Posted on

Ridgewood councilwoman wants residency rule change postponed

DSCF3241

April 4, 2015    Last updated: Saturday, April 4, 2015, 1:21 AM
By CHRIS HARRIS
STAFF WRITER |
The Record

RIDGEWOOD — A councilwoman is urging that a vote to revise a residency rule for hiring new employees should be indefinitely postponed.

Councilwoman Susan Knudsen wants the council’s Wednesday vote on the amendment deferred “so we make sure that we get this right” and to dispel “fundamental misunderstandings about the proposed change.”

Knudsen opposed the change during public talks last month.

The council voted in August to update its residency ordinance for civilian hires with a tier system, which the state has since determined is not permitted.

The system, which officials claim was developed to attract the best qualified candidates, was approved by the entire council.

It would have given preference for village openings to Bergen County military veterans, followed by all county residents, then residents of contiguous counties and lastly, all other state residents.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-urged-to-table-vote-on-hiring-rule-1.1302733

Posted on

Readers says Demand that the council represent the residents of Ridgewood by getting all of the facts before voting on the residence ordinance

joefriday

Readers says Demand that the council represent the residents of Ridgewood by getting all of the facts before voting on the  residence ordinance

People need to go to the council meeting on April 8th and demand that they NOT vote on the residence ordinance until there is full transparency on what is going on.

We need to demand that Ridgewood residents get a preference when the village is hiring. As long as the qualifications are equal, Ridgewood residents should get preference. We are the one’s paying the taxes or the high rents to live here. Why shouldn’t we be the one’s to work here as long as we are qualified. There is something going on here that smells bad. Who have they hired not following the civil service rules? I bet there were many. This all needs to get out in the open. Councilwoman Knudsen should be supplied with the information she is asking for and not be stonewalled for a month. The residents need to get their heads out of the sand and wake up. Do you understand what is going on right in front of us? This is an incredibly bad situation and needs to be clarified before any vote is taken.

Go to the council meeting, Wednesday, April 8th, 8:00pm at village hall. Demand that the council represent the residents of Ridgewood by getting all of the facts before voting on the ordinance before them. Let’s get everything out in the open. After all, the mayor’s favorite term is “transparency in government.” I think it’s time the village had some of that transparency.

Posted on

Readers : Village Hiring Practices Come under Scrutiny

Village council

file photo By Boyd Loving

It’s true. Unfortunately Ridgewood residents are not paying attention. They are trusting that our elected council people are protecting them, but they are not.

Councilwoman Knudsen and councilman Sedon are the only one’s trying to protect our rights as village residents. Please go and click on the link to the previous story, then click on the link to the ustream video http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60629688  of the April 1st council meeting. Go to minute 24:00 when councilwoman Knudsen starts to explain the run around she has been getting for a month about information she has asked for in order for her to make an informed decision before she votes April 8th on the ordinance regarding residency preference.

The rest of the council should have been upset that Knudsen was being blocked from receiving information. Instead, the village manager, the mayor and councilwoman Hauck seemed more concerned that Knudsen was speaking about this information in public. Sedon was not present at the meeting. I applaud councilwoman Knudsen for bringing this information out into the open.

What is happening with the majority of our council? Why are they always on the defensive? They should be thanking Knudsen for bringing this to light. After all, they have been following an ordinance about hiring practices that is inconsistent with the law.

All hires since Aug 2014 should be reviewed to determined if they were done according to law. Who was skipped over that should not have been? Who was hired that should not have been? Did these hires take place according to civil service rules? Instead of gushing over the village manager’s performance, let’s make sure her performance practices are according to law.

Posted on

Readers Not Happy With Village Managers Performance at Council Meeting

DSCF3162-1-300x225

file photo by Boyd Loving

Message to Ms. Sonenefeld: The hiring and firing of Village employees is certainly within your purview, but that in and of itself is no excuse whatsoever for not keeping the ENTIRE Village Council informed of your plans with respect to holding positions open in expectation of an ordinance change. Personally, I’d like to see the complete list of job applicants for those open positions, now on hold, to find out exactly who it is from Ridgewood that you don’t want to hire.

