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Evan Weitz for Village Council Welcomes You to Hackensack

welcome to hackensackjpg 57ac95460fc95b711

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, it didn’t take long but another pro-development , pro high density housing Evan Weitz is running again for Village of Ridgewood council . Like Siobhan Winograd ,Evan Weitz is supported by Developer John Saraceno, who has targeted Ridgewood to be the next Hackensack .

Continue reading Evan Weitz for Village Council Welcomes You to Hackensack

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Reader says Financial Advisory Committee was Aronsohn’s breeding ground for his little puppets

Village Council election signs

Miss Willett is in the same bitter school as Evan Weitz,and Roberta Sonenfeld from the failed FAC. That FAC was Aronsohn’s breeding ground for his little puppets. Sonenfeld got a hefty 6-figure job out of her tenure on the Financial Advisory Committee, Wow, that was a huge error for our village. She cannot get out from behind her own mathmatical errors. Evan Weitz and Janice Willett, two nasty failed candidates for Village Council who we all hope will run again because they will lose again.

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Ridgewood Village Council Dissolves Financial Advisory Committee


August 12,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  the Ridgewood Village Council on Wednesday nights council meeting finally approved the dissolution of the Financial Advisory Committee in favor of a “Special Projects Task Force”.

The council voted 4-1 with Jeff Voigt the only dissenter, for what the mayor called a  “rebranding” of the current committee, and assured the public that the change was met with the committee’s favor.

Financial Advisory Committee was nothing but controversial from the get go. Spearheaded by former Mayor Paul Aronsohn when he was in the council the committee was often used to attack Aronsohn opponents and his plans to Urbanize Ridgewood .
The Hudson County Democrat came to the village with the full intention of turning the Village into the next Hoboken , with many critics of the former mayor thought the next Bayonne was a more fitting description of the direction.

The Financial Advisory Committee was used effectively to attack former mayor Kieth Killion and Village Manager Ken Gabbert  over his $12,000 deferred pay raise, while the same committee hardly ever mentioned a word at any of the multitude of Village over spending .

In a town that spent $500,000 for a toilet , a $12,000 pay raise hardly seems worthy merit.

After a massive defeat of the Aronsohn backed slate in the previous election , the hiring of a highly qualified Robert G. Rooney as Chief Finance Officer the Financial Advisory Committee seemed a bit of a rudderless ship.

They focused their attacks on the Mayor Kundsen  joined by many Aronsohn holdovers , but failed to make their case often looking out of touch and way off base.
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Financial Advisory Committee Pushes Increased Fee Structure for EMS at Ridgewood Council Meeting


May 25,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, At Wednesday night council meeting, councilman Voigt proposed Financial Advisory Committee recommendations to increase the EMS service fee structure that our village charges. Like the parking fees the FAC finds an opportunity there to make money. Councilmen Voigt said there was, “an opportunity to raise fees significantly  “Under the plan Ambulance fees would increase and fees for things such as Oxygen.

On the positive it was pointed out that the Village contract with the Valley Hospital EMS was out of date and needed to be renegotiated as well as there was $70,000 owned to the Village in past due services.
During the the question and answer period the FAC was once again challenged and its recommendations were looked at with suspicion . Readers will remember that the FAC recommended even high parking fees and when the current ones were enacted by the council ,the FAC immediately began attacking and undermining the mayor  over the parking fees.
Residents seemed to be finally getting fed up with all the fee increases and thought it showed poor judgement,making the Village look like it was trying to milk the sick.
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The Former Administrations Financial Advisory Committee Continues to Undermine Mayor and push Garage for Developers

3 amigos

April 26,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood NJ, as this was done before During Mayor Killion’s tenure members of Paul Aronsohns Financial Advisory Committee or FAC continue to attempt to undermine the Ridgewood Police and Mayor Susan Knudsen.

“Unions don’t allow it because it’s good for taxpayers. The Mayor won’t propose it because she just inducted her sons into the Ridgewood Police Dept and she won’t favor taxpayers over the police. And the union lackeys will talk till they’re blue in the face about why is will jeopardize our safety. How well turn in to Paterson. It’s a total scam against taxpayers to rip us off through excessive OT and too many full time cops on the force with all of their extra benefits that follow.”

