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New Milford Voters To Elect Two Council, Four School Board Members

A total of nine candidates are running in local elections—four for two seats on the Council, and four for three, three-year terms and one for a one-year term on the BOE. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

New Milford voters will go to the polls Tuesday, amid the continuing power outages, gas rationing and general sense of uncertainty Sandy left in its wake, with two Borough Council seats and two contested Board of Education seats at stake.

As in so many Bergen County towns, where polling locations had to be moved or changed, New Milford voters will vote in two places depending on district. District 1 through 7 will vote at Berkley School and Districts 8 and 9 will vote at the New Milford Library.

Republican incumbent, and Council President, Howard Berner, is running with former councilman Peter Rebsch while Democratic incumbent Austin Ashley is running with former councilman Michael Putrino.  

Related Coverage—Borough Council Race

Flood Mitigation Plan

Peter Rebsch Wants Residents To Know Him

In the Board of Education race, four candidates are in the running for three, three-year terms. One candidate, Christopher Ryan, is running uncontested for a one-year term.

Incumbents are Darren Drake, current Vice President of the BOE, and Joseph Steele. The two other candidates vying for a three-year term are Laura O'Grady and James Prendergast.

Donna Colucci November 06, 2012 at 11:10 AM
6:00 AM POLLS ARE OPEN...Please vote for the ONLY BUSINESS LEADERS in New Milford who are running, BERNER AND REBSCH are in column 1. Due to Sandy, if you normally vote at Gibbs, Owens or VFW you are being moved to Berkeley School. Otherwise it is no different.
Yak November 06, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Why is the Hummer with the political signs allowed to park across from Berkeley School? It is less than 100 feet from the property line.
Donna Colucci November 06, 2012 at 02:29 PM
I didn't see a Hummer. maybe they were voting?
Yak November 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Perhaps it was told to move. It was there for quite a while. I even went home to get my camera and take photos of it.
TommyIce November 06, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Donna it was directly across from the Parent Drop Off entrance. The "Vote Yes for the FOD" banner was blazoned across the side WINDOWS of it. And there were two or three men (one in a bright gold colored hoodie) standing at the edge of the parking lot by the sidewalk leading to the entrance doors to make sure we knew about the ballot option for the Field of Dreams. They stopped just shy of telling us to Vote Yes. I had notified the polling station supervisor and when I left he was "speaking" to them.
TommyIce November 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Jimmy the only drawback is the lack of parking. But it wasn't hindering anyone, we all just "made" our own parking spaces. I don't see why, once the power came back, the machines couldn't have been moved to their normal polling locations. If security and integrity of the machines during the move was an issue, through a county cop or sheriff's deputy on it.
Yak November 06, 2012 at 05:18 PM
It's still there. There is a car in front of the library with sighns too.
Celeste Scavetta November 06, 2012 at 07:20 PM
New Milford, Our Taxes – Our Lives (Part one) On Tuesday, November 6th, voters of New Milford will have the option to choose a better direction for the future. As a single parent, homeowner, and taxpayer living in New Milford for the past 18 years, I cannot vote for a team that is only going to destroy my tax base even further. I must support the team that is going to come out as TRUE FISCAL RESPONSIBLE LEADERS! The team who knows what the value of their citizens tax dollars are, and how to appropriate them accordingly. I am totally against the tax and spend of the year's past. We all know what previous administrations did to our tax base in New Milford. For all the years I have been a homeowner, under the prior Administration, I personally watched my taxes go from just $4,000 annually to $11,000 annually --all taking place BEFORE any New Milford Republicans were in any voting or majority position. This was completely under the prior administrations of which Mike and Ashley are associated. I truly like both gentlemen, even consider them friends. But likability isn't enough. I truly cannot afford their very non-fiscal, irresponsible beliefs. As such, I strongly endorse both Peter Rebsch and Howard Berner for New Milford Council.
Celeste Scavetta November 06, 2012 at 07:20 PM
(Part two) We cannot allow the New Milford Council to be one-sided and UNBALANCED as in years past. If this happens, my neighbors, we will be right back where we were over two years ago. I certainly cannot afford that. Can you? Let's elect people who are honest, professionals, two rock-solid businessmen, community activists, gentlemen who seek the input from the public and then act in public for what is best for our town of New Milford. Let's elect the two gentlemen who have made New Milford their home for many years, have raised and are still raising their children here, and have completely committed themselves to our town. These two fiscal conservatives know that it is YOUR dollar they are spending and will spend it wisely. I cast my vote for Peter Rebsch and Howard Berner. Celeste Scavetta New Milford
karen November 06, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Heard also they were distributing flyers as parents were dropping off students (field of dreams)yesterday should not have been allowed to do that as well. I guess it was ok w the board cause it would ultimately benefit them. But if someone else was to do it....
Donna Colucci November 06, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Karen if you recall, SOD handed out fliers as well at the schools...I thought that should not have been allowed too, but it seems it may be.
karen November 06, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Since these are political issues being voted on, they have no business on school grounds .It would be as though I was handing out Obama/Rodmey fliers on their property. It's all a matter of whom u are.
Lori Barton November 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM
SOD handed out fliers just OFF of school property. No permission was needed from the schools since it was not on school property. Anyone can hand out on public streets. As far as what is going on today, as long as they are 100 feet from the front door, not the property line, they are within their rights.
