EDITORIAL — Locally, Scarpelli and Tucci set an example for nation to follow


Remember the days when the transition of power was a given and not a political wedge issue? Well, despite the notion being questioned these days nationally, it hasn’t been forgotten in Nutley, where Commissioners Mauro Tucci and Dr. Joseph Scarpelli, who literally tied each other in the 2020 election, decided to split their terms as mayor.

Tucci served through last week and Scarpelli will serve the next two years.

Remember, in Nutley, the top vote getter among the commissioners is traditionally selected by the entire Board of Commissioners to serve in the mostly ceremonial position of mayor and not chosen by the voters.

And in the very same year when the results of the election for President of the United States were called into question by many, Scarpelli and Tucci came to an immediate agreement — and they absolutely, though not shockingly, followed through on it.

It’s not that we thought the agreement wouldn’t be honored, but that it happened so simply is a


reminder of what could be in this country.

We live in a region where a local instance should and could very well set a fine example of how to operate politically everywhere.

In his time as mayor, Tucci guided the township through two of the most difficult we might see in our lifetimes — the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, to the vaccines, to today. It couldn’t have been an easy task, but Tucci rose to the occasion as well as anyone could have dreamed.

And now, with Scarpelli back in the seat as of a week ago, we are confident that momentum will continue. We base this on the last two years and 2016-2020, when Scarpelli previously and successfully served in the mayor’s office.

We can only hope the example of Nutley, a tiny township in Essex County, sets the tone for the county, the region and the entire country. If more in government acted this way, we’d all be so much better off. 

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, an organization he has served since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook, and X, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to Kearny to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.