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Election Winners: Laforet, Jandris, Anti-Mall Group

Results from Tuesday elections

According to the unofficial count of the township clerk's office Tuesday night, Bill Laforet is Mahwah's new mayor. He will serve for one year, finishing out the term Richard Martel, who died in March, was originally elected to serve. 

Laforet, a businessman in Mahwah, beat out John DaPuzzo, who has been serving as appointed mayor since March when former Mayor Richard Martel died, and Councilwoman Lisa DiGiulio.

Laforet garnered 2371 votes. The second-place finisher, DaPuzzo, missed the mark by 533 votes. DiGiulio was 658 votes short of the win.

District

Votes for DiGiulio

Votes for Laforet

Votes for DaPuzzo

1

183

212

190

2

174

264

135

3

246

186

128

4

131

157

151

5

105

143

138

6

121

118

194

7

120

200

231

8

89

205

133

9

51

46

60

10

152

250

112

11

129

264

162

12

66

98

77

13

86

104

72

14

60

124

75

TOTAL

1713

2371

1838

 

Chuck Jandris won the one seat on the Mahwah town council up for election. Jandris had been appointed to the seat in March, after former Town Council President John DaPuzzo was appointed Mayor. 

Jandris beat out resident Steve Sbarra by 1189 votes. 

District

Votes for Sbarra

Votes for Jandris

1

121

236

2

134

252

3

89

244

4

105

154

5

93

172

6

100

175

7

88

260

8

85

186

9

31

61

10

134

197

11

134

223

12

52

98

13

68

112

14

59

112

TOTAL

1293

2482

In the vote on the non-binding referendum asking if residents supported the Crossroads Town Center shopping center development, a majority of Mahwah voters said no, they do not support the development. But the vote was close. 2955 votes were against the center, and 2723 were in favor of it.  

District

Yes

No

1

256

326

2

179

342

3

183

186

4

192

225

5

183

186

6

265

161

7

315

207

8

234

169

9

67

73

10

207

273

11

275

242

12

154

108

13

109

147

14

131

148

TOTAL

2723

2955

According to the unofficial results, 6,393 residents came out to the polls Tuesday, out of a possible 15,365 registered voters, or a rate of 41.6 percent. This is the first year Mahwah has held its municipal elections in November. Historically, the non-partisan races had been held in May.

These results will not be official until they are certified by the Bergen County Clerk's office in coming days. Absentee ballot votes will be added in the final count.

