PARSIPPANY — Team Hubotics joined the members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany for breakfast on Thursday, May 19. Team meeting the Kiwanis club : (Click here to view)
PARSIPPANY — Team Hubotics joined the members of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany for breakfast on Thursday, May 19. Team meeting the Kiwanis club : (Click here to view)
MOUNTAIN LAKES — Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Company participated Tuesday evening, May 18, in a multi-department coordinated drill at the former Zeris Inn location.
Thank you to the Mountain Lakes Fire Department for arranging this drill which allowed members of several local fire departments, ambulance squads, and rescue companies to work together and practice rescue techniques, fire suppression, forced entry, roof ventilation, and interagency communication.
Rainbow Lakes Volunteer Fire Company brought a pumper and platform ladder truck to the drill located near our firehouse but in Mountain Lakes.
Thanks, Lt. Josh Lefferts for the excellent pictures.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Town Council Meeting – May 17, 2022.
Click here to download the agenda.
Click here to download the 2022 agenda schedule.
Mayor and Council
PARSIPPANY — In coordination with the Parsippany-Troy Hills Health and Human Services Department, the New Jersey Department of Health is investigating three cases of Legionnaires’ disease in guests who stayed at the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany Hotel last year. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by breathing in Legionella bacteria.
The guests visited the hotel, located at 1 Hilton Court, between July 2021 and October 2021. The individuals range in age from 52 to 77 and have since recovered.
After the second case was identified in February 2022, the Department in coordination with the Parsippany-Troy Hills Health and Human Services Department began an outbreak investigation to determine if the hotel was a possible source of these infections. In February, health officials visited the site and instructed hotel management to collect samples from the building’s water system for Legionella testing. The Department received the water testing results in April which revealed the presence of Legionella bacteria in the building’s water system that is used for purposes such as showering, washing hands, and brushing teeth.
The hotel management is taking action to disinfect the building’s water system; however, the risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease among recent, current, and future guests is ongoing.
The risk of Legionnaires’ disease among healthy individuals is low. Most healthy people exposed to Legionella do not develop Legionnaires’ disease. People over the age of 50, former or current smokers, or those with certain medical conditions, including weakened immune systems, chronic lung disease or other chronic health conditions, are at increased risk for the disease.
Guests who have one of the above risk factors are encouraged to find alternative accommodations or to take precautions while visiting the hotel to avoid exposure to water by not showering, limiting the use of sinks, and not using tap water for respiratory equipment.
All guests who recently visited or plan to stay at the hotel should monitor their health for 14 days for symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and headaches. If symptoms develop within two weeks of their check-out date, they should immediately visit their healthcare provider. Guests who stayed at the Hilton/Hampton Parsippany more than two weeks ago and have not developed symptoms are no longer at risk for the disease as a result of their visit.
The symptoms are similar to those seen in cases of COVID-19, so it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible to receive appropriate testing and treatment.
Legionnaires’ disease is treatable with antibiotics but can cause severe illness and even death.
People can get Legionnaires’ disease by breathing in aerosolized water (small droplets of water in the air) containing Legionella bacteria. Aerosolized water can come from showerheads and sink faucets, hot tubs, decorative fountains, and cooling towers (air-conditioning units for large buildings). Less commonly, people can get sick by the aspiration to tap water containing Legionella. This happens when water accidentally goes into the lungs while drinking (“goes down the wrong pipe”). People at increased risk of aspiration water include those with swallowing difficulties.
Please call your Local Health Department if you were diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease after visiting the Hilton/Hampton Inn Parsippany Hotel. In February 2022, the Department distributed a request to public health agencies across the state and country to report cases of Legionnaires’ disease with a travel history to Parsippany-Troy Hills. Other states’ Health Departments can report cases among their residents to New Jersey Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Service at (609) 826-5964.
For more information on Legionnaire’s disease, please visit the Department website by clicking here.
