Thursday, September 29, 2022
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Project Labor Agreements will Hurt Parsippany Taxpayers and Businesses

parsippany focus

parsippany focusDear Editor:

It may come as a shock for the taxpayers of Morris County to learn that Mayor James Barberio and some of the Parsippany Council are seeking to raise the cost of public works projects and discriminate against local Parsippany businesses and workers.  However, their recent ordinance that mandates costly Project Labor Agreements (PLA’s) will do just that.

This week, Mayor Barbiero introduced an ordinance that would mandate PLA’s on any public works projects exceeding $5 million. Presently, the town has discretion to use PLA’s or allow for open bidding on jobs by local businesses.

This ordinance runs contrary to the values of free enterprise, fair competition, and fiscal conservatism.  Parsippany deserves elected officials who protect taxpayers from such wasteful schemes and monopolies that drive up costs and take hard earned money and opportunities away from local businesses.

Government-mandated PLA’s are project-specific collective bargaining agreements unique to the construction industry, which are typically created without input from nonunion, or “open shop” contractors. PLA’s require contractors to recognize unions as the representatives of their employees on taxpayer-funded construction projects.

Further, they require membership or union fees for all nonunion employees, adherence to union work classification and hiring rules, and contributions to union benefit and multi-employer pension plans, which understandably discourage open shop contractors from bidding on these projects.

PLA’s Negatively Impact:
Stability and Predictability
PLA’s are not necessary to ensuring labor peace; keeping a project safe, on time, budget; or in compliance with laws. Unions leverage the threat of labor unrest to justify PLA’s, yet it has not stopped strikes on prominent PLA projects, calling into question the value of the agreements. Conversely, merit shop workers do not strike, yet are discouraged from working on PLA projects.

Diversity and Local Jobs
PLA’s discriminate against merit shop contractors. This particularly impacts women and minority-owned construction companies whose employees traditionally have been under-represented in unions. According to the BLS, only 26.9% of New Jersey’s private construction workforce is represented by a union, and 98% of minority construction companies are nonunion.

Training and Cost
Participants in both federal and state approved nonunion apprenticeship programs, along with non-registered industry and educational programs, typically cannot work on PLA sanctioned projects. This excludes many professionals from hometown jobs, ignoring a critical workforce pipeline as the industry faces a shortage of skilled labor.

Additionally, studies of taxpayer-funded construction projects, subject to prevailing wage laws, demonstrate PLA’s increase the cost between 12% and 20%, compared to similar projects not subject to PLA mandates by unnecessarily limiting the pool of qualified bidders and mandating inefficient work rules.

PLA’s are unfair because they require union rules which harm nonunion contractors, their employees, and taxpayers who pay the bill for the inefficiencies and higher costs they produce.

Everything about a PLA is averse to the free market mindset, yet we have fiscally conservative elected officials entertaining these agreements after construction labor unions have lined their pockets during election season at the expense of local businesses, women and minorities, Parsippany taxpayers and free enterprise.

Tell Mayor Barberio and the Parsippany Council to reject this ordinance that will raise the cost of public works projects and discriminate against local businesses and workers. E-mail Mayor Barberio and Council at to make your voice heard today.

Mayor: James R. Barberio;

Council President: Michael J. dePierro
Council Vice President: Loretta Gragnani
Paul Carifi, Jr.
Frank Neglia
Justin Musella

Samantha DeAlmeida
Associated Builders and Contractors of NJ


Zoning Board Denies Application of “Senior Living Facility” on Littleton Road

The future phase will include - One Bedroom Apartments = 28 Units

PARSIPPANY — The Parsippany-TRoy Hills Zoning Board unanimously denied the application of a “Senior Living Facility” to be built on a parcel to be subdivided from the property currently occupied by St. Christopher’s Church. The original application was filed in 2019 by GTP Acquisitions, LLC. The property is also known as Block 166, Lot 96 in a R-1 Zone.

The applicant submitted a Concept Plan/”D” variance for assisted/independent living apartments and cottages and memory care residents.

The local residents were against the project and the neighborhood surrounding the project had hundreds of signs posted
The house at 21 Rita Drive, next to Parsippany Hills High School entrance, was slated to be demolished and become the entrance/exit for the complex until the application was amended to move the entrance and exit onto Littleton Road.

The project was to be called “Thrive at Parsippany” and was proposed to include a total of 156 units (proposed and future). The project was to include 270 parking spots. 4 spots for Handicapped spaces; 205 spots 9′ x 18′ spaces; 19 spots 8′ x 20′ spaces; 21 garages and 21 driveway spaces.

The council chambers were packed with area residents opposing the “Senior Living Facility”

In 2021, the application has been modified and the access to the project has been revised. All ingress and egress shall be from Littleton Road. The previous design showed ingress and egress from Rita Drive. This has been deleted and is no longer a part of this application.

