Republicans a No-Show at Council Meeting
At the last Red Bank council meeting before November's elections, the two republican hopefuls failed to make an appearance.
The issue was brought up at the start of the question and answer portion of the Westside Community Group’s recent candidates night. A Red Bank resident wanted to know why the republican hopefuls wanted seats on the borough’s council now if they never bothered to come to any meetings in the past.
Mary Grace Cangemi said she’s kept up with Red Bank politics through local news outlets and meeting minutes posted online. Joe Mizzi cited his position as an adjunct professor for keeping him away from meetings. But, despite their promises of actually attending public meetings if elected to borough council, the incumbents seized the issue, dropping it on them at will during the remainder of the debate, sometimes with the subtly of a kick to the groin.
So, with one council meeting remaining between the candidates night and the Nov. 8 elections, Wednesday night was the perfect opportunity for the republican candidates to make an appearance at a public meeting and prove the incumbents wrong. Only neither Cangemi nor Mizzi bothered to show up. Again.
Councilman Ed Zipprich, who along with Councilwoman Juanita Lewis, is fighting to retain his seat on the council, said he recalled Cangemi, a former Red Bank councilmember, promising to be the watchdog following her ouster. In the three years since she left the board, Zipprich said she’s failed to come to a single meeting – any meeting. Cangemi did not refute the point.
The issue of meeting attendance also hit Mizzi square on the nose. This is Mizzi’s second attempt at securing a council seat. Last time around, Mizzi again faced questions about his meeting attendance. This was during the 2010 elections. In the year that’s followed, Mizzi still hasn’t attended any public meetings.
Resident and business owner David Prown also asked if the republicans were in it for the long haul, likening their campaign to that of a grizzly bear: fierce and abrupt, but annually stunted by hibernation.
Cangemi and Mizzi said they wanted to provide the borough’s current all-democratic council with a fresh perspective and new opinion. They may have something to offer the borough and its council, but Red Bank will have to wait until the two are elected to find out exactly what it is.