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One of our readers said this would happen – Ridgewood Village Council member expresses her frustrations with our existing form of government

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the Staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, in response to a resident’s concern regarding the need for additional Village Council studies of Schedler property development plans, Councilwoman Siobhan Winograd just wrote this on Facebook:  “ . . . we as a council of five cannot access our staff professionals independently.” Meaning, the Councilwoman is unhappy that she can’t question Village employees directly about Schedler. Our form of government doesn’t permit it. The Village Manager is the gatekeeper; it’s been that way for decades.

Continue reading One of our readers said this would happen – Ridgewood Village Council member expresses her frustrations with our existing form of government

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Heather Mailander will Resign as Ridgewood Village Manager

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file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Heather Mailander will resign as Village Manager upon appointment of a new Village Manager by the Village Council. Ms. Mailander will retain her position as the Village Clerk and the search for a new Village Manager will begin immediately . The announcement was not unexpected.

Continue reading Heather Mailander will Resign as Ridgewood Village Manager

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One Village One Vote petition rejected by Village Clerk’s office


by the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, During Wednesday night’s Village Council Work Session, Ridgewood Village Clerk/Manager Heather Mailander refused to certify the controversial “One Village One Vote” petition, which was submitted by a group of five (5) petitioners who are seeking to consolidate all Ridgewood local elections into the month of November.

Continue reading One Village One Vote petition rejected by Village Clerk’s office

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As summer comes to a close, there are some important things the Ridgewood Chamber wants you to know

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photo courtesy of the Ridgewood Chamber Facebook page
the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting hosted a platform for Village Manager, Heather Mailander, Councilwoman, Bernadette Walsh and Detective Captain Forest Lyons, to discuss new parking meter initiative effective Sept. 4th.

Continue reading As summer comes to a close, there are some important things the Ridgewood Chamber wants you to know

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Sore election losers, and we do mean losers, strike again

Jeff Voigt Ridgewood Council

June 24,2018

by the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, We just received a text from a reader that included photos taken off of Jeff Voigt’s Facebook page of theConservancy for Ridgewood Public Lands’ Butterfly Garden grand opening event. The event was held at The Stable (taxpayer owned property) on Thursday, 06/21.


In attendance were, among others – Nancy Bigos, Heather Mailander, Tony Daminao, Janice Willett, Siobhan Winograd, Roberta Sonenfeld, Cynthia Halaby, Lauren Saraceno, Chris Raimondi, and Jeffrey Voigt.

Some losers just don’t know when to give it up.

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Ridgewood Has a New Labor Contract with It’s “Blue and White Collar “Unions


July 6,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, at Wednesday’s council meeting Heather Mailander  confirmed that Ridgewood has settled with its “blue and white collar” unions . They have been out of contract since January 2016. 4 year agreements have been reached from January 16th to December 2019.

Highlights include :
Workers working between 35-40 hours will no longer get time and a half, the new contract requires working over 40 .
Workers can no longer build up “compensatory time ”  for over time work and must take time and now must take time and half eliminating build up of huge vacation blocks.
Vacations are capped at 25 days for all new hires , 30 days for existing hires any employees over 30 years with the Village will be grandfathered in and will no longer accrue time off
2 new dental options for employees which the Village only pays $25 per month
New employees hired after July 1st will receive half of their accumulated sick leave with a cap at $15,000. Employees can buy back up to 7 days of sick leave per year and will be paid the first 45 days of the following year .
2016 anyone hired before November 1st 2013 will receive a 1.5% bump up lump sum and adjust all salary scales December 31st.
Salary increases will increase in 2017 1.5%, in 2018 1.75% and 2019 2%.
Anyone hired after November 1st 2013 there is now an eleven step scale  ,2016 1% lump sum payment 2017 1%.2018 1.5%,and 2019 is 2%. Step increases will now be either January 1st or July 1st only.
Unions have also agreed to a time keeping agreement with a time clock and all employees will be issued an ID Badge.
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Long Time Ridgewood Administrative Employee Heather Mailander Picked to Fill Village Manager Post

The Ridgewood Annual Christmas Tree Lighting

Heather Mailander with Councilmen Jeff Voigt and Bernie Walsh

With 28 years of dedicated service to the Village of Ridgewood, it’s an honor and privilege to appoint Heather Mailander as Village Manager. Heather has assumed the responsibilities of Acting Village Manager three times during her tenure and each and every time she has served with a level of professionalism and dedication coupled with kindness and fairness.
The Ridgewood Village Council wishes Heather the very best and, as always, we are grateful for the continued support of our fellow residents……Village of Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudsen

March 2,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, in a move that makes all to much sense, the Village Council enthusiastically approved long time employee Heather Mailander, to permanently take over the village’s top administrative position.

Residents know Heather Mailander, as the Village of Ridgewood’s long-time clerk. The Village Council unanimously appointed the next village manager on Wednesday night, effective immediately.

She was the acting village manager following the September 2016 resignation of Roberta Sonenfeld and this was the third time she has served in that capacity. Her first time as acting manager came in 2009 for a five-month period after the resignation of James Ten Hoeve. Heather also took over for six months after the ouster of Ken Gabbert in September 2013.

Last night Council members cited her dedication to the village with nearly three decades of service and a tenure marked by a and high level of professionalism, responsiveness and positive relationships she has with professionals and residents alike.

