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4% Municipal Tax Hike Looms – Layoffs of Village of Ridgewood Employees Possible

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the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood Village Council members, along with Village Manager Heather Mailander and Village CFO Robert Rooney, are very hard at work trying to slash department head submitted 2023 capital and operating expense requests in order to achieve a municipal tax increase of no higher than 4%.

The Council’s first attack on proposed 2023 expenditures, undertaken in recent weeks, produced a budget that would have resulted in a municipal tax hike of 10%. CFO Rooney then took his own look at the numbers, and cut enough out to bring the proposed increase down to 6%. Completely dissatisfied with that number, the Council directed the Village Manager and CFO to work jointly at eliminating department asks in order to reach 3.96%. Some Village Council members indicated that they would not be satisfied until the proposed tax hike was below 3%.

Village Manager Heather Mailander cautioned everyone that staff layoffs MIGHT be necessary to achieve a 3.96% increase, and DEFINITELY would be required in order to reach the under 3% goal.

An additional Budget Meeting is scheduled to take place on March 6. The Ridgewood Blog will keep you updated on developments regarding this issue.

P.S.:  The loss of over $2.5 million in Federal COVID relief funding is a driving factor in this year’s budget process. Additionally, employer paid for health care premiums have skyrocketed since last year.

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53 thoughts on “4% Municipal Tax Hike Looms – Layoffs of Village of Ridgewood Employees Possible

  1. Fair lawn had zero tax increases over the last four years so using civics as an excuse is poor and former mayor Knudsen and Hache didn’t have this problem. Oh. The garage, the developments requiring more village resources and infrastructure, oh and ongoing Schedler costs especially for a larger field with turf. Someone needs to help the CFO I mean replace

  2. Paul Vagianos, Ramon Hache and JJ said multiple times that rarables will increase in CBD once the garage and high density housing was done.
    Time to increase those rarables now?

  3. 4% is unsustainable. It means the budget will double in 18 years.

  4. We can’t have any budget problems. The 12-million-dollar garage is free on Saturday nights for the restaurant crowd. $12.00 per drink but nothing to pay for the garage.

    1. Where are the $12 drinks? That sounds like happy hour prices!

  5. Please let’s not forget how the twit howled when the then, current council raised taxes by 3 percent during the depths of Covid. She was running around like her little, empty blonde head was on fire. That was the worse thing in the world.
    Now here we are at 4 percent with layoffs, which translates into diminished, delayed and deleted services for taxpayers. Next election Vag and his puppets can run on the campaign slogan of, “Paying More To Get Less!” But that is probably too honest, so they’ll just spread more lies and propaganda.

  6. Before the haters just keep on hating, let’s put a few things on the table-

    1. I’m sorry, but Knudsen was no fiscal angel. The municipal portion of our budget have seen increases in excess of inflation (and on a % basis, larger increases than the BoE budget) for a while now.

    2. The capital expenditures are crazy. Can someone please explain the fiscal prudence in all our new $60k+ pickup trucks and it seems every Village vehicle is new or nearly new? I see our big F150/250 pickup trucks driving around every day with nothing in the back getting 10mpg. Let’s put them in cheap EVs if they don’t need the payload.

    3. I think we should be looking at layoffs in both the police and fire departments. We are way overstaffed and we all know it. Again, Knudsen kept feeding the family.

    4. I will be pleasantly surprised if the current Council can actually get this monster to a 3-4% increase. I am skeptical that they have the necessary fiscal restraint.

    1. Sorry bro, but tax increases in the Village have been at or below even the government manipulated inflation rate for the past 8 years.
      Continuously repeating a lie still doesn’t make it true. But you and your pals are finding that out the hard way.

      1. Please back that up with facts. The BOE operates at 2%, municipal not even close.

  7. Rather than look at a tax increase, CUT COSTS to a 0% change. Why is the goal 3.96% ?? Why not 0%, or a tax decrease?

  8. We have 2 fire departments and a police station over staffed.

  9. Privatize as many services as possible
    No pensions, no medical benefits, no unions, no employee extended vacations

      1. and sell Schedler land to developer and collect hefty property tax going forward

  10. The Council should get rid of the sanitation department. They work a Task day, which means, they could work 3 hrs , which happens everyday, and get paid for the full day. That would solve some of the problem.

  11. How about early retirement incentives to get the highest paid employees out and new, inexpensive employees in.

  12. Sorry but healthbarn is costing you tax payers money too. Think about it. No give back to the town but profitng off of 11acres we pay for in taxes. Smarten up rich and stupid. Biggest give away to friends

  13. Why do we need 2 cops at every construction side where PSE&G does work? Even on my street which is a col de sac I saw this for 2 weeks. Ridiculous! Cops sit in their cars on their cell phones for 8 hours and do NOTHING! What is the law that we must have this and pay for? Can someone explain? I haven’t seen this in any other country and I have travelled a lot.

