by Carolyne Volpe Curley / Carolyne@WestEssexNOW.com
ROSELAND, NJ - This afternoon,
Roseland Mayor John Duthie announced to West Essex Now the resignations of Councilman Thomas Tsilionis and Councilman David Jacobs.
Tsilionis then contacted West Essex Now with the following letter:
Roseland, NJ 07068
Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017
To the West Essex Now Editor:
I have been proud to serve the Borough of Roseland as Councilman since January, 2010, and representing the residents of this great community has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It is with great gratitude, along with tears of sorrow, that I must resign from this position effective immediately.
I recognize that my recent text messages referenced in the Progress and Star Ledger were deemed inappropriate and I personally apologize to all I offended. When taken out-of-context, I can see that my texts would be seen as derogatory.
However, the texts do not speak to who I am: there isn't a racist or anti-Semitic bone in my body. Councilman Richard Leonard, who distributed a copy of the texts to the press, already knows that about me.
Councilman Leonard never told me or anyone else that the texts offended him, including Councilman David Jacobs who Councilman Leonard campaigned door-to-door with for seven months. Councilman Leonard went to the press not because he was offended, or because he thought that I was a racist or anti-Semitic, or because he thought it was the right thing to do.
Plain and simple, Councilman Leonard released the tests to the press out of his own personal agenda to attack Councilman Jacobs and me for not voting for him for Council President.
It is no secret that Councilman Leonard and I don't see eye to eye. I believe that Councilman Leonard wants to be a Councilman so that he can use the office for his own personal benefit and to benefit his real estate business that resides in our Borough.
As a Councilman, I have witnessed Councilman Leonard use his public office for his own personal gain by acting unethically and even possibly criminally:
In short, Councilman Peter Smith's comments that Councilman Leonard is "off the reservation" is an understatement.
It is true that I didn't vote for Leonard as Council President in January and that I seconded the motion to nominate Council President Mark Vidovich. Based on what I know, how could I support Leonard to structure the agenda and lead the Borough Council?
Despite these challenging times, as I step down I am proud of my many accomplishments since January 2010, that I have made happen for Roseland, the town that I love. These are only a few of my accomplishments during my time serving on the Roseland Governing Body:
As a community we need to move forward and put this behind us.