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THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL’S PUBLIC WORKSHOP AGENDA OCTOBER 3, 2018 7:30 P.M.

20181003 Village Council Workshop Agenda
THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL’S PUBLIC WORKSHOP AGENDA OCTOBER 3, 2018 7:30 P.M.

Continue reading THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL’S PUBLIC WORKSHOP AGENDA OCTOBER 3, 2018 7:30 P.M.

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Final 2018 Village of Ridgewood Budget Presentation

ridgewod 2018 budget

April 13,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, according to Councilmen Ramon Hache, “The budget process is never easy, especially in an age of budget caps that are below the rate of inflation. Basically we have to, at a minimum, deliver the same level of services every year with a limited capacity of raising revenues to meet the increased cost of delivering those services.” Hache goes on  , “Changes to federal income tax laws at the end of 2017 have adversely impacted many of our residents by sharply reducing the amount of state and local income taxes (“SALT”) they can deduct in determining taxable income. Mindful of this, we worked very hard with our department heads to come up with a budget that would not place an additional undue burden on our residents. On April 11, the Village Council will introduce a municipal budget with a property tax increase of 0.99% over 2017. Please note this is just the municipal budget and does not include the Board of Education or the county.”

Final 2018 Budget Presentation
2018 Final Budget Presentation

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The Village of Ridgewood Has a Budget

village-hall-theridgewoodblog
May 10,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  the Village budget was up loaded on April 27th after it was approved by the state on New Jersey . The tax hike over last year is about .04%  ,hardly massive. The previous administration increased the budget 1.6% , this Village council is looking for an increase of 2%.

The council made an effort to balance many competing issues and expenses with an eye on investing in the future of the Village as opposed to the previous administration which used emergency funds to pay for current non emergency expenses .

The Mayor and Council continued their on going battle with the Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) which continues its ill informed agenda driven attacks on the Village Council.

The mayor explained the parking pass rate increase , and the overall allocation of parking.  There has been an attempt to push use of less utilized parking through a lower rate and get employees off the street with discounted parking .The parking rate increase of $1000 was proposed by the from the Financial Advisories Committee , but the Council raised the rate to $750.It was important to balance commuters with shoppers with CBD employees.

The recent letter published in the media by former Village manager mirrored a letter that was sent to the Village council by the FAC.

In response to the Ridgewood News letter to the editor written by Roberta Sonenfeld: Residents should be cautious relying on the content due to errors, omissions and misrepresentations.

• Sonenfeld’s suggestion that the process wasn’t transparent is remarkable! The process followed is the same she was required to follow as former Village Manager. AS REQUIRED BY LAW, once the budget is introduced it must be reviewed by the Village auditor and afterwards, again as required by law, must be submitted to the State in THEIR BUDGET FORMAT for review with the completion of a check list and all required documentation. This process is no different than any other year – even during those years she was village manager. When the budget is advertised, it advises the public to contact the Village CFO with the appropriate phone number and extension. No phone calls have been received to date.• Sonenfeld’s feigned surprise about the use of “rainy day” funds is curious since Sonenfeld utilized the surplus over and over again. She need only review her use of $3.032mil in 2015 and $3.3mil in 2016. The 2017 use of surplus, at approximately 10% more, is well within the amounts stipulated by the guidelines of the resolution recommended by Sonenfeld and adopted by Village Council last year for the utilization of “rainy day” reserves.

• Sonenfeld writes, “the budget proposes $7.4 million in authorized general debt for 2017 – an 88 percent increase over last year.” If she had provided the actual 2016 amount of $6.021 million ( authorized general debt) readers would have recognized her math error…. The increase of 21% NOT 88% – the difference is for possible property acquisition. Remember this is not incurred debt, IT IS AUTHORIZED BUT NOT ISSUED

• Too other many errors, omissions and misrepresentations to list!!! The Mayor says you can email if you have any questions: [email protected]

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Ridgewood Village Council Responds to Erroneous Assertions Made By Former Village Manager on Village Budget

Village_Manager_Roberta_Sonenfeld_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

May 9,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the Village council responds to erroneous assertions made by former Village Manager Roberta Sonenfled.

IMPORTANT: In response to a recent Ridgewood News letter to the editor written by Roberta Sonenfled: Residents should be cautious relying on the content due to errors, omissions and misrepresentations.

• Sonenfeld’s suggestion that the process wasn’t transparent is remarkable! The process follewed is the same shwas required to follow as former Village Manager. AS REQUIRED BY LAW, once the budget is introduced it must be reviewed by the Village auditor and afterwards, again as required by law, must be submitted to the State in THEIR BUDGET FORMAT for review with the completion of check list and all required documentation. This process is no different than any other year – even during those she was village manager. When the budget is advertised, it advises the public to contact the Village CFO with the appropriate phone number and extension. No phone calls have been received to date.

