Residents, mayor outraged by River Edge blue laws

The mayor of River Edge and a number of residents are fed up with the town's blue laws, which prevent the sale of non-essential items on Sunday.

River Edge's blue laws prevent stores from selling anything not deemed by the town as a "basic necessity." The 15-year-old ordinance was originally designed to cut traffic and was rarely enforced until a police crackdown in August.

As part of the crackdown, CVS was fined for selling makeup and perfume on Sundays. A Laundromat also received a summons for staying open.

David Palmer tried to open his ACE Hardware store on Sundays. Palmer says he was told if he opened his store on Sundays, he would be fined and imprisoned.

"This is not Paramus, we don't have main centers of commerce," says Palmer.

River Edge Mayor Margaret Watkins wants the ordinance repealed.

"We have a lot of people in town who can't do laundry on Sunday because of religious beliefs," she says. "What are they supposed to do?"

Town Councilman Tom Smith (R) says public input is needed before changing the law.

"I don't want to repeal it, at least not yet," says Smith. "We're going to ask people for their opinion on whether we should repeal them or whether we should modify them."

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