Letter to Editor: Tuesday is Election Day! Get out and vote!

parsippany focus

lettersDear Editor:

The Tuesday, June 4th primary is only days away and I can’t stress enough how important it is for all registered Parsippany Republicans to get out and vote (no disrespect to the Democrats who have one candidate running for Mayor). This is your chance to pick the candidates who “you” believe should represent us in the November election. America is the land of the free- this means “we” have the freedom to make these choices without fear or intimidation.

Mayor Barberio has created a lot of controversy in our town. As a resident who regularly attends town council meetings I can attest to this. Here are some of the issues to consider:

1. Transparency- but only what the Mayor wants the residents to know!

Example 1-The Mayor was part of field of dreams committee, which was in existence for almost a year before some council members and the public learned about it and started asking questions.

Example 2– leniency letter- Mayor Barberio denied to the press that he asked the courts for leniency for a resident arrested with 8 pounds of marijuana. The letter was OPRA’d and it confirmed that not only did the Mayor write the letter; he wrote it on township letterhead.

Example 3– A fully-loaded Ford Explorer was purchased for the chief of police. Instead the Mayor  took possession of vehicle for his use. When asked why he had the vehicle Mayor Barberio did not respond. However, Council VP Vincent Ferrara’s response was “the Mayor works hard and should be driving a safe vehicle and any vehicle he wants”. That’s looking out for the taxpayers? As far as I know, no other Mayor of Parsippany needed such a luxury.

  1. Economic Development Committee– formed before Mayor Luther left office. Resident Tom Wyka was appointed by Mayor Luther to be on this committee. Mr. Wyka at town council meeting questioned Mayor Barberio as to when the committee was going to be meeting. Mayor Barberio’s response was “when your term ends”. As of last month (Tom’s term must be up) the Mayor is now putting this committee together. Because of personal feelings Mayor Barberio let 3 years pass by. Could this committee have brought business into town during those 3 years? I guess we will never know.
  2. Ordinances– Mayor Barberio has had two very important ordinance’s changed that affect Parsippany drastically. These are regarding Open Space and Occupancy. The changes made were in my opinion to benefit the Mayors personal agenda and do not reflect what is in the best interest of “ALL” Parsippany residents.
  3. Sewer Surplus– Mayor Barberio has used a total of 1,800,000.00 of sewer surplus monies in his budgets the last 3 years. The Mayor is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It shows us the Mayor has made no effort to find additional ways of cutting cost with the knowledge that this surplus exists and is at his disposal. However, the Mayor just recently reduced rates (once again during an election year) so we will have to wait and see. The real problem here is that the water/sewer utility is a self-sustaining facility and their surplus should not be touched for anything other than the needs of the facility.
  4. 0% tax increase 2013– the same old game-no increase during an election year. Are we going to fall for that? Actually instead of cutting spending the Mayor used hundreds of thousands of dollars of the townships sewer surplus (550,000.00)-banked money to be used in an emergency- to balance his zero increase budget, which means it isn’t zero at all. And, since the Mayor didn’t use the 2% in 2013 it gets carried over to 2014. That means in 2014 the Mayor & council can increase our taxes up to 4%. It is my opinion that a drastic tax increase is in store for next year.
  5. Terry Bradshaw– Mayor Barberio contracted for $20,000 to promote Parsippany without fully researching the company. The rubber stamp council approved it – also without investigating the company’s claims. After residents requested more information, the township attorney – at whatever cost- was able to void the contract.
  6. Lawsuits– There is a number of them. However, workplace lawsuits (Town Hall, Police Department) show me the Mayor is not paying attention to town employee’s concerns or he just doesn’t care.
  7. Office of Emergency Management – (OEM) – Mayor Barberio advised the town council and residents that OEM should be part of the police department. In making this move the Mayor stated that there would be no extra cost to the taxpayers, since it would be one of Chief DeZenzo’s responsibilities. Less than two months later Mayor Barberio wanted to promote Lt. Storm to Captain and put OEM under his leadership. Most council members opposed this and even suggested changing the ordinance to limit the number of captains in the Parsippany P.D. (this was done at a later date). Also, those council members who opposed the promotion (Mr. Carifi, Mr. Vigilante and Mr. dePierro) requested that the Mayor not make the promotion until council members had a chance to question the chief and possibly come up with other ideas. Mayor Barberio promised he would wait. A week later prior to the scheduled town council meeting Mayor Barberio promoted Lt. Storm to Captain. During the council meeting the three council members named above expressed their disbelief that the Mayor broke his promise to wait. So basically what happened here is the Mayor did not keep his word to council members and the public and it did cost the taxpayers’ money. The difference between Lt. and captain salary plus a car.

These are just a few of the things that I have seen. Another future problem is the Waterview proposal.

As endorsements go we are all aware of how that game is played. Back the incumbent especially in an election year. Mayor Barberio can get all the endorsements he wants what matters is what Parsippany residents think as we are the ones who will be effected by his decisions.

When you go to the polls on Tuesday ask yourself:

  • Do we continue with a mayor who feels it is not necessary to share information with council members and the public?
  • Do we need a mayor who doesn’t answer tough questions, one who has the town attorney speak on his behalf when explanations are needed?
  • Do we need a mayor who has bullied residents when they don’t agree with him, a mayor who when quoted by the press denies saying things or states “that’s not what I meant”, a mayor who now has such an inflated ego he thinks he can say and do anything he wants?

Is this what Parsippany really needs? I urge all residents to get out and vote on June 4th. Be informed and make your choice.

Pat Petaccia

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