Scott Bassinder, owner of Martell's, says a letter uninviting the mayor from a fundraiser on Saturday night was from both him and his father.
"Yes, it was from me, I think Vinny owes my father an apology," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday, referring to Point Beach Mayor Vincent Barrella calling David Bassinder, Scott's father, "a small man."
The letter, which had been emailed as an attachment, was cc'd to David Bassinder, former Martell's owner, but did not include Scott Bassinder's name.
"But it said Martell's, it was from me," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.
Barrella said on Tuesday night that he didn't know if Scott Bassinder was aware of, or in agreement with, the letter since his personal name was not on it. So Patch called Scott Bassinder on Wednesday to ask him.
Scott Bassinder said he was moved to tell Barrella not to attend the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at Martell's on Saturday night because he feels Barrella owes his father an apology.
"He called my father a small man" and said he had "chutzpah," Bassinder said, referring to how his father was described by Barrella. "I think Vinny owes my father an apology. He's been beating us up for years. And then he calls him a small man. It really hit a nerve."
Scott Bassinder said he and his father are "very close. So when the mayor said that, I felt is was disrespectful to my family."
The mayor had made his remarks about David Bassinder after he asked the town to use a parking lot on New Jersey Avenue near the oceanfront after Sandy struck.
"My father signed the letter asking for that because I was out of the country," Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday.
Martell's needed to move equipment onto the beach to be brought over to its pier which had been badly damaged by Sandy and is currently being re-constructed. Ultimately, Martell's found another access point onto the beach and did not use the town lot.
Barrella said that he would have voted yes, even though he was galled that David Bassinder had the "chutzpah" to ask.
"Chutzpah is defined as killing your mother and father and then pleading for sympathy because you're an orphan," Barrella said. "My feeling is I can't believe he's asking. This is chutzpah. I believe that if I had a vote I would look at the situation as this is a very small man making a request of this council and this council should be bigger than the small man. I would have voted yes, but I don't have a vote."
Scott Bassinder said on Wednesday that he supports the chamber's intent to honor local first responders, volunteers and municipal workers.
"I don't want to take anything away from them, but I'm kind of trapped because of the comments," he said.
When Barrella was told of Scott Bassinder's request for an apology on Wednesday, he said he didn't feel he needed to apologize, but that perhaps he should have used the word "petty" instead of "small man."
"I regret the language, but not the sentiment," Barrella said.
He said David Bassinder uninviting Councilmember Kristine Tooker from a Republican women's event at Martell's Water's Edge, Bayville, last June was "as petty as it could be," that he believes the still-pending litigation on the parking plan is "frivolous" and a waste of taxpayers' money and that he was amazed David Bassinder asked to use a town-owned lot while Martell's was suing the town on multiple fronts. At the time, David Bassinder owned the Martell's restaurant in Bayville, but has since sold it.
The letter uninviting Tooker said she was not wanted at Martell's because she was trying to put them out of business, a clear reference to Martell's opposition to the then-proposals for earlier bar closings and the parking plan.