Parsippany is still celebrating its selection by CNN and Money Magazine as the best small city in which to live in New Jersey. The Hilton Hotel put on an invitation-only cocktail party Thursday evening that attracted township officials, area dignitaries and residents to socialize, dine and hear Mayor James Barberio recount the reasons people should have "pride in Parsippany."
In August, Money Magazine's "America's Best Places to Live" issue featured Parsippany as the best small city in New Jersey and as the 16th best in the entire nation.
Using a PowerPoint presentation, the mayor addressed the crowd to point out the reasons why Morris County's largest municipality is "a great place to live, play and work."
Barberio hailed what he called a diverse community "featuring newborns to seniors;" people living in "every type of dwelling, from garden apartments to million-dollar homes, and neighborhoods from older, small-lot bungalows to newer, clustered housing developments; land encompassing preserved open spaces to strip malls and a commercial sector featuring everything from mom-and-pop retail establishments to Fortune 500 companies.
He praised Parsippany residents, whom he described as having a median family income of $108,000, purchasing power of $86,000, and educated, with 68 percent of the population having completed at least some college. He also noted that 50 different languages are spoken within the township.
"I can only speak one," Barberio joked, earning a round of laughter.
The mayor went on to highlight the township's accessibility to Interstates 287, 80 and 280 and Routes 10, 46 and 53, along with its nearness to numerous NJ Transit stations, which make it easy for people to reach major cities like New York, Newark, Hoboken and Jersey City, and regional airports.
Barberio also noted that within about 30 miles of Parsippany, people can take advantage of a host of leisure, culture and educational resources ranging from 56 movie theaters, more than 6,000 restaurants, nearly 500 bars, 283 golf courses (including the township's Knoll Country Club), 31 parks, a "bustling" Senior Community Center, 169 libraries, 25 museums and 131 colleges and professional schools.
"Parsippany provides a high level of municipal services at a relatively low cost to our businesses and residents," the mayor said, mentioning that the average municipal tax bill for Par-Troy residents is the sixth lowest in Morris County, that sewer rates the seventh lowest in the county and that water rates in the township are the second lowest in Morris.
The mayor stated that Parsippany is a particularly good place for the private sector with about 3.5 million square feet of available office space, "beautiful business campuses and industrial parks," 17 hotels, and high-profile corporations such as Skanska, Glaxo Smith Klein, UPS, Wyndham Worldwide, Daiichi-Sankyo and Avis Budget Group.
The township provides a wealth of redevelopment opportunities for companies looking for a place to do business and grow, he said.
Infrastructure improvements were a big part of the mayor's presentation. He mentioned the $4.5-5.5 million per year that is invested from current capital and another $7.5 million each year that goes into capital improvements for the town's sewer, water and Knoll Golf utilities.
Barberio also placed a spotlight on the recent completion of the $25 million redesign of the Parsippany sewer treatment plant, which was instituted under Mayor Michael Luther's administration and completed earlier this year. The refurbished plant, being more efficient, the mayor said, saves the township millions and, because it serves 58 other New Jersey towns, is a major income source.
Praise also went out to the Parsippany Police Department and the town's emergency services, including three ambulance squads, Rescue and Recovery, six volunteer fire districts, the Office of Emergency Management (which is part of the police department), the Community Emergency Response Team and the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Services.
At the end of his remarks, Barberio announced the creation of a new town department, the Department of Planning, Zoning and Construction Inspections. Zoning Officer Jennifer Collins, he said, has been promoted to head the new department.
"The bottom line," said the mayour, "Parsippany is open for business and excited to do business with you."