Each of the candidates were asked to fill out the same questionnaire. Here are their responses. Carmelo Peter Scangarello - Republican Age: 46. Education: High School Graduate. Occupation: Archive Administrator. Married: Married for 18 years. Children: One daughter. Number of years in West Milford: Resident for 19 years. Previous public service experience: Councilman, West Milford Township two years What first attracted you to public service? I come from a family with a tradition of community service. When asked to run for council, I was reluctant because I am not someone who likes the limelight or idle talk. When I got elected, I decided to do things that would benefit the whole community, like the Cole Brothers Circus, Thunder in the Highlands, and the Autumn Lights Festival. It is great when you can do things that you like and at the same time benefit the community. How do you define “integrity?” Integrity is looking someone in the eye and telling them what you are going to do and then doing it. Sometimes it involves telling people what you cannot do for them. I don’t make a promise that I can’t keep. Do you have specific ideas that would either increase township revenue or decrease spending to relieve the tax burden? I’ve asked the town to conduct a complete energy audit of our facilities. I also suggested that we begin to look into replacing township vehicles with hybrid vehicles. We used to receive about $1.4 million in Watershed Moratorium aid per year that was indexed to inflation. We were told this aid was going to be permanent. After Jim McGreevey became governor, he cut that funding. I will continue to put pressure on the state to compensate us for the Highlands Legislation, which put us 100 percent in the preservation area. The legislation still has no permanent funding mechanism. We must be compensated for being the host community for the Newark Watershed. We need the tax relief promised to us by the Highlands legislation now! In addition, I will continue to take a hard look at our township budget in an effort to control spending. What do you see as the most underfunded and/or urgent issue in West Milford? Taxes being paid to the county in exchange for a lack of services. For example, Homeland Security monies have been appropriated to other areas in the county, yet West Milford has not received its fair share to protect the water supplies that serve many areas in the county. Name a person you consider a hero and explain why. A hero is someone with strength, determination, and ability to overcome obstacles. Our greatest heroes are the men and women serving our country in the armed forces, the veterans, and those who gave their lives for our freedom. The families of these men and women have demonstrated their respect, honor, and love of our country. Their bravery and selflessness in defending our freedom is immeasurable. Philip H Weisbecker Jr. - Republican Age: 51. Education: Graduated from Watchung Hills Regional High School. Attended Valley Forge Military Academy. Currently enrolled at The Institute of Logistical Management. Occupation: President and owner of Rephil Transportation Inc. Married: Yes to Renee Weisbecker Children: no Number of years in West Milford: 12 years Previous public service experience: Five years on council. Served as councilman, deputy mayor, and as mayor. Planning board, Smart Growth Committee, liaison to the Fire Prevention Bureau, and the fire departments, the Heritage Committee, Recycling and Beautification Committee, and CASA ( Community Against Substance Abuse). Former volunteer fireman with the Watchung Chemical Engine Co. Volunteer Fire Department. What first attracted you to public service? A strong sense of community and the willingness to give back to the community in which I live. My years spent at Valley Forge Military Academy and the training that I received there. How do you define integrity? Doing what is right without being beholden to money or politics. Do you have a specific ideas that would either increase township revenue or decrease spending to relive the tax burden? Stand up to growing County and State bureaucracy, including seeking additional funding for lost watershed aid. What do you see as the most underfunded and/or urgent issue in West Milford? Our road system is the most underfunded and urgent issue. We are still trying to catch up to dangerous roads and curves that have passed their life expectancy. The majority of the roads were built in the 20s, and still have not been attended to. Name a person you consider a hero and explain why. Irving Press. Why, and who is this man? He was a man of foresight, a giant among men but he would never let you know it. He was someone who was a natural leader. Irv would give of himself tirelessly. He was a mover and shaker. He loved this township and he loved Upper Greenwood Lake. He was the ultimate strategist no problem was to big or to small. Why do I consider Irv a hero ? Because he would always give back to his community. He would always help people. He was a man of determination, sacrifice, and integrity. He taught me a lot and I will always be thankful for the time I had with him. Irv will always be a hero to me. Andrew Gargano - Democrat Age: 50. Education: High School - Locust Valley High School, Locust Valley New York, - - Suffolk Community College, Riverhead New York - Asssociates Degree in Business Administration. Occupation: Insurance Agent - Licensed in NJ, NY, CT Married? Since 1980 Children? Two. Number of years in West Milford: 19 ½ . Previous public service experience: West Milford Town Council, two and a half years, sports coach, head of PAL Basketball two seasons, former Safety Director for Little League, Executive Vice President on the Executive Board of the West Milford PAL, PAL Preschool Executive Board, former Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee member, parent volunteer at high school, former volunteer of CASA, (Community against Substance Abuse), former Vice President of the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, former chair of Insurance Advisory Committee. What first attracted you to public service? I grew up in the time of Martin Luther King, Jr. and in his quest to combat minority oppression; and Robert F. Kennedy and his short-lived pursuit to end poverty. I remember listening to President John F. Kennedy say: “and so my fellow Americans ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” That phrase has always resonated with me. I have been fortunate, and believe we owe it to our country to serve in some capacity to give back. Our volunteer efforts are what make this country the greatest in the world. I like to help make West Milford a great place to live. How do you define integrity? Integrity is being able to look at yourself in the mirror every morning knowing you have done your best to live true and honestly each and every day. Do you have specific ideas that would either increase township revenue or decrease spending to relieve the tax burden? I have heard the despair of many residents and the one issue above all else is “taxes are too high.” The municipal building needs a full technological assessment to bring operations into the 21st century. I’d like to create a Citizens Technology Advisory Committee to investigate ways to automate some of the work of emplyees who retire. The Internet should be used to distribute public records which have no privacy issues to the general public. Now that the Highlands Regional Planning Commission has, in effect, become our planning department, perhaps we should reduce our planning department to save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. We must lobby the state in order to implement a water surcharge while the state is still implementing the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act. We must initiate Open Space purchases of large tracts of lands to stop large-scale high-density housing developments. This could help control size of our board of education budget. Paul Marino - Democrat Age: 46. Education: 2 years, City University of New York; 4 years, National Elevator Industry Educational Program. Occupation: Elevator Mechanic. Married: Yes, 22 years. Children: One daughter. Number of years in West Milford: 17.5 years. Previous public service experience: None What first attracted you to public service? I believe that government is supposed to serve all its citizens. Since West Milford changed from a non-partisan to partisan form of government, this has not been the case. I would like to serve in the best interests of all West Milford residents. How do you define “integrity”? Integrity is being honest with people and not making promises you may not be able to keep. As a candidate, people ask my position on many issues. I answer them knowing that not everyone will agree. However, it takes integrity to do so and not just say what will get me votes. Do you have specific ideas that would either increase township revenue or decrease spending to relieve the tax burden? We need to closely scrutinize our town budget. We could start by reducing the size of our planning department as we are now in the Highlands Preservation area and no longer have the need for such a large department. This alone could save hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. The other initiative we should move forward with is lobbying the state to institute a water surcharge on state residents (not West Milford residents) who get their water from reservoirs in this area. This has been achieved in other parts of the country and would insure a steady source of revenue to West Milford. What do you see as the most underfunded and/or urgent issue in West Milford? Taxes are the most urgent issue in West Milford. Too many families and senior citizens cannot afford to live here. It’s time that more Council people stop talking about it and commit themselves to addressing this problem. Name a person you consider a hero and explain why. Rosa Parks died last week. In 1955, she got on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama and refused to give up her seat in the “whites only” section. This simple act sparked the biggest movement for social change in American history. Mrs. Parks was a hero and showed the impact one person can have.