Rahway GOP Says Piano Purchase Hits a Sour Note

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RAHWAY—That Mayor Kennedy, the Rahway City Council and Administrator & Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier would even consider paying $90,000 for a piano at this time just shows how out of tune these people are with the residents of this city, says GOP Municipal Chairman Patrick Cassio.

“Just this past summer the residents of Rahway had to forgo having the annual Fourth of July fireworks display”, he pointed out. The governing body said it would be inappropriate to spend $40,000 on fireworks.

According to a June 2009 Star Ledger article, city leaders in Rahway canceled the show because they said that they felt a glittery Independence Day would be insensitive to the six municipal employees who were to be laid off on July 1.

Further, in the same article Pelissier claimed that he would find it troubling to say to an employee “you’re losing your job, but we’re still spending money on a celebration involving fireworks, it just didn’t seem appropriate.”

“We think that they should now explain to the long-time Rec Center employee, who earned $50K, and was among those who joined the ranks of the unemployed how they justify it being appropriate to replace her with a piano,” Cassio said.

Cassio also questioned many aspects of what he referred to as “the grand piano plan,” to include the total financing in dollars and cents and questioned the idea of moving such an expensive instrument from venue to venue referring to the UCPAC and the city’s yet to be constructed amphitheater down the block. Also, It would appear that this is already a done deal as there is a ceremony scheduled for later this month to celebrate the piano’s arrival, remarked Cassio. “And just who gets to attend that,” he queried.

“The residents of Rahway are struggling to pay ever increasing property taxes, water and sewer bills, dealing with scaled back city services as well as losing their employment, and these guys are spending our hard earned tax dollars on pianos while trying to claim that they are making an investment in the future. Mayor Kennedy must be tone deaf if he cannot hear the sour notes being generated by his administration,” said Cassio. “Just one look around the downtown and it is evident how far his future planning has gotten us.”

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