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Coptic Pope Vists Washington Township

photo courtesy of Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Washington Twp NJ, Egyptian Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church arrived in the United States on September 13, 2018 for a five-week visit to nearly 25 churches, including 13 in New Jersey.

Continue reading Coptic Pope Vists Washington Township

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Reader questions Shared services when Ridgewood Has a Paid Fire Department

file photo by Boyd Loving

Shared services? You mean the fact that we allow our Fire Department, EMS to respond to Glen Rock free of charge while we bill our own residents?
How about that you use our paid Fire Department to respond to calls without charge because your Fire Department cant get a crew. Yet you don’t pay for any of that equipment or pay for the personnel. Meanwhile, I pray and hope I dont need my own Fire Department for my assistance because they are busy helping you.
How about how you get our EMS crew when yours cant get out the door yet don’t get billed for service, but yet when I need the service there is a charge. Isn’t that some shit
Buy a radio scanner, you will be amazed how often Ridgewood “assists” Glen Rock with pretty much everything.
I think Ridgewood is losing end. It seems you get all the benefits of my tax dollars and dont have to contribute a dime. I want in on this scam.

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Tub grinder “system” jointly owned by Glen Rock and Ridgewood has been Out of Service Since July 2017

tub grinder

file photo

February 12,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Glen Rock and Ridgewood share use of a tub grinder. We have heard that the tub grinder has been broken for quite some time now and Ridgewood is responsible for fixing it.

Our source has informed us that the tub grinder “system” is jointly owned by Glen Rock and Ridgewood. Glen Rock owns the tractor and Ridgewood owns the trailer (the tub grinder itself). The “system” can be transported back and forth between Glen Rock’s composting location and Ridgewood’s composting location.

The trailer (tub grinder apparatus) hasn’t been functioning properly since July of 2017. Several attempts were made to fix the device, but no fix lasted for any significant length of time. As of now, it’s out of service, that’s why an outside contractor was called in to grind leaves. Collected leaves can’t sit until the machine is back in service because the NJDEP has rules that limit the time collected leaves can remain in place prior to processing.

Our source also indicated that in all likelihood, the tub grinder is beyond repair and will need to be replaced by a new machine. No bid specifications have yet been advertised for a replacement.


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New Jersey Needs to Consolidate, Candidates Say

ridgewood map


May 3, 2017 at 11:29 AM

FLEMINGTON, NJ –  The state’s property taxes are the highest in the nation, and they were also the target of the gubernatorial candidates who gathered here last week in a forum to discuss the issues facing Garden State voters.

The forum sponsored by Progressive Hunterdon Democrats featured three Democratic gubernatorial candidates and spokespersons for two others.

Debbie Wisniewski spoke on behalf of her husband Assemblyman John Wisniewski.

“There are nearly 1,400 different forms off government all with the authority to tax,” she said. “If we truly serious about property tax reform, then we need to get serious about … consolidation.”

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Time for A closer look at “Shared Services”

Time for A closer look at “Shared Services”  
April 15th 2014
After reading comments from Village personal made on this blog the last several weeks it would seem a closer look at “shared services ” is an idea whose time has come .

The New Jersey Shared Services Association (NJSSA) is a non-profit association that proactively promotes increased efficiency in the delivery of services, while reducing the costs of local government. NJSSA members focus in the areas of advocacy, policy development, and education; while offering non-partisan advisory services to all local public entities and selected non-profit associations.

In 2007, Middlesex County Freeholder H. James Polos, recognized statewide as long time advocate for shared services, brought together the county shared services coordinators in New Jersey with the purpose of establishing a statewide professional association. The vision was to create an opportunity for improved communication among the coordinators, sharing of information, professional development and advocacy for shared services.

Established in 2008, the New Jersey Shared Services Association (NJSSA) is a non-profit 501(c)3 association that proactively promotes increased efficiency in the delivery of services, while reducing the costs of local government. NJSSA members focus in the areas of advocacy, policy development, and education; while offering non-partisan advisory services to all local public entities and selected non-profit associations.

The overall goal of the NJSSA is to establish substantial and long-term shared service agreements throughout NJ counties and municipalities to help reduce the cost of local government to the taxpayers and improve the availability and efficiency of government services.

NJSSA consists of representatives from across NJ counties with 17 out of 21 counties participating in the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services Share Grant Program, which funds a 3-year start-up position for a county Office of Shared Services.

The NJSSA members work to identify areas where county and local government can work collaboratively to combine resources for more efficient service delivery while at the same time helping to lower capital and operating costs for participating government entities, resulting in relief to local taxpayers.

