PARSIPPANY — Representative Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) was officially sworn in as United States Representative for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District on Saturday, January 7.
“I am honored that the people of NJ-11 have entrusted me with the responsibility of representing them in Congress,” said Representative Sherrill. “The path to forming our Congress has been rocky, and many of the challenges we face were laid bare, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to working every day on behalf of my constituents and fighting for the priorities of New Jersey communities in Washington. I look forward to working together to make life more affordable, protect our rights, grow our innovation economy, make our communities safer, and bring more of your hard-earned tax dollars back to NJ-11. I am ready to work with Republicans and Democrats to deliver real results for New Jersey families. Let’s get to work!”
PARSIPPANY — A petition started by Councilman Justin Musella to repeal Parsippany’s Project Labor Agreement (PLAs) ordinance has reached over 1,000 signatures. Musella presented the signatures to the Mayor and Council during the Agenda Meeting on Wednesday, January 4.
The petition calls for the repeal of a 2022 ordinance that requires PLAs for municipal construction projects budgeted for over $5 million.
According to Musella, “With bipartisan support from residents all over town, it is clearly
more than ever that the ordinance should be repealed. Blanket PLA’s like the one introduced in October stifle competition for government construction contracts, increase costs to the taxpayer, and put small and minority-owned businesses at a competitive disadvantage.”
He continued, “Parsippany is already in the midst of an over-taxation crisis, combined with serious structural problems in our finances. I made an oath from day one to fight to keep Parsippany affordable and enable residents to stay here and not flee our town. It is
encouraging to see the groundswell of support for this effort, and I look forward to presenting these petition signatures to the Township Council.”
A dozen residents spoke at the meeting, asking the Mayor and Council to repeal the PLA.
The New Jersey Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors is a vocal opponent of the ordinance. President Sam DeAlmeida said, “Project Labor Agreements eliminate the competitive bidding process for contractors that choose not to belong to a union, many of whom are members of our New Jersey Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. As the leading voice for these contractors, we are extremely opposed to the recently passed PLA ordinance in Parsippany-Troy Hills, as it disproportionately takes business opportunities away from qualified contractors. We thank Councilman Musella for advocating for these contractors and supporting his efforts to repeal the PLA.”
Township resident Debbie Nemorovich said, “I would first like to thank Councilman Musella for starting this petition, and as soon as I knew about it, I got all of my friends and family to sign in town. I believe PLAs are harmful to the town, and I truly believe that if you care about how your constituents feel, you will consider immediately repealing this.”
“Elections have consequences, and we elected you because we thought Republicans would make it more affordable to live in town. Everything I have read tells me that PLAs will jack up project costs, delay timelines, and discriminate against non-unionized firms. Everybody I went door to door encouraging to sign told me that they didn’t want to pay the higher taxes this would cause.”
“I want each Council person plus Mayor Barberio to state on the record tonight whether or not they will consider the repeal. If you don’t listen to us in our overwhelming calls to repeal, then we deserve to know why.”
Debbie Nemorovich continued, “I know many people who live here that are scared to speak out against the PLA due to the terrifying process it was passed under. I know people who were scared to speak out due to the show of force that I believe was intended to silence critics.”
PARSIPPANY — Mayor James Barberio conducted a swearing-in ceremony for nine newly hired Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Officers on Thursday, January 5, at Parsippany Municipal Building.
The hiring of nine new police officers was unanimously approved when the council passed a resolution Wednesday authorizing their hire during the agenda meeting.
Ptl. Steven Harvey is coming from the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, Ptl. Paul Christal is coming from Morris Township Police Department, Ptl. Thomas Caccavale is coming from Franklin Township Police Department, Ptl. Evan Ruggiero is coming from the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and Ptl. Robert Lenahan Jr. recently graduated from the Essex County Police Academy. They begin their field training program next week.
Ptl. Robert Seifert, Ptl. James Brennan, Ptl. Antonio Piccininni and Ptl. Christopher Yi will begin their career as a recruit at the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy next week.
Mayor James Barberio stated, “The Parsippany Police Department is one of the fundamental fabrics of our community. Hiring nine new Police Officers is essential to maintain public safety. I wish the Officers the best of luck throughout their careers in Parsippany. Thank you for dedicating your time and service to the greatest place to live.”
