This past Monday, I was able to attend the swearing in ceremony for Mayor Michael Soriano, and our two new council members, Emily Peterson and Janice McCarthy.
My family and I stayed for the reorganization meeting immediately after as well. Knowing about some of the contentious decisions that were being made that day, I was a little nervous when I heard the council choose Paul Carifi, Jr. as the Town Council President.
As the beginning of the reorganization meeting went on, and I heard how the votes were going, I became less nervous. Then came the biggest vote (in my mind) of the day – the Township Attorney.
The voting began and I listened to Mr. dePierro’s explanation of why he voted no. Moving on to Paul Carifi, Jr.’s vote and he too had words to share with the room. He read two pages of a 17-page opinion paper written by a lawyer he personally hired to determine whether he could make this vote or he had to abstain.
He then added personal words, pushing back on what Michael dePierro said, essentially telling Mr. dePierro that he took back words stated a couple of years ago that the people and the Mayor should decide who provides legal counsel to the town.
I commend Paul Carifi, Jr. for doing what was right and best for the town of Parsippany. He did NOT choose the easy road; instead, he chose the road less traveled today. The road that leads to fighting against your own party. Instead of choosing party politics, which seems to be all too common across this country from local to federal government, he chose what was best for the people, and what he heard from the people.
I got a chance to speak with Paul after the meeting, and from that brief encounter, I can tell he has a tough battle ahead of him in his party, in reelection (if he chooses it) and in being Town Council President. But I want to say thank you to Paul for speaking up, for doing what was right, despite the hardships you are about to face. Thank you for breaking the chain of constant party politics and looking out for the people of Parsippany!
Kendra Von Achen
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