Letter to the editor: Petaccia wants answers

lettersDear Editor:

During the public session of the Council Meeting of Tuesday, January 14, Parsippany resident I asked the Mayor and Council questions regarding Parsippany’s Resolution R2013-209. Click here to read a copy of the resolution.

The night this resolution was passed (Tuesday, October 8, 2013) I questioned the town council if it had anything to do with Council President Brian Stanton or Mayor Barberio. None of the council members responded.

During a recent OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request, she was able to determine that Brain Stanton received a check dated October 17, 2013 in the amount of $5,662.50 – itemized attorney bill was attached, and Mayor James Barberio requested a check be issued to Clifford J. Weininger in the amount of $5,000.00, dated December 10, 2013 – bill showed only “minimum attorney fee for representation.”

It is my opinion this resolution was specifically created to enable Councilmen Stanton and Mayor Barberio to recoup attorney fee’s they previously incurred in regards to the Sunday, January 13, 2013 meeting and the investigation that followed by Somerset Prosecutors.

She is asking this council to rescind this resolution tonight. Did you really read this carefully or was this one of those things pushed thru again at town attorney’s advice.

Things to consider:

a) This resolution allows “former” elected or appointed officials to be covered – are we not opening up a can of worms here?

b) Mr. Inglesino makes a point of wording also on this resolution. Because Somerset prosecutors said they found it “not viable” and did not come out and exonerate them wording of “authority’s decision to discontinue prosecution” is in place. I ask you do other towns have such a resolution? Did we check to see if other towns have something similar or feel the necessity to have such a resolution?

c) This resolution was adopted on October 8, 2013. Why are we reimbursing Councilmen Stanton and Mayor Barberio for their legal bills? Their legal problems occurred prior to the date resolution was passed? Please explain.

d) Did the town council vote to have Mayor Barberio’s attorney reimbursed? Did council members know Mayor Barberio’s attorney was reimbursed prior to this evening? Should you have voted on that? How are council members not being included in these important issues? A total of over $10,000.00 of the taxpayers money was used. Please explain.

She continued by stating she was unclear on the following:

1) Was Councilmen Stanton acting in his official status the night of January 13, 2013? If he was who in the township authorized it? Mayor Barberio originally denied there was a meeting. Councilmen Stanton confirmed the January meeting took place at the town council agenda meeting of March 12, 2013.

2) If this was an official meeting shouldn’t there be a record of what took place? Were minutes taken? Where are they?

3) Township attorney John Inglesino forgot to bill the township for this “official meeting” which he attended. Did he ever bill us after he realized he forgot?

4) Councilmen Stanton can you answer this question? When you requested resumes from Councilmen Carifi and Mr. Valori were you working in your official status? If so, who authorized it and for what purpose exactly.

I again ask that you consider rescinding this resolution until it is reviewed and completely understood or possibly revised if the council truly feels a need for it.

There are to many unanswered questions which relate to this resolution and until those questions are answered and the public has a clear understanding of what has transpired it is my opinion that it would be in the taxpayers best interest not to leave ourselves open. Is this resolution a necessity or done only because Mayor Barberio and Councilmen Stanton wanted to be reimbursed for their legal woes. Can we possibly recoup the taxpayers money? This all came about because of the Sunday, January 13 meeting that at first never happened. Why was Lou Valori requested to be at that meeting if it was official business. Mr. Valori was not part of the town council at that time. Who requested his presence and why? Where is the transparency?

Pat Petaccia

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Jim Brickman – The Love Tour at Mayo Center

Music lovers will experience the sounds of award-winning hit-maker, pianist and recording artist Jim Brickman as he brings one of the most entertaining and romantic concert events of the year to Morristown.

Jim Brickman’s Love Tour comes to Mayo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 15 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $49.00 and $69.00.

Brickman’s engaging stage presence seamlessly blends mood and music to touch the heart in a special way, letting fan’s imaginations take them wherever they want to go.

With dazzling solo piano and star-studded vocal collaborations, Brickman will wow audience members with his hits including “Valentine,” “If You Believe,” “Love of My Life” and more.

The Love Tour strikes the perfect balance between musical intimacy, compelling storytelling and audience interaction.

You can order tickets by calling (973) 539-8008 or by  visiting mayoarts.org.

Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South Street,  Morristown.

Letter to the editor: Home Rule is a Farce Town Attorney Lies

lettersDear Editor:

At the Town Council meeting on Tuesday, January 14 a long sought after answer finally was given by Councilman dePierro; “what happened to the process of NJ Highlands Master Plan Conformance with our Municipal Master Plan as of July 17, 2008 not a word had been heard, repeated inquires by me not answered by the Planning Board or Town Council. Then low and behold the proud response by dePierro, Home Rule. Then a further response by Town Attorney Inglesino which was an  open and public lie concerning the question relating to NJ Highlands Regional Master Plan.

