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Anti-Blue Law Group Has Enough Signatures For November Ballot

"Modernize Bergen County" has gathered 2,500 signatures to get a referendum in front of voters this November.

Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.
Members of Modernize Bergen County. Photo submitted.
A group of Bergen County residents who want to repeal the county's Blue Laws have secured the 2,500 signatures they need to get a referendum on the ballot in November.

The group, called Modernize Bergen County, began gathering signatures for their petition earlier this year after then-Westwood resident Rosemary Shashoua was inspired by Gov. Chris Christie's order to suspend the laws following Hurricane Sandy.

The group plans to file their petitions in early September and will continue gathering extra signatures until then, according to Shashoua.

The Blue Laws issue has been debated by other county residents who want to keep the laws. Even if the referendum is successful, some stores in retail-heavy Paramus will likely have to remain shut on Sundays because the town has its own additional Blue Laws.

Those who support keeping the laws have said they want to have a peaceful day with less traffic and let retail employees have a day off, while those who want to repeal the laws have argued an extra day of sales each week could help struggling businesses.

Previous referendums to repeal the laws were defeated 192,394 to 157,648 in 1980 and 185,821 to 105,040 in 1993, but Amy Margolin, a volunteer with Modernize Bergen County, said she believed this time could be different.

"No one else in the country lives this way anymore," Margolin said. "It's not normal to have laws like that. It's absolutely bizarre."

Shashoua said she hoped that a state bill which would allow car sales on Sundays across New Jersey would also bring in more support for the Bergen County issue.

