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Ridgewood School Board Passes Resolution to Push forward on Taking Budget Vote Away from Residents

Ridgewood Board of Education ,Unlawful election sign placement, election, vote

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, during the Budget Time table discussions at Mondays School Board Meeting it was apparent that the  Ridgewood Board of Education is looking to take taxpayers right to vote on the now $110,000,000 school budget .

RPS Business Administrator Antoinette Kelly reviewed the draft schedule for the 2019-2020 school year budgeting process, which begins in October and ends with the school election in April. The Board also passed a resolution to revisit the Village of Ridgewood Council vote to restore the April election. The Board will invite the Council to discuss the issue, as well as offer public hearings on the topic this fall.

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Village of Ridgewood Council Special Public Meeting and Work Session Agenda for September 6th

New Ridgewood Village Council

file photo by Boyd Loving

Village Council Special Public Meeting

VILLAGE COUNCIL

SPECIAL PUBLIC MEETING

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017

7:30 P.M.

Call to Order – Mayor

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.”

Roll Call

Public Hearing – Open Space Trust Fund Grant Application – Maple Park Turf Field

RESOLUTIONS

17-248    Award Professional Services Contract – Rate Analysis               Study for Ridgewood Water Lawsuit (NTE $52,000)

17-249    Title 59 Approval – Repair to Storm Sewer – Circle             Avenue

17-250    Award Contract – Repair to Storm Sewer – Circle Avenue             – (NTE $32,936)

 

Adjournment

 

Village Council Work Session

THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE COUNCIL’S

PUBLIC WORKSHOP AGENDA

SEPTEMBER 6, 2017

7:30 P.M.

1. 7:30 pm – Call to Order – Mayor

2. Statement of Compliance with 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/Moment of Silence

5. Public Comments (Not to Exceed 3 Minutes per Person – 40 Minutes in Total)

6. Discussion

a. Budget

1. Award Contract – Repair to Storm Sewer – Circle Avenue

7. Motion to Suspend Work Session and Convene Special Public Meeting

8. Special Public Meeting – See Attached Agenda

9. Motion to Adjourn Special Public Meeting and Reconvene Work Session

10. Discussion (continued)

a. Ridgewood Water

1. Award Contract – Purchase of Chlorine Analyzers and Supplies

2. Award Contract – Professional Surveying Services

b. Parking

1. Award Contract – Valet Parking Concession Pilot Program Rebid

2. Removed from the Agenda

3. Parking Reconfiguration at Train Station Lot

4. CBD Parking – North Walnut Street

c. Budget (continued)

1. Bee City USA

2. Current Fund Revenues

3. Resolution to Accept Bergen County Historic Preservation House Phase I Grant

4. Authorize Partial Release of Escrow Funds – 309 Mastin Place LLC

5. Award Contract – Sommerville Tennis Courts Renovations

6. Award Second Year Contract – Furnishing and Delivering of Zetag 7557 Polymer – Water Pollution Control Facility

7. Award Contract – Furnishing and Delivery of Sodium Bisulfite and Sodium Hypochlorite – Water Pollution Control Facility

8. Award Contract – Laboratory Analysis Services – Water Pollution Control Facility

9. Award Second Year Contract – Snow Plowing Services

10. State Contract Vendors – Threshold Increases – IT Department

11. Award Contract – Pickup, Removal, and Hauling of Leaves

12. Ridgewood Senior Citizen Housing Corporation Pilot Program

13. Resolution for Costs of Mailing Tax Sale Notice

14. Purchase of 2018 Chevy Tahoe – Fire Department

d. Policy

1. Proposed Changes to Ordinance for Resident/Non-Resident EMS Billing

2. Tie A Ribbon Campaign – Breast Cancer Awareness

3. Distribution of Ridgewood Wildscape Information – Preservation of Wildscape Properties

4. Special Projects Taks Force – By-Laws and Rescind Reso for FAC

e. Operations

1. Proposed Changes to Ordinance for Village Hall Parking Lot

2. Proposed Traffic Ordinance – Maltbie Avenue

3. Schedler Park Sound Study

4. Grove Park Area Cleanup Program – Ridgewood Wildscape Assoc. and Partners

5. Proposed Ordinance – New Bus Stop at 401Goffle Road

6. Traffic Signal Upgrade

11. Review of September 13, 2017 Regular Public Meeting Agenda

12. Manager’s Report

13. Council Reports

14. Public Comments (Not to Exceed 5 Minutes per Person)

15. Adjournment

A. Legal – Ridgewood Water, Valley Hospital, COAH, RCRD, Unlawful Enrollment of Students in Ridgewood Public Schools

B. Personnel/Contract Negotiations – Supervisor Union Contract

C. Contract Negotiations – Potential Purchase of Properties, Graydon Pool Restrooms,

Glen Park Village (RIC Development)

