Democratic candidate for the 4th ward, James Lloyd, contacted Roselle Park News and stated he will be attending tonight’s debate at Borough Hall. This is the latest information in a string of events that last Friday had the League of Women Voters (LWV) with no response from either Gene Antonucci nor James Lloyd as to whether or not they would be attending the debate. Carl Hokanson had scheduled surgery on his throat for October 8, 2010, and will not be able to speak while recuperating.
“The 6th (of October) was great for us,” Democratic campaign manager Dan Petrosky stated in a phone interview regarding the debate and the confusion of dates that were discussed. Originally the date agreed to between all parties was October 6th but in talks between Republican Party Chair Michael Yakubov and Democratic Party Chair Larry Dinardo an alternate date of October 19 was proposed since two (2) Republican candidates, Modesto Miranda and Tanya Torres, would be unavailable. It was not until last week, according to Mr. Petrosky, that the date of the 12th was mentioned to the Democrats, “We didn’t know it was the 12th until we got those (invitation) letters. We thought the debate was canceled totally because Michael Yakubov told me if it doesn’t go for the 6th or the 19th, it might not happen because that’s the only time the LWV have open.”
Phone messages were left with Larry Dinardo and Michael Yakubov to comment on this article but calls were not returned.
“Mrs. Clarke (LWV moderator) said that she called up two (2) candidates – (Joe) Accardi and (Kevin) Murphy,” Dan Petrosky continued, referring to Independent Conservative candidate Kevin Murphy as the third member of the mayoral debate, “She made a decision on her own stating that the 12th was okay for everybody but she never checked with the Democrats. The way they should have done it is contact the Democrats first.”
When asked if the Democrats would be open to a debate any time before the election, Dan Petrosky said they would be but that residents should not get the impression that the Democrats did not want to show for the debate tonight, “That’s not fair to us.”
This morning, Mrs. Dawn Clarke of the League of Women Voters confirmed that James Lloyd contacted her yesterday, October 11, to notify her that he would be attending the debate tonight. She stated that the League was originally contacted by the local political parties with a tentative date of October 6, 2010 but there was no further communication from either Party Chair to settle on that date. A different moderator was available for the 6th but when the League was finally contacted to firm up a date, October 12th was scheduled with Mrs. Clarke as the moderator since the dates she had available were October 12, 19, and 20.
“I look forward to it,” Kevin Murphy stated when asked about the debate, “The people should hear from those asking to represent them.” When asked about having the opportunity to debate both candidates some time before the election, “It’d be great to have a town hall sit down at the Casano Center or somewhere before the election with everyone (the candidates) sitting around and talking about the issues.”
Due to doctor’s orders, Carl Hokanson was unavailable to comment on this story.
Joe Accardi, when reached for comment on tonight’s debate, stated, “I’m excited about it. I wish that it could be a full debate but it’s an opportunity to get my thoughts out there. It’s a step in the right direction.”
When asked if he would be open to another debate with all three (3) mayoral candidates, Mr. Accardi responded, “I hope that we can have something else in the very near future.”