Human Relations Committee Chairman David Pascale, seen above with member Kate Okeson, and his comment on a Facebook post by committee member Michael Clancy, below. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
The head of Red Bank’s Human Relations Committee has asked one of its members to resign for characterizing the testimony of Latino witnesses at a meeting last month as “sob stories.”
HRC Chairman David Pascale also questioned whether member Michael Clancy, who leads the borough Republican party, is committed to the panel’s mission of fostering a “welcoming and inclusive community” after Clancy said he thought he was joining a “nothing committee.”
Michael Clancy, at right, listens to fellow HRC member Sean Di Somma, his predecessor as GOP chairman, speaking at the February 27 meeting. Below, more of the Facebook exchange between Clancy and Pascale. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
The flap centers on remarks made during a recent interview of Clancy by Ocean County podcaster Matty Faz. In it, Clancy refers to a February 27 meeting that drew hundreds of pro- and anti-immigration protesters to borough hall when the HRC considered a controversial resolution calling for the municipality to oppose “any forced collaboration” with federal authorities in enforcing immigration law.
In the interview, Clancy refers to testimony by “mostly children of undocumented immigrants, coming up and giving heartwarming sob stories about them worrying about their parents getting deported.”
He also refers to his position on the committee as “basically a nothing role, I thought, and was basically to make the town get along and somehow talk to each other.” Clancy was among three appointees to the committee in January, 2016, when Republicans took control of the council for the first time in a generation.
Commenting on the podcast website and on Facebook, Pascale said Clancy should “kindly resign” if he still felt he was part of a “nothing committee.”
Pascale also cited Clancy’s comment in the interview that the federal Department of Education “could be gone tomorrow, and we’d probably be better off,” and noted that Clancy ran, unsuccessfully, for the borough board of education in 2015.
“I fully intend to serve on the committee to the best of my abilities,” Clancy told redbankgreen in response to a request for comment Wednesday. He also sent the above Facebook exchange with Pascale, which did not address his characterization of testimony at the February 27 meeting.
Asked if he was still pressing for Clancy’s resignation, Pascale said in an email Wednesday night that “if he is not interested in being a member of the committee then he should resign.
“If he plans to show more interest and respect for the committee than I suppose he could stay,” Pascale continued. “Ultimately I don’t decide. I can only ask for his resignation.”