D. Personnel – Appointments to Boards and Committees – RAC, SPTF, CRAB, Planning Board

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Highlights from the Village of Ridgewood Council Public meeting on November 9th

Ridgewood Village Council

file photo by Boyd Loving

November 10,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Highlights from the Village of Ridgewood Council Public meeting on November 9th.
1. As always, meeting minutes are prepared and approved in a timely manner, unlike the previous administration, under which minutes were aged for months and in some cases years.

2. Acting village manager Heather Mailander named all employees who are veterans and thanked them for their service during this Veterans’ Day holiday week.  It is so wonderful to have a manager who is pleasant, supportive, and a champion of employees.  Hoping this will be the model when a permanent manager is hired.

3. Parking was discussed, including a long-since dismissed garage plan that actually would fit on the Hudson St. lot.  Really.  The garage was voted down by a massive margin.  So they are back at it?  Also, central valet was mentioned again, an excellent idea.  A discussion of changing times and fees for various parking lots was so confusing that even the council members seemed to not understand what they were aiming for, and an error in their paperwork indicated that the meters would go until 10 PM.

4. Mayor Knudsen will hold office hours quarterly, joined by one of her council colleagues.  This Saturday November 13 she will meet with residents from 11-1 in the 4th floor conference room.  Call Heather’s office for an appointment.

5. Three ordinances regarding salaries were introduced.  Titles are being updated.  Some are being deleted.  Notably the Human Resources Manager position is not scheduled for deletion at least not in this round.  Sharyn Matthews is gone, as is her mother hen Roberta Sonenfeld.  Possibly the HR position will be eliminated for good once the new manager is hired.

6. The public hearing on Ordinance 3556 Parking Restrictions on Pomander Walk was held.  Many residents from The Walk pleaded to keep the street as a zero parking zone.  This prevailed.  The street remains a no parking street.  This is a street that is paid for by public tax money but the public cannot park on it.  OK.  This seems unfair.

7. They authorized studying the feasibility of an Uber Pilot Program.  This may help ease parking around the train station.

8. The Transportation Alternatives  Program (TAP) Grant application was approved. It was made clear that there will be NO BIKE LANES included in this project, if the grant is awarded.  Nope, no bike lanes along very busy thoroughfares, thank God.  The jackass project presented a few weeks ago by a bike-lane advocate and a surly village engineer was scrapped.  The Grant, if approved, will just include new sidewalks and curb cuts.

9. As always the five elected officials were pleasant, professional, and held productive and meaningful discussions for all to hear.  Residents’ questions and concerns were heard and answered with respect and even humor.  Total transparency with total civility.  The absence of Tony Damiano and Rurik Halaby meant that there was not a single dark cloud in the room.

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Rurik Halaby Continues His Diatribe on the Village of Ridgewood Council

Rurik Halaby

Following is an email I wrote tonight to the Village Council with commentary on the meeting of Wednesday 2 November.

Dear All:

To Bernie, I apologize profusely if my comment about Trump in any way reflected an intent to interfere in how various members may vote. You know how strongly I feel about the greatest of our rights as American citizens, and in no way would I ever do that. What I tried to say was how ironic it was with perhaps as many as three people on the VC being possibly Trump supporters and thus people speaking so loudly about how the country is being ruined with over regulations, here we have a VC that is regulating the town to death. Listening to your discourse on various matters, I could only think of a Soviet Politburo making plans.

To Jeff, you are one bright person, but unfortunately ,you continue to underestimate the intelligence of others. Including yours truly, with your answer about the garage. You made reference to the garage by itself not being a solution to the 1,000 space shortage. The garage with 350 spaces (?) would have made quite a dent, far more than whatever spaces you might achieve with your antics of repricing, Uber, etc.

To Susan, you would have made an unbelievably clever trial attorney. You are smart, articulate, and have an uncanny ability to come up with red herrings. You blame the lack of having a garage to the June elections, when in fact you did everything in your power to torpedo the garage from day zero. You seem to forget that if you had acted responsibly last year, the work on the garage would have started in November and it would have been done by now. The borrowing would have been at historically low interest rates, an opportunity we will not see for decades. History will not judge you well for that.

