To the Editor:
Recently, there have been accusations circulating around town regarding court documents that were published on this local platform.
It can be assumed we may not always see eye to eye on political issues, but quite frankly, I am appalled by the recent personal attacks on me. Both fellow candidates and press spreading what they may have hoped was factual information was actually, a big misstep. The documents circulating are completely out of context, misleading and unnecessarily harmful.
First and foremost, the article referenced is sourced from David Wildstein, the man behind the biggest political scandal in recent NJ history known as Christie’s “Bridgegate.” The research behind, and dissemination of this information was an attempted attack on my character and credibility – an attack fostered and irresponsibly spread by my opponents, who both currently sit on township council.
If they, along with the press researched the facts behind these documents they would plainly see – I do not owe any back taxes. I have no liens against me and there are no unpaid loans. In fact, I have no meaningful debt to my name. I do however, take full responsibility for my actions in the past, some over 20 years ago. However, spreading lies and misinformation like this is detrimental to my reputation, family and livelihood.
We all settled in Verona because it’s a warm family community. We’re all neighbors and we all want the best for each other’s families. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the heat of the moment of a campaign, but it’s important to keep a truthful and respectful perspective.
I am running because I want to do my civic duty and help make Verona a better place for us all. If elected, I will work diligently to deliver on my campaign promises. I will not resort to spreading false information about my opponents and I will certainly not shy away when things get tough. I will always be there for my community – win or lose this campaign.
I wish you all the best of luck and I look forward to seeing you at the polls on May 9th.
We should applaud Mr. Strumolo for responding to the news about his run-ins with the law and financial shortcomings.
Everything in the Globe article appears 100% true based on the documents regardless of the imperfect messenger. Also, when speaking to specific facts, Mr. Strumolo appears on the surface to be true. Therefore, we must reflect on what he doesn’t say.
We should indeed take him for his word when he writes to the facts: “I have no meaningful debt to my name.” True, but not in good faith. He fails to remind the reader that by receiving bankruptcy court protection in 2015, he discharged most of those debts. Debts that amounted to more than half a million dollars!
He says he takes responsibility for his actions that ran counter to the law. I have no doubt that Mr. Strumolo is seeking to walk the path of the righteous. I pray that he will continue to do so. His history should not punish him from living a fruitful life.
But those actions are egregious enough to disqualify him from public service regardless of how far back in time they happen to be.
–We all value the work of the local police department. They do an incredible job and represent what we expect from public service officers. Yet, Mr. Strumolo doesn’t directly apologize for his actions in 2002 when he was originally charged with an assault on a police officer. He did plead down to a lesser charge. For some people such an incident would likely not have a happy ending.
–He is opposed to establishing a marijuana dispensary in town, something the state’s voters have supported. Let’s not debate the pros and cons of that issue here. That’s for another forum. Yet, he has shown he is not a responsible alcohol user when he gets behind the wheel of an automobile. In multiple incidents, innocent people’s lives were at risk.
–He claims the media and public are taking things out of context, as though he is a victim here. The media is not “out to get anybody.” It’s hard work uncovering the truth. Media organizations have the obligation to shed a light on public figures who seek public office. Close inspection of the documents will reveal other questionable conduct and connections. I encourage all readers to review them. They are available on this very website. The Globe’s report passes every legal standard.
The only thing Mr. Strumolo appears truly sorry about is that these facts of public record are now being shown in the light. Yet, while we must forgive him and support him as a member of our lovely community, we must not absolve him of accountability and grant him permission to have a hand in the town’s roughly $26 million budget and oversight of our law enforcement and public safety community.