Candidates in home stretch for council race

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WEST MILFORD-It's getting down to the wire for four men hoping to be elected to a pair of Town Council seats here. With less than two weeks until Election Day, Republican incumbent Dennis Kirwan along with newcomer Ken Freedman and Democrats James Warden and Robert Nolan are hoping to be elected. Key issues, according to both parties, are taxes, recreation, and generating income for the town. Hoping to land seats on the all-Republican Council are Democrats James Warden and Robert Nolan. When asked if an all-Republican Council poses a problem Warden responded "I look forward to working with them." "We're working on bringing a water surcharge into town says Warden. Nolan adds, "James and I feel we should be partnering up with other towns to pass a water surcharge which brings income into West Milford. The people who get the water down stream, like Newark, could have a small tax, 10 cents, and over millions of people that would generate significant income for our town. Another issue: "A council that will allow the public to speak at the beginning of meetings and engage in dialogue with the public, says Nolan. "With open debates, because now that doesn't happen." adds Warden. As for recreation. Nolan says, "several years ago the town voted to have an open space fund. The fund has collected more than $450, 000 over the past three years but the town has not used any of it. We want to have committee reestablished to utilize these funds for programs like recreation and for our senior citizens." On the Republican ticket are Dennis Kirwan, who's one year seat is up for re-election, and Ken Freedman, who's seeking election to the seat currently held by Patricia Lotz-Moore, who chose not to run. The Republican ticket is promising no tax increase. "We're going to do that by seeking outside sources such as the proper allocation of federal and state money, grants and resources." says Kirwan. As for parks and recreation says Kirwan, " We have an 85 percent enrollment in recreation programs in West Milford. We need to find ways to build facilities by looking at existing funding. Kirwan who works as a planner for integrated Land Concepts says, "I'm a planner and right now I am working with the Highlands Regional Council, we speak the same language. It makes a lot of sense to have a planner on the Town Council. " Ken Freedman who serves on the Board of Education as its technology chairman and represents the 26th District as the Legislative Delegate to N.J wants to foster a relationship between town government and the Board of Education if elected. "The League of Municipalities endorse a program called shared services. Our town hasn't successfully had a line of communication. We have to find ways to do this without raising taxes." There are six council seats and one seat for the mayor. Every year two council seats become available.