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Committee Drops Bid to Recall 3rd Ward Councilman

Group claims Mazzei refused to speak out against redevelopment plan.

Franco Mazzei / Patch file photo
Franco Mazzei / Patch file photo

A small committee has dropped its bid to hold a recall election to get Ward 3 Councilman Franco Mazzei removed from the governing body.

The three-person committee, headed by Carver Washburn, has “terminated any action on that right now,” NorthJersey.com reported Wednesday. The committee filed a notice of intent to recall Mazzei with town clerk Paul Margiotta in October.

Washburn said moving forward with the recall effort makes no sense now that Mayor Chris Vergano has withdrawn a plan to rezone commercial properties for mixed use. The committee, whose members all live in Ward 3, claimed that Mazzei refused to oppose the plan after it was proposed.

Vergano introduced the plan earlier this year but withdrew it a few weeks before the election.

Residents spoke out against the plan at planning board and council meetings. They posted orange signs with “Do Not Rezone Wayne” in their front yards. They claimed the plan would mean higher taxes, lower property values, overcrowded schools, and more traffic.

The committee would have needed to get signatures from more than 1,800 voters in the 3rd Ward in order for the recall election to be held, about 25 percent of the 3rd Ward’s registered voters. The election would have cost nearly $50,000 to hold, Margiotta told the website.

Mazzei was elected to a four-year term in 2011 after serving on the Board of Education.

He said in October that he wouldn’t “jeopardize and/or risk my ability to vote on behalf of the 3rd Ward residents on such an important matter by taking speculative positions based on mere concepts and/or rumors,” Mazzei said in a statement in October. “I will only deliberate and vote upon written proposed revisions to the Master Plan after carefully considering all of the testimony and evidence.”

— Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Daniel Hubbard at Daniel.Hubbard@patch.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Pad December 06, 2013 at 06:22 PM
I wonder who folded like a cheap accordion on this issue! They will be sorry down the road. After the Mayor was re-elected he will be right back to his old plans.

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