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Mahwah Business Owner Announces Candidacy For Mayor

Sunoco owner Bill Laforet will run in November

Bill Laforet, a self-described “lifelong Mahwah resident” publicly announced his candidacy for Mayor of Mahwah at a campaign kickoff event Monday night.

“I love the town, I just think we need a new approach when it comes to our leadership,” said Laforet, who has owned the gas station on the corner of Franklin Turnpike and Miller Road for over 30 years.

Laforet, who has been a member of the township’s Board of Adjustment for the past year and a half and the since its inception, says there are three major issues that prompted him to run for the position this November.

“There is no doubt that will be a central issue to this election, but I also feel that the fiscal leadership of the township and the leaders of the town reaching out to, embracing and addressing the needs of the residents are important issues as well,” he said.

Laforet feels that his history in the town – both he and his wife, and all of their children, graduated from Mahwah schools – and his experiences in business, will allow him to be a “pro-active” mayor if elected.

“I think Mahwah needs to start thinking about long-term solutions and implications of decisions, instead of being reactive,” he said.

At the kickoff event, Laforet explained how he will use integrated social media outlets to spread his campaign slogans – “Join Team Laforet” and “Mahwah First.”

Last week, current Councilwoman Lisa DiGiulio to run for Mayor this November. The candidates will run for a one-year term that will finish out the term originally filled by the late Mayor Richard Martel who . Another election will be held in November 2012.

