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Former Mayor Russo Eager To Get His Slate's Message Out

Russo says he will cut his own salary and combine levels of government

 

Former Mayor Bob Russo, whose "Montclair 2012" slate is led by another former mayor, Robert Jackson, said he's eager to get his message out, just two months before May's local election.

Russo, who is running for one of two councilor-at-large positions, said it's hard to relay information to the public when so many candidates are running for office.

He explained that his message is simple.

"I will cut my own salary to set an example for savings ... it is symbolic ... I have said this from the beginning when I was considering running for mayor last year," he said. "I am for regionalization of services and connecting town governments to save money.

"We must have the courage to combine levels of government in inovative ways," Russo said. "I teach this in Public Administration classes at Montclair State University and Rutgers. I am a red tape and bureaucracy cutter from my days directing the Lemon Law and when I was mayor for one term.

"No one had as good a constituent response record on the council!," he added. "I am not a 'professional politician' but a student and professor of American, state, and local government who has challenged the party organizations in many elections, winning some and coming close in others, on my own with hundreds of volunteers and small contributors helping to upset the incumbents and political machines."

Russo, who has lived in Montclair for 24 years, said that those on his slate work well together and that, on the council, they will work hard to save taxpayers from the unfair burden of increasing property taxes and mounting debt.

"Robert Jackson and I, as well as our Montclair 2012 slate, have the experience to do the job from day one and we have some new faces to give us a fresh perspective, as well as the valuable knowledge of current and former council members to help us get the job done right," he said.

Russo noted that a complete turnover every four years, with all new council members, has not worked in the past and will not work in the future.

"We represent all wards and perspectives, with a diversity unmatched by any other slate," he said.

In a recent email to residents, the Montclair 2012 slate announced the launch of Montclair2012.com and its Campaign Kickoff. The slate's initial announcement was published on Montclair Patch late last month here.

The Montclair 2012 Team not only includes Jackson (running for mayor) and Russo, but also Richard McMahon III, Richard Murnick, Robin Schlager, and Sean Spiller.

Montclair 2012 was the third slate announced. "For Montclair" recently announced a slate that has Harvey Susswein running for mayor. In addition, another slate calling itself "Real Progress Montclair" has Karen Turner running for mayor.

tryintosurvive March 13, 2012 at 05:53 PM
"My information is mostly about other districts..." Since this thread is about Mayor Russo and his message, I would think that we should use Montclair examples. No-one is strongly resenting anyone, but this is where many of the major costs for the town are. It is not statewide nor is is equivalent on a town by town basis.
Cary Africk March 13, 2012 at 09:52 PM
althea, Thanks for the note. We are doing the budget NOW and I brought up this SPECIFIC question to the Town Manager. He told me that other than Dental, Vision, and Prescription the remainder goes through the state plan. I did not think this was true. He also said that Dental, Vision, and Prescription had been bid out.
bob russo March 14, 2012 at 04:51 PM
I will not accept any health coverage from Montclair Twp....and did not for all the years I served on the Council....have my own and wife's.....hopefully that will save the town a little money.
A. Gideon March 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM
"Noble was the approval to sell the Wildwood tract. Noble, short-sighted and just plain stupid." I share the idea that town politicians trying to be "noble" gets us into trouble. Most often it seems to be some fashion of being noble with taxpayers' dollars. I see people complaining about the "lack of compassion" when something is outsourced or taken off the budget to which it never really belonged. But what about the compassion for financially stressed property owners and renters in town that are the primary source of town revenue? Shouldn't our political leaders be more noble to them, showing them compassion by keeping their costs down? People complain about the lack of universal health care on these forums, for example. It's a fair complaint, but should we be "noble" and provide health care to all regardless of what it does to some of our fellow citizens? What's so ignoble about paying what it takes to get good people working for us, but w/o extra thrown in? Where is the "nobility" or "compassion" in pricing our residents out of town with taxes that continue to rise when many of us are dealing with years of unchanged salaries, salary reductions, or even lost jobs? ...Andrew
CGI Debate March 20, 2012 at 02:09 AM
The Montclair High School Civics and Government Institute will be hosting a community-wide mayoral debate. The debate will take place April 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the school's LGI room. The focus of the debate will be on education in Montclair. It will be moderated by two high school seniors, Chris Murphy and Gabriella Peterson. Residents can submit questions for the candidates via email at cgidebate@gmail.com or Twitter @CGIdebate.

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