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Reader says Bye Bye Ridgewood Garage

Hudson Street Parking Garage

We ALL know that there is ample parking. Even Sonenfeld says so. The problem is that PROMISES WERE MADE to certain key people that a garage would be built near their properties and businesses in the business district. What Aronsohn, Saraceno, Pucciarelli, Vaggianos, Sonenfeld, Hauck and company failed to consider is that the town if full of very smart people. And the people rose up and ran a petition drive and stopped the insanity. Bye Bye Garage.

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Developer John Saraceno behind Progress Ridgewood

progress ridgewood

June 21,2016

by Jacqueline Hone

Ridgewood NJ, Who is behind PROGRESS RIDGEWOOD and the massive Hudson Street Garage “VOTE YES” campaign? Here is the answer.

Progress Ridgewood ad placed in the Ridgewood News, April 29. The number listed for Progress Ridgewood belongs to Onyx Equities LLC, whose co-founder and managing principal is John Saraceno. The exact same developer looking to build high density housing in downtown Ridgewood. You might recognize him as the guy always seen with Mayor Aronsohn, around town, lobbying for the parking garage.

What the ballot doesn’t reveal and what  residents face, if the referendum passes, is an open gateway to massive housing and overdevelopment. Don’t be fooled it’s not about parking.

Tuesday, June 21. VOTE NO!

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Special Ridgewood Garage Election Video Don’t Be Fooled

village Council Elections

Don’t Be Fooled – Special Garage Election Video Don’t Be Fooled – Special Garage Election Video

June 20,2016

Dana Glazer

Ridgewood NJ, if there is any doubt in your mind what the incoming Village Council thinks about tomorrow’s special election, look no further than this short video.

Video by Dana Glazer

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What’s his hidden agenda behind the rush to issue the bond for the Ridgewood Garage ?

Ridgewood Bond Referendum

June 13,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog


Ridgewood NJ, from the “take back Ridgewood ” Facebook page , “Mayor Aronsohn is spreading the word that the current council will not make any decisions on the garage in his last 9 days in the office, and June 21st vote will be for funding / bond only.
We ask if the newly elected council is going to make a decision on final size of the garage and other parking solutions, why is he so desperate for the bonding in his last 9 days? Why commit 11.5 Million dollars and start paying interest on it, if the new council may come up with a smaller option that may require less money? What’s his hidden agenda behind the rush to issue the bond?

Vote NO on June 21st. Not to the garage, but to Paul Arohnson, Gwenn Hauck and Albert Pucciarelli railroading the process on their way out. If you voted for responsible government, in other words, Jeffrey Voigt, Bernadette Walsh, and Ramon M Hache, you know to vote NO now. Let our new VC take the reigns!”

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Another Aronsohn Ridgewood Garage Propaganda Piece


June 9,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood with a little help from our friends

Ridgewood NJ ,According to Ridgewood resident Derek Schnure this Another Aronsohn propaganda piece — you’ll see if you drill into the info on the website. VOTE NO!

The word is the video was produced by a company that the son of the Hillman lighting company owns or works for. So there may have been no cost. However, was it filmed when Roberta, Chris, Bob, etc were working? Meaning that they were making this film and reading our mayor’s script when they were supposed to be actually working? Now there’s a cost

Dear Nattering Nobs of Negativity,

Earlier this week, I sent an e-notice reminder to vote in this week’s primary election.  I also indicated that on June 21st there would be another election to determine whether or not to finance a parking deck at Hudson Street.  There is background information on the  website that you may want to consider while making your decision.  Here is the link:


Roberta Sonenfeld
Village Manager
201-670-5500, ext. 203

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$11.5 million bond for Ridgewood garage: yes or no?


Special election Tuesday, June 21

from the The Preserve Graydon Coalition :

On Tuesday, June 21—in less than 2 weeks—Ridgewood will hold a special election for a binding referendum (unlike the nonbinding referendum on the parking garage last November) on whether the Village should bond $11,500,000 for a parking garage on Hudson Street.

Bonding…and binding.

See below for important information on voting by mail.


What the ballot will say

You will be asked to answer yes or no to this question:
Shall ordinance No. 3521 submitted by referendum petition providing for the Council of the Village of Ridgewood to issue $11,500,000 [in] bonds or notes to finance the cost of constructing the Hudson Street parking deck, be adopted?

