The town election is over and two new members of our community will be joining re-elected Mayor Kevin Ryan along with Michael Nochimson and Alex Roman on our Town Council. Jack McEvoy and Ted Giblin deserve our congratulations and good wishes as they start out on this new journey in their lives. Their work representing us, ALL the people of Verona, is just beginning. They will face challenges and criticism (no matter what they do). We (or at least the 25% or so of us who voted; what happened to the other 75%?) should have faith in their judgement and trust that they will fulfill the promises they made during their campaigns. Our town council SHOULD consist of members that keep their word.
Several weeks ago I contacted each candidate with a single question. The majority of candidates who ran answered my question. And I believe that all who did take the time to answer, did so honestly. Today, only three of the candidates I asked will be able to keep their word, and I sincerely hope each one will. My question was: What will you do on May 10th if you are NOT elected to the town council?
Donna Cannizzaro, I hope you DO offer your assistance to the Town Council. As a longtime resident who has lived in a variety of districts in town, you DO have unique insight. The district you currently reside in (District 1, primarily the Claridge Houses) had the highest percentage of voter turnout. I hope you continue to encourage your neighbors to get out and vote as primary season is just around the corner (June 6) and the general election is less than six months away. You have an opportunity to make the voices of those in your district heard; I hope you take advantage of that.
Carrie Ford, last night must have been a difficult one with such a close race, but I hope you found comfort in the hugs of your family and the love of your friends and neighbors. Having found strength in this community as a result of your campaign (if you didn’t before, you now must know what Hillbilly strong means!), I hope that you continue to advocate for resident/town improvements. You have an impressive track record! Raising $500 for the Rescue Squad last Saturday is INCREDIBLE! You said that you wanted to use your skills, experience and dedication to make positive changes; you have definitely succeeded!
Christopher Piccurro, I look forward to seeing/hearing about the work that you intend to do with the Verona PBA. Your commitment to the Verona police force is not only commendable, but your dedication to officer morale and understanding/communication between law enforcement and the community at large can only serve to strengthen the township. Although a relative newcomer to town, you have shown an understanding of the community and a strength of character. You told me in you were in this for the long haul and I encourage you to keep walking.
While I congratulate Kevin Ryan, Jack McEvoy and Ted Giblin, I think it IS important to recognize ALL the candidates. We should not forget that each one offered/offers their unique talents to our town. While three will serve in an official capacity now, I sincerely hope that ALL will continue to work for and with the community to make OUR Verona a better place.
Side note: A special thank you to Jack McEvoy who has already shown that he is a man of his word. In his answer to my question he stated that on May 10th, win or lose, he would take down his signage. When I got up at 4:30 this morning, ALL the lawn signs on my block (with the exception of his own home) were gone. While I don’t know for sure, I suspect that he may take the rest of the day “beautifying” the rest of the town. I encourage everyone to follow Jack’s lead and the recommendations of the Verona Environmental Commission: “please don’t throw away the campaign lawn signs. Some candidates will be picking them up tomorrow to reuse them in future campaigns. Otherwise please recycle them! They are made of corrugated polypropylene plastic and metal, which are recyclable. Separate the metal stakes from the plastic signs, put the plastic signs in the commingled bin and drop the metal stakes at the Verona Recycling Center (10 Commerce Ct).”