21 Church Street, Vernon, NJ 07462
The township council is the elected governing body responsible for legislative functions in Vernon Township. It is comprised of five members, all of whom are elected at-large. Subsequent to the implementation of Vernon’s new form of government on July 1, 2011, initial council terms are staggered—three members serve for two years and two members serve for four years. Going forward, all will serve for a term of four years.
Regular meetings of the township council convene on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the municipal building, located at 21 Church Street in Vernon.
Patrick Rizzuto, President
Term Ends 12/2025
Natalie Buccieri, Vice President
Term Ends 12/2025
Term Ends 11/8/2022
Term Ends 12/2025
Harry J. Shortway
Term Ends 12/2023
Councilman Harry Shortway served as mayor from January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2019. He was the second directly elected mayor of Vernon under the township’s new form of government. Councilman Shortway also served from 2010 to 2011 as deputy mayor to Vernon Township. Councilman Shortway graduated from Ridgewood High School and Alfred University where he earned a BA in criminal justice studies. In 1982 he became a police officer in Ridgewood and transferred to the West Milford Police Department in 1988 until 2003. Harry and his wife, Cherie, moved to Vernon in 1992. All four of their children attended and graduated from the Vernon school system. Harry and Cherie are also the grandparents of five grandchildren.
Councilwoman Natalie Buccieri has lived in Vernon since 1997. She and her husband Dan have raised their four children in Vernon and their youngest attends VTHS. Natalie graduated from Jefferson Township High School, County College of Morris and received a paralegal certificate from the College of Saint Elizabeth. Upon graduation, she began working at CIGNA Healthcare, eventually becoming the regional customer service coordinator, responding to department of insurance and department of health inquiries, aiding CIGNA's legal department and coordinating the insurance appeal process, ensuring it met governmental regulations. Leaving CIGNA in 2000, Natalie worked with her husband Dan and they began a countertop installation and repair business. She managed the day-to-day operations of the business while raising their children. Since 2019, Natalie has been employed at Selective Insurance, as a distribution strategies specialist. Mrs. Buccieri served on the Vernon Township EDAC in 2011. In 2017, Councilwoman Buccieri was elected to the Vernon Township BOE and served on the board from 2018-2020. While a board member she served on the following committees: Superintendent Search Committee, Finance Committee, Negotiations Committee, Adhoc Healthcare Committee and chairwoman for the Liaison Committee.
Councilman Michael J. Furrey is currently working as owner/president and private consultant for his own company, a NJDEP certified laboratory, called Agra Environmental and Laboratory Services after working for 12 years for a major public water utility, the North Jersey District Water Commission. He is a 1987 graduate of Cook College, Rutgers University with a BS in environmental chemistry. He also served on the advisory board for Licensing of Water and Wastewater Operators. He was also the past chair for the NJAWWA Education Committee from 1996 to 1998. He currently holds a T4/W3 water license and is an instructor for the Introductory and Advanced Water Treatment courses in NJ. He has also coordinated many accredited seminars for organizations such as an adjunct professor for Rutgers University, NJIT, NJWEA, NJWA, NJWC and the AWWA-NJ. Mr. Furrey was the AWWA-NJ section chair in 2015 and currently serves as a legislative liaison for the section locally in NJ. He also served as Environmental Commission and Greenway Chair for Vernon Township NJ. He is now the past chair of the Vernon Township Municipal Utility Authority credited with improving the overall finances and stabilizing rates. He was also recently appointed to the NJDEP Drinking Water Quality Institute and a member of the NJ Future "Lead in Drinking Water 35-member Task Force." Mr. Furrey has four adult children and is married to Naomi E. Furrey and a Vernon Township resident since 1992. He was a head coach for those four children for soccer, basketball, football, and baseball for over 20 years and past director of basketball for the Vernon Police Athletic League. He served as a member of the Sussex County Wastewater Advisory Committee for the county freeholders and active member of the Sussex County Republican Party.