April 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Glen Rock NJ, Glen Rock Mayor Bruce Packer has asked people to please remove the orange ribbons from trees , the color orange is apparently used to communicate a need for construction.On Facebook he explains,”I realize that we live in a time where it is easy to attribute negative intentions to any message that might appear to infringe on your civil liberties.A few days ago the Borough asked people to please remove the orange ribbons from trees as the color orange is apparently used to communicate a need for construction or action by some of our local utilities or cable companies. I am frankly still not completely clear on what the color is used for but I have confirmation that it is used.
I took it upon myself to contact Ridgewood Water and PSEG to let them know that some of our residents have orange ribbons on their tree which should not be misinterpreted. I did not reach out to the local cable companies, who apparently also use this color but likely higher on a pole, nor local tree services who may or may not use this color.

We are in a Borough that has a mayor that has been a proud member of the group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (https://everytown.org/mayors/ ) since his first year in office (2016) and that has a Mayor and Council that has read and unanimously approved a proclamation for Gun Violence Awareness Month every June that this administration has been in office.

We proudly invited the students to a council meeting the evening that they staged the school walkout to give them an opportunity to share their message with residents.
I have personally offered my help to the students, if needed, to help them to continue to get their message out but they are an amazing group and quite self sufficient.
It is this Mayor and Council that represent the Borough so I would hope that it should be obvious that a request from the Borough to move orange ribbons from our DPW does not reverse all of that.
There is no ordinance that can be enforced which would allow us to force you to move ribbons from trees on your property. However, orange ribbons on a right of way (within 10 feet of the street) are in violation and are at higher risk to potentially be misinterpreted.

If you don’t want to move your ribbon to something other than a tree or further away from the street, that is your prerogative but this request has nothing to do with political stands and everything to do with the color orange. My ribbon would still be displayed on my front railing if it hadn’t blown away.

You still have a right to disagree but the Borough has no intention of preventing anyone’s right to free speech.