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Planning Board Meeting of June 21, 2021

PARSIPPANY — Planning Board Meeting of June 21, 2021.

Click here to download the agenda.

Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting – July 20, 2021

PARSIPPANY — Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting – July 20, 2021.

Click here to download the agenda.

 

Plastic Bag Ban Returns to Parsippany

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano signs the ordinance to ban single use plastic bags

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Mayor Michael Soriano announced on Tuesday during the council meeting that  Parsippany’s ban on single-use plastic bags will return on September 8.

The township placed a moratorium on enforcing the ban in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many towns paused their plastic bag bans during the pandemic, because of concerns about the virus clinging to reusable surfaces.

Parsippany’s council had voted in 2019 to ban single-use plastic bags, as well as paper bags that aren’t 100 percent recyclable. The ban went into effect February 6, 2020, as the township encouraged the public to bring their own reusable bags to businesses.

Mayor Soriano Delivers Revised Balanced Budget to Township Council; 2.15% Tax Increase Proposed

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Michael Soriano

PARSIPPANY – Mayor Michael Soriano and the members of the Township administration received a revised balanced budget proposal to the Township Council on Tuesday evening, which continues township services and avoids any layoffs or reductions to the township workforce.

The revised budget includes a municipal tax increase of 2.15%, which complies with both the appropriation cap and the levy cap, and does not utilize monies from either the sewer or water utilities for the first time in over 10 years.

“This budget is balanced, fiscally responsible, and meets both the Council and the Department of Community Affairs requirements,” said Business Administrator Fred Carr. “At the end of the day, it’s our duty as township administrators to continue providing the services that our residents depend on while keeping costs down. This budget meets every one of those requirements.”

The budget includes the $2.3 million Special Emergency Note appropriation, as well as $2.7 million allocated from the American Rescue Plan to offset the budgetary shortfall Parsippany encountered in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting municipal budgets across the country.

Reductions across every department, while difficult decisions to make, help to avoid reducing or eliminating any essential services. The Township also avoids any utility surplus transfers to offset unforeseen budget shortfalls, opting instead to explore canceling appropriation reserves and treating township utilities as self-sustaining entities. This change will ensure that utilities are both responsible for their own budget status, and transparent in the township budgeting in the future.

“This budget process was a challenge, to say the least, but making big decisions are rarely easy,” said Mayor Michael Soriano. “Part of the reason I ran for Mayor is that I felt that the township’s financial discipline needed improvement. Now, with some fine-tuning and precision, our Township’s finances can finally start to improve. This budget is not some overnight fix, but it contains details that will set us on the path to sound fiscal practices. We owe it to our residents to be frank and open about what their local government is doing to improve the quality of life in Parsippany. I think we’ve done just that with this budget.”

“Despite the multiple challenges surrounding it, the budget is well structured, which is rewarding in the end,” added Township Chief Financial Officer Juan Uribe.

Now that mayor has submitted the budget, it will be up to the Council to introduce and approve it.

Local Artist Exhibits “Urania’s Mirror” at County College of Morris

"Urania's Mirror," 2021, oil and collage on canvas, 9" x 12" by Joseph Losavio

MORRIS COUNTY — Joseph Losavio, a contemporary, visionary painter, is exhibiting, ‘Urania’s Mirror’ at the County College of Morris (CCM) Art & Design Gallery.

The collection of 32 astronomical star chart cards incorporate illustrations based on Alexander Jamiesons’s “A Celestial Atlas,” also known as “a view of the Heavens.” Losavio’s works will be exhibited from July 29, through September 23.

Losavio lives and works in Sussex County. He connects on a deep level with the environment and finds the earth to be “an extension of self, with its glorious diversity and mysterious inner force.” After teaching art in public schools for 27 years, he now pursues painting full-time, “exploring the realms of art, psychology, and spirituality.”

There will be a reception on Thursday, September 9, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Admission to both the reception and gallery is free.

For more information about the Art and Design programs offered at CCM click here.

Parisi Speed School Opens in Parsippany

PARSIPPANY — You may see people moving a little quicker around Parsippany in the coming weeks with the opening of Parisi Speed School’s newest location.  Parisi Speed School of Morris-Parsippany is located at 33 Baldwin Road inside the Parsippany PAL.

This location is the latest franchise in the Parisi Network and they are opening their doors for the first time in the Police Athletic League of Parsippany.

“I have always had a huge passion for fitness, coaching, and helping athletes reach their goals. Now I get to do that every day,” said the Program Director, Luis Silva.

What’s different about Parisi, is that it focuses on building an athlete’s athletic foundation, speed, agility & strength, instead of just the skills for a particular sport. Programming is designed to improve the overall skill level of athletes between the ages of 7-22+ so that no matter what sport they play, they can see improvement and increased results on the field.