• Sonenfeld’s feigned surprise about the use of “rainy day” funds is curious since Sonenfeld utilized the surplus over and over again. She need only review her use of $3.032mil in 2015 and $3.3mil in 2016. The 2017 use of surplus, at approximately 10% more, is well within the amounts stipulated by the guidelines of the resolution recommended by Sonenfeld and adopted by Village Council last year for the utilization of “rainy day” reserves.

• Sonenfeld writes, “the budget proposes $7.4 million in authorized general debt for 2017 – an 88 percent increase over last year.” If she had provided the actual 2016 amount of $6.021 million ( authorized general debt) readers would have recognized her math error…. The increase in 21% NOT 88% – the difference is for possible property acquisition. Remember this is not incurred debt, IT IS AUTHORIZED BUT NOT ISSUED

• Too many error, omissions and misrepresentations to list!!!
Again readers should consider the source. Email if you have any questions: [email protected]

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Former Village Manager’s Letter to the Editor Generates Flack

Village_Manager_Roberta_Sonenfeld_theridgewoodblog

file photo by Boyd Loving

Letter: Ridgewood budget issues remain:
http://www.northjersey.com/story/opinion/readers/2017/05/03/letter-ridgewood-budget-issues-remain/309712001/

May 7,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in a recent letter to the editor former Village manager Roberta Sonenfeld looked to undermine the current Village Council on the Village budget . Tony Loving of Ridgewood asked “Doesn’t Ms. Sonenfeld have a formal ethics complaint pending against her? For allegedly using tax revenues inappropriately? And didn’t she resign in a huff? Makes me wonder about both the accuracy and intent of her letter.”

While the idea of a lawsuit was refuted by none other than Jan Philips.Anne LaGrange Loving followed up with some hard evidence “Actually, Jan, yes and yes. For those who are interested in the facts, here are three links to information regarding the ethics violation pending against Ms. Sonenfeld:”

http://www.northjersey.com/…/lawsuits-emerge…/94821932/

http://njfog.org/…/ridgewood-mayor-manager-accused…/

http://njrandomgovt.blogspot.com/…/ridgewood-mayor-and…

Loving went on , “I was in touch with the complainant yesterday, and indeed the matter is still outstanding. It can take up to two years for resolution of these complaints.

And as far as “resigning in a huff,” we all read the letter of resignation, which was made public, and it was not exactly a friendly lovey-dovey letter of resignation.”

Ridgewood village manager resigns, citing ‘contentious’ work environment  http://archive.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-village-manager-resigns-citing-contentious-work-environment-1.1655420

Reader says Roberta was a time bomb waiting to explode left behind by the Aronsohn conglomerate

Reader says Roberta was a time bomb waiting to explode left behind by the Aronsohn conglomerate

 

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Ridgewood Council discusses budget with village departments

Village Council Meeting

file photo by Boyd Loving

BY MATTHEW SCHNEIDER
STAFF WRITER |
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

RIDGEWOOD – Ridgewood’s Village Council continued its budget meetings this week, with representatives from various departments reporting on their successes and needs.

Health Department

Dawn Cetrulo, a health officer, said, “2015 was a great year for the Health Department,” noting that the department was easily able to deal with the Ebola virus crisis from last year, showing the staff’s preparedness. She also stated that the village’s weight-loss challenge went well, with a lot of participants “keeping the weight off.”

Furthermore, she noted that Animal Control Department provided 118 rabies vaccinations and 32 dog microchips to villagers free of charge.

Cetrulo said that some of the department’s goals for 2016 are to “continue to improve outreach programs in the community,” as well as “focusing on a monthly health positive.”

http://www.northjersey.com/community-news/town-government/village-reps-talk-numbers-1.1514670

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Ridgewood to introduce 2015 budget, $47 tax increase

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APRIL 21, 2015    LAST UPDATED: TUESDAY, APRIL 21, 2015, 9:22 AM
BY MARK KRULISH
STAFF WRITER |
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

The Village Council is getting ready to introduce its spending plan for the 2015 fiscal year after a final discussion last week pertaining to some items contained in the 2015 operating and capital budgets.

All five council members stated at least some support for the staff recommended budget, which calls for a 1.2 percent tax increase. A home assessed at the village average of $690,672 would see a $46.72 increase.

The budget is scheduled for introduction on April 22, while village officials are targeting May 27 for a public hearing and adoption.

One of the changes proposed in the budget is increasing the hours for senior human resources professional Sharyn Matthews from 29 to 35 hours, making her position full-time.

Councilman Michael Sedon questioned Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld as to why it was necessary to increase Matthews’ role from part-time to full-time.

Sonenfeld responded that the full-time human resources professional will work on an organizational redesign with the significant retirements the village is facing in the coming years, as well as putting a strong process in place for a performance evaluation system.

There will also be a general savings to the village in having Matthews handle responsibilities currently borne by other professionals such as the labor attorney, Sonenfeld said.