Inglesino’s statement concerning the Highlands Master Plan being “unconstitutional” was false on its face, in fact four times being challenged as such it was deemed not so. Council-man dePierro’s boasting of Home Rule in reference to not to adopting the Regional Plan is even news to the Highlands Coalition itself.  Inglesino mentioned Parsippany started Highlands conformance in 2008 only because of Governor Corzine.

The Governor had nothing to do with the Plan, its stems from science and land use laws best practices and smart low impact development. Its main theme is preventing market style land development schemes that do-not consider these practices, which would result in loss of water quality and quantity. In short the future will eventually catch up with us.  So home rule as dePierro calls it; ignores experts in the field of land and city management. When he looks at all the sprawl he must honor himself above all else in his “home rule” It seems to me home rule works in favor of the developers whom could care less about the future or the present for Parsippany. PLEASE TELL US WHEN, HOW AND WHY PARSIPPANY REJECTED THE NJHIGHLANDS MASTER PLAN CONFORMANCE? AND WITHOUT PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN THE PROCESS? When Christie and Inglesino got into position? Oh; it only counts for Corzine.

Progress is politically conveniently blind, Smart Growth Regional Planning is not and its open to change when necessary. Home Rule is a closed click of Town Officials and Corporate Developers. We are being denied our own community enhancement and jeopardizing our Regional and Town future in the name of Home Rule. Seems anti-American to me. How much does this Home Rule costs the town in legal fees for settling always in favor of some developer. The Highlands Master Plan Conformance would protect us from this; without its legal protections home rule is a joke because we the people never win.

They believe they would have to give up their sacred “home rule”, ceding to a regional authority (which is a myth because the most character-changing developments in a community is when a developer sues a town to build an out-of-scope, huge development. What’s home rule when the zoning of your community isn’t determined by your Master Plan, but by the developer who has the time and resources to win in court?).

Change and development is inevitable not to adhere to a regional Plan for the common good of all is egotistical and supports private interest above all other, including science. Parsippany has somehow managed to separate itself into a fiefdom of private interest and wealth in shrinking spirit of true civility and community enhancement. From the NJHighlands Master Plan,

Low Impact development begins with a process that reads or analyzes the land first and allows the natural features of the land to guide site design, stormwater management and resource protection.

None of this occurred at the Waterview fiasco nor is it occurring at Forge Pond. The Township Administration supported the developers both directly and indirectly. Only Citizens Action stopped home rule.

Finally here we have the definition of home rule:

Home rule is the power of a constituent part (administrative division) of a state to exercise such of the state’s powers of governancewithin its own administrative area that have been decentralised to it by the central government.

Even under this defined meaning, Parsippany’s home rule should be Parsippany’s Conformance to the Regional Master Plan because its the right thing to do. dePierro has his own definition

Nick Homyak
Lake Hiawatha

Morris Habitat Annual Hearts & Hammers Gala

morrishabitMorris Habitat for Humanity will host its 9th Annual Hearts & Hammers Gala on Saturday, February 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., at the Meadow Wood Manor, 461 Route 10, Randolph  to raise funds to support its affordable home building programs.

New Jersey Natural Gas has proudly stepped up to support Morris Habitat for Humanity as the Gala’s premier sponsor.

Others sponsors to date include, Journal Sponsors, Actavis, a pharmaceutical company and Investors Bank. Gold Sponsors are Longo Electric and Sean and Betsy Monaghan. The current Silver Sponsors are Lakeland Bank, New York Life, and Peter and Diane Wentworth.  The Classic Sponsor is Spencer Savings Bank. Additional sponsors are needed to help support Morris Habitat for Humanity’s goal of bringing safe and affordable housing to families in need.

Besides financial support, Morris Habitat is also seeking journal ads, raffle gifts and silent auction items.  In past years there have been artist signed guitars, posters and CD’s, weekend get-aways, book baskets, theater tickets, restaurant dinners, and much more. It is a great way to showcase your business while helping a good cause!

One of the highlights of the evening is honoring those who have done so much for Morris Habitat.  This year, New Jersey Natural Gas will be the recipient of the Corporate Partnership Award. Roberta L. Strater, Executive Director of the Morris County Housing Authority will receive the Founders Award. David Bossart, President of Bossart Builders, will receive the 2014 Beth Everett Award and a new category, the ReStore Pioneer Award will go to Eric Lebersfeld, President and Chief Marketing Officer for Capitol Lighting.

