Posted on

URGENT ELECTION ALERT Big money and outside interests seek overdevelopment from within

election signs

May 5,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, This message is being distributed by Ridgewood Citizens for Reasonable Development, Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Friends of Schedler, and The Preserve Graydon Coalition.
Information obtained today has led four major grassroots groups to create a joint statement for our constituencies.

“Alexandra Harwin’s campaign for Village Council was revealed today to have paid substantial sums to a public relations and marketing firm that prepares communities for large-scale real estate development.
The public relations company describes itself as “assessing the political landscape for real estate development” ( One project shown on company founder Matthew Krayton’s LinkedIn page is the downtown redevelopment initiative of the City of Hackensack. Unlike Hackensack, we do not want–we cannot absorb–more large-scale high-density development downtown.
Such firms do not come cheap. How much did it cost?

Public filings required of all candidates ( show that as of April 27–11 days before the election–the Harwin campaign had received nearly $25,000 in donations, surely unprecedented in Ridgewood, and had paid nearly $10,000 to the above-mentioned firm for direct-mail and Facebook advertising. All but three of the largest donations came from out of state. Again, this is new. Are we comfortable having outsiders influence our election?

In contrast, through April 27, Susan Knudsen’s campaign received $6,695 and Michael Sedon’s $5,500, all from local residents.

Repeated libelous accusations–once again, never before seen in Ridgewood–are typical, bullying, developers’ tactics. Very little is said in the campaign literature, and for good reason, about the challengers’ attributes. Pounding the incumbents with fictional insults does not accurately represent our Village. We must resist being dragged along through the mud.

Those of us who have seen the hate-mailers may not soon forget them, and not in a good way. Those who have not seen them are lucky. Notably, the images and nasty messages do not appear on the candidates’ websites.
Despite weeks of character assassination from the opposition, our incumbents have remained civil, in the long tradition of this Village.

The Village Council for the next four years will play a significant role in overseeing our first Master Plan rewrite in 35 years. The Master Plan becomes the guidebook and blueprint for decades to come. We must protect our Master Plan from meddling by outside interests, including developer-friendly groups that are right now seeking overlay zones to allow multifamily development in single-family neighborhoods.We know that Susan Knudsen and Mike Sedon will protect us.

For the future of our Village, please share this message via email, social media, on the phone, and in person. PLEASE VOTE on Tuesday, May 8. Polls are open from 6am to 8pm.
If you have any questions, please email us at “

Posted on

Our sycamore deserves a second opinion

Ridgewood's Iconic Sycamore Tree on the island at Graydon Pool is dying

file photo by Boyd Loving

from Marcia Ringel, The Preserve Graydon Coalition,

Last night I submitted three comments separately. Only the last one appeared (making no sense of its “P.S.”) I asked about this and was informed that the spam filter has been acting up. PJ asked me to send them again. Here they are:

Interesting that this announcement appeared the day after I submitted an OPRA request for the arborist’s report. Here is my argument: Is it possible that this is all accurate and the tree poses a danger? Sure. But if your doctor says, “There’s nothing I can do; you’re dying,” do you buy a cemetery plot or seek a second opinion? Rutgers has an expert in every county and the one in Hackensack might conceivably agree to look at the sycamore. This is not just any tree, but one that has been admired, photographed, and painted by residents and others for many decades. The decision to cut it down would feel a lot more valid if confirmed by another tree expert. If Rutgers can’t do it, the town can pay for it. An expert arborist has agreed to do a complete report for $750. That is only $50 more than was spent in tax money to create a video that has now been officially deemed an ethical failure. Our sycamore deserves a second opinion. It will hardly be free to take it down. Having a professional written report in the records would help to protect the village in case of an accident. When the town talks about safety, what percentage of that is fear of liability?

Regarding the age of the tree: the Ridgewood Library’s local history section has photos of the sycamore taken before the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) built the stone wall around the periphery of the Graydon swimming area and a smaller version of the wall around the tree island. (There used to be two such islands with trees along the Linwood Avenue side; one was removed when the swimming area was formalized from its earlier swimmin’-hole past.) The WPA also built the Skaters Shelter, now used as the badge office and food concession but intended as a place to warm one’s toes while ice skating. The cornerstone of that building, located in the lower right corner as you face the door to the badge office, says “1936.” The angles at which the sycamore’s limbs are extended in both old and more recent photos make it clear that the same tree has been there all along, watching Ridgewood go by for over 80 years and perhaps far more. Let’s give it a second look before we knock it down.