Treasurer Steve Sanzari noted that the village budgeted $60,000 for labor attorney fees, but actually spent $96,210 last year. With a full-time human resources staffer on board, $50,000 needed to be set aside.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/ridgewood-municipal-budget-to-be-introduced-1.1313737

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Ridgewood municipal, school officials discuss district’s budget

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APRIL 16, 2015    LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2015, 3:43 PM
BY DARIUS AMOS
STAFF WRITER |
THE RIDGEWOOD NEWS

Municipal officials gave high marks to the Ridgewood school system for its overall work and offered preliminary support to the district’s proposed $101 million budget.

At the annual joint meeting between the village’s governing and education leaders on Monday, Board of Education members and district administrators reviewed their anticipated 2015-16 spending plan, which will be up for BOE vote later this month.

The schools budget calls for an average tax bill increase of approximately $195, a figure based on an assessed home value of $690,662.

When combined with the district’s outstanding debt service levy, the amount to be paid is a 2.04 percent increase over last year.

In explaining the proposal, Alfredo Aguilar, district business administrator, highlighted the various programs that the budget would support. Included in his list were four additional staff positions, 13 new class offerings throughout the high school and middle schools, and $1.5 million earmarked for technology maintenance and upgrades.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/ridgewood-municipal-school-officials-discuss-district-s-budget-1.1310985

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VILLAGE COUNCIL SPECIAL PUBLIC BUDGET MEETING

Rum-Truck_theridgewoodblog

Rum-Truck_theridgewoodblog.net

AGENDA

VILLAGE COUNCIL SPECIAL PUBLIC BUDGET MEETING

MARCH 22, 2015

12:00 NOON

1.   Call to Order

2.   Statement of Compliance with the Open Public Meeting Act

MAYOR:    “Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by a posting on the bulletin board in Village hall, by mail to the Ridgewood News, The Record, and by submission to all persons entitled to same as provided by law of a schedule including the date and time of this meeting.”

3.    Roll Call – Village Clerk

4.    Flag Salute and Moment of Silence

5.    Public Comments (Not to exceed 5 minutes per person)

6.    Discussion Items

a.   Review of Departmental/Utility/Other Accounts Budgets

1.    Parking Utility

2.   Tax Assessor

3.   Village Clerk/Elections

4.   Planning Board/Historic Preservation Commission

5.   Emergency Services

6.   Municipal Court

7.   Attorney Fees

8.   Finance/Tax Collection

9.   Debt Service

10.  Terminal Leave

11.  Trust Funds and Surplus

12.  Electric and Gas

13.  Library

Review of Departmental Budgets (continued)

14.  Village Manager

15.  DEP Fines and Fees

16.  Village Council

17.  Water Department

18.  Office of Emergency Management

b.   Wrap-up of the Day and Next Steps

7.    Public Comments (Not to exceed 5 minutes per person)

8.   Adjournment

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Readers debate long term sustainability on the Village Budget of employee wages, pensions and healthcare

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Readers debate long term sustainability on the Village Budget of employee wages, pensions and healthcare 

Lets focus on the numbers , the problem and the solutions , not attacking unions or employees

When less than a 100 current employees and retirees consume over 50% of the Village’s annual budget in wages, pensions and healthcare, you have to question whether that’s an appropriate trade-off in a Village with only 25,000 people ? The BoE is similar, why should under 1,000 teachers and administrators (less than 4% of our Village population) consume 65% of our annual property taxes? It’s only going to get worse.

I was able to find a copy of the Village Budget Newsletter for the 2014 budget at the following link.

http://mods.ridgewoodnj.net/pdf/manager/2014BudgetNews.pdf

According to this document, which is provided by our Village Manager, the Village has a combined total annual budget of $46.2 million. Out of the $46.2 Million, the Police Department budget expenses are $9.6 Million (20.78%) and the Fire Department is $8.2 Million (17.5%). Combined, Public Safety amounts to $17.8 Million dollars or 38.529% of the annual budget. I can’t help but wonder why you chose to exclude the Debt Service of $4.8 Million from your calculations. By doing so you create the illusion that the overall costs for Public Safety are higher than they actually are in reality.

If you’d read the Budget Newsletter you would have noticed that, excluding the $4.8mn in debt service which we have to pay as a Village in 2014, police, fire and emergency service wages & benefits consumes $19mn of what’s left of the Village budget, or half of the budget… spent on less than 100 active employees plus retirees. The Village municipal employees and retirees number far more than just public safety employees and retirees, and yet Public safety contractual salary increases represent more than half of total salary increases of $900K+ in 2014, and that doesn’t include unfunded liabilities (future retirement payouts to police & fire) of $7.1M (against a reserve of $479K). We had to lay off 10% of the Village workforce in 2010 just to keep feeding this beast, and that has led to a reduction in Village services for all Villagers. That’s a poor trend for Villagers

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