Kristi Droppers June 14, 2011 at 02:21 PM
This is so great! Bill Laforet is exactly the person we need for Mayor at this time in this town. I count on Bill as being someone that cares about Mahwah so much that he is willing to have the hard conversations and bring up the tough issues in the light-of-day and not behind closed doors so that we can all understand what is going on in this town. I also think Bill has the passion that we need for caring about everyone in this town not just those that are in the inner circle. This is such great news. I fully supper Bill Laforet for Mayor of Mahwah.
JoeRobertson June 14, 2011 at 03:41 PM
So where does he stand on the Crossroads Mall?
Andy Schmidt June 15, 2011 at 01:34 PM
If the ONLY bad thing that you can say about another person is, that they have earned their living and paid for raising their family in town, by working hard for decades and persisting at their profession (whatever job that may be) - then you actually are making quite an endorsement for this gentlemen! Because, clearly, no matter how hard you thougth about it - you couldn't actually come up with even one little thing of substance!? Given that even priesthood is not a safe indicator of moral (or lawful) conduct, some nurses have known to kill patients, some volunteer firefighters have found to be arsonists - I can't wait until you will now state your own profession to demonstrate that you, above anyone else, have the moral authority to summarily dismiss an entire industry. Could you please post a link to the national crime statistic that shows that this particular professonial group is generally dishonest? Or are you just blowing smoke? PS: Of course, I'm sure everyone can agree with your last statement that Mahwah deserves honesty in a mayor.
Roger Pachiderm June 15, 2011 at 02:33 PM
James - you are either very dishonest or lazy and ill informed. A quick business search shows that Mahwah Sunoco is just the d/b/a for W.C.L., Inc. that has been active at that location since 1978 and the CEO is no other that Mr. Laforet. The land that the station sits on is owned by SUN REFINING & MARKETING COMPANY - a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunoco that owns the land that is then rented and franchised to the franchisee. This is a very common thing for any business owner who licenses a franchise. I find it hard to believe that a man who has owned a business that has existed in the same location for 33 years is being dishonest with anyone about the business. I find it easy to believe that you have a personal axe to grind. Right now I support Lisa D. for mayor so I am not even a supporter of this mayoral campaign. I will defend the truth first and foremost. There is no need to create made issues in our small town election a la the whole birther thing.
Andy Schmidt June 15, 2011 at 02:46 PM
Roger, how dare you letting facts interfere with other people's delusions <G>. (As I've told John DaPuzzo last week - it's one thing to disagree what is best for the town - but I'm sure that all of the candidates, council members, committee members, board members, who spent countless hours on behalf of the township - much of it unpaid or at minimal pay when viewed against the late evening hours - are doing it because they are dedicated to the town and try to do the right thing. Anyone who wants to attack the character and good name of ANY of these candidates should put their money where their mouth is and offer themselves up as a candiate. Let them set an example, stepping up to the plate and putting all of THEIR evening time in for the good of the township.)
Steven Sbarra June 15, 2011 at 03:41 PM
Excellent point Andy. Unfortunately people who dont get their way want to attack those who make the decisions. The best way for them to be heard is to vote in who they believe would make the best candidate for both the Mayor and other council positions. Having said that, I think it is great that more then one candidate is running for Mayor this year. In the past, it seemed that the mayor always ran unapposed. I hope that other candidates step up to the plate other then Ms DiGuilo and Mr Laforte. Once those official petitions are made, I would like to spearhead a Mayorial debate among candidates to listen to their views on various township issues and let the people decide in November.
Andy Schmidt June 15, 2011 at 04:52 PM
My business doesn't own the land and building where it operates. The building belongs to my landlord - but the business is still mine!? You are really reaching... Based on Roger's research, the franchisor Sun Refining & Marketing owns the property and building - but the the business "Mahwah Sunoco", the franchisee, is indeed owned by the gentleman? Seems all very normal to me? Your point would be - what? Remember to check your gas station receipt the next time (no matter where you get your fuel). You are NOT buying your gas from the empty building, but from the BUSINESS that operates IN that building. No matter from WHICH gasstation in town or on Rt 17 you are getting your gas. If THAT business owner doesn't put HIS staff at the pump and the cash register, and HE arranges for fuel deliveries - then your tank would be empty? As to your second point: I just checked the gentleman's bio on TeamLaforet.com - and he very openly states that he moved to Mahwah as a young child: "I have lived in Mahwah since a very early age." Nothign seems to be concealed? Besides, if someone lived in a town from his preteen to his 50s or 60s - then that' qualifies as "life-long" to me as a matter of casual speech. But obviously, there is nothing wrong if you choose to limit your votes to those who were carried from the hospital to Mahwah - if you feel that this is the overriding, intelligent criteria to judge someones ability.
LHart June 16, 2011 at 05:44 PM
Mr. Doe, His less than what?? Cannot believe all the back and forth over who owns the building! Clearly James (not his real name) is an attorney splitting hairs with the Patch's headline and characterization "Busines Owner". Holy smokes is this really important or do some people just have entirely too much time on their hands.
Andy Schmidt June 16, 2011 at 06:50 PM
Let's see - here is a "James" who isn't man enough to identify himself, and anonymously uses defamatory names and innuendos in hopes to destroy someone's reputation, without backing up his messages with facts or his own good name (if he HAS a "good" name) -- vs. a gentlemen who posted his bio for everyone to see... Who do you think looks like the liar to everyone who is following your rants? Nothing false or made up? He HAS been a live-long Mahwah resident? I've been a live-long fan of a certain sports team - yet everyone with a minimal amount of grey matter seems to understand that I wasn't BORN that way, but that my "live-long" period couldn't have started until I was old enough to actually make conscious decisions. I say it again: someone who has grown up in Mahwah and spent all his adult live here - qualifies as a "live-long" resident in my book.
Andy Schmidt June 17, 2011 at 04:05 PM