Their proprietary methodology, the Parisi Youth Training System, has programs designed to work with athletes of various skills and abilities, starting with the Parisi Evaluation. During the evaluation, the athlete is taught Parisi’s signature Active Dynamic Warm-Up, they’re examined during their Running Analysis procedure, and tested in a battery of physical speed and strength movements.  After the evaluation is complete, their Performance Coach reviews the results and selects the appropriate program for the athlete.

Some of the world’s best athletes benefited from the Parisi Youth Training System, including Chris Long, former No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and two time Super Bowl Champ, as well as Tobin Heath, midfielder for the US Women’s National Soccer Team and two-time World Cup winner and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

“Whether a child wants to make a team, or just get in shape, Parisi has a program that will help them achieve their goals and increase confidence on and off the field.”

About Parisi Speed School of Morris – Parsippany:

Parisi Speed School of Morris – Parsippany is located in  The Police Athletic League at 33 Baldwin Road, Parsippany. For more information about programs and classes, please visit www.parisimorris.com or call (973) 539-2000.

About Parisi Speed School

Founded in 1992 by CEO Bill Parisi, our mission is to strive to be the industry leader in performance enhancement and continue to deliver a positive training experience that improves the speed of movement and strength in character regardless of ability or economic status.  Over the past 25+ years, Parisi Speed School has grown to over 100 locations in 35 states and has trained more than 1 million athletes.  For more information on joining a Parisi Speed School or owning your own franchise visit www.parisischool.com.

 

 

Morris County Honors JBWS on 45th Anniversary

Commissioner Selen talks to attendees of the JBWS 45th Anniversary celebration with JBWS CEO Diane Williams

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County honored JBWS for 45 years of service in combating domestic violence and aiding survivors of abuse during an anniversary dinner hosted by the organization in Florham Park.

JBWS, founded in 1976 as a hotline by a small group of domestic violence survivors, has since expanded its services to shelter and assist all people dealing with domestic violence. The organization works to protect and empower its clients as well as to rehabilitate family members, advocate for social change to prevent partner violence, and educate the public about domestic violence and its consequences.

Morris County Commissioner Tayfun Selen, a liaison to Human Services operations in the county, presented a resolution on behalf of the entire Morris County Board of County Commissioners. It declared that “JBWS be recognized and commended for its 45 years of outstanding service to the community and that all residents support those working diligently to end violence in our lives.”

State Sen. Anthony Bucco and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, both of the 25th Legislative District, also presented honors to JBWS at the event held in the Park Avenue Club.

dunn-bucco-at-jbws-7-12-2021.jpg
Assemblywoman Dunn and Sen. Bucco also presented honors to JBWS CEO Diane Williams

The Morris County resolution noted that, after the hotline calls increased in 1976, the need to help people find safety became more urgent following the tragic murders of two people who had reached out to the organization for help.  The Morris County community responded by raising funds to open the Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter in 1978. The organization later became known simply as the JBWS as its mission expanded beyond a hotline, safe house, and counseling services.

Today, JBWS has more than 200 volunteers and provides transitional living arrangements, support for children and adolescents, and provides batterers’ intervention services. It also provides housing assistance, school-based teen dating abuse prevention programs, professional training, and a multi-discipline family justice center.

More than 113,000 families have been sheltered or counseled by JBWS and 487,000 teens and adults have been educated about domestic violence.

Robert J. Carroll Formally Sworn In As Morris County Prosecutor

Superior Court Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz reads the oath of office to Prosecutor Carroll, while the prosecutor’s wife, Roseann, and daughter, Kimberly, assist in the swearing in

MORRIS COUNTY — Robert J. Carroll, appointed in October by Governor Phil Murphy to serve as acting prosecutor in Morris County, was formally sworn into the job on July 9 during a Morristown ceremony after his nomination to the post was cleared last week by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

Carroll was sworn in by Superior Court Assignment Judge Stuart A. Minkowitz of the Morris and Sussex vicinage, while the prosecutor’s wife, Roseann, and daughter, Kimberly, held the bible in the public meeting room of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.

“The question that I have been asked by most of my contemporaries is, why did I want to return to criminal justice, yet again, to which I repeated the same answer,” Carroll told the crowd of family, friends, and colleagues who attended. “I was simply not comfortable watching from the sidelines the growing divide between communities and law enforcement — and with the huge added challenge of COVID, which strained and exhausted so many, I believed that with my experience and judgment earned in over four decades of legal practice, as well as law enforcement, I could and should offer to help.”

ormer Morris County Prosecutor Frederic Knapp (right) talked with Attorney General Grewal and Acting Attorney General Bruck prior to the swearing-in.

Among those in attendance were Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and New Jersey’s leading Assistant Attorney General, Andrew Bruck, who will take over as acting attorney general when Grewal assumes a new federal post next week as head of security for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This is a great day, not just for this office and not just for the residents of this county, but for the residents of this state as well. Because this is a prosecutor who gets it. He understands what this job is about. He understands that it’s about more than numbers. It’s about delivering justice and it’s about standing up for all of the residents of this county and the state,” said Grewal.

