The postal workers are certainly busy today. Not only have flyers gone out in the mail from all three slates, but now an endorsement of former Mayor Bob Russo, who is running for a councilor-at-large spot on the Montclair 2012 slate, also has been mailed out to union members by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO.
The letter endorses Russo and calls on union members to come out and vote for him on May 8.
The letter says: "Bob Russo, our union brother, is a candidate for Montclair Council. He understands the day-to-day struggle of Montclair's working families. He shares our values and will always place the interests of working families first. Bob Russo is the union choice recommended by the New Jersey State AFL-CIO."
The letter also says that Russo shares the values of working middle classes families and that he understands that working families are struggling right now to make ends meet.
Russo said he's very proud to have the suport of the AFL-CIO and working families throughout Montclair, noting that he believes his "experience in labor-management relations—which I have taught for many years at Rutgers and Montclair State universities—has given me the know-how to deal with unions, contracts and negotiations with public employees. I remain absolutely committed to fairness and will continue to balance the rights of taxpayers with those of employees."
According to the Montclair 2012 slate's website, Russo "was first elected to the Montclair Town Council in 1992. Four years later, his 1st Ward constituents returned him to office with an 80 percent majority. Featured in a 1994 New York Times story on his effective constituent service response record, Bob served as Council liaison to the Senior Citizens; Youth; Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, and Cable TV Advisory committees. As mayor, he chaired the Board of School Estimate and was a member of the Montclair Planning Board and Montclair Public Library board."
As the election draws closer, the rhetoric from all three slates has heated up.
David Grill, mayoral candidate Harvey Susswein's campaign manager, has emailed voters to say the following:
Robert Jackson, the mayoral candidate leading Russo's slate, "with the backing of the Essex County Democratic Party, with a Wayne Teacher’s Union president on the slate, and three present and former incumbents, promises that we can develop our way to solvency by increasing revenues without needing to reduce spending or reduce the public payroll. It’s fairy dust."