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December 27, 2012 Special Council Meeting

Outgoing Council President Ken Balut, Mayor Wilda Diaz and Councilman Fernando Gonzalez *Photo by Paul W. Wang

Giving Outgoing Council President Kenneth Balut and Councilman Fernando Gonzalez Their Due

PERTH AMBOY — Fellow Councilmen and residents thanked Kenneth Balut and Fernando Gonzalez at their last meeting as Councilmen. Resident Alan Silber said, “We will miss Mr. Balut and Fernando. I think we will go back to wearing blinders. I don’t think their would be questions asked to Mr. Blunda.”

Local resident Leslie Dominguez also thanked Balut and Fernando Gonzalez for their service. She also congratulated the new members of the Council: Lisa Nanton and Fernando Irizarry. She also hoped to see Fernando Gonzalez and Kenneth Balut “on this side,” referring to the audience.

Mayor Wilda Diaz said, “We got a lot done. It wasn’t easy. We had to take tough stands. A lot of work still has to be done. We had storm after storm and we have new Council members on board. We just want to do what’s right. It was an honor to work with you. We worked hard. To the Council President – You did a great job!”

Councilman Bill Petrick thanked them both for their expertise. “I enjoyed working with you. I wish you the best. We will see you at future meetings.”

Councilman Joel Pabon said to Balut, “I gave you my support. You have done an outstanding job. I hope to see you on the other side. If Kenny Balut would have ran again, I would have voted for him.”

Councilman Kenneth Gonzalez told Kenneth Balut, “I did not vote for you to be Council President but you have done a good job of being fair. Sometimes I didn’t agree with you, but I agreed with you in securing funds. To Fernando Gonzalez – You and I have disagreed but you love the City very deeply and you have shown dedication as a Councilman.”

City Attorney Mark Blunda thanked Fernando Gonzalez and Ken Balut. Blunda also said, “Ken Balut was the most active Council President that I have ever worked with.”

In response to the praises heaped upon them, Fernando Gonzalez thanked the City, Mr. Fehrenbach and Mr. Blunda for their service. He told Fehrenbach, “I learned a lot from you.” He also mentioned City Clerk, Elaine Jasko who he said did a great job, “And I respect you greatly. We want to build a better Perth Amboy and not put blinders on.”

He congratulated the two new Council members and also thanked the Mayor.

Kenneth Balut thanked the Mayor, employees, citizens, Mr. Blunda, Fehrenbach and Elaine Jasko. “You got us through the mess that we were in. My biggest regret is not getting money for the Prop House and the YMCA issues.”

He also said, “Whistleblower and ethnics numbers are available. This town is not to be taken over by PAC’s (Political Action Committee). I only do what I believe is right. I raised taxes for four-and-half years and it hurt me, but I had to do it.”

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