Proposed Senior Independent / Assisted Living Facility
     Assisted / Independent Living
     -One Story, Two Bedroom Cottages = 29 Units
     -One Story, Two Bedroom Cottages with Garages = 21 Units
     Assisted / Independent Living
     -One Bedroom Apartments = 38 Units
     -Two Bedroom Apartments = 12 Units
     Memory Care
     -One Bedroom Apartments = 28 Units
     – One Bedroom Apartments = 28 Units (Future Use)

The applicant agreed to include 20% of the units as Affordable Housing. But the members of the Zoning Board didn’t take that into consideration.

According to corporate documents filed with the State of New Jersey, the registered agent of GTP Acquisitions, LLC, is David J. Weiner, 171 Fifth Avenue, Paterson. Pike Construction Company is also located at the same address. David Weiner is a managing member and principal of Pike Construction Co., LLC and has over 30 years of experience in all aspects of the general contracting and real estate development business. Upon graduating from Hamilton College with a B.A. in Economics, David began his career at Pike in the field as an assistant superintendent, then project superintendent.

The site was surrounded by residential homes, Parsippany Hills High School and St.. Christopher’s Church.

Video: Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting – Tuesday, September 20

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting held a regular meeting Tuesday, September 20.

Click here to download the agenda.

Click here to download the 2022 agenda schedule.

Mayor and Council

Mayor James R Barberio
Council President Michael J. dePierro
Council Vice-President Loretta Gragnani
Councilman Paul Carifi Jr.
Councilman Frank Neglia
Councilman Justin Musella

Main Street Business Loans Available Soon

File Photo

MORRIS COUNTY — The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) Board approved a revision to the Main Street Micro Business Loan, removing the requirement for personal guarantees from owners of micro businesses.

The Main Street Micro Business Loan, which succeeds the Micro Business Loan Program established by the NJEDA in 2019, is offered as part of the Main Street Recovery Fund—a $150 million suite of products created or expanded under the Economic Recovery Act of 2020 (ERA), signed by Governor Phil Murphy in 2021. This pilot product will provide financing of up to $50,000 to eligible micro businesses in New Jersey whose annual gross revenues are $1,500,000 or less and have 10 or fewer full-time employees at the time of application and three months prior to the date of application.  The NJEDA will start accepting applications for the program on Thursday, October 6, at 10:00 a.m.

“The Main Street Micro Business Loan will be a tremendous asset for small businesses that are working hard to grow their footprint in the Garden State,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Removing the barriers to capital for our state’s smallest businesses is another step toward achieving Governor Murphy’s vision for a stronger, fairer economy, as more micro business owners will now have access to the financing they need to create more family-sustaining jobs and economic opportunities.”

Eligible for-profit and nonprofit businesses registered to do business in New Jersey, including home-based businesses, can apply for financing from the $20 million in funds allocated from the Main Street Recovery Fund to cover future operating expenses only such as inventory, rent, payroll, equipment (that does not require installation or construction work totaling more than $1,999.99), or any other working capital expense to fund business operating expenses. The loan will have a standard 10-year term and the interest rate will be two percent, with no interest and no payments due for the first year.

The Main Street Micro Business Loan has a substantial forgivable component as it helps reduce the burden on micro business owners who already have limited access to capital. Under program rules, the borrower is required to make payments from year two to the end of year five. To qualify for loan forgiveness, the applicant must have made their loan payments as identified in their loan agreement with no delinquency of more than 90 days, have no current default, be able to certify that they have used the loan for approved purposes only, and that they are still open and operating as detailed in the loan agreement.

To ensure equitable and inclusive access to the Main Street Micro Business Loan, of the $20 million in total funding available, $8 million will be set aside to support eligible entities located in New Jersey Opportunity Zone-eligible census tracts.

Eligibility requirements for micro businesses interested in applying for this program include:

  • Must have less than $1.5 million in annual gross revenue for the most current fiscal year (to the extent the business has annual revenues)
  • Must have no more than 10 full-time employees at the time of application and three months prior to application
  • Must be legally registered to do business in New Jersey, with a business location (including a home office) in New Jersey
  • Must have been formed at least six months prior to the date of application.
  • Must be in good standing with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection at the time of application
  • Must provide a current tax clearance certificate prior to approval to demonstrate the applicant is in good standing with the NJ Division of Taxation

The Main Street Micro Business Loan will not require collateral, as the underwriting criteria will be based solely on credit score. Only not-profit organizations will need to be fully underwritten and required to meet a 1.0 debt service coverage ratio. For all other for-profit entities, at least one owner must have a credit score of 600 or greater to be considered eligible. Personal guarantees from owners or principals are not required.

Applications for the Main Street Micro Business Loan will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date/time at which the Authority receives the completed application. Past recipients of the Micro Business Loan Program are eligible to apply for the Main Street Micro Business Loan.  Due to the favorable terms of this product only one application per EIN is allowed.

The NJEDA will host an information session on the Main Street Micro Business Loan on Monday, September 26, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. To register for this online session, click here.

For more information on the Main Street Micro Business Loan and the application process click here.

