DiBella: End Nicastro Recall Effort

By Joe DiBella

DiBella for web

Joe DiBella

I was disturbed and disappointed to learn that a group of residents have filed a petition to recall our Deputy Mayor, Rob Nicastro.

I have lived in Howell for nearly 20 years and have not seen a more hard working, devoted public servant than Deputy Mayor Nicastro. I met the Deputy Mayor Nicastro while he was leading the fight to correct an issue with how his neighborhood was being unfairly charged for water services. In dealing with the issue facing he and his neighbors he worked tirelessly with local, county and state officials and he got results. When he disagreed with a policy issue he did not try and overthrow the government or overturn a legitimate election. Instead he rallied people together and worked collaboratively to get results. He has applied that same tenacious approach while serving as an elected official in Howell. He was recruited to run for office based and at first declined the opportunity to run. Having seen him in action these past few years I for one am glad he was convinced to seek office.

I respect the rights of every citizen to express their opinion and advocate for policy positions they feel will better our community. We need a continued spirited and passionate debate on all the issues that face our community. However, when one disagrees with an issue or position it is unacceptable that they resort to recall efforts to remove someone from office. That’s what elections are for and Deputy Mayor Nicastro was elected to office twice in Howell; both times with a strong mandate from the people.

Based on what I have seen the residents behind the recall effort disagree with the Deputy Mayor over a proposed development near their homes. They have every right to be unhappy and to speak out against this or any issue. However, to smear an elected official or accuse them of dereliction of office over a “policy dispute” is wrong and uncalled for. What’s more is that the entire Mayor and Council agreed unanimously to have the project go for further consideration yet the recall group singling out only the Deputy Mayor.

I call on the recall group to withdraw their petition and focus their efforts on a meaningful policy debate focused on ideas and solutions.

I freely admit Deputy Mayor Nicastro is a friend and someone I have great respect for. Trying to recall him is a tragic mistake that will be bad for our community. To my fellow residents, don’t be persuaded by what you are reading on social media. This recall is unfounded and together as a community we need to respectfully renounce it and get back to working on finding the best solutions for our community.


Joe DiBella was the mayor of Howell Township from 2005 through 2008. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Brookdale Community College


Posted: March 7th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Howell, Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , , , | 15 Comments »

15 Comments on “DiBella: End Nicastro Recall Effort”

  1. Where can I sign? said at 9:59 pm on March 7th, 2016:

    Where can I sign? I’ll even circulate additional petitions or work the bus stops, parking lots, knock on doors and make calls!

    The entire Howell administration has to go. These weak willed do nothings talk about Howell being a Tree City community and we,ve watched thousand of acres of trees get clear cut to make room for more stores and houses. Rural Monmouth is no more, just another dump like Freehold, Manalapan, Marlboro. Now is the last time to stop the give away and protect Monmouth County from looking like Staten Island.

  2. Let me tell ya, said at 11:13 pm on March 7th, 2016:

    the man has definitely matured, since his too- soon run for freeholder: he is very bright and well- spoken, not to mention loyal, to the current freeholders, and county: have witnessed his help at public meetings during prickly issues.. this is a quality sorely lacking today, and I wish there was a path for him to be of service, now.

  3. Ps: said at 11:19 pm on March 7th, 2016:

    Anybody who has been around longer than 5 years knows full well how volatile Howell’s local politics is: for years, we have watched both parties destroy their own: it used to be understood and standard practice that almost nobody could get re-elected there.. In our county’s second- largest town, the population diversity, influx, and turnover, can partially explain this anomaly.

  4. Tim H said at 6:50 am on March 8th, 2016:

    DiBella was to the contrary very well liked and popular. The guys always had “balls” and never backed down from a fight. I did not always agree with him but he was a helluva fighter and the people in the town liked and respected him. You need guys with “balls” and there is no one you’d rather have in the foxhole with you than this guy.

  5. Louise said at 3:47 pm on March 8th, 2016:

    Glad to see Dibella weighing in. Met him a few years back at a function when he spoke. Howell is very volatile as Ps says. It has been calm the last few years so this was bound to happen. A recall will never fly because they will never get the signatures needed. They are just doing this to embarrass the man and hurt the party since he is the vice chair to Golden. Just politics as usual.

  6. Not an anomaly said at 4:43 pm on March 8th, 2016:

    @Ps — “the population diversity, influx, and turnover, can partially explain this anomaly” — this is not an anomaly;

    The trouble is that Republicans have allowed Trenton Democrats to dictate what Monmouth county should look like and greedy bankers and developers have happily turned suburban Monmouth into urban Monmouth and in turn rural Monmouth into suburban Monmouth to please the Democrats in Trenton. As this has happened, Democrats from New York have flooded the area — look at who has moved into the old Republican red farm towns like Marlboro, Freehold, Englishtown, and Manalapan — and try to find anyone like a Republican or anything like a farm in those places; if not few and far between these days then certainly far fewer than even a decade ago.

    Local Republicans, just like the ones currently in Howell, have allowed Trenton Democrats to dictate that nice, rural towns cater to low-income urban dwellers and weak willed Republicans have allowed themselves to be trampled by Trenton Democrats for decades now. Republicans in the county have finally lost two legislative seats, we’ll give up a Freeholder seat or two next despite lower taxes, then another legislative seat — probably Jen Beck who is barely Republican and one of those “Republicans” who makes it easy for Trenton Democrats to ruin the neighborhood.

    The people of Howell are right to get rid of anyone and everyone who is doing nothing to stop Democrats from expanding their base at the expense of a sense of community; whether its a local counsel member, Freeholder, or legislative seat. Don’t be shocked when even Chris Smith loses Howell in an upcoming election; it’ll just be the result of “the population diversity, influx, and turnover” allowed by local, weak “Republicans”

  7. You know best, said at 9:45 pm on March 8th, 2016:

    it’s tough to see one’s beloved town change drastically, to pay so much in taxes, and to see turmoil going on.. Hope Howell can get it’s act together and deliver the good vote of the last few years, you have been a big help.

