A Republican New Jersey mayor has been removed from office for objecting to a Pride flag being flown outside of the town hall.
Councilmembers from both parties, but mainly Republicans, voted to oust Rochelle Park Mayor Perrin Mosca last week over his objections to flying flags that “singled out one group over another group.”
During a heated town hall meeting, Mosca said, “a majority had agreed that as a township we would not put up any flags that singled out one group over another group. That should have been the end of the issue,” according to reporting from News 12.
The report added, “instead, it was the end of the line for the Republican mayor, and last week the three other Republicans on the committee joined the lone Democrat who promoted the Pride flag – Councilwoman Linda Boniface – to force Mosca out of the mayor’s chair.”
Mosca remains a committeeman and is running for reelection in November, but no longer has the support of the Rochelle Park GOP.
GOP Municipal Chairman Frank Valenzuela said that Mosca “embarrassed the township and brought its governance to a screeching halt, threatening two decades of progress,” according to a report from the Daily Voice. He also accused the former mayor of using “his position to create a negative atmosphere guided by his personal ideals versus what is best for the residents of Rochelle Park.”
The former mayor told the outlet to “consider the political motives” of Valenzuela, who is “struggling for relevancy within the Republican [P]arty.”
“My position is that private flags do not belong on public property,” Mosca told the Daily Voice. “The only flags that represent the entire community of Rochelle Park are the American Flag, the NJ state flag, the County flag and our Township flag. All other flags will only create division and open up our township to a myriad of other issues. I am not the only one who believes this to be the best policy.”
Deputy Mayor Jennifer Appice is now serving as the town’s acting mayor. The Rochelle Park Council is supposed to choose his replacement within the next week and a half.
Mosca teaches physics, chemistry and forensic science at Lyndhurst High School and coaches the girls’ basketball team.