PARSIPPANY — New Jersey State Police identified the driver who died in a head-on crash Saturday morning, May 14, on Route 80 at milepost 46.2. The collision took the life of Angelo F. Atienza, 29, Lake Hiawatha.
The Toyota Rav 4, which Atienza drove the wrong in the eastbound lanes, struck an international tractor and semi-trailer moving east, State Trooper Charles Marchan said. The other driver sustained minor injuries.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
PARSIPPANY —Richard “Lee” Keimel, 82, passed away on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in East Norriton, PA.
He was born on July 2, 1939, in Verona to Richard Irwin Keimel and Ada Lee.
Lee worked for the Township of Parsippany Troy-Hills as a machinist and sewer plant clerk for over 30 years before retiring in January 2020. He was a life member of the Parsippany Rescue and Recovery and past president and chief. He was extremely involved within the community, volunteering for over 30 years as a member of the Parsippany Hazmat, OEM, NJ Blue Collar Officer Association Local #1, Parsippany Public Employees Union Officer, Officer for the First Aid Council-6th District, and Gold Cross Member. Lee was a vocal advocate at the town council meetings.
Lee is predeceased by his wife, Grace May (nee-Derby) Keimel, and his brother, David Keimel.
He is survived by his children, Richard S. Keimel, Dawn M. Keimel, Donald Keimel, Sr. and his wife, Carmela, Melissa Younger and her husband, Jay, his seven beloved grandchildren, Joshua and Jared Gropper, Trevor and Jacob Younger, Donald Jr., David and Carmelina Keimel, his brother, John Keimel and his wife, Alice, his sister-in-law, Doris Keimel and his sister, Sally as well as many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Service on Saturday, May 21 at 10:00 a.m. at the Par-Troy Funeral Home, 95 Parsippany Road.
Internment is at Restland Memorial Park, East Hanover. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 20 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Lee’s memory to Parsippany Rescue and Recovery P.O. Box 45, Lake Hiawatha, NJ 07034.
PARSIPPANY — Vincent “Vinny” Natoli passed away on Sunday, May 8, 2022. He was 25.
On October 7, 1996, Vinny was born in Livingston to Ronald Natoli and Michele Turner.
He was an avid New York Giants and New York Yankees fan.
Vinny is predeceased by his grandfather, William “Poppy” Turner.
Survivors include: his parents Ronald A. Natoli and Michele T. (nee-Turner) Natoli, his sister, Rachel M. Natoli, his stepmother, Diane Jacobs, his paternal grandparents, Ronald and Marie Natoli, his maternal grandmother, Judy D’Amelio-Turner, his aunt and uncle, Billy and Lauren Turner, and Melissa and David Fraga, his cousins, Justin, William, Cameron, Katie Rose, Brielle and Nicholas, his beloved dog, Daisy, and many cousins, aunts, and uncles.
PARSIPPANY — Local Newshound and Publisher of Parsippany Focus, Frank Cahill, celebrated his birthday this past May 14 at a casual affair with many family members and friends in attendance at Elmas Turkish & Mediterranean Cuisine in Parsippany. It was nice to see so many come out to recognize Frank’s contributions to the community throughout the past years.
In addition to keeping Parsippany, as well as its contiguous communities abreast of local breaking news with Parsippany/Morris/Tri-Town Focus, a popular and appreciated online and monthly magazine, Frank has served and remains very active as Chairman of Parsippany’s Economic Development Committee, as an Executive Board member of the Chamber of Commerce, Lt. Governor, District 9, of the Kiwanis Club New Jersey Division, Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, as well as remaining an active volunteer for various local charitable causes.
Some local dignitaries who were on hand to help Frank celebrate the occasion were Parsippany Mayor James R. Barberio, Council President Michael J. dePierro, Council Vice-President Loretta Gragnani, Councilman Justin Musella, and Boonton Councilman Joseph E. Bock, Jr. Legislative District 26 Assemblyman Brian Bergen, Morris County Republican Chairwoman Laura Marie Ali was also on hand to offer his congratulations, as well as Robert J. Peluso, President of Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, and former Parsippany Councilman Brian Stanton.
