CLIFFVIEW PILOT HAS IT FIRST: Two of the recently-defeated GOP municipal candidates in Woodcliff Lake are filing a petition for a recount Monday, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Mayor Joseph LaPaglia and Councilman Jeff Hoffman, both incumbents, lost to Democrat challengers Jeff Goldsmith (for mayor) and council candidates Bob Rosenblatt and Donna Abene.
GOP candidate Joe Langschultz came in fourth and is not challenging the results.
Hoffman got 799 votes while Rosenblatt & Abene each got 808. LaPaglia lost to Goldsmith by 13 votes (808 to 795).
Nearly all of those involved were served notices Wednesday about the initial motion that will be filed Monday morning – which would be followed by a hearing, CLIFFVIEW PILOT has learned.
Rosenblatt hasn’t received notice yet, a source with direct knowledge of the process service told CLIFFVIEW PILOT .
“As long as all of the ballots were cast legally, no one has anything to worry about,” the source said. “All [the Republicans] want to do is confirm the results, since it was so close.
“All they want to do is review the numbers, and make sure the ballots were filled out in a manner that is in full compliance with the law. It’s their right to ask for a recount.”
Just last year, authorities in Bergen County charged seven people who didn’t live in Park Ridge with voting in the municipal election by mail. This followed a recount in what had been a similarly close race.
In an effort to boost voter turnout by broadening and simplifying the absentee process, New Jersey became a “no excuse” state in 2005: Anyone can vote by absentee ballot without having to give a reason.
Two years ago, then-Gov. Corzine signed a bill allowing voters to sign up to receive mail-order general election ballots automatically.
Although Democrats won all three open seats in Park Ridge earlier this month, the council’s four Republicans still outnumber them.
Goldsmith, a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, served briefly as a borough councilman from 1998 to 2000.
LaPaglia has been mayor since 2004.
Rosenblatt, an attorney, was voted off the council last year after seven years.
Abene and Rosenblatt have opposed consolidating the borough’s police department with those of other towns.
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