Democratic and Republican candidates vying for three seats on the Bergen County Freeholder board will meet at a public forum hosted by Teaneck-based Bergen Grassroots on Thursday, the group announced.
The forum will include statements by each candidate and time for questions from the audience.
Democrats James Tedesco, Christopher Tully and Lorraine Waldes are challenging incumbent Republicans Maura DeNicola, John Felice and John Mitchell for seats on the board Nov. 5. The forum will include all but Mitchell, who had a family obligation, according to Bergen Grassroots.
“The role and authority of the freeholder board in relation to the County Executive are currently matters of intense debate...as the Board continues to wrestle with questions about the integrity of governmental contracts and transparency and preparations to anticipate and mitigate storm damage,” the announcement said.
Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan, a Republican, last month vetoed an ordinance that would have allowed the freeholders to reorganize county government. Donovan accused the board of trying to create a “one-tier system” of government.
The move stemmed from a long-running debate over merging the county police force with the sheriff’s department. Democrats on the board recently announced their proposal to consolidate the county police department and a Republican-controlled freeholder board tried to merge the agencies last year.
Thursday’s candidates forum in Teaneck will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be held at the Ethical Culture Society, 687 Larch Avenue.