Security at All Costs

Millburn PD Car


Crime is up here. You can’t open the local newspaper or read the local news online and not know that. It runs from a Millburn mailman being attacked in broad daylight across from an elementary school for his security keys to a recent blue van loaded with young criminals being dropped off to steal our cars.

Thieves are now so brazen that they are actually breaking in and ransacking homes to look for electronic key fobs, even if we are cautious enough to never leave them in unlocked cars. You can’t even leave a car unattended for mere seconds to unload groceries or pull a trash bin inside.

The Mall – you know what has been happening there. You read the same news we do. $120,000 in purses were recently taken at 10:30am from Dior’s. Unfortunately, it did not just make the very local news, but it made the NY/NJ/CT TV and radio stations.

At a recent Township Committee meeting, the Township Administrator stated that in the previous week there had been 14 arrests, with 33 arrests in the entire month of May this year. We might add that those stats are just the crimes we know about. What is below the iceberg, “actors” not caught, or crimes not reported?

Public safety must be the number one priority of Millburn – it is something that affects each and every one of us, our families, and our kids.


    • Lead by example: write firm, publicly posted letters to the Governor, state legislators to revise existing laws that are soft on crime and to the Attorney General to enforce laws to the maximum extent possible.  Encourage all residents to do the same by posting suggested form letters and contact information on the Township website.
    • Investigate all possible changes to local ordinances that can support law enforcement in their efforts to curb crime.
    • Invest in technologies to combat crime – more cameras, license plate readers (LPRs), etc.  
    • There are only six main entrances and exits to our town.  Station police cars at these entrances and exits 24/7.  When stolen cars get flagged on the LPRs the police can move to intercept them.  Consider employing the use of decoys at times if it is not economically viable to keep those locations staffed 24/7.  
    • Commission an updated workforce study to understand the true number of police that we need in our community, accounting for the anticipated population increase from new developments across town.  
    • Analyze the feasibility of implementing Nixle, a real-time emergency alert system that is already being used in neighboring communities to apprise residents of active incidents.  
    • Increase town-wide vigilance: create a free smartphone app that has, all in one convenient place, instant buttons to police, fire, injuries, phone camera, local relevant news; put up lawn signs like “My parents had a car stolen. Luckily no one was injured” to help illuminate how widespread the problem is.  
    • Jumpstart a local neighborhood volunteer watch program called Millburn Safety Watch – put posters up so that all who visit the town via any of the 6 main entrances will see: We are all Neighbors.  We watch out for each other.  If we see something, we say something – Police (973) 564-7001.  
    • Maintain an open-door policy not only as candidates now but as eventual elected officials – Ben and Frank commit to listening to any ideas that residents generate.  

Safety Above All Else

Millburn Ave Traffic

Downtown Millburn
June 13, 2023 - 3:35pm

Priority #1

It goes without saying that public safety should be Millburn’s number one priority and one of the largest line items of our municipal budget.  We are thankful to have best-in-class Police and Fire Departments, as well as the vital Millburn-Short Hills Volunteer First Aid Squad.

However, we must always be vigilant and focus on providing the tools and resources that will increase public safety, mitigate crime as discussed in the above section titled Security at All Costs, reduce pedestrian accidents, and enhance public communications.  Weekly recorded messages recounting an abridged collection of Township activities is not enough.  All residents must be kept well-informed, especially when it comes to public safety.

For example, how many residents are still unaware that the Township Committee has approved the contaminated DPW site or town “dump” for 75 low- and moderate-income rental apartments, sandwiched between high voltage power lines and railroad tracks?  We are all responsible for the long-term health of new residents – why are pivotal decisions like this being hidden from our community?

Traffic congestion is getting worse by the day – even slow-moving, impatient, backed-up drivers can be a hazard to themselves and pedestrians.  Has our Township Committee initiated effective programs that deter unsafe behavior?

Millburn has issued warnings for years and years about impending flood waters. Have officials done everything humanly possible to rectify the ongoing conditions for both homeowners and commercial property owners using all conceivable government resources?

Even something that seems small and insignificant like ensuring all kids wear bike helmets while cycling is a safety issue. We must be a cohesive team. Yes, every school bus driver and crossing guard is part of public safety.  When you want to be a leader in Millburn, safety must always be top of mind.

