From the Sidelines: Are Montville Township Voters Apathetic, Disinterested or Just Uninformed?

Residents have to decide to engage in democracy. They are part of government, too.

Thomas Jefferson said "The strongest bulwark of a democracy is an informed and enlightened citizenry." Government works best when people pay attention and nowhere is attention more needed than at the local level. Over the past several months it has been revealed that Montville Township has a $4.8 million surplus sitting in the Water and Sewer accounts. That is money that has been paid by rate payers in what can only be called money government didn't need and taken out of the pockets of the people for whom they provide a service.

Last month the governing body passed a resolution to purchase land from at least two people who have been politically and potentially economically involved with members of the governing body. Records show that one of the sellers, Bob Gannon, was Jim Sandham's campaign manager and has other interests with Sandham. Sandham pushed very hard at the public hearing to justify the $1.8 million value. They applied and been given a grant from the county for $1.3 million for the purchase of 35 acres of floodway, wet lands and some uplands. An appraisal was done back in 2009 when the application was submitted and approved but it was based on a Montville Township engineer's own estimate of how many houses could be built. It has to be the first time in history that a buyer worked so hard to increase the value for the person they were buying from.

Here is the kicker on this whole sordid affair. Just last year after getting the biggest gift of an appraisal the sellers made a tax appeal and the county tax board reduced a portion of the land down to $600 thousand. Now the sellers are getting paid at a value of $1.8 million barely six months later. Ron Soussa, one of the owners at the time the grant was given has been at various times the Republican Club secretary, amember of the open-space committee, a member of the economic development committee and State Senator Pennachio's landlord. He also hired one of the township committee people as a contractor for another building while this application was progressing. He launched phony websites to get rid of elected officials he couldn't control and it certainly seems he has a much friendlier governing body now but who is really to blame? Last year's general election brought out a whopping 25 percent of the voters. Seventy-five percent sat on their butts and didn't bother. School Elections rarely top 25 percent even though schools take 65 percent of the property tax dollar. This year all the best people will come out because, after all, it is for president.  

The Tea Party launched a full out attack on the Towaco Fire Department over $75,000 and the township committee cut their budget. Here we are talking about $ millions in either incompetence or cronyism or worse and how does the public react? Not at all. Not a peep from the Tea Party. Not a peep from Republican Club Officials who apparently condone this behavior so that they can keep power and not a peep from every day citizens.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Maxim Sapozhnikov April 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Lisa, I don't want to start a food fight but my conclusion is that you're off your rocker with your Tea Party obsession. In addition to spamming a completely unrelated thread in someone else's blog, you're making statements that gradually slip from incompetence into insanity. What, exactly, is your problem with the "Donate" button on a website of a non-profit organization? Every charity and political website features at least one. And if you have a problem with TP using public property, PBA and teachers' union do the same - and, as much I don't like public unions, they are also taxpayers, and an integral part of the public life. You can do the same if you register a non-profit organization and request a permit.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 07:26 PM
The direction is a just one. The question is............what is the money being collected used for? He is the Towaco fire Commis. regardless of his pay or no pay. The funds are being collected in the town of Montville. The public facilities that the TEA is using are paid for by WHO? THE TAXPAYER AS MY FATHER SURE IS! Is the Montville TEA collecting money and using it properly? Are they supporting candidates in town or locally and FUNDRAISING? YEP THEY ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is the money being collected going to the TEA? Is the DONATIONS that are given being used for candidates? They say they get all their stuff donated? They charge ADMISSION to the X-mas party in a public facility in Montville? Is the money that they raise going to support anything in town? Do they pay to rent the facility? How come they can claim they are a non profit corp and they claim they are a non partisan, non political action committee (527) like Weingartens the former drug dealers TEA party and operate in the TOWN OF MONTVILLE? Like the headlines read "Are Montville Township Voters Apathetic, Disinterested or Just Uninformed?" I am asking because I AM INTERESTED AND INFORMED BUT MISSING WHAT YOU WILL NOT GO AHEAD AND SAY, you just imply. Well you opened up this can Dan G. Finish it with the FACTS please.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Max, case and point. The IRS states they are NOT A NON PROFIT! www.guidestar.org. I think that is a clear question. If they are not a non profit it is a FOR PROFIT COMPANY OWNED BY WHO? Richard Luzzi. "What, exactly, is your problem with the "Donate" button on a website of a non-profit organization? Every charity and political website features at least one" THE STATE DOES NOT HAVE THEM LISTED AS A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Max. The company name The Morristown TEA party a NJ non profit corp says they are non profit in the name. That does not make a company a not for profit. THE LAW said that the certificate of non profit status by the IRS and by the state and the BYLAWS AND A LIST OF OFFICERS be public during normal BUSINESS HOURS. Meanwhile 3 years later it is still not!
