Just after we finished a very constructive meeting with local officials this week, we learned the news that state senator Tony Bucco had passed away. Had he not been ill, Sen. Bucco would have certainly been at the meeting, as he had long played a leading role in the fight for the state to fund Lake Hopatcong at levels sufficient to ensure it remains the amazing natural resource so many of us love.
It was only fitting that New Jersey Senate President, Steve Sweeney, accompanied by Bucco’s colleagues Senators Oroho and Pennacchio, visited the lake just a few days later and highlighted the prominent role Tony Bucco played in pleading Lake Hopatcong’s case in Trenton.
Tony Bucco was a major reason the Lake Hopatcong Commission was founded in 2001. After the commission was struck with funding problems, he crafted a creative solution to restore funding through the use of boater license fees. Most recently, he had been very concerned with the serious issues the lake faced this summer and he and his hard-working staff continued to work, along with his colleagues, to bring the necessary resources needed to address this situation.
Today, Sen Bucco was laid to rest and Lake Hopatcong lost a tremendous friend. We will miss his charisma, friendship, and hard work. It is now up to us to finish the fight for one of Tony Bucco’s dearest causes – a consistent funding stream to ensure Lake Hopatcong’s future. We could not have come anywhere close to where we are without him. Thank you Tony Bucco, rest in peace.