Mayor’s Message 2015
Dear West Milford Neighbor,
It’s hard to believe that I have completed 7 years as your Mayor and am beginning the last year of my second term. Throughout these years and despite the many challenges we have faced, we have nevertheless effectuated many changes, improvements and accomplishments.
As a brief summary, under my administration, several township departments have been restructured in order to provide improved services at reduced costs. Indeed, staffing during my tenure has been cut by over 20% without any reduction in services, creating significant savings in our largest spending category - personnel costs. Our sound fiscal policies resulted in an improved credit rating, which reduced bond interest rates on township borrowing. As a driving force behind the new library, we will finally break ground this year, providing a new community center, gathering place, and centrally-located facility with increased products and programing opportunities, all at no additional cost to the taxpayers. The township has even collected all fees for marriage ceremonies (155) officiated by me, resulting in $15,500 in additional township revenues not previously submitted to the municipal budget.
While my personal lobbying efforts throughout the State helped restore nearly $758,000 in watershed revenues to our budget annually, the township has also hired a lobbyist to assist us in achieving equity with regard to the taxation of watershed lands. As a result of these joint efforts, proposed watershed legislation will soon be presented to our State legislators for consideration. If successful, a significant increase in our revenues is anticipated. I have also been working with the State to increase the possible uses of the Jungle Habitat property for local purposes instead of being burdened by cumbersome permitting processes for every event, including concerts, cultural and sports activities. I believe your local elected officials will continue to demonstrate and embrace the cooperative spirit which prevails today, further helping to increase our achievements from a municipal perspective.
Finally, I am repeatedly reminded of what an honor and privilege it is to serve you, our residents, as your Mayor. Your continued support and words of encouragement are greatly appreciated. They lift my spirits and recharge the energy I need to continue to be your voice of reason and to serve you to the best of my ability. As we begin a New Year, my wish is for all residents to experience happiness, good health, and financial stability for years to come.
Bettina Bieri, Mayor