What the ballot doesn’t reveal

The $11.5 million bond was linked from the start to garage design “D,” consisting of 4 stories with 5 parking levels. The southern wall would extend 5 feet beyond the existing parking lot, over the sidewalk and into Hudson Street. The narrower street would contain two lanes rather than the current three: one for parking across the street from the garage and one as a combination “thru lane” and turning lane into the garage.

If the referendum passes

One might think that with a binding referendum coming up, garage-related activity would be “on hold”—but no. In their zeal to make this project happen and to fulfill promises made, the outgoing council “majority” of Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli, and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck, aided by Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld, are actively pursuing completion.

Their goal is to sign a contract just before leaving office, committing the Village to Design D and letting the new council cope with the fallout.

Progress toward a construction contract is well under way. A consultancy firm was recently hired to confirm cost estimates by the architectural firm that created Design D and to engage in preconstruction preparations. If the referendum passes, that same consultancy firm will go out to bid immediately. Legal advice has been sought at taxpayer expense as well. Yet a “no” vote on theJune 21 referendum would nullify all this. How’s that for fiscal responsibility?

If, as the “council majority” continues to insist, the bond is not tied to any design, why is a firm being paid $20,000 to work further on Design D, only weeks before the result of a binding referendum could stop the project in its tracks?

In addition, rumor has it that the contract would carry prohibitively steep penalties for making any changes (change orders), further tying the new council’s hands while committing the Village to this massive edifice permanently.

Residents who want a garage, please note: the three incoming and two continuing council members are not opposed in principle to building a parking garage, including on Hudson Street. All, however, acknowledge that the designs proposed to date are too big. They’d appreciate a chance to think smaller and to try lower-cost, less-disruptive ways to enhance downtown parking. They do “get it,” and they want to do something. But not this.

On May 10, voters made a clear statement of trust for the incoming council. The three new council members won in every district. A “no” vote on the referendum would allow them and their two continuing council member colleagues to do their job unshackled by “deals” of the past.

How to vote

If you want the new council to be given the chance to try comprehensive, achievable parking solutions designed to benefit commuters, residents, and the entire Central Business District, voteNo to the referendum.

If you approve of the amount of the bonding, have no problem with under-the-radar deals, and are willing to let garage design “D” rise noisily in the mist, you may wish to vote Yes—with the understanding that the three council members who have pushed so hard for this project will be out of office on July 1, leaving the new council members—and us, the taxpaying residents— holding the bag. A very big bag.

It may be of interest that Rev. Msgr. Ronald J. Rozniak, P.A. (Father Ron), Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church (down the street from the proposed garage), stated flatly in the church’s June 5 weekly bulletin: “the parish will never endorse the [currently proposed parking] deck.” (Full statement at The church’s traffic consultant, he continued, considers the planned reversal of direction of Passaic and Hudson Street traffic unnecessary.

Why that reversal? Because behind the scenes, an agreement with special interests was made to reroute the traffic.

The traffic-direction-reversal plan can be reversed. But the enormous structure that has been dubbed GarageZilla and GarageMahal, once built, would loom over us for a very long time, as would paying for it.

Please ignore whatever means may be used over the next two weeks to entice or confuse voters into approving the $11.5 million bond (and, unspoken, Design D) on June 21. Let’s recall the acres of “Vote yes for parking” signs that littered the landscape before last November’s referendum, when it was known but not divulged that all the garage designs under consideration at that time would have occupied a significantly larger chunk of Hudson Street than Design D. Many whovoted “yes” later wished they hadn’t. What else don’t we know?

Developers and others are desperate to build this thing. The lame-duck council members pushing for it would not be accountable for it.


Consider voting by mail

If you can’t vote in person on Tuesday, June 21, or if it would be inconvenient, consider voting by mail.

June 21 is the day after RHS graduation. Ridgewood schools will have closed for the summer. Many residents will be on vacation already or busily planning trips. You don’t even need a reason to vote by mail; if it appeals to you, do it.

If you or your teenage children (age 18+ by June 21) who are registered voters wish to have a say in what happens with this enormous and precedent-setting downtown project, but may be out of town or otherwise occupied or preoccupied and might not vote that day…you can vote by mail (now called Vote by Mail Ballot, no longer Absentee Ballot), if you start soon.

There are two steps: applying for a ballot and receiving it, then completing the ballot and mailing it in.