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Max, the IRS does not have a 501 c 3 or 4 listed for them. The DCA says they registered the company name as a "non profit" but that has nothing to do with their IRS status. Anyone can claim they are a non profit and they BY LAW must prove out a non profit to the IRS. They have up to 27 months to do so. They incorp. in April 2009. 36 months ago (according to the NJ Dept of Treasury) Where is the PENDING application that is PUBLIC? No one seems to want to show one. DONATIONS IF IT IS A 527 ARE NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE. IF THEY ARE A 501C3 THEY MUST SEND A 1099 AT THE END OF THE YEAR FOR PEOPLE TO FILE IT ON THEIR TAX RETURNS. Who is paying for the rental of the public property in Montville they use and is it being used for LEGAL goings on?
Maxim Sapozhnikov April 28, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Lisa, I think I solved this mystery for you. As expected, guessed correctly. Read this please: http://themorristownteaparty.org/Membership_Revise.php
Maxim Sapozhnikov April 28, 2012 at 08:17 PM
>> THE STATE DOES NOT HAVE THEM LISTED AS A CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION. So what? I occasionally donate to some organizations who aren't listed as charity or 501c3, and even private individuals. Heck, I routinely donate money to free software makers (who are, by official standards, criminal abetters at best).
Dan Grant April 28, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Max, What you don't understand is that Lisa's role hear is to disrupt the blog on real issues that may effect her party. That is all she is doing here;. She at various times has claimed to work for Pennachio, been related to well known attorney's, claims to have relatives in Montville and has claimed to be friends with some of the sellers of the land in question.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Joe I covered for his campaign and I donate the services of my photography company when they have campaign things. Along with Jay as you see in the paper and also personally Dan. Joe is my dentist also for 22 years. I support him in dist 26 where I live. Gerry Hanlon of Hanlon and Dunn worked with my mother for 27 years. "Uncle Gerry" and Bob Dunn are MY attorneys as you know Dan. Bob Dunn represents me and also did for the TEA party lawsuit that I WON. My party is the one who does the best job. Seems no one is doing that here.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Max, I posted that yesterday.It shows membership dues for a NJ NON PROFIT CORP. Where is the cert. of non profit? That is what I am asking! It is no where to be found. I don't donate to things that advertise and no one should be told IT IS A NON PROFIT WHEN PEOPLE ARE PROFITING FROM IT! That is not legal is it Max???
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:01 PM
So these companies advertise they are NON PROFIT? According to the IRS you can't advertise you are a non profit if you are not. That is fraud. The IRS said if they are not on guidestar.org or show public there cert. of non profit then it is not a non profit and someone is making money and not paying the taxes therefore YOU AND I pay the taxes by our taxes going up up up! God, I love when people ignore things like this *sarcasm*
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Dan, you just want to divert so you don't answer because you either have something more to hide or you are scared of something. One or the other. The king of suing people with no basis and the Harberson Grant debacle. What a credible guy. You lost how many election Mr Grant? Montville just loves Dan Grant! lol.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:05 PM
YOU kicked me off of your FB page because I printed when you lost the suit to Soussa :) lol. You claimed my "mom" lied in court and you could not produce the perjury that never existed. You are a has been that could not get elected if you were the only resident left in Montville. You lie and sue people. You are as bad as TEA Grant!
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Eileen Cutner (deceased was my mother) President of Brandywine. My father still lives there. Dan, so the problem that I lived with my folks in Montville and grew up there and dad is still there is alleged? Hello. You know darn well he is still there. He has been since 1985 the owner of that home in Brandywine. Where is this garbage coming from Dan. Scott Gallopo knows dad. In fact Bruce Ackerman and mom worked together and dad is friends with him still. Dad attends the TC meetings too. Are you really that dumb Dan, rhetorical question.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:18 PM
So Dan, how about my alleged dad and deceased mom living in Montville. Cutner is the maiden name I had. You know darn well that. Anyone can find out by the tax assessors office that my FATHER owns his home that I was raised in at Brandywine and my mother who was the president until the day she died in 2004. So your garbage post of me lying who I am just went out the window. So you are saying my father does not live there Dan? You are as delusional as I thought.
