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>BOE to Village Council: “Please don’t charge us for refuse removal services.”

>A routine audit performed by management of the Village’s sanitation department revealed that the Village has provided refuse removal services – dumpster pick ups – free of charge to all Ridgewood schools, and the BOE offices on Cottage Place, for an as yet undetermined period of time (years, not days, weeks, or months though).

Village Council members, seeking to close monumental gaps in the municipal budget, have directed the BOE be charged for garbage pick ups beginning on or about July 1, 2010. Costs for these services are rumored to be in the neighborhood of $24K per month.

During Wednesday evening’s Village Council Work Session, Village Manager Kenneth A. Gabbert, PhD. publicly advised Council Members that Ridgewood Schools Superintendent Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D. has formally requested the Council consider providing refuse removal services to BOE facilities on an on-going “no charge” basis.

Dr. Fishbein informed Dr. Gabbert that if Village Council members insisted on implementing a “charge for services rendered” policy, the BOE would be forced go out to bid for garbage collection services.

Additionally, it is rumored Fishbein suggested to Gabbert that if the BOE was forced to bear the costs associated with refuse removal, it could result in the layoff of two (2) teachers, and the Village Council would surely “take heat” for such an occurrence.

During Wednesday’s Village Council Work Session, Council members publicly directed Gabbert to proceed with plans to bill the BOE for any refuse removal services provided by Village sanitation employees. The Council members present were unanimous in their belief that despite Ridgewood taxpayers footing the expense for garbage removal regardless of who does it, services should be budgeted and paid for by the using organization.

Privately, some Council members were reportedly incensed by Fishbein’s suggestion that the BOE would try to pin blame for any teacher layoffs on the Village’s insistence that gratis dumpster pick ups must end. One Council member is rumored to have said that if the Council was forced to continue picking up BOE garbage for free, two (2) police officers would be laid off and the Council would blame the BOE.

Don’t you just love it!

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