Mayor: 2019 Goal To Improve Lives In Brick

Mayor John G. Ducey making his opening remarks. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – Andrea Zapcic was named new council president and Lisa Crate was named new council vice-president during the Township Council Reorganization Meeting held recently.

  Zapcic has been a council member since 2014 when she was appointed to the seat vacated when Mayor John G. Ducey took office. Later that year, she won the remainder of the term in an election. She was elected for a full term in 2015.

  Crate has served on the council since 2016 and was its vice president in 2017.

  Brick had no council seats up for election in November, so in addition to Zapcic and Crate, fellow Democrats Heather deJong, Marianna Pontoriero, Paul Mummolo and Art Halloran were seated at the dais beside lone Republican Jim Fozman.

  During his opening remarks, Mayor Ducey said his focus for 2019 is family.

Council president Andrea Zapcic takes the oath of office, administered by Mayor John G. Ducey. Holding the Bible is her husband, Deacon William Zapcic, who also gave the invocation at the beginning of the meeting. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  “Family means a lot of different things to different people,” he said. “To me, family is about love, it’s about support, and it’s about improving the lives of your family members.”

  The mayor said he has his immediate family, his family of township employees, and his “largest family,” the residents of Brick.

  “No matter how small, there is always love; no matter how big, there is always support, and no matter how overwhelming, you always try to improve the lives of your family,” he said.

  “We are Brick and we are family, so treat everyone with respect and kindness, and treat them as if they were your family,” Ducey said. “2019 will be a great year for all of us.”  

  During the reorganization meeting, the council voted on dozens of resolutions, from establishing 2019 meeting dates, designating professionals, establishing a cash management plan, authorizing appointments to various boards and commissions, and much more.

  When Zapcic called for a vote on the resolutions, Fozman asked that a resolution approving a four-year contract with Transport Workers Union Local 220 be pulled from the agenda.

  Fozman said he had received a three page “scathing” anonymous letter delivered to his home “detailing many horrible allegations regarding abuse behavior towards employees, one of which has to do with the contract on the agenda.”

  Since the letter was addressed to council members and copied to Mayor Ducey, “this allegation of gross misconduct must be taken very seriously,” he said.

  Fozman made a motion to pull the item from the agenda until an internal investigation could be completed. None of the other council members seconded the motion.

Council vice president Lisa Crate being was sworn in by Mayor John G. Ducey. Councilman Art Halloran is holding the Bible for her. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

  TWU Local 220 President John Menshon said letters that are sent anonymously usually don’t carry too much weight

  “I feel that if there was abuse as alleged, [either I or the vice president] would have gotten wind of it…I don’t know how much merit that letter has,” he said during public comment on the resolutions.

  “When I get an anonymous letter, I’ll look into it, but if someone’s not willing to put their name to it, chances are it could be a political stunt – you just don’t know,” Menshon said.

  Brick resident, former mayoral and Board of Education candidate, Robert Canfield, said if the letter mentioned a specific person or event, the person who wrote it might fear retaliation.

  “In my personal opinion, I would say it is something that should be looked into and something that should be investigated,” he said.

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Judy moved to Ocean County from New York City in 1988, and began her second career as a feature and news reporter in the mid-1990's. She has worked for Micromedia Publications since 2008, primarily reporting for The Toms River Times and The Brick Times. Judy has also worked for The Leader Review in Point Pleasant Beach, The Brick Communicator and The Asbury Park Press. Reach Judy by e-mail at Judysmestadnunn@gmail.com.