NUTLEY, NJ - Someone cue up Lenny Kravitz, because when it comes to the Township of Nutley Board of Commissioners race, "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over."
Preliminary results from Wednesday show the five candidates with the most votes were Dr. Joseph P. Scarpelli, Mauro Tucci, Alphonse Petracco, Thomas J. Evans, and John V. Kelly III. The election will not be certified until Friday, May 15. In the next two days there is a chance that enough ballots will be received to change the outcome.
At the top of the board, only 19 votes separate Scarpelli, the current mayor, and Tucci, the commissioner in charge of the Township of Nutley Parks and Recreation Dept.
Traditionally, the candidate with the most votes becomes the mayor, but that is not set in stone. When the newly sworn in commissioners meet for the first time next week, they will decide who will become the mayor.
As mail-in ballots continue to arrive, and are counted, the fifth seat on the board of commissioners, currently held by Steven Rogers, may come into play.
Preliminary results show Kelly, whose grandfather served in elected office on the township and state level, as the fifth commissioner. Political newcomer Maria Hamlin received 2,491 votes, just 105 behind Kelly.
The preliminary results for all candidates are:
Joseph P. Scarpelli 4,141
Mauro Tucci 4,122
Alphonse Petracco 4,093
Thomas Evans 3,034
John V. Kelly III 2,596
Maria Hamlin 2,491
Danny Carnicella 1,954
Sam Fleitell 1,538
Christopher Cullari 1,257
Lorenzo Marchese 1,014
Frank Contella 818
Carmine Allesio 698
After being sworn in on Tues. May 19, the newly reorganized Board of Commissioners will hold their first open public meeting at 7 p.m. the same day, that meeting will be held virtually via ZOOM. The "new" Board of Commissioners will have a lot on their plate.
Aside from the issues related for the COVID-19 health crisis, the commissioners will face a struggling local business community, continued revitalization at the On3 campus, and local redevelopment on Franklin Ave.
The board will also have to deal with civil rights issues. "That video" of local residents expressing their disdain for people of color on New Year's Eve and the recent bias incident that was picked up by news outlets across the country tarnish the community's "Mayberry" image. In 2019, The BOC declared June "Pride Month," two commissioners did not sign that civil rights proclamation. TAPinto Nutley will continue to follow the BOC closely to see if their vision of Nutley includes all residents.
Since 2016, TAPintoNutley.net has been the only locally owned news organization serving the Township of Nutley, and is a member of the New Jersey Press Association. The Nutley Board of Commissioners first named TAPintoNutley.net the township's 'Official Electronic News Source' in 2019.