WAYNE, NJ – Ward Four Councilman Dr. Joseph “Joe” Scuralli won his fourth re-election bid handily in November and on New Year’s Day at the Wayne Town Council Reorganization Meeting, he won his next election as Town Council President in an 8-0 vote with one abstention.
After each of the newly elected/re-elected town council members were sworn in, they took their seats and spoke briefly to thank their supporters and talk about their vision of and for Wayne.
Once Jonathan Ettman of Ward Six finished his talk, Wayne Clerk Paul Margiotta introduced the 2020 Wayne Township Municipal Council who received a welcoming round of applause.
Their first order of business was to elect a Council President whose role was to lead each meeting and to make sure the business of the town was accomplished at each meeting in an efficient manner.
Margiotta announced how the voting would occur. The clerk would randomly draw the name of council members and each would be allowed to nominate someone for Council President. After every member has an opportunity to nominate, the Clerk will allow a vote on each nominated member in the order of their nomination. The first person to receive a majority vote will become President.
The first name drawn was Councilman Joe Schweighardt who announced: “I’m privileged, once again, to nominate my friend Joseph Scuralli for President of the Council for the coming year.”
As each council member was named, all nominated Scuralli except for the newest member of the council, Fran Ritter who passed on her nomination. The vote then went 8-0 with Ritter abstaining.
Now-former Council President Franco Mazzei ceremoniously passed the gavel to Scuralli, then Mayor Chris Vergano swore-in Scuralli as Council President.
“I would like to thank my colleagues on the council for electing me their President this year,” said Scuralli during his presentation to the public. “This will be my fourth time serving as Council President.” He went on to congratulate all the newly elected and re-elected council members.
Scuralli had high praise Vergano during his speech. “Mayor Vergano, thank you very much for your leadership,” he said looking toward the Administration table. “I’m looking forward to your State of the Township address. The reason I’m looking forward to it is I know the great shape the Township is in and that is due in, no small part, to you.” Vergano smiled and nodded his thanks to Scuralli as he went on to praise the entire dministration and all the Township employees.
“Wayne is the greatest Town, the greatest Municipality in New Jersey,” said Scuralli.
The new Council President talked about all the people who commute from Wayne to Manhattan as a statement as to how much people want to live in Wayne. He talked about the amount of business investments coming to Wayne and that it is due to the hard work of all of the town government. “We are definitely on the right track,” he said.
“2020 is going to be a challenging year,” he continued. “We have some things on the agenda that we have to settle and decide upon. But what we are always looking at is: What is best for the Township of Wayne.”
Looking across the audience sitting in the council chambers, Scuralli said: “In closing, I want to say: We’re here to serve you. We’re here to help you. The Town is operated under the authority of the people. The taxpayers of this town are the ones that support the Town.”
Mentioning the amount of taxes paid to the County and the Board of Education and stating that the Town takes only a small part in comparison, Scuralli acknowledged the large tax burden then said: “It’s your community. You own it.”
Scuralli, whose political leanings are unabashedly conservative told the audience, “You shouldn’t be living in a situation that is created at the behest of others outside the community. You have a right to home rule on issues. It shouldn’t be other branches of government. It shouldn’t be other levels of government that determine your future in Wayne.”
Finishing, Scuralli said: “We don’t need paternalistic, patronizing outsiders telling us how to run the Town.”
2020 should be an interesting year for this council with a strong Conservative Council President in Scuralli and a strong Progressive Councilwoman in Fran Ritter working together.