“Four we took from other towns, and five will be going to the academy,” said Barberio, a Republican who ousted Democratic Mayor Michael Soriano two years ago. “The four can start right away.”
“Parsippany Police are short-staffed due to a hiring freeze imposed during the previous administration that has the town down to 81 deployable officers compared to more than 100 five years ago,” Barberio said.
Mayor Barberio recently promoted Deputy Police Chief Richard Pantina to the top spot in the department. Pantina, with 36 years of experience, mostly in Parsippany, had served as acting chief since the June retirement of his predecessor, Police Chief Andrew Miller.
Pantina did not attend the swearing-in due to illness.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Council Organization Meeting and Agenda Meeting – January 4, 2023.
Regular Township Council Meetings will commence at 7:00 p.m. All meetings will be held on Tuesday evenings. Council meetings are held at Parsippany Municipal Building, 1001 Parsippany Boulevard. Formal action may or may not be taken at all scheduled meetings.
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 before the meeting date. Please call (973) 263-4351 to request auxiliary aid.
PARSIPPANY — On December 22, 2022, Lake Parsippany residents received correspondence from Capitol Senior Housing (CSH) advising them of a proposed plan to construct an assisted living facility near Littleton Road and Beechwood Road. The notice, signed by Mr. Joseph F. McElwee, a partner in CSH, advised residents at that time that CHS had “submitted an application” for the construction project to the Township of Parsippany and that they are awaiting a public hearing by the Township Zoning board of Adjustment. (Click here to download the letter).
In the letter, Mr. McElwee invited impacted members of the community to attend a meeting at the Parsippany Athletic Building at 7:00 p.m. on January 4, 2023, in advance of the public hearing, to have an open and productive dialog, and address questions and concerns by residents on the proposed project.
Before that January 4 meeting, area resident Robert Asaro Sr., whose property would be directly impacted by the project, took the initiative to organize a group of like-minded neighbors to oppose the proposed commercial building collectively. Mr. Asaro utilized the “Lake Parsippany Residents” Facebook page to address his concerns that “the building would be located in the backyards of the homes on Fieldcrest Road, along Littleton Road, and across the street from Brooklawn Middle School on Beechwood Road.” He went on to list many problematic issues that could develop due to this construction, urging those concerned to attend the meeting and voice those concerns. Mr. Asaro, with some assistance from friends and neighbors, hand-delivered notices of the meeting to area residents days before, hoping to generate support. Obviously, it worked, as approximately 100 concerned area residents showed up for the meeting armed with a deluge of questions.
The meeting began as scheduled and was opened by Mr. McElwee, who also introduced Daniel T. Sehnal, the Civil Engineer on the project. He also expressed surprise that so many people were in attendance. The presenters explained that the project would include an area of 4½ acres in the proximity of the intersection of Beechwood Road and Rita Drive. The facility would house 83 units of assisted living residents, and it would be three stories high (the highest point being 42 feet) with underground parking. In addition to the residents, the facility would employ 52 employees on day shifts and five employees overnight. Egress to the facility would be off Beechwood Road only. CSH estimates that the facility would require approximately two weekly medical assistance calls. Additionally, CHS would have its own EMS personnel available for non-emergency situations.
A polite but serious crowd peppered Mr. McElwee with various relevant questions as he made his presentation, and Mr. McElwee, to his credit, tried to address each issue as it was presented. Issues arose, in no particular order, regarding increased traffic on Littleton Road, utilization of township resources, safe egress in and out of the facility, ability of fire department apparatus to access all sections of the building, etc., while many of the responses were met with overall dissatisfaction and nodding heads. Officials from Lake Parsippany Volunteer Fire Company District 3 expressed concern that their apparatus would not be able to navigate to certain parts of the building due to the configuration of the roadway and that there were no studies done, nor was any input sought regarding those concerns. Mr. McElwee stated that they would address that matter, but by then, it was evident that the presentation did not satisfy the audience’s concerns.
As the meeting proceeded, comment by comment, it became very evident to the representatives from CSH that there was strong disapproval of the proposed facility. At that point, Mr. McElwee calmly said that since it was clear that no one in the substantial crowd approved of or welcomed the new assisted living facility and that he did not want to build this project where it was not welcomed, he was “withdrawing his application” and would not be proceeding with the project, obviously to the cheers of the assembled residents.
