By 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.