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>Moving to Florida

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>It is time that we, as Ridgewood residents, take a long look in the mirror

>The BOE members may be incompetent and unqualified to serve in their positions. But, if the BOE has been “the most arrogant clique in Ridgewood” for decades, who is to blame…the BOE members, or Ridgewood residents who keep elected them?

The Anonymous post at 8:15 is characteristic of the lack of accountability that is tolerated and, in some cases, promoted in Ridgewood. Nowhere is this more prevalant than in the BOE, which has settled for mediocrity in almost every aspect of our school system, to a point where academic and athletic programs have suffered, the physical plant is in shambles, the budget continually seems beyond their control and the relationship between the BOE and the community is at the lowest point in recent memory. Yet, it exists all around us. It’s in the Police Department. It’s in Village Hall. It’s in volunteer organizations, whose boards are unable to make important decisions for fear of the backlash they might get from one or two disgruntled residents. But, most importantly, it’s in many of the parents of Ridgewood who don’t take responsibility for their own actions and fail to require such responsibilty from their children.

There are countless examples of parents who complain or threaten to sue because their child didn’t have the ability or commitment to qualify him or her for a particular sporting team. Go to any public outdoor location, where Ridgewood residents (not just children) gather and notice the countless half-finished water bottles strewn on the ground when they leave, often just yards from the nearest trash can. There is the absurd debate about the RHS smoking policy, when smoking is illegal for 98% of its students. There is the debate about whether RHS campus should be closed, as if the school administrators can decide whether they want the “inconvenience” of being responsible for students during school hours, or as if high school students have some inalienable right to leave campus if they choose. Every day there are post on this blog by those who fancy themselves to be “community watchdogs”, who attend every public meeting looking for the next big community issue. How many of the these bloggers donate their time or their money to improve the quality of life for all residents in town? How many even follow up their complaints with constructive recommendations of ways to address their complaints?

It is time that we, as Ridgewood residents, take a long look in the morror and accept that if we are not part of the solution, then we are part of the problem. Stop blaming the “other guy.” Stop the belly aching and take action. This requires more than going to public meetings to express your opinion. This means not settling for mediocrity or compromising on the option that results in the least resistance. This means assuming the responsibility to take actions that will make this town a better place to live for all of us, not just yourself.

more blog readers speak out….

Agreed; we as Ridgewood residents are to blame. We must refuse to accept continued mediocrity and incompetence on the part of our elected officials. We must start demanding the best and nothing less.However, taking action in the form of attending meetings, making public comments, and posting on this blog should not be characterized as just “part of the problem.” Much good comes from publicizing issues that others might not have been aware of.This blog is widely read by administrators at Village Hall and BOE headquarters (although no one would ever admit to it) and several elected officials. Behaviors change when someone sees their name posted, or thinks their name may be posted. Letters to the editors of our local newspapers result in behavior changes as well.So please don’t to characterize Ridgewood’s gadflies/anti government grumblers as just a “part of the problem.” Although you may not agree with our tactics, we do produce results – more results than you might ever be aware of.

blog critic speaks out….

Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to our elected officials. I applaud concerned residents, who use this or other forums as a tool to improve the quality of life in Ridgewood, if it is accompanied by positve action. But, that’s generally not what I see in this blog. What I see is constant whining, criticizing and complaining, without offering constructive alternative solutions. Anonymous gadflies and government grumblers, who merely point to a problem, assess blame and snipe at those who (in their minds) are responsible ARE part of the problem, unless they are willing to take action to rectify the issues they perceive. Do you honestly think most people on this blog are interested in creating public awareness? Go back and check the archives. Most of what you’ll find are posts from miscreants who are emboldened by anonymity and get a kick out of taking pot shots at their neighbors. That’s not what I consider to be a productive community service. Nor is using this blog to post scandalous inuendo, without the slightest documentation or factual basis.

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>BOE Plans to Keep Public Waiting – Again

>Notwithstanding public criticism that followed their decision to conduct an
Executive Session in the midst of a November 27th open public meeting, which
kept 25 taxpayers and a Cable TV viewing audience waiting 55 minutes, BOE
President Mark Bombace has scheduled another such session to take place
during the BOE’s Monday, January 8th open public meeting.
The topic of this planned closed door session is thus far being kept top
secret. However, the NJ Open Public Meetings Act will require BOE members
to publicly approve a resolution prior to the meeting that must disclose the
general discussion topic.


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>Village Council Schedules Special Closed Door Meeting

>Village Council Schedules Special Closed Door Meeting to Discuss
Controversial Appointment to Police Department

Village Council members will meet at 6:30 PM on Monday, January 8th to
discuss the proposed appointment of a current patrol officer’s son to the
Ridgewood Police Department. Rumors are that the current officer promised
to retire if his son were appointed by Village Manager Jim Ten Hoeve.
However, it is also being reported that the officer told colleagues
privately he would renege on the deal after his son was sworn in.
Councilman Jacques Harlow is rumored to have demanded the scheduled
discussion meeting.

