Grace Cangemi at her final appearance as a council member last night.
Republican Grace Cangemi closed out her 21-month tenure on the Red Bank Council last night with pointed attacks on Democratics for “behind the curtain” decision-making.
In her final appearance before the council goes all-Democrat on January 1, Cangemi criticized the majority for pulling from the December 8 agenda an ordinance she wanted to introduce. The measure which she did not describe in detail but said might have saved the town $36,000 was yanked, she says she was told, because it had not been discussed in the “workshop” portion of any prior meeting.
The requirement that a bill be workshopped, or discussed informally, “apparently was not the case when our water rates were raised 10 percent” last March, she said. She added that an ordinance to increase the number of taxi licenses in the borough was also introduced without a word of mention in any workshop sessions.
In fact, no member of the governing body has publicly taken responsibility for sponsoring the taxi bill, which was withdrawn after an outcry by taxi owners. Officials claimed the bill had been drafted by borough Attorney Tom Hall at the request of borough Clerk Carol Vivona.
“I am greatly disturbed when an elected council person” can’t get a bill posted for vote “because they’re in the wrong party,” yet an unelected official can, Cangemi said.
“I’m sorry it’s my last meeting that I have anything negative to say here,” she said.
But her wrath was redoubled a short while later when Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan reported that the council’s education and technology committee was recommending a vendor to build the borough’s new website. Cangemi, a member of the committee, said she had neither been consulted about the choice nor told the of any committee meetings on the topic for the past year.