Ms. Roberta:

1. You are not an elected official. You should not insert your opinions and commentary incessantly. We are not interested in your opinions. What are you, the fourth AMIGO? Your gratuitous swipe at Ms. Knudsen last night was completely uncalled for. Councilwoman Knudsen conducted a calm and fact-filled discussion. At the end of it, you had the audacity to state that you had prepared a joke but now you didn’t feel like it. That was insulting and unprofessional. You were clearly stating that you did not like Councilwoman Knudsen’s discussion. That is just tough luck for you. You are not, I repeat YOU ARE NOT an elected official. Your opinions are not germane to any discussion. Keep them to yourself and just try to do your job.

2. You need to stop interrupting when one of our elected officials is speaking. Watching the tape, it is so distracting when you keep interjecting. Stop it. We did not elect you to represent us and we do want to hear what our elected officals have to say.

Posted on

Reader says public matters are being discussed, and decisions made, by a majority of the council in advance of the public meeting in clear Violation of the Sunshine Law

DSCF3241

First Councilwoman Susan Knudsen was told to recuse herself from a closed meeting on this subject at the suggestion of the Village Manager and now information was withheld from her about this same subject.What the hell is going on in Village Hall. Who is the employee that contact Civil Service and who directed this employee to do this, Why can’t Councilwoman Susan Knudsen have that information. Why didn’t the attorney contact the Councilwoman and speak to her about this issue instead of directing another Village employee to withhold the information. WHO IS RUNNIG THE VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD.?

The circumstance described by Ms. Knudsen demonstrates that public matters are being discussed, and decisions made, by a majority of the council in advance of the public meeting during which the discussions and decisions are supposed to take place on the record. This reduces the public meeting to the status of a charade, because the result desired by the majority has already been determined in advance! As we all had suspected, it now appears clear that the Sunshine Law has been violated. Violations of the Sunshine Law don’t just happen–they are usually undertaken when the majority wants to avoid scrutiny for something they wish to do that the public might find odious. We all owe Ms. Knudsen a debt of gratitude for sticking to her guns and airing this issue out publicly.

Posted on

Former Ridgewood YMCA bookkeeper indicted in theft

Ridgewood-YMCA_theridgewoodblog

MARCH 31, 2015, 7:12 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, MARCH 31, 2015, 7:12 PM
BY JIM NORMAN
STAFF WRITER |
THE RECORD

A former bookkeeper at the Ridgewood YMCA who was arrested last April on charges of stealing from her employer in a variety of ways was formally indicted on those charges Tuesday, accused of a seven-year scheme to divert at least $80,000 in credit card charges and stolen property to her own benefit, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.

Catherine Easer, 55, who lived in Mahwah when she was arrested, was named in a five-count indictment charging her with two counts of second-degree theft and three counts of third-degree theft.

The indictment accuses her of fraudulently using credit cards issued by The Home Depot, Exxon Mobil and Staples in the name of the YMCA, of using a computer to advance a fraud scheme to deprive the YMCA of more than $5,000 worth of goods, services, information and money, and of taking more than $75,000 worth of property from the YMCA.

The precise nature of her alleged actions was not spelled out in the indictment. However, the three-page document said the actions involving the misuse of computers started in April 2007 and ran until January 2014. The alleged misuse of the Home Depot and Exxon Mobil credit cards ran from May 2009 to December 2014, and the misuse of the Staples card allegedly started in December 2010 and ended in January 2014, the indictment said.

The most serious count of the indictment said the alleged thefts of $75,000 worth of property from the YMCA started in May 2009 and continued until January 2014.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/former-ridgewood-ymca-bookkeeper-indicted-in-theft-1.1299635

Posted on

BOMBSHELL REVELATION – Councilwoman claims information deliberately withheld from her

DSCF3241

BOMBSHELL REVELATION – Councilwoman claims information deliberately withheld from her

April 1 ,2015
Boyd A. Loving
11:15 PM

Ridgewood Nj, During Wednesday evening’s Village Council Work Session, Councilwoman Susan Knudsen revealed selected details of official correspondence related to the Village’s hiring practices, including a document in which a Village employee was reportedly directed (by an attorney employed by the Village) not to release publicly available information to Ms. Knudsen.

