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Conflicts of Interest Need to be disclosed on all Development in Ridgewood

Ridgewood Guild kids activities
May 3 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Tony Damiano is the owner of Mango Jam ,  When the train station was renovated a lot of parking spots were taken away and because of his business’ location it is difficult to park near his business.Tony Damiano is also the President of the Ridgewood Guild .

 We can understand how someone with a business interest in the central business district would support a garage but we question all the significant conflicts of interests on the HPC ,Historical Preservation Commission.

Tony was recently appointed a member of HPC. There was a vote at HPC for design D. He could not attend and send a letter saying since the new design ‘fits the lot’ he was voting for it. Another member who owns a building right next to the garage voted for this design. When this vote was later questioned, they just said it was a ‘poll’ not a ‘vote’.

Published on Mar 10, 2016 this is all the footage Dana Glazer recorded at the Historical Preservation Meeting in Ridgewood. This is typical of how public meetings are currently in our town. We look forward to a time when ‘civility’ is more than just a political catchphrase and commissions like this do more than just green stamp massively inappropriate changes to our village.

Historic Preservation Commission Members:
Vincent N. Parrillo – Chairman
Joe Suplicki – Vice Chairman
Lynne Brady
Barbara Ferrante
Tess Giuliani
James Schimmel
Tony Damiano
Isabella Altano – Alt

Michael Cafarelli – Secretary

16 thoughts on “Conflicts of Interest Need to be disclosed on all Development in Ridgewood

  1. Oh my God, it just keeps getting deeper and deeper. These guys are so horrible. Connect the dots and you wind up with a huge pile of SH*T.

  2. I am anti-garage and also appalled by the crowd behind the loyalty pledge. But Tony is a decent man whose heart is in the right place–let’s not paint all in the CBD with the same broad brush. Also, it does not seem as if anyone takes the HPC too seriously.

  3. LOL. I’m not sure what the author is trying to do, but for clarification. I am the owner of Mango Jam and, yes 55 parking spaces were subtracted from the train station landscape during the renovation. Anyone who owns a business needs parking, primarily for their employees and customers. 100’s of businesses in town, 1000’s of employees, not enough parking.
    I founded, and I am president of The Ridgewood Guild. I founded it when the recession hit because there were over 40 vacancies in town. My customers kept saying. “What can we do? The town is falling apart and no one is helping.” Well, I decided to help. Today, in our 7th year, The Ridgewood Guild has over 200 members consisting of residents and business owners alike. I put more time into The Guild than I do at my own store simply because I love our CBD and want to see it thrive. We just held our 6th Annual Film Festival, the most successful to date, We are gearing up for our 4th Annual Jazz Fest, “Movies in the Park”, Music in the Night”, “Art in the Park”, “Winterfest”, and “Halloween on Parade.” Thanks for the free publicity! All monies raised go right back into the CBD for flowers, trees, repairs, etc. When I speak, I have made it clear, I speak as a business owner and resident, not as president of The Guild.
    Regarding the HPC. I was very honored to be asked to join the commission. In a private meeting with architect Ken Scherer, I made the mistake of stating in a letter that Garage D fit on the property. I was asked to write this letter simply because I couldn’t make the meeting. I was volunteering at The Paterson Habitat for Humanity Annual Dinner. Another hat that I wear. I apologized for my error publicly at a Village Council Meeting. For this to be mentioned again is quite disturbing. I simply made a mistake.
    I feel I am an asset to the community via my work with The Ridgewood Guild and my 16 year old gift shop, Mango Jam. Mango Jam is also known for its generosity to the community. We give out 1000’s of dollars in donations each year to the various organizations in town. Project Graduation, The Woman’s Club, which by the way, we just donated $1500.00 in product to their garage sale. Lets not forget ads for Jamboree, etc.. So for those who do not like my decision on Garage D and who choose to boycott my store, I can also boycott.
    Thanks and Have a Good Day! Tony Damiano, owner of Mango Jam, President of the Ridgewood Guild, HPC Director. ANONYMOUS NOT!

