Tensions erupted at this end of this week's borough council meeting: Mayor Patricia Quattrocchi relieved Councilman Jim Mathieu of his duties as recreation liaison after receiving an email from Recreation Committee Chairman Rich Bree. Bree told her Mathieu misrepresented to council what happened at the committee's last meeting.
In addition to the removal, Councilman Victor DeFilippo asked for Mathieu's resignation from council, arguing that Mathieu had caused ill will and bad feelings among multiple departments within the borough and has ignored legal advice from the borough attorney.
In response to his removal as rec. liaison, Mathieu claimed that Bree was not even in attendance at the meeting he reported to council about. Mathieu reported to council at the previous meeting that the committee was confused as to why there had not been a meeting about the athletic field complex yet this year and said that the committee felt communication between the council and the committee was poor and requests they have made have been ignored. In response to his removal, Mathieu also added that he had been told by the Republican party before he took office that they had "planned to kill the athletic field complex project because of the maintenance costs."
According to the mayor, Bree wrote, "I just received information that there were some things said at Tuesday's council meeting about the relationship between the rec. committee and council. I do not know what was said but wanted to make sure that you understand that there may have been some comments that were not quite our opinion."
Quattrocchi told Patch that Bree went on to ask her to send them a different liaison. Councilman Lou Petruzzelli will be taking Mathieu's place as rec. liaison.
To DeFilippo, Mathieu responded by asking the councilman to "actually join the council," claiming that DeFilippo often missed council, planning board and committee meetings.
Mathieu continued, telling DeFilippo not to call his home when he's "half in the bag," and claiming that this week the councilman called him several times late at night, intoxicated, demanding his resignation.
"I'm glad you showed up tonight, maybe you'll show up to more meetings," said Mathieu.
"I'll show up any place you want, my friend," DeFilippo interjected.
As Mathieu responded, DeFilippo continued interjecting. Mayor Quattrocchi eventually called for order, gaveling down both councilmen.
Ironically, the infighting comes from members of the same party and same slate – the Mayor, DeFilippo and Mathieu, all Republicans, campaigned together and won in the 2010 election.