>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.