Following the announcement by Mr. McElwee, and as the crowd gathered in groups to discuss the events of the evening, Mr. Asaro stated, “I want to thank everyone who pitched in and helped get this accomplished.” This was a community effort, and we’re all obviously very happy with the outcome.” And tonight’s turnout shows that there is still “Pride in Parsippany.”
MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Commissioners will hold an Annual Meeting on Friday, January 6 at 6:00 p.m. in the Public Meeting Room (555) and by WebEx at the Morris County Administration and Records Building, 10 Court Street, Morristown.
John Krickus will serve as Commissioner Director, and Christine Myers will serve as Commissioner Deputy Director.
Krickus and Myers will be a terrific team providing fiscally conservative leadership for Morris County government in 2023 and will continue to hold the line on taxes, invest in infrastructure and education, making the best-run county in New Jersey even better,” said Morris County Republican Chairwoman Ali, who added, “we are so grateful for the wonderful leadership County Commissioner Director Selen provided this year.”
Laura Ali said the 2023 leadership team was unanimously supported at the annual caucus. Morris County Republican leadership has been integral in making Morris the best place to live in New Jersey, with the number one county college and vocational school district and the safest communities in the state. Last June, major financial rating agencies Moody’s and S&P awarded their highest-possible “AAA” rating for a record 47th year to Morris County, continuing a legacy as one of the best financially-run counties in America.
Krickus is in his third three-year term on the board. He is a member of the Budget Committee, producing no county tax increase for multiple years. He also is the liaison to the Morris County Improvement Authority, the County College of Morris and Morris County School of Technology, and the Chamber of Commerce/Economic Development.
Commissioner Krickus is a Marine Corps veteran, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA-retired), and worked in data analytics for Dun and Bradstreet and Experian.
Previously, he served on the Washington Township Committee for 12 years, including three years as Mayor. Born and raised in Madison, he now lives in Long Valley with his wife Carolyn, where they raised their two daughters.
Christine Myers served a term as Freeholder and was appointed to the Office of Advocacy – Small Business Administration, where she reduced regulations on small businesses resulting in billions of dollars in savings. In her previous term, Christine leads the development of a county strategic plan and a debt reserve policy. Commissioner-elect Myers was the top vote winner in the Fall election for her second term on the board.
Christine served in executive roles at AT&T and Lucent/Avaya, and Siemens and is the co-founder of a growing manufacturing business. She also served in leadership positions at numerous non-profits, including Cornerstone Family Programs, Americas Gleaned Seafood, and the Order of Malta.
She and her husband Stan raised their two sons in Mendham and have recently moved to New Vernon.
Meeting generally take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.
Public meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Most of the public meetings are in the Public Meeting Room, 5th floor, Administration & Records Building, Court Street, Morristown. Please note there is a public comment portion at every evening meeting.
Commissioner work sessions begin at 4:30 p.m. in the Knox Room on the 5th floor of the Administration & Records Building. While the public is invited to attend the work sessions, there is no public comment portion of the meeting unless granted by the Commissioner Director.
PARSIPPANY — James M. Cryan, the former Township Administrator of Cranford, has been appointed as Parsippany’s newest Business Administrator. The Township Council approved Cryan 5-0. He will assume the position as of Monday, January 9.
The former Business Administrator, Frederick C. Carr, left office during the Christmas vacation. He was initially appointed as Business Administrator in 2020.
Jamie Cryan was recently Cranford’s Township Administrator.
At the December 13, 2022, Cranford Township Committee meeting, Police Chief Ryan J. Greco was named Interim Township Administrator with a 4-0 vote. Commissioners made no comments regarding the change in leadership, nor is there any record on the township’s website of Cranford’s current Township Administrator Jamie Cryan going on leave or resigning his position.
Cryan is a graduate of Rutgers School of Public Affairs and Administration with a degree in Certified Public Manager; He also has a Bachelor’s Degree with Dual Major in Political Science and Marketing Communications.
Cryan was a Trustee at Habitat for Humanity of Hudson County from October 2009 to January 2017.
He resides in Florham Park with his wife and two children.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany-Troy Hills Police Patrolmen Farms, Seeger, and Van Orden responded to the parking lot of 1055 Parsippany Boulevard on a report of a vehicle fire, on December 29 at approximately 2:40 p.m.