  4. Historic Preservation Commission “Director”? Please clarify.

  5. Appointed to Historic Preservation Commission as one more voice and vote for mayor’s blessed garage?

  6. Why did you use guild’s mailing list to promote your personal agenda?

  7. Willet also said during the debate that the garage ‘fits the lot’.

  8. I have known Tony for many years and am a long time Ridgewood resident, am a member of the Guild from the beginning and I do NOT want Garage D, however, let’s put things into perspective. I believe that Tony was wrong to say it fits on the lot, but as a long time businessman, who by the way, has revitalized this town with the Guild when the Chamber of Commerce refused to do anything to make Ridgewood a destination, and who has done many generous things for the town, including Habitat for Humanity and having many charity events at his store, and has spent countless unpaid hours, to promote events that bring people in and keep businesses open, he has the right to want this garage built. When you think of the fact that he is doing this, NOT for political gain or financial gain like some promoters, except to keep his business going, I’m sorry but I can’t fault him for that. He is also a resident right in town and a parishioner of OLMC, and I just think of all the years he has had a business, he knows that he may not thrive unless we get some kind of parking. I think we must remember that we need to keep unique businesses in Ridgewood, instead of just banks and restauants and chain stores. When I moved here nearly 28 years ago, there were so many wonderful and unique stores that are now gone and even now, there have been too many stores that open for a short time that can not sustain the rents and keep their businesses going and a big part of that is parking. What we also have to remember is that Tony didn’t start this mess, it was began because our Village Council members were not transparent about their plans with the garage and the developments. If they had been, we would’ve already begun building a garage that the majority of Ridgewood would be thrilled with, instead they made a mess of things, that many people, including myself, are trying to rectify. So let’s put the blame where it belongs. Just remember there are two sides to every story and lets act accordingly before we start throwing out conspiracy theories.

  9. Guess what Tony, the garage and all the other crap you support in town, is just going to result in more vacancies. Hopefully the store you and your overpriced, give nothing to the community, crap, reside in, will be one of them.
    You are a puppet, or an idiot. Not sure which.
    And you constantly give differeing versions of your stories and then bat your eyelashes and pretend it’s all just a mistake. You’re like a wannabe Blanche Devareaux. Ugh.

  10. You give $thousands to the community???? Ha. To maybe the couple things that benefit you or you have an interest or stake in. You reject RUDELY, a great many people from a great many ACTUAL charitable organizations. You’re terrible.

  11. Meanwhile in Hackensack a six acre lot was sold to a developer. The focus is on access to the train station and shopping.

    From The Record
    “Our focus primarily is on the transit-oriented multi-family residences,” he said after the auction. Whether the property also would include retail, commercial or office space, he said, “is still up in the air.”

  12. It sounds like Tony Damiano has been a much more productive member of Ridgewood than the mud-slingers. Parking, housing and healthcare are good investments for Ridgewood’s future for a variety of reasons. As an empty nester I’d like to invest in something other than schools and ball fields.

  13. 851 – – totally agree, but opening up the downtown to hundreds of new families, overcrowding our schools, etc. is neither an investment or progress Let’s not subject ourselves to higher taxes simply to bankroll developers who want to move a thousand new families into town.. Its not slinging mud or being a naysayer to urge that we spend our tax dollars on repairing our roads, maintaining open space, or maybe further reductions to the tax burdens of seniors who are long out of the schoolchild age. The Arohnson council and our current town manager have focused all our energies, efforts and monies on opening the town to developers, not investing in the future of Ridgewood’s current taxpayers. That’s why the choice is clear in this election: Say yes to Voight, Hache & Walsh. Say no to the negativity of the Aronson campaign team!

  14. I like Tony. I don’t like that he has been aligned with Aronsohn or Saraceno. They need and want the garage for different reasons than Tony and Tony should be more aware before aligning with these two. Is it too much to ask to build a small garage that would triple what is already there? As a resident, I wish he would have spoke out against the way the referendum vote was sold. To me, the integrity of the referendum vote was full of deception so going forward from that point and ignoring the deception that occurred to benefit oneself doesn’t sit well with me. No accountability has been seen for this referendum deception, that is wrong! The fact that the HPC wrote a letter supporting design A, without being told the garage was sitting 12 feet on the street, should have provoked outrage towards Paul, Roberta and Pucciarelli. The HPC was angry with Susan Knudsen and residents for shining a light on the fact it was not disclosed to the committee because the referendum got the job done, support for a garage. So, Tony, et al will not address how this whole garage debacle has unfolded because they want the garage so badly. And, the HPC should have put out an apology to the residents for writing the letter supporting the garage and that they were disappointed in the lack of disclosure about the design. They did nothing, other than yell at Susan Knudsen and dismiss residents as a nuisance. I don’t expect anyone to answer to these issues, it’s all been swept under the rug.

  15. 8:31 – Empty Nester or not, most of the folks that I speak with prefer a quiet town.

    The contractors and the posse over there at Valley would like to turn the town into Hoboken or Montclair.

    Ain’t happening…people are motivated to candidates that share are opinions.

    Come Wednesday morning The Record will be writing about Repudiation followed by Redemption.

  16. Or Morristown, or Hackensack, or whatever.

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