Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet will seek reelection this November. Laforet officially kicked off his campaign at a luncheon at Saturday afternoon.
“Becoming Mayor has been an amazing experience, and I think we’ve been able to accomplish a lot,” he told a group of about 65 supporters. “I think we started a lot of things this year that are long-term, and I’d like the opportunity to continue to work on them.”
Laforet was elected to replace Mayor Dick Martel, who . Laforet is in the middle of serving the one-year that was left in Martel’s term.
This November’s election will choose a mayor to serve a full four-year term.
Laforet said he is running this year’s campaign on three main platforms – sustaining the tax rate, fostering business growth in Mahwah and increasing services to residents.
During his 2012 campaign announcement, Laforet cited this year’s municipal budget, which was at a 1.75 percent tax increase to residents. “That’s the lowest increase in 11 years in Mahwah,” he said. “I want to make sure that we continue that. Tax rate sustainability is probably the number one most important thing for the community.”
Laforet said he wants to “make sure that Mahwah is a an attractive place for businesses to stay, and new ones to come. I think business outreach is really important.”
Laforet also brought up the . “That got me thinking, isn’t there a way to take all of our services – the water department, fire department, DPW, ambulance services – and have them become certified in a similar way?” he told the crowd. “We already have an incredible team of people working on behalf of the town. If we can get these in place, we can improve services even more.”
Overall, he said his campaign will be similar to the one he ran last year. “Last year I ran as a businessman, not a politician. I still need to live by that.” More information about his 2012 campaign can be found at his "Team Laforet" campaign website.
Petitions for residents interested in running for mayor or the three town council positions up for election this year became available at the town clerk’s office Friday. Laforet is the first candidate to announce his intent to run, but has not yet handed in his petitions to the town clerk. Petitions must be filed by September in order for candidacies to be validated.