Bringing integrity to West Milford politics

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    Letter to the Editor Democracy nourishes with truthfulness and respect for the dignity of men and women. Conversely totalitarianism strives on hatred and propaganda. Unfortunately too often West Milford's democracy has been starved of the former and forced to absorb the stifling air of the later. West Milford's geography stretched for over 20 miles from one end to the other has created a fertile environment for the later. Some have stated West Milford is really five towns in one. Even this is not true. West Milford has merely become a town of strangers. Issues of one end of town are foreign to the other and out of this lack of knowledge taxpayers and voters are misled. Rumors and baseless accusations become self evident truths and the loudest voices prevail. Politicians entering town hall soon begin to leave grit and reason at the door exiting in a stupor of praises of the self serving for their weakness and sucumbinations (this word was invented for West Milford) leaving reflections of shame to West Milford's reputation. Once bitten twice shy citizens begin to mistrust all and build walls of indifference and contempt. Less vote and the self serving become stronger. Fortunately one man is beginning to give West Milford's democratic process some oxygen Mayor Joe Di Donato. He is considerate of all. Republicans or Democrats. He seeks the facts and weighs various points of view with patience. His thought process is not cluttered with political agenda but reasons solely for the best interests of West Milford. In short he deliberates with integrity. Mayor Di Donato's countenance is modest and soft spoken yet he is becoming the most powerful and influential person in West Milford's political process. What is refreshing it's all for the right reasons. You may notice bickering between members of the town council but never between Mayor Di Donato and council members. Indeed there are virtually no criticisms of his person or his intentions. He enjoys a certain respect by all that know him. He is indeed a calming, stabilizing breathe of fresh air in the political scene. In a few weeks there will be an election to choose two candidates for council. I hope one of those chosen is Paul Ramero because he may also breath some fresh air into West Milford's democratic process. I have only had a few conversations with Mr. Marino but I noticed he has some qualities needed in politics. Like Mayor Di Donato he is a good listener, he comprehends what you are saying, he thinks things through with prudence and he appears to be sincere. If Mr. Marino proves to be even half the gentleman Mayor Di Donato is, he'll become a fine councilman. There are however two reasons he may never get the chance. Like Mayor Di Donato, Mr. Marino is a political wall flower not given to murmuring sweet nothings to gullible voters who are too quick to accept "I'm with you, I'm for you and of course I love you". Like Mayor Di Donato, Mr. Marino realizes the solutions to our problems are too complex to be discussed with emotional or catching phrases. He is mutually prone to enter into dialogue supported by facts, logic and frankness. Only if the voters are willing to take the time to listen will Mr. Marino have a chance. Two points, first on a local level there is not much difference between Republicans and Democrats philosophically and most the differences are petty in nature. Second, there is a serious lack of vision or the dialogue to create it within our local government. Mayor Di Donato has begun to bring the Republican Party into long range thinking with deliberations of integrity. I believe if elected Paul Marino could bring the Democrats into serious discussions of the issues absent the personal attacks. If Mr. Marino and Mr. Scangarello were both elected to the town council there would be three Democrats and three Republicans on the town council. Neither party would have a majority and Mayor Di Donato would have the deciding vote. With that, civility in West Milford would advance finally in a positive direction. John Aiello West Milford