Ghost Walks Return, Haunting Historic Mount Tabor

Mt. Tabor ARTs Collaborative annual ghost walks return

PARSIPPANY — Mt. Tabor ARTs Collaborative annual ghost walks return on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15. The tour takes the daring throughout the neighborhood. Guides tell the area’s ghost stories, while actors portray entities inside the local homes.

Each walking tour lasts about 40 minutes, with time slots available from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (last tour begins at 9:30 p.m.) both days.

The organization advises people to purchase tickets in advance by clicking here. But card readings, horror makeup and horror mini-shoots will be available for purchase at the walks via cash, PayPal and Venmo.

Tours begin at the Tabernacle, 26 Simpson Avenue and begins every 15 minutes.

Vote for Julio Tatis of PHHS for the Morris/Sussex Football Player of the Week

Parsippany Hills High School

PARSIPPANY — Julio Tatis of the Parsippany Hills Vikings is nominated for Morris/Sussex player of the week.  The winner will be decided after voting closes on Thursday, September 21 at 6:00 p.m. Julio is a Sophomore, Graduating in 2024 and is 5’9″ 160 pounds.

Julio is a Running Back for PHHS. He rushed 22 times for 149 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-14 win over Montville on Friday night. Tatis rushed for three of those touchdowns in the first half to grow a 35-7 halftime lead. Tatis also had an interception on defense for the 2-1 Vikings in their opener within the SFC Liberty Blue.

You can vote for Julio by clicking here.

Letter to the Editor: Lake Hiawatha Library New Building Project

Lake Hiawatha Library, currently located at 68 Nokomis Avenue

Dear Editor:

I would like to alert all Parsippany residents that our Town Council is facing a decision right now that will affect the quality of our lives for years to come.

In 2020, the Parsippany Library System was awarded a three million dollar New Jersey State Library Construction Bond Grant to build a new library in Lake Hiawatha. Matching funds were approved by Town Council and architectural plans were completed.

But COVID arrived at just the wrong time, causing the cost of construction to increase.

So, after exploring every other option available, Library Director Melissa Kuzma asked the Town to increase its share of the funding. She is currently waiting for an answer. As anyone who has been in the Lake Hiawatha Library knows, the building is very heavily used. The building is also falling apart and does not meet current construction code in multiple areas. It needs a new roof, fire alarms, and heating and air conditioning systems. But perhaps more important, the building’s design limits the ability of the staff to provide the services that are basic to a 21st Century Library. Adults and children in Lake Hiawatha will be left behind without these services.

I know that our Mayor and Town Council try their best to keep the tax burden on our community as low as possible. But I also believe that if our residents knew what was happening, they would tell them to do the practical thing, accept the grant funds, and build a Library that will have a positive effect on Parsippany for years to come. The opportunity to obtain one of these library grants is only offered every twenty years, and there is a waiting list of towns who want the money if we turn it down. In addition, costly repairs will still have to be made, but without the grant.

If you care about this issue, please let our Mayor and Town Council members know by speaking at a meeting or by contacting them. Their emails and phone numbers can be found by Clicking here.

If you would like more extensive information, a copy of Melissa Kuzma’s presentation to Town Council is available on the Lake Hiawatha Library Page of the Friends Website by clicking here.

I would guess that no elected official wants to be remembered for an expensive and short sighted decision, but they cannot know what you are thinking unless you speak up.

Peggy Smith
President, Friends of Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library

Zoning Board of Adjustment Meeting 09-21-2022

PARSIPPANY — Zoning Board of Adjustment Meets 09-21-2022.

Click here to download the agenda.

Click here to download the Regular agenda.

Paul DeGroot Renews Debate Challenge to Mikie Sherrill: “It’s Been Over Two Months”

Congressional Candidate Paul DeGroot

PARSIPPANY — Former Passaic County prosecutor and Republican nominee for Congress in NJ-11, Paul DeGroot, has renewed his debate challenge to Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill. He is calling for a series of debates, starting whenever Congresswoman Sherrill will make herself available. Paul DeGroot is willing to participate in a debate in each county in the district. He first publicly challenged Mikie Sherrill to a debate on July 12, 2022.

Paul DeGroot said “Mikie Sherrill, get off your mansion’s tennis court and face the voters. Congresswoman Sherrill is running from her record and using her millions to spread lies. She votes with Biden and Pelosi 99% of the time. With hard-working Americans STILL struggling from the pump to the grocery store, it’s past time for accountability. We still have no SALT relief, but she has continued relief from her stock trades…for which she has been fined. Crime is still high in CD11. That clearly doesn’t affect Money Mikie in her mansion, because she’s shown no interest in discussing it. It’s been over two months since I proposed one debate, at a minimum, in each county throughout the 11th. As I first said 70 days ago, voters deserve to hear where we stand on the issues and on our records. The Congresswoman seems to care more about lying to her constituents than debating me in front of voters.”

New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District consists of: For the 113th and successive Congresses (based on redistricting following the 2010 Census), the district contains all or portions of four counties and 54 municipalities.

