Full Name: Janice McCarthy
Office Seeking: Parsippany Town Council
Party lines: Democrat
Campaign website: www.positiveparsippany.com
What community do you live in? Mt. Tabor
How long have you lived there? 29 years
Provide family information: Married
What is your education background? Undergraduate degree in Business and an MBA in Finance
Why do you think you are qualified for this position? My qualifications for this office is my professional career working for Fortune 500 companies; ADP as Director of Finance and Ingersoll Rand as Director of Budget and Planning and then managing the budget operation at Montclair State University giving me experience in both the private and public sectors. My many years of business experience in responsible financial positions with specific strengths in the areas of planning and budgeting would be an asset to the town’s budget process. I am also an effective communicator who would effectively bring my message and ideas to the council and the administration.
Why are you running for this elected office? I’m running for office to bring back a bi-partisan government when the Mayor and Town Council worked effectively together to maintain our infrastructure, deliver quality services, preserve our environment while controlling development and it did it all in a fiscally responsible manner. It was a government that worked for all our residents. I believe Parsippany deserves that kind of government again and I intend to work to bring it back.
What are the three issues that most concern you?
- The influence of money in our government and in this election cycle. In 2015 over $150,000 was contributed by businesses that have contracts with the town to promote election of two (2) town council candidates. With this amount of money being spent in a local election, how much confidence can residents have that these businesses are chosen on their merit and cost effectiveness and not money and favors?
- Responsible Development that is beneficial to public interest not private interests. For example the Waterview development proposals favored the developer interests and disregarded the publics. None of the proposals in my opinion was acceptable.
- Control Spending – In 2015 the town spent $1million in taxpayer money in litigation and legal fees primarily attributed to one lawsuit. The Town refuses to settle this lawsuit even though over the last few years it has lost each decision. I know there is more a productive and beneficial way to spend a million dollars of taxpayer’s money than paying attorney’s fees for a failed lawsuit. Over the past two years the town’s Legal Services have increased a half a million dollars.
Explain your proposed approach to managing these issues.
Influence of Money – Adhere to the pay to play ordinance that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2009. Even though contributions through a Super-PAC to our opponent’s campaigns were technically legal it circumvented the ordinance. I propose that any elected official whose campaign benefited from contributions by businesses through a Super-PAC recuse themselves from any future dealings the town has with these businesses.
Development – This town, like many towns, ends up accepting what developers propose because proposals comply with regulations instead of adhering to a comprehensive land use strategy that specifies areas that can support and are reasonable for development and areas that should be preserved. In many instances consideration isn’t given to the true economic effect of development and how it impacts the cost of public services and tax revenue. Every open space doesn’t have to be developed. Waterview was a good example of an overreaching development project. It didn’t fit the area, yet every version of the developer’s proposal was acceptable to at least one councilman and the administration. Fortunately it was rejected. If I was elected I would make every effort to work with all council members, developers and the public to implement an effective land use strategy and a more substantive and accountable review process.
Control Spending – It is one of the most important responsibilities the town council and administration have. I’d advocate if elected to make sure vendors are properly vetted and enough time is allowed in the vetting process to award contracts and eliminate conflict. One way to accomplish this is submitting businesses with town contracts to a yearly competitive review process. This sends a message that businesses are hired for performance and cost effectiveness and not out of favoritism.
Minimize no bid contracts and where they are necessary implement a performance review process that keeps open the opportunity to renegotiate.
Implementing these practices also addresses the issue of money influencing the process.
Have you held elected office before? I have not held an elected office.
What organizations do you belong to? Parsippany Democratic Committee and the Literacy Volunteers of Morris County