Lack of transparency in Village business. This opaqueness is reflective of the Mayor’s drive for total control of Village business. In 48 years of living here, I have not seen such a dictatorial attitude. Yes, welcome to the Soviet Republic of Ridgewood. I suggested you follow Mayor Aronsohn’s example of writing a monthly column on what is happening and why, but one of your enablers quickly came to your defense by stating this is unnecessary since the Ridgewood News reported on VC meetings. I don’t quite see that.

The Mayor’s style of governance is slowly beginning to impact our lives. Village Hall is closing on itself, after two years of a dynamic open operation under Roberta. Village employee morale is imploding! And it won’t be long before we go back to the bad old days of a bureaucratic non-responsive Village Hall. Also, many committee an board positions are going unfilled, as people get turned off with the Mayor’s antics. And to those misfits in the audience who cheered Roberta’s firing, just wait a few months.

Seeing the VC at work, I can only think of a puppet show of The Wizard of Oz. Easy to sort who’s who.

It is getting late. Cynthia comes to work with me tomorrow meaning we have to be at the station by 06:20. Otherwise no place to park.

I will be posting this letter on FB.

Cheers,

Rurik

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Village of Ridgewood Council Ducks Schedler Historic and Wildlife Preservation Responsibilities

bald eagle
May 4th 2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, They just don’t respond.  Jackie Hone has offered so much in the way of information that she asked openly to share with the council/ village manager.

According to the County public meeting minutes of March 28. The Village was put on notice regarding Schedler historic preservation of both parcel and house, wildlife and migratory act.

As such, the Village must move forward with historic registry of the Schedler house, historic eligibility of parcel and enforce wildlife preservation. Additionally, nothing can be done on this parcel, NO clean up/Phase 1, until after July 31 and only after historic and wildlife preservation/eligibility/registry is complete.

The Village council has not responded Jackie Hone’s emails or comments . Perhaps the Village manager and Council Majority was too busy with Earth day celebrations.

Council Members:

I did not receive a response or acknowledgement to my email below. Our mayor and village manager said they would provide an update “next time.” I don’t see Schedler on the agenda fortomorrow night. Will an update be provided? Is our Historical Preservation Commission aware of the County notice and will they move forward accordingly? Does this task fall under their responsibilities and/or Village administration? Who would be the person ultimately responsible in seeing that this get done?

Regards,
Jackie Hone

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The Ridgewood Blog Endorses Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache for Village of Ridgewood Council.

ridgewood a new begining
May 2,2016

PJ Blogger and the Staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, The Ridgewood blog wholeheartedly endorses Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache for Village of Ridgewood Council in the May 10th, 2016 elections.

The key word is “Village” in Village of Ridgewood .Technically 25,352 residents makes Ridgewood a bit larger than a Village ,but its the state of mind that is far more important. There is a uniqueness to Ridgewood that all three candidates recognize and the current council majority clearly does not. Ridgewood affords everyone an opportunity to find their own level , to contribute and to excel.

The Village of Ridgewood is chartered under the Faulkner Act offers four basic plans (mayor–council, council–manager, small municipality, and mayor–council–administrator) and two procedures by which the voters of a municipality can adopt one of these plans. The Act provides many choices for communities with a preference for a strong executive and professional management of municipal affairs.

Originally enacted in 1950, the Faulkner Act provided for three forms of government: mayor–council, council–manager, and small municipality. Within each form, letter codes designated predefined aspects of each form and its individual arrangement of options, such as partisan or nonpartisan elections, concurrent or staggered terms, all at large or a combination of ward and at large seats.

Ridgewood until recently has always been nonpartisan town with nonpartisan elections, whatever your ideology it was left at the train station before commuting home each evening.

The town operated basically in a “bubble” with great community spirit , a “can do” attitude  and very high standards and expectations for what was required of its citizens . Neighbors were expected and did step up helping out, investing ,donating and doing what was necessary to preserve the special character of the Village . Everyone contributed in their own way and was glad to do it.

Citizen’s Park was bought by neighbors and donated to the Village for neighbors, Some donated property or trusts , like Pease Library or the Lester Stable.  While others who were not so blessed financially would give their time coaching teams , hiring teenagers  for summer jobs or just doing what ever they could and because so many contributed so much ,it was like a raising tide ,it lifted all boats.

