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 2017 State of the County address
James J. Tedesco, III has been serving his first term as Bergen County Executive since January 1, 2015. As County Executive, Tedesco has focused on improving services to county residents while also creating greater efficiency and effectiveness throughout county government. Top priorities in his first two years in office have included: realigning the County Police as a unit within the County Sheriff’s Office, creating responsible oversight and a secure future for Bergen Regional Medical Center (New Jersey’s largest hospital and the fourth largest publicly-owned hospital in the nation), increasing services and support for U.S. military veterans and their families, identifying opportunities to share services with and between Bergen County municipalities, and preserving and enhancing the nearly 10,000 acres of open space and recreational facilities within our Bergen County Parks System.
Hours after being sworn in on the first day of 2015, Tedesco’s first action as County Executive was signing, with the Bergen County Sheriff and Bergen County Prosecutor, the memorandum of understanding that implemented the realignment of the Bergen County Police Department as the Bureau of Police Services within the Bergen County Sheriff’s Department. Under Tedesco’s leadership, Bergen County has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as the first county in New Jersey to end homelessness among veterans. HUD has also recognized the county’s efforts during Tedesco’s term to reduce chronic homelessness more broadly among the civilian population. Tedesco recognizes the important role that the Bergen County Parks System plays in providing community space, recreational opportunities, and quality of life for nearly one million people who call Bergen County home. His administration has prioritized the expansion of open space and an increase in parks event programming, most notably “Winter Wonderland at Van Saun Park,” an event established in 2016 to provide family friendly holiday activities to residents and visitors.
As a longtime supporter of Bergen Community College, Tedesco restored education funding to the college in 2015 and continues to highlight BCC as the best community college in the state of New Jersey. Additionally, Tedesco is a major advocate for the Stigma-Free Initiative, which fights to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage mental health treatment without judgment. He has designated Bergen County as a Stigma-Free County and is committed to getting all 70 municipalities to sign the pledge.
Following the example set by his father, Tedesco has always been committed to public service. In 1976, Tedesco joined the Paramus Fire Department, where he has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 40 years and elected Fire Chief twice. Starting in 2000, Tedesco served on the Paramus Borough Council and then as Mayor of his hometown for two terms. His service also extended to holding several community volunteer leadership positions with emergency management, youth sports, and non-profits.
Tedesco has three adult children, Koren, James J. Tedesco IV, and Holly, who share his commitment to public service as a community swim instructor, a FDNY firefighter, and Paramus councilwoman, respectively. He hopes that his six grandchildren will continue the family tradition and seek the opportunity to serve as well.