It's my job:

    • Ingrain the criticality of public safety in all employees, volunteers, and residents of the Township.  Heightening vigilance as mentioned in the prior section is essential, as well as creating a culture of collaboration between community members.
    • Ensure that all lighting on streets and public spaces is well-maintained to deter criminal activity and ensure pedestrian visibility at night. Regularly assess the need for additional street lightning, security cameras, and other infrastructure enhancements to improve public safety.
    • Encourage regular collaboration and partnerships between law enforcement officials, community leaders, and residents.  Foster mutual trust and develop effective strategies to improve all aspects of public safety.
    • Invest in outreach programs across the community to provide opportunities for residents to identify areas needing improvement and engage in constructive feedback for improving public safety.
    • Promote a culture of reporting suspicious activities and unsafe driving using the smartphone app as described in the prior section.
    • Use data and crime analysis to identify patterns, hotspots, and emerging trends in criminal activity and unsafe conditions for drivers and pedestrians across town.  Incorporate this data analysis in resource allocation, strategic planning, and targeted interventions to address specific safety concerns.
    • Establish and promote emergency preparedness initiatives.  Educate residents about emergency response protocols, encourage the formation of neighborhood emergency response teams.
    • Never forget the bottom line – the safety of you, your family, and your kids is paramount.

Oppose Overdevelopment

Believe it or not, these large new buildings are under construction in Millburn.  More to come?


Chatham Rd & Woodland Rd
(62 Units)


Reservoir across from the Upton
(195 Units)


The Metropolitan, Springfield


The Upton, JFK Parkway
(200 Units)

Across Town Hall

Millburn Ave near Town Hall

Charlie Browns

Corner Main & Essex

Annie Sez

Former Annie Sez, Millburn Ave
(150 Units)


Town Dump, Essex & Main
(75 Units)

Wells Fargio

Former Wells Fargo, Millburn Ave
(53 Units)


This (above) is what the Township Committee agreed could be built in our Town. Millburn's newly approved buildings total 735 rental apartments and, when completed, 194 are to be moderate to low-income units.  (The Metropolitan is technically located in Springfield, but the driveway empties out onto Millburn Avenue and our community.)

The State's Fair Share Housing process is not complete.  They will ask for much more in 2025.  But even before 2025, based on the Township Committee's concessions, builders who buy property in six areas of Town now have the right to build high-density housing - up to 40 units per acre and 48 feet in height.  Hypothetically, we could have 4,000 more homes to attain 800 more moderate to low-income housing units.  For reference, Millburn currently has 6,700 existing homes.

Yes, some of the new construction is part of satisfying Millburn’s affordable housing obligation.  Yet, our settlement agreement was among the worst in the state – our Township Committee, with the incumbent mayor at the helm of the negotiating team – capitulated to all the demands made by Fair Share Housing.  Other towns in the area are not giving in to the housing numbers requested.  Why have current Township Committee members agreed to housing numbers well in excess of (approximately double) what is legally required by the State?


    • Push back on the non-profit unelected Fair Share Housing Center, whose obligation is not to Millburn residents.  This is easy for Ben and Frank, because they do not have political connections to the governor, who is one of the largest donors to Fair Share Housing.
    • Place Millburn’s interests front and center during the next round of affordable housing negotiations to begin in 2025.  Any decisions made will be made in public view, with full resident participation via a series of well-publicized public forums, where any questions will be fully answered.
    • Negotiate with property owners to successfully rehab and convert existing older units that already have rents at the level considered “affordable” to meet fair share housing guidelines so they can be properly counted towards our affordable housing obligation.  This will enable Millburn to satisfy state-level mandates without overdeveloping the town.
    • Review internal Township staff to ensure that they have the expertise and the experience to fight ongoing battles related to overdevelopment.  Highlight any conflicts of interest that may result in improper decision-making on behalf of residents.
    • Review and decide if outside lawyers and consultants did not act in the best interests of the residents.  Claw back any damages resulting from improper advice given by previous consultants.
    • Pledge to represent only the interests of Millburn residents – not county and state level politicians.  This is easy for Ben and Frank because they are highly qualified candidates who will pour their heart and soul into fixing the problems facing Millburn – they are not trying to ingratiate themselves to others outside of our town for possible future offices.
    • Ensure that any new fair share housing is done sensibly, with an eye toward properly welcoming new residents to our compassionate community.
    • Promote the construction of critically-needed affordable senior housing as part of our next round of affordable housing.  This will limit the number of students brought into the school system.
    • Review and allocate new building densities more equitably across town.
    • Investigate how zoning rules such as front and side setbacks might be increased to cut down on excessive size and scale which is now legal in 6 areas of town.
    • Propose and demand ordinances requiring any new developments to be fully sustainable (e.g., be fully electric vehicle ready, limit new natural gas hookups for high-density developments).
    • Fully explain to residents the implications of any future affordable housing decisions, with an eye toward stopping overdevelopment to the extent possible, especially if it taxes our school system beyond capacity.

