I knew the following letter was written but not until today was I able to read it. If nothing else, this letter can’t help but make you question both the council’s integrity and/or its political motives.
The Letter - Written by Councilman Andrew Cimiluca and posted on NJ.com:
The following is a statement which was prepared prior to the August council meeting, which I could not attend. I had requested that it be read into the record. CP Mazzer did not permit that. I sent it to the Community News, which did not publish it. I will read it into the record myself at the September council meeting”:
I apologize for not being able to attend tonight’s meeting. I have asked that this statement be read into the record in my absence. Unfortunately, my main emotion for this month is disappointment.
The first issue is the failure of the council to introduce, never mind pass, an anti-nepotism ordinance. The 2012-2014 council members were discussing this issue at great length. Many members of the public were calling for it. The 2014 election campaign featured a Democratic platform highlighting the need for an anti-nepotism ordinance and, as we know, the Democrats swept that election. The ordinance before the council is a scaled back version of the ordinance which I had originally proposed. It now affects a much smaller group of potential employees. The prohibition on hiring only affects the direct family members of the Mayor, Council members, department heads and division heads, whereas the previous version affected extended family members and any employees in a supervisory capacity. I feel that it is a sound ordinance and one that ensures the public of transparency and honesty in governmental hiring practices. I do not at all agree with the argument that the police department should not be subject to the anti-nepotism policy. Although police candidates do have to take and are graded on a civil service exam, this town is well aware that the “rule of three” applies and a candidate can be jumped, regardless of his or her test score. In addition, once a family member is hired, there is the likely potential that nepotism may play a part in the assignments given to that person. All in all, I am disappointed that some eight (8) months after this new council was sworn in, the anti-nepotism ordinance has not yet been passed and appears to be doomed to failure.
I thank you for indulging me and I wish all present and all viewing a pleasant rest of the summer.
Andrew M. Cimiluca
NOTE: Two additional issues were discussed by Mr. Cimiluca within his letter. To read his entire letter CLICK HERE
One can’t help but question why Council President Mazzer would not allow this letter to be read at the August meeting. I “heard” her argument was that if she read Cimiluca’s letter then she would have been forced to read a residents letter. Well, two more questions then: what was so bad about the residents letter that it couldn’t be read and number two, wouldn’t it have been only proper to recognize a follow council persons request?
Knowing what I know and being able to prove it without putting anyone else in jeopardy, is not an easy thing to do. I DO know Ms. Mazzer, after conversations with others, did not want to allow the anti-nepotism ordinance anymore public discussion time, and therefore scrutiny, then necessary. I also know that the mayor had applied political pressure to see to it that his version, and his version alone, would be the only ordinance that was passed. Knowing the internal turmoil surrounding this ordinance, did the mayor discuss with the council president what should or shouldn’t happen during the public council meeting? More importantly, did she listen? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, backroom political deals are being made for the upcoming council elections. The truth will become more evident down the road.
Mr. Cimiluca’s statement of “I do not at all agree with the argument that the police department should not be subject to the anti-nepotism policy” and how that impacts the mayor/police chief’s agenda, is very much the crux of this problem.
I hope Cimiluca’s statement of “the anti-nepotism ordinance has not yet been passed and appears to be doomed to failure” is just born out of frustration more than reality. Though this mayor and council has made a mountain out of a molehill with this subject, there is always more time to acknowledge and fix their mistake.