Also in attendance were Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw, Commissioner Tayfun Selen, state Senators Anthony Bucco and Richard Codey, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, Surrogate Heather Darling, former Morris County Prosecutor Frederic Knapp, County Administrator John Bonanni, New Jersey Turnpike Executive Director John Keller and Carroll’s long-time law partner, Guy Michael. Staff from the prosecutor’s office, county offices, and court staff also attended.

Carroll has extensive law enforcement experience.

Starting as an Essex County Investigator in the early 1970s, Carroll becomes an Assistant Prosecutor. He initially worked in the Trial and Appellate sections, and later served as Assistant Prosecutor/Supervisor of Organized Crime and Special Prosecutions section in that agency.

Morris County officials who attended the swearing-in included (l-r) Deputy Administrator Deena Leary, Clerk of the Board of Commissioners Debra Lynch, Sen. Anthony Bucco, Commissioner Director Stephen H. Shaw, and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn

In 1980, he was selected to become a state Deputy Attorney General in the elite Special Prosecutions Section of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, a unit he later headed. Carroll was subsequently appointed in 1986 to Supervising Deputy Attorney General, Organized Crime and Racketeering Task Force (OCRTF) at the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.

He was later promoted to Chief/Assistant Attorney General of the task force in 1989, when he investigated and prosecuted major New Jersey criminal enterprises and public corruption, including organized crime members, associates, and their criminal “crews.”  Carroll’s cases included the infamous “Iceman” killer, Richard Kuklinski, who was convicted of several brutal murders that have been the subject of many news and history programs.

Prosecutor Carroll and Attorney General Grewal chatted prior to the swearing in, at which Grewal praised Carroll’s appointment.

Carroll also led investigations into five La Cosa Nostra crime families and personally prosecuted the hierarchy of the New Jersey Lucchese Crime Family, achieving a major RICO-murder conviction.

Carroll has acted as an instructor for a number of law enforcement institutions, including the New Jersey State Police Academy and Essex County Police Academy, and has educated hundreds of state and tribal leaders in law enforcement and anti-corruption methods.

Before becoming Acting Morris County Prosecutor, Carroll served as Director of the Law Department for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, the largest toll road authority in North America. He also had served as Acting Sussex County Prosecutor and had supervised thousands of background investigations while serving as a Chairman of a Gaming Commission and Compliance Officer for major Native American Gaming Facilities.

Carroll earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Wake Forest University, where he was a scholarship football player. He holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of Law. He also holds an Executive Certificate for Leadership Development from Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations.

Carroll also has been recognized and received commendations from numerous federal and New Jersey state law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, Federal Organized Crime Strike Force, US Marshalls, US Attorney’s Office, NJ State Police, NJ DCJ, and numerous Prosecutor’s Offices for his leadership work on organized crime and effective inter-agency team building.

CCM Builds Upon Its Mission as the Community’s College

Engineering 3D Prosthetic Hand

MORRIS COUNTY — Coming through the other side of the pandemic, the County College of Morris is poised to continue changing lives and strengthening communities with more momentum than ever. As the community’s college, CCM’s strong student success rates and innovative career-focused programs provide pathways for anyone aspiring to secure a better future and be part of something exceptional.

CCM’s advances in becoming a comprehensive community college have not gone unnoticed. This year alone, CCM gained several new rankings, including:

  • Placing in the top 1.8% of community colleges in the nation

Academic Influence

  • #1 in New Jersey for Associate Degrees

Intelligent.com

  • #1 in Alumni Salaries in New Jersey for the fourth year in a row

Payscale.com

  • #1 Choice for Online Business Associate Degree in New Jersey

Business Degree Central

  • #5 Business School in New Jersey

Business Degree Central

The college’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion similarly is evidenced by the increase in the number of scholarships and other aid it awards – now totaling more than $20 million a year, allowing students to graduate with minimum to zero debt. The CCM Foundation also created an emergency fund for students needing money for unanticipated expenses. In addition, CCM obtained grant funding to help students to pay for childcare. The college also operates on-campus food pantries in partnership with nourish.NJ.

“I love the mission of community colleges. We were built for impact by ensuring life-changing opportunities for members of our communities,” says Dr. Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM. “We change lives and strengthen communities in ways that have a profound impact on our social, cultural, and economic systems. CCM takes great pride in serving individuals from all backgrounds with various needs and interests while being central to helping make Morris County a great place to live, work and play.”

Throughout the pandemic, CCM continued to focus on becoming a comprehensive school that provides clear pathways for all students to pursue their dreams. CCM’s pathways include helping learners who seek an associate degree, preparing those who desire to earn a bachelor’s degree, and providing certificates and other industry-recognized credentials to gain a well-paying and rewarding career.