Allan, after following the links posted i this article to read his bio that is public for all to see (at teamlaforet.com), I fail to see your point. Seems all very open and straight-forward to me.
Andy Schmidt June 17, 2011 at 06:42 PM
Allan - once you deride someone's name as you just did, and make derogatory insinuations about people in the automotive industry as a whole - it is clear to everyone that your intention is not to question, but to defame that person. So you are not an "evil, rotten person" for contributing alternate viewpoints to a constructive discussion, but for conducting yourself in an evil, rotten manner. It hasn't gotten you any rewards in the past, and will not now.
Andy Schmidt June 17, 2011 at 09:47 PM
A dead horse: I already stated that I consider it absolutely truthful when someone who has lived in Mahwah from early childhood to their 50s or 60s considers themselves a "live long resident". (Since Mahwah does not have its own hospital, I'm willing to bet that most "live-long" residents were actually born in Ridgewood, Suffern, Hackensack, Teaneck or whichever maternity ward their mother had chosen instead of a mid-wife - and thus those "live long" residents actually "resided" the first days (some, possibly even weeks) of their infancy in a different town.) PS: I hope you realize that you are making a huge positive endorsement of Mr. Laforet, if the biggest fault you could fabricate is the semantics of "live long". If you, as his harshest and persistent critic, cannot produce even the slightest thing of substance (other than attempting to inflame the discussion with various derogitory names) - then this tells the rest of the town that Mr. Laforet certainly must be beyond doubt. Any attack by your person reassures the rest of town that he necessarily must be a man of reason and integrity. Unintentionally your "vetting" is providing a huge boost to him.
Allan Kidd June 18, 2011 at 04:12 PM
Mr. Schmidt- There may be a few people alive who were born IN Mahwah but there are many who moved here after a few days in the hospital and a whole lot more who moved here later in life. Mahwah sure evolved into a great place of wonderful diversity! I am not endorsing Gas Pump Willy and never would. And, I am certaily not Gas Pump Willy's harshest and most persistent critic. There are many many others. But, if Gas Pump Willy claims to be a life-long resident of Mahwah and is not, I seriously question the motivation behind such claim. Why lie over nothing? I just don't trust people who make things up. I am interested to see where Gas Pump Willy went to college/grad school and what qualifications he may have to run Mahwah. After all, there are a whole lot of things going on here and it's a whole lot more complicated to run Mahwah than it is to follow a Sunoco gas station franchise agreement! Be well.
Andy Schmidt June 18, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Dead horse: I'm satisfied that he's a life long resident - which means the rest of your post is inapplicable. Like in the last election - a statement of support by you is reducing someone's chances to get other votes. And, the reverse is tue: Anyone you attack is likely to result in additional votes for that candidate. The more vicious your speech and the lower you sink in your name calling - the more decent and rational people will side with whoever or whatever organization the target of your rant might be this time. So your conduct is the strongest (albeit uninentional) endorsement anyone could ask for.
Andy Schmidt June 20, 2011 at 02:05 AM
I'm glad we are in full agreement: I hold John DaPuzzo and Lisa DiGiulo in equally high regard as Mr. Laforet. If your slanderous remarks, innuendos and ridicule was directed at either of them, I would speak up on their behalf just as persistently.
Steven Sbarra June 20, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Mr Kidd, Do you intend on making a run for Mayor?
JP June 23, 2011 at 06:18 AM
I've know Bill now for many years, he's a good man. Personally, I'll vote for the person who will stop all the distraction, and get the mall built at that "eyesore" Sheraton site as soon as possible and get some revenue and jobs created for this area and town. Even better would have been the reservation casino, but I'm pretty sure those in town who are angsting over a mall, would literally have a heart attack if they built a casino, so I'll settle for that.
Leaking Ink July 31, 2011 at 09:07 PM
I'm not a transplant from other parts of the country, but I did take a step over the Mahwah borderline to make my first speech. I was born in Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, New York. That was back in 1951. I grew up and have lived in Mahwah all my life. I can testify that Bill LaForet is a lifelong resident of Mahwah because I went to Immaculate Conception School in Mahwah (Darlington) through 8th grade with him and then went on to Mahwah High School with him for the next 4 years. He purchased a franchise for Mahwah Sunoco when we graduated from Mahwah High School. There's no doubt in my mind that Bill LaForet cares about the township and the residents of Mahwah.
Andy Schmidt August 27, 2011 at 07:44 AM
I find it fascinating that in 2+ months the township "odd couple" has been trying to stir up a discussion about a non-issue - but couldn't present anything of substance that really speaks to the qualification of the mayoral candidates, their involvement with the town, their dedication, etc. One life lesson I learned is - side with the target of hooligans, because by definition, he's on the good side of things. After having undergone the scrutiny of people who have a personal vendetta against him - and not one relevant thing comes up - what better confirmation that he must be a very righteous person.
Andy Schmidt August 28, 2011 at 05:47 AM
James, and a UFO landed in Roswell. The Patch staff already responded to your hallucinations about other members having any ability to delete your messages. There is no point to argue with someone who is unwilling to accept facts - because that's what an argument would be about. So, instead I wish you lots of happiness in your self-made reality.
Kristi Droppers August 29, 2011 at 11:38 PM
So, James, aka Alan Kidd and I must assume LHart aka Mr. Roth -- go play in your own sandbox and be drama queens where someone else can pay attention to you. Really. Stop.
susan brier October 17, 2011 at 05:14 PM
James, I agree with your assessment and can speak from personal experience. I had my car repaired by Bill Laforet and when it still did not work I took it to the dealer who told me that Laforet never replaced the parts, that they still had the original serial numbers!!!!!. I was out at least 500.00 dollars! I never went back. I have since heard other simiar stories. This is not someone we want for Mayor of Mahwah. If he treats his customers this way ...OMG I can only imagine what would happen if he were mayor.
James October 17, 2011 at 05:28 PM
Susan- The Patch will probably delete that comment FAST! As he advertises here, I think he gets some editorial discretion!

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