Posted on

Recall Effort Underway in Mahwah


January 21,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Mahwah NJ, Recently, a group of Mahwah residents announced an initiative to recall Mayor Bill Laforet. The group now needs to acquire approximately 4,200 Mahwah resident signatures within 160 days in order to have the recall placed on the November election ballot. All petition signers must be registered voters and time is of the essence.
The Recall Committee seeks to end to the mayor’s “Incompetent management, poor judgement, abuse of power, lying and promoting divisiveness”. More information is available on their website at

A previous effort to recall Mayor Bill Laforet in Mahwah, New Jersey, from his position was launched in March 2015.The recall did not go to a vote after supporters ended the recall attempt on August 3, 2015.Laforet is targeted for recall due to allegedly overstepping his authority by firing the town’s Public Works Director after pornography was found on the director’s computer. On May 13, 2015, supporters purported to have gathered “hundreds” of signatures.[4] Recall supporters ended the recall effort on August 3, 2015.

The Recall Group reached out to MahwahStrong seeking support for their initiative. Mahwah Strong is a group of local residents who have come together for the purpose of preserving the welcoming, inclusionary lifestyle of Mahwah Township.

The Board has concluded that the Mayor’s actions, statements and representation of our community have been largely inconsistent with the goals of MahwahStrong and contrary to the best interests of our Township and its taxpayers. His inability to coexist with the Town Council is disruptive and compromising important work and the future of our community.

The Board of MahwahStrong has determined that change is in order. It is our goal to reclaim Mahwah and remove what divides us. Accordingly, we are endorsing and lending the support of our organization to the recall effort.

5 thoughts on “Recall Effort Underway in Mahwah

  1. Is there a recall system for Village council members? If there is, it’s totally appropriate based upon the outright deception Voigt used to get elected.

  2. Ok…so what specific thing did Laforet do or not do that has put him in hot water with the people who are in favor of overturning a mayoral election? Strictly enforcing a non-pornography policy with respect to the use of municipal computer equipment? NFN, but that would not seem to constitute sufficient grounds for demanding his ouster. Quite the opposite, actually. Disagreeing, even strenuously, with other elected members of municipal government? Again, depending on the nature of the disagreement, this seems insufficient. Our mayor frequently disagrees with one particular member of our Village Council. And most people in town are just fine with that!

  3. Mahwah has a “township” form of government, right?
    The Township Form (NJSA 40A:63-1)
    The township form is the oldest form of municipal government in New Jersey. Designed to parallel the New England Township meeting, the Township Act of 1899 abolished the township meeting and replaced it with a township committee with all municipal powers. This act, with a handful of amendments, served until it was repealed by the Township Act of 1989, which cleared up many of ambiguities of the previous law.
    Under the current township government laws, the township committee remains the backbone of the municipality’s government. Voters elect, at-large,1 the township committee comprising three or five members. The elections are partisan and the committee members serve staggered three-year terms. The township committee elects the mayor for a one-year term. The mayor serves as chair of the township committee and has powers vested in the mayor’s office by general law.
    Under the township form, all legislative powers are concentrated in the committee. The committee also has all executive powers not placed in the mayor either by general law or the revised Township act. Additionally, all municipalities under the traditional form may appoint, including the township form, may appoint a municipal administration and “delegate to him all or a portion of the executive responsibilities of the municipality.”2 As of 2006, 144 municipalities operate under the Township form.

  4. Mahwah sits in the third appellate circuit of the federal courts. It’s been more than two decades since an appellate level court decision of the third circuit established the rule that it is unconstitutional to forbid non-residents access to a public municipal park. Frank Askin of Rutgers Law School successfully litigated this case on behalf of the NJ-ACLU. No other federal circuit has a similar judicial precedent, pro or con. But, that doesn’t help Mahwah. The third circuit would apply the precedent if Mahwah tried to defend a similar law against challenge by a non-resident. And the Supreme Court would almost certainly deny certiorari review because there is no split in the circuits (no contrary holding elewhere).

  5. What about the Health Barn?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.