In a recently convened Franklin Lakes Borough Council meeting, the scholarship recognitions took the center stage, closely followed by critical discussions on key ordinances and an animated debate about overpopulation of deer in the area.
At the forefront of the debate over deer overpopulation was Mr. George from North Halden who stated he was firmly against any form of deer hunting citing the risks to the community. His sentiments were echoed by council members who highlighted the potential danger of hunting near residential areas.
Members exchanged stories of personal property damage due to deer, and concerns were voiced about the effectiveness of local hunting efforts, given deer’s disregard for town borders. The council explored several control methods from the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife. Suggestions ranged from trap and transfer to chemical fertility control and hunting by authorized agents. A consensus was reached to invite a representative from Fish and Game to the next meeting.
The discussion of deer overpopulation coincided with criticism of Bergen County’s lack of a comprehensive wildlife management program, showing the council’s willingness to confront the county. It was within this context that the council decided to invite a Fish and Game representative to discuss possible solutions, including the professional culling of deer.
Separately, Alexia Coulakourdas, a semi-finalist in the Lewis Bay Second Future Municipal Leader Scholarship Competition, was honored for her civic contributions. Charlie Green and Dylan Kucharski were also celebrated as 2023 Scholarship winners, with Kucharski’s moving video essay and Green’s story of personal growth through basketball capturing the essence of the occasion. Coulakourdas underscored the government’s instrumental role in her life, expressing her wish to raise her future children in the town, highlighting community trust in the municipal government.
The council pushed through multiple other ordinances that covered a range of governance aspects, from amendments to property rehabilitation laws to authorizing the borough to acquire an easement for drainage facilities.
Council members also grappled with disagreements over previous meetings’ minutes, particularly surrounding the placement of a bandstand at Parsons Pond. Councilwoman Kelly adamantly denied ever agreeing to the bandstand, leading to a clash of memories and a subsequent vote against approving the minutes.
Finally, Ordinance 1922 was introduced, authorizing a bond issuance not exceeding $1,590,000 to finance part of the cost of a new fire ladder truck.