Donovan Urges State To Suspend Blue Laws In Bergen
Cites "extraordinary crisis." Letter to state comes on heels of order by Mahwah mayor that his town not enforce Blue Laws on Sunday.
Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan asked the state Saturday to suspend so-called Blue Laws in Bergen County this weekend.
The move would allow residents affected by Sandy to purchase items from retail stores that would otherwise be closed.
"As you know, Bergen County has Blue Laws, which prohibit certain items from being sold on Sunday and certain stores are closed," Donovan wrote. "However, we are in the midst of an extraordinary crisis as the result of hurricane/tropical storm Sandy. Bergen County is suffering.
"Therefore, as Bergen County Executive, I am writing to you to request that you utilize the powers vested in you in your declaration of a State of Emergency to temporarily suspend the Blue Laws in Bergen County for Sunday, November 4, 2012 so that our people can purchase the items they otherwise would be restricted from purchasing so they can get on with their lives," she wrote.
It's not clear whether the state will agree to the suspension of the Blue Laws, or if it stores -- such as Home Depot and Lowes -- will have enough notice to stay open.
UPDATE: Donovan spokeswoman Jeanne Baratta said the county had not heard back from the state as of Saturday night. She said it was the county executive's way of showing support to towns that had asked that Blue Laws be waived.
Mahwah Mayor Bill Laforet said Saturday that he is suspending Blue Laws in the township this Sunday so stores like Home Depot can stay open. Home Depot has agreed to remain open.
Residents looking for Hurricane Sandy recovery items this weekend should be able to buy them in the township, Laforet said, and Blue Laws are not in the best interest of residents who are still without power.
“I will not enforce Blue Laws in Mahwah this Sunday, no matter the consequence,” he said. “We are in crisis mode."
More than 140,000 homes remained without power in the county as of Saturday morning.