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Former Milltown resident calls on mayor, council to honor former Mayor Gloria Bradford

Typing Letter to the Editor for the Opinion page.

By Matthew Marciano

I had the pleasure to grow up in Milltown and was very fortunate to serve on the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Cable TV Contract Committee and the Local Access Channel Committee.

I have since moved out of Milltown, but I have noticed that Mayor Trina Mehr and the Borough Council have still not done anything to honor the legacy of former Mayor Gloria Bradford, who passed away earlier this year.

I feel the need to speak up as the legacy of Gloria is not being honored by this mayor and council. I was fortunate to know and to call Gloria a friend for 25 years.

She was a woman who broke through many barriers for women in politics in Milltown. She was the first woman elected to the Borough Council in 1992 and the first woman to serve as mayor of Milltown.

Elected overwhelmingly as mayor to serve three terms, she is the longest-serving mayor in Milltown’s history. She was a full-time mayor who kept regular office hours and always put the needs of people over partisan politics.

In speaking with her family, I was saddened to hear that the current mayor, whose path to the mayor’s office was paved through the sacrifice and hard work of women like Gloria, and the council members have still not done anything to honor someone who served the town for many decades.

There was no proclamation to honor Gloria at the council meeting after her passing and the mayor and council members have still done nothing to honor Gloria’s legacy in Milltown.

How long does it take for the mayor and council members to do their job and honor one of the most caring and dedicated officials in Milltown history?

The family mentioned that some ideas they were told the mayor and council would look into included having a bench dedicated with a plaque at Bradford Park, in addition to having a tree planted in Gloria’s honor.

Another suggestion that was discussed was having a special street sign placed above the street sign on South Street, where Gloria lived for most of her life. The special street would be named “Gloria Bradford Street.”

These ideas were discussed with Gloria’s family months ago by the mayor and council members and nothing has been done since.

I sent a letter to the mayor and council after Gloria’s passing and got a rather curt response from Mayor Trina Mehr who said she “was looking into” ways to honor Gloria and that details of those plans would be announced “soon.”

It is interesting to note that Gloria’s family still has not heard what those official plans are and when they will take place.

I also contacted the lone Republican on the council, Richard Revolinsky, in the hope that as the only Republican on the council, and the same party as Gloria, he would hold the mayor and the rest of the council accountable for not doing anything to honor Gloria. He never had the courtesy to get back to me, after several attempts.

This led me to send another letter to the mayor and council and as of this writing, I have only heard from Councilman Revolinsky, who mentioned that he liked the ideas, praised the mayor he ran against (one hand washes the other in Milltown politics) and still offered no details as to when the ideas that were presented to the family would actually take place and how he would move forward with plans to honor Gloria.

The inaction by the mayor and council members to not honor Gloria needs to stop. I do not want to hear about stalling the process by forming a “committee” to look into ways to honor Gloria.

This mayor and council have had several months to get the ball moving. No more delays are needed or should be tolerated. The suggestions have already been made.

Gloria worked tirelessly for the residents of Milltown her entire life. A proper tribute must be made to honor her legacy and the work she did for the people of Milltown.

Enough of the inaction by this mayor and council. Step up and do your job — honor Mayor Gloria Bradford.

Matthew Marciano of Hackettstown is a former resident of Milltown.

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