EDISON – Mayor Antonia Ricigliano ended Edison’s popular free fall leaf bag distribution program in 2011 to save an estimated $102,000 per year. Democrat Thomas Lankey, who’s running against Ricigliano for the mayor’s office, is using the cost-cutting move as a campaign opportunity.
“Leaf bags are a big deal here. Edison Township used to give away 30,000 bags each October. Our current mayor upset many of our homeowners when she abruptly ended the annual leaf bag giveaway,” Lankey said. “If all politics is local — then leaf bags are as local, as local gets!”
Lankey is promising leaf bags to those who visit his campaign headquarters at Tano Mall, 1199 Amboy Avenue, though quantities are limited.
“We set a limit and more than half of our leaf bag supply was gone within hours. We had a line out the door,” Lankey said. “As Mayor, I will work hard to find the funding restart Edison’s leaf bag program.”
A member of the Township Council’s finance committee, Lankey contends that the elimination of the leaf bag program amounts to penny-pinching while the mayor “wasted millions of dollars on needless legal fees, avoidable overtime, and a bad bond refinance deal.”
Edison voters will choose between four candidates in the mayoral race on Nov. 5: Lankey, who won the Democratic Party nomination; Republican Guy Gaspari; Ricigliano, who is running as an independent candidate though she was elected as a Democrat four years ago; and Councilman Sudhanshu Prasad, who is also running an independent campaign.
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