Freeholder Explains Why He Abstained on County Police Vote

Effort to disband Bergen County Police Department failed with a 3-2 vote.

Bergen County Freeholder John Driscoll released a statement Friday explaining why he opted to abstain from a hotly-debated vote on folding the county police department into the sheriff's office. 

The freeholders on Wednesday voted 3-2 to reject an ordinance that would have eliminated the 89-member county police department. Freeholder Joan Voss also abstained. 


Driscoll's full statement is below: 

“I want to take this opportunity to give my reason for my abstention vote on the County Police ordinance.  I have sat and watched as this ever import issue was batted around over the last few months.  Since July I have been calling for the three leaders of law enforcement in Bergen County to come together on this issue.  I believe that there are cost savings that can be found in our law enforcement community.  That said it will only be found with the combined efforts of the law enforcement leaders, the Freeholder Board and the County Executive working together.  The proposed ordinance did not accomplish that in my opinion.  I cast my abstention as a signal that while the proposed ordinance was not the right course of action, the idea of finding savings should still be sought.    I again call for all of us to come together at the table to work for the taxpayers of Bergen and find true cost savings while at the same time continuing to deliver the high quality public safety that our residents expect and deserve and which none of our elected officials would ever compromise.”


Related Stories: 

  • Freeholders Vote to Dissolve Bergen County Police
  • Donovan Sues Freeholders to Stop County Police Merger
  • Bergen Residents Want Details on County Police Merger
  • Two Freeholders Plan ‘Listening Tour’ on County Police Merger
  • The Fight Over The Future Of A $22 Million Police Department
Mike Kupchik October 07, 2012 at 02:22 AM
John, I'm fed up with the annual increases of my taxes that well exceed any gains I get to address them, and assume I'm in the majority. At this point, my family needs to survive, so to "heck" with those thinking we can print our own money! Sorry, but a vote of "present" doesn't cut it anymore.
Kelly Van Rijn October 07, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Driscoll is a failure. You were elected into office to lead. You failed. If the idiot voters of Bergen County re-elect him, you have only to blame yourself for such wretched politicians. The Bergen County PD is a phenomenal waste of taxpayer money. It should be disbanded at once. Every single town in Bergen County has its own PD- we don't need these guys. At all.
Dennis Martinez October 07, 2012 at 11:29 AM
When you serve in a leadership capacity you are often faced with voting on a matter as it is presented to you. It comes with the territory. To abstain is to imply that those you represent will not have any voice on the issue. This person should step aside voluntarily or should be voted out at the next election. We need our elected officials to have the courage to take tough stands. This guy obviously doesn't have what it takes and he failed those he represents.
Chris October 07, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Joan Voss also....
USAUSA October 07, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Driscoll you are a bloated idiot, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you were so concerned about this issue you should have voted to make it 3-3 and put Donovan that bug eyed witch in her place. Please grow a pair, this issue should be voted on by the people not allowing Donovan (the worst offender) and 7 people who are voting (or in Voss and Driscolls case NOT voting) because of political gain or loss.
Max October 07, 2012 at 01:46 PM
John if you can't vote to allow of keep our money, you are voting to take it and waste it.
NDW October 07, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Abstention is not leadership it represents a lack of it. The voters sent you there to represent them. On a matter having to do with public safety and taxes you abstain? If you run again I will abstain too.
Howard L. Pearl October 07, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Driscoll’s answer was an embarrassment on so many levels that it is difficult to know where to begin. (1) Even if his drivel has any truth to it, how would the public even conceive of such a warped thought process? (2) Could his abstention possibly cause the other freeholders to work toward so-called “cost-savings” in law enforcement? Obviously, a resounding “NO”. (3) Would he even have released any statement at all if there wasn’t such a negative public response to his abstention? (4) Was he on a retreat with Joan Voss, where they had no contact with the outside world, so they did not know that they were supposed to vote on important issues?
Phil Jonas October 07, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Driscoll is exactly what the Record called him: "A weak candidate." This clown is still planning on running for state seante. He won't raise a dime!
Baba O'Riley October 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM
His arrogance blinds him from reality!


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