County Report:

Your insider's guide to Passaic County, NJ

September, 2016

Rich History, Bright Future


  • Paws in the Park
  • WAZE
  • Food Industry Seminar
  • Weasel Brook Park
  • Behind The Scenes
  • Emergency Preparedness 
  • Weatherization and Heating
  • Calendar
Board of Chosen Freeholders
Theodore O. Best Jr, 
Director -  John W. Bartlett Esq, Deputy Director
Terry Duffy - Bruce James - Cassandra "Sandi" Lazzara -Pat Lepore - Hector C. Lora

County Spotlight


The Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders will be hosting the first  annual "Paws in the Park" on Saturday October 8th (Rain Date: Sunday Oct. 9th), from 10am-3pm at Goffle Brook Park in Hawthorne, NJ. This event will feature animal rescues and shelters from around the county that are looking to find some dogs and cats their forever homes. 

We are also offering a discounted Microchipping Program. Microchipping at the event will cost $40 to install the device. The chip requires an annual fee to maintain the tracking service, which can be an additional $25-$40. If you bring your pet to "Paws in the Park" our veterinarians will waive the first year registration fee.

We will also have a dog costume contest, look-alike contest, and a unique dog contest, as well as a blessing of the animals and demonstrations from the Passaic County SPCA and Sheriff's K-9 unit. 

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Passaic County Sheriff's K-9 Memorial, to honor our four legged police officers who retired or fell in the line of duty. Currently, 43 names need to be added to the memorial at Lambert's Castle.

We are also offering bricks for the Memorial Pet Garden that will be placed around the K-9 Memorial. Forms for these Memorial Bricks can be found on our webpage

To keep up to date on the latest news for "Paws in the Park," follow us on Facebook.

Behind the Scenes

Q: Who/What motivated you to run for office?

A: It was around 15 years ago, when a councilman from West Milford resigned in the middle of his term. The town needed an interim councilman and I wanted to help my town, so I put my name in the hat. A judge who was part of the committee in charge of making a recommendation on a new council person, told me that I didn't have the experience to work in  government. Two years later I was nominated as a Freeholder candidate and I am pursuing my fifth term. Someone told me I couldn't do something, I am very proud to have proved him wrong.

Q: What did you do before becoming an elected official?

A: I was, and still am today, a proud owner of a small business. I have owned several restaurants and taverns in the area. I currently own and operate Duffy's Tavern on River Street in Paterson.

Q: What was the first time you became involved in local government?

A: Before I became a Freeholder, I was (and still am) a member of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association, which is a group of business owners who operate restaurants or bars with a liquor license. Part of the role of the NJLBA is to lobby for our fellow business owners in the state assembly. This is when I learned how much government can really affect our lives, and the importance to communicating with local officials.

Q: What role do you think government plays in people's everyday lives?

A: I think it plays a huge role in our everyday lives. I have seen it with my business more than anything. Being involved opens your eyes to the impact government has on us, so it is very important to pay attention to what goes on.

Q: How important are local officials, such as Freeholders in government?

A: Local government is more important that most people realize. The Freeholders are committed to maintaining services, but do not want to put that burden on our county taxpayers. We work very hard to pursue grants and funding from areas outside of Passaic County to implement all kinds of programs. Recently, we've received funds for park improvements, road construction, senior and veteran services, and energy assistance.

Q: What issues or concerns do constituents raise when they contact your office?

I have received all kinds of calls throughout the years, but because of my background as a small business owner, I believe fellow business owners reach out directly to me to see how I can help.

Q: What is an example?

A small business in Bloomingdale called, "The River of Beer" needed some guidance in getting a permit to serve food from the town. The owner had to comply with flood regulations, and was spending money on upgrades and modifications that he did not need for the permit. I, along with town officials gave him some guidance on what needed to be done and who to reach out too. Soon after he was able to serve food and fully open his restaurant.

Finance & Administration


Passaic County has partnered with WAZE, the traffic alert and GPS smartphone app. WAZE is unique for how it collects data. App users can report traffic, accidents, road closures, and construction projects so other commuters can avoid delays. Passaic County has joined the WAZE Connected Citizen Program, and is providing WAZE with information on road projects before they take place. 

WAZE also provides Passaic County with data previously unobtainable, which can be used to modify and streamline traffic policies. 

