Robert Miller is one of four candidates for two seats on the Westwood Council this year. He is the only incumbent.
Miller, a Republican, is seeking his third term on the council. He will have served on the council for six years by the end of this year. He has also volunteered with the fire department, planning board, zoning board, as a youth basketball coach and on the Ridgewood Council.
Miller said that, if he is re-elected, he would continue to work to balance the various needs of the community while paying down the borough’s debt in order to keep taxes down. Westwood’s debt has dropped by about $1.1 million since 2010 and Miller said he believed that it could be reduced by even more during another term, as the past few years have seen officials deal with large projects like repairs to a 1920s sewer and the project to turn a landfill into Westvale Park.
As a senior citizen who has also raised a family, Miller said he understood firsthand the importance of keeping Westwood affordable.
“I certainly don’t want to be of a generation that has to leave because it’s not affordable anymore,” Miller said. “To me, the key to that is fiscal control, spending wisely and having eyes for the future.”
Miller also said he believed the borough should make its processes for businesses quicker, but not more lax, in order to make Westwood a more attractive town for them to open.
“We need to embrace that to make sure that it is not an adversarial role, but a complementary role,” he said.
With the ongoing flooding issue in Westwood, Miller said he would continue the work that officials have already started, including purchasing flood-prone properties with grants, the creation of the Office of Emergency Management’s CERT team and supporting the fire department’s ongoing efforts in swiftwater training.
“Flooding is not a simple issue. Anybody who makes it out to be is fooling themselves,” Miller said. “It’s a complicated issue. We’re working at it from every possible level, from reducing the water level in the reservoir, communications to the residents, the safety elements of it. That’s what we’re doing and that’s what we’ll continue to do.”
The general election is Tuesday.