May 27, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 27 Letters to the Editor (continued from page 18) This primary is especially important because Brian Trava, an incumbent, is being challenged by Bill Smith and partner. Brian Trava has served three outstanding years on the council, and I’m ecstatic that he’s decided to run again. He knows what running a business is about and even more important, he knows that nothing comes easily, and he’s willing to roll up his sleeves and contribute real work, like figuring out how to charge for lighting our fields if other towns use them. That means money in our coffers. He’s not just about the photo opportunities or the endless talking and glad handing. It’s about getting things done. Tom Murphy is an experienced information technology person and boy, do we need some help in coming into the 21st century. Anyone who’s dealt with borough hall knows the challenges around information management. This administration has certainly taken some major steps in scanning records and therefore having them available to people easily electronically, and there’s a workable web site, but there’s a heck of a lot more which must be done. Tom Murphy is the man to do it. I especially don’t want our former borough attorney to win in this primary. He can say he has “experience” all he wants, but what he has is practice in old and inappropriate ways of doing things. He helped get us into the Haledon Reservoir boondoggle, and we’ll be paying for that for a long time. This is an open invitation to all Franklin Lakes unaffiliated voters to join me in becoming Republican for one day. It’s painless, and you can easily recover. Joan Mokray Franklin Lakes Dear Editor: In this year’s Republican primary for Franklin Lakes Council, there are several issues for concern. Over the last few years, we have seen more and more of our annual surplus plugged back into current expenses. Our cash reserves are about half of what they were three years ago and are projected to decline another 50 percent this year. The town will be closed for business two days a month, and our recreation budget has been slashed by 30 percent, despite substantial increases in recreation fees less than two years ago. While we should all expect to bear our fair share of the pain, it is disconcerting to see that despite painful cuts in services, the current budget proposes to double professional fees for fiscal 2009 over what was spent in 2008. Notably, the proposed furloughs will bring pain to many while only saving the town about $100,000. At the same time, the 2009 budget for legal fees has been increased by about $125,000 over what it was in 2008. Even more troubling is that recent disbursements indicate that the mayor’s handpicked new attorneys have already billed the town more in the first quarter of this year than what was paid to attorneys in all of 2008. Even with the budgeting doubled, 50 percent of the 2009 budgeted amount has been consumed in the last three months. This is not fiscal responsibility. This economy is not the time for such generosity to attorneys and political cronies. It also cannot be ignored that the borough’s new attorney is the same lawyer who has just spent almost a week in court on behalf of the county Republican chairman trying to secure preferential ballot placement for Mr. Trava and his running mate. It certainly seems like a conflict of interest for the town’s lawyer to be taking sides in a town political dispute, particularly when he is seeking to benefit a councilperson who so recently voted to appoint him. I think we need better judgment than this in our municipal decision-making. I think that Frank Bivona and Bill Smith are the right choices to help get Franklin Lakes back on the right track. Vince O’Brien Franklin Lakes Dear Editor: Too often we’ve seen Republican primaries in Franklin Lakes degrade into personal criticisms and unwarranted accusations. This year’s campaign needs to be focused on the issues. Three years ago, Brian Trava and the mayor swept into office amid promises to take Franklin Lakes down a new road. They promised transparency; they promised inclusiveness; they promised fiscal responsibility. They have delivered none of these things. Instead, on their watch we have seen more closed council sessions than ever, wholesale disregard of other points of view, municipal decisions made for overtly political reasons, and the ominous depletion of municipal surplus, and cash reserves. It may indeed be a new road, but it is plainly a road going in the wrong direction. While no one can deny the unprecedented financial crisis currently gripping our region and our nation, the fact remains that, with 14 furlough days spread over the next seven months, Franklin Lakes residents will be denied municipal services two days out of every month. Other towns in our area are facing the same financial crisis, yet none of these other towns will shut down for business twice a month. Pervasive crisis or not, Franklin Lakes appears to be getting hit inordinately hard. Franklin Lakes needs to do better than it has over the past three years since the mayor and Mr. Trava came into office. Bill Smith and Frank Bivona are running for town council this year, and I believe they offer something better. Between them, they bring a wealth of experience in municipal business and financial matters. Mr. Bivona has served as CEO of a