ROSELLE, NJ — Roselle Mayor Christine Dansereau is not staying silent in the wake of the attack on her home in the early hours of June 30.
Dansereau said that she thought she had been dreaming when she was woken up by a loud noise and had gone down to investigate. In the darkness she was unable to see what she discovered the next morning — her storm door and large bay window shattered by large rocks that Dansereau describes as the size of large softballs. According to Dansereau, her door looked like a bomb had gone through it, and that shards of glass were strewn all over her living room floor.
Dansereau told LocalSource that she knows the attack was not random and that the police agreed. “This was an act of violence,” said Dansereau. “I believe it was political retribution. It’s political bullying.”
Dansereau, who was sworn in as mayor last year, claims that she has been targeted before, and that she has been dealing with political retribution for the past 18 months. “There are public officials who are well aware of this,” Dansereau said. “They’ve heard about it. Sooner or later it’s going to come out.
I’m not going anywhere, so take your best shot. I’m not going back on what I feel about certain officials not doing the right thing. The nepotism and types of things going on are unacceptable and need to be stopped. I’ve been the target for some time. It’s mainly because I do my homework, I know what’s going on.”
Although Dansereau did not name names, she believes that the attacks are coming from political entities both inside and outside the borough who are trying to control her and the council.
According to Dansereau, two councilmen were also targeted last year when their homes and cars were graffitied. “The directive has been from outside most definitely, and orchestrating both from inside and outside the government,” said Dansereau. “It’s important that people know that this is not random. This is a two-and-a-half- mile town. This is not the big city. This should not be happening here. This is a very diverse and friendly town. We have salt of the earth people here, people struggling with foreclosures, unemployment. This is just coming from a handful of people.”
Dansereau said that her grandkids had stayed over the night before the attack, and that the rock had been thrown right next to the couch where her grandchild had slept. “It was scary,” said Dansereau. “It’s a bullying technique. They want head-nodders. These folks come in and are bought with jobs, and they’ll do whatever they can to make sure that their jobs are sustained, and I have the paperwork to prove it,” said Dansereau, who said that she will be taking this to the authorities.
Dansereau said that she is here to be the voice of the residents and that she will not kowtow to anyone. “My problem is that I walked in with the idea that we were all here to make a positive difference,” said Dansereau. “But you have egotistic, self-serving politicians, and it doesn’t matter if the residents get hurt.
I’m a servant of the people. This is not some crown on your head,” said Dansereau, who said that she does not see herself as a politician. “I’m more of a political advocate, not a politician. The problem is that you’ve got these people that would like to gag you, especially if you have supporters.”
Dansereau said that she has been told by “higher-ups” that she should be careful and that certain people would try to destroy her reputation. “These political entities are trying to control me and the council from outside the borough, and they are trying to control what’s going on inside the borough. It’s going to stop.”
According to Dansereau, she has tried to reason with these entities but sees that that is not possible. “There’s a pattern of abuse in this borough that I’m going to bring to the attention of the authorities,” she said. “It’s about dishonest people abusing their power. The victims are the people who don’t fall in line. There’s no room here for people who have a moral compass. I’m not going to turn my head and not say a word. I’m not going to pander to anyone. Many people have said directly, ‘what do you want me to do? I’ll lose my job.’ I cannot expect them to say that they’ll jump off the cliff with me. I understand this, but I’m saddened by it. I just want to deal with the things that I know for a fact have not been good for the citizens of Roselle.”
Dansereau, who said that she is taking certain precautions to protect herself and her family, said that her loyalty is with the people of Roselle, and that she will not only continue to work tirelessly for her town, but that she will continue to look into the incident until it is resolved to her satisfaction. “When you hurt my family and the people I represent, all it does is cause me to work a little harder and a little faster to look into this,” Dansereau asserts. “I can’t be silent.
Concealing is not good for this town. I’ve never walked in fear of my life. I have no fear of my community. I’m here for another three-and-a-half years and I’m not going anywhere.”
Roselle Detective Lt. Stacey Williams said that the attack on Dansereau’s home is still an active investigation.