Safeguard Best Schools

Millburn High School


We have exceptional schools.  That’s a key reason why many residents choose Millburn to raise their families.  Our children are the future.  We all want our top-rated schools to continue their decades-long track record in being the best at educating our kids – but they are under threat.

The overdevelopment approved by the Township Committee under Mayor Miggins’ leadership will put tremendous pressure on every school. Capacity is threatened, staffing will be stretched thin, and high-quality performance and rankings will deteriorate.  The Township Committee and the incumbent mayor made no effort to study the impact on our schools when they approved very large development projects for our town.  They barged ahead and approved one of the state’s worst settlement agreements with no regard for impact on our schools.  While it is true that Fair Share Housing does not consider school capacity, it does not mean that our Township Committee cannot commission studies to understand the impact on our schools, as many other neighboring towns have done.

We face saturated classrooms because there is finite capacity in our school buildings.  It takes years to plan and build additions to our existing schools and even longer to build new schools.  Teachers will face much larger class sizes along with the added complexities of managing an exploding school population.  Do you remember the trailers that stayed outside of Glenwood School for over a decade?  And the huge trailer in front of the Middle School that took years to remove and replace with proper classroom space?  How does that help your kid’s education?  How might that impact your home values down the road, if our school system is no longer the best in the state?


    • Pro-actively address the downstream impacts of the settlement agreement negotiated by the incumbent mayor by immediately commissioning a proper school impact study to understand the urgency of long-term school expansion plans.
    • Support the Board of Education during this critical transition period when there will be an almost 10% increase in the number of households in town.
    • Partner with the Board of Education to alleviate the shortage of playing fields and engage the public as part of this partnership. 
    • Foster open and transparent communication between the local governing body and the Board of Education.  Regularly exchange information, data, and projections regarding expected population growth and its potential impact on the school system.  Conduct real-time studies to see how individual new developments impact the school population and iteratively refine projections for future developments.
    • Work collectively to advocate for increased education funding from state and federal sources.  By standing together, the local governing body and the Board of Education can have a stronger voice in securing additional resources to support the growing student population that will result from new development across town.
    • Involve the community in discussions and decision-making processes related to development and its impact on the school system. Seek public input through town hall meetings, surveys, focus groups, and committees to ensure that community concerns and perspectives are considered.
    • Explore the possibility of implementing impact fees on developers to help fund school infrastructure improvements.  These fees can be used to support the expansion or construction of schools to accommodate the increased student population resulting from overdevelopment.  This may also incentivize the construction of much-needed senior housing as opposed to other forms of high-density rental housing.
    • Commit to never shortchanging our schools for developers with deals like the Township Committee is doing right now.  Did you know that the DPW project will bring no tax revenue to the Board of Ed?
    • Work their hearts out to protect Millburn schools.  Ben Stoller and Frank Saccomandi have skin in the game – they have and will have young children in the school district.

Resist Outside Influence

Eglow Letter


One-party rule inevitably leads to unchecked power.  Our local elected officials are unwilling to push back on the dictates from county and state politicians who don’t even live here.

Our student population grows with each new housing project.  Our schools will need funding to deal with that growth, yet our Township Committee, with Mayor Miggins at the helm, has agreed to a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program that contributes zero tax dollars to our schools.  Why are taxpayers footing the entire bill for the 75-unit project at the DPW site, which exceeds Millburn’s state-mandated obligation?  Is this project for the benefit of Millburn residents or simply a feather in the cap for state politicians who were already trumpeting this achievement before the ink was dry?

As former Millburn Mayor Dianne Eglow recently wrote in an open letter about why she left her party, “I first noted a problem with party politics when I was expected to hire firms that were promoted by the county Democratic party, to perform township work.  I was ordered to choose between obedience to the party and maintaining my integrity and commitment to serving the residents of Millburn-Short Hills.”

