More than a dozen picket outside DeFilippo’s ‘office’

County Watchdog helps create ‘news,’ covers event as reporter

HILLSIDE — A group masquerading as concerned taxpayers of Hillside picketed in front of Union County Improvement Authority Executive Director Charlotte DeFilippo’s house last week, chanting and carrying signs protesting that she will be paid $600 a day until Aug. 1. Less than 15 picketers ended up walking back and forth in front of and […]

‘Spanking’ incident blown out of proportion, says super

HILLSIDE — Tuesday the board of education will meet again to discuss the future of high school principal Lee McCaskill, 56, who is in hot water for swatting a female student on her backside in jest. Although initial media reports said the high school principal had “spanked” the female student in his office after reprimanding […]

Ethics complaint claims Deo can’t serve in dual roles

HILLSIDE — Hillside resident and county Democratic chair Charlotte DeFilippo filed a school ethics complaint against the superintendent of schools last week, saying it is a conflict for him to serve as a local council member at the same time. The school ethics commission complaint, obtained by LocalSource, maintained there are conflicts of interest involved […]

Hillside mayor has the power

HILLSIDE — Mayor Joe Menza won a major court battle last week, one that should let council members know who has the final word when it comes to layoffs, hiring and firing. The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division made two important findings, including that the mayor can initiate layoffs without the council’s approval, […]

Activist, blogger, journalist, whatever …

Watchdog takes the stand, tries to hide behind Shied law, as prosecutor hammers away

Activist, blogger, journalist, whatever …

After two grueling days on the stand, the decision of whether activist and blogger Tina Renna legally deserves protection under the New Jersey Shield Law for newspersons is in the hands of Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy. The two-day hearing took place after Renna refused multiple times to provide the Union County Prosecutor’s Office with […]

Hillside quickly decides on its next police chief

HILLSIDE — Just days after the township’s top cop retired rather than continue to fight the mayor, a new police chief is about to take the helm. Tuesday night, after press deadline, Capt. Louis Panarese, 54, was expected to be appointed provisional police chief until civil service approves the promotion. The veteran police officer, born […]

Amidst feud with mayor, police chief opts to retire

HILLSIDE — Saying he was “sick of allegations by Mayor Joseph Menza that are entirely false,” the township’s top cop decided to retire after ten years leading the force and more than 30 years with the department. “I’ve had quite enough,” Police Chief Robert Quinlan said in an interview Friday with LocalSource, two days after […]

Healthy, wealthy and wise in Union County

Individual health departments are becoming a rarity as communities look for shared savings

There was a time when towns in Union County had their own local health departments, but those days are coming to an end. Now municipalities are looking at whether the health needs of their community can be handled just as well by a regional health department. Increasing state-mandated services, reduced state aid, and the high […]

Mayor battles police chief on over-budgeted payroll

HILLSIDE — The mayor lashed out at the police chief last week for a $220,000 shortfall in the 2012 budget, threatening to  file charges with the state attorney general over the matter. Mayor Joseph Menza claimed Police Chief Robert Quinlan deliberately went over his $7.7 million annual budget for department salaries, but the attorney representing […]

Letters to Santa show lasting effects of Sandy, economy

Santa Claus gets lots of letters, especially from kids in Union County. And there were countless letters this year that Santa’s elves shared with LocalSource, with many mentioning superstorm Sandy. Although taking this major storm in stride, most kids expressed concern that next time a hurricane hits, they would like their families to be better […]