Stories like these continue to circulate the Village generating much talk on the parking committee? Why is the Ridgewood parking committee is not spending more time focusing on parking ? It seems the focus has also been on building a garage to bail out some developers .

I am sorry but might reconsider slamming our Mayor. If both her sons qualified to become police that means that both passed the Civil Service exam, ranked highly on the exam, the physical, and the personal interview. I am sure she will continue to support the rights of the citizens of Ridgewood over the incorrectly perceived favoritism for the police.

The same people are also implying ,”Well if you’re “sure” Anon, at least we have that going for us. No conflict of interest here? Perhaps you weren’t aware of changes in the college level education requirement? And when your pool of applicants must meet a Ridgewood residency requirement, are we really getting the best pool of applicants? Funny how most officers move out of the Village once they’re on the force?”

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Reader says You wanted to make the village into your vision of a “Montclair light “. You lost

Ridgewood 3 amigos

The carpetbaggers came to town, they hedged their bets, bought some real estate,.they had confidence their puppet council would accommodate their demands so they can build build build , pocket the profits, and leave while sticking the taxpayers with the tab for a garage to enhance their bets, You made a bet. You wanted to make the village into your vision of a “Montclair light “. You lost. Now do us all a favor and go home, back to your real home which isn’t 07450

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Reader says Nothing emanating from the Financial Advisory Committee can be assumed to be well intentioned


Nothing emanating from the Financial Advisory Committee can be assumed to be well intentioned. Continued pressure to build a structure that not only is unneeded but also failed a binding referendum bears the whiff of Aronsohn’s dogged instructions to his minions. Let us never forget that his political career, even his bids for Ridgewood Council, has been financially supported by construction unions throughout the state; the apartments we may face downtown being closely allied with this. But that garage, which he may well have promised absolutely, still figures in his dreams, and he still has an eye on higher office. Maybe by age 50 he will finally realize that he will never go farther than local mayor (now hated), abandon his political aspirations, let us alone, and get a real job. May that day come soon. And may he move away, too.

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Financial Advisory Committee Must Meet Professional Standards

FAC committee Ridgewood

January 31,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in order for the Financial Advisory Committee to be an effective part of the Village governance the following criteria have to be met:

Publish clear and realistic by-laws
Post agenda’s of all meetings
Post minutes of all meetings promptly
All members must sign Financial disclosure forms  
All members must sign NDA’s or non-disclosure forms

These are professional standards that are used and commonly accepted everywhere in the world.

In the real world this is how you run a financial decision body. You also attempt to fill the committee with people who have some experience in finance, not failed or “wannabe” politicians who are promoting their own secret agenda.

Unfortunately, until these criteria are met any Financial Advisory Committee or FAC decision should be viewed with maximum suspicion and nothing more that a joke, a joke that could get the Village involved in massive lawsuits.

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Reader says Financial Advisory Committee is being used for the wrong purposes and conflicts of interest abound.

village Council election

A Financial Advisory Committee could have worked if established properly. Unfortunately, the reality is that it’s being used for the wrong purposes and conflicts of interest abound. Now that we have a CFO, which was not the case at the time, the committee should be disbanded. They and their leader Aronsohn are using it to beat a political horse, as intended. Their official voice needs to be silenced asap. They are not experts in this field. While financial disclosure agreements would be important if their (highly questionable) recommendations were to continue, which they should not, residents should not have to supply such things. QED, kill the committee. As for Mayor Knudsen’s so-called conflict of interest, what is this, Fox News, pounding away at untruths in the hope that they will become facts? Only Jim Griffiths thinks that where her parents live is an issue. So they live sort of near there–so what? Many, many residents who live in every corner of town agree that the opinion on the dispensation of Schedler of everyone who lives in that area deserves far more consideration than that of anyone who doesn’t. And they have been most gracious in accepting the idea of a small ballfield. If I lived there I would say NO to all of it.

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Time to Shut Down the Financial Advisory Committee

Village Council election signs
January 27,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, is it only the Ridgewood blog that concerned a committee the FAC is peering into all town finances, without minutes, public meetings ,bylaws or agendas?
And while we welcome volunteers, the financial background of many on the committee seems a bit thin.
Do the residents of Ridgewood really want town finances discussed in this matter? By people who so clearly have their own agenda?
One reader said , “I was concerned over Richard Brooks statement about the importance of running”all things parks” through them. It indicated a level of importance that simply isn’t their role. I think this is one of the reasons the Mayor is focusing on bylaws for the village committees.”