Upon arrival, Officer Van Orden observed a man, Richard Ziccarello, 64, Whippany, walking around near his vehicle, a 1990 Blue Dodge Dakota Pickup Truck, and the cab of the vehicle was visibly on fire.
The officer demanded the victim away from his vehicle which quickly became fully engulfed in flames.
Ptl. Van Orden asked the victim what happened and he stated he activated the heat to his vehicle and, in doing so, he believed he heard leaves being sucked into the vehicle’s heater core.
Soon after the vehicle began to smoke when he pulled over in the parking lot of 1055 Parsippany Boulevard.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Volunteer District No. 6 Fire Company was dispatched, responded, and quickly extinguished the flames in and around the vehicle’s fire.
District No. 6 Fire Co. deemed the scene safe and cleared the scene.
As the vehicle was off of the roadway and in a private parking lot, the victim stated he would make his own arrangements to have the vehicle removed.
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany High School Senior Brandon Hiltz was awarded the Super Football Conference Steven DiGregorio Young Man of the Year Award.
Hiltz received two complimentary tickets from the New York Jets to attend Super Bowl LVII in Arizona next month. He also received a $5,000 scholarship.
This award highlights those individuals who exhibit selflessness, and leadership on and off the field, creating and contributing to positive school/team environments, setting a positive example, and serving the community.
New York Jets defensive lineman Solomon Thomas presented Hiltz with the award, which is the second annual presentation. Each of the 113 teams in the conference nominated a player to be the recipient. Hiltz was honored largely for his work with an autistic friend. That friend JM Jachym also got two tickets to the Super Bowl next month. JM Jachym served as a manager for the Red Hawks’ football manager.
Parsippany head coach Jason Hurta nominated Hiltz. Hurta has long known about the relationship between Jachym and Hiltz and believes it exemplifies what the program stands for.
The award is meant to honor the spirit of community service and the legacy of Steven DiGregorio, the former Nutley football coach who died in October of 2021.
MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Board of County Commissioners today awarded grants to construct eight new trail projects, adding more than five miles of walkways and paths recommended by the Morris County Trail Construction Grant Program.
The grants amount to $528,265, meaning the Commissioners have cleared a total of 47 grant awards totaling 28.37 miles under the seven-year-old project, with 21 of the trail projects already completed. The newly approved grants cover projects ranging from .12 miles in length to 1.32 miles. Grants for five of the projects will cover design and permitting work, while three involve construction.
Pequannock Township – Foothills Park Trail, Phase 1 – .30 miles – $36,000
Funding for trail projects is derived from Morris County’s voter-approved Morris County Preservation Trust Fund, which was established in 1992 and subsequently modified with voter approval in 2002 to establish a Historic Preservation Fund. In 2014, voters approved a ballot question by a margin of 3 to 1 to modify the fund again, this time allowing trail development as an allowable use for a portion of the trust fund money.
Morris County has now dedicated nearly $5 million towards establishing 28.37 miles of trails since grants were first awarded under the Trail Construction Grant program in 2016.
Purpose of Funding: The grant program’s purpose is to provide recreational trail use opportunities, which benefit the communities and enhance the quality of life for the residents of Morris County.
Who is Eligible: Any of the thirty-nine municipalities in Morris, New Jersey County. Municipalities are limited to one application per funding cycle.
Permissible Uses and Projects: Construction of new trails for both motorized and non-motorized uses and trail enhancements, including improved trails to accommodate increased volume and/or compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Funding is considered only if the land on which a trail is to be constructed is:
Located in Morris County
Owned by the municipality in full and or via permanent easements
Permanently preserved public parkland or private land with dedicated easements for public recreation use
On land with a permanent easement for public trail/recreational provided to the municipality
In full municipal control of all land and/or easements on which trail(s) are to be funded
PARSIPPANY — Today, Councilman Justin Musella announced that his petition to repeal the
broken Project Labor Agreement ordinance signed into law earlier this year had reached the goal of over 1,000 signatures. With bipartisan support from residents all over town, it is clearer more than ever that the ordinance should be repealed. Blanket PLA’s like the one introduced in October stifle competition for government construction contracts, increase costs to the taxpayer, and put small and minority-owned businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
“Parsippany is already in the midst of an over-taxation crisis, combined with serious structural problems in our finances.” said Councilman Musella, adding, “I made an oath from day one to fight to keep Parsippany affordable and enable residents to stay here and not flee our town. It is encouraging to see the groundswell of support for this effort, and I look forward to presenting these petition signatures to the Township Council.”
