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Under the State Charter, the county executive handles the day-to-day operations of the county government, appointing the department heads, and overseeing the activities of all departments and divisions.

Mr. Tedesco delivering his 2016 State of the County address





Biography

James J. Tedesco III was elected to serve as Bergen County Executive on November 4, 2014 and took the oath of office on January 1, 2015. A lifelong Bergen County resident, Tedesco graduated from Paramus High School in 1971. He then began his career, from which he is now retired, at PSE&G, eventually becoming a regional manager responsible for overseeing the account managers of some of the state’s largest clients.

Following the example set by his father, who spent more than 35 years working for the Paramus Public Works Department, Tedesco has always been committed to public service.  In high school, Tedesco spent his summers working for the Paramus Public Works Department, learning firsthand the positive impact that government can have on a community.

In 1976, Tedesco joined the Paramus Fire Department, where he has been a volunteer firefighter for nearly 40 years.  During his decades of service, Tedesco was twice elected Fire Chief and held other leadership positions in the Fire Department for more than twenty years of his firefighting career. His experience as a firefighter led him to Bergen County Technical Schools, where he served as an instructor for courses teaching hazardous materials safety and response.  He has also been certified as a Level 1 Fire Instructor.

Following his second term as Fire Chief, Tedesco ran for Paramus Borough Council in 1999 and won. In 2001, the mayor of Paramus announced that he would not seek re-election, and Tedesco ran to replace him.  Tedesco won, ultimately serving two terms as Mayor of Paramus from 2002-2010. As mayor, Tedesco oversaw the revitalization of Garden State Plaza and Bergen Town Center, two retail shopping locations that contribute significantly to both the local and state economy.  He also implemented cost-saving shared services agreements with neighboring communities and restructured the Paramus ambulance corps to ensure adequate manpower for EMS response 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Tedesco worked to enhance the quality of life for Paramus residents by establishing or re-establishing community events and improving municipal recreation facilities.  These efforts included bringing back the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration and establishing Terrific Tuesdays, a corporate-sponsored summer concert series for residents and guests at the Paramus Bandshell at no cost to the taxpayers. Tedesco also oversaw the renovation and expansion of the municipal pool complex, as well as the improvement and addition of a miniature golf course to the Paramus Golf complex.  Tedesco was instrumental in bringing the Barclays Golf Tournament, an international golf tournament that serves as the first playoff tournament for the PGA Tour, to the Ridgewood Country Club.

Prior to his election as County Executive, Tedesco was serving his first term on the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders.  As Freeholder, Tedesco’s role as Chair of the Law and Public Safety Committee and a member of the Shared Services and Consolidation Committee led to the realignment of the Bergen County Police as a Division within the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department. Tedesco’s first act as County Executive was to begin the implementation of the realignment plan by signing a memorandum of understanding with the Bergen County Sheriff and Bergen County Prosecutor.  Tedesco also served on the Freeholder Board’s Health Services Committee, preparing him for the role he will play in shaping the future of Bergen Regional Medical Center, the state’s largest hospital. As a member of the Health Services Committee, Tedesco worked with local leaders to designate his hometown of Paramus as a Stigma-Free Zone, to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage mental health treatment without judgment. Tedesco also led in establishing Bergen County as a Stigma-Free county and continues to work to designate all 70 Bergen County municipalities as Stigma-Free communities. A long-time supporter and advocate for Bergen Community College (BCC), Tedesco served on the Board of School Estimate.  As County Executive, Tedesco continues to support and highlight the best community college in the state of New Jersey, holding his formal swearing-in event on the campus and becoming the first County Executive to appear on its monthly television program, Studio Bergen.

In addition to his years of service as an elected official, Tedesco has served as assistant coordinator and deputy coordinator for the Paramus Office of Emergency Management, as chairman of the Paramus Recreation Commission, on the Board of Directors of the Red Cross of Northern New Jersey, and as a volunteer coach for various boys and girls sports in Paramus.

County Executive Tedesco has three adult children, Koren, James J. Tedesco IV, and Holly, who share his commitment to public service as a teacher, a FDNY firefighter,  and high school volleyball coach. He hopes that his six grandchildren will continue the family tradition and seek the opportunity to serve as well.

James TEdesco III
James Tedesco III

County Executive
E-Mail

Interview at Bergen Community
College

Bergen County Executive
One Bergen County Plaza
Floor 5, Room 580
Hackensack, NJ 07601

Ph: 201-336-7300