    1. That service is paid for by the contractor, not by taxpayers. There is even a charge for the car.

      1. And who pays the contractor? The taxpayer.

    2. We don’t pay for that, PSEG does.

  14. Our over staffed police department seems unwilling to write traffic tickets. When was the last time you saw someone getting a ticket versus when you saw someone going 45 mph in a 25 zone? Our streets are a target rich environment. At at Village wide 25 MPH limit, we should invest in speed detecting cameras that tag anyone going over, say 35 mph. The cameras do not eat pastries and the revenue to the Village would be significant. With a safer environment, we can reduce headcount.
    Another suggestion would be to remind everyone to vote for officials who are not the Village idiots.

    Shame on all of us. We have only ourselves to blame.

  15. One ,sell the water department,
    Two, leopard county take over the water pollution.
    Three, my Burt, can you take over Central dispatch.
    Four , parole supervision into the workforce, they don’t need to be riding around in Brand New explorers,
    Five, no more pizza parties
    Six, no more Pete stipends
    Seven, no more overtime
    Eight, make the police chief and manager one title.
    Nine,Sell the village compost higher rate.
    Ten, sell all wood chips, and all tree stalks.
    Elven, stop salting every street in town. Just salt Hills and mains.
    Twelve, stop hiring employees that have no experience, especially friends and family.
    It’s very easy to cut the fat.

    1. Leopard County is busy feeding the leopards.

  16. Why all the town vehicles? There seems to be an overabundance of vehicles. The BF parking lot is over run . How many new plows sit in recycling center? Come on! What’s the reason for the police mini van? Does anyone have an answer??

    1. I was kind of wondering why RPD has a big beautiful Fatal Incident vehicle. Doesn’t the Bergen County Fatal Accident Squad do those investigations? Seems kind of redundant. Can anyone explain?

      “The Bergen County Fatal Accident Investigation Squad is responsible for investigating fatal and serious bodily injury motor vehicle crashes, which involve criminal recklessness within the County of Bergen. These investigations include collisions where death or serious bodily injury occurs and in which driving while intoxicated (known or possible), excessive speed, cell phone use, asleep behind the wheel, two or more moving violations, hit and run, police pursuit, an emergency vehicle, and/or known or potential multiple fatality is a factor in the collision(s). The Squad also assists municipalities within Bergen County in investigations of complex non-criteria motor vehicle collisions.”

      1. Read the side of the vehicle. It is a Bergen County vehicle.

  17. They don’t want her to be Village Manager but they expect her to create a budget that does not exceed their cap. Maybe this is a job for Sibbohn.

  18. Remember when everyone was in a tizzy about Ken Gabbert getting paid $165,000 a year.

  19. Again to the mayor and council, why do we have village vehicles that are not littered and marked, In the department of public works all vehicles throughout the village need to be marked and lettered under Village title. This is ridiculous. And why are we spending big money on vehicles that are not important.
    Ford explorers , for Foreman. To ride around in,
    $50,000 pick up trucks.
    Ridiculous, who is approving this waste who’s overlooking this the manager, obviously someone has no clue.
    Time to sweep, sweep, sweep

  20. Porthnoy call a camera next6 time yo OD

  21. Dont worry guys. Siobhan will handle it all. She’s there. She’s got it.

  22. Want, are you on drugs? Speak English you sound like a freaking idiot. I think we the taxpayers need to have channel 12 news come in. Village hall hates the media. Especially outside media because they can’t control them.

    1. Yes they love only tapinto and Jason as they control him.

  23. We think they should get rid of the rest of the directors, that would save the town of Good 750,000 a year.

    We told you this was coming, didn’t we. They have a new broom and it’s big strong and tough. Sweep, sweep, sweep

  24. There’s a shortage of $2.5 million from Covid relief, well, then when sanitation and recycling while working around the clock because of the old pendants of materials, they had to pick up. Many other departments were sent home, and some departments was on the gravy train, do you know which departments they were and you know who was overlooking those departments, yes, that was favoritism. Now it’s by in the village in the ass. And now they’re going to come back and say we can lay you off in those two departments because of emergencies, Here we go again more bullshit.

  25. And they want to spend millions on a sink hole field at Schedler. This new Council sucks!

  26. Wait!!! They just gave the Village Manager a raise. Didn’t they know would be needed weeks later?

  27. Wait!!! They just gave the Village Manager a raise. Didn’t they know cuts would be needed weeks later?

  28. We could save a fortune if we got rid of the Village Engineer. His lies, suspect bids and incompetence have cost tax payers a fortune.

  29. Enforcement doesn’t enforce. Most employees work part time for fill time work. We need an outside investigation to clean this mess up. The New Council is completely clueless and Village Employees are rogue.

  30. I think we need to get Bergen county to run the village.
    Bergen county can take offer the water, pollution control,
    Bergen county can take over Central dispatch
    So the water department to viola.
    Bergen county sheriffs department can take over the police department.
    Bergen county department of operations can take over the Dpw and Ridgewood. This is so ridiculous what’s going on in town extremely terrible decisions have been made in the past three years back up knowledge, lack of experience, and the hiring of way too many family and friends have destroyed it, the morale in town. The mayor and council have a Lotta cleaning up to do not to mention investigation.

  31. Mr mayor , make your rounds to all departments. It’s a must. Oh yes.

  32. Why do we have a new ford explore in the street department. What is this for.????????????any one know. No money, but we are buying this.

  33. Well, they can always tell employees to bring their own toilet paper in , one way to save

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