Two more MUA commisioners resign

| 29 Feb 2012 | 03:49

WEST MILFORD — After appointing two new members to the Municipal Utilities Authority last Wednesday, giving the MUA a quorum with which to work, the remaining two members of the authority subsequently resigned.

That makes five resignations - the entire board - in less than two weeks.

The latest resignations came from Martin Perricone on Feb. 22 and James M. Burns on Feb. 24.

In his letter to the council, Perricone, who served on the MUA for 13 months, said he was resigning his position as vice chair of the MUA immediately for personal reasons.

"We have faced the many challenges that a system of this design and age has put forth," said Perricone in his letter. "An authority that has been neglected by previous operators, professionals and administrators alike. A system that is in dire need of capital improvements in order to meet the needs of its customers and the environmental concerns of the public."

But Perricone also went on to criticize Mayor Bettina Bieri for using the MUA for political gain.

"The mayor and her supporters saw it prudent to accuse this commission of criminal wrong doing, rather than use this time to work towards a common goal of solutions to a system that will ultimately need much more than its 1700 users are able to financially support," according to his letter.

Burns, who has served nearly three terms on the authority, said he has served the MUA "to the best of my ability." He listed the improvements to facilities that have come over the years, including the Awosting sewage treatment plant being replaced and the upgrade to Bald Eagle village.

"I know that there are many more problems that need to be addressed, with plants ranging in age of 20 to 40 years, and a limited budget making repairs a very challenging task," said Burns in his letter. "It is apparent to me that the mayor and others feel that the board is not managing the West Milford MUA properly. I, therefore, submit my resignation effective immediately."

These resignations come on the heels of three others. Phil Pirro, Sal Schimmenti and David Hiester all resigned from the MUA the week before, leaving the MUA without a quorum. The township council appointed two new commissioners last Wednesday, Carol Hardy and Louis Monico. They now need at least one other to form a quorum. According to Bieri, the township has received more citizen leadership forms requesting appointment to the MUA since last week. The scheduled Feb. 28 meeting had to be canceled because of a lack of a quorum. The township council meets on Wednesday, March 7, and will have the opportunity to appoint other members to the commission before the next scheduled meeting of the MUA on Tuesday, March 13.

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