The Morris Habitat Hearts & Hammers Gala is a great opportunity for local businesses, corporations and individuals to help celebrate the hard work and commitment needed to help partner family’s move up to homeownership. Morris Habitat for Humanity will build nearly 80 new affordable homes for local families over the next four years. These 80 families will go on to be vibrant members of the communities where they live, paying taxes, visiting local businesses and often giving back by helping others in need.

To support the Hearts & Hammers Gala or to purchase tickets call (973) 891-1934, ext. 122 or visit MorrisHabitat.org.

Annual cannonball contest makes a big splash


After taking a dunk herself, Aquatics Director, Gwen McNamara, center, poses with some of the many participants during the Cannonball Contest that took place recently at the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA. This annual event has grown over the years and includes adults as well as kids of all ages. More than 60 took the plunge this year. Judges scored the splash and winners were awarded certificates. According to Gwen, “It’s wonderful to watch the kids have a great time making a splash off of the diving board! Joining them this year seemed like the natural thing to do!”


Township Attorney re-appointment is up in the air

Parsippany’s Township Attorney, John Inglesino

Parsippany’s Township Attorney, John Inglesino, with personal and political ties to Governor Chris Christie could lose his job as township attorney if members of the township council win an ongoing battle with Mayor James Barberio.

Inglesino, a former Morris County freeholder who served from  March 2001 to December 2007, is also a former adviser, a friend and ally of Christie. He made significant contributions to the governor’s 2009 campaign.  Christie was also a Morris County freeholder elected in 1994. After losing a bid for a third term on the Morris County Freeholder Board, Inglesino was hired the day after his term ended as a part-time aide to Senator Joseph Pennachio. The $3,000-a-year job kept Inglesino in the state pension system. When the situation was made public, Ingelsino resigned. Barberio was endorsed by Christie during the June primary. He was running against Councilman Paul Carfi, Jr., for the mayoral seat.

He was also criticized last year for contributing money to Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign after receiving a $3-million no-bid contract as the federal monitor for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

On the council agenda on Tuesday, January 7 the council was scheduled to vote on whether to reappoint Inglesino as the township attorney, but the issue was tabled after Barberio declared two councilmen, Paul Carifi, Jr. and Louis Valori should be barred from voting. As of the writing of this article, the re-appointment of Inglesino is not on tonight’s agenda. Click here to view the tentative agenda.

Barberio praised Inglesino, reading from a prepared statement, outlining the settlements and savings to taxpayers of Parsippany, including the Baldwin Manor Garbage Settlement, Forge Pond, among others.

Then Barberio read from a statement prepared by outside counsel Michael B. Lavery — stating Council President Paul Carifi Jr. and Councilman Louis Valori had “significant conflicts of interest, and therefore should not be involved in any vote” pertaining to the township attorney. He refused to read the entire statement in front of the council and public. Barberio sought Lavery’s advice on whether Carifi and Valori should be allowed to vote on issues related to Inglesino.

In a copy of the letter from Lavery it alleges Valori has a conflict of interest because he accused Inglesino and Barberio of engaging in political bribery last year. Carifi’s alleged conflict of interest stems from his brother, James Carifi, ongoing lawsuit against the township. There is no mention of Councilman Brian Stanton in the letter, although he was present during the meeting on Sunday, January 13, 2013 when the alleged job offering to Valori was made. Valori accused Barberio, Inglesino and former Council President Brian Stanton of offering to create for him a $50,000 a year township job so that he would not run in the township’s GOP primary. An audio tape of segments of that meeting can be heard by clicking here.

Carifi said “If I have a conflict, then apparently the town attorney has one as well, so, then, how can he serve as town attorney?”

He is seeking his own legal advice and would have a response prepared for Tuesday night’s council meeting.

The accusations Valori made against Inglesino and Barberio last year are reminiscent of others made by then-Assemblyman Richard Merkt in 2009. In each, Inglesino was publicly accused of offering government jobs to his allies’ political opponents to keep them out of elections. Inglesino was never charged in connection with either allegation, according to NJ.com. “That’s a bold-faced lie,” Inglesino told the Star-Ledger at the time. Merkt is the former mayor of Mendham Township, Christie’s hometown.

Valori last year ran for and won a council seat on the same ticket as Carifi, who challenged Barberio for the mayoral seat in the primary.  Carifi lost the mayoral bid in the primary by less than 100 votes.

Barberio denied the allegation, calling it a political smear.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office ultimately decided criminal charges would not be filed, and no further investigation was warranted after conducting various interviews and reviews of documents.

In 2009, Merkt alleged Inglesino, speaking on Christie’s behalf, offered him a “major position” if he stayed out of the 2009 race for the Republican nomination for governorship.

