Making it official

Steve Lonegan, the former mayor of Bogota, plans a press conference on Monday, presumably to announce his candidacy for governor in 2009.

He’ll be the second candidate in the race … Rick Merkt is the other one.

'Fun times' in Morristown

The town council is set to vote on a Speedwell Avenue redevelopment plan on Tuesday night.

Yes, there is a lot of redevelopment ongoing in Morristown these days, but this is a big one. There is talk of more than 600 units and 35,000 square feet of retail space. More interesting is the fact that Speedwell Avenue needs no redevelopment. The area is quite vibrant as it is now.

Also, some of those who are to be bought out are not willing sellers — suggesting that this may be an eminent domain case. How sweet — condemning land to primarily benefit a developer. not the public.

This is allowed under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Kelo case, certainly one of the worst decisons the court has rendered in recent history.

Pennacchio-super make peace

Kathleen Serafino, the designee for Morris County Superintendent of Schools, has said her mea-culpa to state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio.

Pennacchio recently “signed off” on Serafino’s nomination, clearing the way for her to be appointed to the job permanently. Pennacchio had been holding up his support after he said Serafino was unresponsive about concerns he raised with her earlier this year.

Serafino subsequently met with Pennacchio to clear the air. The senator says he’s looking for a productive relationship and added that he wants to hold a meeting with all the superintendents in his district in January.

What's happening in AC?

Gossip is fun … if you know of a politician,  or for that matter, a prominent person who did something dopey at this week’s League of Municipalities Convention, do tell.

What about Greenwood Lake?

State Sen. Anthony Bucco has introduced legislation to get $700,000 in state money to help upkeep Lake Hopatcong.

Watching closely have been the folks on the Greenwood Lake Commission, which is in both Passaic County and New York state. The commission passed a resolution this week calling on Bucco to amend his bill to include money for Greenwood Lake as well.




Now that you're quitting ….

Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-Passaic, jumped on today’s resignation of U.S. Attorney Chris Christie with this statement:

 “After repeatedly avoiding Congressional inquiries into questionable practices used by his office, I was surprised that Mr. Christie’s resignation letter touted the use of deferred prosecution agreements.  If Mr. Christie has become more open to discussing the $52 million no-bid monitoring contract he awarded his former boss, I would welcome his participation in the ongoing House investigation.  Perhaps now as a private citizen, instead of a Justice Department employee, Mr. Christie will choose to testify before Congress, as John Ashcroft did earlier this year.


“Working with Rep. Pallone and the House Judiciary Committee, I am determined to bring oversight and transparency to a broken corporate prosecution process that is soft on criminal offenders and ripe for political abuse.  Employees, consumers and shareholders suffer when corporations act criminally.  Congress must act to make sure that contracting practices are handled in a transparent manner and that corporate offenders are punished accordingly in a way that is free of political influence.”


Unhappy in Hanover?

Mayor Ronald Francioli made big news by turning down and reporting a $20,000 bribe.  For some reason, comments about the case by Hanover officials may not be to the liking of the county prosecutor’s office. The following memo went out today from Joe Giorgio, the town administrator.

I have been asked by Mayor Francioli to advise you of the following concern expressed by the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office. The Prosecutor’s Office has taken note that certain officials have commented to the media concerning the attempted bribery of Mayor Francioli. This matter is still under investigation and as such, comments made to the press could jeopardize the outcome of the investigation and any subsequent court case.

Therefore, please understand the serious ramifications of making any statements.

In point of fact, I spoke with John Dorsey and he asked that I also point out that any interference in an on-going investigation could lead to charges of obstruction of justice. Please be guided accordingly and refrain from making any statements to the press whatsoever. Thank you, Joe.