The celebratory event, a tribute to Frank, was the brainchild and effortful work of Parsippany resident Nicolas Limanov, a Public Safety Telecommunication with the Livingston Police Department, and an associate with Parsippany Focus. Nick is also heavily involved in numerous local volunteer activities and the Chamber of Commerce and Kiwanis Club, just to name a few.
Grace Field, a fantastic singing talent, filled the evening with non-stop music, and the delicious Mediterranean dishes, which came throughout the evening, further enhanced a wonderful party atmosphere. (Click here to learn more about Grace)
Mayor Barberio addressed the crowd with some nice accolades regarding Frank’s involvement in the community, and Councilman Justin Musella presented him with a letter of recognition from N.J. Governor Phil Murphy.
It was a nice evening with a lot of laughs, good company, lively conversation, delicious food, and an excellent way to recognize a man who has done and will continue to do, a lot of excellent work for the community.
MORRIS COUNTY — Legislation sponsored by Senator Anthony Bucco that would allow New Jersey towns to increase funding for volunteer first aid and rescue squads was signed into law by Governor Murphy.
“I am extremely pleased that the Governor signed this bill into law. As a 40+ year member and former captain of the Salvage and Rescue Company of the Boonton Volunteer Fire Department, I am well aware of the shoestring budgets that volunteer first aid and rescue squads struggle with each year,” said Bucco (R-25). “These organizations are essential assets for our communities, especially in suburban and rural areas. Unfortunately, many squads continue to experience a shortage of basic first aid equipment, and some cannot even maintain their ambulances. My legislation will help alleviate these issues by allowing towns and counties to increase the annual funding for these life-saving services so that they can properly protect the people they are sworn to serve in their communities.”
The current limits of $70,000 and $35,000 that a county or a municipality can contribute to volunteer rescue squads have remained static for more than 20 years.
Bucco’s legislation will increase these amounts to $125,000 and $70,000 respectively.
“Thousands of dedicated EMTs and rescue specialists across this state put the needs of their neighbors above their own,” added Bucco. “It’s time to give them the funding they deserve.”
MORRIS COUNTY — The Board of Trustees of Employment Horizons is very pleased to announce that Lisa Montalbano has been named as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer.
Lisa began her career with Employment Horizons in July 1998.
Over the years Lisa held various roles at Employment Horizons including Job Coaching and Development and overseeing the agency’s Career Development Services Department.
In 2012, the organization moved Lisa into the all-important Director of Business Development role. For the last several years, Lisa has held the dual responsibilities of business development and managing fundraising and events as our Director of Development.
Lisa’s most recent appointment was to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Lisa holds a BA in Psychology from Liberty University as well as a MA in Executive Leadership from Liberty University.
Jack Cox, the president of the Board of Trustees said, ‘The Members of the Board of Trustees are thrilled to be able to elevate Lisa into the role of CEO. She has broad institutional knowledge and is very well known and appreciated by all our constituents. With her familiarity with our past, support by all constituents, and understanding of the organization’s opportunities, Lisa is poised to lead Employment Horizons into the future.”
Lisa served as Board Secretary of Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce from September 2008 until January 2014.
MORRIS COUNTY — Assemblyman Christian Barranco (R- Morris, Essex, Passaic) has prime sponsored legislation to give parents a greater say in what and how their children are taught in public schools and access to more information about the operations of public school districts.
Titled the “Parents Bill of Rights Act”, the legislation (A3800) prohibits school districts from interfering with or denying the rights of parents and guardians the right to review copies of school curricula, books, and other educational materials.
