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Village Council Election tactics are disgusting

Photo By Boyd Loving

Village Council Election tactics are disgusting

Incumbent Paul Aronshon has hit rock bottom with his election tactics. He is so desperate to become Mayor so he can launch his failed political career to his next ambition as Governor or who knows..President. He attempted to violate the Village sign ordinance and Clearview Cinema policy.

He deflects attention away from his total lack of budgeting knowledge by blaming others. He is taking out of town money from Democratic operatives that have nothing to do with Ridgewood (check his ELEC filing). And he refuses to acknowledge that he is sucking the taxpayers dry by being the only Councilman who takes family medical benefits for FREE. These benefits cost the taxpayer in excess of $120,000 over his term.

Also he refuses to acknowledge if the Fortune 500 company that he works for gives him an additional stipend for refusing their benefit package. He has voted for every union raise to Village employees but refuses to reward mangers with minimum incentive raises. He cares not about Ridgewood’s future but rather the future of Paul A.

He claims to be anti-Valley expansion but has campaign coffees with the pro Valley candidates. Residents should carefully cast their votes on May 8th. Keith Killion represents a fair, balanced and NON PARTISAN approach to local government. Paul A. wants to create a swill bucket of nasty partisan politics that will forever ruin Ridgewood.

20 thoughts on “Village Council Election tactics are disgusting

  1. What about Killion and his taking overtime money when he was a Police Captain over and above his salary in violation of labor laws. Why aren’t you upset about that?

  2. Recall the bum! Vote Killion, Shinizoka and Russ.

  3. I am voting for the two of them (plus Shinook) and I just don’t see where your comments come from about Arognson. Killion and he are different people but I don’t see any reason not to vote for them both.

    I’ve heard the medical thing and heard that has been a perk around for quite some while. What are the facts?

    I have also heard Paul is cozying up to the Hospital — again, what are the facts?

  4. Why take such a low road Mr. Foitlyn? Your attitude implies that public discourse should be vicious. Like wrestle-mania, you want to beat your opponents into bloody piles. This mentality has worked its way into our culture so much that no one can see the difference between entertainment and real life! And now you’re bring it to Ridgewood for us. You are not doing the citizens a favor by adding oppugnant editorials. Try simply stating real viewpoints and positions without slurring people who have different viewpoints than you. You should be able to take the high road and still get your points across.

  5. yes PJ some people in town, Aronsohn, . Bombase ,the BOE , sports groups and the rest of the “in crowd” are all above the law and there for allowed to do as they please how dare anyone challenge them ….oh brother

  6. Aronsohn needs to state whether either he and/ or his entire family receive taxpayer paid benefits as a result of his part time service on the VC. No others currently on the VC do so. If it was legal to do so years ago isn’t really too relevant to now as we can’t change the past.

    I actually was FOR him as one choice for the 3 seats until learning of the benefits stuff and then seeing no definitive response from him to all the accusations etc which have been going on for some time now.

    What IS relevant though is because it seems the law on this changed and new members of the VC cannot receive any such benefits, BUT anyone who qualified under old law CAN CONTINUE to do that– Aronsohn needs to state whether if re-elected he would still take any such benefits (if he does) or would renounce them.

    The cost to taxpayers of any such benefits also needs to be stated, it’s public money. It is amazing to me that he would not simply state these things one way or the other. This is the same guy who questions everything else and demands accountability, after all.

    I agree transparency and accountability are very much needed— so why not answer this issue once and for all, reveal any costs and say what he’d do about it if re-elected?

    As to #1’s comment about Keith and overtime above, apparently in many municipalities, it depends specifically on the contract involved and the duties performed for which overtime is paid, i.e. whether supervisory work or hands-on policing. It does not seem to be illegal under the law #1 references, though I am not a lawyer. Please read the material at the link below in the relevant sections for more info:
    http://www.flsa.com/overtime.html

  7. @ Terri I think the problem as we all see it is that Ridgewood is a community not a political playground. Mr. Aronsohn rolled into town 6 years ago and brought party politics with him. When can you remember in recent years lawn signs for elections. Maybe a handful here and there but not hundreds. And when did candidates start accepting so much money? 2006 was the first time a candidate went over $10,000 and guess who it was? Yes, Mr. Aronsohn. If everyone just stuck to the issues – none of this back and forth would be going on in our campaigns.

  8. I read somewhere “Once sworn into office in summer of 2012, no council member is eligible to receive health benefits through the village. Aronsohn said he supports the change in the law and has made arrangements to receive private health care coverage.”

  9. Taken from the website http://www.flsa.com/coverage.html

    Salary level test.

    Employees who are paid less than $23,600 per year ($455 per week) are nonexempt. (Employees who earn more than $100,000 per year are almost certainly exempt.) I believe Officer Killion was paid over $100,000.00 per year

    Exempt or Nonexempt.

    Employees whose jobs are governed by the FLSA are either “exempt” or “nonexempt.” Nonexempt employees are entitled to overtime pay. Exempt employees are not.

