Grasso Makes Splash at 'Squan Council Meeting
Former Manasquan pol spars with mayor, councilman
Just when the Manasquan Borough Council thought it had seen the last of recently resigned Councilman Don Grasso, the former Republican made a splash during the public forum of the governing body's Monday work session.
With a stack of reports he drafted as chair of the council's Law and Code Committee tucked under the arm of his dark blue suit, Grasso approached the microphone before the dais and got right down to brass tacks by accusing Mayor George Dempsey of ignoring his ideas and failing to make an effort to communicate with the former councilman.
Grasso, who stepped down last month, said that Dempsey had no right to question his qualifications and that his work for a $160 million corporation was evidence he was more qualified for the job than the mayor himself.
The exchange was short-lived, however, as Dempsey asked Police Chief Elliott Correia to have a police officer escort Grasso from council chambers for being out of order. That portion of the meeting was reserved for comments pertaining only to items discussed during the work session.
But the mayor's warnings did not stop Grasso from getting in a few more shots.
"You're a joke," Grasso said before retaking his seat in the audience.
And the scuff didn't end there.
Immediately following Grasso's comments, the governing body broke for closed session and Councilman Joe Bossone stepped off the dais and took a beeline to Grasso.
Bossone accused Grasso of pointing his finger at him while at the microphone and the two soon began arguing over the price for pizzas Squan Tavern charged the borough for its annual pizza-eating contest each summer (Squan Tavern is owned by the Bossone family).
Moments later, Correia and a resident wedged themselves between the two men standing nearly nose-to-nose, which ended the quarrel without further incident.
Grasso did not return for the meeting's regular portion, when public comments and questions regarding any topic are permitted.
During his exchange with Dempsey, Grasso asked the mayor why he was against installing parking meters in the beach parking lots and accused him of not knowing how many boat slips the borough had.
"We have 122 boat slips, Mr. Mayor. I did the research. Do you know how many hours I put into this, Mr. Mayor?" Grasso said, holding up his stack of reports.
Dempsey for the most part refused to answer, but did admit that while he always read Grasso's reports, he never called him to talk about them.
"I didn't think I needed to," Dempsey said.