Partnering with industry and community leaders and listening to their needs has been a major focus at CCM. The result has led to new programs including paramedic science, built in partnership with Atlantic Health System. Since 2016, CCM has launched 16 new programs, 132 new classes, and dozens of new certificates. With a $4 million USDOL grant, CCM has launched an expansive Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship program that leads to rewarding careers throughout the region. These apprenticeships are developed with industry professionals and offered in CCM’s new regional Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center. Over the past year, apprenticeship programs were also developed to train certified nurse aids and pharmacy technicians. CCM also launched a paralegal program and a data analytics certificate that can be completed in eight months. The college is also preparing to offer a packaging design program. In addition, CCM launched its Dover College Promise program to provide middle and high school students with free afterschool tutoring and mentoring, along with scholarships to attend CCM upon graduation. This initiative will be expanded throughout Morris County to provide maximum opportunities for community members.

“Ensuring all members of the community have access to a great education that leads to rewarding careers and fulfilling life is our mission. Increasing diversity and advancing equitable practices is now the cornerstone of CCM and it is upon this foundation that we build our next, and, I believe, most powerful chapter in our college’s history,” says Iacono. “We are the college for the community, the whole community. We have a seat for everyone with a dream. Our goal is helping you to achieve yours.”

To learn more about all CCM has to offer, visit www.ccm.edu/. You also can follow the college on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Morris County Renters and Landlords: Rental Aid is Still Available

Rental assistance funds are still available in Morris County

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County announced that federal rental assistance remains available to qualified families and can assist landlords, as Legal Services of New Jersey additionally warned renters not to ignore court notices related to the settlement of eviction actions.

The announcements come as New Jersey’s COVID-19 moratorium on residential evictions prepares to end in January.

The Morris County Department of Humans Services has received more than $14.6 million in rental assistance to disperse among qualified families. The aid can assist landlords as well as qualified families.

At the same time, Legal Services in New Jersey is warning renters not to ignore notices of mandatory settlement conferences if their landlords already have filed eviction notices. (read more below)

RENTAL ASSISTANCE

“Rental assistance funds are still available in Morris County and the State of New Jersey to people from low- and moderate-income households who had a substantial reduction in income, have qualified for unemployment benefits, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kasey Errico, Director of Morris County Human Services.

As of last week, 1,541 applications were submitted, with 513 applications being approved to date and those households receiving more than $4 million in aid.

Morris County is urging renters to determine if they qualify and to apply.

Renters may inquire about the program by simply checking the criteria provided at the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) COVID-19 Information website. Some of the qualifications also are listed further below.

To apply click here.

The federal Emergency Rental Assistance funding is designed to help avert a housing crisis for tenants in critical need of such support. The funding also will bring needed relief to landlords, who have been challenged by the financial impacts of the pandemic as well, according to Errico.

Morris County partnered with the DCA, as have other counties, to utilize the state’s program vendor and eliminate confusion for those in need by using one online portal to access the assistance application.

KNOW OF EVICTION ACTIONS & YOUR RIGHTS

While Governor Phil Murphy’s pandemic moratorium on evictions does not expire until January 2022, it does not prevent landlords from initiating eviction court proceedings before then – and New Jersey courts may summon renters for “mandatory settlement conferences” well before the eviction moratorium deadline.

Legal Aid.jpgThe conferences are only designed to determine whether an eviction case may be settled without going to trial and do not obligate any renter or landlord to enter into an agreement.

But appearances are mandatory.

“If you do not appear, a default judgment will enter against you, meaning you will lose the case,” Legal Services warned in a new flyer.

The agency also advised renters that they do not have to agree to settle the case, just appear for the conference.

“You do not have to agree to pay any money. You do not have to agree to move out. Landlords and tenants who do not make an agreement will have a trial scheduled when the court starts holding trials,” said Legal Services.

Legal Services in New Jersey has a hotline and website application for families facing eviction to determine if they are eligible for free legal advice:

Call (908) 231-0840 or apply online by clicking here.

Legal Aid 2.jpg

MORE ON RENTAL ASSITANCE

The umbrella name for the federal rental assistance program is the COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program Phase II or CVERAP PHASE II. The first phase was launched in July 2020, using $91.75 million in federal funds, which assisted about 15,000 New Jersey residents.  New Jersey has been provided $353 million for the second phase.

The program covers two areas:

Emergency Rental Assistance for Arrears: Applicants may be eligible for up to a maximum of twelve months of emergency rental assistance to help pay for rent arrears and future rent to the extent that funds are available. Families that have already received funding through Phase I of the program, that need additional rent support, and have not yet received the maximum twelve months of emergency rental assistance can apply for additional funding.