The current Township Committee, led by Mayor Maggee Miggins, succumbs to pressure from county, state, and federal politicians at our expense.  And they’ll do it again, perhaps even more aggressively, if they are voted back in.


    • Prioritize transparency and accountability by making all meeting agendas, minutes, and financial reports easily available online in a timely fashion.  Commission independent audits and reviews to ensure fiscal responsibility and accountability.
    • Protect whistleblowers and create a safe environment for all township employees and officials to report any unethical practices or corruption they witness.  Whistleblowers play a crucial role in exposing wrongdoing and must be protected from retaliation to ensure that they can come forward without fear of losing their jobs or facing reprisals.
    • Prevent undue influence over the Business Administrator by instituting a yearly evaluation with some measure of job security – currently, the Business Administrator serves at the pleasure of the Township Committee and can be pressured into acting at the whims of the Township Committee and potentially against the interests of residents.  The Business Administrator must be able to push back in an independent fashion without the constant threat of dismissal.
    • Establish and enforce strict ethical guidelines for our local governing body officials to ensure that they prioritize the best interests of our community above personal or political gains.
    • Commit to bidding out municipal attorney, planner, and other professional contracts to ensure we have the best advice possible.
    • Conduct an audit of all outside professionals hired by the Township to uncover any hidden political influences.
    • Foster partnerships with neighboring towns who are experiencing similar difficulties in fighting against outside influence.  For example, more than 13 towns across NJ are suing the governor to reconstitute COAH so that affordable housing can be implemented in a more standardized fashion across the state.  Despite being asked multiple times by residents to do so, the current Township Committee has refused to even consider joining this lawsuit.

Respect Residents' Input



The Township Committee has pushed aside residents in favor of developers and political influencers.  Party interests come first, residents last.  The current Township Committee and mayor have ignored, cajoled, and even insulted taxpayers and residents who approached them with ideas, questions, and objections.

Our elected officials and mayor have reduced public input to the bare minimum.  Residents’ questions are simply never answered, regardless of how many times they are raised.  Our paid professionals, including the Business Administrator, do not follow up on resident’s concerns, and instead, they often dismiss said concerns and cite misleading statistics to further their own agenda.  Do you really think it’s fair to compare the number of car thefts in 2023 with those in the 1990s, prior to the widespread adoption of engine immobilizers?  Believe it or not, the Business Administrator tried to do exactly that in a June 2023 Township Committee meeting. The mayor also cited these same irrelevant statistics at a neighborhood meeting in July.

The Township Committee has spent countless dollars on consultants to conduct surveys to understand residents’ needs.  Yet when well-informed residents point out how those surveys are opaque, poorly designed, and scientifically invalid, the concerns go unheeded, likely because those surveys are designed to generate a pre-determined outcome.  2,000 residents signed a petition opposing the 75-unit income-segregated housing project at the DPW site (a.k.a. the contaminated town “dump”).  Yet the mayor refused to even consider those residents, and instead pushed forth with her ill-conceived plan which she negotiated and approved without any prior public input.

Earlier this year, the Zoom option for participating in Township Committee meetings was inexplicably removed.  Only after repeated public outcry was this restored.  How could anyone possibly justify removing opportunities for residents to provide input to their elected officials?


    • Explore the right of initiative and referendum that residents of many other municipalities enjoy.  This is a check and balance that provides residents and taxpayers recourse against ordinances that they disagree with.
    • Proactively reach out to residents by holding regular community forums where residents can openly express their opinions, concerns, and ideas and have productive back-and-forth discussions with officials and professionals.
    • Require that the mayor have open, regularly scheduled office hours at Town Hall – this was a tradition dropped by the incumbent mayor.  This will ensure that any resolution to problems raised is satisfactory.
    • Organize collaborative workshops and brainstorming sessions where residents, officials, and experts can come together to share knowledge, and find innovative solutions to issues like affordable housing.  Encourage active participation and value diverse perspectives.
    • Ensure that all questions and concerns raised are answered in full prior to the next public meeting (as is done at the Board of Ed). Provide multiple opportunities for public comment at Township Committee meetings. 
    • Demand that consultants conduct statistically relevant surveys so that the true pulse of the community can be gauged, not so that a pre-determined preferred outcome is supported.