City Councilman Resigns for Family Reason

 

coaster-news-200-newAsbury Park City Councilman Joe Woerner, who was sworn into office Jan. 1, 2015, has resigned from the council due to his young son’s illness which causes tumors to grow on nerves.

“Due to Michael’s illness and my need to focus on my family, I am stepping down as Asbury Park City Councilman,” Woerner released in a statement. “Running for, and being on, the Asbury Park City Council has been a true privilege. It has been rewarding to be a part of the remaking of City Hall and I am confident Michael Capabianco will run City Hall in a professional and responsible manner. I know the Asbury Together team will continue to guide the city in the right direction. John, Amy, Jesse, and Yvonne are the most honest and hard-working people I have ever been around. I will miss them all dearly.”

Mayor John Moor, who ran with Woerner in November 2014, described him as an excellent council member and one who was always prepared.

“But he is making the right move for his family,” Moor said.

The council has 30 days to make an appointment and fill the seat. Residents interested in the seat should submit their resumes to City Hall. The person appointed will serve until November when the seat will be up for election.

Woerner, a teacher, is best known for his passionate support for keeping the city’s north end preserved as open space. He led several rallies at the site, known as Bradley Cove, in an effort to keep it safe from development.

The following is Woerner’s statement:

“As many of you know my son was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) in December of 2014. We learned of his diagnosis weeks after the 2014 election where Asbury Together swept into office, but before the swearing in on January 1, 2015. NF1 is a genetic mutation that causes tumors to grow on nerves. NF1 manifest itself in wide variety of symptoms; from a few small tumors on the skin to ones that grown on vital organs that cause death. Due to the diverse manifestations of NF1 symptoms we knew Michael’s future was always going to be in question. In January 2015 I started my term as City Council member with excitement but also concern for my son’s health.

“Last month we received a call days after his annual brain and neck MRI. The MRI showed a spot in his brain near his thalamus, tumors in his optic nerves, and a large tumor in the middle of his cervical spine. The news shocked and saddened us. We are seeing specialists at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children’s National Hospital in DC. Michael’s treatment options will be determined by how fast the tumors grow. We had hoped to deal with these questions about Michael’s future much further down the road.

“Due to Michael’s health issues, and my need to focus on my family, I am stepping down as Asbury Park City Councilman.

“Running for, and being on, the Asbury Park City Council has been a true privilege. It has been rewarding to be a part of the remaking of City Hall and I am confident Michael Capabianco will run City Hall in a professional and responsible manner. I know the Asbury Together team will continue to guide the City in the right direction. John, Amy, Jesse, and Yvonne are the most honest and hard-working people I have ever been around. I will miss them all dearly.

“Finally, I want to thank the residents of Asbury Park. Beginning with the One Asbury campaign through the Asbury Together campaign and as a Councilman, it has been an absolute pleasure to get to know so many residents and stakeholders in our little city. Getting to know and work with all of you, throughout the last four years, has been by far the single most rewarding part of this experience.”

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