P.S. Anyone wishing to endorse this proposal (a second opinion) can reach the Village Manager by calling Village Hall at 201-670-5500 ext. 201 or via email at If this interests you, please don’t wait.

Posted on

The Preserve Graydon Coalition: Vote NO to GarageZilla, Tuesday, June 21


All information courtesy of The Preserve Graydon Coalition

Events since our June 8 newsletter describing tomorrow’s special election reinforce the importance of voting NO.

The two continuing and three incoming council members do not support the current iteration of the garage, believing that anything built at the corner of Hudson and South Broad Streets should be smaller and not stick out into the street.

The same concern to preserve the Village’s historic character that led the Preserve Graydon Coalition to oppose ill-advised ideas about replacing Graydon with a concrete pool now drives us to join a number of grassroots groups and individuals to oppose the $11.5 million parking garage bond in tomorrow’s binding referendum.

More than a radical alteration in our skyline
Even now, at the 11th hour, many, perhaps even most, residents do not comprehend what’s at stake. And it’s more than a big garage.

Although the official word is that the $11.5 million bond that is the sole item on tomorrow’s ballot would not inevitably fund any particular garage design, it is generally understood that the contract, already prepared and ready to go, would force the new council’s hand, giving them little leeway in determining what, if anything, should be built on the parking lot at Hudson and Broad, and taxpayers would be stuck with the bill.

The garage construction contract that has been readied in hopes of a “yes” vote is said to incorporate a 6% penalty on either side for making changes even though it’s impossible to predict everything that will happen. If the referendum passed and the contract were quickly signed before the outgoing council’s final day, June 30, the new council’s hands would be tied. Apparently that is precisely what the outgoing council members desire, although they deny it. Tomorrow’s special election could have been scheduled for next month, weeks after the new council had taken office—but the “council majority” set it on the first possible day.

Several members of our Village Council have put their concerns in writing. Excerpts, with full text available through the links that follow:

Councilman Mike Sedon:
“I will be voting no in Tuesday’s special election.
In order for the new council to move forward with a comprehensive parking plan for the Central Business District, which includes a reasonable parking structure, it is imperative that we can do so without having our hands tied by the outgoing council majority.
A no vote will not defeat a parking structure. It will allow us, the new council, to incorporate such a structure into the fabric of our CBD along with other solutions that have been mentioned in the past by some of my other colleagues and myself.
A true parking committee should be formed that includes residents, property and business owners along with Village officials to further explore any other ideas that could improve our situation.
The mayor’s previous parking committee did not include residents, and in my opinion resulted in information that appeared filtered and then potentially misrepresented when it reached the wider public.
This outgoing council majority has proven over and over that they cannot be trusted, and I for one will not give them any more trust by supporting what has become a monument to deceit and manipulation.”

Councilman-Elect Ramon Hache:
“Ultimately we have a parking distribution problem in our CBD, not a parking deck problem. We have already begun planning for more cost-effective solutions that will require minimal expenditures. . . . The notion that a single parking deck will solve our parking problem is in itself an outdated 90 year old idea.”

Councilman-Elect Jeff Voigt:

Short video:

Letter to the Editor, The Ridgewood News, June 10, 2016:
“. . .the Hudson St garage addresses a symptom but not the disease. . . . I am voting no (to not adopt ordinance No. 3521) on June 21st. As a Village, let’s put together something that makes sense, is clear as to what our monies are to be used for, and makes our central business district more user friendly.”

Residents are shocked by the lengths to which Paul Aronsohn and his yes-persons on the Council have gone, along with the Village Manager and others, to make their garage happen.

Dave Slomin, representing Ridgewood Citizens for Reasonable Development (RCRD, formerly Citizens for a Better Ridgewood), notes that the garage would set new guidelines for size and scale that developers would use to obtain permission to construct bigger and more dense buildings here. High-density developers could seek garage-related “parking variances,” giving them the opportunity to build as big as they wanted under new high-density ordinances passed by the outgoing mayor’s voting bloc.

The group recommends voting no in the referendum for reasons outlined here:

RCRD supporter Jim McCarthy shares his views in this short video:

A new lawsuit and a new ethics complaint
A lawsuit has been filed in Superior Court claiming misuse of Village funds and employees’ time to create a video posted on the village website that urges residents to vote for the referendum:

In addition, a complaint has been filed with the Local Finance Board in Hackensack—the agency that enforces the Local Government Ethics Law—by the Open Government Advocacy Project of the New Jersey Libertarian Party. The letter names Mayor Paul Aronsohn and Village Manager Roberta Sonenfeld as having violated “N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.5(c), which prohibits a local government officer from ‘using’ or attempting to use his official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself or others.”

