Your insider's guide to Passaic County, NJ

County Report:


January, 2016
Rich History, Bright Future
Inside this issue
Board of Chosen Freeholders
Theodore O. Best Jr, 
Director -  John W. Bartlett Esq, Deputy Director
Terry Duffy - Pat Lepore - Bruce James - Hector C. Lora - Cassandra "Sandi" Lazzara

County Spotlight

  2016 Swearing-In Ceremony
Every year, the Passaic County Freeholders hold a re-organization meeting to swear in the new Freeholders, and to vote on a Director and Deputy-Director to take the helm of the Freeholder Board. Freeholder TJ Best was voted for the first time to be Director, making him the first African-American in Passaic County to hold the title. After securing his second term this last election cycle, Freeholder John W. Bartlett was voted in as Deputy-Director. Passaic County also welcomed its newest Freeholder to the board, Cassandra 'Sandi' Lazzara. This position will be Freeholder Lazzara's first experience as an elected official. Freeholder Lazzara credits her father, former Freeholder and State Senator Joseph Lazzara, for teaching her the value of community service. 

The swearing-in ceremony took place at the award winning Passaic County Technical Institute, right on the heels of their football team's victory in the Championships. The PCTI Culinary Program also treated everyone to a terrific buffet. The Culinary program is entering a state competition at the end of the month, which it has won 6 out of 7 times. PCTI received some well deserved recognition throughout the evening, which made it the perfect place to host the ceremony. Director Best laid out his vision for the future of the county, which includes continued support for PCTI, Preakness Healthcare Center, social programs that people depend on, and public parks, just to name a few. If there's one take away from this ceremony, it's that 2016 will be an exciting year for Passaic County. 

Behind the Scenes

Michael La Place - Planning

Q: What is your department & title?

A: Michael La Place, I am the Director of Planning and Economic Development.

Q: What does your department, and your staff do on a daily basis?
A: The Planning & Economic Development Department is involved with land use planning, development review, urban design and transportation initiatives throughout the 16 municipalities of Passaic County.  The department includes the divisions of Planning, Economic Development, Housing and County Historian.  Administrative and technical support is provided to the Board of Chosen Freeholders, the County Administrator, Planning Board and committees for Agriculture, Open Space, History & Tourism, Brownfields Redevelopment and the Community Development Block Grant program.
Q: How does your Department help the residents of Passaic County?

A: Comprehensive and cutting-edge land-use and transportation planning is critical to Passaic County and its residents in order to make our county and its 16 communities economically vibrant and competitive, as well as safe, healthy and attractive to visitors and prospective businesses and other commercial interests.  The Planning Department also works to preserves Passaic County’s rich heritage and market our history and culture to increase tourism activity and investments.

Q: Who can benefit from the work of your Department?

A: Everyone who lives, works and passes through Passaic County benefits directly from the activities of the Planning Department.  We prepare plans and bring in grant funding which pays for improvements to the park system, creates new open space, preserves farmland, repairs and enhances roads and transit and subsidizes housing and commercial development in our business districts.

Q: What other organizations do you work with?

A: We work closely with local, regional, state and federal government and agencies, concerned civic groups, local colleges and universities, business groups and private citizens.

Q: What is one accomplishment you wish to highlight?

I don't think I can pick just one, I have been so dedicated to these projects asking to pick my favorite one is like asking me to pick my favorite child.  
Updating of the County Master Plan, with award-winning elements such as Parks, Recreation and Open Space.  Also, the successful effort to bring millions of dollars of grants to Passaic County for civic improvements, the development, design and completion of the new Court House Plaza in Paterson,  the on-going restoration and enhancement of the Passaic County Park System, as well as “Complete Streets,” which helps us work closely with Engineering to make our street safer for all users. 
Video: Complete Streets Award Winner - Passaic

Finance & Administration

Job Fair

The One-Stop Career Center sponsored a job fair at William Paterson University on Thurs, January 14th. This job fair included professionals from the health industry, security, retail, finance, manufacturing, transportation in addition to workshops on resume writing and using social media. If you missed it, click here and make the one-stop your last stop to success.

