I encourage West Milford residents to “shop local.” Our local business owners have recently received vary large property tax increases, based on Appraisal Systems’ revaluations. At two township council meetings, many of those business owners told the council that those increases would prevent them from staying in town. For financial reasons, especially the property tax increases, Lihp’s Auto Parts closed in August. That is a major loss to West Milford, as they had supplied auto, truck and boat parts to most or all of our service stations and to many residents for decades.In the recent past we lost our only movie theater, shoe store, book store, bakery, mini-department store (called 5-Star), lumber store, etc. Thus, residents will have to spend valuable time and gasoline driving down to the highway malls to buy products that had been available locally. This is a serious problem for many senior citizens who may not feel safe driving on high-speed, heavy-traffic highways.Our Mom and Pop businesses employ many township residents and also provide helpful services to residents, including special orders, that the malls’ big-box stores will not do. Thus, it was sad to see a nasty letter to the editor in mid-August written by former Councilman Robert Nolan, whose own property taxes were decreased, bashing our local stores for their comments. He wrote “get your hands out of my pocket....you’re barking up the wrong tree by constantly complaining at council meetings."To prevent yet more local businesses from leaving town, I hope that yet more West Milford residents will shop locally more of the time.
Doris AaronsonWest Milford