Arthur Lott November 09, 2011 at 06:51 PM
This discussion is pathetic. Sounds a lot like the excuse Hermanson was giving last night to explain the trouncing his candidate took. People did not go into the voting booth to vote for a Mayor based on party line. Deluding yourself into thinking, after all of the turmoil created by this campaign, that voters just pushed party-line buttons is absurd. Time to face the realities: 1- People in Mahwah are fed up with politics as usual. Political party has very little to do with choices these days. Everyone is more in tune with the candidates, not the parties - as it should be. 2- The "machine" behind DaPuzzo failed to bring him victory. That's a message for the "machine" in the next election. Your days are numbered. 3- Further evidence of the clear choice of candidate voters made in this election is the failure of the "Anti-Mall" candidate to win. In fact, since there were almost 3000 votes against the Mall, slighly more than half of those voters selected the "Anti-Mall" Mayoral candidate, who came in third. How about we stop making childish excuses and wasting time "analyzing" the results and admit that the voters of Mahwah came to the polls to deliver a message and elected a Mayor they can trust. TIME FOR A CHANGE!
resident November 09, 2011 at 06:56 PM
Arthur - no need to get so defensive. We are just dicussing possibly changing the ballot format. Relax. The election is over.
Andy Schmidt November 09, 2011 at 07:05 PM
Thanks! Following that line of thought, Steve and Lisa would have ended up with about 40% of those confused voters - however many there theoretically might have been - because those thought they were voting for a Democratic candidate. And John would have only gotten the votes of any "confused Independents". I certainly don't see any harm, if the county clerk would try to move "non-partisan" candidates totally "off to the side" in column 4, 5, 6, etc. to eliminate any question that people might have been confused (or think they live in Florida <G>). I think it's a reasonable suggestion that's worth making to the right forum.
JoeRobertson November 09, 2011 at 08:09 PM
Don't count your chickens just yet, JP. The fat lady hasn't sung yet.
JoeRobertson November 09, 2011 at 08:11 PM
I commute every day on Rt 17 and Rt 287, and I see first hand what a traffic nightmare it is during rush hour and on Friday evenings. That's not fantasy JP. A mall, adding 20,000 plus cars a day (yes, the developer's own numbers) is going to do nothing to alievate that situation.
JoeRobertson November 09, 2011 at 08:13 PM
JP, I'm a Republican, and I favor business, but not at an inappropriate site that will cause a traffic nightmare. I also favor SMALL business, which is also why I'm against the mall. It will hurt our local mom and pop shops.
JoeRobertson November 09, 2011 at 08:14 PM
What does that have to do with the mall? Do tell me.. who is going to answer a fire call at the mall? Who is going to answer a call every time someone gets injured, has a heart attack, etc at the mall?
Mercedes1 November 09, 2011 at 08:18 PM
These discussions should be over!!! For the benefit of Mahwah...it's time to back Mayor Laforet!!
Tom Murphy November 09, 2011 at 08:34 PM
JoeRobertson -the answer to your question is me and other volunteers who have answered the calls for almost 100 years. It is insulting to imply we would not. We answer the hundreds of false alarms to the college, hotels and many many other places of business in town. We understand the college has thousands of people, the businesses are occupied by thousands of people, some live in Mahwah most do not. It does not matter when someone asks for help we do not ask for ID or where they live. They are in our town and we try to help everyone just as we would like to be helped if we had an emergency somewhere else.
Pamela MANN November 09, 2011 at 11:34 PM
I agree !!! The 1st project for our new government is to get rid of all the stipends that the town council and mayor get and are paid for by taxpayers. Secondly, investigate how Dawn DaPuzzo got her cushiony position when there was no advertisement in any newspaper !!! Also track down resumes of potential applicants which Im sure there will be none !!! If there is no proof of putting this position out to the public than this is downright curruption and should be addressed. Start weeding out the garbage and get this town back on the right track. If new government wont do this then maybe the state investigative bureau should take over
Rick November 09, 2011 at 11:45 PM
@Andy...I didn't receive a sample ballot...I just chalked it up to budget cuts (not sure what mailing those to every household might cost...probably quite a bit). Checked in with the voters I spoke to earlier who were a bit confused by the layout and they didn't receive a sample, either. Having that ahead of time would have been helpful....
Educated Citizen November 10, 2011 at 01:23 AM
@Pamela MANN Do you have any children, Pamela? Are they or have they been involved in a Mahwah sport? As recreation director, Mrs. DaPuzzo runs all of the town sports, events, Holiday celebrations, Fishing Derby, Parades, Paddle Days, field schedules, volunteer coaching staffs, and many other responsibilities. She orders all of the equipment for youth and adult sports and coordinates with DPW to ensure all of the fields are maintained and beautiful for citizens like YOU. In addition to her daily responsibilities, she is also in charge of Mahwah Day. Mahwah Day has become bigger and better every year since DaPuzzo has taken the position. Dawn DaPuzzo's job was a mayoral appointment by Mayor Dick Martel. At the time of her appointment John DaPuzzo was not on the council or involved at any level where he could have had influence. She does not receive health benefits and receives $39,000 a year for her salary plus $2,500 a year for Mahwah Day. If you do not believe this, you can go over to town hall and request a copy of her paperwork because as a department head her salary is public knowledge. So Pamela... if John DaPuzzo is the person you have a problem then you are in luck because he is no longer in office. But do not bring his wife into this. She is hardworking and does an incredible job running this town's recreation department. Talk to anyone who has had the pleasure of working with her.. she is great!
Mike Scott November 10, 2011 at 02:47 AM