  8. Name (required) said at 6:50 am on March 10th, 2016:

    This is an unfortunate development. A bunch of disgruntled “NIMBYs” trying to bring the government to a halt. We have seen his act before in Howell. Tell them to get the hell out or run for office but how dare they try and boot anyone out because they disagree with them. What do you want to bet this is a group of nut bags?

  9. Former Howell Resident said at 8:57 am on March 11th, 2016:

    Before I start, you didn’t proofread your post so I will post my comment as a first draft as well.

    First, are you really disturbed? That seems a bit in-congruent within the context of the issue being discussed. Disappointed? Sure, that could be a reasonable reaction but using the word disturbed is a transparent ploy to immediately cast the recall effort as unreasonable and radical. It is not, full stop.

    “I respect the rights of every citizen to express their opinion and advocate for policy positions they feel will better our community.”
    If this were actually true you wouldn’t be penning your opinion here. The fact is, the recall process is one mechanism citizens can employ in order to advocate for policy positions they feel will better our community. What you mean to say is you respect the rights of citizens up until the recall process.

    “We need a continued spirited and passionate debate on all the issues that face our community. However, when one disagrees with an issue or position it is unacceptable that they resort to recall efforts to remove someone from office.”
    If you encourage passionate debate, I’m not sure why one possible aspect of a debate (i.e. a recall effort) is so objectionable to you. Maybe this requires further exploration but I’m curious if you object to ANY recall effort or only certain recall efforts.
    Why is it unacceptable to use a legal mechanism to remove someone from office if, not “one”, but a significant collective feel the office holder no longer represents them. You use the word “resort” and I think that’s important. Implied in the word is the fact that after the election, citizens have limited means to actually impact or engage in the discussion. So if they feel that an office holder’s actions, attitude and disdain for them are so incredibly egregious (which is the reality of the situation) – why wouldn’t they “resort” to one of the limited actionable options as their disposal?
    “…both times with a strong mandate from the people.”
    The recall efforts may also prove to be with a strong mandate from the people. If support to remove an office holder is strong enough to succeed (which based on the fact you are penning an opinion suggests it may be) then shouldn’t the mandate be respected as it was during election time?
    “They have every right to be unhappy and to speak out against this or any issue.”
    Naturally, thank you for reiterating their first amendment rights, how kind of you. The fact is, that speaking out has not resulted in anything other than scorn and chiding from elected officials, so why would they ONLY continue to speak out against it. Again, I’m unclear why support certain rights but not the right to initiate a recall.

    “However, to smear an elected official…”
    This is a recall effort, no one is smearing him. If someone cannot accept the possibility that their actions in public office may result in a recall effort, then they shouldn’t be in public office.

    “I call on the recall group to withdraw their petition…”
    Based on what and what exactly is your authority or relevance in the matter?

    “…and focus their efforts on a meaningful policy debate focused on ideas and solutions.”
    How does this occur? It’s such a vague statement. You seem to be missing the concept of what a representative government is. For starters, there is limited opportunity for a citizen to be heard and engage in such “policy debate”, that’s why they elect officials to do that on their behalf. When one is no longer representing them in an appropriate manner, they replace him/her. In this case, they simply want to replace him before the next election.

  10. Republican in name and actions said at 11:32 am on March 11th, 2016:

    Former Howell Resident:

    Bravo. Very well said.

    BTW. Who cares what Dibella has to say about it. He is a private citizen, so if the Council could care less what the private citizens of Howell have to say, Why should we care what a Failed Politican has to say.

    The mere fact that he has the ego to think he can call on anyone to do anything is laughable.

  11. so still no information where to sign? said at 8:43 am on March 12th, 2016:

    So still no info on where to sign the petition or who I can contact about helping with the recall effort?

  12. Tim H said at 2:48 pm on March 12th, 2016:

    Many people care what the former Mayor Dibella has to say. He has guts and brains unlike you both. You two are a couple of uninformed losers who don’t even live here. Show your real names too. The recall is a joke and so are you both. Pathetic people. You are probably like the people protesting the Trump rallies. Enough said.

  13. Republican in name and actions said at 4:17 pm on March 12th, 2016:

    You mean the way you showed your real name Tim H?

    You make a lot of assumptions . Now that’s a window into your intelligence or lack there of.

  14. Tom R said at 5:22 pm on March 13th, 2016:

    Hi Tim H. I (former Howell resident) pointed out the obvious flaws in Di Bella’s logic train. You, in return, started ranting like a petulant child.

  15. Joe Z (Repulican in name and Actions) said at 9:42 am on March 16th, 2016:

    So, Tim H. I showed as much of my real name as you did yours.

    Your assumptions truly show your lack of intellagence:

    #1. I live in Howell
    #2. I will put my knowledge of both local and national politics against your’s any day of the week. I do not even know you but I am confident in my knowledge….
    #3. How in the world do you know who I support president and no I do not support violent protesting, but I support peaceful assembly and protesting that is protected by the first amendment.

    Now as for the recall. I could care less about the actual recall but I will defend any citizens right to exercise what is allow by law. Just as I will defend any citizens right to their free speach and right to assemble peacefully.

    Yes even if they do not agree with me.

    So have at it Dibella, but do not disparage the recall folks by saying they are disparaging an elected offical when they are exercising their rights that are outlined and protected by law.

    Oh, yes Tim H. keep going on with you name calling and assumptions.

    It is said that when someone has nothing of value to say and meets their intellectual match name calling is their last resort.

    Have a great day!