After having just read of the decision to cut our police department staffing. I am beyond appalled by this very reckless council decision, Wednesday evening. One councilwoman had stated no more cuts should be made in such areas, yet voted just the opposite. I give Councilman Ed Rosone a great deal of credit for his vote against this irresponsible decision, especially after the previous council spent thousands of dollars for a study about police department staffing for West Milford. That has proven to be a waste of our tax dollars as the advice has not been followed. At a time where school enrollment is again increasing and there is a genuine need to restore SRO officers to our high school, this very bad decision makes even less sense. With a projected tax-savings of a mere $13, it is pure insanity to say the least.
Those voting for this reduction have shown a complete disregard for the safety and welfare of each and every one of our residents, young and old. I am thoroughly shocked and disgusted with this "penny-wise, dollar foolish vote."
Our police department has had the highest morale in years under the leadership of Chief Gene Chiosie, and now you try to undermine this, just to save some petty cash at the expense of the residents' safety in our very large township. Believe me, this decision will prove to result in serious consequences for us all. There was no rational reason to make our police department your target in this budget.
I agree with Mayor Bieri that both police staffing and road repairs could be achieved, and both are very vital to our town. One councilwoman says she was never told we want more police. My reason for not telling her that was that I felt she was wise enough to realize that on her own. Obviously I was mistaken.
This council needs to get their priorities in order and stop sacrificing the health, safety and welfare of the very people they were elected to represent.
Also, I keep reading and hearing that to reduce taxes, we need to get more industry and commercial businesses in town. Obviously, those who state this have no idea we, as well as Ringwood, are not able to do this due to the restrictions of the Highlands Act. No such development can occur. One cannot compare the tax base of places as Ridgewood, Paramus, Wayne, or similar towns, who have and are able to have large business and commercial ratables.
Eleanor Monahan West Milford