Santana says he wanted to wait until a new mayor takes office before appointing someone to DPW committee

As former Kearny Mayor Alberto G. Santos exited stage left on Tuesday, June 27, after he gave a rousing farewell address for the ages that prompted an elongated standing ovation from those assembled at the council chambers, he made certain to say he had hopes the remaining governing body would continue to build on the work they did for the last 23 years.

Within hours of his departure things appeared to get a bit testy.

The Town Council rejected a resolution that would have added Fourth Ward Councilman Jerry Ficeto to the town’s Department of Public Works committee by a 4 to 3 margin. Voting in favor of the measure were Acting Mayor Carol Jean Doyle, Ficeto and Councilwoman Marytrine DeCastro.

Voting against the measure were Councilman Peter Santana, Councilwoman Eileen Eckel — and freshman representatives George Zapata and Stat Theodoropoulous, who have been on the council a grand total of 180 days.

Despite Theodoropoulous’s move, it was Ficeto, meanwhile, who campaigned for and went all out for Theodoropoulous in his rookie run for the council last year, endorsing his candidacy, walking door-to-door with him and encouraging his constituents to vote for him.

But Santana says he wanted to table the resolution until the next council meeting. He made that request prior to the voting portion of the meeting.

Votes like this were very common — in the late 1990s. But they became a thing of the past under Santos.

In voting “no,” Zapata remained completely silent otherwise. Eckel prefaced her words with, “no offense, Jerry, but no.” Santana said, “nothing against Jerry, but no.” And Theodoropoulous said, “no offense, Jerry, it’s more of the context, but no.”

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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.