Rory G. November 06, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Donna, SOD also made a presentation at a recent Gibbs PTO meeting. I was told Principal Davies himself introduced the speakers from SOD, stating it was OK because it was "not political." Can't say I agree with his assessment. SOD may technically not be a political organization, but if they're attempting to influence voters and elected officials (whether about the Owens field or the UW property), it's political activity. Therefore, it was inappropriate for them to be allowed to speak at that meeting at Gibbs.
karen November 06, 2012 at 11:16 PM
The Fod was on school property
Lori Barton November 07, 2012 at 12:00 AM
SOD did request an opportunity to address the Gibbs PTO (and Berkley, too). The presentations were completely NON-POLITICAL. The presentations consisted of educating the PTO members as to what is proposed on the United Water property, when the zoning board meetings were scheduled, and SOD's concerns regarding overdevelopment: school crowding, increased flooding, pollution, and increased emergency response time. It was stressed that the field of dreams proposal and the UW property are completely separate and different entities. There never was any attempt to influence voters or elected officials. This was a purely educational presentation. SOD will also be making the same presentation to the DEO PTO, FOLLOWING the election, which shows that this is NOT a political endeavor.
Ulises November 07, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Rory G, SOD didn't even endorse a candidate and stayed completely out of the election. We sponsored a candidate's debate so we can find out were they stand and it was a huge success. Our goal is to bring everyone together unlike our elected officials that point fingers, lie, flip-flop on issues, say and do anything they can to stay in power, and divide us all. Please don't confuse us with the politicians in town. What's our goal - to preserve open space by the high school, how is that politically charged as your comments suggest? Why wouldn't a school be interested in hearing what concerned citizens in town care about. If we were politically involve in town we'd most likely make things a lot better for all but that's not our mission. To learn more visit our website at www.SODNOW.org.
Scott Davies November 07, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Rory G., - The group received permission to speak by the Board of Education Office. I made no such introduction or statement and appreciate the opportunity to correct you. My only comment at the meeting was to clarify that the group received permission to speak at the PTO's monthly forum by the Board of Education office since it was something apart from our PTO's regular agenda.
Rory G. November 07, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Principal Davies, I stand corrected regarding your remarks, as I was not in attendance and did indicate in my post that the incorrect statement is what I was told. As for Lori and Ulises, if SOD's concerns were presented at Gibbs without equal emphasis on the potential benefits that the builder and the project's supporters claim will be realized (not that I agree with them), then there was an attempt to advocate and influence, not to purely educate. What you don't seem to understand I'm referring to "political" in terms of the big picture, as the UW application and its resolution involve and affect multiple layers of government, not the limited view of its potential impact on just today's election. The timing of the presentations with respect to today's election is irrelevant to the point I was making.
Wendy November 07, 2012 at 06:34 AM
I have to disagree with you Ulises. Clearly SOD did endorse candidates. Miriam Pickett even offered congratulations to Mike Putrino and Austin Ashley after the results were posted on th patch. She thanked them for being such good friends of the SOD and mentioned that together we can take our town back. If you read back on many of the topics from the last few months you will clearly see that som SOD members favored Ashley and Putrino. As far as the SOD being able to speak at PTO meeting, I think it was a big mistake by the school system to allow anyone to speak. This is a political issue and clearly swayed the vote towards Ashley/Putrino.
Lori Barton November 07, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Wendy, you are correct that individual SOD members backed candidates. But individual SOD members backed both Republican and Democratic candidates. Patch posts from the last few months show SOD members supporting Berner/Rebsch and others show support for Putrino/Ashley. SOD as an entity did NOT endorse any candidates and made that very clear in ALL correspondence. If you were on the SOD email list you would have seen that very clearly. All emails stressed that SOD did not endorse anyone and only urged people to vote. SOD also tried to keep our members informed of the changes in the balloting locations. When political signs started going up around town, the SOD executive board voted to NOT display any signs until after hearing ALL of the candidates at Candidates Night. I sincerely doubt that what was said at 2 PTO meetings, to a total of about 50 people, in very brief presentations, swayed this election, especially since there was never any mention of the upcoming election or the candidates. Taking the time from our very busy lives to address residents of this community to alert them to the plans for the UW property is something that SOD felt was important. You would be amazed to find out how many in those small groups still had no idea what was planned on that property. Educating the public was, and is, our goal.
Ulises November 07, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Wendy, Lori summed it up best. SOD is made of Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Miriam being excited for her choice is her opinion not SOD's.
james November 07, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Wendy I can assure you that the candidates were chosen for various reasons. All you had to do was drive around NM and you would know that there were signs for SOD that also had signs for Berner and Rebsch. I believe a lot of people voted against them solely because they saw them as being aligned with the Mayor. As for the signs as you walked into to vote I sure do hope that the people of NM were informed before election day and a sign did not influence them. FOD failed because of the reasons that many have stated in the past. The Mayor and anyone affiliated with her and her decision to ignore the voice of the people. SOD has done a wonderful job of educating the public without politics. I know because my stance is totally opposite of what it was when I first started to educate myself about the UW development.

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