New Council for the New Year
Four council members inaugurated for a new term in office.
A festive crowd rang in 2012—and the Sunday night football matchup pitting New York's Giants against the Dallas Cowboys—during the inauguration of a new Township Council. The New Year's Day ceremony at Town Hall honored Paul Carifi Jr., Michael dePierro, Vincent Ferrrara and Brian Stanton, the four men victorious in last November's election.
With the Sunday swearing-in, Carifi, dePierro and Stanton started new four-year terms in office. Originally appointed to fill the unexpired term of Ann Grossi, the former council member turned freeholder, Ferrara celebrated winning an election to earn the privilege of serving the final two years of the term.
"As of this moment," a visibly jubilant Grossi said before administering the oath of office to Ferrara, "all the council members have been elected by the people of Parsippany."
In his address before the audience, Mayor James Barberio congratulated the council members, saying he has worked with them and knows them well.
Noting that he and the council have been partners in staying within the state-mandated 2 percent tax cap and maintaining municipal services, the mayor announced that the inauguration was a reason to celebrate.
"I am confident they will continue working with me...and enhance Parsippany-Troy Hills as the place to be," he said. Barberio was also jokingly thankful that the New York Giants' game was moved from 1 p.m. game to 8:20 p.m., so it didn't conflict with the ceremony.
"Go Giants!" the mayor exclaimed.
Each of the four councilmen, one at a time, then took the oath of office surrounded by their families.
DePierro, beginning his eighth council term, remarked that "2011 was a challenging year for all of us." He mentioned the summer earthquake rumblings, Irene and its unprecedented floods and the early snowstorm.
"The only thing we're missing are the locusts," he said.
For the new year, dePierro reminded those assembled that many residents are still dealing with the fallout from the 2011 crises. Still, he said, he is looking forward to a positive year.
Morris County Sheriff Edward Rochford administered the council oath of office to Brian Stanton, who soon will be sworn in as a sheriff's office sergeant.
Stanton, who first joined the council in January 2010, thanked campaign helpers and his family, ending his remarks with, "Go Cowboys!"
Carifi, who won the primary election and was appointed to the council soon after to fill in for departing member John Fox, said he looks forward to making Parsippany even better.
"My four months on the council have been a great experience, and I am looking forward to the next four years," he said.
Carifi, a Washington Redskins fan, then commented on the ongoing football theme, noting that, "If we played the Giants, we'd be 16-0."
Ferrara added his thanks for the mayor, his "council colleagues," campaign staffers and his family.
"It's truly my honor to serve the friends and neighbors of Parsippany-Troy Hlls," he said. "Thank you for the opportunity to serve."
In a benediction, the Rev. Tmothy Dowling, pastor of the Parish of St. Ann, prayed that the new council will "promote a culture of stewardship" and "use their time and talent" to show "compassion and concern."
Msgr. Herbert Tillyer, pastor of St. Peter the Apostle Church, offered a prayer for the council.
"May hope accompany your journey," he said.
That journey begins Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the council reorganization meeting, when the body chooses its new leadership. The gathering takes place at Town Hall.