In a 4-1 vote, the Town Council passed a resolution on July 17 to support a grant application by The Trust for Public Land to acquire and give undeveloped highlands open space adjacent to Mahlon Dickerson to the Morris County Park Commission.
Councilman Robert Birmingham voted against the resolution, citing his frustration in the limited time the council had to research and assess the land and the grant application before putting it to a vote. Many other members of the council agreed with him, but they still voted in favor of the resolution, seeing it as a good opportunity to use county grants to preserve land. The council couldn’t hold off the vote until the next meeting because the deadline for the grant was before the council would meet again.
Despite their limited time to look at the property, Birmingham was familiar with the land and remembered advocating for the property to be sold to the county. Instead, the town sold the property to a third party owner with a low tax rate, resulting in residents having to bear the burden of more taxes for the town to receive the revenue it needs.
Mayor Eric Wilsusen swore in Jared Malley to Fire Company #2 at the council meeting.