GOP to Choose Town Council Hopefuls

Michael Strumolo says Freeholder John Cesaro's vacated council seat should be filled by a woman.

The Morris County Republican Committee takes up a huge task at its upcoming Monday meeting: narrowing down who has a shot to replace on the Parsippany Township Council.

Among those expected to make a bid before the county committee for the seat include U.S. Air Force reservist and former Town Council member James Vigilante and Dr. Louis Valori, former Board of Education member and current vice chairperson of the .

Commitee member Michael Strumolo, who also sits on the , told Patch that it's time a woman had a spot on the council.

"Women are half of the population in Parsippany," Strumolo said. "We haven't had a woman on the council since Ann Grossi became a freeholder two years ago. That's not right."

Strumolo said he did not know who the committee was considering, though when informed that many are whispering the name of , who is studying law at Seton Hall University, he indicated that he had heard that news.

Shah ran for council unsuccessfully as a Democrat in 2007 but afterward changed his affiliation to the Republican Party, where he, cousin (now on the Zoning Board of Adjustment) and uncle have played roles in helping promote local GOP campaigns.

"Milin is a good kid and his family works hard," Strumolo said. "I'm not opposed to him. I think it's just important to have a woman there."

The Township Council will meet in special session Tuesday at 7 p.m at Town Hall to pick from the county committee's three selections. The winner will be sworn in to serve the remainder of , which is set to end Dec. 31, 2013.

Pete June 22, 2012 at 01:43 PM
So now we have a NEW qualification for the job -- one that Mr. Strumolo thinks should outweigh all others ? What ever happened to training, knowledge, and experience ?
Selene June 22, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Mr. Strumolo is absolutely right, the council needs several women and not just repubs, perhaps progressives or oooohhhhh dare I say DEMOCRATS!!!!
Natalie Davis (Editor) June 22, 2012 at 03:08 PM
The BOE positions are supposed to be non-partisan, and in fact, there are two Democrats on the panel.
Steven Colpar June 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Training, Knowledge, and Experience – how droll! I mean – really…. That’s soooo cute. But seriously folks – what we need are people that understand these simple tenets … you toe the party line, And…… well that’s really the only tenet. There’s a beauty in it’s simplicity. And we’re all better for it. That stuff about independent thinking and “new” ideas. Save it for the campaign flyers where it belong (and please deposit in “recycle” promptly lest the Libs have a hissy-fit). And Selene – Democrats? Really? The next thing you know they’ll be mass wedding ceremonies of gay muslim Acorn volunteers held at townhall, socialized medicare for the whole town, and midnight fire arm confiscation. Not very American, ma’am. Not in our town. ParNation should not stand for it.
Hank Heller June 22, 2012 at 04:44 PM
I'm not always in agreement with Mr. Strumolo but this time I think he hits the nail on the head. There are a number of very smart, talented and experienced women in this town who could really help to provide greater diversity, greater independence and greater intellectual decision-making at the Town Council level. Instead of just selecting those people who will follow the administrations demands without question, it would be better for the town, it's citizens and even the current administration (believe it or not) if we had more intellectual firepower available to help us come up with the "best" answers and directions, as opposed to the "convenient" ones. I do not know any of these women personally, but I do know that Judy Tiedeman, former President of the Board of Education, Loretta Gragnani, Board of Adjustment member and/or Paula Csantavari, Planning Board member and paralegal with extensive experience and knowledge in land use issues would be ideal candidates. Additionally, isn't Jigar Shah the gentleman who was a key player in the not so distant absentee ballot scandal that engulfed the Lyons/Nordstrom election as well as, perhaps the more local Parsippany Town Council election? Why would we nominate another representative from that family? Just curious. Hank Heller
Luis Matos June 22, 2012 at 08:14 PM
I vote for Loretta Gragnani, Board of Adjustment member
Carol M. June 22, 2012 at 08:59 PM
My, my... I'd suggest that Mr Strumolo might benefit from learning to keep his ignorance to himself. "Women are half of the population in Parsippany," Strumolo said. "We haven't had a woman on the council since Ann Grossi became a freeholder two years ago. That's not right." I'm not sure of the exact demographics of Parsippany but if we apply Mr Strumolo's logic, I'd ponder that there are other populations not represented on our 5 member Town Council but everyone would cringe to hear a blanket statement in that direction from him yet this is acceptable? He doesn't put forth a worthy candidate who happens to be a woman put rather states that because of the gender make up and population statistics of our town a 5 member body simply needs a woman because it has been lacking a female for 2 years? And this is the thinking of someone charged with making decisions about our children and he feels comfortable saying it out loud in public?
Selene June 22, 2012 at 09:07 PM
I was referring to Mr. Stromolo's suggestion for a woman as a Council member, not the BOE.
Kevin Brancato June 22, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Carol, when it comes to the vote he will probably abstain anyway.
Selene June 22, 2012 at 09:29 PM
The lack of diversity is what I'd call UN American.
Selene June 22, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Bravo Hank, it's time to get the Good 'Ole Boys a little shook up with a few women on the council and (LOVE this) ....... Hank remarks "it would be better for the town, it's citizens and even the current administration (believe it or not) if we had more intellectual firepower available to help us come up with the "best" answers and directions, as opposed to the "convenient" ones. " INTELLECTUAL FIREPOWER being the keyword....
Selene June 23, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Carol, I think you don't like Stromolo and that's your deal, but he's right, we need women and Indians (from India, I won't say Hindus because they are not all of that religion) Iranians and Hispanics and African Americans on the town council not just self serving. Good Ole Boys, white males. Parsippany is becoming very diverse and we need the proper representation.
parpardon June 23, 2012 at 03:41 AM
Hank, first of all I don't even know why Natalie Davis would even interview Mike Strumolo. He is not the Chair of the Republican Party in town. Natalie should be interviewing the chairperson of the republican committee. Hank, one thing you do not do is fool me. Everyone knows that you are friends with Strumolo who I may add probably called up Natalie Davis for this story. Hank, Mike Strumolo is bad for the BOE and the town. He could care less if it is a woman. As for your statement about the absantee ballots in the last election, if you want to know the truth just go to Tabor Pizza like I do and you hear a lot of what happened in the last election. See what council member recieved the most absantee votes in the last republican primary. Call the county clerk and get a list of who voted absantee and where they live. You will find out that those who voted don't even live in town but have a Parsippany address that is owned by a certain individual who is close with the council member who recieved the most absantee votes. Oh by the way, when you talk about intellectual decision-making Mike Strumolo is not in that category. Also ask Mike Strumolo how he lied and tried to decieve Judy Tiedemann who I may add is a wonderful person.
parpardon June 23, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Carol, Mike Strumolo could care less if a woman was on the council. I don't know if you know Judy Tiedemann? Judy is a wonderful person who Strumolo stabbed in the back. He did the same to Loretta Gragnani. Mike Strumolo can't even make a decision. Just like Kevin Brancato says, he will probably abstain when it comes time to vote.
parpardon June 23, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Selene, you sound like you are a bit prejiduce. You use the term Good Ole Boys, white males. Cut me a break and go back and hide under the rock you came out of.
Natalie Davis (Editor) June 23, 2012 at 04:43 AM
Ach! That's what happens when you get old. Thanks, Selene.
Carol M. June 23, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Very true and right to the point Mr Brancato. I'd like to also add that I really do enjoy your quick wit and look forward to seeing your posts.


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