The legislation comes on the heels of the recent disclosure that the State Board of Education is embarking on a plan to have school districts teach children as young as six and seven a sex education curriculum – including lessons on gender identity — that many parents find objectionable or not in the best interest of children
“This legislation will put the operation of school districts where it belongs, in the hands of parents and taxpayers,” said Barranco, the father of three school-age children. “It is not the province of educational elites or the special interests that they align with to determine what our children learn.”
Among its many provisions, the Parents Bill of Rights Act forbids school districts from denying parents or guardians copies of curricula, books, and education materials used in the classroom as well as the names and professional qualifications of teachers and guest lecturers; and the names of third-party individuals or organizations that receive contracts or funding through the school district.
Districts also must provide parents – prior to the start of the new school year – with copies of the syllabi and books for each class the student is enrolled in. And districts must allow parents to be heard at school board meetings. Districts must obtain from parents or guardians written permission for the school district to collect biometric data – such as fingerprints, palm prints, DNA, and retina scans — from students.
Parents who are denied the rights under the proposed legislation can file a civil action against the district. According to the legislation, the state Attorney General’s office may also seek an injunction against the school districts that fail to uphold the rights of parents.
“It is sad that in the 21st Century the classroom has become the battlefield of the culture wars brought on by the progressive left, whose sole aim is to undermine America and the American family,” said Barranco.
“I wish this legislation was not necessary. But I cannot sit on the sideline and allow school officials to dictate to parents what their children learn, nor can I sit by quietly and allow political indoctrination to replace skill development in our children,” added Barranco.
PARSIPPANY — Applebee’s in Parsippany has a donation bin for any type of baby formula.
Please feel free to drop it off by the host stand in the bin. The formula must be unexpired and unused. Volunteers from “Morris County Mommy Friends” will be helping with the donations if anyone is in need.
Please consider helping these families. Formula samples are welcomed too!
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Economic Development Committee welcomed Joseph Bonadeo of the financial-services firm Edward Jones with a ribbon-cutting celebration.
On hand for the ribbon-cutting were many local officials, including Parsippany Mayor James R Barberio, Council President Michael J. dePierro, Councilman Frank Neglia, Morris County Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo, Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Committee Chairman Frank L Cahill, and Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce President Robert Peluso, among many other family and friends.
Outstanding job of catering by Lake Hiawatha’s Jeremiah’s Catering & Cooking Studio.
Joseph Bonadeo of the financial-services firm Edward Jones believes that to truly become a part of a community, one must invest in that community. By investing, he gives his time, energy, and resources to make Parsippany a better place to live.
“I have made this town my business address,” Bonadeo said. “When you call a place home, you suddenly feel you have a stake in it. I intend to become and remain an active member of this community for that reason.”
Bonadeo’s enthusiasm is an extension of the firm’s commitment to community service. Edward Jones not only encourages its financial advisors to become involved in their local communities, but it also invites them to participate in national service projects and backs that participation with funds to help those in need.
Bonadeo’s office is located at 2 Sylvan Way, Suite 301, Parsippany. Joseph can be reached at (973) 267-6290. You may also visit Bonadeo’s website by clicking here.
MORRIS COUNTY — Chairwoman Laura Marie Ali announced her unanimous support from the entire slate of Morris County Legislators today for her reelection as Chair of the Morris County Republican Committee.
“I am so grateful for our Morris County Legislators’ support and the momentum that Morris County Republicans have. Our greatest days are ahead of us, and I look forward to leading our Republican party to unprecedented victories in the year ahead. It’s a great time to be a Morris County Republican and I encourage all residents to reach out to us and join our movement. Thank you to the following legislators for their enthusiastic endorsements.”
The election will be held this year at the annual meeting of the Morris County Republican Committee on June 14 per the state statute and local bylaws.
MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Sheriff’s Office, specifically the Patrol Division wants to reassure all persons enjoying the Morris County recreational facilities that their enjoyment of the parks system and their safety are of paramount importance. The officers operate regular and routine patrols in and around all aspects of the 20,000+ acres of Morris County Park Commission properties and its 38 facilities. Safety and security technologies are at our disposal and are deployed strategically. We partner with all municipalities in providing a police presence and incident response as needed.
We also want to reassure the public that last week’s incident on the Traction Line Recreation Trail in Morristown is not a common occurrence in county recreational areas. The attack concluded with two arrests being made swiftly with exemplary solid police work. Patrols have since been increased.
Should an emergent matter need immediate attention in a county park, please DIAL 9-1-1 and report your location, explain your emergency, and request a Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division unit to respond. You may also contact the Sheriff’s Office dispatch by calling (973) 285-2900. Please report all suspicious activity in the county parks to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division. Always remember to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity no matter the significance. Remember, your safety is important to the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.
Learn more about the Sheriff’s Patrol Division and County Park regulations by clicking here.
PARSIPPANY — We missed Cinco de Mayo by a day, but my group of adventurous gastronome friends and I headed to the newest Mexican restaurant in the area for a visit. This past April, Mexican Antojitos opened on North Beverwyck Road in Lake Hiawatha, in a previously owned building by a local pizzeria.
There is certainly no shortage of high-quality Mexican venues in the area, but as Mexican cuisine continues to grow in popularity there seems to always be room for one more. In fact, Mexican food is one of the most popular ethnic cuisines in the United States. Mexican Antojitos appears to focus primarily on antojitos (as in its name), but they offer a lot more. Antojitos, referring to “little cravings,” refers to a wide variety of popular street snacks or appetizers, often sold by street vendors in Mexico as a precursor to the big meal of the day, or after a few late evening cocktails, and considered by many as some of Mexico’s most enjoyable and beloved food. There are at least fifteen types of antojitos and regional specialties. Commonly known choices might include tacos, empanadas, tamales, nachos, and enchiladas, but there are many more selections to choose from.
Mexican Antojitos, a family-owned and operated eatery, offers a wide selection of these tantalizing “little cravings,” as well as an impressive full menu complete with entrees of Pork Ribs, Grilled Steak, Fried Fish, and more. The menu also offers a selection of breakfast items, as they do open their door for business starting at 6:00 a.m. There are no desserts on the menu, but a variety of drinks (Bebidas) and coffee are available. The restaurant is also a BYOB, so for my first visit, I brought along some Cerveza Pacífico Clara, a Mexican pilsner-style beer, to complement my meal
I have always found Mexican cuisine, which is a blend of Indigenous and Spanish dishes, to be hearty, savory, full of flavors and textures, with plenty of gusto. Distinguished by fresh and healthy tomatoes, chiles, traditional spices, beans, corn, meat, and cheeses, Mexican fare is a delicious and healthy cuisine that is certainly worth a try.
Prior to their opening Mexican Antojitos renovated and updated the building’s interior to transform it from the pizzeria that occupied the location, to create a clean, cozy, comfortable, and casual atmosphere where one can relax and enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The exterior windows and signage are enticing and welcoming, decorated with bright colors and a collage of mouth-watering Mexican treats. The interior is brightly lit, with cream-colored walls, a tile floor, and 12 to 14 tables. Apart from the red and green checkered tablecloths, Mexican motif chairs, and Mexican music playing in the background, the interior is simply decorated, with no-frills, and very unpretentious. Clearly, the emphasis is on the quality of the food and not the décor. I found it a nice feature that you could observe the cooks expertly preparing freshly made tortillas through a small open window allowing a view into the kitchen.
As our group arrived, the friendly staff enthusiastically welcomed us. Our pleasant server, Cynthia, who immediately brought over a basket of corn chips with zesty, homemade salsa, was very attentive and helpful. After perusing the menu, we decided to choose a variety of antojitos to share among the group for appetizers to order individual entrées afterward. We agreed on a couple of servings each of Enchilada de Mole, Sopes, Quesadillas, Tacos Dorados, and Tostadas.
