By JOHN T. WARD
The man behind an eleventh-hour robocalling campaign about a Red Bank bond issue last week is running for borough council, he tells redbankgreen.
Sean Di Somma, right, said local Republican officials plan to file paperwork with the Monmouth County Clerk Thursday making his candidacy official.
The move would again give the GOP two candidates as it tries to break the Democrats’ lock on the governing body, following the sudden departure from the race last month by Republican Suzanne Viscomi.
Two three-year terms are up for grabs in the November election. Incumbents Kathy Horgan and Sharon Lee are seeking re-election. Republican and longtime activist Cindy Burnham is also running.
Di Somma, 31, of Morford Place, tells redbankgreen he’s resided in Red Bank for a year and a half, after living most of his life in Washington Township, in Bergen County. He works as a vice president or shareholder communication services at a proxy solicitation firm, Alliance Advisors, based in Bloomfield.
He said he plans to run on a platform of fiscal responsibility, and would make privatizing trash collection a priority.
Di Somma said he was inspired to run after reading news articles in which Councilman Mike DuPont, who heads the budget-setting finance committee, was “coming up with every excuse in the book about why property taxes are skyrocketing every year.”
“They’re just unqualified,” he said of the Democrats. “They have no understanding of how it works, how budgets work.”
DuPont, he said, “is not a dumb guy, but he’s never been able to do it hold the line on property taxes. They continue to hire people. They never said, ‘it’s because we spend too much money.'”
Di Somma said that when he questioned the council and Mayor Pasquale Menna about trash collection privatization at last week’s bimonthly meeting, “all of a sudden it’s, ‘we’ve been talking about it.’ Really? When? Are they having secret council meetings?”
Di Somma said he also hears from “business owners who say it’s just painful to get anything open,” and from residents who “complain about having to pay a $400 permit for a water heater.”
Di Somma said he doesn’t plan to run a joint campaign with Burnham.
“Cindy Burnahm has a way that she likes to do things and has a long history in this town,” he said. “I think we bring different messages and different expertise. But I’ll be running my own campaign. I’m pretty independent-minded.”