Services Currently Being Shared
•  Information Technology (IT)
•  Centralized Police Dispatch, 911 Emergency Communications
•  Consolidation of Public Work Facilities & Departments
•  Animal Control / Animal Shelters
•  Mosquito Control & Gypsy Moth Spraying
•  County Records Management /Retention for Municipalities
•  Transportation Resources for the Disadvantaged and Elderly
•  Countywide Fleet Maintenance & Purchasing
•  Regional Vehicle Wash Facilities
•  Parks and Recreation Facilities / Staff and Maintenance
•  Police Protection Mergers
•  Countywide Tax Assessments and Revaluations
•  Countywide Storm & Wastewater Management
•  County Health Department / Regionalized Health Services
•  County Library System
•  County Sponsored Municipal Job Fairs
•  Shared School District Superintendents and Personnel
•  Customized Training Programs
•  County Recycling Programs
•  County Landfill
•  Police and Fire Training Academies
•  Regional Planning and Economic Development
•  GIS ( Geographical Information Systems)
•  Coop Purchasing Programs
•  Weights and Measures

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Ridgewood officials discuss potential shared service with Bergen County


file photo Boyd Loving

Ridgewood officials discuss potential shared service with Bergen County

APRIL 14, 2014    LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, APRIL 14, 2014, 4:24 PM

Village officials have learned that the county is slated to open a new vehicle maintenance facility just three miles outside of Ridgewood, putting a new twist on the municipality’s ongoing efforts to improve and potentially relocate its fleet repair operations.

Based on recent conversations with Bergen County administrators, Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld said construction on the county garage is already underway and is scheduled for completion later this year. Sonenfeld, who took over as the full-time manager less than two weeks ago, informed Ridgewood Council members this week that the project has gone relatively under the radar, as little information was available until she and other village officials broached the topic with the county.

“This has not really been publicized, but the county is building a state-of-the-art facility that they think will be operational in November,” said Sonenfeld. “The great news is that it’s not far away. It’s right down Ridgewood Avenue in Paramus.”

Specifically, Bergen’s new Department of Public Works Maintenance Complex will be located just south of Ridgewood Avenue along Jerome Avenue, a mostly residential street. On Wednesday, the village manager was unable to specify the total number of vehicle repair bays that the county intends to build, but she indicated that the overall goal is to offer services to municipalities.

– See more at:

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North Jersey mayors supportive, skeptical of shared services


North Jersey mayors supportive, skeptical of shared services
TUESDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2014, 8:24 PM

Mayors across North Jersey had reactions ranging from support to skepticism for Governor Christie’s budget proposal calling for an $8.5 million fund to encourage municipalities to save money by consolidating and sharing such services as police and fire protection.

“It sounds great, but how far does $8.5 million go across the state of New Jersey?” Fairview Mayor Vincent Bellucci asked. “It makes good press, but it doesn’t make good reality.”

“It’s a gutsy move on his part,” Clifton Mayor James Anzaldi said of Christie. “Every little bit helps. I think that’s smart government.”

East Rutherford Mayor James Cassella said: “I don’t need anybody to push me to do it. Just show me the savings and we’ll do it. … A town is foolish if they’re not looking into it already.”

Mayor Mark Sokolich of Fort Lee said that although he hadn’t seen the governor’s proposal, he supports shared services. “We need to be as creative as we possibly can, and I think we need to be supportive of any creative measures,” he said.

“We mayors recognize that old ways of doing government are unsustainable and that it is incumbent on us to constantly explore new and better ways of delivering municipal services,” said Ridgewood Mayor Paul Aronsohn.

– See more at:

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Reader says Outsourcing may be appropriate in some cases. But, that is not necessarily a panacea


file photo Boyd Loving

Reader says Outsourcing may be appropriate in some cases. But, that is not necessarily a panacea.

People… Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It is not just about decisions that this or the previous council made.

It is definitely not about snow removal.

It is not about the 2010 reduction in village staffing in a few unfortunate departments (employee-related liabilities have dramatically increased, NOT decreased).

Read the Financial Advisory Committee report that was posted to the Village website a while back. It is eye-opening and spells out very clearly the situation that has developed over decades and is totally unsustainable, without thoughtful (but dramatic) cultural and management changes across ALL village departments.

Outsourcing may be appropriate in some cases. But, that is not necessarily a panacea.

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Village services should be shared


file photo Boyd Loving

Village services should be shared

Monday February 17, 2014, 11:42 AM
The Ridgewood News

Village services should be shared
0Wilkin Santana

To the editor:

As per current village ordinance, the police department table of organization calls for 30 patrol officers.

It is my opinion, a council’s public safety committee should have heard in advance about the intention of the police chief to extend an offer of employment to two individuals, especially when one of them, as reported by the media, is related to a former councilman and mayor and this action will increase the table of organization as per village code. All legal, ethical and managerial considerations should be first made at the village council’s committee level before attempting to support a last minute retroactive amendment to the code. There are legal, cost, ethical and managerial implications to increasing the size of any department.

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Study: Space not big enough for Ridgewood, Glen Rock to share garage


Study: Space not big enough for Ridgewood, Glen Rock to share garage
THURSDAY JANUARY 16, 2014, 3:11 PM

The land adjacent to Ridgewood’s water treatment facility is large enough to house a new village maintenance garage, but a recently conducted feasibility study revealed the tract cannot jointly accommodate Glen Rock’s Department of Public Works.

Since late last year, the two neighboring municipalities had been examining the Ridgewood-owned property in Glen Rock as a possible relocation site for their respective DPW operations. Both agreed to split the costs of two studies, which were performed by Ramsey-based Conklin Associates.

An ad-hoc committee comprised of officials from each town reviewed the results of the feasibility study last week, according to Ridgewood Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli, who said the report had a “very complex analysis because of the wetlands and other riparian issues surrounding the property.”

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