Anyone who does want to sign the petition can find a copy here and mail it to Modernize Bergen County, P.O. Box 1247, Hackensack, NJ 07602.
Deleted because of harassment August 26, 2013 at 10:15 AM
The big corporations that want to make more money and export it out of here are going to keep spotting out these pretend "freedom-seeking" citizen groups until they finally manage to get what they want because they know there will never be a groundswell to stop the shopping once it manages to find enough fools to swallow the bait. But to take months and months to get 2500 signatures of those gulible enough to sign anything in front of them is not even in the remote ballpark of having enough people motivated enough to show up to vote and to pass something so against the self-interests of most of Bergen County who want one day of rest from the insanity of shopping malls. Gotta laugh at the mention of small business - when was the last time most of Bergen had any remaining small businesses that weren't part of national chains and weren't closed at least one day a week? 1960? There is not even one independent pharmacy left in all of Fair Lawn. Not one hardware store. Not one clothing store. Barely a handful of candy and newspaper stores. So where are these "small businesses"? They are Home Depot and Walmart and Macy's and Target and the like. They killed the Goodman's and Rose Katz's and Kornbuth Galleries, and now they want another day n the week to cinch the deal. That's all.
Phil Brooks August 26, 2013 at 10:23 AM
FL4LIFE, I was going to say you're not making sense. But, actually you are. And that sense is that you're extremely selfish. It's all about what you want for YOU. // If the Blue Laws get voted down, do you think some stores at the malls won't open on Sunday? Hell, no. Retail is extremely competitive and if there's good money to be made on Sunday, no sane retailer would stay closed. // In addition, to satisfy your shopping needs, many people would have to work on those days and be separated from their families. But, you don't care about that for these people who are already working nights and Saturdays; no, you care only about you. // Here's the deal: The six-day system works HERE. Matter of fact, it's very successful as Garden State is the third most profitable mall in the country--and on six days (The shops at Caesar's in Las Vegas and Short Hills are one and two). Though the economy has forced stores to close everywhere, I haven't heard of businesses moving out of Bergen County because the six-day thing was killing them. In addition, without all the Sunday traffic, it's an easy ride to the Palisades Center or any number of other places so you can satisfy your shopping needs. Plus, you can shop on line 24/7. // So, what, exactly, seems to be your problem?
BellairBerdan August 26, 2013 at 10:50 AM
I also believe that when you open a store in a mall you are contractually obligated to have your regular business hours when the mall says you are to be open.
Rich August 26, 2013 at 11:33 AM
@ Phil Brooks ... that seems to be another fallacy perpetuated by the anti-blue law crowd. There is NO extra revenue to be made by opening on Sunday. Survey upon survey has shown that Paramus does in 6 days what most other shopping meccas do in 7 and that the same revenue will just be spread over 7 days instead of 6, if the blue laws are overturned. Additional revenue and jobs is just another hollow slogan as Sunday sales will create neither.
Phil Brooks August 26, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Rich, I might mildly disagree with if only to say that, if the malls are open here on Sunday, people will come from out of the country to shop. But, I don't think that the extra revenue and, as you said, six days now spread out over seven would make a serious dent in the overall bottom line to where opening Sunday would make an appreciable difference. // Looking at it a different way, how would opening Sunday here affect places like Willowbrook and the Palisades Center? It might be best for both places and others to maintain the status quo. Plus, the relative quiet around here is kind of nice. :-)
LM August 27, 2013 at 10:44 AM
It doesn't matter how the rest of the country does things. NJ is the most densely populated state in the country. As a lifelong resident of Bergen County, I want ONE day of not sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
FL4LIFE August 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM
lm- you know the easiest way to avoid traffic if you are so scared of it? dont go out on a sunday or simply avoid the major high ways! phil- i am not selfish, i just believe store owners should have a CHOICE on what days they can open and close. i never shop unless it is for hardware so this really doesnt affect me, i am just pro choice and telling an owner you cant open on this day is wrong and could hurt there business. to say there wont be extra revenue is completely wrong. stores would make at least 14% more if they could open sunday. you realize barbershops and hair salons are opened sundays and closed mondays... that is because most people work 9-5 mon-fri and dont have time during the week to get their hair cut (or go shopping). so hair salons realize they will get more customers and make much more money on a sunday than they would on a monday. I believe all store owners should be FREE to have this option and do what they believe is best for THEIR business blue laws will not affect my life, i just feel bad for the store owners that are hurt by them
Phil Brooks August 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM
FL4LIFE, Well, now we have a different argument. Are you suggesting that stores open Sunday but that there should be another mandatory closing day--like Monday or Tuesday? If so, I might be amenable to that. // You see, if you give store owners a choice as to when they'll open and close, especially in a high traffic area like a mall, they'll open EVERY DAY. Because they have to. // As far as your "would make at least 14% more," your math is off. First off, it's 16 2/3% (one more day on top of the six already open is 1/6) and you're assuming that the parameters already in place which generate lots of money for malls and big box stores would somehow carry over to a seventh day. People know that stores are open six days a week and shop and spend accordingly. So, to say that opening on Sundays would be an automatic 16 2/3% shot in the arm is fallacious. There will be a boost as out-of-towners come here to shop. But most of the rest will be six days spread out into seven. After all, just because you're open 1/6 more doesn't mean people are going to spend 1/6 more.
Phil Brooks August 27, 2013 at 12:07 PM
FL4LIFE, And the businesses that are hurting are hurting because of the economy or because of poor business practices or misjudgment of the market. As many businesses are quite successful around here with the Blue Laws in place, it's not the fault of the law and, if they're already teetering on the edge, opening Sunday won't be an appreciable help.
Esther Sandrof August 27, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Freedom of choice would help Teaneck. Businesses in Teaneck are hurting because a large sector of the population can't shop on Saturdays due to religious observance and can't shop on Sundays because of Blue Laws. The blue laws are all about Mall traffic. I should be able to go to Cedar Lane on Sunday and buy a pair of socks if I want to.
BellairBerdan August 27, 2013 at 01:08 PM
FL4LIFE which barber shops and salons are open on Sundays? Most I know are closed that day. If you are for freedom, how do you feel about a mall deciding what hours your store will be in operation? Doesn't that take the CHOICE away from the owner? @ Esther, each town already can decide how they enforce the Blue Laws. I know I can buy socks in Fair Lawn on Sunday. Maybe you can take your sock issue to Teaneck.