“Project Labor Agreements eliminate the competitive bidding process for contractors that choose not to belong to a union, many of whom are members of our New Jersey Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.” said Sam DeAlmeida, President of the New Jersey Associated Builders and Contractors, adding “As the leading voice for these contractors, we are extremely opposed to the recently passed PLA ordinance in Parsippany-Troy Hills as it disproportionately takes business opportunities away from qualified contractors. We thank Councilman Musella for advocating for these contractors and supporting his efforts to repeal the PLA.”
PARSIPPANY — The Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University has named the Eastern Janitorial Company its Family Business of the Year for 2022. The award was presented at Rothman’s 30th annual awards program held recently at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton. Based in Parsippany, the Eastern Janitorial Company is a family business specializing in commercial facility services for businesses in New Jersey and surrounding states.
Eastern Janitorial Company is located at 1915 Route 46, Suite 201.
Founded in 1977, Eastern is a second-generation family-run business currently employing hundreds of workers in the tri-state area. Eastern operates in three main divisions; Commercial Facility Cleaning and Supplies, Specialty Flooring and Surface Restoration, and Engineering/Handyman Services.
The New Jersey Family Business Awards recognized 11 companies for their innovative strategies and business practices that have positively impacted the state, local economy, and society in general. Eastern was chosen as “Family Business of the Year” based on its work to support its employees, the community, and their commitment to sustainable growth. “Throughout the years, our customers have appreciated us for always putting their needs first.” said Nick Rafanello, Eastern’s CEO, “We are relentless in saying ‘yes’ to customer requests and finding creative solutions to their unique challenges. This ability to provide unmatched and prompt solutions for our customers didn’t happen by chance, but through the loyalty of our dedicated family and family-like staff who are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.”
Part of Silberman College of Business since 1989, the Rothman Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship supports, promotes, and researches entrepreneurship with a special focus on family- and veteran-owned businesses. The awards program recognizes the significant contributions to the economy and community made by extraordinary family businesses. Rothman has honored outstanding family businesses since 1992.
Eastern Janitorial Company is a facility services company based in Parsippany. Eastern is a second-generation NJ-based family business with a legacy that began as R&R Maintenance in 1977. Eastern has grown substantially over the past decade, organically and through acquiring various strategically positioned peers. Eastern Janitorial’s success results from our unwavering focus on a single, simple guiding principle – find the best people, train and support them with the latest industry tools and practices and treat them like family. As a result, their motivated team remains highly focused on providing every customer with a consistently superior service experience.
PARSIPPANY — 1280 Route 46, a 15,000 sq. ft. office building, and 1300 Route 46, an Outback Restaurant, were sold in a transaction that closed on December 21.
The sellers were two family investment groups with overlapping ownership, and the buyer was Shree Troy Hills, LLC, a major investor in Parsippany Commercial & Residential properties. The properties, situated on almost three acres, sold for a combined price of 4.2 million dollars.
Outback is has a triple-net lease and is not closing.
Kenneth Kaplan of KenKap Realty Corp. represented buyers and sellers.
All Parsippany residents and taxpayers who care about this township are overwhelmed by current inflationary conditions and want to lower tax and spending increases need to sign Councilman Musella’s petition to repeal the deeply unpopular Project Labor Agreement ordinance recently passed into law. We further encourage concerned residents to attend this Wednesday’s January 4 Town Council meeting at 7:00 p.m. to speak up.
We believe that free and open competition for our taxpayer-funded projects is best for the town—not for officials to pander to a chosen few special interest groups who want to strong-arm how and where our township money is spent.
We disagree with the Mayor and Town Council’s decision to mandate that all municipal construction projects costing over five million be subject to Project Labor Agreements. We also believe that the union’s campaign of harassment and intimidation of resident discussion directed toward opponents of this mandate is unacceptable and deplorable. If the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills leadership will not protect those who dissent from the majority on this (or any civil topic), leadership is complicit in the suppression of public speaking and acting not in the best interests of the people of Parsippany.
