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June 10.2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Village of Ridgewood will be holding an open house for the public on June 11, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Sydney V. Stoldt, Jr. Court Room, on the 4th floor of Ridgewood Village Hall to present information about the Hudson Street parking garage. Representatives from EPIC Management (developer), Tim Haahs (architects for design and structural elements), Bohler Engineering (Civil Engineers), and Robert Rooney (Village CFO) will be available in an informal setting to provide additional information and answer questions from the public about the Hudson Street parking garage.
We encourage Ridgewood residents, as well as business owners and those who work in the Central Business District, to attend this open house to learn more about this exciting project.

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Council : American Flag only Flag for Ridgewood Village Hall


May 4,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood

Ridgewood NJ, Village attorney Matt Rogers  told the council the Village is not obligated to fly the “Rainbow or Gay flag”. Rogers talked at length of both legal and policy implications .Rogers went on to explain the “freedom of Speech ” issues as well as  the Village flag pole had not history been used to make a political statement or as a public forum . Temporary signs are also banned from Village public property  which would include the Village hall flag pole .

Mike Sedon chimed in that the American flag is inclusive and is the most potent symbol of inclusion world over. Both Bernie and Jeff were supportive of the Rainbow flag on the idea of “inclusiveness ” along the road that other groups  celebrate on Village property like the RBSA and so on. Councilmen Hache worried about other groups who may want to raise a flag that may not be supported by the community in general. The mayor worried it was a road  we don’t want to go down to be auditing countless groups looking to fly their flag over the Village hall.



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Readers say Ridgewood teachers are unreasonable ,Ridgewood has always been very supportive of teachers and education

Ridgewood EA teachers protest

BOE – stay strong. The teachers are unreasonable. Might not have this opinion if it was a different town but Ridgewood has always been very supportive of teachers and education as illustrated by the pay scale. We just can’t and don’t want to afford to indulge them any more. Note: Rankings are slipping … time to reconsider a lot when it comes to our schools. Some new blood might be a very good thing. Please move on if you are not happy with what our BOE is offering you.

Teachers remain completely unreasonable and are not negotiating with our volunteer BOE in good faith. Time for higher pension contributions, higher copays, and salaries growing less than the 2% property tax cap. It’s time to wake up to the reality faced by all residents of Ridgewood, not just your “la-la fantasy world” union rose tinted glasses greed.

It is time for teachers and there arrogant union leaders to step in to the twenty first century and stop livening as though it was the 1950’s where you did not have great pay and benefits. BOE say no to these people the taxpayer is fed up.

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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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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Village Hall Court Room– 7:30 P.M.

(all timeframes and the order of agenda items below are approximate and subject to change)

7:30 p.m. – Call to Order, Statement of Compliance, Flag Salute, Roll Call – In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8d of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location, and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in a meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspapers, and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village municipal offices at 131 North Maple Avenue, and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.

Roll call: Knudsen, Voigt, Altano, Joel, Reilly, Patire, Thurston, Scheibner, Torielli, McWilliams

7:35 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board

7:40 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics, Correspondence Received by the Board

7:45 p.m. – 7:55 p.m. – Resolutions re: Appointment of Planning Board Counsel

7:55 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Riverside Medical Group Minor Site Plan and Variances, 74 Oak Street, Block 2009, Lot 6

9:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. – Ridgewood Dayton, LLC Preliminary and Final Major Site Plan, 100 & 152 South Broad Street, Block 3707, Lot 5.01 and Block 3905, Lot 1.01

11:00 p.m. – 11:05 p.m. – Adoption of Minutes: August 23, 2016

11:05 p.m. – Executive Session (if necessary)


In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, all meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work sessions, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings, which are always open to members of the general public.

Members: Susan Knudsen, Jeff Voigt, Joel Torielli, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, Richard Joel, Kevin Reilly, David Thurston, Isabella Altano, Debbie Patire

Professional Staff: Blais L. Brancheau, Planner; Christopher J. Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary

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BREAKING UPDATE (8:17 pm): Ridgewood Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld Resigns


September 6,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Breaking Update : (8:17 pm)the Ridgewood blog has learned that the now former Village manager was escorted out the building after misusing her Village email by sending out misinformation about her departure. 