    If Killion as an exempt employee did in fact receive pay above and beyond his basic salary then that pay could, depending on the reason, have been in violation of the Fair Labor and Standards Act. (FLSA)

  10. for#8– Not sure it’s true in the case of someone whose service pre-dates the law changing and continues to serve by being re-elected. I have seen reports that say anyone like that is grandfathered regarding that law and thus could continue to get benefits if their service was continuous as an elected official.

    This is another reason why I feel it’s so impt for him to make a simple statement on all this and disclose the costs as well as any benefits he or his family has received at taxpayer expense, if there are any. Maybe it is all just accusations and rumors , no way to tell unless he just comes out and answers it with factual and complete information.

    If you could, pls post where you saw this quote as I’d like to read the of the context, and maybe others would too- thx.


  11. Anonymous:

    I read somewhere “Once sworn into office in summer of 2012, no council member is eligible to receive health benefits through the village. Aronsohn said he supports the change in the law and has made arrangements to receive private health care coverage.”

    http://ridgewood.patch.com/articles/aronsohn-common-sense-energy-and-a-dedication-to-public-service

  12. Paul no longer is on the Ridgewood health plan even though it is and was legal,as for lawn signs they have been around a very long time in large amounts . This is old news. As for people taking advantage of taxpayer benefits that also is old.

  13. #9- thx for finding that. It does seem a tricky area though from reading the stuff there. Was his base pay actually $100K or was that WITH overtime?

    There is more info at another section of the site you linked, here:
    http://www.flsa.com/police.html

    Per that info, it states: (begin quote)
    Detectives and Investigators. Most police detectives and investigators are “nonexempt” and therefore eligible for overtime under the FLSA. Detectives and Investigators may perform “off-the-clock” work including job-related telephone calls at home (e.g., with informants, prosecutors or other officers), police paperwork at home, going to meetings, work performed before and after regular shifts (e.g., “roll calls,” or finishing up reports without “putting in” for overtime), working through meal periods.

    Command Officers. Command Officers. Many police command officers (typically lieutenants and above, and maybe some sergeants) will likely be exempt employees, and not entitled to overtime pay under the FLSA. Occasionally some police command officers may be mistakenly classified as overtime exempt. To be exempt, police command officers must meet the “salary tests” and “duties tests” requirements (see, “Coverage under the FLSA”). END QUOTE
    ———————————–
    I believe a lot of Keith’s police service was as a detective, though not sure. Later he was designated a special school officer under a grant the Village received., I remember being at a VC public meeting when the grant was announced and he appeared to give a talk about what his goals were to be in that position. But he also served as a Captain of the Police Dept.

    So sure, he – or whoever at VH made the FLSA determination of exempt versus nonexempt should clear this up and disclose any relevant info.

    I am always in favor of transparency in government and feel we have the right to know how and where all the big tax dollars we pay here are being spent.

    I hope Aronsohn will also disclose the stuff about benefits for him and/or his whole family if Village has paid for them — and if no, just say so.

  14. This document covers exempt status in detail.

    http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSA/2005/2005_10_14_40_FLSA.htm

    “The Police Captain position is the commanding officer for one to several divisions of the Police Department. The Police Captain plans, coordinates, and controls the activities of division personnel regarding allocation and deployment of personnel and equipment as well as evaluates performance, recommends strategies and develops policies and procedures regarding division activities.”

    As you know, Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides an exemption from the minimum wage and overtime provisions for any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as defined by the Department.

    Revised § 541.3(b) of the Regulations states that the §13(a)(1) exemptions do not apply to police officers, fire fighters or other first responder employees who perform work such as extinguishing fires, rescuing crime or accident victims, performing surveillance, pursuing or restraining suspects, interviewing witnesses, and other similar work identified in the regulations because their primary duty is not management or directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer. Thus, such employees do not qualify for an exemption as an executive or administrative employee under § 541.100 or § 541.200.

    However, the § 13(a)(1) exemptions may apply to police lieutenants, police captains, and fire battalion chiefs positions so long as the employees in these positions meet all of the requirements set out in the Regulations. See 69 Fed. Reg.22122, 22130 (April 23, 2004) (citing e.g. West v. Anne Arundel County, Maryland, 137 F.3d 752 (4th Cir.), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1048 (1998)). Specifically, they may fit within the regulatory exemption for Executive Employees in § 541.100. Section 541.100 states that an employee is employed in a “bona fide executive capacity” for purposes of the exemption if the employee is:

    1. Compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455 per week…, exclusive of board, lodging or other facilities;

    2.Whose primary duty is management of the enterprise in which the employee is employed or of a customarily recognized department or subdivision thereof;

    3. Who customarily and regularly directs the work of two or more other employees; and

    4. Who has the authority to hire or fire other employees or whose suggestions and recommendations as to the hiring, firing, advancement, promotion or any other change of status of other employees are given particular weight.

    Based on this opinion from the Wage and Hour Division, United States Department of Labor, it is clear to me that the Position of Police Captain is an exempt position. Even a Police Lieutenants position, according to this document, could be an exempt position.