All these reasons, along with the well-documented disastrous effects that PLA’s have caused where implemented, is exactly why the time is now for it to be repealed.
Signed by the following Parsippany Residents:
Anthony Longo Annette Terrone
Raymond Gallup Susan Petrovic
Hank Heller Bob Venezia
PARSIPPANY — Parsippany Focus recaps the year in review based on what stories received the most views from our readers. There were 775 stories published in 2022. A timeline of 2022’s most important news stories includes “Controversial Union Ordinance Brings out the Masses” and “Houlihan’s Abruptly Closed Its Doors.” Our restaurant critic, Patrick Minutillo, received a top storyline for his review on “Keo Ku Korean BBQ Restaurant: Authentic Korean Food.”
Readers don’t realize what it takes to write and publish a story. Most stories require a personal visit, which can take an hour or more. A recent council meeting lasted five hours. Most assignments require photographs. We take many pictures. The pictures must be uploaded to our main computer. Then write the article based on notes, documents, research, police reports, etc. After writing the article, we go back and review the photographs to choose which one(s) better illustrates the story. We convert the photo(s) into Photoshop and resize it to fit the website’s specifications. Then all photos are uploaded to our server with the story. That’s where the magic happens. We write a caption for the photos and a headline before publishing the story. That process can take anywhere from an hour to five or six hours.
Parsippany Focus publishes stories of all types: Council Meetings, Planning Board Meetings, Zoning Board of Adjustment Meetings, Grand Opening Ribbon Cuttings, Police News, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Sports, School News, Restaurant Reviews, Social Happenings, Death Notices, all the news that makes Parsippany Focus a publication serving the 56,162 residents of Parsippany-Troy Hills.
Top story of 2022: Controversial Union Ordinance Brings out the Masses
Controversial Union Ordinance Brings out the Masses
Published on October 25, 2022, and received 29,139 hits. Click here to read the full story.
The #2 story was: Houlihan’s Abruptly Closed Its Doors
Houlihan’s Abruptly Closed Its Doors
Published on September 30, 2022, and received 27,662 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Former Kmart Building will be Subdivided into Three Retail Stores
Published on June 23, 2002, and received 11,769 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Keo Ku Korean BBQ Restaurant: Authentic Korean Food
Published on April 29, 2002, and received 9,602 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Patient From Care One Wandered; Found Dead
Published on February 20, 2022, and received 5,601 hits. Click here to read the full story.
1515 Route 10 Being Demolished to Make Room for Housing Development
Published on May 27, 2022, and received 2,530 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Driver Charged with DWI Collided with School Bus Carrying School Children
Published on December 13, 2022, and received 2,315 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Parsippany-Troy Hills Education Association (PTHEA) Negotiations
Published on January 28, 2022, and received 2,268 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Frank A. Calabria Education Center
Vehicle Fire on Route 10
Published on October 23, 2022, and received 2,140 hits. Click here to read the full story.
Backdoor Politics Backfires Against Zoning Board Chairman Robert Iracane
Published on January 20, 2022, and received 2,005 hits. Click here to read the full story.
MORRIS COUNTY — Sheriff James M. Gannon is pleased to announce the promotions of Detective Captain Walter Rawa, Jr. and Detective Captain Aaron Tomasini. Captain Rawa will oversee the Court Services Division, and Captain Tomasini will oversee the Patrol Division.
Captain Rawa, who is a law enforcement legacy, was hired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in 2002. After graduating from the Morris County Police Academy, he was assigned to the Protective Services Division. In 2004, he was transferred to the Warrants Section, where he served as an undercover detective until 2006. In 2006, Walter assisted in starting the Traffic Support Unit and achieved certification as a LASER and a RADAR operator and instructor. In 2007, he was selected for the agency’s Marine Patrol on Lake Hopatcong. In 2011, Captain Rawa was assigned to the Emergency Services/K-9 Unit as a Detective. He trained, handled, and certified multiple canines in explosives, search and rescue, patrol, narcotics, and arson. In 2012, he was appointed the rank of Corporal. Between 2015 and 2018, Captain Rawa worked in Community Outreach & Planning as the Agency Training Coordinator. He was promoted to Detective Lieutenant in 2019.