The Enchilada de Mole (a corn tortilla stuffed with chicken or beef in a Mole sauce, topped with lettuce, onions, sour cream, and cheese) a highly popular and traditional Mexican street food, was savory and perfectly seasoned and was clearly enhanced by the rich, nutty, sweet, and earthy flavors of the Mole sauce.
Sopes (a soft fresh Tortilla, with beans, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream, with a choice of beef, pork, or chicken) a homemade corn flour shell; thicker than a tortilla, the Sope shell has a rim around the edge with pinched sides to keep in all the toppings.
The deliciously fried Sope was savory, and tender, and has a nice crunchy texture. Our Quesadillas (Corn dough with chicken, beef, pastor, or chorizo) were crispy, gooey, and flavorful. The Tacos Dorados (filled with lettuce, tomato, radish, cheese, crema y salsa, with chicken) were perfectly packed within a nicely textured shell, and generously sized; as were all our choices, and finally the Tostadas (Fried Tortillas, beans, lettuce, tomato, queso crema, avocado, and filled with a choice of chicken or meat}. Do not forget to try the assortment of sweet and hot sauces that are readily available. My personal preference was the Habanero sauce, but I do like hot, spicy food.
As we enthusiastically devoured all our antojitos, the consensus was that the food not only met but exceeded our expectations. The portions were generous, and everything was cooked and seasoned to perfection. The only problem we encountered was that “our eyes were bigger than our stomachs,” and despite our initial intention to follow up with a full entrée, we were all so satiated after our antojitos that none of us could eat another bite. I guess that the Bistek a la Mexicana I was planning to have will have to wait until my next visit. It was a very pleasurable, satisfying, and filling meal. This is the “real deal” for Mexican cuisine and certainly belongs on the revisit list.
I did have the opportunity to speak with Roman Sanchez, who along with his wife Cynthia owns and operates Mexican Antojitos, expressed that “his goal was to offer the finest, most natural ingredients, including fresh-tasting organic meat to real Mexican herbs and seasonings, in the restaurants authentically made dishes. Mexicans take pride in serving you a dish of Mexican food that is packing the punch in taste, texture, and overall delightfulness in every bite you take.” One of my personal tell-tale indicators of an authentic ethnic restaurant is the ethnicity of the customers frequenting the venue. In this case, there were quite a few customers of Mexican heritage enjoying their meals, and when asked, responded that Mexican Antojitos food was as authentically Mexican as you can get. “A taste of home.” A nice compliment for a restaurant!
Mexican Antojitos is another great new addition to our diverse restaurant community. Stop in, just by yourself, with friends, or with the entire family for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I believe you will be happy that you did. And as always, please continue to support all our local businesses.
Mexican Antojitos, is located at 122 North Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha. Phone: (973) 588-4047.
Dine-in · Curbside pickup · No-contact delivery. BYOB. Catering. Reasonably Priced. Ample free street parking available. Open 7 days a week. Monday to Friday 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Twp Schools is proud to announce that three Parsippany Hills High School students, Katelyn Badke (12th), Jia Datwani (11th), and Emma Timney (12th) had their work accepted into the prestigious 2022 Congressional Art Competition.
The students were honored at a reception at Montclair State University where their work is displayed in the university gallery and they met Congresswoman Mickie Sherrill.
Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to support artistic talent nationally and in each congressional district.
Following a reception and display, district artists will select the winners who will be recognized in an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. and their work will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year.
Congratulations again to the student artists and special thanks to their Art teacher Rachael Krehel, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Denis Mulroony, and Superintendent Dr. Barbara Sargent for their support.
PARSIPPANY — Ramapo College of New Jersey (RCNJ) will celebrate its Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on May 12 at Prudential Center in Newark.
