Bitterness about land sale

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    West Milford — Although the battle to redevelop the former Jungle Habitat site, near Greenwood Lake Airport, has long been lost, some local residents continue to lick old wounds. That became evident during the Aug. 4 council meeting. Celeste Byrne and James Warden, say the sale of 466 acres of land to the state is the deal that tore the township apart and caused the change of government. They resent the sitting council for basking in the glory of the sale. Emotions spoke louder than words as some residents refused to let the issue die without a final fight. Former Councilwoman Maria Harkey was bitter about township officials despite Council President William Gervens appeal to let bygones be bygones now that the sale of the redevelopment zone is complete. Harkey, one of three former council members to speak at the council meeting, said she switched to a commercial channel during the last local cable TV broadcast meeting in July. She said she could not watch the mayor and other council members put their political spin on "having" to sell the redevelopment area to the state for Green Acres. Citing a television commercial about saving money, she said "I thought, how appropriate a message to give to the West Milford Town Council. You are too late," she continued, "and have not saved the taxpayers money but rather cost us money!"