Paramus Daily Voice

PARAMUS, N.J. — Despite being home to New Jersey’s largest shopping center, Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera won’t be changing the blue laws, he said.

Responding to a recent opinion article by correspondent Jackie Goldschneider, the mayor said that protecting the blue laws — which prohibit shoppers from purchasing certain items on Sundays — “has always been and will continue to be my number one priority.”

Goldschneider doesn’t like having to “cram everything into Saturday because of some outdated rules,” she said, citing a busy weekday schedule caring for her family.

The mayor and lifelong borough resident opined that quality of life overrules convenience.

“There is probably nothing as important to our residents than quality of life. It maintains balance between our businesses and residences,” LaBarbiera told Daily Voice.

“We are lucky that our forefathers in the 1950s struck this balance while they were providing the zoning for large malls.

“Our retailers and residents when choosing Paramus to do business or live know the ground rules resulting in one of the most desirable communities to call home and do business.”

With more than 60,000 shoppers visiting the Garden State Plaza alone daily, Goldschneider says residents have a legitimate concern for the traffic that a repeal of the blue laws would create.

“Residents in shopping areas can opt to stay off the roads on Sundays, to avoid the malls, or if they’re really distraught, to reside in one of the other 564 municipalities in New Jersey,” she said.

The suggestion wasn’t enough to to sway LaBarbiera, who is steadfast in his decision:

“As long as I am in office, the protection of our beloved blue walls will always be priority number one.”

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