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Tedesco signals that 2016 tax increase is possible in state of Bergen County address

photo courtesy of Maura DeNicola Packed Freeholder Meeting Room for the State of the County

photo courtesy of Maura DeNicola Packed Freeholder Meeting Room for the State of the County. — at One Bergen County Plaza

BY TODD SOUTH
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

HACKENSACK — Bergen County Executive James Tedesco on Tuesday delivered his state of the county address, using the annual recounting of his administration’s accomplishments and plans to signal that the 2016 budget cycle will be tougher than its predecessor and that a tax increase is possible for 2016.

Employee health-care cost increases of $12 million and $3.4 million more for debt service on the largest construction project in county history will drive decisions on how to maintain services that Tedesco praised in his hour-long speech to a crowd of more than 100 mostly county employees and political office holders at the Bergen County Administration Building.

The combined $15.4 million increase for those two items alone is more than two thirds of the $22.6 million spending hike in the 2015 budget, which resulted in a 4.3 percent tax increase for property owners. Last year’s county budget totaled $530 million.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/tedesco-signals-that-2016-tax-increase-is-possible-in-state-of-bergen-county-address-1.1516469

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$50 grand for wi/fi for 4 people ?

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Tedesco unveils a very expensive initiative to bring Internet to low-income high schoolers in Bergen County

JULY 15, 2015, 7:29 PM    LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, JULY 15, 2015, 9:18 PM

BY JOHN C. ENSSLIN
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

Bergen County Executive James Tedesco on Wednesday unveiled an initiative aimed at providing basic broadband Internet service to low-income families with children who are starting high school this fall.

Tedesco announced he will provide a $50,000 grant from a discretionary fund in his budget to Jersey On, a non-profit that aims to connect more low-income families to the Internet.

A wireless router is the hub of your home or business network, delivering a single Internet connection to other devices on the network, through either wired Ethernet or a wireless connection. Some routers, targeted at novice users, are easy to set up, while others take a little more know-how. Routers also vary in the throughput they can manage, depending on the antenna configuration and the hardware inside.http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398080,00.asp

The organization is headed by Josh Gottheimer, a Microsoft executive who is a Democratic candidate for the 5th Congressional District seat now held by Republican Scott Garrett.

The $50,000 will provide a pocket-sized Wi-Fi hotspot device good for up to five wireless devices at no cost to 531 freshmen within the county whose families are eligible for the free or reduced-cost lunch program, starting this fall.

Those families also will receive free wi-fi for the four years that their student is in high school.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/tedesco-unveils-initiative-to-bring-internet-to-low-income-high-schoolers-in-bergen-county-1.1374635

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Tedesco moves to merge Bergen County Police with Sheriff’s Office

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Tedesco moves to merge Bergen County Police with Sheriff’s Office

January 1, 2015, 12:43 PM    Last updated: Thursday, January 1, 2015, 2:11 PM
By JOHN C. ENSSLIN
staff writer |
The Record

In one of his first acts after being sworn in early Thursday, Bergen County Executive James Tedesco signed an agreement that lays the groundwork to combine the County Police into the Sheriff’s Office.

The agreement — subject to approval by the freeholders — would fold the 103-member County Police force as a bureau within the Sheriff’s office.

It also sets an eventual goal of reducing the County Police through attrition and without layoffs to a core group of 49 sworn officers under the Sheriff’s command.

The 31-page memo, co-signed by Sheriff Michael Saudino and County Prosecutor John Molinelli, marks a significant turning point after more than five years of conflicting studies and intense political debate over how to consolidate county law enforcement.

“I believe this is the right thing to do for the people of Bergen County,” Tedesco said moments after signing the document at a ceremony in the freeholder caucus room.