successful business. As for Mr. Smith, given his 29 years as a Franklin Lakes councilman or borough attorney, no one on either side of the ticket has even a fraction of his experience and knowledge in municipal governance. Now is not the time for personal attacks, nor is it the time for putting political interests over the best interests of the residents. Now is the time for real and pragmatic solutions to serious problems and to get Franklin Lakes back on the right track. Bill Smith and Frank Bivona offer the best chance for a better Franklin Lakes. David Catuogno Franklin Lakes Dear Editor: The June 2 primary election will be decision day for Franklin Lakes Republicans and the entire community. The winners of the primary election are in reality being elected to three-year terms on the borough council. No Democrats are running. While it is a primary, it really is decision day. The November general election will be a mere formality regarding election to the borough council. This means all registered Republicans should vote on June 2. It is your only chance. There are four candidates, all claiming to be Republicans running for two openings. However, none will be listed in the Republican column in the primary. Sound confusing? It is. The two best candidates appear in Column 4 of the ballot. They are Frank Bivona and Bill Smith. Times are tough for municipal government. That is when the tough get going solving long-standing problems and addressing key issues with vigor. Bill and Frank are ready to do this. Vote for action! Vote for can do resolve! Vote for results, not petty local politics! Vote for Frank and Bill to see good things happen in Franklin Lakes government. They are ready to tackle the key issues. Here are three. Managing spending effectively to balance income and expenditures without skyrocketing taxes a la the new budget. This may mean some reduced services or better use of personnel, perhaps hiring temporary staff at lower cost. Tough decisions, not based on politics, need to be made early on by the council. Making certain the borough’s administrator and chief financial officer are prudent and diligent in their planning and more importantly in the execution of elected officials programs and projects without dropping the ball. Take off the blinders of local issues and go for full exploitation of federal funding for infrastructure and other improvements under the Economic Recovery Act. Many federal agencies now have much money to pass out; they don’t know where to begin. This is low hanging fruit waiting to be picked. Even if you are not a registered Republican, you can help elect Frank and Bill. Simply ask your friends and neighbors who are Republicans to vote in the primary election and for Frank and Bill. June 2 is truly a day of choice not only among the candidates but more about the direction the borough council takes Franklin Lakes. Let us vote for progress and good stewardship of our tax dollars and community by electing Frank and Bill! Tom White Franklin Lakes Dear Editor: One of the most important freedoms we have as Americans is the right to vote. This June 2, I urge everyone to come out and let your voices be heard. This is the first step in changing things here on the county and state level. We know we are headed in the wrong direction. It is time to say enough is enough with the wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars. Like many people across the country, we have had to tighten our belts, now it is time for the county and state government to take responsibility of their wasteful spending. I’m running for Bergen County Freeholder because we need change on the Freeholder Board. We need new voices to bring balance back to the board. I ask for your support on June 2 for Bergen County Freeholder and to support my running mate, John Driscoll. Please support the entire Column 2: Christie, Russo, Rumana, Driscoll, Hermansen, Nissley, and Focarino. Our district has been well represented by our Assembly Candidates Dave Russo and Scott Rumana and I implore you to come out and support them again in this primary. I also implore the residents of Franklin Lakes to elect Bill Smith and Frank Bivona for council. These are two very good men, who will be assets to your government. Serving as a Councilman in Mahwah has been a privilege and an honor. I promise to work as hard for you the taxpayers at the county level as I have for the taxpayers in Mahwah. Councilman Robert Hermansen Mahwah Wants pragmatic solutions Wants to get back on track Express yourself ���������������� ����������� The Villadom TIMES is giving you the opportunity to present your quality services and merchandise in its special Home Improvement & Decorating section. In The Villadom TIMES, you’ll get the exposure you need in 56,300 homes right in your market area. And, as always, your Villadom TIMES advertising message is conveniently delivered each week by US mail to every residence in the 12 Bergen County towns listed below. A day of choice ���������������������� WEDNESDAY ������� �������� ������ ������ WEDNESDAY Call The Villadom TIMES today to place your advertisement. YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD NEWSPAPER ������������ ZONE 1 - Wyckoff, Midland Park, Franklin Lakes ZONE 2 - Ridgewood, Glen Rock ZONE 3 - Ho-Ho-Kus, Allendale, Waldwick, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, ZONE 4 - Ramsey, Mahwah