Other news from the BoE...
Councilman Mike Russo addressed the Board to request that Demarest School be used this year for the Russo Civic Association's Haunted House. The answer was "Yes", by a unanimous vote.
And the turnout of Russo family friends like Stick Romano and Mike Holmes may have been in response to Michele Russo's Facebook appeal:
We were told a week ago that we couldn't use the old church on 6th and Willow, I requested to use Demarest School for the Haunted House. But it seems that they want to make it political. So please try to come and support the Russo Civic Association so we can have our 20th year Haunted House.GA heard that Mama Russo seemed genuinely surprised the vote was unanimous and thanked all Board members after.
So what was the reason why the Russo's weren't permitted to use the church? Did they have a certificate of insurance? Anybody know?
(Updated, 6:10 pm)Responses have come in to GA's query. Contrary to Ma Russo's complaint that the church was making the event "political", here's what happened...
Last year, the All Saint's parish voted no more Russo Civic Association Haunted House because they were offended by the political slogans on the tombstones and had received many complaints- not from politicians, but from ordinary people (as told by a member of the church board). GA was told the church was never particularly comfortable with the pagan holiday celebration taking place on its hallowed grounds. I suppose the tombstone graffiti was the proverbial last straw.
The Russos should have known about this decision for some time.
|photo credit: Dave Mello|
Now for the Haunted House kerfuffle from the City Council meeting of November 3rd 2010, as reported on Patch:
Councilman-at-Large Mello, during the new business section of the meeting, expressed his disappointment with the fact that his name was captured on a fake tombstone at the Russo Civic Association haunted house during Halloween weekend.
The tomb stone read "Dave, he gave and gave, wound up alone in a cave!" A photo of the tomb stone provided by Mello is attached to this article.
"I think I'm owed an apology and some of my council colleagues are owed an apology," said Mello. Mello said that by putting the council members' names on the tombstones, the reputation of the Russo Civic Association was sullied.
Mello said also that he wouldn't want his daughter to see her father's name on a tomb stone at a haunted house.
In return Russo accused Mello of unnecessarily including his father (former Mayor Anthony Russo who went to jail for mail fraud and extortion) in every conversation. "The man is married, David," Russo snapped. Mello countered by calling Russo's comment "juvenile."
First Ward Councilwoman Theresa Castellano, co-organizer of the haunted house, said it's a long standing tradition to have all council members' names on the fake tomb stones, and "the mayor in the coffin," she said.
"You need to get some thick skin," Castellano told Mello.
Unfortunately with the cast of characters behind this Halloween stagecraft, it all seems too close to wishful thinking. And that's creepy.