Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Donovan Vetoes Finance Law Revise

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Donovan Vetoes Finance Law Revise

Article excerpt

Bergen County Executive Kathleen Donovan has vetoed the freeholders' latest version of a pay-to-play law which sought to loosen regulations on political party contributions by no-bid contractors doing business with the county.

The veto -- her second of a revised pay-to-play measure in the last eight months -- sets up another showdown with the freeholders who say this time they have the five votes needed to override her move, which had been anticipated.

But the freeholders also will have to re-do their approval of the ordinance after learning that the public notice for their May 1 meeting where the measure was introduced was never published.

County officials insist they sent the notice to The Record's advertising department. But Jennifer Borg, vice president and general counsel for North Jersey Media Group, which publishes The Record, said a search of the company's email system did not find the attachment that contained the notice.

"Our system doesn't show it being received," she said.

Freeholder Chairman David Ganz blamed the paper for the failure to publish the notice but described it as an honest error.

"We're all human. This kind of stuff happens," he said. "It's going to delay this a little, but we're going to get to it," he said.

As a result, Ganz said the board will re-advertise the meeting and start over at their May 22 meeting. Meanwhile he expects the board will vote to override Donovan's veto which she sent to the board on Thursday.

In her two-page veto message, Donovan said she was in agreement with some parts of the revised ordinance.

"However, the ordinance, by and large, falls short of expectations. Therefore I find myself constrained to veto this ordinance," she wrote, listing nine changes to the law that she opposed. These included:

* The $5,200 annual limit on what a vendor can contribute to a county political party. …

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