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Beginning my third term serving as your Mayor, I took a moment to reflect on the past 8 years.  As a youth I was regularly bullied for not succumbing to peer pressure.  As your Mayor, I have been bullied for not succumbing to and therefore imperiling the political establishment.  For the last eight years, I have personally endured:
  • Smear tactics used against me each election cycle.  In one single election year, over 86 pages of online comments reflected me in a negative light, cast doubt as to my character, accused me of inappropriate behaviors, even criticized my body and my overall appearance. 
  • Death threats, intimidation, and being followed home after meetings.
  • Numerous stalkers including individuals considered volatile and dangerous. Some have arrived at my doorstep while others have been stopped by our finest, WMPD, at my driveway. 
  • Vandalism to my house and property during mayoral elections – never in any of my other 30 years as a resident.
  • Negative campaign flyers circulated throughout town, filled with untruthful statements, accusations and dreary black/white print.
  • Wrongful charges & headlines against my daughter after a car accident. Toxicology reports proved her innocence, but during that mayoral election year, politicos stopped at nothing. As a devoted mother, I can only say shame, shame, shame on those involved.
  • Derisive video depicting me unfavorably (created by my opponent). This video was demeaning and degrading not only to myself, but to any woman.
How do I endure and rise above it?  I find strength in others.  I focus on my children’s words of wisdom uttered a decade ago,  “Mommy we know who you are, God knows who you are, and nobody can change the truth no matter how hard they try.”  I am truly blessed to have such awesome (now adult) children and an incredibly close relationship with them….
I also focus on the support I receive from our residents.  I am truly grateful for your continued kind words of encouragement, which energize me and provide me with the courage and determination to be persistent in achieving my ultimate goal – to serve you to the best of my ability at all times, with honesty, integrity and respect so that together, we can make West Milford the best it can be.
Bettina Bieri
Mayor, West Milford