Government

Bourke and Mount Host "Open" Forum; Complete Streets Lawsuit Filed

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Forum at the Boxcar Bar and Grill in Short Hills Credits: Karen E. Hughes
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Mayor Bourke speaking with a resident Credits: Karen E. Hughes
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Deputy mayor Mount with Vicky Powell, president of Downtown Millburn Credits: Karen E. Hughes
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(L to R): Mayor Bourke and deputy mayor Mount Credits: Karen E. Hughes
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Deputy mayor Mount speaking with a resident Credits: Karen E. Hughes
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Cary Heller, Short Hills resident and local real estate developer. Photo taken at the Short Hills Association's Candidates Debate on Nov. 27. Credits: Jonathan Sym
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Millburn resident David Emma. Photo taken at the Short Hills Association Candidates Debate on Nov. 27. Credits: Jonathan Sym
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SHORT HILLS, NJ - Residents of Millburn Township came out on Tuesday evening to The Boxcar at the Short Hills Train Station for a ‘meet and greet’ with Mayor Ted Bourke and Deputy Mayor Ian Mount. The community was encouraged to bring their questions and concerns to ask during a Q&A session. Many residents answered the call. Although Bourke said the intent was to hold an open forum to discuss residents’ concerns, due to the larger than expected turnout the Q&A was moved outside so individuals could get one-on-one with Bourke and Mount and be heard over the growing din of the crowd, according to Bourke. Some residents in attendance expressed their displeasure. In addition, questions about a recently filed lawsuit caused further inquiries from residents.

South Mountain resident David Emma expressed his displeasure over the change in the Q&A format. He said, “I was under the impression it was going to be a public Q&A where every body can hear any question. The question I have for the mayor is one I want everybody to hear.” 

The question Emma addressed to the mayor was with regard to a lawsuit that was allegedly filed against the township. At the time of the event, whether or not a lawsuit was filed could not be verified.  However, in an interview with TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills that evening, Cary Heller, a local developer and Short Hills resident, commented, “there might have been entities that filed [a lawsuit] today, I didn’t file any lawsuit today as an individual.”

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Heller stated he did not know the names of the entities that may have filed a lawsuit. “As a courtesy to the Township of Millburn, it would be fair for the Township of Millburn to be served first, by whoever it is filing the lawsuit. I think I want to reserve comment until the township administrator is served.”

In a subsequent email to TAPinto Millburn/Short Hills the following day, Heller confirmed, “that there was a lawsuit filed in Superior Court yesterday to stop the construction [of Complete Streets]".

Heller continued to say that he is “absolutely in favor of Complete Streets, I’ve never been opposed to Complete Streets. Nobody is more in support of Complete Streets that I am.  In fact, I would tell you that I all but invented it in the State of New Jersey.”

He went on to say that the problem isn’t with the concept of Complete Streets but with its execution. He noted that there are “about 100 different issues”. He said he has been a vocal supporter of halting construction and re-evaluating the plan.

In a telephone conversation with mayor Bourke today, Nov. 3, Bourke confirmed receipt of a complaint on behalf of Millburn Courtyard Associates and Rudder Realty of Millburn.  Bourke said he was unable to comment on the complaint as it is now a pending legal matter.  

 

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