Ridgewood NJ, various sources have confirmed as of 9:17 am this morning Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld as tendered her resignation . Her last official day is Friday . We are not sure if she will be at the Council meeting tomorrow night . Heather Mailander will take over temporary manager duties.

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Reader says Ridgewood teachers should realize that the current lack of signs means very few support the teachers.

REA, ridgewoood teachers

The teachers should realize that the current lack of signs means very few support the teachers. Where do we get a sign supporting the Board? The teachers ARE going to cut out writing letters and any extra time w/the students. The Board and the parents are going to have to take a stance and not give the teachers a thing. This has been how the teachers have always won their demands in the past. Parents have to support the Board for once. The teachers have more under their old contract than most communities. And contrary to their theory that they are the cause of Ridgewood’s supposed “Excellence”, they are not. And our rankings, contrary to what many people think, have gone quite a long ways down in the time we have lived here (over 40 years). We long ago reached the point that, unfortunately, a child will get a better education in the private schools–which most of us can’t pay for. A friend sent her daughter to IHA for 9th grade and then had to return her to Ridgewood for the following three. The child basically repeated her entire 9th grade year while she was actually in the 10th. And this was years ago–imagine the differential now!

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Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital hosts Adopt A Pet Day

scott garrett dogs

Congressmen Scott Garrett promoting pet adoption

September 4,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, If you have room in your home and heart, they will have 30 shelters and rescue groups with 300 pets for adoption. Experience the joy of unconditional love. Someone is waiting for you. . .

Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital hosts Adopt A Pet Day
Sunday, September 18, 2016 from 11:00 AM until 4:00 Pm
Ridgewood Veterinary Hospital, 320 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood

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Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market

Sun, June 26, 2016 – Sun, October 30, 2016
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: Train Station Parking Lot, Godwin Ave & W Ridgewood Ave

It is here! Sundays
June 26, 2016 – October 30, 2016
9:00am – 3:00pm

Enjoy “Farm to Table”
Ridgewood Train Station
Parking Lot West Side

or call 201-445-2600

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Ridgewood Education Association and Board of Education Face off in New Contract Negotiations

REA Members come out to greet our Board of Ed
September 4th 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Students return to school on Tuesday and as the new school year begins the Ridgewood Education Association members are still working without a contract. The Ridgewood Education Association is looking for the public’s support to settle their contract dispute with the school board which up till now has been tepid at best.

The Ridgewood Education Association is asking the public to please support their members by demanding that the Board settles the contract. They want to make sure Dr. Fishbein knows that their contract is the number one priority. They are also asking residents to place a sign on your lawn to support the Ridgewood Education Association.

Readers agree that a contract settlement is needed but consider REA demands unreasonable  , “Isn’t it obvious the NJEA is forcing the REA to make unreasonable demands and negotiate in bad faith with our volunteer BOE? Settle now.”

Many blog readers also do not share the REA’s enthusiasm ,”The REA thinks that just because Ridgewood schools have a “tradition of excellence”, that they are somehow excellent. That takes hard work. This current bunch of teachers seems to care more about their annual wage increases and health care benefits than they do about excellence for our school system. Shameless greed given a BOE budget already north of $100 million even though the population of Ridgewood is little changed since we did have top rated schools in the 1980s and 90s.”

Some REA supporters think the union should take stronger action , “maybe coaches need to through in the towel . Take away extra curricular activities and you’ll see how fast parents put signs up on their lawn.”

This Tuesday September 6th, the first day of school for students, the Ridgewood Education Association will hold a rally at 4:00pm at the Ed Center. The rally is an attempt to pressure the BOE to give in .That evening there will be a negotiation session and union is looking to let the Board know that 434 days is too long to work without a contract. The REA is also asking residents to come and support your teachers and secretaries by wearing red.