Ocean Township Councilman Rob Acerra responded to the news of Mayor Christopher Siciliano’s threat to a constituent on social media by demanding that Siciliano apologize and consider resigning. Acerra said that Ocean Township “voters should strongly consider turning the page on the Siciliano era” in the municipal election on May 14.
“Here in Ocean we have a rich history of non-partisanship and civil political discourse,” said Acerra in a statement released early on Monday afternoon. “To see the Mayor acting like a schoolyard bully toward a constituent he is supposed to be representing raises doubts about his ability to lead. He is responsible for the commentary posted on his facebook profile in his name, period. At the very least Chris needs to apologize for these remarks, if not consider dropping out of the race. Voters don’t deserve a Mayor who solves challenges and bridges divides by threatening Ocean residents. We can and must do better.”
“The Mayor knows his threatening remarks were highly inappropriate, or he wouldn’t have deleted them,” said Acerra. “Between behavior like this, his votes to sell off open space to big developers, and the fact that he has more than doubled property taxes during his 16 years on Council, I think it is time the voters strongly consider turning the page on the Siciliano era on May 14th.”
Siciliano told MMM this morning that he did not make the offensive post, but blamed it on a campaign volunteer. The mayor responded to Acerra’s call for an apology and to consider resigning by referring to the Asbury Park Press’s coverage of a controversial “hot mess” facebook post attributed to Acerra while he was an Assembly candidate in 2017.
“Remember this one?” Siciliano said in a text with a link to the APP article. “Poor Rob, people get hold of your devices and who the hell knows what’s going to happen.”
The APP called Acerra a chicken in their coverage of the 2017 hot mess controversy.
Acerra’s running mate, Victor Ashkenazi, played the adult in the room:
“Like many voters, I have grown cynical about the political process and it is precisely because of behavior like this from certain elected officials,” said Council Candidate Victor Ashkenazi. “As a 30 year resident and small business owner, and as someone who has never held or sought elected office before, I know I can bring a fresh way of doing business to the Council that does not involve these kinds of tactics.”