GREENWOOD LAKE and WEST MILFORD NEWS, November 1, 2007
Letters to the Editor
Vote Row B in WM
In reading and re-reading recent letters to the editor now that campaign season is upon us, it seems like Alice in
Wonderland is out here in the hills of West Milford. We’ve gone through the looking glass.
Remember way back when, in 2000 we had non-partisan elections in May, ward representation (a very good idea
in a town this size) and we cast our ballots for local candidates based on their ideas, not on whether they had an “R”
or a “D” as their political affiliation.
Rewind to 1995 and those strange, almost Weird NJ-like stories about No-name Dam. And the havoc to which it
eventually gave birth. Ah, but that’s another letter, dear reader.
So here we are again, in 2007, being asked to cast our votes for this one or that one. Let me tell you my opinion:
One side says they’ve been unable to do anything because of the minority on the council, which doesn’t make much
sense because we all know the majority rules. Perhaps what cannot get done is “business as usual,” things that ought
not get done in the first place.
But I digress. When the voters of West Milford were asked to decide which kind of government they wanted (pur-
portedly for the election of mayor), the majority prevailed. The Township of West Milford was now to have partisan
elections. No more ward representation. No, we were told, it will save us money. By having elections at the same
time as the state and national occur, we’d save money. Great idea, right? Not. Because what happened was, we lost
our independence. Yes, we were co-opted. At a time when cities such as New York and Denver contemplated non-
partisan government to keep politics out, our lovely West Milford had the wool pulled over her eyes and took a giant
(30-year) step backward.
But that’s neither here nor there, dear reader, for we are faced with the challenge of electing the best candidates
for the job, right here in West Milford. Not in Trenton, not in Washington, but right here in Passaic County, NJ.
All the candidates are fine, lovely people. In fact, I am acquainted with all and have a special place in my heart for
some. Nice folks, all. No doubt. But nice isn’t what West Milford needs now. We face tough times and need to make
tough choices. West Milford needs free-thinking and independent leaders.
Long story short, if you want West Milford to stay clean and green, and not cow-tow to the status quo, then I en-
courage you to vote Row B — Bettina Bieri for mayor, and re-elect Bob Nolan and James Warden for council.
Bettina Bieri, a well-known and accomplished member of our community, is by profession a CPA and an animal
lover by nature. I am confident that when elected mayor, she will do a fine job in tightening West Milford’s collective
belt in order to preserve taxpayer dollars. James Warden and Bob Nolan are proven incumbent leaders who will look
out for you, because they understand (they’re taxpayers just like the rest of us), unlike some who’d continue to line
the pockets of big developers to turn our town into something like 20 minutes down Rte. 23. Nolan and Warden have
worked hard to halt silly, expensive ideas for more responsible and thoughtful alternatives. They helped stop several
large-scale developments that would have changed West Milford forever.
When the majority took over in 2004, they disbanded the Open Space Advisory Committee and purged nearly every
board member who disagreed with the change of government or were considered “too green.” Which brings us back
to No-name Dam — another letter, I promise.
I cannot help but mention Sheriff Jerry Speziale and our own hometown Freeholder Terry Duffy who have served
us well. Finally, Passaic County has representation that listens and acts. Thank you for your service, and I look forward
to what your next terms will bring.
In closing, remember who wanted the change of government and ask yourself if you’re better off today? See any
of those partisan “savings” in your tax bill lately? Nope, me either.
Keep West Milford independent and vote Row B. Thank you.