Another was even more disturbed, “I agree big time. Richard Brooks was extraordinarily nasty and condescending in his tone and presentation. Excuse me, sir, but you are a volunteer (thank you, we appreciate it) but you are not an elected official (not even close, by the way, you were voted down by a huge margin, you were the lowest vote getter). So get off your high horse and stop telling the elected officials what they can and cannot do. They can discuss Schedler and Graydon and any other park they want to. Yes, they will listen to recommendations or suggestions from you and your committee (again, thank you for volunteering) but they are in charge and wild decide what they will and will not do.. Not you. Got it? Get it. Now sit the hell down.”

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The Ridgewood Financial Advisory Committee Can Not Fix the “Mess” they Created


file photo by Boyd Loving

December 22,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, many continue to speculate on all the recent hubbub around Councilman Jeff Voigt. The Councilman suggested the FAC were trying to “fix” a “mess”. The reality is that the FAC was created by former Mayor Paul Aronsohn to take out Village Manager Ken Gabbert and former mayor Keith Killion and promote Aronsohn’s pet projects in the Village thereby creating the “mess”.

The “Financial Advisory Committee”  aka the “FAC” works in only an advisory capacity ie promoting the former mayor’s agenda whenever possible and was designed to have no mechanism to force their agenda, yet “supposable allow” residents to pool their talents and submit financial advice to the council.
So far the results have been non-existant except to promote Garagezilla and myriad of housing projects for downtown Ridgewood. In order to clean up “the mess”, the first order of business would be to disband the FAC and shut it down as well as anything the former mayor and his “3 amigos” had or have anything to do with.
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Reader says Ridgewood Councilman Voigt has not said anything by mistake or accident

Jeff Voigt Ridgewood Council

Gave the guy a break. For that matter I gave him money and gave him a coffee and gave him my vote. Told all my friends to vote for him. And then he comes out of the gate shooting from the hip, interrupting Susan, trying to commandeer the meetings. He was terrible from the git-go. Many people tried to make him calm down. Many people. Via emails and phone calls and over coffee. He promised to cool his rhetoric but he did not. He has gotten worse and worse. It is blindingly clear that he hats Susan’s guts. That is his prerogative, but the question is WHY? He has repeatedly gone after her in a totally unprofessional manner using words best saved for the locker room, not the council chambers. He has not said anything by mistake or accident. He has attacked her repeatedly and often and now he has accused her of breaking the law. I am so sorry I supported this guy. He is absolutely insane.

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The Ridgewood Blog Asks Once Again Where is the Value Added for The Taxpayer from the Financial Advisory Committee?


December 16,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, one of Paul Aronsohn’s babies and was clearly set up as a ruse to manipulate spending priorities, like pushing Garagezilla. Where is the Value Added for The Taxpayer from the Financial Advisory Committee?

At the time Councilman Tom Riche “expressed some trepidation that the governing body might surrender some of its decision-making powers by forming a new committee.” (from the RidgewoodNews)

In May a reader suggested, a reader said the Financial Advisory Committee was created by the mayor solely as a breeding ground for future council members willing to live in his shadow and image. It didn’t work. Disband it!




Charles DiMarco 6/30/17
Alex Kisilevich 6/30/17
Brian Lahey 6/30/17
Evan Weitz – Chair 6/30/18
Rei Shinozuka 6/30/18
John Cavanaugh 6/30/19
David Hough 6/30/19
Robert Kotch 6/30/19
Nick Whitney 6/30/19

Councilman Jeff Voigt is the Council liaison


A new committee known as the “Financial Advisory Committee” was created by the Village Council of the Village of Ridgewood on April 24, 2013, by Resolution No. 13-88.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Committee is hereby charged with the following duties and responsibilities:

The Committee shall assist the Village Council by marshaling and channeling its expertise and insight to complement the judgment of the Village Council and Village management with respect to financial matters.
The Committee shall identify both short- and long-term financial challenges. As potential issues are raised, the Committee shall study selected issue(s) at its own initiative and at the request of the Village Council and recommend solutions/potential actions to the Village Council.
The Committee shall have ongoing responsibility for the following:

Analyze and evaluate the annual Village budget process (expense and capital) and the resultant budget, to advise the Village Council in their decision-making process to ensure that necessary revenues are raised in an equitable manner and that taxes are spent effectively and efficiently.
Review the quarterly financial reports and the current year’s revenue and expenditure projections.
Advise on the development and implementation of effective financial reporting policies and procedures for the Village Council and Village management that build upon and retain the public’s faith and trust in the Village’s policies and procedures.
Assist in the review and improvement of organizational structures and recurring contracts arrangements, including collective bargaining agreements, with due regard for applicable legal requirements governing civil service, procurement and labor relations.
Provide an annual report to the Council.
The Committee may also perform the following:

Study critical issues and perform independent research to formulate and develop thoughtful and well-developed recommendations on strategies and opportunities.
Provide a forum for community education and discussion concerning the financial condition of the Village and various alternatives for improvement.

The Committee shall meet once per month and/or on an as-needed basis. Decisions shall be made by consensus and if necessary, by majority vote. The minutes for regular monthly meetings shall be kept, transcribed, and made available to the Village and Council and such other Village officials as the Village Manager shall direct. Public comment will be requested at the beginning of a meeting and will be capped at 3 minutes per person; public comment will not exceed 15 minutes. The Committee may also hold closed working sessions as needed.

Composition and Terms:

The Committee shall comprise up to nine (9) regular members of the public appointed by the Village Council, a liaison from the Village Council, and a liaison from the Department of Finance of the Village at the discretion of the Council and the Village Manager. The public members of the Committee shall be appointed on July 1 of each calendar year and serve for a term of three (3) years, with the exception of the initial Committee appointed as of July 1, 2013, with three members appointed for a term of three (3) years, two members appointed for a term of two (2) years, and two members appointed for a term of one (1) year.

If a public member resigns, the Village Council shall appoint a replacement as

soon as possible to serve out the remainder of his/her term. The Financial Advisory Committee, through the Village Council liaison, will provide input into this process.

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Ridgewood Committees Need to more than looking for solutions to self-interests and perceived problems


In the past shade tree and project pride were committees that performed a real service. HSA work with the schools and offer support.

Now we invent committees that invite input and look for solutions to self-interests and perceived problems.

We know that the CBD wants development of parking and high density housing (and turfing of Schindler, from the softball days). A 6 person committee with 3 business owners will undoubtedly find a list of demands from business owners. Now the village will be expected to come up with solutions for their business problems. I would love it if the committee questioned the sidewalk encroachment of some restaurants and requested that the brick wall at GTM be removed. And no signs in planters in the CBD. Those planters are maintained by the Project Pride Committee – a group of selfless volunteers working to make the town look better for all of us.

How about a Green Village committee. 6 residents who want to maintain the character of the village while evolving over time. Invite Artists, Architects, parents, commuters, over 55 and others to join. Let’s see what they propose.

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The New Ridgewood Council is looking for residents who are interested in volunteering to serve on the Financial Advisory Committee and the Central Business District Advisory Committee



The Village Council is looking for residents who are interested in volunteering to serve on the Financial Advisory Committee and the Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC).

The Financial Advisory Committee assists in the review and understanding of the financial considerations necessary to the operation of the Village and the Village’s preparation of the Annual and Capital Budgets; provides review, advice and recommendations to the Village Council on Village financial and budgetary matters; and prepares an annual report for the Village Council to assist the Councilmembers in their budget preparation.  Members will preferably have strong finance, accounting, government and/or business backgrounds.

The Central Business District Advisory Committee (CBDAC) will work with the Village Council, business owners and residents to evaluate and initiate enhancements to improve the viability of the CBD, including traffic flow and patterns, parking, pedestrian safety and the balance of commercial uses; while maintaining and refining the historic and aesthetic elements to create a more desirable, vibrant and memorable destination for all visitors. The CBDAC is made up of one representative from the Chamber of Commerce; one representative from the Ridgewood Guild; five Ridgewood residents (one of whom shall be a member of the Citizens Safety Advisory Committee); and three business owners, one of whom is a property owner in the CBD.

All interested residents and others wishing to serve on these committees should send the following:

A cover letter indicating on which committee(s)the person wishes to serve
A Citizen Volunteer Leadership form (found on the Village website under forms)
A biography or resume

to:         Heather Mailander, Village Clerk

Village of Ridgewood

131 North Maple Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

Deadline for submissions is August 5, 2016.