26-year-old Di Piazza embraces role as Paramus’s new taxpayer watchdog

Newly-minted Republican Councilman Chris Di Piazza is wasting no time in getting to work to improve Paramus.

In his first business meeting on the Paramus Council, the 26-year-old Di Piazza cast a dissenting vote against Democrat Mayor Rich LaBarbiera‘s choice for Borough Attorney: his business partner, Paul Kaufman, who has served as Borough Attorney since the Democrats retook Paramus in 2011.

LaBarbiera (left) and Di Piazza (right)

“I just am not comfortable with the idea of the Mayor’s business partner also serving as the Borough Attorney,” said Di Piazza when reached for comment. “[Kaufman’s reappointment] at least deserves more than a rubber stamp by the council.”

Di Piazza ran last year on a platform of opposing over-development.

A hot topic during the course of the campaign was the destruction of a historic home on the Fort Lee/Leonia border owned by “Border Development.”

According to NorthJersey.com, “Border Development is a partnership of Vincent Luppino, Russell Luppino, RVN Development LLC and Lexington Edgewater LLC.  Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbiera is listed as a managing member of RVN Development, according to business records. Paul Kaufman, a former mayor of Leonia who now serves as an attorney for Border Development and municipal counsel to Paramus, is listed as the managing member of Lexington Edgewater.”

Council ultimately re-upped Kaufman by a vote of 4-1-1 with Di Piazza casting the only dissenting vote.

All the same, in the early going, Di Piazza seems determined to play the role of watchdog for the taxpayers of Paramus, unwilling to let the Labarbiera-led political establishment off the hook this year and giving his supporters a return on their electoral investment.