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Taxes Biggest Issue in Freeholder Candidate Debate

Independent endorses Democrats during forum

The candidates for Bergen County Freeholder Board agreed on one thing: Taxes will be the biggest issue for voters come Nov. 8.

But they laid out different ways to deal with that issue at a candidates forum at on Tuesday.

The are vying for the seats of David Ganz, a Democrat who is running for re-election with Assemblywoman Joan Voss, and Bernadette McPherson, also a Democrat, who isn't seeking re-election. Republicans Joel Brizzi, of East Rutherford, and Anthony W. Rottino, of Franklin Lakes are hoping to wipe the Democrats off the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Brizzi accused Ganz, who has served on the Board for 9 years, of presiding over tax increases and corruption during his tenure.

"We've heard a lot of lip service about 9 years of service and 9 years of dedication," Brizzi said. "I pay taxes in Bergen County and it's been 9 years of almost bankruptcy because I've been taxed and taxed and taxed."

Brizzi and Rottino are hoping to ride the momentum of 2010, when Republicans swept into offices throughout Bergen County. Brizzi said the GOP would preside over a "new direction for Bergen County.

A fifth candidate, Edward Brunner, endorsed Ganz and Voss at the debate.

"If you don't vote for me, vote for one of these two," he said, gesturing to the Democrats seated to his right.

Brunner said he was a fiscal conservative, and said the County needed to reduce spending. One way of doing that, he said, was to eliminate the County Executive's office, which he called a "figurehead."

Ganz said County Executive Kathleen Donovan had overstepped her boundaries by purchasing a building in Hackensack for $1.24 million to house the Municipal Court without a vote from the Freeholder Board.

"I feel for [Bergen County Assignment] Judge [Peter] Doyne, who does need more space, but there are other ways to deal with this and it's important that Freeholders be given consideration for it," he said.

Rottino said the Democrats had made bigger, more wasteful expenditures during their time in power, citing the dispatch center in Mahwah and cost overruns at Overpeck Park.

All the candidates, aside from Brunner, pushed for the sale of , which the Bergen County Improvement Authority is considering. Voss said the County's 19-year contract with the hospital management was "terrible" and said Bergen County should study the sale of the hospital.

"The County should absolutely not be in control of or running the facility," Voss said.

William Mays November 02, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Oh yeah lets try to link Corzine to Democrats here. Maybe we should link Mark Sanford to the Republican freeholder candidates.
Jack B Goode November 02, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Oh, isn't Ganz a Democrat? Did't he support Corzine?
JOEL WEINBERGER November 02, 2011 at 10:26 PM
I BELIEVE WE THE PEOPLE NEED HOW OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE GOING TO HELP OUR QUALITY OF LIFE. I HAVE RECEIVED THE BADGE OF HONOR FROM HUFFINGTON POST ABOUT MY COMMENTS. OUR OFFICIALS NEED TO SET EXAMPLES THAT WE WILL IMPROVE QUALITY OF LIFE. SUPPORT JOB CREATIONS, SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, BENEFITS, .... THE TRUTH NO RHETORIC. WE THE PEOPLE DESERVE MORE NOW. THE PEOPLE WHO WE VOTE IN OFFICE DELAY HELPING EACH OTHER AND THE UPWARD PRESSURE REQUIRED. WE THE PEOPLE WANT THE FUTURE NOT THE PAST. THE PAST HAS SHOW TO BE PROBLEMS. WE THE PEOPLE DID NOT GET WHERE WE ARE NOW. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE. POINT FINGERS. TELL THE TTRUTH ON HOW THINGS WILL BE BETTER FOR EVERYONE. NOT JUST VOTE FOR ME WHY?
William Mays November 02, 2011 at 11:11 PM
That doesn't mean he approves of what Corzine did.
Jack B Goode November 04, 2011 at 12:24 AM
ok Mr. Weinberger, I'm in. How do we accomplish this?

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