Emergency Rental Assistance for Current and Future Rents: Financial assistance is limited to three months based on the application submitted, except that the household may receive additional assistance for additional months subject to the availability of remaining funds and eligibility, not to exceed 12 months (plus an additional three months if necessary to ensure housing stability).

Persons applying must meet all applicable income and eligibility requirements. You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to apply or be an emancipated minor. Only one (1) application per household will be accepted. Applications will be accepted until enough applications have been received to ensure the distribution of all available funds. A computerized selection (lottery) process will be used to select residents who have been impacted by COVID-19 for eligibility determination.

Eligibility Criteria: Selected households must meet the following eligibility criteria to qualify for assistance:

  • Qualify for unemployment or have experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability;
  • Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income (please see income limits below);
  • Have a lack of assets and savings to pay rent arrears or current and future rent;
  • Be a New Jersey resident; and
  • Obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling.

The program will only pay for rent arrears incurred after March 13, 2020.

Property managers or owners of a residential dwelling may apply for assistance on behalf of a tenant.

The landlord must:

  • Obtain the signature of the tenant on the application, which may be documented electronically; and
  • Must provide documentation of the application to the tenant to notify the tenant that the application has been submitted.

Rep. Sherrill Announces 2021 Congressional App Challenge Launch

Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill

PARSIPPANY — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) announced today that her office is hosting its third annual Congressional App Challenge (CAC) for students in New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, and the registration portal is now open.

“Each year the participants in the Congressional App Challenge blow me away with their ingenuity, creativity, and advanced coding skills,” said Rep. Sherrill. “Throughout the pandemic, technology has played a pivotal role in keeping us connected and our country moving. We have seen the overwhelming potential for technology to do good, help others, and reimagine our world through thoughtful innovation in hard times. We’ve also seen the pathway for creative expression and community engagement that tech can provide for students, whether they continue on their journey in the tech field or choose another path. I am incredibly excited to launch this year’s competition and look forward to seeing what these future tech leaders are able to create.”

The competition is open to middle school and high school students who live or attend school in NJ-11. Students with all levels of coding experience are encouraged to participate. This is an excellent opportunity to develop the skills and innovative spirit needed to create your own apps. The CAC accepts computer programs (or apps) written in any programming language, for any platform (desktop/PC, web, mobile, raspberry Pi, etc.). The full set of eligibility rules for individual and team entries can be found by clicking here.

Winners will be selected by a panel of judges from New Jersey’s 11th District and honored by Congresswoman Sherrill. Their apps are eligible to be featured on display in the U.S. Capitol building, on www.house.gov, and on the Congressional App Challenge website.

To register for the competition, click here. 

Registration for the App Challenge is currently open and the deadline to submit your creation is November 1, 2021. Click here for more information.

Click here to learn about the 2020 NJ-11 Congressional App Challenge Winner Riya Dadheech of Parsippany and her Plate of Hope app.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Rep. Sherrill’s office at (973) 526-5668, or email the App Challenge coordinator at georgia.turvey@mail.house.gov.

Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center Administers Last Vaccination Dose

he final vaccination is provided today at the Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County and Atlantic Health System delivered the last inoculation today at the Morris County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center, while the Morris County COVID-19 Testing facility operated with Vault Health at the County College of Morris also close operations on Friday, July 16.

The last vaccination was provided shortly after noon, prompting spontaneous applause among 200 state, county, medical personnel, and volunteers who worked the center until the last minute and gathered to say their final goodbyes afterward.

“Our job here was to put ourselves out of business as soon as possible,” said Scott DiGiralomo, Director of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety, who coordinated the center operations.

The percentage of residents vaccinated in Morris County has been leading the state. At some points over the past two months, the nation has issued as many as 4,600 inoculations per day along with thousands of other vaccinations provided daily by smaller clinics in the county.

Likewise, the testing facility at CCM once accommodated hundreds of people each day after it opened last fall. However, while the pandemic is not yet over, the emergent need for testing and vaccinations provided through public and private partnerships has subsided.

Scott DiGiralomo, Director of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety, chats with his team one final time at the center

“Throughout the pandemic, Atlantic Health System has remained committed to always being ready to deliver the highest quality care for our patients and serving our communities,” said Kevin Lenahan, Executive Vice President, Chief Business and Strategy Officer, Atlantic Health System. “When given the opportunity to partner with Morris County and the State of New Jersey in operating the Morris County Regional Vaccination Center, our inspiring team of nurses, physicians, and caregivers jumped at the chance to take the fight to the virus and help deliver light at the end of the pandemic’s long tunnel. On behalf of our entire 18,000 team members, we want to thank the county and state for their partnership and professionalism as we worked together to keep hundreds of thousands of people healthy and safe.”

The vaccination center opened on January 8 at the Rockaway Townsquare Mall in an empty Sears department store. It involved a partnership between Morris County, Atlantic Health System, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Army National Guard, the Medical Reserve Corps, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, and other agencies.