Essex County: Bloomfield (part; also 10th), Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Montclair (part; also 10th), North Caldwell, Nutley, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell, West Orange (part; also 10th).

Morris County: Boonton Town, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Harding, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown Town, Mountain Lakes, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Pequannock, Randolph Township, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township and Victory Gardens.

Passaic County: Bloomingdale, Little Falls, North Haledon, Pompton Lakes, Totowa, Wanaque, Wayne and Woodland Park.

Sussex County: Byram Township, Hopatcong, Ogdensburg, Sparta Township and Stanhope.

Home Run Derby Competition to be Held at First Responder Day

HANOVER TOWNSHIP — The 200 Club of Morris County announced that it will be holding a Home Run Derby Competition that will be open to the public at their First Responders Day on Saturday, September 24.

The event will begin with qualifying rounds at 1:00 p.m. The finals will be held at 4:00 p.m. and will be broadcast live on Morris/Sussex Sports.

You may be able to sign up on the day of the event, but in order to ensure a spont email Tom Ace Gallagher directly with all of your contact information to

The 200 Club of Morris County is hosting this inaugural event which will bring together first responders, their families, and members of communities throughout Morris County for a day of friendly competitions and fun for kids of all ages.

The event will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Whippany Park High School, 165 Whippany Road, Whippany.

Brookside Senior Complex Celebrates 40th Anniversary

Brookside Senior Complex consists of studios, one bedroom and barrier-free Apartment Homes, located at 1111 Parsippany Boulevard

PARSIPPANY — Brookside Senior Complex celebrated its 40th Anniversary on Thursday, September 15 with a giant outdoor party for the residents, Board of Trustees and local dignitaries.

The Brookside Senior Complex, with 191 units of affordable senior housing, was the culmination of a volunteer effort by the Parsippany-Troy Hills Senior Citizen Housing Corporation.  This organization started in 1970 when Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor Jack Fahy appointed a committee to look into providing affordable housing for senior citizens.  The building celebrated its opening in June of 1982.

The project development was financed by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency.  HMFA provided the funding to acquire the property, to construct the building and provide all the site improvements.  The rents for the apartments are subsidized by the Federal Housing and Urban Development Agency’s Section 8 program.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio talking with Susan P. Strechay. She is the longest-serving member of the board of directors of the Brookside Housing Corporation. She started on the board in 1975 and served until August 2015 when she and her husband, Bob, moved to be near her son and grandchildren.On September 26, 2015 the board of trustees named the community room in her honor.

The mid-rise apartment complex for seniors, Brookside offers 191 one-bedroom and one-bedroom “barrier-free” units. Brookside allows seniors to live independent and comfortable lives. One-bedroom units include a living room/dining room area, a kitchen, a full bath, and ample closet space while efficiency units include a dining/living/sleeping area, a kitchen, a full bath, and a dressing room.

Designed with senior citizens in mind, Brookside has handrails in public areas, high-efficiency soundproofing, and a special telephone system to facilitate guest entry. With gorgeous contemporary common spaces, a private library and computer room, convenient access to stores via a township mini-bus, and a full calendar of activities, Brookside is a wonderful place to call home.

A live band entertained the attendees throughout the evening
The tables were elegantly situated under the tent
The celebration cake
Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Councilman Justin Musella congratulating Janett Moore, Property Manager

PRD Management staff oversees the day to day operation of the building with Janett Moore, serving as Property Manager, since 1982.

The owners of the facility, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Senior Citizens Corp and overseen by the Board of Trustees.

Bruce Benson, President of the Board of Trustees, addresses the attendees of the 40th Anniversary celebration of Brookside Seniors Complex
Parsippany-Troy Hills Council President Michael dePierro presented Board of Trustees President Bruce Benson with a “Proclamation” from Senator Joseph Pennachio, Assemblyman Jay Webber, Assemblyman Christian Barranco and Assemblyman Brian Bergen.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio presented Bruce Benson with a Certificate of Recognition

Brookside Senior Citizens consists of studios, one bedroom and barrier-free Apartment Homes, located at 1111 Parsippany Boulevard. “Independent Living for Seniors”

Parsippany-Troy Hills Councilman Justin Musella with Board of Trustee member Janice McCarthy. McCarthy is also a former Councilwoman in the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills
The residents enjoyed the dinner
The residents danced the night away

Brookside Senior Complex received the following awards:

  • National Affordable Housing Management Association (NAHMA)

      Exemplary Senior Housing
  • New Jersey Affordable Housing Management Association (JAHMA) 

    Exemplary Elderly Project in the State of New Jersey 

  • New Jersey Apartment Association (NJAA) 

    Excellence in Property Management
    Excellence in Curb Appeal 


Parsippany Rotary Held a Bicycle Ride

Parsippany Rotary Held a Bicycle Ride

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Rotary held a “Bicycle Ride” to raise funds to support school children projects such as Distributing Dictionaries, Back to School supplies, and Scholarships for high schoolers.

