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Effort to Repeal Blue Laws 'Ridiculous,' Paramus Mayor Says

"Don't worry about Paramus and we won't worry about what you do in your town," said Richard LaBarbiera.

Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera is calling Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua's argument to repeal county Blue Laws "ridiculous."

During Tuesday's council meeting, the mayor defended the Blue Laws and the Paramus residents who have been criticized for wanting to keep peace and quiet in this town on Sundays.

"Don't worry about Paramus and we won't worry about what you do in your town," said LaBarbiera.

"I won't stop whining as some outsiders have challenged us," said the mayor referring to the hefty debates that have been going on in the comment sections of recent articles and on Facebook pages. 

Shashoua's group "Modernize Bergen County" has the goal of repealing Bergen County's blue laws via a voter referendum on the premise that allowing shops to open on Sundays would create more jobs and bring more money into the area that may be spent in other counties or New York.

The mayor says one of the biggest reasons people move to Paramus is because stores are only open six days a week. He also said he has been greeted by employees of retail stores who have told him how happy they are that they have Sundays off. It is also why many businesses choose to come to Paramus, he says.

Former Paramus councilman Sam Cassiello said Bergen County's Blue Laws have been challenged before, they have been upheld and knows Paramus will see to it that it continues.

"Don't waste your time and energy with petitions," said Casiello.

Former Paramus mayor Jim Tedesco echoed the same message, telling LaBarbiera he knows Paramus will continue to protect the Blue Laws and will overcome this challenge.

The blue laws have been challenged twice before: once in 1980 and again in 1993. The plans to repeal the laws were defeated 192,394 to 157,648 in 1980 and 185,821 to 105,040 in 1993.

Mike Kender January 25, 2013 at 10:38 PM
I would like to see the county blue laws be overturned. If Paramus wants to keep their blue laws, then let them enact a blue law just for their town. Then, the rest of us can shop on Sunday in the rest of the county. For people that commute into New York City, only having Saturday to shop in Bergen County is a pain in the neck, especially for dual-career couples.
rexa January 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM
That's what I cannot, for the life of me, figure out. Why does this need to be a "county-wide" thing, when all it need be is a Paramus thing. Allow small businesses to open OR NOT, depending on their own sense of Sunday Blue-ness.
Rose Boniello January 26, 2013 at 04:00 PM
I support all efforts to enforce the Blue Laws -- they are a huge part of what makes Bergen County sane and enjoyable on Sundays. In this economy especially, stores do not want to staff yet another shopping day with so few shoppers this time of year. Parking lots and stores were EMPTY on SATURDAY -- the cost of opening on Sunday would make businesses actually lose money. This area of NJ is chock full of places to shop -- driving an extra 15 minutes or so a couple of times per year when you would actually go shop on a Sunday is not worth the year round disruption to Bergen quality of life. And it is not just Paramus that would impact traffic -- Hackensack is a huge part of this equation also. Mr Mayor -- feel free to call on me to assist with any effort to promote and keep our Blue Laws!!
RB January 26, 2013 at 05:50 PM
The Blue Laws should stay just the way they are. Thank you.
Jeanette L January 26, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Agree totally with you Rose! All people have to do is go to other towns, like Wayne and do their shopping. There is so much traffic on Saturdays, and the amount of business they would gain, would be negligible, if they opened 7 days a week. As it is, people are shopping less, so giving them an extra day would cut into the business owners profits.
tells it like it is January 27, 2013 at 07:55 PM
i believe the blue laws should be repealed from thx giving to news year each year. the local stores wont lose revenue and I can cope for a few weeks. it does make us seem more civilized to have the stores closed the rest of the year.

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