“It really is truly a joyous moment. It is just phenomenal what took place here and this is the culmination of that tremendous work. It really did make a difference in people’s lives,” said Morris County Commissioner Director Stephen Shaw, who visited the center to congratulate the workers.

When the last vaccine was administered today, the Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Center had issued more than 340,000 shots. More than 21,000 COVID-19 tests had been administered at the Morris County COVID-19 Testing Center at CCM since it first opened in December.

“This is closure to an amazing effort during a historic pandemic, and Morris County rose to the challenge,” said Commissioner John Krickus, who also joined the center workers on their final day.

“I don’t think we really knew what we were getting into when we moved into an empty department store and took it and transformed it into what I would say was the best vaccination site in the state of New Jersey,” said Commissioner Douglas Cabana, the board liaison to health issues.

“Our people were living there for six months, spending their holidays there. Just the stories I’ve heard about our folks stepping up to the plate. People would fall out to say what a wonderful experience they had there compared to other vaccination. They did a great job there. It’s a shame, in a way, that it’s going to close,” he added.

Anyone who receives their first dose at the Morris County site after June 23, 2021, will have their second dose scheduled and provided at another Atlantic Health System facility.

MCRC Launches Initiative to Get School Board Candidates Who Will Oppose the Radical Left Ideology

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Republican Committee has launched a website to recruit and support candidates for local Board of Election campaigns, according to MCRC Chair Laura Ali.

The site, titled: MorrisCountyFirst.com, was launched to counter the influence of extreme liberal “woke” activists who are attempting to radically alter school curriculums without the consent of parents.

“Too many times, we have seen activist Board of Education members with liberal-leaning political agendas use public education as a tool for political gain,” says the site.

Ali, the mother of three boys, and former President of the Chatham School District PTO said it is time for parents to take control of the school boards from the liberal elites whose national agenda is to provoke discord in classrooms and brainwash children.

Ali said the MCRC is looking for anyone who has an interest in providing a quality, meaningful education for children to run for school board seats. “The MCRC will provide the infrastructure people need to launch a run for their local school board,” she said.

The deadline to file to run in the November Board of Education Elections is July 26. Some districts still conduct their elections in April, giving candidates until February to file for election.

Ali says many parents and teachers are upset with activists on school boards and in the classroom who are pushing a far-left, divisive agenda on children as young as 6 and 7 years old.

She noted that national teacher organizations such as the National Education Association have adopted controversial Critical Race Theory curriculums. The chairwoman noted that the state teachers’ union, the NJEA, proudly proclaims on its website that they want to transform the public school system.

“It’s not their school system to transform. It belongs to us, the taxpayers,” said Ali.

“Parents send their children to school to be educated, not to be indoctrinated into ways of thinking that are divisive to our communities and our nation,” said Ali.

Ali said Republicans would be well advised to start paying attention to the school board races that are often ignored by voters but can be the springboard to political careers.

“The executive leaders of teachers’ unions have millions of dollars at their disposal, raised on the backs of taxpayers, to elect liberal Democrats who will push the anti-American “woke” agenda. We think it’s time to use our resources to fight back,” said Ali.

“The goal of education is to give our children the skills they will need in the job market. We want our children to be able to solve problems and think critically – not to be ashamed of America and ignore its many accomplishments,” said Ali.

“I think America is a great country and I want children to know that.  America is not perfect, but nowhere else in the world do people have as much freedom and as many opportunities to achieve great things as in America.  Just look at the American flags that the Cuban people are holding up as a symbol of freedom. Our flag is the greatest symbol of democracy and liberty in the world.” said Ali.

For more information visit www.morriscountyfirst.com or email the Morris County Republican Committee at morrisgop@gmail.com.a

Parsippany Board of Education: There is No Agreement

Frank A. Calabria Education Center

PARSIPPANY — The back and forth between Parsippany’s Municipal Government and its Board of Education continues regarding the ongoing debate concerning Parsippany’s SRO and Security positions for the school district. After Parsippany’s Mayor and Council issued a press release stating that they propose keeping current terms of the SRO program in place for the new year, then move toward splitting the program’s true costs 50-50 after that…… the Board of Education is responding back.

The Board of Education’s attorney received the Township’s counterproposal at 3:33 p.m. on July 12, a mere two minutes prior to the publication of the Township’s press release. The Board has not had the opportunity to review the counter-proposal which includes terms and conditions that were not included in the Board’s original proposal to the Township.

The Board of Education offered to enter a one-year deal with the Township that eliminated the Director of Security position and spread the funding for that position, which had already been budgeted by the Board, across the remaining four SRO positions. To be clear, the Board has not had any difficulties with striking its budget. It has done so in a timely and responsible manner.

Rather than accepting that offer, which would allow the District to safely open its doors in September after what can only be described as an incredibly difficult year for students and staff alike, the Township seeks to bind the Board of Education to some unknown costs in the future years, costs over which the Board has no control.

