WESTFIELD, NJ — A comment in the Westfield, NJ Facebook group* Sunday questioning whether town council candidate James Corcoran has lived in Westfield long enough to be eligible quickly set off discussion around town. Corcoran, a Republican, is running against Democrat Mike Dardia for the Ward 2 seat currently occupied by Ken Donnelly.
According to the town of Westfield’s charter, “The mayor and council members shall have been citizens, residents and registered voters of the town for at least two years immediately preceding their respective elections.”
However, in 1994 a judge overturned the two-year residency requirement, calling it unconstitutional, according to an article in the May 12, 1994 edition of The Westfield Leader. The decision allowed two Democratic candidates who had each lived in town for about a year to run, according to the article.
State law requires one year of residency.
“It is a shame that supporters of our opponents are trying to bring this up, rather than focus on substance,” Corcoran said. “I have met the statutory requirements set forth by state election law. Moreover, I grew up in Westfield, attended Franklin and Roosevelt schools and graduated WHS in 1994. I was even inducted into the Westfield Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the 1991 State Championship Blue Devils soccer team. My family and I moved back here 18 months ago so that my four daughters can experience the same positive upbringing as I had in Westfield.”
*The Westfield, NJ Facebook group was created by and is administrated partly by TAPinto Westfield owner and editor Jackie Lieberman. The group is unaffiliated with TAPinto.