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Letter to the Editor: Barberio’s PILOT Proposal Sparks Controversy at Parsippany Council Meeting

Dear Editor:

Well, Well, Well…. 

Once again, under Mayor Barberio’s “leadership,” it was forward to the past at last week’s Town Council meeting.

On the agenda was Barberio’s latest proposed sweetheart deal calling for 3 PILOTS (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) desperately wanted, and in fact, demanded by developers who appear to be frothing at the bit to build two apartment complexes and a warehouse on what the Mayor derisively calls distressed and blighted Parsippany locations. No doubt these properties are in need of development and could provide an opportunity to increase the town’s ratables but to suggest that the only way those properties will be developed is by caving into the developers demanding PILOTS is sheer chicanery.   

If the Town Council caves into the developer’s self-serving demands, the developers will then be able to reduce their Parsippany property taxes by 60% and the 40% they will actually have to pay will go to the municipality and not to the separately tax-funded town entities such as Parsippany’s schools, fire districts and libraries. 

What does that mean to Parsippany taxpayers?  Well for one thing if, as is likely, families with school-age children, move into the two proposed apartment complexes, then the millions of dollars that will be required to expand the already crowded schools and provide the additional staff will have to come from Parsippany’s tax paying residents with not a cent coming from the developers.

At the Town Council meeting a number of facts became readily apparent: 

Fact #1: Councilman Paul Carifi had the audacity to state that he would personally ensure that the schools, libraries, and fire districts would not be negatively impacted by the PILOTS. That suggests that Mr. Carifi is woefully ignorant of Parsippany’s tax structure and/or is cavalierly dismissive of Parsippany’s already overtaxed residents.

Fact#2: Councilman Frank Neglia who should have known better fell all over himself praising John Inglesino, the developers’ highly paid attorney. Of all of the Council members Mr Neglia, a former Board of Education member and past Board  President, should have had the guts to stand up to Mr. Inglesino and ask the tough questions that needed to be asked. Mr Neglia’s failure to do so only reinforces the widespread belief that he is under the Mayor’s control and is not independently committed to serving the best interests of Parsippany residents.

Fact#3: Councilman dePierro was absolutely giddy about the prospect of the PILOTS and couldn’t seem to control himself from frequently interjecting his pro-PILOT comments when Councilman Musella was trying to get clarification from Mr. Inglesino. One can only wonder why Mr. DePierro is so intent on burnishing his now-tarnished legacy of enabling Mayor Barberio’s self-serving practices and policies.

Fact#4 The casually dressed John Inglesino is back out in the open in Parsippany salivating at another chance to add to the millions of taxpayer dollars he was paid by Barberio when Mr. Inglesino was Parsippany’s Township Attorney. This is the same John Inglesino, who was brought up on Ethics Complaints by the previously mentioned Councilman Carifi. 

Fact#5: Speaking of town attorneys, Mr. Michael Lavery, the current Township Attorney, was absolutely silent throughout and after Mr. Inglesino’s pro-PILOT and anti-Parsippany presentations.

Fact#5: The fix is in. With Carifi, Neglia, and dePierro already signaling their support for the PILOTs and with Barberio and Inglesino once again partnering to line the lawyer’s pockets and the Mayor’s campaign coffers, what chance do the residents of Parsippany have of defeating the PILOTS? 

Absolutely none unless those residents make their voices heard above the din of the self-serving greed and ignorance of Parsippany’s Mayor and his rubber stamps on the Town Council.

Bob Crawford

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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