It was the first time ever Parsippany Rotary bicycle ride happened for a great cause! All Parsippany and Morris county residents were welcomed to join the great bicycle ride.

Many Rotarian’s and Parsippany residents registered for being part of the 10 mile ride and supporting the cause!

The Rotary continues to support school kids with above categories. The purpose of this message is to both inform you of the fundraising mission.

The riders were lined up in Smith Field Park
Parsippany Mayor James Barberio with Past Presiden Parsippany Rotary Club BettyLou DeCroce

Members of Parsippany Rotary Club
The bike ride is about to begin

Morris County Hosts Inaugural Nonprofit Networking Event

Local Officials Mingled With Key Service Providers

MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County, state and local elected officials mingled today with leaders of the Interfaith Food Pantry Network, Family Promise of Morris County, the Morris County Continuum of Care, the Morris County Department of Human Services and many other service providers in the county’s first Community Resource Networking Event.

Held on the grounds of what is known as the Morris County Nonprofit Mall off Central Avenue in Parsippany Township, the gathering included approximately 30 Morris County government and nonprofit agencies that provide support services for most vulnerable residents in the community. The service providers help people in need of housing, healthcare, behavioral health, family services, food security, and much more.

Director Tayfun Selen of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners

“The goal of today is to provide an opportunity for public officials in Morris County to meet and get to know the people behind more than two dozen nonprofits and agencies that serve the neediest people in our community,” said Director Tayfun Selen of the Morris County Board of County Commissioners as he opened the gathering.

“We hope everyone leaves here understanding more about the challenges some of our residents face each day in getting some of the basics in life — such things as having a place to live, getting something to eat each day, transportation, finding medical care and keeping safe from abusers. We also hope our municipal leaders leave here today knowing more about who to reach to assist their residents in need,” Director Selen added.

More than 100 representatives of local government and the nonprofit agencies attended the gathering.

Carolyn Lake of the Interfaith Food Pantry Network said the networking event was crucial, explaining that many of the services provided by the nonprofits and county are not well known to local officials. The event provided an opportunity for them to connect with mayors, health officers and leaders from all 39 of Morris County municipalities.

The event was organized by Lake with Rebecca Butz of Family Promise and both Allison Delcalzo-Berens and Alicia Alvarez of the Morris County Continuum of Community Resource Network 2022 2.jpg Care, with the assistance of Kasey Errico, director of the Morris County Department of Human Services, and members of her staff.

The Morris County Office of Temporary Assistance, Morris County’s Navigating Hope Mobile Unit and the Morris County Sheriff’s Department’s Hope One Mobile Unit joined the networking event.

Lakeland Hills Family YMCA Dedicates Welcome Center in Honor of Kris Joganow

Dr. Viktor Joganow holds the scissors before cutting the ribbon to the new Welcoming Center at Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
Kristine Joganow

MOUNTAIN LAKES — At a ribbon cutting ceremony, Lakeland Hills YMCA dedicated the new welcome center in honor of Kris Joganow.

Kristine Joganow, 71, of Parsippany, a loving wife and mother, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 21, 2020 at St. Clare’s Hospital in Denville.

Kristine was a long-time front-desk employee of the Lakeland Hills Family YMCA in Mountain Lakes and also volunteered extensively with the Lakeland Hills YMCA Swim Team Parents Association when her son was a member of the team.

Kristine’s volunteer efforts at the Y were recognized by being presented the prestigious Richard M. Wilcox and Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Alejandro (Alex) Martinez, CEO, Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
Dr. Viktor Joganow
Dr. Viktor Joganow cuts the ribbon to the new Welcoming Center at Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
The new Welcoming Center at Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
The reception area of the new Welcoming Center at Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
The reception area of the new Welcoming Center at Lakeland Hills Family YMCA
Kris Corner

Kris was very popular with those early attending Y members because she was always interested in their lives. For those of you that knew and loved this angel, please keep her lively, courageous and giving spirit and beautiful smile in your memory.

She is survived by her husband of forty-nine years, Dr. Viktor Joganow. Dr. Joganow was the previous CEO Lakeland Hills Family YMCA.

The Lakeland Hills Family YMCA, a community organization located in Mountain Lakes, serving the towns of Parsippany, Boonton, Boonton Township, Denville, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, and Riverdale. With a mission to strengthen the foundations of community, the Y recognizes individuals, groups, and corporations for their commitment to giving back to others.

Lakeland Hills Family YMCA is located at 100 Fanny Road, Mountain Lakes.

Resident Miguel R. Lopez, 23, Charged with 12 Violations in Denville

parsippany police
File Photo

DENVILLE — A Parsippany man drove the wrong way on Route 10 while intoxicated, and was in possession of cocaine, according to Denville Township Police Arrest Report.

Denville Township Police Officers pulled over Miguel R. Lopez, 23, when they observed him driving east in the westbound lanes on Sunday, September 4.

Police said the investigation revealed that Lopez was driving under the influence of alcohol. He also had several bags of cocaine in his possession.