FL4LIFE August 27, 2013 at 01:21 PM
im all for the paramus malls remaining closed on sundays... im talking about local store and agree 100% with esther and dont see how a logical person can disagree. phil you are completely wrong, more people would shop on a sunday because they would actually have time. most people work 9-5 on weekdays and by the time they go home and feed/take care of their kids there isnt time to go shopping. my 14%was an extremely low estimate and in reality it would be a lot higher, bellairberdan you are wrong again and most hair salons and barber shops are closed monday and open sunday because they understand most people are too busy to get their hair cut during the week and do much better business on sunday
BellairBerdan August 27, 2013 at 01:44 PM
FL4LIFE, when you began you were saying that Sunday was the only day you had to shop at these malls. Your story keeps changing over and over after each of your reasons is debunked. Please name some salons open on a Sunday since you say MOST are. Don't make things up this time like you did with Goodman's though.
FL4LIFE August 27, 2013 at 03:26 PM
apparently bellairberdan made up a screen name like mine and has been debating with himself the majority of this thread to try and make himself look smart (which must be a challenge). i made one of the original posts but havent been on this site for days because unlike bellairberdan i work and have a life. so just a warning to all of you out there bellairberdan posts under numerous names even if argues with himself to try and get his point across. i wouldnt be surprised if more than have the comments on this website are from him. so see you later berdanbellair, adolpho, or whatever other names you call yourself. -the real fl4life
BellairBerdan August 27, 2013 at 03:37 PM
FL4LIFE, funny thing about your screen name. It's all in caps so it can't be spoofed using a character that looks like one of your letters. I don't need to use another name. But, if you can't support your theory with facts you're speaking out of somewhere other than your mouth. BTW, what local non mall mom and pop sock store in FL do you have the need to shop in on a Sunday?
BellairBerdan August 27, 2013 at 04:08 PM
One more thing FL4LIFE. Not to make you look foolish but if I did make up a screen name like yours none of those comments would have shown up on your profile page. All your comments do. I'm glad you have a life. Perhaps some day you'll get a clue.
Allie August 27, 2013 at 04:38 PM
ENOUGH already I can't believe you all are still talking about this .
RB August 27, 2013 at 04:58 PM
Perhaps they should have a duel in the Garden State Plaza parking lot. On a Sunday of course.
Phil Brooks August 27, 2013 at 05:53 PM
FL4LIFE, "Completely wrong?" // I took your number of 14% as meaning 1/7--seven days in a week and all. And, though your math was wrong, I saw your logic. Now you say that the 14% number was an estimate--nothing to do with Sunday being 1/7 of a week--and an "extremely low" one at that. // Most people give estimates in round numbers. Which gives me the very distinct impression you're just pulling numbers out of your ass with no facts to back you up. // Here's where your thinking is wrong: People have a budget to spend on, know when the stores are open and shop accordingly. That they'll be open on Sundays won't lead to any more gratuitous spending, although you'll probably pull in some money from those who might have gone to malls like Willowbrook and Palisades, malls already open on Sunday, as they're doing their same shopping, just in a different place. // Man, you're just bobbing and weaving now. Come up with something concrete, please.
delgado August 27, 2013 at 07:53 PM
This will never get on the ballot, its a special interest driven ballot measure that is being used so the American Dream Shopping Mall can be open on Sunday... Cant believe so many gullible people cant see through it.
Phil Brooks August 27, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Delgado (a/k/a Dr. Conspiracy), If people get enough signatures in the proper amount of time, they can get anything put on the ballot. That's the way the law works. // Your conspiracy theory, this time, seems to indicate that Modernize Bergen County is a front for American Dream and that people who can't see that are "gullible." // I think you're the gullible one because you're constantly looking for conspiracies under every rock.
FL4LIFE August 28, 2013 at 10:08 AM
phil- if people didnt have to leave bergen county to shop on sunday they would spend their money in bergen county, therefore the bergen county stores would make more money, thanks for proving my point
FL4LIFE August 28, 2013 at 10:09 AM
bellairberdan- im still trying to figure out how you posted on my name. considering the countless hours you spend on this website it doesnt suprise me that you figured out some way. must be nice to collect obama hand outs, not work and have unlimited time to spend mastering the patch website.
BellairBerdan August 28, 2013 at 10:27 AM
FL4LIFE this is very serious. I suggest you call the FL police dept and file a false report. The number is 796-1400
FL4LIFE August 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM
no big deal, ill just make a new name and when you hack into that one ill make another. plus i dont have a phone on me, can i borrow your obama phone?
BellairBerdan August 28, 2013 at 11:16 AM
Sure FL4LIFE, right after you name the majority of barber shops and salons in town open on Sundays and tell me the local mom and pop sock store and school supply store you need to shop at on Sunday, or how Goodmans wished they could be open on Sundays when they already were. These aren't difficult requests if you want to make those statements as fact as you did.
Q August 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Have they gone mad? It's not normal to put up with traffic, pollution just because other towns do. THINK peolple. You have no life if you need this every day! Sunday is such a relief from the horrible traffic, it should never be changed.
Phil Brooks August 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
FL4LIFE, I proved your point? You don't have a point. You pull numbers out of your ass and call that a point. // If the lack of Sunday shopping was draining money out of the county as those people went, en masse, to Palisades, Willowbrook or wherever, stores would have been open here on Sundays a long time ago. // Your assumption is that there are a massive amount of people that do the majority of their shopping only on Sunday and their exodus to shopping centers in other counties is somehow bleeding Bergen dry. And I'll answer you that GSP is the third most profitable mall in this country, so maybe your assumption is a false one. // Nice try.
Think Twice August 28, 2013 at 03:47 PM
I hope this gets turned down once again. I've lived in Bergen my entire life and it's nice to know there's at least one day a week that you don't have to deal with absurd traffic any time of the day. I've also had friends and family working in retail who really appreciate Sundays off. They have to work just about every holiday and occasion, they should be guaranteed a day of rest. We're close enough to other shopping areas that are opened on Sundays if you decide that you MUST have something on a Sunday afternoon.
Beth Rosenberg August 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
June 30 was deadline to submit. Give up! Blue laws will never be repealed. Stop being anti-Christian bigots

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