The video was watched several times by Rev. Msgr. Ronald J. Rozniak (Father Ron), Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, who wrote in his weekly bulletin yesterday (pages 2-3) that it “lists a number of entities that were consulted. You will not hear the name of Our Lady of Mount Carmel mentioned . . . . Incredibly, the single largest reality, neighbor, directly across the street from the deck, not four or six blocks away was ignored. This is despite the fact that Mount Carmel hired its own traffic consultant from an equally reputable traffic consulting firm.”

If reducing Hudson St. to two lanes would “eliminate the on-street parking on the church side of Hudson,” he wrote, it would “unquestionably have a negative impact on the operations of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.”

More quarters in the meter for longer hours
To repay the bond—a loan, after all, not a gift—we would face extended street parking meter hours and fees, including at the Route 17 Park & Ride, rising incrementally over time. This would add insult to injury for taxpaying residents while driving shoppers and diners to the many surrounding towns that provide parking for free. Only a few years ago, when meter hours were extended to 8 pm, downtown business owners objected to the council and the end time for feeding meters reverted to 6 pm. Why would 9 pm fare better than 8 pm did?

For these reasons, we consider it essential to reject the proposed bond and to vote NO onTuesday, June 21.

If tomorrow’s referendum passes, the three outgoing council members, while stating repeatedly that the new council will be in control, are prepared to rush-approve a contract for an enormous garage via a special council meeting a week before leaving office. That would leave the new council in a “bind.”


Only by voting down the referendum can residents prevent GarageZilla from rising above all it surveys at the corner of Hudson and Broad.

Where to vote: wherever you usually do. Polls will be open from 6 am to 8 pm.

To share this message (please do), click on “Forward this message to a friend” below the pail photo below.

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

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”

Posted on

$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!”

Posted on

The Preserve Graydon Coalition puts together the Ridgewood Council Election Landslide Numbers

village Council Elections

Landslide by the Numbers

by Marcia Ringel and Alan Seiden


You came out in record numbers. With your votes you said, loudly and clearly: “No more grandstanding. No more bullying. No more manipulation. No more hypocrisy. No more special interests, outside influence, self-promotion. We are taking our village back.”

You said: “We want to see planning—not plotting. We want to see dreaming—not scheming.”

You said: “No more ‘deals.’ No more promises or pledges except to the community at large.”

You said: “No more ‘council majority’ for every vote. No more insults and contempt from the dais to fellow residents and to the populace who elected them. No more ignoring the impassioned pleas of hundreds of calm, well-spoken residents on issues of great importance to us.”

GOODBYE to all that.

Hello to three independent-thinking council members who will join our two continuing independent-thinking council members to cooperate and collaborate—not conspire and collude.

Hello to true, not lip-service, transparency and sunshine, with discussions held in public and decisions made afterward, not before—as Councilman Mike Sedon assured a cheering crowd at Village Hall last night after the results had been announced.

Welcome back, democracy.

Congratulations and thank you to the large number of people who worked to get out the vote and to everyone who voted. The grassroots groups finally attained unity and showed what our village is made of. We could not be denied.

This is a historic win for Ridgewood. We can now look to the future with hope.

“Unofficial” results (must be vetted by the county to become “official”), from highest to lowest number of votes received:

Ramon M. Hache: 3867 (67.87%)
Jeffrey Voigt: 3839 (67.37%)
Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh: 3611 (63.37%)

Janice M. Willett: 1803 (31.64%)
Evan Weitz: 1736 (30.47%)
Richard S. Brooks 1656 (29.06%)

Number of registered voters: 16,740
Number of votes cast: 5,698
Percentage of registered voters voting: 34.04%

In all 19 districts, the winning candidates had the most votes.

A district-by-district breakdown of election results, showing votes cast for each candidate, percentages, and totals, is available in a table posted on the village website:

For a more legible type size, click on the “plus” sign in the middle of the band across the top of the screen or use the tiny arrows to increase the percentage to 200%. To read the part of the table that no longer shows, hold your cursor on the “right arrow” at the bottom right of the screen.

A small map showing the borders of each voting district can be found on the 2016 village calendar: flip one page in from the back cover. We have asked Dylan Hansen, Director, Management Information System, Village of Ridgewood, to post the map on the village website for general and future reference. He said he would, probably today.

The polling place list, by district, below can be deceptive; for example, District 12, surrounding Travell School to the south and west, votes at the high school. Check the voting map for a better idea of who lives where.