K Mills and everyone else: I have read 100 times over how our emergency service would not be capable to respond to the new emergencies brought in by the mall. Are we saying that the town will not grow at all ever again. There will be no new business or homes built because we may stress the emergency services. Our department is more than capable and willing to respond to anything that may happen. As a member and current officer with the department im well aware of any problems that we have and none of those would get in the way of our emergency response to any of the township's emergencies. Please dont use our department as reason for or against the mall. If you want to know more about our department feel free to stop by and talk with the members.
Andy Schmidt November 10, 2011 at 04:54 AM
Rick - in that case you might want to check your voter registration with the county. Either the ballot was mistaken for junk mail - or you are not in their record.
Leaking Ink November 10, 2011 at 06:09 PM
In the 11/10/2011 Bergen Record, there is an article by staff writer Allison Pries called, "Mahwah readies for new mayor--and retail despite referendum." I believe it has an erroneous statement in it that the author needs to retract. She states, "DiGiulio was the only one of the three candidates who opposed the Crossroads town Center..." Bill Laforet opposed it; DaPuzzo caused the whole mess; and DiGiulio was for it at first until people began complaining about it. It was only then that she changed her mind, and she and Speich then asked for a referendum.
Leaking Ink November 10, 2011 at 06:10 PM
page L2
Jonathan N. Marcus November 10, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Reminds me of John Kerry's infamous flip-flopping quote: "I voted for it before I voted against it...."
Andy Schmidt November 10, 2011 at 06:46 PM
John DaPuzzo has worked tirelessly for the benefit of the town for many years, volunteering in the sports programs, on behalf of the Mahwah Schools foundation - and by serving countless hours weekdays and weekends on the council and committees. You might not agree with his vision for Mahwah, or how he weighed fiscal benefits of the mall vs. other less-tangible criteria that were equally important to many residents - but his motivation was the same as yours: maintaining Mahwah as a great place to live. I don't fault John DaPuzzo and the other council members for considering all facts and deciding that the mall was in the town's best interest - almost half of the voters agreed. (Even I had a hard time making a decision!) And I respect him for standing up for his decision - popular or not. I DO believe the last half year was not the right way to handle the mall question - and as a result, the voters changed things up. But make no mistake - it was good to have John DaPuzzo as a smart and effective advocate of town matters in various positions over all these years and we are losing a great resource! Just as much as it was wrong for DaPuzzo supporters to belittle Mr. Laforet's abilities - is it wrong for Pamela and others to besmear Mr. DaPuzzo's reputation!
Bob Lockwood November 10, 2011 at 08:31 PM
Dear Mr. or Mrs. Leaking Ink, I re-listened to Bill's video answer to the mall question. I did not hear him say that he opposed to the mall. -Bob Lockwood
Mike Kupchik November 10, 2011 at 11:18 PM
I'm not going to add to the argument. Let us all wish William the best, and hope he will do all he can in his one remaining year to warrant us choosing him next time around.
JP November 11, 2011 at 05:53 AM
Thank you for the actual numbers Jon, that's exactly what I was trying to imply. No one can even guess at the wants of those that didn't vote on the center development. If 73% don't care, then we might take that as an 86% (73%+13%) possibility of all eligible, can manage having it in our town.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:02 AM
I love Bill's candy bowl also. One thing we'll probably get back to in 2013 now that Bill is Mayor, is 2 day/week garbage collection once more and brown debris bags picked up again. Have to say that was kind of short sighted to stop those services for the relatively little money it saves the township.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:08 AM
It's strange, we still have the same amount total amount of garbage. Aren't the garbage pickup people complaining about the amount of garbage loaded up on for one day? Don't the trucks fill up faster and need to be emptied more often? I have to store my garbage in the garage for 6 days. It's ridiculous.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:09 AM
Bill already knows that we DO want the mall.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:16 AM
Arthur, that sentiment is way too "Tea Party" sounding. We are not going to have "mob rule" in this town everytime some residents don't like the decisions of their council.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:20 AM
Ink, Bill is not against the mall. We just discussed that a couple weeks ago at his gas station. He just wants a lot more information on what is happening, but he is in no way against it. He needs the facts.
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:22 AM
Those 20,000 new cars... need a lot of gas you know. ;)
JP November 11, 2011 at 06:43 AM
K Mills, what do you mean you don't ask for volunteers?!? They have a sign up right now outside the Miller Road fire station asking for volunteers to join. Occasionally I also see a lighted sign on Franklin Tpk asking for EMT volunteers. You must be misinterpreting my post.
Hank November 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM
JP:" those 20,000 new cars need gas" I nominate best comeback line for 2011
Deb Phillips November 12, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Wishing Congrats to Mayor Bill and the rest of the town for voting "no" to the mall. We do not want our town turning into another Paramus, with their malls and traffic nightmares. We've lost a lot of farms in the short 30 years I've been in town, but I'm thankful we still have Secors. Many small businesses and Mom and Pop shops have been pushed out, to let the Home Depot, Bed, Bath & Beyond and others in. Let's keep Mahwah a town, where we can call a neighbor or the Mahwah Police or an Ambulance in a minute and know they'll respond quickly. Thanks to all those who posted very intelligent and informative comments on the election.

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