Captain Rawa is one of the Morris County instructors for the Sheriff’s Office’s Responsible School Violence Prevention, Preparation, and Protection (RSVP-3) program. He has played a critical role in developing and training Morris County law enforcement officers on a standardized response protocol to an active shooter incident. He has also attended and attained local and federal certifications in law enforcement response to an active shooter. He is currently a civilian response instructor in the national Run, Hide, Fight model.
Captain Rawa was a tactical operator with the Morris County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team for 16 of his 21 years with the Agency. He has been a member of the agency Honor Guard for 19 years and currently serves as its unit commander. He is a certified Police Training Commission Academy Instructor for the State of NJ for firearms and physical conditioning. He has also been certified as a Taser Master Instructor since 2021. In 2022, he assisted the agency with body-worn camera purchasing and implementation.
Captain Tomasini began his career with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in 2005, where he attended the 66th Basic Police Academy Class. Upon completion, Captain Tomasini has spent most of his career assigned to the Emergency Services Unit, where he performed various roles as a K-9 Handler, K-9 Trainer, Bomb Technician, and Tactical Operator with the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team (SERT). Over the years, Captain Tomasini has worked with many K9 partners, most significantly, Jax, Hydro, Sig, Kiara, and Po. Aaron has gained certifications in multiple disciplines throughout his career, including K-9 Trainer, Supervising K-9 Trainer, Firearms Instructor, Police Rifle Instructor, Project Lifesaver Trainer, Monadnock Expandable Baton Instructor, TASER Master Instructor, FBI-trained Basic Sniper, and FBI Tactical Bomb Technician.
Captain Tomasini is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and is currently in his twenty-first (21st) year of service with the New Jersey Army National Guard. He currently maintains the rank of Major and serves as the Battalion Executive Officer for the 2-113th Infantry Battalion, Forty-Fourth (44th) Infantry Brigade Combat Team. He graduated from several Army courses, including Basic Airborne, Pathfinder, Air Assault, Ranger, Infantry Officer Basic, Maneuver Captain’s Career, Combat Advisor, and the Command and General Staff College Common Core.
Academically, Captain Tomasini holds multiple degrees and certificates that include an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the County College of Morris, two Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Thomas Edison State University, a Master’s Degree in Management from Thomas Edison State University, and an Educational Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Stockton University.
The Morris County Sheriff’s Office recognized these individuals and their accomplishments in a promotional ceremony held in the Historic Courtroom at the Morris County Superior Courthouse on December 29, 2022. Sheriff Gannon started the promotional ceremony with the history of the agency and thanked the families of the newly promoted Captains saying, “Our agency’s success lies in the hands of the family that supports the officers.”
Sheriff Gannon reminded the new Captains to hold themselves to the task and offered suggestions such as “challenging your subordinates, treat officers and the public with honesty and respect, take the good from your past supervisors and treat people the way you want to be treated.”
Sheriff Gannon also said, “These new Captains are the best of the best and have earned the trust and respect of their peers.”
PARSIPPANY — Positive Development is hosting an in-person recruiting event for professionals on Thursday, January 12, from 12:00 Noon to 2:30 p.m. at its center on 299 Cherry Hill Road, Suite 108. They’re looking for individuals with a bachelor’s degree, a high level of commitment, and at least one year of experience working one-on-one with children
Positive Development provides comprehensive developmental therapy that treats children and teens on the autism spectrum. Their transdisciplinary, integrative approach includes occupational, speech, and mental health therapies and ongoing parent coaching and support, empowering parents as essential members of their child’s care team. A better choice for many families, their evidence-based model meets the child where they are to build more meaningful connections and relationships.
“When you join our team, clinicians and developmental autism specialists receive paid training/certification in this developmental intervention. Supported by research, this training gave me valuable insight into human development through cultivating relationships and creating playful, joyful experiences,” says Positive Development Case Manager Rachael Singer.
Clinical Director, Natalie Kitts, adds, “This is my dream come true, being the Clinical Director in NJ with an amazing team of therapists. Together, we plan to make developmental therapy accessible to as many families as possible.”
There will be interviews on-site, and registration is required for the event. Please register here. For any other questions about this event and to keep informed on news and updates, schedule an assessment, or join the team, please reach out to Positive Development.
