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Anti-Blue Law Group Has Enough Signatures For November Ballot

"Modernize Bergen County" has gathered 2,500 signatures to get a referendum in front of voters this November.

Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.
Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.

by Jim Leggate 

A group of Bergen County residents who want to repeal the county's Blue Laws have secured the 2,500 signatures they need to get a referendum on the ballot in November.

The group, called Modernize Bergen County, began gathering signatures for their petition earlier this year after then-Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua was inspired by Gov. Chris Christie's order to suspend the laws following Hurricane Sandy.

The group plans to file their petitions in early September and will continue gathering extra signatures until then, according to Shashoua.

Modernize Bergen County netted about 400 signatures at Teaneck’s Memorial Day celebration on Cedar Lane.

"It was fishing in a stocked pond," Shashoua said after the Teaneck event.

The Blue Laws issue has been debated by other county residents who want to keep the laws. Even if the referendum is successful, some stores in retail-heavy Paramus will likely have to remain shut on Sundays because the town has its own additional Blue Laws.

Those who support keeping the laws have said they want to have a peaceful day with less traffic and let retail employees have a day off, while those who want to repeal the laws have argued an extra day of sales each week could help struggling businesses.

Blue Laws supporters have said the mandatory closures give Bergen County residents a break from traffic and crowds.

Previous referendums to repeal the laws were defeated 192,394 to 157,648 in 1980 and 185,821 to 105,040 in 1993, but Amy Margolin, a volunteer with Modernize Bergen County, said she believed this time could be different.

JJ September 01, 2013 at 01:59 PM
if you want to shop for clothing on Sunday. Go on a little venture, The NY WATERWAYS IS A BEAUTIFUL WAY TO SEE NYC, GO AHEAD SPEND THE DAY, YOU'LL BE GLAD YOU DID TAKE A FRIEND ! OR go to Hudson county ! ESSEX COUNTY, Clifton NJ is 20 minutes from most towns in Bergen county , BE ADVENTURIST, Leave BERGEN COUNTY ALONE, READ MY LIPS ?????
William Mays September 01, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Why should Bergen County be left alone? Why should we have to go to other counties when we have so many stores in our county?
delgado September 02, 2013 at 07:46 AM
Bergen taxpayers should not be manipulated by a money making Canadian mall corp. ..... This group is unAmerican, they are using the ballot process so a foreign corp. can make more money for their govt subsized mall.
JJ September 05, 2013 at 08:38 AM
WILLIE HAYS, Were you born & raised in Bergen county or Just a newbie Transplant from another area ? Quality of life ? That doesn't mean being able to shop 7 days a week ? If you need that go on line That was just another reason you can shop 24 /7 day or night ? Maybe your just a hand full of people that doesn't care about money ? NOT ALL OF US LIVING HERE IN BERGEN COUNTY CAN AFFORD THE OVERLY PRICED TAX'S OF BASICALLY EVERY THING, But hey my whole family, Has stayed here, Not like most people , moved on mostly to Florida,Where in most parts is much cheaper to live.I LOVE BERGEN COUNTY, LIVE , WORK PLAY.MONDAY - SATURDAY/ SUNDAY IS THE ONE DAY OF REST WE ALL LOOK FORWARD FOR EITHER A FARMERS MARKET, OR IN SEASON GO TO THE BEACH, OR JUST HANGING AROUND THE HOUSE ?NOT FOR SHOPPING !
William Mays September 05, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Lived in Fort Lee by whole life. I don't see your logic about "overly priced taxes". You do realize that sales taxes are in effect every day right? If you want rest, stay in your house or go to a damn farmers market like you want to. That doesn't mean I shouldn't be able to go shopping if I want to.

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