In a post in August 2013 Readers asked the Ridgewood Blog , “Why is Heather A. Mailander capable enough to fill in but not to actually be appointed to the position”

At that time it was asked , “Why is she capable enough to fill in but not to actually be appointed to the position. Another woman running a dept and not being recognized. She is better than Gabbert and Ten Hoeve

Heather Mailander would make an excellent choice for Village Manager. She is highly capable, has a tremendous work ethic, she knows the town and she well respected and liked by both Village employees and residents. Most importantly she has good common sense………..which is in short supply in Village Hall.”

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A Thank You to All the Village of Ridgewood Employees for a Job Well Done on Election Eve


So we all went in and voted however we chose. Takes is 5 seconds and we all are so proud. Tomorrow we will see the varying answers in earnest.
I would love if every person realized who actually helps behind the scenes of these elections. Our acting village manager, Heather Mailander, acting village clerk Donna Jackson, and a dedicated group of amazing people: village employees, poll workers, and so many other people/volunteers, are at work from dawn until WELL past now, counting our votes, adding them up and getting the information to the papers and to all of us. By HAND in some cases.

They are painstakingly writing in everyone’s joking, wasted, ludicrous write in votes for Mickey Mouse, and Elvis Presley. They’re adding up the numbers for dozens of candidates and dozens of districts. It takes a long time and a lot of work. And they do it with a smile and without expressing their opinion to a side.

They stay up as late as anyone at any local meeting for the village, and they then come in to work the next day because it’s their actual day JOB.

It wouldn’t be a bad plan to reach out and say thank you. We all should really appreciate this work. And it’s really really hard work.

I’ll spare Heather and Donna and so many others posting their email addresses here. But they’re available on the village website, or ask me for them and I’ll send them to you.

It’s a job we have seen done less gracefully, and it’s nice to have someone in these positions who deserve a heartfelt thank you.

-Melanie Whobin

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Reader says Never Again Will Ridgewood Officials Act Like “Dirtbags”

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

file photo by Boyd Loving

Aronsohn, Pucciarelli, and Hauck went after Tom Riche publicly and aggressively and in the most disgusting meeting I have ever seen. Matt Rogers told them to manage this in closed session but they wanted to have a public flogging so they went against the recommendations of our village attorney and they were like the bullies in Lord of the Flies that night. Riche did NOTHING underhanded. Everything he did for the Village was above board and with the full knowledge of the Village Officials. They treated Riche like a criminal and it was just a taste of the things to come from the three dirtbags. They went on to do the same to Bernadette Walsh, John Ward, Heather Mailander, and others. They should have been taken out in handcuffs the three of them. Their names and their faces should never hang in village hall. They were a plague, the three of them, and their toxic germs are still scattered around town. Never mind sweeping them out the door….we need to completely sanitize everything and everyone that ever had contact with them.

Remember, these are the same 3 dirtbags who accused former Police Chief John Ward of violating a local ordinance (the BC Prosecutor’s Office cleared the Chief of any wrong doing), allowed the Village’s former labor attorney to defile the reputation of Susan Knudsen during an open public meeting, claimed that Bernie Walsh tried to fix a parking ticket (all she did was to have a conversation with the then Chief of Police about the supervision of parking enforcement agents), and called Bernie Walsh a liar in public after Ms. Walsh stated that she’d observed Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld and former Mayor Paul Aronsohn shouting at then Councilwoman Susan Knudsen in a hallway at Village Hall (which did happen).

As I stated previously, every single bit of trash they talked was bullshit. The biggest bunch of dirtbags ever.

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Graydon Pool : Ms. Mailander clearly points out in her statements that the Village Council only seems interested in hearing what it wants to hear.

As reported in the Ridgewood News by Michael Sedon and Kipp Clark , attorney Stuart J. Lieberman, of Princeton-based Lieberman & Blecher, who represents the Preserve Graydon Group contends that a Nov. 16 letter written by Village Clerk Heather Mailander failed to answer the group’s concerns about why the village is taking all the information gathered by the RPP “at face value without reviewing them,” as well as questions why municipal employees have been made available to help the group. With these questions yet unanswered, Lieberman contends the RFP should never have been issued.

Liberman went on , “In short, the basis for my client’s concern is that the municipality has clearly and extensively relied on the work product of the RPP in creating the draft RFP, apparently taking its conclusions at face value and without reviewing them thoroughly or perhaps at all,” Lieberman wrote. “For reasons more fully explained in my letter dated to you Nov. 30, 2009, we believe the draft RFP violates state law.”

Once again Village Government business seems to be driven by the price of a particular project and not the value of the improvements the project will bring to the quality of life in the Village .

Again this blog was proven correct in its objections to the original $13 million dollar proposal because as Ms. Mailander clearly points out in her statements that the Village Council only seems interested in hearing what it wants to hear.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with what an amazing town Ridgewood used to be ,in the olds days had you pulled a stunt like this you would have been quietly asked to leave town in no uncertain terms and your house would have been put on the market the next day. It really was a beautiful place to live and no one would have ever put up with this type of behavior or even known someone would have even tried to get away with it . It just wont happen in Ridgewood.
Oh well …

Merry Christmas to all ,

James Rose

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