IRVINGTON, NJ — It’s official. Local businessman and former Municipal Council candidate Destin Nicholas is no longer interested in being a part of the effort by Elouise McDaniel, Candy Southerland and Dee Fuqua to recall Mayor Tony Vauss.
In a letter dated Monday, Nov. 30, with his name and signature on it, addressed to Municipal Clerk Harold Wiener and notarized by Jean Lamothe, an inspector for the Irvington Building Department, Nicholas states: “Please accept this letter as notice of my withdrawal from the Committee to recall Mayor Anthony Vauss.”
Calls to Nicholas and the Municipal Clerk’s Office to verify the letter were not successful by press time this week.
However, Lamothe, who made an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2014, confirmed notarizing the letter Monday, Nov. 30.
“He came to me, he asked me to notarize it and I did it. That’s it. Tony doesn’t need to be recalled. He’s doing the best that he can and he listens to people. The town is going in the right direction that it needs to go. We don’t need any opposition in town now.”
But according to McDaniel, there is a need for an active opposition in Irvington, whether against Vauss, former Mayor Wayne Smith or anyone who doesn’t have the town’s best interests at heart. McDaniel is one of Nicholas’ erstwhile compatriots in the Vauss recall effort and her name also appears on the notice of intent to recall the mayor that a judge ordered Wiener to approve earlier this year, as well as all corresponding legal papers associated with it.
McDaniel said Monday, Nov. 30, that Nicholas had called her that day to inform her he was pulling out of the recall effort.
“Destin just called me today and told me that he is moving,” McDaniel said Monday, Nov. 30. “He said he has a house in Springfield and he is moving. That’s OK. We don’t need him.”
McDaniel also said she is happy for Nicholas, if he really does want to stop helping with the recall effort, but that just because he has pulled out it doesn’t mean the recall effort is finished.
“I’m happy for him, but it doesn’t mean anything to me. We’re moving forward,” said McDaniel. “I went to Town Hall today so that Harold could certify the petition. I also put in an OPRA request for how much it cost to put Tony’s name and picture on the street sweepers and buses. I did that today.”
“The same thing that is on the letter of intent is on the petition,” said McDaniel. “Harold has to certify it. He has no choice. Now he has to do the petition and we can get out and start getting the signatures. I took it there today. He has to approve it or else we’ll have to go back to court.”
Vauss said he also received word about Nicholas’ letter Monday, Nov. 30.
“I’m glad that Mr. Nicholas sees the value in what this administration is doing and is not blinded by the hatred that the other folks have for me winning the mayoral election,” said Vauss on Monday, Nov. 30. “They may have to start all over after he takes his name off the document. This guy doesn’t want it.”
McDaniel said Vauss was wrong about Nicholas’ withdrawal from the recall effort possibly causing it to collapse. She said his leaving the effort doesn’t mean it’s going to end.
“It won’t change, not one thing. We already got it through. Harold told me when we got the petition and things, Destin’s name was on it. We don’t have to take it off,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel said she wishes Nicholas all the best in his future endeavors and life outside of Irvington, but that,“he didn’t tell us anything until today. He told me he’s going to sell his house over there on 38th Street and he’s got a house in Springfield and he’s moving. He’s the one who told me that he wanted to be on the recall committee. But it’s not going to stop us.”