Mayor And Council Meeting 4 22 14
By Mel Fabrikant Thursday, April 24 2014 @ 04:29 PM EDT
Off to a late start, Mayor Rich LaBarbiera shocked the assemblage with his apology. An officer had been shot twice that day in an undercover operation in another town. The officer, who shall remain unnamed due to the undercover work, was rated as recoverable from the wounds. They were not as serious as those received by Paramus Police Officer Rachel Morgan. The Mayor asked for a moment of silence to honor the officer. The meeting officially started at 8:30 PM. It was lengthened by the interjection of politics to end at 10:20 PM. It seemed that politics was the main concern of several of the people who questioned various facets of the Agenda. Another segment was interested in the hiring and salaries mentioned.
As a regular attendee of the Mayor and Council meetings, it is distressing to have candidates come out the woodwork; those who have not been regular attendees, and to question minutiae publicly. Some of these questions could have been handled in other, less public ways. One of the things that Mayor LaBarbiera has been able to formulate is the lack of contention between the Council political party members. Almost every vote has been passed with a confidence vote rated at 100%. This is a soothing contrast to the party politics that existed during former Mayor James J. Tedesco III. Jim did a good job of governing, but had to withstand a lot of political interjection.
One of the Mayoral Proclamations was for a Stigma Free Zone initiated by Mary Ann Uzzi through the Care Plus organization and the Paramus Board of Health. According to LaBarbiera, Paramus was the second town in the country to establish a Stigma Free Zone and has acted as a model for latecomers. Paramus will hold A 'Town Hall Meeting" on Thursday, May 8TH, 7 pm at the Paramus High School Auditorium. Featured will be a public forum for open conversation about mental illness. Open communication is one of the ways to help eliminate the stigma attached to mental illness.
Of interest to the public is the controversy regarding the 'improvements' being foisted upon the town by the County of Bergen. Mayor LaBarbiera was aghast at the treatment he and Borough Administrator Joseph D'Arco received when they visited the County Executive's offices in Hackensack. They were told very bluntly, according to LaBarbiera, that this was County land and that they would do what they wanted to.
When questioned by Mayoral candidate Thomas LoCicero about borrowing money when the Borough had enough in reserves to pay for it outright, LaBarbiera remarked that the reserves helped to give a better borrowing rate with Moody's that would not exist without the surplus. The interest rate was drastically reduced by the borrowing and repayments.
There will be an Autism activity at Van Saun Park on Sunday. It is supposed to be on the Borough website , but after searching using the search engine, could not locate it.