Letter to the Editor:
I read with great interest the recent interview conducted by the Leader/Times with the Fanwood Republican mayoral and council candidates, Joe Britt, Jason Benedict and Nicole Cole. As a former councilwoman, I had hoped to find real suggestions and solutions on how to better control taxes and reduce spending as part of their campaign strategy. I instead learned that they wished to not only further delay real change through the pursuit of shared services and downtown redevelopment, but advocated to spend even more money on additional studies.
Additionally, it was interesting to read that they hold the current council, equally represented by members of both parties, responsible for the rise in our county taxes by outsourcing our dispatching services. There is no correlation between the county tax rate and the services that they provide to Fanwood through our dispatching services. Our county tax rate would have been the same regardless with no discernible savings to Fanwood residents which we now realize through the outsourcing of this service. In fact, Fanwoodians historically contribute more tax dollars to the county than we even remotely get in return.
It is also eminently clear that they do not understand the relationship between their role as elected officials to lead (by making polices and laws) and management (the implementation of those policies) since they seem to be advocating the termination of all current employees as they believe they need “changes in management” as they “look to manage the town well.” I have found our municipal employees to be among the most professional and knowledgeable in their respective fields, and believe we get service above and beyond what is required.
If the Republican candidates sincerely believe they can do a better job, perhaps the current members of their party presently sitting on the council should step up and demonstrate through example just what changes or ideas can make Fanwood a better place to live. Until that time, it has been the leadership of Mayor Colleen Mahr, with the support of Councilman Russ Huegel and through Kevin Boris’ leadership on the Planning Board, that real change and real cost savings have been realized, without the slightest decline in the quality of programs and services.
That is why I am voting for the team of Mahr, Huegel and Boris on Tuesday, Nov. 8.