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Village of Ridgewood Council Pushes Tax Increase :Civility Absent from Mr. Hallaby’s Comments

Rkidgewood Village Council Meeting

file photo by Boyd Loving

April 14,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood Nj ,The Village Council introduced a $47.7 million budget Wednesday, which according to the PATCH would result in the average homeowner’s municipal tax bill going up $67.40, or 1.6 percent, if the $31.8 million tax levy is approved. Whats happened to the 0% ??

The Village council meeting on April 13th produced several proclamations .Of the several proclamations this evening, two are of interest.

April is Tree Planting Month in the Village. There was no mention of any plantings by the village, just that residents should consider planting a tree. Also that we should be mindful of our wooded areas. No mention of clear cutting the Schedler woods which would be a great place to begin.

May 1-7 is Drinking Water Week.Once again no mention of the contaminated sites which should have been remediation 8 years ago.

The Budget Presentation:  We will have a Qualified Purchasing Agent on the payroll. No mention of how this job has been handled in the past and what the salary will be. There will be a tax increase of 1.6 percent ( I believe that is correct) and a budget hearing in May.

Public comment: Ellen McNamara spoke to the democratic process and the success of the petitions that have postponed the garage project with the possibility of reducing its size.  Lorraine Reynolds brought up how the petitioners were maligned and treated as malcontents when in actuality they were able to inform us all about the 12-18 foot encroachment on Hudson Street and other details that would have made the garage a huge disaster for the area/ CBD not to mention that they have saved us money! Rurik Halaby chastised the petitioners as liars and against any parking garage what so ever.  He prattled on and on Boyd Loving said,” Enough is enough!). As usual Mr. Hallaby’s entire statement was full of hyperbole, inaccuracies and untruths.

And of course Ordinance 3523 ( Albert’s ordinance regarding video taping at public meetings) brought about some  discussion as the proper wording and ordinance # was not available to the public.  Ellie Gruber stated in Public Comment that she was against the ordinance in general as it is not enforceable and it addresses a non issue since all public meetings are in the public domain and can be shared on social media, etc.