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Mayor Fressola Fights Back Against Ethics "Complaint"

Fressola is responding to reader posts about an ethics complaint previously filed that led to a small fine

Tired of unflattering reader comments regarding his record, Mayor Michael Fressola felt compelled Monday to fight back against claims that his office has ethics problems.

Fressola noted posts on the Manchester Patch that showed how he paid $100, but did not admit guilt for improperly using the address and telephone number of Manchester City Hall in a political mailing piece.

The fine was levied after the mayor won re-election in 2010.

Fressola's office sent Manchester Patch a copy of a letter written by campaign aide Bill Osberg, and published in The Manchester Times last year, that called the incident a "minor issue."

Here is the letter:

It's time to set the record straight. A full-page paid ad published in your newspaper on March 21, paid for by one Henry Dudley, leads off with the headline, “Mayor Fressola Found Guilty.” The article goes on to say, Fressola was assessed a “heavy fine.” Please allow me to describe factually what actually occurred. I know because I was actively involved in Mayor Fressola’s re-election campaign.

The re-election committee decided that a letter to voters, asking for support in his re-election bid, would be a good idea. The mayor was asked, and wrote the letter and turned it over to the campaign committee. The committee duplicated a piece of township letterhead and took the letter to the printer/mailing service and letters were subsequently mailed out.

Mr. Dudley must have received a copy and at some point filed a complaint with the state Department of Community Affairs, the state agency responsible for overseeing municipal government operations. He apparently accused the mayor of spending township money on this letter.

After extensive investigation, the DCA agreed no township money was spent, but the use of the letterhead was a violation of a state statute.

Mayor Fressola was given the right to appeal or pay a very minor, not hefty fine, as Mr. Dudley stated, of $100. So as to not involve his re-election committee in any way, and taking one for the team, Mayor Fressola, in a letter to the state, paid the so-called “hefty” fine, without admitting any guilt. That completely ended the minor issue and the state closed the file.

Bill Osberg

Manchester

ballyjduf February 11, 2013 at 11:34 PM
So were you guilty or not , did you do this or not ?
Midge Cannin-Schuck February 12, 2013 at 03:29 AM
Mr. Osberg With all due respect; That does not close the issue, if anything it puts the Mayor under suspicion. Even Mr. Portash started out slow. One hundred dollars is subjective to who the individual is. Are you saying that our Mayor is so wealthy that one hundred dollars means nothing? I'm sure a lot of seniors as well as younger families would love one hundred dollars. Are you saying the Mayor did not know that he was not suppose to use the Township's letterhead? After how many years as mayor? what else is going on? Or, to put it more bluntly how else has our Mayor used his position to better himself, put fourth programs, events, or monuments to further his popularity with one or two groups of individuals or sub-sections of Manchester. As a tax payer who's taxes just went up I would love to have more citizens involved in oversight. No Mr. Osborn this is not finished by any means. Midge Schuck
Manchester Fan February 12, 2013 at 01:38 PM
As someone who had never heard of this incident before this article the only thing that really concerns me is the $100. fine. The Mayor and his crew consider it "minor" and apparently a tax paying citizen would label it as "hefty." Maybe that is why raising my taxes $125.00 a MONTH seems like no big deal to the Mayor. However, to my family that amount is going to greatly impact our household. I also realize that the letter was not written by the Mayor, but I would not consider him as "taking one for the team." I think it was easier, less time consuming, and resulted in a less publicized manor to just pay the fine (minor or hefty). If he had tried to fight it more residents would have been made aware of the situation.
KAREN A KINCAID February 12, 2013 at 02:50 PM
it's not that i am against the mayor. HOWEVER, I think it's time he has heard what the little ppl have to say. he's not on a fixed income so he doesn't have an idea the impact a tax increase does. I'm also sure he doesn't do the food shopping and puts gas in his car to know how we're feeling the crunch. of course i can go on and on but until he hears what the ppl have to say it's worthless!! As for the mayor personally, I've dealt with him on a personal basis a couple of times. As a person I have no complaints. As the mayor, well I think it would be to everyone's best interest to have a one on one so he has an idea of feelings!! JMHO
Henry Dudley February 12, 2013 at 03:00 PM
Mr. Fressola did try to fight the sanction. He sent a long letter to the State trying to deny everything. I filed an OPRA with the State and got the letter. He did pay the fine I have a copy of the check, also OPRA.
Henry Dudley February 12, 2013 at 04:07 PM
"Patch readers my be interested in the actual letter from: STATE OF NEW JERSEY, LOCAL FINANCE BOARD wherein Mr. Fressola was found guilty. A pdf version may be found at: www.Dudley-2010.com
despicable me February 12, 2013 at 07:22 PM
UnitedHealth Group Donates $1 Million To Manchester-Area Towns Impacted By Sandy Does anyone else find this odd? That a health group would donate to Manchester Township, I mean compared to other areas Manchester had very little damage from Sandy. Is this some kind of kick back? Where is the Money and what is it being spent on?
despicable me February 13, 2013 at 05:03 AM
Mayor Mike Fressola or Mayor Joseph Portash Who was a better Mayor? The only difference I can see is now the Township takes our money while we are watching and we let them do it, that’s the sad part.
billy madison February 14, 2013 at 08:55 PM
How come there is a "bulldozer" in the rear of the townhall parking lot---circa--19?. Must be a new piece of equipment---huh. Oh that was supposed to go in the WWII park. Wait!!!!---Who paid for that?. Oh thats right,the tax payer. Maybe they can use it to plow roads--hahaha.
despicable me February 21, 2013 at 04:56 AM
DUDLEY FOR MAROR! Keep fighting Henry Dudley, Please appeal if you can. Michael Fressola has done nothing for the township of Manchester outside the walls of the senior communities and I think I speak for many of the residents (outside senior living) when I say WE DO NOT WANT THIS MAN TO REPRESENT US ANYMORE! If I am wrong and you can name one good thing this man has ever done for us non-seniors please correct me.
despicable me April 12, 2013 at 11:18 AM
High Taxes, NO CODE ENFORCER! Manchesters code enforcer retired months ago and has not been replaced. Place looks like one big junkyard.

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