Lopez was driving a 2018 4 Door Honda, which was impounded by the police.

Denville Township Police Officer Julian Melahn issued Lopez eleven summons to appear in court for motor vehicle offenses and an additional arrest for 2C:35-10A, Poss. Schedule I, II, III and IV,  (Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance) to appear in Morris County Superior Court.

Possession of a Schedule I, II, III, or IV drug in any amount is a third degree crime. This has the potential penalty of 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $35,000.

The summons included 39:4-96 Reckless Driving; 39:4-88 Traffic on Marked Lanes; 39:4-51A Consume Alcohol Beverage or Cannabis in Motor Vehicle; 39:3-29 Failure to possess Driver’s License or Registration; 39:4-97-2 Unsafe Operation of Vehicle; 39:4-85.1 Wrong way on one-way street; 39:4-51B Open Container Alcohol or Unseal Cannabis in Motor Vehicle; 39:4-50 Operating Under Influence of Liquor or Drugs; 39:3-10 Driving without a license; 39:4-56 Delaying Traffic and 39:4-97 Careless Driving Likely to endanger person or property.

The summons has a mandatory court appearance on October 13.

Editor’s Note: An arrest or signing a criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  Despite this accusation, the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until he or she has been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Chili Willie’s Mexican Restaurant: Fresh, Wholesome and Delicious

Chili Willie’s Mexican Restaurant, (Tex-Mex BBQ Family Restaurant), 702 Main Street Boonton, NJ 07005. (973) 299-8775.

MORRIS COUNTY — Looking for a slice of genuine, old time Americana? Look no further than Morris County’s own downtown Boonton. Incorporated in 1867, the Town of Boonton still manages to reflect that rare and wonderful charm of a time passed by. Built on a steep hill, the quaint, narrow, downtown main street is lined with an array of antique shops, boutiques, coffee shops, assorted storefront businesses, and most importantly, at least to me, a wonderful and eclectic selection of small, independently owned, top notch eateries.

Marianna, Jackie Martinez, Pat Minutillo and Jose Martinez

There is no doubt that Mexican cuisine is well represented in the general Parsippany area, each offering their own take on the preparation of their dishes. Whether your preference be strictly authentic, fusion, or Tex-Mex, there is a great selection of quality restaurants within a several mile radii to meet your needs.

Chili Willie’s Tex-Mex BBQ Family Restaurant certainly falls into that category of a quality choice when looking for your next great dining experience. I have passed Chili Willie’s a hundred times over the years and for some reason I have not stopped in. That was a big mistake on my part. The exterior façade is hard to miss, with its bright, colorful orange awning boldly displaying the restaurant’s name, whimsical Mexican statuary, potted plants, and a glistening storefront window, all enticing and welcoming you to come inside.

As you walked through the front door you are greeted with a small, ornate, comfortably lighted, and festive looking dining room. The 12 to 14 tables spaced comfortably throughout the room are accented with bright, colorful, glass covered tablecloths with utensils wrapped in white napkins. The color scheme, with bold, bright red and blue walls, adorned with a tasteful display of sombrero’s, antique Mexican photographs, old newspaper articles, plates, assorted ceiling hangings, and Mexican artifacts create a vibrant, fun, and cozy atmosphere. The vibe is exuberant, yet at the same time manages to remain casual, comfortable, and intimate. I thought the thoughtfully laid out interior was the perfect complement, setting the mood for the meal we were about to devour.

Homemade salsa, along with equally freshly made red, white, and green chips (colors of the Mexican flag)

Our very friendly server, Marianna, immediately welcomed us, and was very attentive to our needs. Water and menus quickly arrived, followed by Chili Willie’s complimentary very fresh, homemade salsa, along with equally freshly made red, white, and green chips (colors of the Mexican flag). You could easily taste the quality and freshness of the slightly chunky, lightly spiced salsa, and along with the crispiness of the chips, they could have been a meal in themselves. I should note at this point that Chili Willie’s is a BYOB establishment, so feel free to bring along your favorite wine or beer. I brought along a few Modelo Cerveza’s to accompany my Mexican dish

Patrick Minutillo

As usual, appetizers were ordered. I asked Marianne’s for her recommendation, and she told me that a lot of customers prefer the Jalapeno Poppers, so who was I to argue with my server. My friend ordered the Chili Relleno for an appetizer while we continued to peruse the menu. Our visit fell somewhere between lunch and dinner time, so we were able to choose from the entire menu. The lunch menu offered a nice selection of choices, and was very reasonably priced, as was everything on the menu, but we opted for the dinner menu on this visit because of the more extensive choices.

The six nicely sized poppers were appropriately crunchy and oozy, a nice pocket of melted cheese and fresh, crisp, snappy Jalapeno’s. They came with a delicious dipping sauce that absolutely enhanced every bite. Always a nice appetizer, very tasty. The Chili Relleno was also very tasty, flavorful, and generously portioned. A great start and now it was time to settle in on our entrees.

