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Dem. Committee Chairman 'Dismayed' Over Ethics Board Picks

Noel Robinson weighs in about Mayor Mancuso appointing the new Township Ethics Committee members.

Editors note: The ethics committee met for the first time on Tuesday night since its new members were appointed. The members are Attorney Peter Manahan, Attorney John Carlin, Attorney Patrick Minter, professor Dr. Michael Shumer, Raymond Snyder, who is retired, and Attorney Karen Zimmerman.

Dear Mayor Mancuso:

Just yesterday I learned of your appointments to the Ethics Committee that has been recently convened and I must admit that I am a bit dismayed. I fully recognize that it is your prerogative to name individuals to such committees, but as chairperson of the Morris Township Democratic Committee, I believe it would have been appropriate for you to consult me regarding the possible appointments. It would have been a courtesy in the interest of balance and bipartisanship to choose Democrats who are politically involved or whom we know to be at least somewhat active in our party.

I have been a very active member of the Morris Township Democratic Committee for more than 15 years and I am not familiar with even one of the folks you have named. These folks I assume have the requisite professional criteria, but I can only hope they are familiar with the current issues. While I assume you verified they are Democrats, and they may be donors on the national or state level, I believe it would have been better to at least ask us for some recommendations of people actively engaged at the local level. We have at least several dozen lawyers and other qualified members who are very familiar with Township issues among our several thousand contacts.

Since at least one of the Republican appointees is a former Township committeeman, having at least one or more locally active Democrats on the Ethics Committee would improve the bipartisan balance.

We have chatted on a number of occasions about the Township, and I am fully confident that you and the other Township Committee members are working most conscientiously to consider all aspects of this very complicated Honeywell matter, but I am disappointed that your newly appointed Ethics Committee does not contain a single Democrat we know. To my mind, this is not reflective of bipartisanship.

Sincerely,

Noel Robinson, Ph.D.
Chair, Morris Township Democrats

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