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Bergen County Woman Pushing For Repeal Of Blue Laws

Paramus Mayor: 'As Long As I'm Mayor' There Will Be No Repeal
Paramus Park shopping center sign (credit: CBS 2)

Paramus Park shopping center sign (credit: CBS 2)

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PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – There is a renewed effort led by a Westwood, N.J. woman to repeal Bergen County’s Blue Laws, which prohibit retail sales in the county on Sundays.

“We’re calling ourselves ‘Modernize Bergen County,'” Rosemary Shashoua told CBS 2’s Alice Gainer.

There have been past attempts to repeal the Blue Laws, but the efforts have always been shot down.

Following superstorm Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie issued an executive order to temporarily lift the Blue Laws in order to allow residents to buy supplies for home repairs or clean-up seven days a week.

The mayor of Paramus, which is home to several shopping malls, said the retail centers were planned with the Blue Laws in mind when they were built in the 1950s.

“We have tenants from all over the world who want to come do business here in Paramus and that’s with only six days a week. It works and as far as I’m concerned, as long as I’m mayor, there’s no reason to change it,” Mayor Rich LaBarbiera told Gainer.

LaBarbiera also said lifting the Blue Laws would cost county taxpayers more to offset the cost of police and other services to open the extra day.

Even in the wake of Sandy, LaBarbiera tried to block Christie’s executive order from taking effect. A judge tossed out the challenge.

Some Bergen County residents agreed they need the one-day break from the congestion along Routes 4 and 17.

“You can go up and down Route 4 and Route 17 without having to fight your way in traffic,” Glen Rock resident Tim Bryk told Gainer.

“I would like a rest because we live such busy lives,” Rebecca Hoang of Cliffside Park added.

Shashoua, a five-year Westwood resident said that day of rest with loved ones should be spent spending.

“Go to the mall, sit down, have a nice meal sit down and figure out where you’re going to spend your money and do it together in a mall. Most people don’t go to church anymore anyway on Sundays,” she told Gainer.

Shashoua has not yet gathered the necessary signatures required for a repeal referendum.

Do you think Blue Laws should be repealed or left in place? Sound off in the comments section below…