Soft Shell Beef Taco

It was difficult to pass on the Chef Specialty choices. One dish sounded better than the next, each a personal creation of Chef Jose Martinez, who personally named each dish in honor of either a Mexican State or a significant part of Mexican history. As Chef Jose advised me, “Don’t go to another Mexican restaurant and order any of these dishes by our name. They won’t know what you are talking about.” Specialty dishes include such choices as Pork Chop Durango Style, Steak Mariachi, Steak a la Veracruz, Chicken Breast Tijuana, Quest Flameado con Chorizos; you get the idea. The menu also included the traditional choices of tacos, fajitas, enchilada platters, jumbo burritos, vegetarian dishes, fried seafood, and “Real Pit BBQ” (which sounded good). I settled on the specialty combo Tipico Mexican Platter (Tamale, Enchilada, Burrito) along with a soft-shelled beef taco. A traditional Tex-Mex dish that appropriately came with rice, beans & Pico de Gallo salad.

Specialty dishes include such choices as Pork Chop Durango Style, Steak Mariachi, Steak a la Veracruz, Chicken Breast Tijuana, Quest Flameado con Chorizos

I was surprised at the beautifully plated, generously sized portions of my entree as it arrived. It was “muy grande!” Clearly enough for two or more people, but I was committed to finishing it. My friend had the Chili Willie platter, which was a similar combo. You have a choice of filling, beef, chicken, or mix and match. One may believe that if an entrée is generous in size, that it may sacrifice some taste. Not in this case, the dish offered a tantalizing depth of flavors; a savory, filling, and satisfying meal. The fresh herbs and spices were evident, and perfectly complemented the dish. There was nothing bland or boring about this dish. And yes, this gavone did finish, and enjoy every bite.

Tipico Mexican Platter

Jose and Jackie Martinez both stopped by my table for a chat as we were finishing our meal. Neither Jose or Jackie could be more cordial, hospitable, or genuinely friendly. It was a pleasure talking to them both about their personal stories, the history of the restaurant, and, of course, their food. We were also treated to some freshly made Mexican Flan as we sat and talked. The caramel flavored, milky, sweet, and slightly eggy dessert was a perfect ending to a great meal. I must admit, I have tried Flan from many different restaurants, and this was as good as, if not better, than any Flan I have ever had. When asked, Jose shared that this was also one of his grandmother’s special dessert recipes.

Baked Chili Relleno

Chili Willie’s is another example of those proud, unbeatable, independent, family owned and run establishments, that not only overcame the pandemic hardships, but continues to thrive despite them. Opened in 1988 (34 YEARS) by Jackie, and shortly thereafter joined by Jose, Chili Willie’s has been a mainstay in downtown Boonton, and Boonton is lucky to have them.

Jose, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, told me that in 1988 he and Jackie decided to veer away from a more traditional menu and opted instead for a more American Tex-Mex approach to meet the public’s taste at that time. Today the restaurant serves authentic Mexican, Tex-Mex, and many of the Chef’s creative specialty dishes that are based on cherished recipes handed down from Jose’ grandmother, who fueled his interest in cooking, while as a young boy he attentively watched and learned as his Abuelita prepared the family meals. As Jose notes on their business page, “The secret to maintaining the flavor of grandma’s authentic native Mexican, “criolla,” recipes at Chili Willie’s are in the preparation of our dishes using only the freshest ingredients (no cans).”

Mexican Flan

“My wife and I try to make people happy. We want people to taste Mexico in every dish,” stated Jose.

Following my visit to Chili Willie’s I can attest to Jose and Jackie’s commitment to their customers. We did walk into the restaurant as strangers, and left feeling like old friends, ready for another visit in the near future in order to try one of Jose’ specialty dishes. It was evident why Chili Willie’s has been such a long time Morris County favorite. Do yourself a favor and the next time you up for some delicious Mexican cuisine give Chili Willie’s Mexican Restaurant a try.

Chili Willie’s Mexican Restaurant, (Tex-Mex BBQ Family Restaurant), 702 Main Street Boonton, NJ 07005. (973) 299-8775.

Dine In – Take Out – Curbside Pickup – No Delivery – BYOB – Catering Menu – Online Ordering – Vegetarian Options – Gluten Free Options – Street Parking.

Reprinted from Parsippany Focus Magazine, as well as APP.

2nd Annual Kiwanis Food Truck and Music Festival Had a Huge Turnout

Parsippany resident Ava Arthurs having her face painted at the Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany Food Truck and Music Festival held at Veterans Park on Saturday, September 17

PARSIPPANY — Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany held its 2nd Annual Food Truck and Music Festival on Saturday, September 17 at Veterans Park.

There were plenty of food options, with more than twenty gourmet food trucks serving up cuisine at the park. Families came with chairs and blankets and enjoyed a wonderful day in the park listening to live music provided by Naughty Humphrey and Grand Theft Audio NJ.

