Turnout in Verona was 24.5%, as voters chose from a field of six candidates, all but one newcomers to politics, to fill three open seats on the Council.
McEvoy leads the unofficial results, with 1774 votes, with 1,304 votes for Ryan and 1,265 for Giblin. Carrie Ford received 1,242 votes, followed by Christopher Piccuirro with 731 and Donna Cannizzaro with 651.
McEvoy is a lifelong Verona resident who attended Our Lady of the Lake School and graduated from Verona High School in 1984. After working for many years as a builder and carpenter, he became a licensed home inspector and his business is based in Verona. A regular at Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Town Council meetings, McEvoy has also been a volunteer for Verona Environmental Commission projects. He has served on the board of the Hillwood Terrace senior building for 15 years.
“This election campaign has been a very positive and inspirational experience for me,” McEvoy said by email. “It’s given me the opportunity to meet hundreds of residents who were willing to take time out of their busy day to discuss their concerns and their vision for Verona. There is nothing more pure, more direct or more informative than a one on one conversation and I thank everyone who gave me that time.”
“I am very humbled by the election results and can’t thank everyone enough for their support,” he added. “I’ve been a very active resident on behalf of Verona for many years and now I can look forward to serving as a Council member to continue that good work.”
Ryan was the lone member of the current council running for re-election. He was first elected 2011 to fill an unexpired two-year term and then won a full four-year term in 2013. A Vietnam-era veteran who spent his career with the Social Security Administration, Ryan has been serving as mayor of Verona since 2015.
“I am thrilled and honored that the voters of Verona have elected me for a third time,” Ryan said via text message. “I think it was in recognition of the progress that has been made over the last two years and recognizing my commitment to keep the town affordable and an attractive place to live.”
Giblin was raised in Montclair and attended St. Peters Prep, Providence College and Seton Hall University for his MBA. He is currently a financial planner with two young daughters. He assisted in the planning of the Verona Mayor’s Charity Balls in 2012 and 2014 and has been involved with Irish-American activities including the Newark Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Giblin was recently critical of the Council’s purchase of 56 Grove Avenue, which the current Council and town manager have been considering as a site for relocating the Verona Rescue Squad.
“I am honored and thrilled to have been elected by the citizens of Verona,” Giblin said via email. “My pledge is to do my very best to represent our citizens and to move Verona forward.”
Cannizzaro’s last-place finish overall came despite strong turnout in District 1, where she lives. Turnout in the district was 31%, the highest of any of Verona’s 11 districts. Cannizzaro was the highest vote getter in District 1, but she polled poorly elsewhere.
Cannizzaro was the first resident of the Claridge condominium complex to run for town government in Verona. In 2016, Claridge II Board President Nicholas Amato sucessfully lobbied for voting in District 1 to be moved to Claridge II from Laning Avenue School, where it had been since the towers were built in the 1960s and 1970s. Amato had sent Claridge voters a letter during the campaign endorsing Giblin, Ford and Cannizzaro. The three were the highest vote getters in the two condominiums.