MORRIS COUNTY — After 26 years of service in law enforcement, Lieutenant Susan Johnson has announced her retirement. Morris County Prosecutor Robert J. Carroll, Chief of Detectives Christoph Kimker, and Deputy Chief Robert McNally honored Lt. Johnson for her superlative service. They expressed the gratitude of the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office on her last day.
Johnson was hired by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in October 2002. She was recently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in February 2021, overseeing the General Investigations Unit within the Courts & Administration Division. Over the last two decades with the MCPO, Lt. Johnson has been assigned to the Domestic Violence/Missing Persons Units, Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment Unit, Megan’s Law Unit, General Investigations Unit, Pretrial Services Unit, and the Fraud and Professional Standards Units, and has supervised the Sex Crimes/Child Endangerment, Megan’s Law and Internet Crimes Against Children units, we well as the Pretrial Services and General Investigations units.
Lt. Johnson attended the FBI’s Forensic Facial Imaging Course and was a Composite Sketch Artist, which was something she aspired to do early on in her career.
Before joining the MCPO, Lt. Johnson began her career in law enforcement as a patrol officer for the Town of Boonton Police Department. There she was assigned to the patrol division and detective bureau and was involved in several community policing initiatives, including serving as a DARE instructor.
PARSIPPANY — The Mount Tabor Fire Department, along with Morris Plains Fire Department, Morris Plains Fire Association, Cedar Knolls Fire Department, Boonton Fire Department, Parsippany Police Department, Parsippany Emergency Medical Services, Morris County Office of Emergency Management EMS, Atlantic ALS, and Morris County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to 52 Averell Drive on a reported kitchen fire with burn victims.
Upon arrival, no fire was visible, but it was confirmed that there was one victim with extensive burns, and it was requested by Basic Life Support (BLS) that they be flown to RWJBarnabas Health for treatment.
A second victim was evaluated and also transported to the hospital. The damage to the home was minimal.
This incident emphasizes the importance of Mutual Aid agreements and mutual respect for our neighboring companies. A fire or emergency can break out at any time and anywhere, and manpower is essential for a safe and effective fire ground.
MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon and Hope One and associated organizations received the 5th Annual Light the World award from the Morristown Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Sunday, December 4.
The Light the World award was created five years ago as part of an initiative to highlight tremendous community impact in Northern New Jersey, officials said, adding it is an initiative from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to recognize love and service to others. Individuals or groups are nominated for the award as they exhibit community service and help to spread light and sheriff joy to others.
Sheriff Gannon partnered with non-profit organizations, law enforcement officers, mental health, addiction recovery experts, and spiritual advisers to develop the Hope One program, a mobile substance use, and mental health disorder outreach, officials said. The mobile unit stops in communities to provide free Narcan training and Naloxone kits and provides access to addiction recovery and mental health programs.
The Hope One mobile unit is sponsored by The Morris County Sheriff’s office in partnership with the Mental Health Association of Morris County, Morris County Prevention is Key, and its Center for Addiction Recovery, Education, and Success (CARES).
In 2017, Sheriff Gannon opened the “Hope Wing” at the Morris County Correctional Facility, which assists inmates with substance use disorders and helps them repair relationships, manage anger, spiritually grow, and access education.
The Light the World award was presented by William H. Ludlam, president of the Morristown Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sheriff Gannon accepted the award and praised the staff members at Hope One, who said, “Are the ones who do the day-to-day life-saving work in the community.” He asked those present to stand and introduced them by name, including Mental Health Association Director Madine Despeine, Mental Health Association Officer Chelsea Whiting, Peer Recovery Specialist Jon Erik Randazzo, Corporal Erica Valvano, Social Case Worker Jaimie Bingham, and Mental Health Association Case Manager-Karolyn Mora.
In addition, singer-songwriter, Coco Santoni, performed two original songs at the event.
Speakers included Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, R-Morris; Adeline Connor, Young Women’s organization member, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Robert A. Wilson, chief security officer, Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, New Jersey; the Rev. Dr. David A. Hollowell, chair of Martin Luther King Observance Committee and outgoing president of Morris Area Clergy Council, and Mohammad Ali Chaudry, president of Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, and Blair Schleicher Wilson of Mountain Lakes, CEO, of Morris Habitat for Humanity, based in Randolph Township.