The RCNJ Class of 2022 includes 1,164 graduates who will enter the next chapter of their lives well-equipped to innovate, problem-solve, serve, and succeed as Ramapo College Alumni.
Among those students is Parsippany local Jacqueline “Jackie” Pascale. Pascale graduates with a degree in Literature and her secondary education teacher certification will deliver the graduate address at the ceremony.
Her undergraduate research on international poetry was selected as a poster presentation for Ramapo’s Annual Scholars’ Day. She will continue her academic career with Ramapo as she pursues her Master of Arts in Special Education in the College’s 4+1 program.
MORRIS COUNTY — Assemblyman Brian Bergen, a former Apache fighter pilot during Operation Iraqi Freedom, says a report released Monday showing New Jersey failed to award disabled veteran-owned businesses statutorily required state contracts demands an immediate response and swift corrective action.
“New Jersey state agencies are mandated to do business with veteran turned entrepreneurs, but they have not lived up to their commitment. It is completely unacceptable and I’m calling on state leaders to join me in making consequential changes,” Bergen (R-Morris) said. “For the past seven years, veteran-owned businesses have lost out on millions because of empty promises and failed policies.”
According to the report released by the Garden State Initiative and New Jersey State Veterans Chamber of Commerce, 97% of state agencies that have procurement power are not enforcing a 2015 law that requires 3% of their budgets to be set aside for contracts with businesses owned by disabled veterans. No state agency is following the legal reporting requirements.
“According to news reports, Gov. Phil Murphy has deflected comment on the matter to the Treasury Department. A better response would have been to say he is creating a task force to ensure New Jersey meets its legal requirements and improves procurement rates for veteran businesses,” Bergen said. “I am urging the governor to support this initiative.”
There are 255 certified disabled-veteran businesses in New Jersey and nearly 60,000 veteran-owned. State contracts can be worth as much as $1 million.
“I am also calling on Speaker Craig Coughlin to work with Senate President Nick Scutari to establish a joint legislative subcommittee to foster economic development for veteran-owned businesses,” Bergen said. “I want to make New Jersey the best state for veterans to start a business after they complete their service to our country. Whether it is through legislation or leadership, I will work with my veteran communities and colleagues to make sure state government is working for those who selflessly fought for our freedom.”
MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Chamber of Commerce will hold its 22 Annual Golf Classic Monday, June 6, at Spring Brook Country Club in Morristown. The day includes lunch, 18 holes of golf, cocktails, a dinner buffet, and an awards ceremony.
The chamber will honor Michael Stivala with the 2022 Business and Community Service Award for his professional accomplishments and commitment to the community at the dinner. Stivala is president and chief executive officer of Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. a nationwide distributor of propane, fuel oil, and related products and services, as well as a marketer of natural gas and electricity. Suburban Propane serves more than 1 million customers in 42 states and Stivala has led the company’s charge to promote the green qualities of propane while also moving into other innovative, renewable energy activities.
Stivala and Suburban Propane also strive to support and give back to the community. The company entered into a national partnership with the American Red Cross through its SuburbanCares philanthropic initiatives. Stivala spearheaded the company’s support of veterans through its Heroes Hired Here initiative. Stivala also is a member of the Regional Council of the New Jersey Region of the American Red Cross and will begin serving as chairperson of the council beginning in 2022.
Various player packages are available for the golf outing, including special Gold Foursome and Silver Twosome packages that offer premier promotional value and varied levels of sponsorships.
To register, purchase a sponsorship, or for more information click here.
The Morris County Chamber of Commerce has more than 745 member organizations that range from entrepreneurs and small businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies. The chamber’s mission is to collaboratively advance the interests of its members to champion a thriving business and community environment. The chamber’s many events, meetings, and seminars provide a platform for its members to connect, collaborate, learn and succeed. The chamber is dedicated to the advancement of Morris County’s businesses and community by providing services, information, and advocacy to support the success of its member organizations. They are headquartered in Florham Park.