Ex-mayor says administration needs a reality check

We need a reality check on the politics of this community. The behavior of Mayor Joseph Grisanti and his political cronies has gone way beyond the norm. Politics has to be more than power and greed, more than personal attacks. Officials in this town have been elected because the people believed in them. They were not elected to become bullies, abusive or to misuse their power.

As residents and taxpayers, we have a right to speak up. We have a right to ask questions without our families and our livelihoods being attacked. We have a right to know how our tax money is being spent, and question appearances of wasteful spending. We have a right to freedom of information without jumping through hoops of paperwork or being subjected to insults on the phone.

In what started out to be one of many comments on the recent public debate over mandatory Jackson Township Municipal Utilities Authority hookups, Mayor Grisanti permitted and encouraged a scurrilous personal attack of a selected few hard-working residents of this community. The facts were totally obliterated for the sake of damaging lives and hurting not only the individuals named but their families as well.

Has politics gotten so jaded that we will allow politicians to say anything and do anything at all costs? Will we allow politicians to compromise our very souls for political power and financial gain?

Attacking personal lives is nothing more than a diversionary tactic to take the focus away from unacceptable behavior in the Grisanti administration and to intimidate residents from making public comments and criticisms. I will not succumb to intimidation.

When Mayor Grisanti attacks or allows other political cronies to attack on command, not only the issues, but on a personal level, does our mayor realize the cost? I guess he doesn’t because no one has yet attacked his family, his children, or his personal relationships.

I am proud of my past accomplishments as a mayor, a deputy mayor and a committeewoman. I am proud to have served this community with dignity and honesty and I continue to do so as an active volunteer. I also highly value my roles as wife, mother and grandmother. Combining work and family has not always been easy and I am saddened and angered that my family has had to endure the lies and personal attacks that have been hurled against me. This kind of behavior can never be condoned as "just politics."

To wantonly and willfully disseminate scurrilous, slanderous and libelous information to the public without any regard to who might be damaged is unconscionable. There’s more to life, Mayor Grisanti, than greed and power. There is humanity.

Vicki Rickabaugh