Tedesco, a former Democratic freeholder, campaigned hard for the consolidation, arguing that it will save taxpayers between $90 million to $200 million over the next 25 years.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/tedesco-moves-to-merge-bergen-county-police-with-sheriff-s-office-1.1184663

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Tedesco ready for quick changes in Bergen County

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file photo Boyd Loving

Tedesco ready for quick changes in Bergen County

DECEMBER 29, 2014, 9:57 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2014, 5:35 AM
BY JOHN C. ENSSLIN
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

From the moment James Tedesco raises his hand in the early hours of Thursday morning to take the oath of office as Bergen County executive, the Paramus Democrat will confront a series of decisions that could go a long way toward defining his administration over the next four years.

Many of the big issues that were debated during Tedesco’s campaign — consolidation of county law enforcement, the future of Bergen Regional Medical Center and the 2015 county budget — will present a quick sequence of choices in the first 100 days of his administration.

Other issues, including construction of an access road to a new public works facility in Paramus and his pledge to sit in on freeholder meetings, will help set the tone of his tenure. He has promised a more cooperative style that will be open to negotiated compromise.

Here is a quick look at what to watch for in the months ahead:

Law enforcement: consolidation or bust?

The hottest-button issue in county government over the last five years is due for a reckoning.

Tedesco — who pushed hard for combining the Bergen County Police force with the Sheriff’s Office — has made this effort one of the top priorities of his first 100 days.

For the last several months, a law enforcement task force appointed by the Democratic freeholder majority has been studying how to carry out what Democrats call “a realignment” of the two departments into one mega-agency.

Those efforts picked up steam after Tedesco’s upset victory on Nov. 4 over one-term Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan.

Donovan opposed combining the departments, disputing the Democrats’ claim that it would save taxpayers $90 million to $200 million over the next 25 years through attrition, not layoffs.

So the stage is set for Tedesco to begin implementing that plan. One thing to watch for, however, is the reaction of the union representing county police officers. Officers for PBA Local 49 say that “realignment” is just another word for “merger.”

If so, they contend, a “poison pill” in their existing contract will kick in, requiring that their members be paid raises totaling about $1 million per year. The freeholders say their plan is not a merger, but rather a realignment that keeps the county police force intact while moving it under the command of the sheriff.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/analysis-tedesco-ready-for-quick-changes-in-bergen-county-1.1183009

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Bergen County Exec’s race: Dem Chair Stellato rallies troops for Tedesco

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Bergen County Exec’s race: Dem Chair Stellato rallies troops for Tedesco

LYNDHURST – Bergen County Democratic Chairman Lou Stellato was house-proud in his hometown before he got down to political business on Wednesday morning. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/80886/bergen-county-execs-race-dem-chair-stellato-rallies-troops-tedesco

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Bergen County Exec’s race: Paramus, Tedesco’s home base, could play strategic role in election’s outcome

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Bergen County Exec’s race: Paramus, Tedesco’s home base, could play strategic role in election’s outcome

PARAMUS – Bergen County Freeholder Jim Tedesco has reason to believe that based on his recent electoral history in his hometown of Paramus, the Democratic candidate for Bergen County Executive might have a chance of defeating Republican incumbent Kathleen Donovan in November. (Bonamo/PolitickerNJ)

http://www.politickernj.com/77871/bergen-county-execs-race-paramus-tedescos-home-base-could-play-strategic-role-elections-outcom

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Sarlo: Bergen Dems are united behind Tedesco

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Sarlo: Bergen Dems are united behind Tedesco

By Max Pizarro | February 18th, 2014 – 3:47pm
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State Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36) walked out of the Renaissance in Lyndhurst earlier today after conferring behind closed doors with other pooh-bahs in the Democratic Party.

“Bergen Democrats are united. There was a huge show of force behind our candidate and the chairman,” announced Sarlo, referring to the deal Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato landed to run Freeholder James Tedesco for county executive this year against incumbent Republican Kathe Donovan.

Players in the room this morning included State Party Chairman (and Passaic County Dems Chairman) John Currie, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Stellato, Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), state Sen. Bob Gordon (D-38), and Sarlo.

Read more http://www.politickernj.com/71508/sarlo-bergen-dems-are-untied-behind-tedesco