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Tedesco ready for quick changes in Bergen County


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

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.

8 thoughts on “Tedesco ready for quick changes in Bergen County

  1. Using the low estimate of $90,000,000 over 25-years (an unimaginable period of time in politics) Mr. Tedesco will show us a savings of $3,600,000 by this time next year? Or $7,200,000 in two years? Or $10,800,000 by the end of 2017? How gullible are the voters who elected him? All this while adding $1,000,000 annually for pay raises. Good luck with that.

  2. And our Sheriff who an R made a deal with the devil. Wait till his re election. They will put their own man in there. You local police better watch out this power grab is going to affect you. These political hacks will be patrolling you town streets soon. What a power grab.

  3. Yet again, the union representing county police officers is looking for a money grab and trying their best to prevent any savings for Bergen County taxpayers. We have too many PDs in Bergen County, why do we need 78 separate PDs and Chiefs in this one County ? It’s overkill. Here’s a great example, combining the Bergen County PD with the Sheriff’s Office, Why were they separate in the first place ? But what does the union see ? A money grab requiring that their members be paid raises totaling about $1 million per year ! Taxpayers get screwed again.

  4. Union thugs, holding taxpayers hostage due to insatiable greed

  5. Yes # 3 Lets disband all these :PD. Everyman for themselves. Im prepared are you? Well your taxes will go down.

  6. Hello is this 911 I have been robbed. Stay on the line I will connect you with Ridgewood Water they will respond.

  7. Sheriff we are getting a lot of house robbed in ridgewood what do you want to do. Well did we carry Ridgewood in my last election? If not screw them.

  8. Sheriff: Let me rethink our response to the Ridgewood robberies I think that have a horse farm. We could use it to stable our horses. Give the Mayor a call before we respond.

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