Daniel Baer made history when he became Millburn-Short Hills mayor. He was the first Democratic mayor in the town's history.
But he never ran for Township Committee six years ago for political reasons or for the sake of running. "I ran to make our town a better place," he said.
After two terms and six years on the committee, Baer hopes people remember him for helping make positive changes for the township. Baer won't be running for another term on the committee in November.
"As time goes on, your priorities change," he said this week. "I've enjoyed my time and it's been fulfilling. But there are other things in my life I need to address."
He thanked everyone for their support and giving him the opportunity to serve residents on the Township Committee. He said he hopes people remember him for giving others a chance to be involved and appreciate how hard he worked and cared for the township.
During his time he's been involved with a variety of projects, including the rezoning updates. He cited how he helped get Brookside Drive closed in South Mountain Reservation on Sundays for bikers and walkers. He talked about how he worked to have the county's government pay more attention to Millburn and invest dollars here. But he also cited the Paper Mill Playhouse sale nearly two years ago as one of the biggest things he did while serving on the committee.
Working on the Township Committee offered the opportunity to create a vision and drive policy, Baer said. But it was also an enlightening, learning experience. He'll miss working with the Town Hall staff and public employees like police, firefighters and Department of Public Works crews. "The people who work for this town are the best," he said. "They're top notch."
And he'll miss the camaraderie of working with other committee members. They all may disagree on various issues, but everyone always has the best interest of the township at heart, Baer said.
But Baer's work isn't done yet. He doesn't leave office for a number of months and still has a revitalization project to complete with fellow committee member Robert Tillotson. Baer said they're waiting for one more review of the report from the subcommittees, but they're also waiting to determine an appropriate time to bring the presentation to the public.