Mayor Foresees More Success, Accomplishments to Come in 2013
Mayor Richard LaBarbiera addresses changes, challenges and goals for the new year.
Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera reflected on the accomplishments of 2012 and pledges that more will be realized in this new year.
In his state of the borough address Sunday, LaBarbiera said 2012 overall was mostly a good year. Despite challenges the bipartisan council managed to deliver a zero percent tax increase without any loss in services or lay-offs, the borough survived the hardships of Sandy and also won the war in a fight to protect the borough's quality of life in its Blue Laws.
LaBarbiera relayed that this time last year the former all-Republican majority was broken up when Democrat council persons Elena Bellinger and Joseph Lagana were sworn in. Now one year later the majority has changed over to the Democrat side with the addition of council persons Donna Warburton and Patsy Verile who were sworn in Sunday.
While control changes hands the challenges remain the same, said LaBarbiera and he therefore advised, "The people of Paramus have spoken and you now have control, the second you stop listening to the people they will ask for it back."
"So let’s roll up our sleeves, check our labels at the door and get to work for the people doing what is in the best interest of Paramus residents," pledged LaBarbiera.
Looking ahead, LaBarbiera cited the promotion process with the Police Department as priority, something which was thought to have been resolved by years end but "some 11th hour comments" now need to be addressed.
Additional unfinished business includes the completion of improvements to Farview Ave and Midland Ave intersection, working out the kinks in the new traffic signal on Midland Avenue and finalizing a fair contract with PEA and teamsters, said the mayor.
Improvements are coming to Borough Hall which includes new chairs in the council chambers, said LaBarbiera. Beginning Feb. 1 the borough will begin a shared service agreement with Maywood where the neighboring borough will use the chambers for its municipal court. LaBarberia says he hopes this is one of many other examples of shared services the borough can take part in this year.
The mayor's announcement that he plans to ask the council to rename the borough's Life Safety Building after James J. Tedesco, former mayor, longtime firefighter and public servant, was met with a standing ovation.
LaBarbiera also pledged to put more support behind the borough's history and its veterans planning to add members two members to the Historic Committee and one to the Veterans Affairs Committee.
He hopes "with newfound interest we do not lose any more of our treasures in town and our Veteran’s get the much deserved help that they need."