  • In Sydney, Australia: 30% of traffic accidents were reported on WAZE before the same crash was reported through 911. 
  • In Boston, Massachusetts: Traffic engineers modified the timing of traffic lights at key intersections to reduce congestion by 18%, and created a heat map to identify the areas most prone to double parking. 
  • In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: A study was conducted to measure traffic during on the third weekend in September, 2014. That same weekend in 2015, Pope Francis visited Philadelphia. Despite the influx of motorists, traffic was reduced by 20% compared to the same weekend a year before.
WAZE can be downloaded for free on any on any smartphone. A live map can also be found on our website here.
Law & Public Safety

September is Emergency Preparedness Month. New Jersey has been impacted by several hurricanes and super storms in the last several years. People lost power for days or weeks at a time. Many of the deaths during Superstorm Sandy were also preventable. People died from lack of medicine, food and water, and other preventable causes. Every home needs to have a plan for emergencies before one happens. For information on what every home needs you can visit our Office of Emergency Management to find a checklist and plan for emergencies. 

When floods and other natural disasters occur that force people out of their homes and into shelters, many families lose their pets because they are not accepted in these shelters. After Superstorm Sandy, the Freeholders created the County Animal Response Team (CART). If you are forced into a shelter and cannot take your pet(s), volunteers will foster them for up to 72 hours. For information about CART, and for guidelines on how to protect your pets during emergencies, please visit the ASPCA page here.



Passaic County and the City of Paterson are partnering to host a Food Industry Seminar on September 19th from 9am-12pm at the Hamilton Club, located at 32 Church Street in Paterson. The seminar will involve information on new regulations from the FDA, and will provide resources for the local food industry to enhance their businesses and grow Passaic County into the first multicultural food destination in New Jersey. To RSVP for this free seminar, please email or call 973-569-4720.

Join us for a Walking Tour of the Highlands Greenway Friday, September 23rd at 1pm. The tour will start at Hagstrom Field located on Warren Hagstrom Blvd. in Wanaque. Passaic County is conducting a study to create a bicycle and pedestrian friendly path to align the historic New York and Greenwood Lake Railway. This tour will provide members of the public with an inside look of what can be done to enhance this already popular hiking destination. To RSVP for the tour please call 973-569-4045 or email 

Health & Energy


The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs. We provide federally funded assistance in managing costs associated with:

  • Home energy bills
  • Energy crises
  • Weatherization and energy-related minor home repairs

LIHEAP can help you stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer through programs that reduce the risk of health and safety problems that arise from unsafe heating and cooling practices. To see if you apply for this program, call our Department of Weatherization and Energy at 973-569-4032. 

Parks & Projects


Weasel Brook Park is undergoing Phase I of an improvement project, partially funded by the NJDEP Green Acres Program. Green Acres places extra value to parks in urban areas such as Clifton, and the park will remain open during the project. Improvements include: 

• Dredging of the pond
• Additional new basketball court
• Additional new tot lot (for ages 2-5) playground   equipment 
• ADA Compliance of existing restroom
• Conversion of ballfields into multi-use field


Check out the new equipment we placed at the dog run in Goffle Brook Park. Traditional agility training equipment that you see at dog parks can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This tube is an outdated drainage pipe that we can no longer install. It would cost the county money to throw them out, so we saved some money and recycled them instead.

We have 2 dozen more that we are offering to other dog parks in the area, if you can pick it up - they are yours for free. Information can be obtained by calling 973-225-5380.


Computer and Electronics Recycling Event
September 16th and 17th, 9:00am-2:00pm
1310 Route 23 North, Wayne, NJ

Free Eye Screening
September 22nd, 10am-1:30pm
Center City Mall, Level P
301 Main Street, Paterson
Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Sale
September 25th, 9:00am-1:30pm
1310 Route 23 North, Wayne, NJ

Freeholder Meeting
September 27th, 5:30pm
Administration Building
401 Grand Street, Paterson

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
October 1st, 7:30am-2pm
1310 Route 23 North, Wayne, NJ

Freeholder Meeting - On the Road
October 11th, 5:30pm
Woodland Park Municipal Complex
5 Brophy Lane, Woodland Park, NJ

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

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County of Passaic · 401 Grand Street · Paterson, NJ 07505 · USA

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