When Englewood Cliffs opened its new municipal complex just about 10 years ago, it was appropriately named after former Mayor Joseph Parisi Sr. I am greatly disappointed that current Mayor Mario Kranjac removed his name from the municipal building without even consulting the council. It is disgraceful that the memory of a dignified public servant who devoted his life to his community is literally being thrown in the dumps because of partisan political bickering.
Parisi was an outstanding mayor, a true public servant and a visionary leader. During his 35 years of service, he turned Englewood Cliffs into an economic hub for Bergen County and New Jersey. He worked tirelessly, attracting major corporations to the Route 9W corridor, an area that is now called the "Trillion Dollar Mile."
I was fortunate to have known the mayor personally as a friend and mentor. I have represented Englewood Cliffs both as an assemblywoman and freeholder, and I can truly appreciate the contributions that Parisi and his entire family have made to the community.
Partisan politics and personal attacks have consumed the public sphere at a national level. Now it seems even our local communities are afflicted with childish behavior in the name of government service.
We need to change the tone of politics in our country, and there is no better place to start than at the local level. I implore Mayor Kranjac to be part of this effort by putting Parisi's name back on the town's administrative building immediately.
Valerie Vainieri Huttle
Englewood, Jan. 13
The writer, a Democrat, represents the 37th District in the New Jersey Assembly.