TR Councilman asked to resign, planning board member resigns
One week after the primary elections a Toms River Councilman who lost in a bid to become the Republican nominee for mayor was asked to resign while a planning board member filed her resignation.
Longtime Toms River Councilman and current Council Vice-President Maurice "Mo" Hill won the vote to be the Republican nominee for Mayor this November along with his three council running mates Matthew Lotano, Joshua Kopp and Kevin Geoghegan.
Hill defeated former Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato, who was the Toms River GOP nominee for Mayor and fellow Toms River Councilman Daniel Rodrick who came under fire during the campaign for his alleged bigoted remarks and accusations against his opponents.
As a result, Rodrick was outnumbered in a vote at Tuesday night's council meeting censuring him and asking him to resign.
Toms River Council President George Wittmann Jr. and five other members of the council voted to censure Rodrick and urge his resignation from the council.
Rodrick is still permitted to sit on the council but under the censure rules is no longer allowed to vote or have an impact on township council decisions.
The reasoning behind the council's decision is due to "Rodrick's "bigoted conduct" during the recent Republican mayoral campaign that shows his "unfitness for elected office," according to the other six members of the Township Council," according to the Asbury Park Press Report.
Rodrick's campaign promoted what he presented as facts about Hill and Coronato:
STOP LAKEWOOD-STYLE DEVELOPMENT
- Say No to 6,400 homes on Ciba-Geigy
- Eliminate Multi-Family Zoning
- Buy More Open Space
CUT SPENDING & REDUCE TAXES
- Eliminate Wasteful Positions
- Save $2.3 million
- Shop Around for Insurance
- Save $4 million
- Outsource Legal Department
- Save $1.1 million
SAY NO TO “LAKEWOOD JOE” CORONATO
- Coronato let 159 Lakewood welfare frauds get away with Millions.
- Coronato fought for approvals of Lakewood-style housing in Toms River as a Land Use Attorney.
- Coronato is endorsed by convicted felon George Gilmore.
On Primary Election day Daniel Rodrick's campaign sent out a spam text to Toms River residents featuring this photo:
Rodrick was the only council member who voted no on the resolution and voiced his opposition at the meeting.
"I resent the notion that I'm someone bigoted," Rodrick said. "I've never written anything bigoted or said anything bigoted."
The council came out of executive session to vote on the Rodrick resolution, according to Toms River Township Spokeswoman Stacy Proebstle, who also told WOBM News that Mayor Tom Kelaher and the Township Council have no further comment at this time.
Meanwhile, Toms River Planning Board Member Heather Barone did resign on Tuesday from her position in a letter written to the township and council.
Barone was on the Toms River primary ballot running for a council spot in this years election.
This comes after a flurry of Facebook posts on her now deleted campaign page implying that Mo Hill's victory was the result or more wealth especially from the Orthodox Jewish community.
"At the end of the day voters voted for more overdevelopment and orthodox votes. There is nothing we can change from that. I thank you so much for your support but not much of a Toms River wanted the bias racist treatment of Toms River."
Barone went onto say," thank you to all who actually voted. Not a chance we had against the money Mo Hill had and team had from the Orthodox vote and money. So you got what you voted for."
When asked why she felt that way and why she thought the target of her post, the Orthodox Jewish community, felt that way about her she said, "they hate me because I speak against their corruption."
Barone has since apologized in her letter of resignation.
"I want to first and foremost apologize for the way I worded my posts and apologize for any problems I caused the Toms River Planning Board. While I firmly stand behind the reasons for my posts, I understand and take full responsibility that there was a better way to convey my disappointment in what I have come to find out.
Since being on the board I have been forced to recuse myself from various applications by the board attorney. This situation that I put myself in would allow further recusals and become a distraction for the board.
I have been personally harassed, stalked, and verbally attacked prior to and during this election process and it is something I have learned to adjust to. However, not after the election these occurrences have taken a very serious turn to include tactics that put into jeopardy the well-being and safety of my children and for that reason I must resign, effective immediately, from the Toms River Planning Board."
Barone also reportedly resigned from her position on the Ocean County Library Commission, according to the Asbury Park Press.
Heather Barone is also the daughter of Bob and Jeanne Richards and appears on their weekly Saturday morning show on Townsquare Media's Beach Radio (WOBM-AM) called 'Managing Your Money'.
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