Lisa Piernot April 28, 2012 at 09:52 PM
And Dan, was my late mother's law firm the firm that was Sandy Ellis attorney? YEP! Public record shows it and guess you were in the court too Dan, were you not? lmao. YOU LOST!
MikeK April 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Dan, Lisa did do the pictures for Joe P for his campaign, and covered his campaign in LH Weekly as the photojournalist. Bob Dunn is her attorney, and her mother worked with Gerry Hanlon. Her father still lives in Montville. These are not "Claims" that she is making and you know that. So you can stop being an idiot. I was a witness in her Tea party case she won with Bob Dunn. As for Max, hey if you want to throw money away by giving it to people who won't say what it will be used for, and claim to be a non-profit, you can toss some my way. I'll at least tell you what I'll use it for.
Dan Grant April 28, 2012 at 10:54 PM
OK MikeK whatever, She is a stalker as far as I'm concerned and I had to cut her off my FB page because she was getting a little crazy attacking people she has no knowledge of. She and I go back along time to when the DR had a real paper and she posted as Ace. The point is that there were issues that were being discussed and she jumped in with a whole lot of nonsense obviously because she thought here side wasn't defending themselves well enough.
Dan Grant April 28, 2012 at 10:59 PM
And Sandy Ellis was only in the Suit because she was a part owner of a franchised website with Soussa which was stripped from them. She was never in "Court" to my knowledge but she made statements in mediation that were simply not true. I just didn't care so I didn't bother to fight it and I am not going to rehash that case again.
Maxim Sapozhnikov April 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Lisa, you *are* nuts, officially. Spamming doesn't win you any friends, political or otherwise. Read the link I posted. You will see that there are *two* Morristown Tea Parties. MikeK, the only thing I'll gladly throw your way is a birdie. Do something useful for the society first.
Lisa Piernot April 29, 2012 at 06:13 AM
"She was never in "Court" to my knowledge but she made statements in mediation that were simply not true." Lie like a rug DAN! lol you seem to forget. Perhaps your selective memory failed.
Lisa Piernot April 29, 2012 at 06:19 AM
Max, you are clearly CLUELESS. http://www.njteaparty.com/ is the former drug dealer that sued me for printing his public record for being just that a drug dealer. Jeff Weingarten. He owns http://www.njteaparty.com/ He sued for the name of Luzzi's corp claiming he was a 527 PAC. By law in NJ only 1 company can own a name and that is what the suit was about. Read it. Google is your friend. Oh, I see you can't read and if you did not know the LAW about incorporation in NJ you should learn that also So, now that I showed you there are NOT 2 morristown TEA parties incorporated there is 1, I think you are as dumb as a tree stump. Weingarten owns the NJTeaparty. Do your homework. Please before you spew garbage you should read, check your facts and get your issues straight. You claim they don't charge membership and send me a link showing they do. Stupid is a stupid does. When I was in school they had a program "reading is fundemental" Max, you should, take it.
Lisa Piernot April 29, 2012 at 06:21 AM
I just didn't care so I didn't bother to fight it and I am not going to rehash that case again." Dan, you lost the lawsuit,from losing all of your lawsuits. It's public record. You don't care to rehash you becoming one of the most 10 notorious in Montville as the paper printed? How many elections did you lose by the way 10? lol
Lisa Piernot April 29, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Max, again do your homework. The Dept of Treasury state of NJ is where you look. Hello. stupid is as stupid does. Weingarten had to register as njteaparty as you see clearly because LUZZI is the Morristown TEA. The LAW if you read does not allow 2 companies to have the same name by using the word The or Org. You really are that clueless and you really are one of the uninformed voters of Montville. that can't read or do the research. That is why we have the corrupt people in office we do now. People that are stupid like you vote them in due to not being able to read. Case closed and that is a FACT :) Now that you proved out your ignorance like Dan G, I bid you adieu.