Some state Democrats called for a federal investigation into the claims, but Merkt said at the time he didn’t think of the matter as criminal.

Inglesino denied offering Merkt any kind of position, and Christie said no offer was made, The Star-Ledger reported at the time.

Inglesino’s ties to Christie also caused complications for then-candidate Christie when critics including then-GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan criticized Inglesino for remaining in the government’s pension system, working as a part-time political adviser for Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris), earning about $3,000 a year.

During an interview on New Jersey 101.5, Christie repeatedly refused to call on Inglesino to give up the pension or quit the job, the Associated Press reported at the time. Christie referred to Inglesino as a phone bank volunteer during a call-in interview, but did not mention that Inglesino co-hosted a $500 per plate private fundraiser for the Christie campaign that brought in about $100,000.

Days later, Inglesino announced he quit the part-time government job to end the allegations of pension padding.

On Monday, January 13, the Little Falls Township Council  rejected Mayor Darlene Post’s appointment of Parsippany’s township attorney, John P. Inglesino, by a vote of 4-1, with Councilman Joseph Maceri voting in favor of Post’s pick, northjersey.com reported.

Inglesino, Pearlman, Wyciskala & Taylor offices are located at 600 Parsippany Road, in the same building as Christie’s 2014 re-election Morris County headquarters were located.

The next Parsippany township council meeting is tonight at 7:30 p.m., although a vote on Inglesino’s contract is not on the tentative agenda.

A night at the movies turns into a fight

policebadgeParsippany Police responded to Bow Tie Cinemas, 3165 Route 46 on Saturday, January 11 at 8:11 p.m. on a report of a disturbance of two men fighting.

Officer Roman spoke to Mr. Khanh Le who stated he kicked the chair in the theater and the other male wanted to fight him. Mr. Gregory Oswald stated  he felt Mr. Le was being inappropriate with his nine year old daughter, he grabbed his shirt and walked him out of the theater.

Mr. Oswald stated Mr. Le was sitting in the row behind them and his daughter told him that Mr. Le was touching her shoulder with his bare foot. Mr. Oswald stated he asked his daughter if she was sure that Mr. Le was touching her and she said yes.  Mr. Oswald stated that he asked Mr. Le to go outside to talk and that’s when the two individuals began to argue.

Mr. Le was asked if he removed his shoes and he said yes and he removed one sock because his feet were sweaty but didn’t touch anyone.

The officers explained to Mr. Oswald how to sign complaints if he wanted to pursue the allegations.

Mr. Le stated he felt he was attacked because Mr. Oswald grabbed his shirt. Mr. Le showed no signs of injury and made no complaint of pain.

No charges were filed at this time.

Editors Note: A charge is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

Volunteer and be a member of Fire District 6

Volunteer and be a member of Parsippany Troy-Hills Fire District 6.  Join the fire service and be a part of the Brotherhood (Sisters are welcome). We also have a Junior Firefighter program-age 16 and up!
Call (973) 335-0144 or E-mail [email protected]. Thank You. Wayne Seelinger- Recruitment Officer.

Since their inception in 1929, District 6’s goal is to prevent and suppress fires as well as educate and promote public safety which leads to a ever growing need to foster community relations.

Their Values:

Their Purpose:
Parsippany-Troy Hills Fire District 6 exists to provide the residents of Parsippany the most effective and rapid emergency fire, rescue, and prevention services in an ever changing world.

Their Main Coverage Area:
Lake Intervale
Druid Hill
Hills of Troy
Normandy Village
Lord Stirling

Mid-Winter Bag Sale at Parsippany Library

librarymainMid-Winter Bag Sale will be held from  February 1 through February 28 at Parsippany Main Library, 449 Halsey Road, Parsippany.

It’s the perfect time to snuggle up with a good read so come see what we have to offer!!

A huge selection of Fiction, Non-fiction, and Children’s including Middle School and Teens, Graphic Novels, Cooking, Mixed Media and More! Both hard and soft cover available at $3.00 per bag – which will be provided for you. Tables are stocked daily with new selections.

This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Parsippany Library.

Diabetes and Nutrition – What Can I Eat?

diabetesCareone at Morris presents “Diabetes & Nutrition – What Can I Eat?” at the Parsippany Community Center, 1130 Knoll Road, Lake Hiawatha from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 pm. on Friday, January 24.

Combining an educational and clinical approach, Dawn Sheafe-Anderson and Nehal Shah will be explaining how a proper diet can positively affect one’s lifestyle. There will be free giveaways.

If you are interested in attending, please RSVP Andrew Donet at (862) 432-0851.