Written by Nicholas Huba, AP Press, Jan 3, 2014
BRICK Mayor John Ducey is planning on getting his term off to a fast start.
Ducey, a Democrat, was sworn in by Judge James D. Clyne during the Township Council’s annual organization meeting Wednesday afternoon. During his first meeting as mayor, Ducey announced an aggressive 100-day plan aimed at making changes to the township.
“It’s something that will be done,” he said. “I know that we can all work together to make Brick Township the best it can be. A new Brick starts today.”
Ducey, a former councilman, defeated Republican Councilman Joseph Sangiovanni for a four-year term as mayor during the November election. Ducey is the first Democrat to be elected to the township’s highest political office since 2005, when Joseph Scarpelli defeated Stephen Acropolis.
The Ducey’s plan includes the creation of new committees including a Teen Advisory Committee, as well as continuing the rebuilding process from superstorm Sandy and rescinding an executive order that barred township employees from speaking to members of the council. Ducey rescinded the order during the meeting.
“Why am I doing this? It’s something that needs to be done, we need communication,” Ducey said. “If we are going to fix the things we are going to fix, accomplish the things we are going to accomplish, we need to work together. So council now has full right to speak to all the township employees.’’
In addition to winning the mayor’s office, the Democrats also swept the three council seats up for election in November. During the meeting Wednesday, Democrats Marianna Pontoriero, Paul Mummolo, and Heather deJong, where sworn in as council members. The Democrats now hold all seven seats on the Township Council.
“It’s an honor to be up here, I will do my best to show that I deserve this honor,’’ deJong said “We are here to make Brick better. Our residents want that old feeling of a thriving community, great businesses and a great place to live. We are committed to addressing these concerns as well as other we heard during the campaign.’’
During the meeting, Susan Lydecker was named council president, while Jim Fozman was named vice president of the council.
Ducey said he will continue to focus on the township’s efforts to rebuild from superstorm Sandy. Brick was one of the hardest hit municipalities when Sandy made landfall Oct. 29, 2012. Approximately 8,500 homes were damaged and the township lost $534 million in property value.
“The impacts of Sandy are still here, still very prevalent,” Ducey said. “Government has failed to help the residents, in some cases government has made things worse.”
One thing that Ducey is planning on doing is establish a Sandy Recovery and Mitigation Committee, which will focus on the rebuilding efforts from the historic storm.
“This will allow these issues to be heard on their own,’’ the mayor said. “Right now, these issues are lumped in with land use. It’s the biggest issue facing our town.’’