The Board has already identified to the Township the incorrectness of their “back of the napkin” numbers provided in May as well as the “real” figures provided in June. The costs cited by the Township for the SROs do not accord with the salary ordinance or with the PBA contract. At no time has the Township requested anything other than what the Board is currently paying for the Class III officers, which is the entirety of their salary? The Board’s request for a one-year deal, until the real costs can be ascertained and negotiated, is wholly reasonable and responsible.

The Board has never, since the inception of this program, paid half of all costs associated with these positions. The costs cited by the Township, costs such as insurance, “allowances,” “training and equipment expenses,” overtime, longevity, and fringe benefits are costs that the Township incurs regardless of whether these officers are stationed in our schools or elsewhere. While the Board is not adverse to discussing an increase of a fixed amount for SROs, binding the Board to an agreement without specific discussions and negotiations over what is to be included in those costs, would be irresponsible. Shared service agreements are meant as just that; the Board’s contribution has always been to supplement, not supplant, the costs that the Township would otherwise expend for these positions.

The Township’s decision to negotiate this agreement via public sentiment places the district in the unfortunate position of having certain aspects of its security measures publicized.  The Township should agree to the one-year extension offered by the Board and negotiate in good faith over what costs should or will be included moving forward.

Township Council Issues Statement Regarding School Resource Officers

Council Vice President Loretta Gragnani, Council President Michael dePierro, Councilwoman Emily Peterson, Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., Councilwoman Janice McCarthy

PARSIPPANY — Regarding the July 12, 2021 press release by the Parsippany Township Mayor and Administration concerning our counter-proposal to the Board of Education on the School Resource Program, it was not the Township Council’s intent to have the details of the proposal released to the public prior to the School Board and their Attorney having the opportunity to review the proposal and respond.

While the Township Council believes that a reasonable counter proposal was proffered to the School Board that fairly shares the funding for the School Resource and Special Law Enforcement Officers, the Township Council is disappointed that the Mayor and Business Administrator publicly released the details of the offer prematurely.

While the Township Council believes that a reasonable counter proposal was proffered to the School Board that fairly shares the funding for the School Resource and Special Law Enforcement Officers, the Township Council is disappointed that the Mayor and Business Administrator publicly released the details of the offer prematurely.

The Township Council looks forward to working with the School Board in a cooperative effort to reach an agreement on the SRO program that is acceptable to both parties.

(Click here to read press release)

Vrajdham New Jersey Holds a Ratha Yatra Festival of Chariots

Vrajdham New Jersey held its first annual Ratha Yatra Festival of Chariots on Sunday, July 11

PARSIPPANY — Vrajdham New Jersey held its first annual Ratha Yatra Festival of Chariots on Sunday, July 11.

The Ratha Yatra celebration included a chariot, pulled by people with ropes, that went from the Veaj Temple on Littleton Road to the Parsippany PAL Youth Center, 33 Baldwin Road.  A statue of Lord Krishna was in the Chariot.  Approximately 400 people were in attendance.

Council President Mike dePierro, and Council Candidate Justin Musella

In attendance were Mayor Michael Soriano, Council President Mike dePierro, and Council Candidate Justin Musella along with many community leaders.

Ratha Yatra (/ˈrʌθə ˈjɑːtrə/lit. ’chariot journey’), also known Ratha Jatra(ରଥଯାତ୍ରା) (in Odia) or Chariot festival (in English) is a Hindu festival celebrated in Odisha for Jagannath and associated Hindu deities.

Township Offers Response to Board of Education for School Resource Program

Frank A. Calabria Education Center
PARSIPPANY — Mayor Michael Soriano and the Township Council – Michael dePierro, Loretta Gragnani, Paul Carifi, Jr., Janice McCarthy, and Emily Peterson – provided a proposal response to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Board of Education today, addressing funding for the School Resource & Special Law Enforcement Officer Class III program in township schools. The details of the new proposal include many of the current terms, with changes to come in the near future.

The Director of School Security will be eliminated from the agreement, allocating that salary back into the SRO-SLEO program budget to help pay the salaries of the officers in the schools.

For the SRO Program, there will be no changes to the officer program funding for the first year (July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022). The second and third years of the agreement will see the Board of Education bear 50% of the actual program cost, which includes SRO base salary, any allowances, uniforms costs, training and equipment expenses, overtime, longevity, and fringe benefits incurred for each officer.

For SLEO III officers, the Board of Education will pay $35 per hour for the first year (July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022). Starting in year two, the Board of Education will pay the hourly rate established by the ordinance.

“We have sensitivities to the difficulties to the Board of Education’s budgeting process,” said Business Administrator Fred Carr. “Since their budget has already been established for the new fiscal year, it wouldn’t be fair to change the terms without allowing them the ability to adjust their planning, but sharing the true costs of this program 50/50 after this year is the right thing to do.”

