Michael J. dePierro

Councilman Michael dePierro

1.  What is your educational and volunteer background?
I have an Electrical Engineering Degree. I moved to Parsippany in 1965 when I accepted a job offer from Bell Telephone Laboratories. I retired from the Bell System after 30 years of service. I then served as Manager of Telecommunications for the State of New Jersey.

My wife Dee and I raised our three children here. Our ten grandchildren have roots here because of my involvement. For the past 55 years, I have been involved with PTA’s, Boosters, Soccer, Little Leagues, Saint Ann Church, Civic Organizations, Boy Scouts, Rotary, Sons of Italy, Craftsman Farms, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (I served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War), and many others.

2.  Why did you choose to run for council?
Serving Parsippany has been a labor of love for me. I have served six years on the Parsippany School Board and 36 years on the Parsippany Township Council, serving as President and Vice President at various times over the years. I have served for 24 years on the Planning Board and have also served on the Open Space Committee, Traffic Committee, Municipal Alliance Committee, the Day Care Center, and many others.

3.  What do you feel the biggest issue facing Parsippany today?
There are many Challenges facing Parsippany in the future. Some of those emanate from beyond our borders such as: The Court imposed Affordable Housing mandates; The New Jersey State School Funding Formula which is extremely unfair to Parsippany; New Jersey’s designation as a “Sanctuary State”; and the State’s efforts to legalize recreational marijuana. We will deal with these with the help of our Attorneys, our Planning Experts, and with the support of our Legislators.

Within our Township, we must continue to protect our quality of life issues. By a 3-2 vote, my running mates and I prevented Parsippany from becoming a “Sanctuary City” for criminal illegals. We adopted a resolution opposing recreational marijuana in New Jersey. We are opposed to having dispensaries in Parsippany because the State plans to mandate that all dispensaries also dispense recreational marijuana. We are not opposed to medical marijuana.

Costs continue to increase but our tax base remains pretty much the same. The challenge is to utilize those tax dollars that we have so that we maximize their impact on our services. We must minimize tax increases so that our residents can afford to remain here. Safety is a high priority for our school children and for our residents. We must continue to work with our School Board and our Police Department to find cost effective ways to improve safety. Volunteer Fire, Ambulance and R&R Services are essential to the health and safety of our community. We must continue to support them in any way that we can. Our Parks and Senior Services are second to none, and we must find ways to keep it that way. We must also support our Veterans.

4.  Why did you decide to run now?
I decided to run again so that I can help to address the issues that I listed in question #3 and whatever else arises.

5.  What specific skills will you bring to the table if re-elected?
Experience still matters and I offer the people of Parsippany decades of it. I am the only Parsippany Official to be inducted into the New Jersey State League of Municipalities “Elected Officials Hall of Fame”. Combined with my running mates Paul Carifi and Loretta Gragnani, we make a great team and can accomplish much if we all win.

6.  What new programs or initiatives would you like to start if re-elected?We recently initiated the Trap-Neuter-Vaccinate-and-Return program in Parsippany to address the Feral Cat problem. We are also striving to make our Shelter a “minimum kill shelter”.

Most of our traffic does not originate or terminate here, but we must continually seek improvements to our roads and traffic lights.

7.  What are you passionate about?
My number 1 passion is Family! My wife Dee, my three children, my ten grandchildren and their significant others (soon to become family) are what keeps me going. My children and grandchildren live nearby, so we are together all the time.

8.  What is the best thing about Parsippany?
Parsippany has been ranked as the number 1 place to live in New Jersey and ranked as number 17 in the nation by Money Magazine and other publications many times. This does not happen by accident. I like to think that I have been a part of the collective wisdom over the years that has made that possible.

9.  What are your hobbies/interests?
Golf is my number 2 passion for many reasons. Most of my time all week belongs to someone else. The politics, the committees, the organizations, invitations to so many activities, the family, and the honey-do lists take up all of my time … and that’s fine, I have volunteered to be active. But, come Saturday morning, I am with my friends on the golf course for five hours, away from everything else. I look forward to those five hours every week.

10. What is your professional background?
Bell Telephone Laboratories in Whippany was military R&D. Our designs were classified. The rest of my career with NJ Bell, Bell Atlantic and Verizon were all in the Engineering, Design, and Technical support areas.

While working for the State of New Jersey, I re-designed the telecommunications billing system for the State.

While in the Air Force, because of my engineering background, I became an instructor for Single Sideband Communications. Single sideband was the primary communications in Vietnam because it cannot be intercepted by the enemy. In those early years of the Vietnam War (1961-1963), all of my classes were Special Forces … Seals, Green Beret’s and NATO Special Forces.

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