    The question is did the Village violate the law and grant overtime or other pay to Killion or any other employee with exempt status?

  15. For #11 Thank you very much for that. Finally this one seems resolved, though the date on it is just yesterday, but glad to see the statement on it. He does not state whether just he or his family received these benefits, nor what they cost, but at least states he has received them at taxpayer expense but that he no longer does. So at least in my view, at long last, that can be put to rest- it’s being going around and unanswered for way too long.

    As to lawn signs, no big deal at least to me, either way. Have ’em or don’t have ’em and anyone who doesn’t want ’em doesn’t have to take them.

    For #’s 9 &14 – I think you’ve raised a very good question on this too after reading your links and also the one I posted above. It should be answered– perhaps can be done best by whoever authorized any such overtime in the 1st place? Maybe the CFO can enlighten us? And maybe Keith can as to whether he did receive any overtime as a police captain and by virtue of what services if so?

    Your link above goes on to say (it’s a DOL ruling in one specific case apparently)
    (begin quote)
    Meeting the requirements of § 541.100(a)(2) depends on the employees’ “primary duty” in their management position. Primary duty is defined in § 541.700(a) as “principal, main, major, or most important duty that the employee performs.” Factors to consider in determining an employee’s primary duty include “the relative importance of the exempt duties as compared with other types of duties; the amount of time spent performing exempt work; the employee’s relative freedom from direct supervision; and the relationship between the employee’s salary and the wages paid to other employees for the kind of nonexempt work performed by the employee.” 29 C.F.R. §541.700(a). It is important to remember that the primary duty determination is based on all of the facts and circumstances in each individual case with major emphasis on the character of the employee’s job as a whole. Further, although the amount of time spent on exempt work can act as a guide, time is not conclusive. However, employees who spend more than 50 percent of their time performing exempt work will generally satisfy the primary duty requirement. 29 CFR § 541.700(b).

    (end quote)
    It also states that titles mean nothing for this purpose (in several places) and what counts in such determinations are provable real factors which it seems to set out in detail.

    Thus it seems possible that someone holding such a position could be eligible for overtime pay in some circumstances. Perhaps there is a contract too which governs that and thus would apply to anyone holding a certain rank or position.

    Either way, you’re right it should be clarified and taxpayers do have a right to know. So I think Keith should perhaps answer one part (whether indeed he did receive overtime) and a person authorized to grant it employed by the Village should state on exactly what basis it was justified under the laws if any such payments were made. Just like anything with public money, we should have the right to know and get a clear answer.

  16. You people are torturing me with all this writing! Keith was a cop for 30 years, received a pension. Who cares if he took overtime if he worked overtime.

  17. for #16 – me too. The past is the past, Aronsohn got taxpayer paid benefits and maybe Keith got some overtime during his 30 year police career, not terribly surprising if so. All the writing just shows you can quote anything out of context to try and prove a point.

    Move forward, and vote for those you feel will serve Ridgewood best and have the Village’s interest as their only agenda. That’s what’s impt to me at least.

  18. to #16

    I find it interesting that the possible overtime violation of candidate Forenza was probed by this log but when it is suggested our own mayor could have made the same mistake, people try to sweep that under the rug. Maybe there is something that needs to be investigated here.

  19. for #18– I’m for full disclosure and transparency in the spending of any public money. Pretty doubtful though it would have been Keith who had the responsibility – much less the authority – to pay himself any overtime during his police service.

    Clearly the CFO or someone else at VH in charge of payroll or finance would have determined and also authorized anything like that. I doubt very much that any police officer or other Village worker can just draw any kind of payment anytime they want to.

    So if you feel it needs to be investigated, do that and let others know the results. Apparently regarding Forenza and Paterson, that’s already being investigated pretty big time by a few entities. Not only (apparently) did people put in for such payments, but others approved and authorized them – without which such payments could not have been made.

    But for this, do the legwork since it bothers you– file the OPRA requests if you need them to get data, and post the results and share for all to see.

    If we indeed have (or ever had) a system that allows any Village workers to simply “put in” for any kind of payments and get them without anyone else’s approval, that sure WOULD be something that needs to be investigated!

    It would also mean whatever independent auditor who approved Village’s internal controls for spending public money should be dismissed – and/or possible other consequences.

  20. Regarding Forenza. The Paterson money issue is one thing, does his wife still work at Valley ?
    As for Hauck, the full page ad by her father reads like it was written for someone who was running for class president in middle-school rather than for a position to help run a town.
    These two are running for nothing more than satisfying VERY personal agendas. It is really “ego’s gone wild” to the extreme…

    From what I have seen, read, and heard, only Killion and Shinozuka
    can at least be trusted to definitely do what is in the best interest, both short and long term, of this community. The others are doing nothing more than working on their personal agendas, which, by aligning themselves with Valley, is not in the best interest of the town. Just ask the people who live in Hackensack about expansion…

    By the way, although I am not a member of the CRR, I am certainly concerned regarding the direction this town is heading. Valley needs nothing more than updating, not expansion.

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