The Board of Education will be allowed to terminate the agreement at any time prior to the adoption of its budget.

“This has always been about how the program is funded between our civic partners,” said Mayor Soriano. “This is a non-partisan proposal that all six of us – three republicans and three democrats – agree on. Our shared services make our township strong, and the more we collaborate equally, the better our whole community is.”

Police Chief Miller Endorses Michael Soriano For Mayor

PARSIPPANY — Police Chief Miller, who spent 30 years in the Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Department, endorsed Mayor Michael Soriano for a second term as Mayor of Parsippany-Troy Hills Township.

“Mayor Soriano began his first term with a clear vision and commitment to providing Parsippany the much-needed community services and collaborations. Particularly with rebuilding the PAL and expansion of its youth programs, increasing police presence in the school district, and building trusted relationships in the religious community, Mayor Soriano provided the initiative and support for these programs to become successful. As a Parsippany police officer for thirty years and Chief for three, it was impressive to see Mayor Soriano dedicate himself to pursuing such big-picture initiatives, while always being available and receptive to new ideas. As I’ve often referred to Parsippany as the ‘city in the suburbs,’ there is a lot more work to be accomplished and Mayor Soriano’s big-picture leadership is what Parsippany needs. I respectfully and confidently endorse Michael Soriano for reelection to a second term as Mayor of Parsippany.“

Mayor Soriano expressed his gratitude for Chief Miller’s support, saying, “I am honored to have Police Chief Miller’s endorsement. He is an honest, hardworking man with the utmost integrity. I have admired his passion and the dedication he brought to his work, the Police Department, and the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills,” said Mayor Michael Soriano, “I wish him a relaxing retirement and thank him for his 30 years of service.”

Mayor Soriano was elected in 2017 and is currently running for reelection alongside Cori Herbig and Judy Hernandez, who is running for Town Council. All three are committed to public safety and building a trusted community in Parsippany.

JLL Brokers $46 Million Sale of Wegmans-Anchored Retail Center

Wegman's

HANOVER — JLL Capital Markets has brokered the $46 million sale of a 133,276-square-foot shopping center and two nearby restaurants located in Hanover and Parsippany.

Jose Cruz, Kevin O’Hearn, Michael Oliver, Steve Simonelli, J.B. Bruno, and Nicholas Stefans of JLL represented the seller, Mack-Cali Realty Corp., and the undisclosed buyer in the transaction.

Panera Bread cafe with a drive-through is located in the Wegmans Shopping Center

Wegmans Retail Center was completed in phases in 2017 and 2020. The center is home to tenants including Wegmans Food Markets and Panera Bread. 24 Hour Fitness was also a tenant in the center, but closed at the beginning of the pandemic, within a year of its opening at the center. The retail center is located on Sylvan Way.

The recent grand opening of Capital Grille

The two recently developed restaurants included in the sale are leased to Capital Grille and Seasons 52.  Capital Grille, located on Dryden Way in Parsippany, and Seasons 52 is located on Route 10 Hanover.

Seasons 52

Capital Grille opened in April of 2021 while Seasons 52 opened in May 2021. Both restaurants are part of Darden Restaurants.

In September 2020, a joint venture led by Onyx Equities has closed on its $158 million purchase of a 10-building, 1.5 million-square-foot office portfolio in Parsippany and Madison from Mack-Cali Realty Corp. The new addition to their portfolio includes:

  • 1, 3, 5, and 7 Sylvan Way in Parsippany
  • 4, 6, and 8 Campus Drive in Parsippany
  • 2 Dryden Way in Parsippany
  • 2 Hilton Court in Parsippany
  • 1 Giralda Farms in Madison
Two Campus Drive will be demolished to make room for multi-unit housing

Mack-Cali has received approval from the Parsippany Planning Board to construct 172 Units and 35 Affordable Housing Units at 2 and 4 Campus Drive and 238 Units and 48 Affordable Housing Units at 1 and 3 Campus Drive. (Click here to read related story)

Parsippany PAL Welcomes Pro Football Stars to Youth Skills Camp

Trevor Williams

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany PAL has partnered with AMPT Camps for the 1st Annual “Big Stars, Bright Lights” Football Skills Camp, featuring some of the biggest names in pro football. Come experience AMPT’s elite exclusive guest coaches, on July 13 and 14.

Campers will have the opportunity to train and work alongside today’s top professional athletes such as Saquon Barkley, Sterling Shepard, David Njoku, Trevor Williams, and other top stars. This is a unique opportunity for athletes to have a hands-on experience with several of the top players in the NFL.

The PAL is committed to providing the BEST youth experiences possible. Parsippany families can register with an exclusive 50% discount using the promo code “PAL50”. To register, go to www.amptcamps.com.