Paramus Mayor Rich LaBarbiera Speaks Out
Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan and her administration have again delivered a clear message to Paramus residents by attempting to shift the blame for a massive new County DPW facility, the Bergen County Police, as well as the Bergen County Technical Schools and Bergen County Special Services schools that are infringing on residential neighborhoods in the borough. That message again is simple – Donovan doesn't care. County Executive Donovan does not care that the County facilities have led to disruptive construction activities, removal of trees, and additional heavy truck traffic on previously quiet Paramus residential streets. Donovan does not care that residents in the area are outraged and feel like their voices are not being heard. Donovan clearly does not care, because instead of listening she instructs her administration to keep parroting a talking point that the borough was, "informed" in an attempt to shift blame. This is despite the fact that when I met with her to defend the quality of life in Paramus, and oppose this intensification of County facilities, she made it very clear to myself and a local Republican colleague that, “this is county land and she will do with it what she pleases,” despite potential decline of residents’ quality of life and home values, respectively. Donovan just doesn't care.
I wish this were an isolated incident however, this is not the first time Donovan showed her lack of respect for Paramus. A few short years ago the County Executive tried to use Hurricane Sandy to accomplish what has to be a long held political goal of hers -- to chip away at our Blue Laws. Donovan tried to order and then dragged Paramus to court in order to force us to allow retail stores to open and to allow a potentially precedent-setting period of Sunday shopping. While it seems the Bergen County courthouse seems to be her favorite place to spend her time as County Executive, it is clear Donovan did not care about us then and she does not care about us now.
While Paramus is one of Bergen County's largest and one of its most economically essential municipalities, it is home to almost 30,000 residents that are tired of this County Executive literally dumping on them. We deserve to be treated with some respect and our community preserved, not just run over by Kathleen Donovan again and again. Paramus has had enough.
Mayor Rich LaBarbiera