Go west (or south) young families as leaving Ridgewood is sad but apparently, financially prudent. State and local governments have little leeway to manage their budgets given their contractual salary, healthcare and pension obligations. Population trends, prevailing taxes, and budget stress are tell tale signs that our Village and State’s financial problems are not revenue but expense related. Decades long deficits and massive unfunded pension obligations are proof that state and local fiscal strategies are out of sync.
Unlike the private sector, government wage and benefit payouts are not flexible. They increase with the passage of time. We in the Village have been served this sandwich for years and now people are moving faster to greener pastures that offer a different menu. With that said, it is encouraging that some of our state level elected officials recognize our financial crisis for what it is, as a spending problem. It would be nice to hear that locally…Our only hope is that the same political and perhaps certain union leaders will act bravely to modify current arrangements that mitigate growing budget deficits. In this matter, all interests are aligned.
Real and sustainable fiscal management is difficult to implement. It takes compromise and commitment but the resulting policy changes are not hard to understand. Some are obvious such as i) 401Ks for new hires versus a pension, ii) altering timing on pension payouts, iii) means based health care programs versus the gold standard regardless of house hold income, and iv) eliminating revenue draining white elephant projects such as municipally run/owned parking garages. (Sorry, I could not help myself.)
It is likely naive of me to hope that our leaders (again be they elected or union leaders) will deflect our current financial trajectory But it is a must because it is the only way to ensure what was contracted is delivered. A deal is a deal and we should stand by what we agreed to pay. However, all have to recognize that will be true only if there is money to pay for what was promised. The balance is we all have a line in the sand on how much more we will pay to support current services.
My comments are not intended to offend anyone. Their purpose is to be a call to action and compromise because I love it here. I enjoy my neighbors, the schools, teachers, the community, and I don’t want to bailout when my kids are off to college. I want to be apart of the solution and not just a piggy bank. I know others feel the same but we will vote with our feet if our leaders lead poorly and without reasonable foresight.
Village Counsel and union leaders, is there a willingness to make reasonable contractual changes now before it is too late or do you prefer the status quo? Your responses and actions are very powerful. Your decisions will dictate how fast our tax base erodes and how the Village will deliver on the benefits of your bargain. I respectfully suggest that your challenge is now because time is money and money is finding other places to live.
You know it’s a shame because so many of us love small towns and love New Jersey. But it’s just too expensive to live in the state. What the hell happened so many of us are selling our homes and moving out not because we want to we have to to survive. Especially the retirees they’re not going to give their pension checks for taxes .why would anybody do that even if they have the funds. It just doesn’t make sense.
TRENTON NJ, A new study showing that more residents moved out of New Jersey than any other state underscores the need for fiscal reforms that will make the state more affordable and allow for the types of investments that will retain and attract workers and their families, said Senate President Steve Sweeney.
Senator Sweeney noted that the United Van Lines 42nd Annual National Movers Study, which tracks state-to-state migration patterns, found that there were twice as many outbound moves from New Jersey as inbound moves. New Jersey’s outbound relocation percentage of 67 percent was the highest in the nation in 2018. The findings in the relocation report are consistent with recent migration patterns driven by such factors as cost of living, job growth, state budgetary challenges and the appeal of a warmer climate, according to a top public policy economist at UCLA.
“We can’t do much about the weather, but we have the ability to make the reforms needed to address deeply rooted state fiscal problems, to help make New Jersey more affordable, and to make the investments needed to foster job retention and long-term economic expansion,” said Senator Sweeney, referring to the Path to Progress report issued by the bipartisan, blue-ribbon Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup.
“We need to make New Jersey a place where current residents choose to stay, where young people can have a future, and where businesses and people from other states want to move to,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester/Salem/Cumberland). “If we don’t make the structural reforms needed to fix our state finances, pension and health benefit costs will continue to grow and consume all of our revenue growth. Because of this, we won’t have the resources we need to support education and job training programs, to improve our infrastructure and to invest in the development of new technologies that are critical to economic growth.”
Senator Sweeney also took note of the just-released WARN notices showing that more than 11,000 workers at 55 companies in New Jersey were issued layoff notices in 2018. The figures, compiled by the state Department of Labor under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, signal that their jobs are in jeopardy.
“These WARN notifications are bad news for the jobholders and serve as a warning sign for the state’s economic well-being,” said Senator Sweeney. “They serve as an advance notice of potential large-scale layoffs and they cut across a broad sector of businesses, including retailers, healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. It is something to take seriously.”
The Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup was co-chaired by Senate Budget Chair Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), Senate Republican Budget Officer Steve Oroho (R-Sussex) and Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D–Camden). The panel met for more than six months and produced a series of recommendations designed to fix the underfunded pension system, reduce healthcare costs, improve education and expand shared services to hold down property taxes.
Ridgewood NJ, The Village of Ridgewood will be holding its inaugural Floodplain Management Symposium on January 21, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Court Room, Level 4, located at Village Hall, 131 North Maple Avenue.
Staff from the Engineering Division and Building Department will host an open forum on topics ranging from purchasing in the floodplain to filing flood related insurance claims with your insurance agent. Village staff would like to hear from realtors and insurance agents about their experiences. These experiences will help our residents gain valuable information from these lessons learned.
Residents are invited to come and learn firsthand. Topics will also include flood preparedness and flood protection.
