Former Garwood GOP Councilwoman Endorses Dems

This article was published in the Thursday, October 24, 2019 edition of The Westfield Leader.

I am writing this letter in support of the current Democratic team running for Council that includes, Jen Blumenstock, Marc Lazarow, and Russ Graham.

I proudly served on Council for six months in 2018 as an appointed Republican. I had the pleasure of working with Marc and Jen on the Buildings and Grounds Committee. I was impressed with the hard work and dedication that Marc and Jen demonstrated. Working together was productive, and rewarding. Issues were discussed, options explored, and decisions made–teamwork at its finest.

Throughout 2019, I have continued to attend Council meetings. The meetings I could not attend, I watched on Garwood Live. My first observation was that the meetings are now much more civil, and show
real cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. It is clear that party is left at the door, and Garwood’s best interest is the only interest.

I truly appreciate Marc and Jen’s attention to details, such as making sure the municipal budget tax bill was flat in 2018, and only increased $35 in 2019. The “breaking down the budget” town halls held for the residents required real effort, time, and commitment to the taxpayers of Garwood. I say this as a fiscal conservative.

“I encourage all Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike to vote Blumenstock, Lazarow and Graham for honest leadership that is dependable for real results for our
town on November 5th.

Since Russ Graham’s appointment in January, I’ve watched him hit the ground running as he oversaw the new shading at Hartman Park and monitored the quarterly maintenance checklists of our parks. I believe Hartman Park is an asset to Garwood, and the children that play there can attest to that.

Having run last year, I learned firsthand how some folks are deflecting blame just to create more division amongst our town. I found the piece mailed by the Garwood Republican Club, which impersonated a school-publication called “The Garwood Connection,” disturbing, as it was riddled with misrepresentations, misstatements, and flat out falsehoods.

I attended the Forum at The Pointe this past Thursday evening. After listening to all the candidates, it is crystal clear that Marc, Jen and Russ are here to work hard for Garwood, as they have already, and will undoubtedly continue to do so!

Running a municipality is hard work and comes with many late hours. That cannot be accomplished if everyone isn’t willing to work together. A cohesive group is what sits on the dais now, and I hope to see them continue.

This is why I encourage all Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike to vote Blumenstock, Lazarow and Graham for honest leadership that is dependable for real results for our town on November 5th.

Stephanie Bianco
Former Garwood Councilwoman (R)