The food vendors included Why Not Burgers, The Game Changer, Clydes Ice Cream, Oreo Fix, Antojitos, Hocus Smokus, Rolling Yatai, Marley’s Wing and Things, Pretty Good Pizza, Speedy Tacos, Top Tea Plug, Empanada Guy, Oxtail Gravy, Jerzey Girl Pickles and the fabulous assorted coffee by Zing Coffee.

The festival featured many local craft vendors

The festival featured many local craft vendors, games for kids, activities for adults like shoot airsoft rifles and other activities such as sand art, henna tattoos and more.

Members of Kiwanis Club of Caldwell-West Essex with members of Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany

“The fundraiser was a huge success with just shy of 2,000 people in attendance. Thank you to all of the sponsors, volunteers and attendees who made this event such a success! Save the date for our next winter food truck festival with bonfire on Saturday, March 4” said Chairman Nicolas Limanov.

Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library Systems Director Melissa Kuzma and Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Councilman Justin Musella

Special thanks to Nielsen Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram for sponsoring the event and Mega Bite Events for coordinating the event.

For more information on Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany, click here.

Owners Ryan Ehrhardt and Frank Belardo from Pretty Good Pizza
The weather was beautiful for Naughty Humphrey to perform at Veterans Park
Members of Sons of Italy came out to support the Kiwanis Club
Parsippany-Troy Hills Mayor James Barberio practicing his axe throwing skills as Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Councilman Frank Neglia looks on
Councilman Frank Neglia, Justin Musella, Mayor James Barberio and Councilman Paul Carifi, Jr., came out to support Kiwanis Club of Greater Parsippany. Later in the day Councilman Michael dePierro and Former Assemblywoman BettyLou DeCroce joined the event
Families came with chairs and blankets and enjoyed a wonderful day in the park listening to live music provided by Naughty Humphrey and Grand Theft Audio NJ
Morris Now, Morris County’s newest APP featuring local businesses, news and events was soliciting people to download the new APP. Any person that downloads the APP is automatically entered to win a $50.00 gift card of their choice at a local restaurant. #SHOP LOCAL
Councilman Frank Neglia, Frank Cahill, Matthew Molinaro and Nicolas Neglia
Jerzey Girl Pickles
Mayor James Barberio and Councilman Frank Neglia tasting coffee from Zing Coffee
The weather was beautiful at the park and the event attracted everyone
There was something to do for all ages
Oreo Fix
Speedy Tacos

Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20

Councilman Justin Musella, Frank Neglia, Paul Carifi, Jr. Council President Michael dePierro and Vice President Loretta Gragnani

PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20.

Regular Township Council Meetings will commence at 7:00 p.m. All meetings will be held on Tuesday evenings. All meetings will be held in the Municipal Building, 1001 Parsippany Boulevard, Parsippany. Formal action may or may not be taken at all scheduled meetings.

Click here to download the agenda.

Any individual who is a qualified disabled person under the Americans with Disabilities Act may request auxiliary aids such as a sign interpreter or a tape recorder to be used for a meeting. Auxiliary aids must be requested at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date. Please call (973) 263-4351 to make a request for an auxiliary aid.

Click here to download the 2022 agenda schedule.

Mayor and Council

Mayor James R Barberio
Council President Michael J. dePierro
Council Vice-President Loretta Gragnani
Councilman Paul Carifi Jr.
Councilman Frank Neglia
Councilman Justin Musella

New Program Explores Faith’s Relevance Today

MOUNTAIN LAKES — How is faith relevant in my life? How do I deepen my
faith? Where is God in my life?

Beginning September 21, an eight-week evening program of faith exploration and discovery
will provide an opportunity to explore these questions.

The series will include inspirational talks, discussions and worship experiences, offered
through the collaborative ministry of the Episcopal churches of Boonton, Denville & Mountain Lakes. It is open to anyone interested, whether they belong to a faith community, are exploring different faiths or have no faith affiliation.

Participants will gather Wednesdays from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church, 215
Boulevard, Mountain Lakes. Free childcare will be available.

For more information, contact the Rev. Michael Muller at St. Peter’s at (973) 334-4429 or

New Community Resource Center to Hold Grand Opening

BOONTON — Gateway Community Resource Center will celebrate its Grand Opening at 513 Birch Street in Boonton on Saturday, September 17. At the 12:30 p.m. ribbon cutting, U.S. Rep. Mike Sherrill will be participating along with officials and leaders of Morris County and the Town of Boonton.

The general public is invited to enjoy food, beverage, live music and gifts, along with free raffle tickets to win a smart TV.

Following the celebration, Gateway Community Resource Center (GCRC) launches its unique mission of partnering with existing non-profit organizations to provide support for the greater Boonton area community in the form of no-fee programs providing help, education and enrichment.

GCRC is focused on addressing community needs while offering an opportunity for neighbors to help neighbors. The center also offers a well-equipped space in which small businesses and nonprofits can hold meetings.

The new non-profit organization is an outgrowth of Loaves & Fishes Community Food Pantry at the same location, grown from its 2019 opening to be distributing food now to some 125 households weekly through Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning distributions.

For more information click here.