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Letter to the Editor: In Defense of Transparency: Responding to Councilman Neglia’s Allegations

Dear Editor:

I am writing to address the recent letter to the editor by Councilman Frank Neglia published on April 22, 2024, under the title “False Information by BOE Member.” While I had reservations about engaging in what could potentially escalate into a back-and-forth exchange, I feel compelled to offer clarification and perspective on the matters raised.

Firstly, I must express my disappointment in the Councilman’s decision to turn his personal feelings towards me into a public vendetta. This behavior is not only unbecoming of an elected official but also sets a poor example for our community, particularly our students, whom we strive to teach about the importance of character and integrity.

Councilman Neglia’s characterization of the events surrounding the Town Council meeting on December 28, 2023, warrants correction. Contrary to his assertions of encountering hostility and facing physical threats, video evidence unequivocally demonstrates his unimpeded access to the PAL building, escorted by a member of the Parsippany D.P.W.  

There is no proof for the claims of a “riot” or any violent disorder as described by the Councilman. The gathering was a peaceful exercise of our constitutional rights, conducted with dignity and respect for democratic principles.

Furthermore, it is disheartening to witness an elected official disparage and discredit the concerns of over 900 taxpaying Parsippany residents, many of whom likely supported his candidacy. As citizens of Parsippany Troy-Hills, we are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as Councilman Neglia, including the freedom to express our opinions and hold our representatives accountable. It is puzzling why the Councilman would object to such an exercise of democratic participation.

Having worked alongside Councilman Neglia for a significant period, particularly in advocating for the interests of our community, I am disappointed by his divisive tone and disregard for factual accuracy displayed in his letter. While our shared efforts to safeguard programs for the school district and oppose damaging policies are commendable, it is imperative that elected officials remain receptive to constructive criticism and divergent viewpoints.

As voters, our expectations extend beyond mere obedience to political allegiances to the Mayor or his administration.  We require leaders who possess the courage to engage in robust discourse, acknowledge dissenting perspectives, and uphold the principles of accountability and transparency. It is incumbent upon us to promote an environment where differing opinions are valued and respected, rather than muted or dismissed.

In conclusion, while I initially supported Councilman Neglia and Mayor Barberio based on their purported vision for Parsippany, recent developments have given rise to concerns regarding their commitment to democratic ideals. We must continue to demand integrity, openness, and flexibility from our elected representatives, lest we risk compromising the very foundation of our democratic institutions.

Timothy P. Berrios

These statements are made in my capacity as a private citizen, and not in my capacity as a board member. These statements are also not representative of the board or its members, and solely represent my own opinions.

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The above press release has been submitted to Parsippany Focus in accordance with their policy of printing the content as submitted. It is important to note that the opinions and information contained in the press release have not been verified by the publisher, and the publisher assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or content of the press release.
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