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>Request for Proposals – Police Department Performance Audit, Review and Utilization Study

>Request for Proposals – Police Department Performance Audit, Review and Utilization Study
The Village of Ridgewood is requesting proposals for “Police Department Performance Audit, Review and Utilization Study”. Bids will be opened on Tuesday, January 30, 2007 at 10AM in the 5th Floor Conference Room, Village Hall, 131 North Maple Ave., Ridgewood. For information call 201/670-5500 x203. Link below will take you to the actual RFP package.

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>Village Seeks to Limit Its Liability for Homeowners’ Damages Related to Sewer Main Backups

Got Sewer Main Backups? Citing its desire to stop paying out huge claims related to Village maintained sewer trunk failures that in the past caused extensive damage to private residences, on December 13, Village Council members voted unanimously to introduce Ordinance #3036, which would establish a new section under Village Code Article XI entitled: “Damage Claims for Backup of Sewage on Certain Properties.”

If approved, following its scheduled Public Hearing on January, 17, Ordinance #3036 would:

1) Exclude from recognition any claim made by a homeowner who did not have an “accepted” backflow prevention device installed on his/her private sewer line (running from house to connection with Village maintained sewer trunk).

2) Limit claims to individual owners of single family, two family or three family homes who make such premises their primary residence, and who own such premises in their own individual name or names, and from whose insurance coverage the claim is either fully or partially excluded.

3) Any claim partially covered by private insurance would be excluded from coverage to the extent of such private insurance coverage.

4) The Village will compensate a qualifying claim only as follows: cost of removal of sanitary sewerage and of cleaning and sanitizing premises, fixtures and salvageable personal items – 100% to a limit of $1,500.00; the cost of repair to or replacement of damaged structure, fixtures or personal items – 100% to a limit of $2,500.00. Total = $3,500.

5) Any covered persons must notify the Water Pollution Control Facility immediately upon discovery of any backups into the residential structure.

6) Claims must be filed within 5 days of the discovery of damages.

It is rumored that the Village recently paid out several claims in excess of $25,000. It is also rumored that the Village’s sewer system infrastructure, excepting the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Glen Rock, is rapidly decaying; major portions of the subterranean system were constructed in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

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>Community Alert

>On Monday, December 18, 2006, a BFMS student who was walking home from school was passed several times in the Travell School area by a slow moving vehicle. The incident is under police investigation. The Ridgewood Police Department asks parents to advise their children to use extra caution and tell an adult immediately if they see any suspicious activity.

GigaGolf, Inc.

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>BOE Approves Field Use Policy; Bob Hutton Casts Only “No” Vote – 50% Reduction of Portable Light Usage at Glen School Promised

>By a 4-1 vote, with Vice President Robert Hutton casting the only “no” vote, BOE members approved the contentious Athletic/Recreational Field Use Policy late last night. Jack Carroll, of the Village’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, promised that if the policy were approved as is, there would be a 50% reduction in the use of portable lights at Glen School during next year’s Fall soccer season.

Residents of Eastbrook Road and other streets in the Glen School area had come out in force during recent meetings to protest the heavy use of the school’s athletic field. Citing their desire to have significant reductions in noise levels, intrusive lighting, and litter, residents petitioned BOE members to move games & practices elsewhere, or at least rotate activities among other schools within the district.

BOE President Mark Bombace thanked Mr. Carroll for coming up with a workable compromise for next fall’s Glen School field schedule, but insisted that Board members would need to approve all schedules beginning with those planned for Fall 2007 (to ensure no single neighborhood is being overloading with activity). A memorandum of agreement will be attached to the Field Use Policy to accommodate Mr. Bombace’s request.

Separately, and in what could be considered a very politically damaging revelation, Mr. Carroll, speaking again on behalf of the Village’s Parks & Recreation Advisory Board, made this somewhat eerie, on-the-record statement about the continuing controversy over use of mobile floodlight trailers on Village and BOE owned athletic fields: “I know there’s been some discussion about, you know, the legality or Village Code on the use of portable lights and what have you. And my understanding is that the Village has the Engineer and, um, um, Building Inspector looking into it; and, they are expecting a report back, and they asked for this in August. And they are not in a big hurry; and it is also my understanding that the Council [Village Council] is willing to change the Village Code if needed [to legalize the use of mobile flood light trailers on athletic fields]. With that said, their initial advice apparently was they probably would not have to change the Village Code. And that is what is standing as far as that issue is concerned.”