February 7, 2020, Mayor Soriano gave a State of the Township Address and fortunately for the taxpayers of Parsippany it started the ball rolling for information that should have been publicly stated two years ago.
Mayor Soriano was sworn in January 2018, prior to running for mayor he spent no time at council meetings, budget hearings or expressed via written commentary his dissatisfaction with township policies. Yet after two years as mayor he finds it necessary to vet about the financial condition of the township.
Actually he has greatly contributed to the dismal financial condition of the township.
1) Transferred or fired the three previous mayor’s office personnel who worked with Democratic and Republican Mayors.
2) Mayor Soriano’s new office staff is substantially larger in body count and salaries with no prior experience. Chief of Staff title given to a staff member, question the legality of such title.
3) Filled a vacant Assist Business Administration (ABA), new title Director of Utilities with former democratic councilman with no experience at salary higher than previous ABA. This former councilman ran for mayor who lied on his resume about his college education and had at that time an unpaid judgement with State of NJ. In the non-political world (Corp. America) this individual would not have been hired. It was a holding position until Gov. Murphy could appoint him to an outrageous salary at NJ Transit.
(read Daily Record article Feb. 21, 2020 regarding political positions at NJ Transit)
4) Mayor Soriano expanded patronage payroll position salaries and benefits totally between $ 550,000 to $600,000.
Director of PAL: $120,000 for example
At the February 18, 2020 council meeting, Council President Michael dePierro expressed vehement response to the Mayor Soriano’s state of the town address and resident Bob Venezia as well. In summary both stated indisputable facts and hypocrisy of the mayor’s speech.
Former Mayor James Barberio spoke, his most cogent point was upon taking office did not make it a political “ free for all “ – keep staff in place. Though his eight years had drama moments and costly litigation. Former mayor at no time over extended utility surpluses to the general fund and he actually reduced sewer user rates by 15%.
Wake-Up Parsippany taxpayers, Mayor Soriano has brought Essex County politics to your township. What a disappointment!