Freeholder Public Listening Tour September 4
|Date:||August 30, 2012 - September 5, 2012|
Phase II of a two-week “Public Listening Tour” designed to solicit the opinions of Bergen County residents on the proposed merger of the County Police with the Sheriff’s Department now has its first confirmed location, and residents are invited to attend and give their opinion.
Freeholders David L. Ganz (D- Fair Lawn) and Dr. Joan M. Voss (D- Fort Lee) announced that the listening tour would be stopping in Teaneck on Tuesday September 4th at the Richard Rodda Center, MP1, 250 Colonial Court, starting at 7pm.
They have arranged the tour so that they are better informed about the public’s views on the proposed merger. “We have already heard from the elected officials,” Ganz said. “Now it’s time to hear what the people of Bergen County have to say.”
Voss added, “It’s so important for the people of Bergen County to have their say. The best way to do that is with a Public Listening Tour and a referendum on the November ballot to poll the people.”
Joining Freeholders Ganz and Voss will be Freeholder Chairman John Mitchell (R- Cliffside Park), who agreed to attend. The invitation is open to all members of the Freeholder board but, as yet, no others have confirmed their attendance. No action may be taken by the Freeholders at these meetings. “We’re there to listen,” Voss said.
Today’s announcement follows the first set of three meetings announced last week for northern Bergen County: on Monday August 27th at 6pm at the Oakland Senior Center, 20 Lawlor Drive. The second meeting will be on Wednesday August 29th at 6pm at the Westwood Community Center, 55 Jefferson Ave. The third meeting will be on Thursday, August 30th at 6pm, at the Northvale Borough Hall, 116 Paris Ave. Ganz and Voss also announced they are in the final stages of confirmation for two additional meetings in the southern part of the county.
The Freeholders are currently considering a proposal to merge the County Police into the Sheriff’s Department, and on August 17th passed a resolution calling for a ballot referendum on November 6th.
Freeholders Voss and Ganz first suggested the “listening tour” to take the pulse of the people as an interim step to the November 6th referendum. The listening tour will have visited six towns and hundreds of people will have been heard from several months before the referendum results become available.
The Board of Chosen Freeholders is one of the oldest forms of government at the county level in the United States. Its origins date to the 1650’s when only "freeholders" or people who owned land were permitted to vote and voted for their "chosen freeholders" to represent them.
They are elected to three-year terms staggered such that it leads to two or three freeholders being up for election each year.