Mayor James Barberio kicked off his re-election effort at a kickoff and fundraising event at the Sheraton Hotel Thursday evening.
A large crowd of well-wishers and dignitaries were on hand to lend their support as Barberio announced a campaign ticket including Council Vice President Vincent Ferrara, who is running for re-election, and challenger Milin Shah.
"Our campaign theme is all about moving Parsippany forward," said Barberio.
The slate will face the opposing team of in the June 4 Republican Party primary election.
"I've been mayor for the past four years, and I believe I have been very successful as the mayor," Barberio said. "I've brought debt service down by $1.9 million, I've reduced legal fees by $220,000, insurance fees by $314,000. I'm continually decreasing our expenses in town while maintaining services in the township of Parsippany-Troy Hills."
"I'm humbled and excited to be standing here as a council candidate on the mayor's re-election ticket and alongside Councilman Ferrara," said Shah, who spoke of his move from the Democratic to the Republican party, where he said his values align, and how he has been a Barberio supporter since 2009.
"To be honest, I wasn't expecting the mayor to ask me to run with him, but he sat me down and said, 'Milin, Parsippany’s council needs a fresh perspective, Parsippany needs new energy and Parsippany needs another leader who will always put Parsippany first,'" he said. "I was sold."
The ticket hopes Parsippany residents will be sold as well. The platform covers keeping taxes low while maintaining essential services and growing economic development in the township, as noted by Ferrara.
"My running mates and I promise you that we will work tirelessly to ensure that Parsippany-Troy Hills remains a great place to live, work and play," he said. "When re-elected, I will continue to work with the mayor to find new and innovative ways to do more with less. We will re-examine possible shared service arrangements with other towns. We will keep taxes low, but maintain the reasonable and necessary services all citizens expect from local government.
"We also want to facilitate preservation and improvement of what I term the 'Parsippany Way of Life'… to ensure that our children, as well as our senior citizens, will be able to afford to continue to live here."
Which, as the mayor said, is what is at the heart of his re-election effort.
"My commitment to the community is far and beyond [politics and numbers]—I love Parsippany," he said. "Parsippany is in my blood. I know I can keep it moving forward.
"Parsippany is on the right track. How do I know that? Because we're the number one place to live in New Jersey."
Barberio has netted the endorsements of 26th District state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, Asw. BettyLou DeCroce and Asm. Jay Webber.
Dignitaries in attendance at the campaign kickoff included Sen. Pennacchio, U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, Freeholder Ann Grossi, Councilman Michael J. dePierro, Police Chief Anthony DeZenzo, Deputy Chief Paul Philipps, Indian-American Liaison Jigar Shah, former Board of Education member Frank Neglia, former Mayor Joseph Weisberg, Zoning Board of Adjustment member Amil Shah and Planning Board members Steve Cappadonna, Steve Dinsmore, Brian Kelley and George Kimmey.