Page 12 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • October 7, 2009 Letters to the Editor (continued from page 18) overseeing a replacement of trees in our township’s rightsof-way which have died or have been cut down. A developer, Mr. Rooney is also the chair of the Wyckoff Zoning Board. This board oversaw the McMansionization of Wyckoff with oversized houses on lots often too small during the real estate boom. I have to say I don’t trust them to deal with the 258 apartments proposed for the Sicomac Avenue and the widening of Sicomac Avenue to four lanes at its intersection with Cedar Hill Avenue to accommodate the traffic it is expected to generate. A change of use variance is required for this project (the tract is zoned for market-rate houses). Will the Wyckoff Zoning Board grant it? What Wyckoff needs is not more of the same, but balance on both the township committee and its planning and zoning boards. That’s why I am voting for Brian Hubert and Diane Sobin on Nov. 3. They will bring the balance our town so desperately needs. Peggy Conley Wyckoff Dear Editor: I’m sure that both my neighbor Kevin Rooney, (a developer) and Chris DePhilips (a registered lobbyist for the State of New Jersey) and obviously hand-picked successors to run for Wyckoff Township Committee, are fine individuals. However, I have no idea where they stand on the main issues facing Wyckoff: property taxes, (over)development, and open space. Campaign rhetoric is one thing, but where have they been in the last three years? Did they vote for the creation of our Municipal Open Space Trust Fund in 2006? They certainly didn’t campaign for it. All township committee members at the time were adamantly opposed, but have now seemed to change that view because they see it works. More importantly, what do they think about the “redevelpment” that we have seen in Wyckoff during the last few years -- especially Mr. Rooney, who is the chariman of the zoning board in Wyckoff? In contrast, Brian Hubert and Diane Sobin have expresed clear views on the isssues and have backed up those views with action. Neither one has large property holdings in town. Both are concerned about the 24 percent increase in municipal taxes (the portion of our property taxes solely controlled by the township committee) Wyckoff experienced between 2006-08. This increase does not include the miniscule open space tax asked for, and approved by, the voters in 2006. Hubert and Sobin would like to see changes in the zoning and planning boards with people who would uphold our exixting ordinances written to protect all our property values and quality of life, not just those of a select few. Hubert and Sobin expressed concern about the overexpansion of Boulder Run and tirelessly compaigned for the creation of Wyckoff’s open space trust fund, which has enabled Wyckoff to apply for $2.1 million in county grants to acquire the Russell Orchards property. If successful, our community will have five acres of recreational space with two thirds of the money coming from outside Wyckoff and no increase in our local taxes as a result! I know where Hubert and Sobin stand based on their past performance, and they are getting my vote on Nov. 3. Michael Brienza Wyckoff Dear Editor: I am writing in support of Kevin Rooney and Chris DePhillips, candidates for Wyckoff Township Committee. I have lived in Wyckoff all of my life and been honored to be involved as a volunteer fireman with Fire Company #3 for the past 22 years. As a volunteer firefighter, I know firsthand what sacrifices one must make to give back to the township. I can say without any reservation that Kevin and Chris have the leadership skills needed to lead our town forward. They continue today to give themselves as community volunteers through the board of adjustment, Shade Tree Commission, coaches of our youth, and the Wyckoff Education Foundation. Kevin and Chris are as equally devoted to their families, as they are maintaining the character and charm of our town. They understand their fiscal responsibility to the taxpayer; they are committed to open space and regulation over building. Today as our township is faced with increased state, federal and local tax burdens, Kevin and Chris are poised to meet those challenges. Please cast your vote this Nov. 3 for Kevin Rooney and Chris DePhillips for Wyckoff Township Committee. Bruce Peters Wyckoff Dear Editor: Last Novemeber Wyckoff voters elected Brian Scanlan to the Wyckoff Township Committee. The first thing his four colleagues on the committee did was reject out of hand his suggestion that our planning and zoning boards might need some alternate points of view. They refused to even interview any of the experienced candidates he put forward for the positions. Even after the granting of variances for the Ravine developement and the Boulder Run disaster (aesthetics were obviously not part of that plan) the attitude was everything’s fine. With the proposal for 258 apartments for the Sicomac area (on steep slopes zones for single-family house) and the likely redevelopment of the A&P site, the issue has arisen again. The further diminishing of our town character, more traffic, more stress on our local volunteer services, and higher taxes from high-density residential development will be the result. We need a diverse group of Wyckoff residents appointed to our planning and zoning boards to have a more complete review and debate on applications and new projects. Only candidates Brian Hubert and Diane Sobin will ensure that we get those debates and eliminate the perception of backroom deals that permeates these boards. On Nov. 3, I am voting for Hubert and Sobin for Wyckoff Township Committee. Linda S. Vreeland Wyckoff Dear Editor: Wyckoff Township Committee candidates, Diane Sobin and Brian Hubert have recently posted an ad on their website which has a Wyckoff ambulance as a backdrop for their picture. We have a history in Wyckoff of not politicizing our uniformed services such as fire department, police department, and ambulance corps. In attempting to use the ambulance corps for political gain, Sobin and Hubert, who are not ambulance corps members, have exhibited a complete lack of understanding of what Wyckoff is really about. I find this tactic to be offensive and hope they change their strategy. Robert B. Yudin Wyckoff Endorses Rooney & DePhillips Where do they stand? Finds strategy offensive Seeks diversity on boards Engaged? Just Married? Celebrating an Anniversary? Share the news with neighbors and friends! Announce your Special Event in We welcome photographs. Send announcements to: The Villadom TIMES P.O. Box 96, Midland Park, NJ 07432 (continued from page 9) by certificate issued by, or on behalf of, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. New subdivision applications before the planning board are also reviewed by the commission as are soil removal applications before the borough council. When necessary, the commission may require new plantings by developers where destruction or removal of existing trees and shrubs will occur, or where no trees or shrubs currently exist. If the developers fail (or refuse) to comply with the requirements of the commission, the commission can proceed, after notice of its intention to do so, to install the new plantings, with the initial cost of all the trees planted by the commission and the cost of planting them, plus the cost of the posts and boxes or guards used for the protection of them, being charged to the real estate on which the tree or trees are planted as an improvement. If the cost is determined to be the responsibility of the property owner and it is not paid directly to the commission, a tax lien can be placed on the real estate and it will be collected in the same manner as other taxes against the property. Where, in the discretion of the commission, new plantings are required by the ordinances of the borough but are not necessary due to the existence of a sufficient number of plantings presently on the property, the commission may waive any and all requirements for new plantings and may require a builder, developer, or property owner to pay to the borough a sum equivalent to the cost of the plantings waived by the commission. The monies raised in this manner will be used for improvements and maintenance of borough owned property. In April, Franklin Lakes was named a Tree City USA® by the National Arbor Day Foundation in recognition of borough’s program to care for community trees. Shade Tree