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Board of Ed Members Aim for Council Spots

Suzanne Viscomi and Allen Palma filed petitions looking to unseat incumbents Michael DuPont and Art Murphy.

Red Bank School District members Sue Viscomi and Allen Palma have filed petitions to run for borough council seats in November's upcoming election, according to clerk Pam Borghi.

The pair, who secured board of education election wins for the first time in last April's race, will face off as Republicans against multiple-term winning Democrat council incumbents Art Murphy and Michael DuPont.

Viscomi said she feels it's time for a change.

"Other voices haven't been heard," she said. "I've been sitting in council meetings and I see a real need for our council to listen and not have such a monopoly (of opinion) on one side. I think Allen and I will bring a unique flavor to the council."

Currently, Red Bank Council is comprised solely of Democrats. With board of educations being non-partisan, Viscomi said she and Palma didn't realize the other was Republican until the pair sat down with other local Republicans and was offered the opportunity to run for a position on the council.

Murphy and DuPont were nominated for reelection at a recent Democratic County Committee meeting in Red Bank.

Viscomi said she and Palma are making a point to reach out to the community to find out their needs and concerns. In last year's council election, Republican candidates Mary Grace Cangemi and Joe Mizzi were for failing to attend public meetings of any kind for more than a year. One borough resident likened the annual Republican election efforts to a grizzly bear, noting that they're often stunted by hibernation.

The same cannot be said about Viscomi and Palma, however. The two have, in addition to meeting their attendance obligations with the board of education, have made it a point to show up at public meetings. That's what it takes to find out what's really going on in town, Viscomi said. It's an active approach the two plan on continuing now until election day.

"The next couple of months we are sitting and meeting with various groups, citizens. We want to find out what everyone really wants. We want to make them feel like they're really being heard," she said. "Allen and I feel there's a piece missing and we're glad to take on the opportunity and we're very eager to get going."

Palma said the opportunity to run for council was one he didn't want to let slip away.

"Over a year ago I wanted to make a change and help a community that has helped me in the past," he said. "When this opportunity showed up to run for a sport on the council, I thought, 'Why not?'"

 

Calls to Palma were not immediately returned Tuesday.

Chris Fotache April 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Time to end the Democrat monopoly on the Council, and start to get thing moving in Red Bank

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