If have any specific topics or further questions please contact Jovan Mehandzic at [email protected]
The Ridgewood Police department and the U.S. Postal Police are currently investigating unlawful mailbox entries in Ridgewood’s central business district. These thefts have also occurred in surrounding towns, the Ridgewood Police Department is advising anyone who may have placed mail in mailboxes in the Central business District from 12/30/18- 12/31/18 to check with the intended recipients of the mail as the items may not have been successfully delivered. Affected parties should also monitor their credit reports and bank accounts for any suspicious activities. If you determine you are a victim of a crime, please report it to the Ridgewood Police Department immediately. If you have any information regarding these thefts please contact the Ridgewood Police Detective Bureau at 201- 251-4537.
Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood blog wanted to close out 2018 with the Big Zucchini awards . After consulting many readers and staff ,most came up with a similar list ,however one respondent listed them all .
A Big Zucchini is given for what readers and staff consider the biggest screwups in the Village of Ridgewood for 2018, but remember a screwup to one is a triumph to another.
Almost everyone listed the first two
Approval of $12 million parking garage.
Purchase of Elks Club property.
“Lemon” leaf vacuum.
Unauthorized payments to Parkmobile.
Horrendous leaf pickup process
Increased parking meter and hang tag fees.
Closing Village Hall for ½ day to facilitate installation of generator.
Ridgewood NJ, The 2019 Annual Commuter (Ridgewood Parking Permits – RPP) are currently for sale at the Reception Desk in the lobby of Village Hall, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except holidays. All applicants must bring their driver’s license and vehicle registration(s) for car(s) they wish to list on their permits, as the RPPs allow up to 3 cars on each hang tag. The RPPs allow commuters to park in designated Ridgewood parking lots without having to pay the parking meters. The following is a summary of the Ridgewood Parking Permits (RPPs) and their prices:
Premium RPP – $1,300 annual fee – ALMOST SOLD OUT – A maximum of 155 Premium RPPs will be sold, on a first come, first served basis. There are only 33 Premium RPPs left to be sold – This permit allows Ridgewood residents to park in the Train Station lot, Prospect Street lot, and all Ridgewood lots, including Route 17 Park and Ride lot. A Premium RPP may not be used in the Hudson lot.
Hudson Lot Permit – $1,300 annual fee – allows Ridgewood residents to park in the Hudson parking lot only, with a guaranteed parking space. When the Hudson parking lot is closed, due to the construction of the parking garage, those residents with a Hudson parking lot permit will participate in a ride share program, through December 31, 2019. Residents who purchase Hudson parking lot permits must purchase a premium Ridgewood parking permit at the end of 2019 in order to continue to participate in the ride share program until the parking garage opens in 2020. Hudson Lot permit holders may use their permits in any lot on Saturdays.
Non-Premium RPP – $975 annual fee – allows Ridgewood residents to park in Chestnut Street lot, North Walnut Street lot, Cottage Place lot, and Route 17 Park and Ride lot.
Park and Ride RPP – $975 annual fee – this price is for both Ridgewood residents and non-residents, and allows parking in the Route 17 Park and Ride lot.
Non-resident RPP in Central Business District – $1,950 annual fee – allows non-residents to park in the Cottage Place lot.
Ridgewood Resident Commuter Sticker – Free – All Ridgewood resident commuters who wish to park at the train station must bring in their driver’s license and vehicle registration(s) to obtain a free Ridgewood Resident Commuter sticker. Free Ridgewood Resident Commuter stickers will also be issued to all Ridgewood residents purchasing RPPs and the Hudson Lot permit.
The Village will accept checks, cash, or credit cards (with a 3% transaction fee to the user) for payment.
There are also Central Business District (CBD) Employee stickers and hang tags that may be purchased by those who work in the CBD and allows parking at designated meters in the North Walnut Street and Cottage Place lots.
Ridgewood NJ, the Ridgewood Police report that on December 21st, patrol units were dispatched to 175 Franklin Avenue on a report of a shoplifting in progress involving multiple actors. Upon arrival a witness reported observing two actors fleeing towards North Walnut Street. Patrol began to search the area and located both actors who fled on foot. The parties were apprehended and arrested by patrol. The stolen property was also recovered. A 38 year-old male from Union Township, N.J. was charged with shoplifting and the obstruction of administration of law and the second arrestee, a 46 year-old male from Paterson, N.J. was charged with shoplifting and the obstruction of administration of law. Both arrestees were served with a copy of the warrants and transported to the Bergen County Jail.
This followed and earlier incident when Ridgewood Police officers took four (4) individuals into custody during a motor vehicle traffic stop made in connection with an alleged attempted shoplifting at the Stop & Shop, 175 Franklin Avenue, Ridgewood on Wednesday afternoon, 12/19. The traffic stop was affected by Glen Rock PD officers at the intersection of Glen Avenue and South Maple Avenue in Glen Rock. Police at the scene did not reveal the exact nature of criminal charges, if any, pending, or to be made, against the four (4) adults who were being detained.
Ridgewood NJ, No injuries were reported in a two (2) vehicle, Friday afternoon, 12/28, collision at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and North Walnut Street, Ridgewood in which the driver’s side door of a 4-door BMW was ripped off of its hinges. Ridgewood Police, Ridgewood EMS, and RIdgewood Fire Department responded to the incident. Both vehicles involved were towed from the scene. No summonses were issued by Ridgewood Police.