Don’t get me wrong it was far from perfect and while change came slowly ,change occurred positively impacting everyone. We still see this today with so many opportunities  for so many ; Ridgewood Sports , the Tree lighting , 4th of July celebrations, Graydon Pool , Vets Field , Super Science Saturday, Ridgewood Schools, Special needs programs, charitable giving , vibrant churches , girl scouts, boy scouts and on and on . Even today residents lead by a special needs adult Doug are raising money to rebuild La Bella Pizza after it was destroyed by a recent electrical fire . Many Village children continue to excel beyond anyone’s wildest dreams  like Sammy Cermack, former Ridgewood star, drafted in first-ever professional women’s lacrosse league , long distance swimmer Charlotte Samuels or Broadway Trailblazer Ali Stroker just to name a very few . They are all products of that very unique Village of Ridgewood way of life.

Somehow around the time of the Village Hall renovation fiasco things seem to change. Doubt was cast and the Village began to change for the worse. Formerly great schools where and we quote a BOE member “glad to beat Newark” , mediocrity began to spread . The attitude became more of taking than giving ,of cronies and profiteers, special interests and special issues.The latest council majority is nothing but a product of the lowest base greedy attitudes that so typify the rest of New Jersey and their partisan supporters . It didn’t start with three but they are the product of the precipitous decline in the quality of life in the village.

Any doubt as to the decline of the Village ,take one look at the pledge being asked of the candidates to sign supporting various development in the central business district. Signed by three of the candidates Weitz, Willett and Brooks making them whole unqualified to lead Ridgewood anywhere but down the drain. The same three candidates received dubious endorsements by the Mayor and his flunkies .

Deal making against the better interest of the voters was just not done in Ridgewood , till Mayor Aronsohn and his machine politics moved into town , The fact is most people move to Ridgewood to get away from that type of back door dealing.
And most people in town realize their very large property investment ,their home is now in jeopardy of declining in  value along with the rest of the town.

As a reminder the Ridgewood blog warned residents as to the dangers of Pucciarelli , Hauck and Aronsohn taking over the council. We warned  of over development, Valley’s arrogant expansion plans and turf fields in every corner ,yet 66% of Ridgewood voters put their property values in danger by voting in this disastrous trio.

So here we are another election but this time the whole town is at each other throats ,name calling and threats are at a fever pitch . Three sitting council members are not even running for reelection and the mayor as predicted by this blog is hot footing it out of town.

Folks its time to take out the trash . Vote for Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache all three understand the uniqueness the Village of Ridgewood and are honored to be part of it. They understand the complex issues the Village  faces , the mess that needs to be cleaned up and the trust that needs to be rebuilt.

While we know Bernie for some time , we had the pleasure of meeting Jeff and Ramon for the first time and were very pleased to see they understood the concept of Village of Ridgewood and were both grateful to have an opportunity to represent  the Village and its distinctive way of life .

Understanding the Village was key to our endorsement and in the words of Edward I Koch former mayor of NYC,  ”If you agree with me on 9 out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.” we could not agree more . We were looking for a diversity of opinions that reflected the values of the community at large and in Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache we are certainly we found it.

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VILLAGE OF RIDGEWOOD COUNCIL MEETINGS MOVED TO RHS CAMPUS CENTER

Village Council

file photo By Boyd Loving

CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR MARCH 9TH AND MARCH 23RD VILLAGE COUNCIL MEETINGS

The Village Council Meetings of March 9th and March 23rd will be held at the Campus Center of the Ridgewood High School, located at 627 East Ridgewood Avenue.   The March 9th Regular Public Meeting will begin at 8:00 p.m., and will be immediately followed by a Work Session, where the results of the impact studies for

multi-family housing will be discussed.  The March 23rd Work Session meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m.   During the Work Session there will be a Special Public Meeting for the Public Hearings and vote on the multi-family housing ordinances as well as a public hearing and vote on the bond ordinance to appropriate money for the Hudson Street parking deck. 

This location is not equiped to  broadcast the meetings.  The meetings will be filmed and available both on UTube and the Village Public Access Channel (Cablevision 77; Fios 37).

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Village of Ridgewood Council sticks it to taxpayers, again

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Boyd Loving

February 3,2016

by Boyd A. Loving

Ridgewood NJ, The Public Hearing for Ordinance #3519, “Leasing agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority,” was officially closed by a unanimous vote of the Ridgewood Village Council during a Special Public Meeting held on the evening of Wednesday, January 27, 2016.

