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Deputy Mayor Calls Latest Honeywell Delay 'Retaliation'

Bruce Sisler says employment with Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr. has no impact on his vote.

While Deputy Mayor Bruce Sisler's potential conflict of interest in the Honeywell process was brought up at last week's Township Committee meeting, he believes there is no conflict, and it is instead "political retaliation," NJ.com reports.

Last week the township committee on the zoning ordinance that would allow Honeywell to redevelop its property because Sisler's employment with Assemblyman Anthony Bucco Jr. could create a conflict, Township Attorney John Mills said.

Mills received a press release that outlined Bucco's sponsorship of the Business Retention and Relocation and Grant program and his incentives to keep Honeywell in Morris Township. Sisler's job as the chief of staff for Bucco could cause a potential conflict, Mills said.

While Mills declined to comment on who the press release was from, Sisler said resident Lee Goldberg—who has strongly opposed the Honeywell process—sent it.

Goldberg declined to comment Monday if he sent the letter, but said it is only fair for Sisler to go through the same process as Grayzel.

"I don't view it as retaliation," Goldberg said. "I view it as keeping the process pure and untainted without a hint of conflict."

While Honeywell did not apply for tax credits under the BRRAG bill, it was seen as an incentive to keep its headquarters in Morris Township.

"Whether or not Honeywell availed themselves under the grant program under BRRAG, the potential for an appearance that Mr. Sisler would be tempted to vote in a way that would be what his employer would expect, still exists," Mills told Patch last week.

According to NJ.com, Sisler believes this perceived conflict, however, is "political retaliation" after he spoke up when Committeeman Jeff Grayzel This potential conflict is just another delay, Sisler said.

Sisler said at last week's meeting that his responsibilites working for Bucco has nothing to do with the legislation, and should pose no conflict.

"My purview is to do many different functions including distributing mail, reviewing calendars and schedules, dealing with constituent concerns," he said last week. "But no where in my job description does it have the legislative aid, or legislative issues under my purview."

The township ethics committee will review the case and come up with a recommendation if Sisler should be able to keep his vote.

Other concerned residents part of the Citizens for Better Planning in Morris Township have also been opposing aspects of the redevelopment plans in Honeywell.

The group's latest effort is when they submitted a petition on Aug. 15 to the township committee to mandate the ordinance to be passed by a "Super Majority Vote," meaning four "yes" votes. The petition legally needed 20 percent of residents sign it who live within 200 feet of Honeywell's property. The petition is now pending the township's approval.

The development process for Honeywell's 147-acre property has now been going on for over two years. After several draft changes, the plan would now allow the addition for 235 town houses and office and lab space.

The next public hearing is on Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Morris Township Municipal Building.

Joen Mae August 21, 2012 at 07:08 PM
Who is Rob burke and what is his stake in this whole thing? also, what is his tirade against Peter Mancuso? Is Burke fronting for someone else who doesn't want to be identified with the accusations and innuendoes that Mr. burke is making? what is so threatening that you have reached the level of bitterness that you are expressing?
Rob Burke August 21, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Hi Joen. I am a resident of Morris Township. I live on Vom Eigen Drive -- for nearly 20 years. I am not a "front" for anyone. Thanks for asking. Regarding Honeywell: I don't believe the Town has even tried, in good faith, to understand the property tax implications of the proposal. They didn't even have a single piece of paper to analyze the question two weeks ago, when I sent in a public records request. I don't know why you accuse me of being bitter. I'm simply interested in my elected officials serving me rather than serving themselves. I care deeply about all those tax dollars I pay and don't want them used to payoff buddies in the good ol' boy network. Regarding Mancuso & the Carnival: I am not making innuendos at all. I am repeating published newspaper reports regarding Mancuso's legal violations. Mancuso failed to account for all of the money that he collected in connection with the Carnival. As a result, the State shut down the Carnival. I like Carnivals. So do children, parents and grandparents throughout our community. Mancuso can't/won't explain what he did with all that money. He should not occupy a position of public trust. And he's the reason we don't have a carnival any more. And our community should have a Carnival. Perhaps we can have it on the Honeywell property?
Kerwin Fuffle August 22, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Mr. Burke, since when has your "co-conspirator" Lee Goldberg ever declined to comment? He seems to enjoy his role as town crier and uber-irritant too much to all of a sudden zip his lip. Joen Mae has a point regarding your bitterness. We all are tiring of your accusations and innuendoes against the hard working township committee. Taint away while the rest of us who have confidence in the leadership will strive to protect our purity of essence and precious bodily fluids. Kerwin has spoken...
Lee Goldberg August 22, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Kerwin...First, reveal yourself and come out from behind the veil of anonymity. Secondly, I would not say I have zipped the lip in that the quote from me that is printed above was obtained just yesterday so still talking. Thirdly, after reading about three articles related to this topic I feel the press is somewhat missing the point. In the end, the purpose of ethi inquiries is not to embarrass the official, but to help the official maintain public trust in him and government. To that end, the test is not what an elected official feels in his heart, but what the public perception might reasonably be. And that public perception should be and needs to be about whether there is a hint that compensation could reasonably be expected to influence or taint a vote or decision. The compensation in this case, is to Mr. Sisler from Mr. Sisler's employer, not potential tax credits to Honeywell. Another aspect is whether a quid pro quo exists: Mr. Sisler vote potentially gets Assy Bucco credit with voters, Mr. Sisler gets pay check. No more no less. When Mr. Grayzel fully understood the potential taint his wifes future pension compensation might convey to the public he did the proper thing and recused himself. Thanks for your time and attention related to this matter. Oh and Mr. Burke (whom I have never met) has a great idea about bringing the Carnival back to town. I would immediately volunteer to help accomplish this! Honeywell location for Carnival is perfect! Regards, Lee
Rob Burke August 22, 2012 at 09:57 AM
Funny! My phone has been ringing off the hook from other residents who want to know what they can do about the Great Carnival Rip Off. Folks (including me) didn't realize that the Ginty Carnival was shut down by the State because Mancuso broke the law. The funniest part is that the disgust with the inbreeding in Township Government is now coming from all sides of the political spectrum. Tom Luby, head of the Town GOP, has the audacity to whine about partisan politics! Meanwhile he sits atop the Board of Adjustment with his Brother In Law. And I know that if I constantly repeat the truth, which is what I do so well, that a year or two from now, the truth will be well known. This is called participation in government. Its the American Way. You don't like it, Mr. Sisler -- I mean Mr, Futtle -- then emigrate elsewhere. As for me, I'm going to reintroduce the Carnival to Morris Township. And you can bet that will remind everyone how much fun they've lost because of Morris Township Corruption.

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