letter to the editor of the Westfield Leader from James Mathieu, Garwood GOP He writes about the new Bocce court in Garwood, NJ

This past Saturday I was at Garwood’s new $3.2-million plus

Athletic Field Complex or, as we must now call it, the “Garwood Sports and Recreation Center” to take my 2- year old son, James, to our town’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. On my way into the AFC (or GSRC), I had occasion to pass Garwood’s $6,800 Bocce

Court—brand new and funded with taxpayer dollars, just like the rest of the facility. It was at that moment that I finally understood how Garwood will make its way out of all the taxes, debt and spending the new AFC/ GSRC has inflicted on our borough

— Bocce! I am envisioning a Bocce renaissance and the Borough of Garwood as ground zero is this neglected pastime’s rebirth. We could develop a marketing plan for the Bocce court complete with a tag line like: “Bocce — it’s not just for your grandfather anymore!” or “Do you have the balls to play Bocce?” We could generate millions of dollars in annual revenue for our borough by attracting professional, amateur and semi-pro Bocce leagues to compete on Garwood’s new taxpayer-funded field. In this part of New Jersey alone, there must be millions, maybe even dozens, of people chomping at the bit to improve their Bocce skills. In addition

to selling tickets to spectators and garnering advertising dollars from

Fortune 500 corporate sponsors, we could charge fees to vendors of

Cannoli, Espresso, and brown wool sweaters. The possibilities are endless! 

Of course this is not all good news. I’ve heard Bocce crowds can be especially violent and I fear for the safety of our borough. I’m especially worried about turning into just another Bocce dad, embarrassing my son on the field. I could just see my arguing with the Little League Bocce coach about how my son is not getting enough Bocce playing time and how I’m tired of seeing him ride the bench only to be jeered by another Bocce father saying: “Hey, pipe down Mathieu! You’re just jealous because my son’s gonna go pro and your son doesn’t stand a chance!” Finally, the flood of millions of dollars of Bocce revenue into our borough can lead to problems of its own. But, never fear, I’m sure Garwood’s Borough Council

is up to the task of spending it and more!

Jim Mathieu

Garwood GOP Chairman