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Reader says Sonenfeld was incompetent, defensive, “attitude” prone, disrespectful of council members and the public, all too willing to do the former mayor’s bidding


file photo by Boyd Loving

You can keep someone around with a less-than-great attitude if they’re highly competent, experienced, and brilliant. Maybe you can keep someone around who’s less than great, but their sunshine makes everybody happy and they get things done. People kept saying that at least she wasn’t an alcoholic like previous managers. Can you imagine hearing someone say that about yourself in your job? Talk about faint praise.

She worked hard–many hours–we know this because she mentioned it a lot. But what was she doing? Working on projects behind some council members’ backs and intended to foil the wishes of residents. Determinedly following through on Aronsohn’s plans. This woman was a hiring disaster except for the person who hired her. Unqualified for many important Village Manager tasks, requiring expensive outsourcing and in one case, the excuse for creating an HR position for a friend that quickly morphed from part time to full time. Let’s get rid of that person and that position soon.

Sonenfeld was incompetent, defensive, “attitude” prone, disrespectful of council members and the public, all too willing to do the former mayor’s bidding. Shockingly, did not hesitate to chew out council members–totally unacceptable. Expressed far more personal opinions than a manager should.

Waster of money, pusher of projects we didn’t need–most recently the digging up and overhauling of Van Neste, which fortunately was caught in time. Cashed in her favor-chips with that HR job and giving her Health Barn friend part of a municipal park (let’s rip up that contract asap). Never learned the true role of a village manager. We will be far better off without her. Aronsohn’s legacy is now diminished in the most significant way since the council election. CLEAN HOUSE. (Judge Pfund needs to go, too.)

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N.J. education chief overturns public, non-public sports split

DECEMBER 28, 2015, 5:38 PM    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2015, 6:44 AM

Years of debate. Months of meetings. Weeks of hand-wringing.

And in the end, athletes, coaches and officials of New Jersey high school sports find themselves right back where they started.

In a momentous announcement Monday, state Commissioner of Education David Hespe reversed controversial votes this month by state athletics’ governing body to separate public and non-public schools in football and on the road to the state wrestling tournament.

Related:  Landmark vote splits N.J. H.S. football along public/non-public lines

The decision forces the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association and school officials to yet again seek a lasting solution to the longest-running issue plaguing high school sports in the state: the competitive imbalance between public and non-public school teams.

“I’m disappointed,” said River Dell Athletic Director Denis Nelson, a strong proponent of the separation proposal in football. “The strategic and competitive advantage non-public schools have is going to continue. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t think it’s right. But it is in existence.”

“We’re back to where we were,” said Bergen Catholic Athletic Director Jack McGovern. “I don’t know that that’s a great place. But now we know the parameters we have to work with, and we will continue to try to make it better.”

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Public is ready to weigh in on Ridgewood parking garage designs

Hudson Garage

file photo by Boyd Loving


With the November election and the affirmative results of the non-binding referendum in the rearview mirror, the next steps for the village include further discussions on specifics for a garage on Hudson Street and the presentation of a few different design options for the public.

Earlier this month, voters approved a non-binding referendum question asking residents if they were in favor of bonding up to $15 million in public money for the construction of a parking garage, which is expected to be paid for principally, if not entirely, with parking utility revenues. The measure passed with 65 percent of the vote.

In the subsequent weeks, the village appears to have settled on three different designs for a parking deck, which vary in terms of overall size, height, cost and the number of cars it can house. Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld provided The Ridgewood News with specifics on each of the options.

Option “A” is the design that has been most prominently featured at public meetings with a capacity of 405 cars, which would provide a net gain of 305 spaces. The 136,650 square foot building is 49 feet, two inches, to the top of the highest parapet with the tower extending to 68 feet. The approximate construction cost per space is approximately $29,630 and the village would plan to bond $12 million.

A second rendering, known as Option “B,” brings the height of the building along Hudson Street down to 37 feet, four inches, but the highest parapet on South Broad would remain at the 49 foot mark and the corner tower would also remain the same height. This garage will hold 355 cars for a net gain of 255. The village would plan to bond about $11 million for this 119,800 square foot proposal.

Option “C” scales down the building even further with the tower now lowered to 56 feet, eight inches, and both the Hudson and Broad parapets down to 37 feet. This design can house 306 cars for a net gain to the village of 206. Ridgewood would plan to bond $10.1 million for the 109,350 square foot structure.

In a letter sent from his village email account, Mayor Paul Aronsohn invited residents to come to the Village Council’s meeting on Dec. 2 to weigh in on their preferred design. Renderings will be made available on the village website and in the first floor lobby in Village Hall, the mayor said.