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:46 AM
"A little-noticed lawsuit between two groups, each claiming to be the voice of the Tea Party movement in Morristown, NJ, has quietly moved into pre-trial discovery. But what is already known about the parties to that case suggests that the plantiff might risk considerably more embarrassment than do the defendants." "The case, oddly titled Morristown Tea Party Organization v. The Morristown Tea Party Organization et al., was filed on or about March 28, 2010 by Jeffrey M. Weingarten, who has consistently called himself President of the Morristown Tea Party Organization (MTPO). Remarkably, it was filed nearly a year after the events took place that Weingarten is now complaining about. (In addition to the above link, MTPO has this link on the domain "blogivists.com," but that page has seen no update since August 15, 2009. Weingarten had sought an injunction to prevent the other organization, now called The Morristown Tea Party, A NJ Nonprofit Corporation (TMTP), from holding its April 15 rally. A judge denied the motion, and the rally took place anyway. But the lawsuit remained, and as pre-trial discovery continues, several mysteries remain about Weingarten's actions in this affair."
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:47 AM
"Among the mysteries: MTPO filed with the IRS as a 527 organization, but did not file any sort of incorporation papers. A search of NJ Business Gateway yields only one result: for TMTP. At first, TMTP's listing included the word Organization in its name, but Richard T. Luzzi, listed as President of TMTP, changed that in fairly short order. (A "previous name" search on the phrase "Morristown Tea Party Organization" also leads to TMTP.) Furthermore, MTPO has not reported any contributions, or any disbursements or other expenditures, since its founding. Yet as this Federal Election Commission report states, Weingarten made a $700 contribution to the political action committee (PAC) of Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC-2), the congressman who famously shouted, "You lie!" at President Obama while Obama was addressing a joint session of Congress. That contribution came after Wilson appeared at an October event arranged by Weingarten for the MTPO. In addition, Weingarten's Web sites have donation links available, thus raising the question of where the money is flowing if it is not actually flowing to something called "Morristown Tea Party Organization." A legal source told this Examiner that if a corporation, trust, or not-for-profit organization has not filed for any sort of charter with any State's Department of State, then legally it does not exist apart from its founder."
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:48 AM
"Weingarten filed his lawsuit, as mentioned, on or about March 28. He listed TMTP (which he called an "impostor organization"), three named defendants (Luzzi, Janet Cornish, and Lisa Piernot), and ten "John Does" as defendants. He alleged misappropriation of a trade name, unfair competition, defamation, injurious falsehood, "intentional interference with prospective economic advantage", prima facie tort, and breach of fiduciary duty. The last count is alleged against Cornish, who originally had been listed as the Vice-President of MTPO and one of three original persons (along with Weingarten and Denyce Lucatorto) authorized to sign checks drawn on the MTPO bank account. That authority was withdrawn in an e-mail addressed to Cornish and obtained by this Examiner. TMTP sources have previously told this Examiner that they were forced to start all over with their fundraising for last year's Independence Day Tea Party on the Morristown Green."
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:49 AM
"All these legal filings cost money--and if MTPO (assuming that it legally exists apart from Weingarten) has been paying the legal bill, then apparently it has not been reporting its expenditures to the IRS. Commentators on this on-line forum have noted the mysteries surrounding MTPO's failure to report any amount of contributions or expenditures. But some have asked why TMTP is not currently listed as a 501(c)(3) organization, which is how Richard Luzzi has sought to run his organization. A possible explanation, which the commenters might not be familiar with, is that 501(c)(3) organizations are not required, and might not even be allowed, to file for 501(c)(3) status immediately upon their incorporation or other legal creation. This IRS publication gives full particulars on who may file for 50(c)(3) status, when, and how. Weingarten has been representing himself as the head of all Tea Party activity in New Jersey, and has built a Web site having links to multiple Tea Party groups. But, with the exception of his own MTPO (which exists as another page on his NJTeaParty site), none of those organizations link back to his page, and indeed some have requested that he de-list them."
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Max, how is this for your brain? Read it.
Lisa Piernot April 30, 2012 at 03:54 AM
He sued me and LOST! I was not in the TEA. I published his public record that he was a drug dealer! lol. http://newjersey.gov/education/legal/sboe/2003/oct/sb4-01.pdf


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