Democratic Slate Includes Marc Garbar, Leandra Galasso for Town Council


UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ (June 11, 2019)—A Democratic ticket led by mayoral candidate Marshall Grupp will be challenging Upper Saddle River’s incumbent Republicans in November’s mayoral and town council election, the candidates announced Tuesday.

Grupp is joined on the USR Forward ticket by council candidates Marc Garbar and Leandra Galasso. Grupp, Garbar and Galasso said they were compelled to run for public office to address the urgent challenges confronting Upper Saddle River as a result of the current mayor and council’s neglect and mismanagement—including the escalating environmental hazards threatening the community from the Apple Ridge and 1 Lake Street developments—and to restore fiscal responsibility, sound financial practices, transparency and accountability to USR’s government.

“USR is in trouble. Our fiscal house is out of order, and the murky math of the municipal budget presented for 2019 makes no sense and literally does not add up,” Grupp said. “Development is occurring without any discernible plan and is presenting grave environmental consequences to our community. Meanwhile, our government operates under a shadow of secrecy, unaccountable and unresponsive to the concerns of residents. I cannot sit on the sidelines while USR declines under the lack of leadership and chronic mismanagement. We need to restore common sense and accountability to our government, and work together toward a shared vision for our future,” Grupp said.

“The mismanagement of our community by our current mayor and a deferential, rubber-stamping council has degraded our quality of life, reduced home values, raised our taxes, prompted a serious and exacerbating environmental crisis and embarrassed our community with absurd responses to complex social issues,” Garbar said. “I can no longer stand by as a silent observer while Upper Saddle River continues on this dangerous trajectory. Residents are angry and frustrated and want change. The decisions we, as residents and tax payers, make today will be affecting not just the town’s future, but our children’s as well.  When my kids ask, ‘you knew about all these tragedies going on, but what did you do about it,’ I will be able to answer, ‘I stood up and ran for town council, for you and all the other children in Upper Saddle River,’” Garbar said.    


“There is no reason for the families of our community to be worrying about toxins in their water or land, and the mayor and council whose mismanagement and lack of leadership allowed Upper Saddle River to become vulnerable to these environmental hazards must be held accountable,” Galasso said. “The culture of secrecy must also end. Our residents are kept in the dark about town business. We must restore open, transparent and respectful communication between the government and the public and ensure that all Upper Saddle River residents have access to clean land, superior education and a governing body that respects and supports the rights and concerns of all people. Our residents, our taxpayers deserve to have a voice in the decisions that will impact them,” Galasso said.


The campaign officially launches Thursday with a kick-off fundraising event in Upper Saddle River.



A 24-resident of Upper Saddle River, Marshall Grupp is a tireless community volunteer. He served for five years as a member of the USR Recreation Commission where he created the USR 5K Run, which just celebrated its 20th year, and founded the USR Youth Triathlon, the first of its kind in New Jersey. As President of the USR Basketball Association for 12 years, he founded the Mike Blake Tip-Off Classic, a youth tournament. Marshall continues to lead the Northern Highlands Recreation Basketball program.

Marshall is Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner of Sound Lounge, a business he founded 20 years ago that is now one of the largest audio post-production facilities on the East Coast. Sound Lounge He has been recognized in his field with such awards as the CLIO, AICP for Sound Design and the Canne Silver Lion for Sound Design. He received his BA from SUNY New Paltz and attended USC Film School.

Marshall and Lori Rosen have two children. Their son Holden attended Tufts University where he played Lacrosse until graduating this past year. Their daughter Cyerra is a sophomore at Northern Highlands High School.



Marc Garbar is an employment attorney, advocating for women’s rights and the rights of victims of sexual harassment and discrimination since 1995. From 2008 through 2011, Marc served as lead attorney as Special Counsel representing the State of New Jersey in labor negotiations and is designated by the New Jersey Courts as a court-approved mediator throughout the state.

Since 2015, Marc has been the featured speaker at Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Legal Seminars in New York and has been named one of (201) Magazine’s Top Lawyers for the past four years.  In 2018, Marc created and is currently the Chief Visionary Officer for a phone app – Harassmentlaw – providing legal guidance and support to employees and businesses in the area of employment law.

Marc frequently provides pro-bono legal counsel to discrimination victims and was a volunteer youth sports coach for many years.  He is in the process of joining the board of Unidad Hospitalaria Movil Latinoamerica (Latin America Mobile Hospital Unit), a non-profit organization that mobilizes surgeons, nurses, medical professionals and volunteers for medical service missions throughout Latin America.  Marc was recently named captain of one of seven teams in the Ho-Ho-Kus/Saddle River softball league.

Marc’s oldest son, Jake, is a senior at Northern Highlands High School, heading off to Rutgers in the Fall.  He and his wife, Robyn, also an employment attorney, are parents to daughter Brielle, age 3, and son Bryce, age one.



Leandra Galasso has been an educational leader and mental health advocate for families and children in Bergen County for more than 15 years. She is a member of the Upper Saddle River Parent Teacher Organization and is an emerging advocate for the rights of all Upper Saddle River residents to live their lives in a healthy environment, free of environmental toxins.

Leandra is a highly accomplished Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an extensive background developing services and expanding resources for at risk and vulnerable populations. Currently a psychotherapist with Bergen County Therapy in Waldwick, her work includes serving as a clinician at the King’s Bay Naval Submarine Base, where she evaluated service members’ mental health status to have access to nuclear weapons, and counseling domestic violence victims and perpetrators at Bergen County’s  Alternatives to Domestic Violence. She has worked in public education for seven years, most recently as a Supervisor of Special Services, and has written and secured local, federal and private grants to balance school budgets and build efficient and sustainable social service and educational programs.

Leandra has a Masters Degree in Social Work with the highest honors from New York University and an advanced supervisor certificate in Educational Leadership from the New Jersey Department of Education. She was studying for a pre-law certification at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom when she discovered the field of social work.

Leandra and her husband, Daniel, a federal law enforcement officer, settled in Upper Saddle River four years ago to raise their young family. They are parents to son Luke, age 7, and daughter Seraphina, age five.



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