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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 Russo Eager To Get His Slate's Message Out


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.

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