For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2019

Tedesco Delivers 5th State of the County Address


(Hackensack) – On February 26, 2019, Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco delivered his fifth State of the County address to the people of Bergen County. His remarks highlighted achievements of Tedesco’s first term including the past year and looked ahead to projects and proposals for the coming year and beyond. Event photographs are included at the end of this release.

Just as he began his first week in office in 2015, County Executive Tedesco kicked things off by thanking and praising county employees, recognizing a number of county workers across departments and divisions who contributed to the achievements he discussed throughout his remarks. Reflecting on his first term, Tedesco celebrated the transformation of the county hospital, Bergen New Bridge Medical Center, with a new non-profit operator, increased oversight, a renewed commitment to its core services, and expanded access for veterans and residents struggling with addiction. He spoke of county efforts to support populations in need, including eliminating homelessness for veterans and those who were chronically homeless, establishing a new advisory committee and county-sponsored programming for the LGBTQ community, and embracing the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Communities program to ensure Bergen County continues to be accessible and inclusive for seniors and residents of any age.

The County Executive promised to continue his administration’s work to share services, budget responsibly, and reflect and support the diverse communities who live and work throughout Bergen County’s 70 municipalities.

County Executive Tedesco also outlined recent and ongoing efforts to enhance public safety in schools, on our roads and bridges, and throughout our 70 communities. This work includes funding new school buses meeting the latest safety standards, adopting technology to map and monitor school buildings in the event of an active shooter or attack, and numerous public health initiatives to keep children and families safe. “Early last year, we launched the Childhood Lead Program, taking a regional leadership role in preventing, tracking, and responding to lead exposure in children,” said Tedesco. “We work with pediatricians and children’s health clinics to educate the public on the need to screen children’s blood for lead. Our county health department manages their cases to ensure follow up medical care and testing occurs.”

Looking forward, Tedesco shared plans to modernize county government to improve efficient and effective delivery of services. He called upon the Board of Chosen Freeholders to support the creation of a Department of Transportation to unite all transportation related county services, and a Department of Economic Development, Tourism, Historic and Cultural Affairs to bring together county employees whose work aligns across the shared mission of promoting Bergen County.

Residents will enjoy the changes coming to Darlington County Park, said Tedesco, who spoke of planned improvements include facilities upgrades and expanded recreation on and around the Mahwah park’s three lakes. “The potential for Darlington Lake is endless; this is just an example of what jewels we have in our Parks system. We will continue to invest in our Parks so that ALL residents of Bergen County may enjoy the splendor, tranquil beauty and recreational opportunities they offer while preserving open space, enhancing environmental health and protecting significant cultural and historic sites for current and future generations.”

County Executive Tedesco shared plans for a countywide non-emergency “3-1-1” hotline. “We will be the first in New Jersey to establish a 3-1-1 non-emergency hotline. By dialing 3-1-1, residents will have a single point of entry for information about county resources, services, and support. This is another example of our efforts to make county government more accessible to the people we serve.

Calling himself a “broken record,” County Executive Tedesco continued his call for federal and state investment in critical transportation infrastructure projects. Tedesco also called upon the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders to pass a resolution demanding that NJ Transit remove “Bergen” from the name of the Bergen-Hudson Light Rail, since the long-promised Bergen portion of the Light Rail does not exist and is not being prioritized by those who could make progress on the project.

“Now let’s get to work on this second term,” Tedesco concluded.