Marketing Seminar

Every business needs to be able to market themselves to get customers. The  Division of Economic Development is hosting a Marketing Seminar at William Paterson University on Feb 19th at 8:30 am. We will have several guests from distinguished companies covering marketing techniques and how to use social media for marketing. To learn more, or to RSVP click here.
Law & Public Safety
UBER offers discounts and jobs to Passaic County residents

Have you ever gone out and had one too many drinks? Have you ever not wanted to deal with traffic? Ever need a ride but couldn't take your car? Passaic County has partnered with UBER to give county residents who have not used UBER in the past a discount code that will take $25 off your first ride. Just enter the code DRIVESAFENJ. Click here for more. 


Electronic Recycling
Computers and electronics cannot always be thrown into a trash can; the materials inside these machines can be harmful to people and animals if they are not disposed of properly. Saturday, January 30th from 9AM-2PM, Passaic County is hosting a computer & electronics recycling event at the Para-Transit facility in Wayne on Route 23 North behind the Ski Barn and Gary's Wine.

We accept almost all devices, such as TV sets, cell 
phones, computers, modems, and more. We do not accept refrigerators, AC units, or washers/dryers. You must call 973-305-5738 to reserve your spot. For more info you can click here.
Camp Hope Field Trips
Starting in May 2016, Camp Hope will now be offering opportunities for any and all elementary schools within Passaic County to take a day and enjoy the scenic beauty of Camp Hope by booking your class trip in picturesque West Milford. Camp Hope is a 62 acre retreat loaded with all the amenities for children to have a great day!  A baseball field, basketball court, hiking trails, volleyball court, fitness area, and the major highlight, our NEW 4’ deep in ground pool and a Splash Park for all children (and adults) to enjoy.  For more information on how to book your school’s class trip to Passaic County’s Camp Hope, call today: 973-881-4757.  Booking your date is on a first come, first served basis…BOOK TODAY!

Health & Energy

Free Eye Exams
Passaic County offers regular free eye exams to anyone who is unable to afford standard eye exams. Health practitioners at our screenings can also speak Spanish for those who need it. You must call ahead of time to schedule an appointment. The Health Department can be reached at 973-881-4396. 
Eye Screening: West Milford Jan. 26th
1480 Union Valley Road, 10am-12:30pm

Eye Screening: Paterson  Jan. 28th
301 Main Street, Level P, 10am-12:30pm
Preakness Healthcare
The staff at Preakness have been receiving some much deserved recognition lately. Deshon Brisbon was awarded Frontline's Caretaker of the Year, numerous staff members not only obtained a certificate in care for patients with Alzheimer's and Dementia, plus several nurses completed a rigorous Long Care Nursing program. But Preakness is more than a nursing home, it is also a physical rehabilitation facility and a meeting place where people who are seniors or have disabilities can find resources and support groups. You can view their latest newsletter here. 

Parks & Projects

Restoring Historic Dey Mansion
After extensive renovations the historic Dey Mansion, once headquarters for General George Washington during the Revolutionary war, will be re-opened to the public Monday February 22nd. The day will begin at 10AM with tours of the newly restored mansion, along with war re-enactments, and an official re-opening ceremony is planned for noon. Despite so many people living next to this piece of history, very few recognize its historical value. To see more on one of the nation's greatest historical landmarks click here.
Environmental Stewards Training Program
Rutgers 4-H is presenting their award winning educational training program on the challenges NJ faces protecting its nature and wildlife. This program is designed to not only teach residents about the unique problems New Jersey faces, but how to solve them. For more info you can call 908-475-6505 or visit their website here.
Preakness Golf Course
Reduced Membership Dues 
This year was called the best season ever for golfers, and we are keeping it going. New or existing members of our exclusive golf club at the Preakness Valley Golf Course in Wayne can get $20 off their membership if they register before April 1st. The course is also offering half priced tee times from now until January 31st. To learn more you can visit their website.


Full Calendar Click Here
Brownfield Commission Meeting
930 Riverview Drive, Totowa
Conference Room:  Jan. 20th 3pm-5pm

Passaic County Planning Meeting
930 Riverview Drive, Totowa 

Conference Room: Jan. 21st 5pm-7pm

Freeholder Meeting
Jan. 26th 5:30pm-8pm
Lobby: 401 Grand Street, Paterson

Health Fair
Jan 27th 10am-2pm
Lobby: 401 Grand Steet, Paterson

For the full calendar, click the icon!
401 Grand Street                                                                                                                                 973-881-4000
Paterson, NJ 07501                                                                         

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