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Political battle may delay pothole fixes in Ridgewood


Political battle may delay pothole fixes in Ridgewood

MAY 26, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, MAY 26, 2014, 1:21 AM

RIDGEWOOD — A battle over the capital budget could stall an effort by the new manager to pave more than 30 roads in the village.

The council last week voted 3-2 to introduce a $1.5 million bond ordinance at Wednesday’s meeting that will need at least four votes to pass.

Similarly, the village’s capital budget needs four votes for approval. It remains in flux following last month’s 3-2 split.

The capital budget had called for $1.5 million for paving, but Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld pulled it from the annual spending plan, opting instead to introduce it for separate consideration by the council.

Last week’s meeting served as a prelude to the council’s upcoming work session on Wednesday, with Councilman Thomas Riche and Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh casting the opposing votes.

Both Riche and Walsh recently voted against the introduction of the municipal budget, which proposes to keep taxes flat for a second straight year.

After last week’s vote, Mayor Paul Aronsohn halted the meeting to ask Riche and Walsh — both outgoing council members — if the governing body “will move forward with” the paving plan when it votes on the measure in less than two weeks.

Riche said he would “go over the facts” first, then share his decision on Wednesday, while Walsh opposed Sonenfeld’s tactic, saying “you can’t take a group of things and then, to try to make it pass, start pulling things out so they are approved.”

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