At no time either prior to or during the Special Public Meeting was their any detailed financial information made available to Ridgewood’s taxpayers regarding the subject matter of Ordinance #3519, a “Leasing agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority.”  However, on Monday, February 1, 2016, a full five (5) calendar days subsequent to closure of the official Public Hearing on Ordinance #3519, a document entitled “Bergen County Improvement Authority Parking Financial Summary” was posted on the Village of Ridgewood’s official website.

I ask:  1) Why was the Public Hearing for Ordinance #3519, “Leasing agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority” even held if no detailed financial information about the “lease” was available for public review, and most importantly, 2) Why did all members of Ridgewood’s Village Council vote to CLOSE the Public Hearing on Ordinance #3519 prior to the availability of the document entitled “Bergen County Improvement Authority Parking Financial Summary?”

Mr. Aronsohn and Mr. Pucciarelli used the following adjectives to describe the behavior of a taxpayer who LEGALLY videotaped a recent Open Public Meeting.  I suggest that these same adjectives apply to the behavior of the Village Council with respect to closing Ordinance #3519’s Public Hearing prior to taxpayers having access to the document entitled “Bergen County Improvement Authority Parking Financial Summary.”

The adjectives are:

disgraceful
beyond the pale
not a way to conduct business
[should] not be tolerated
surreptitious
secretive
sneaky
awful
deceitful
hidden

Remember these adjectives and who they pertain to prior to casting your vote on May 10 in the Municipal Election.

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Village of Ridgewood Council Reaffirms its Agreement to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies on the high density housing

Village Council
file photo by Boyd Loving
December 10,2015

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Last night was a huge success for residents in that village , the Village council committed to doing the four studies on the high density issue. Without the pressure from residents, this would not have happened. The meeting went late and there were no big outbursts or excitement.

Village council agreed to 4 comprehensive, independent impact studies regarding the high density housing .The 4 comprehensive independent impact studies are financial, school, traffic, infrastructure.

Mayor Aronsohn made it clear from the git-go that all four studies would happen.  Deputy Mayor Pucciarelli switched sides like a Gemini – while he was completely opposed to the four studies in September 30, now he is in full support.  This is all good, and will delay the high density housing for awhile longer.  The hearings on the housing ordinances are continued until February 10.  In spite of Aronsohn’s early declaration that the four studies would happen, public comments went on for about 2.5 hours, with 20 people speaking against the housing and often tying it in with not wanting the garage.  Seven others had spoken against the housing in the first 1/2 hour comments session.

Also the Village Council Public Meeting was the introduction of the Bond Ordinance supports the largest garage as depicted in the images and  as decided on by council majority (3-2). The garage details include parking for  405 cars (net gain of 305) totaling  136,550 square feet, height of  49’2” to the parapet and  the tower height at 68’4”. The garage requires the elimination of all on-street parking along Hudson Street, elimination of some on- street parking along South Broad Street and the rerouting of Hudson and Passaic Street traffic.

The introduction of the bond for the garage was 5-0 in favor.  This, mind you, is just the introduction. There is a pretty good indication that Susan and Mike will vote it down then, forcing Atilla the Aronsohn to head straight to the county to float the bond.  We shall see.

The public hearing and vote on the Bond Ordinance is scheduled to occur in January 2016.  In the meantime,  Council Woman Knudsen is seeking public input regarding the proposed Hudson Street garage as shown in the simulations [email protected] .

At the bitter end, From 12:02 until almost 1AM, the Schedler people spoke, 9 of them.  They asked for studies to be done around Schedler as they are being done in the CBD.  They want traffic studies, air quality, noise, etc.  one guy had an audio tape that he played of the deafening noise there from 17.  A cardiologist explained the serious health risks to children who exercise in polluted air.  There was a funny exchange where Gwenn attempted to undermine the doctor’s assertions of respiratory risks when running around in bad air, and she even suggested that maybe no one should even live over there.

Other Highlights for Last night:

ORDINANCES – INTRODUCTION
3515 – Bond Ordinance – Construction of Hudson Street Parking Deck ($12,300,000) – Appropriates this money for the construction of the Hudson Street parking deck

ORDINANCES – PUBLIC HEARING
3509 – Amend Various Salary Ordinances
3512 – Amend Valet Parking Ordinance
3513 – Non-Union Salary Ordinance
3514 – Management Salary Ordinance

ORDINANCES – CONTINUED PUBLIC HEARING
3489 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish AH-2 Zone District
3490 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish B-3-R Zone District
3491 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish C-R Zone
3492 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Establish C Zone District
3493 – Amend Chapter 190 – Land Use and Development – Amend Various Sections – Multiple Zone Districts and General Affordable Housing Regulation