Don't you remember one objector being arrested on warrants as soon as he exited the meeting?
As I remember your attempt to "explain the traffic light approval process" you were insulting to the objecting ladies and evaded the question about the failure of any advertisement to say a mid-block light was contemplated.
You are quick to apply the term " Bully" to those in opposition to the Council. Don't you think the appellation applies to the Council member who originally abused the objector and then obtained support from Party loyalists?
I agree that politeness and diplomacy should be used at all public meetings, however I don't think candidates need to fear the public's invective. You reap what you sow. If elected officials answered factual questions directly and candidly, they would find the public far more respectful than it might presently be.
It is when public officials delve into misinformation and insulting rhetoric like your alleged "Post Mortem" that the public becomes enraged. The purple pen you took up to inflame people against Mr.Kasko is a perfect example. It is baseless. It is demagogic and it is like your commentary. It's a bag of wind.