Township of Nutley Swears in Mayor Scarpelli

Dr. Joseph P. Scarpelli was sworn in as Nutley Mayor tonight at the Township’s Board of Commissioners meeting. Scarpelli, who tied with outgoing Mayor Mauro G. Tucci in the Township’s last election, took the reins earlier this evening at the Nutley Town Hall.

“To my fellow commissioners, thank you for your support,” the Mayor stated. “To Mauro Tucci, thank you for sponsoring this resolution tonight and for your friendship not only these past two years, but throughout my tenure on this Board.

“Two years ago, within five minutes of the county clerk posting the results, Mauro and I talked and agreed to split the four-year mayoral term, taking two years apiece. We worked as a team these past two years, and we will continue to work as a team for the next two years. 

“When you talk to people outside of Nutley, they always ask, ‘Why would you guys split the mayorship?’ It’s almost foreign to them that two people would put ego aside and do what’s best for the town. But that’s what we do in Nutley. That is what this Board of Commissioners do every day. We may not always agree on the details, but we always put what’s best for Nutley into every decision we make.

“As Mauro laid out at the last meeting, the issues we have faced have been unprecedented: the coronavirus pandemic, storms Isaias and Ida, protests on our streets, the rescue squad demise and absorption into public safety, the ON3 development issues, the Ciccolini Building collapse and the Pool Club litigation. Mayor, thank you for your leadership, thank you for your graciousness, and thank you for your class.

“The last time I had the honor of taking this gavel, Commissioner Alphonse Petracco gave me a special moment by passing the gavel to my dad to present to me. That picture sits on the wall over my desk. As Mauro is also family, this ranks a close second to that day six years ago. Thank you, Mayor!”

Mayor Scarpelli also thanked his family, former Township attorney Alan Genitempo, the staff of the Department of Public Works, and his “guardian angels.” 

“I know you are all in this room tonight. My brother Mike, my grandmother and my Uncle Ralph. But especially my grandfather who sat in that first row for over 20 years, my dad who sat up here for over 20 years and Kevin Harkins, who served as our township attorney and sat in that seat for many years. Even though I know you are with and around me everyday — I miss you all.”

Turning to current events, the Mayor touched on some of his goals.

“Enough of the pomp and circumstance. There remains much work to do and challenges to face,” he said. “We still struggle with COVID and its variants. ON3 has the potential to transform our town for the next generation. All five of the vacant buildings left from Roche’s departure have been filled. Eisai has now joined the Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, Modern Meadow, Hackensack Meridian Center for Discovery and Innovation, Y-Mabs and Ralph Lauren. We now have a vibrant campus and premier innovation hub that is fueling our local economy, producing quality jobs for our residents and increasing property values. And there is more to come. But we will not be bullied by deep-pocketed developers into agreeing to short-term gains that result in long term costs and adverse consequences for our township.

“Thanks to Mayor Tucci, we have a settlement with the owners of the Pool Club that will put aside multiple lawsuits and will ultimately result in much needed 55-and-over luxury housing. 

“Very soon, we will have an agreement on selecting a redeveloper for the Ciccolini site that will preserve parking, add beautiful open space and revitalize Franklin Avenue. 

“I am very excited for our future,” Mayor Scarpelli concluded. “Thank you for the honor and privilege to serve as your mayor as we continue to move our township forward. Thank you again!”

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