Councilwoman Knudsen also revealed that an unnamed employee or representative of the Village supposedly corresponded with the NJ State Civil Service Commission in February of this year to advise the Commission that several open positions (jobs) would not be filled until after Village Council members voted to change an ordinance related to preferential hiring treatment for Village residents (the plan is to remove any preferential hiring treatment for Village residents except applicants for public safety jobs – this ordinance change will be officially voted on during the Council’s April 8 Public Meeting).

According to Ms. Knudsen, Village Council members were reportedly never told that open positions (excluding pubic safety jobs) would not be filled until after the ordinance was changed.

Catch the full action/complete bombshell discussion beginning at 23 minutes 54 seconds into the linked broadcast below:

http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/60629688

Posted on

Host families in Ridgewood are a breath of fresh air

img_host_ask_box

MARCH 27, 2015    LAST UPDATED: FRIDAY, MARCH 27, 2015, 8:25 AM

Host families are breath of fresh air

To the Editor:

National Volunteer Week marks a special time of the year for The Fresh Air Fund, and I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to our wonderful Fresh Air volunteers, hosts and supporters in the Hudson Highlands. Their continued dedication to our New York City children is exemplary for all community members and truly embodies the spirit of the 2015 National Volunteer Week, which is from April 12 to 18.

Fresh Air volunteers work in several capacities throughout the year in 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada to help make The Fresh Air Fund’s programs possible. Fresh Air host families open their hearts and homes, and share the everyday joys of summertime with their Fresh Air friends. Our local volunteer leaders – many of whom are also hosts – serve on our local committees, plan summer activities, publicize the program, and interview prospective host families. Additionally, individuals and local businesses give generously of their time and resources to make The Fresh Air Fund’s Volunteer Host Family Program throughout this area a great success each summer.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.8 million New York City children since 1877. For more information on how to help to continue this tradition of volunteering, call The Fresh Air Fund at 800-367-0003 or visit freshair.org.

Jenny Morgenthau
Executive Director
The Fresh Air Fund

http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/opinion-letters-to-the-editor/letter-to-the-editor-host-families-in-ridgewood-are-a-breath-of-fresh-air-1.1297339

Posted on

Village Fees continue to Increase

imgres-11

March 31,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Hourly meter rates in all Village lots and streets are now $.50 per hour from 10AM to 6PM,
Monday through Saturday.

Ridgewood Nj,  First it was parking with hourly meter rates in all Village lots and streets jumping to $.50 per hour from 10AM to 6PM,Monday through Saturday.

Then there was an increase in Ridgewood Parking Permits provides ‘coinless’ with annual permits issued for a calendar year coasting residents $750.  RPP are issued to Non Residents at a fee of $1,500 and require parking in the Cottage Place or Rt. 17 Park & Ride Lots.

Now the Village is moving to increase Building Department Fees .At the March 25, 2015 Village Council Meeting the proposed Building Department Fees was discussed.

Whats next garage sales, parking tickets , keeping the tax increase flat add some layers of supervisors and the spend the reserve .
Posted on

April Fools’ Day 2015 Facts, Trivia, Myths, History: Why We Celebrate This International Day Of Pranks And Jokes

Rum Truck

file photo by Boyd Loving

By  Elizabeth Whitman @elizabethwhitty [email protected] onMarch 31 2015 10:46 AM EDT

April Fools’ Day began in the year 1582, according to one legend, when Pope Gregory XIII (after whom the Gregorian calendar is named) moved the start of the new year from the end of March to the beginning of January. The change was made public, but not everyone got the memo, and those who didn’t and thus continued to celebrate New Year’s Day on April 1 were laughed at. “Because they were seen as foolish, [they were] called April Fools,” medieval historian Ginger Smoak has explained, according to the Huffington Post.

Another myth is based on the same idea but suggests the change in the New Year happened at a slightly different time and place. It attributes the calendar change to France in 1564 — rather than to the pope — and when people celebrated the wrong New Year, others would paste paper fish on their backs, which explains why in France, the day is known as April Fish.

http://www.ibtimes.com/april-fools-day-2015-facts-trivia-myths-history-why-we-celebrate-international-day-1864126