Crowley Not Seeking Re-Election To Point Pleasant Beach Council

POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ — When the Point Pleasant Beach Borough Council holds its reorganization meeting in January 2025, the council will have at least two new council members.

Candidate petitions filed to seek election in November to the two, three-year terms and a one-year unexpired term show two current members — Council President Rosa Crowley and Councilman Jack Pasola — are not seeking re-election.

According to the Ocean County Clerk’s Office, Councilman Michael Ramos, whose three-year term expires Dec. 31, is seeking re-election. He is joined on the Republican ticket by Andy Cortes in seeking the two full terms.

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Ramos and Cortes are being challenged by Democrats Ernest “EJ” Geiger and Margaret “Maggie” Doucette for the full terms.

Vying for the one-year unexpired term are Republican David Betten and Democrat Catherine “Cathy” Sogorka. The seat had been held by Douglas Vitale before he ran for mayor in 2023.

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Crowley, who is finishing her first term on the council, has clashed repeatedly with Vitale from the start of 2024. She has been aligned with Councilwoman Arlene Testa, who had sought to replace former mayor Paul Kanitra. Vitale defeated Testa in the Republican primary in June 2023. Also aligned with Crowley and Testa on the council are Caryn Byrnes and Arthur Gant Jr., who were elected to their first terms in November.

Crowley has been at the center of controversy, with multiple calls from Vitale and from residents for her to resign in the wake of an argument in late February with one of her neighbors where she is accused of antisemitic language. Crowley has refused to resign. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office deemed it a bias incident. Read more: Councilwoman Rejects Resignation Calls In Point Pleasant Beach

Crowley also has been accused of conflicts of interest over her position on the council’s Inspections, Licenses & Building Codes committee, because she has matters pending before the borough’s Board of Adjustment.

Pasola was appointed in January to Vitale’s council seat. He has repeatedly called for the council members and Vitale to stop arguing in public, saying it is embarrassing and drawing negative attention to Point Pleasant Beach.

Unlike the 2023 campaign, which featured a bitter Republican primary for mayor, the 2024 primaries will be uncontested.
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Ramos, who is aligned with Vitale, is seeking his second full term. Cortes is seeking his third term; he served on the council as a Republican from 2013-2018 and lost a bid to return to the council as an independent in 2021. Betten has not served on the governing body.

None of the Democrats have served on the governing body. Geiger has run previously, as has Sogorka. Doucette is a newcomer.

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