For each voter in your household, print and complete a copy of this application form: Apply forvote-by-mail ballot.pdf

Or pick up a copy at the Village Clerk’s office during Village Hall business hours (8:30 am–4:30 pm, MondayFriday). Or call and ask to have one mailed to you: 201-670-5500 ext. 201.

Indicate which election: Where you are asked in which election you wish to vote by mail, check “Special.” Where you’re asked to specify, write: Referendum. For the date, write June 21, 2016 (or 6/21/2016). (We have done this in the application form provided above.)

Your name: For your vote to be counted, you must write and sign your name precisely as it appears in the voting records. If you aren’t sure about a middle initial, spelling, or other item, you can check. Go to: or Click on “Am I registered?” and follow the simple instructions.

Remainder of form: Fill in your address, the date, etc. Fold, seal, and apply first-class postage (one 47-cent or Forever stamp).

If you mail the application form, the county clerk in Hackensack must receive it at least 7 days before the election (that is, by Tuesday, June 14). Therefore, it’s best to send the form promptly.

You may also submit the application in person at any time up to 3 PM on the day before the election (that is, by 3 PM on June 20).

If you mail the application, in due course you will receive a ballot for the election requested. On the ballot, check the desired box (Yes or No) and mail the form. A return envelope will be provided, but you must use your own first-class stamp (again, 47 cents or Forever). (Ballots for future elections may require more postage, depending on weight.)

Vote-by-mail ballots must arrive in Hackensack before the closing of the polls on election day (June 21). Mail early—at least five days before.

Once you have applied for a Vote by Mail ballot, you must vote that way.

If you have questions about obtaining or using a Vote by Mail ballot, you may call the League of Women Voters of New Jersey at 1-800-792-VOTE.

Dads Night Band concert at Graydon:
Sunday, June 12, 3–6pm
Lifelong Graydon member and longtime Preserve Graydon Coalition supporter Pete Diamond proudly reports that the Somerville–Hawes Dads Night Band will play the first show in Graydon‘s all-new SummerConcert Series on Sunday, June 12, at 3pm.

Free to Graydon badge holders; $10 for others. Some of the proceeds will support the DadsNight Scholarship Committee.

Here’s their attractive flier.

Marcia Ringel and Alan Seiden
Co-Chairs, The Preserve Graydon Coalition, Inc., a nonprofit corporation

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”

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Please remove BCIA funding for Ridgewood garage from 2/24 meeting agenda


file photo by Boyd Loving

February 23, 2016

To the Bergen County Freeholders:

As you may be aware, many Ridgewood residents are opposed to bonding a parking garage in our Central Business District through the county.

A petition has been circulating widely around town to make this issue a referendum on the ballot of the May 10, 2016, election.

A large number of signatures has been obtained. These will be counted and validated shortly–but not bytomorrow.

We urge the Freeholders to refrain from acting on this matter until the referendum issue has been determined. We wish to handle our own project with internal funding.

Should a judge allow the referendum, any decision that you might make tomorrow would be nullified, and you would have wasted your time.

As a Ridgewood resident for 44 years and counting, I want only the best for my town. Self-funding of the parking garage would be far preferable to bringing in the county. I am also concerned about possible ramifications in the future.

Please consider removing from tomorrow’s meeting agenda the item regarding Ridgewood parking garage bond funding.

Thank you very much.


Marcia Ringel

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Driver plows straight through Ridgewood garage and keeps going
Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving
Driver plows straight through Ridgewood garage and keeps going
October 24,2014
Boyd A. Loving
5:29 PM

Ridgewood NJ, A Walthery Avenue, Ridgewood resident drove her Lexus sedan into her driveway, through a closed door of a detached garage, out the back wall of the garage, into a neighbor’s back yard, into another neighbor’s chain link fence, then turned around in a back yard, drove down a driveway, onto a street, turned around a corner, and then back into her own driveway where she parked.  Ridgewood PD, EMS, FD, and code inspection all responded  to the driver’s 911 telephone call reporting the accident.  There were no witnesses to the event.  The driver was uninjured.  The vehicle sustained moderate to heavy front end and undercarriage damage.  The code inspector deemed the garage structurally sound, despite the heavily damaged back wall.  An investigation as to the crash’s cause remains under investigation by Ridgewood PD.

Photo credit: Boyd A. Loving