Council president’s comments on Capitol riot spur debate

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SPRING LAKE — Council members took a moment Tuesday night to discuss recent comments made by Council President Brendan Judge regarding the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, and whether local officials should comment on national political issues.

At the Jan. 19 council meeting Mr. Judge made a statement condemning former President Donald Trump and his supporters who stormed the Capitol while election results were being certified.

Following the council president’s statement, Spring Lake resident Richard Connors wrote a Letter to the Editor published in the Feb. 4 edition of The Coast Star rebuking his comments as well as Councilwoman Syd Whalley’s show of support.

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Councilman Robert Drasheff said Tuesday night that the “scurrilous editorial letter” had “attacked” Mr. Judge and Ms. Whalley for statements they made.

“The uninformed comments by the writer challenged the fortitude of Brendan and Syd, and was so off base as to be unbelievable and very sad,” Mr. Drasheff said. “I just want to say I’ve never worked with two finer people than Brendan and Syd. They both have always placed their duty to the borough before any partisan political considerations.”

Councilman David Frost, however, said that he believes council members should not comment on national political issues during the council comments portion of meetings. He added that council comments should pertain to municipal issues only.

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