District                  Polling place

1, 2, 3                       Willard
4,7                             GW
5, 6, 10                     Orchard
8, 11                          Travell
9                                Library
12, 13                        RHS
14                              Glen
15, 16                        BF
17, 18                        Somerville
19                              Hawes

District 12 came out in force at 48% of registered voters there—a first? District 1 at 41% and District 15 at 40% displayed similarly impressive shows of strength.

Our new council members have a lot to do. They are eager to start.

They will be sworn in at noon on Friday, July 1, in the 4th-floor courtroom at Village Hall. At that time the current regime will officially end. The public is, as always, invited.


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

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”

Posted on

The Preserve Graydon Coalition Reminds Everyone to get Out and Vote !


file photo by Boyd Loving

Important municipal election TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 10

In Tuesday’s municipal election, Ridgewood voters will choose three fellow residents to serve on the Village Council for the next four years.

To preserve and protect Ridgewood by moving forward cautiously and thoughtfully, we recommend voting for:

ROW 1            Jeffrey VOIGT

ROW 4            Bernadette COGHLAN-WALSH

ROW 6            Ramon M. HACHE

Polls will be open from 6 AM to 8 PM on Tuesday, May 10.

These independent candidates are not running as a team. They are neither beholden to the current “council majority” nor supported by developers.

Please click “X” next to the three candidates with little slogans above their names on the ballot in three languages.

Every vote counts. In 2012, the die was cast by fewer than 10 votes.

Hoping for a large turnout!

Our recent newsletters on this election are posted at

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

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”

Posted on

The Preserve Graydon Coalition endorses Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh Ramon M. Hache Jeffrey Voigt for Ridgewood Village Council


The Preserve Graydon Coalition endorses

Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh

Ramon M. Hache

Jeffrey Voigt


for Ridgewood Village Council

We believe that Bernadette (Bernie) Coghlan-Walsh, Ramon Hache (pronounced Ra-MONE Ha-SHAY), and Jeffrey (Jeff) Voigt are the candidates most likely to heed residents’ concerns about our village’s morphing into the type of urban environment that many moved here to escape.

Bernie, Ramon, and Jeff have been endorsed by other grassroots groups in town, including Concerned Residents of Ridgewood (CRR), protesting the near-doubling in size desired by Valley Hospital; Citizens for a Better Ridgewood (CBR), concerned about the results of proposed high-density housing downtown; and the Schedler neighborhood, working to preserve the woods and historic house just east of Route 17. We believe that those who favor what we love about the village would be the most likely to preserve Graydon as well.

Jeff, Ramon, and Bernie are not running as a team, nor do they agree on every issue. They would cooperate to resolve issues without falling into lockstep. Independent thinking from the dais is much missed and sorely needed.

In contrast, the other three candidates have clearly been working in sync, prematurely speaking as “we,” and have been publicly endorsed by the “council majority” (mayor’s voting bloc), who have installed their campaign signs on their front lawns. In addition, the mayor has placed placards for two of these candidates on the rear deck of his car.

Of the candidates favored by the mayor, one, who moved here a few years ago, said at Candidates Night* that his long working hours and family obligations prevented him from attending past council meetings. Another would welcome the larger school population resulting from the high-density housing she supports. The third faces potential conflicts of interest as the husband of the longtime attorney for our Planning Board.

* Video: Candidates Debate, League of Women Voters, April 20, 2016 (2 hr 10 min):

Bernie, Ramon, and Jeff would seek “more pragmatic and sensible development,” as Voigt describes his goals in a video on his website. Hache said at the League of Women Voters’ Candidates Debate that his vision included “a town with officials protecting their community from the wrong type of development.” None would override valid resident concerns to push preconceived agendas.

Our group’s name contains the key word “preserve.” We wish to preserve not only our natural, historic swimming amenity but also the small-town ambience that we moved here to enjoy. Conserving and increasing unbuilt, truly open space must be a priority of those we endorse for Village Council.

We were gratified by the warm feelings for Graydon expressed by all the candidates. We hope and anticipate that whoever is elected will remain a strong advocate for preserving Graydon and enhancing its natural beauty.

Our choices on election day will affect Ridgewood for decades to come. We urge all residents to encourage friends, neighbors, and children ages 18+ to vote in the municipal election on Tuesday, May 10. Polls will be open from 6 AM to 8 PM.

Four years ago, a handful of votes locked in the current “council majority” that has controlled the village agenda. Every vote counts.

To have a lawn sign delivered to your door or to offer to help, contact:

Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh
website:      email:

Ramon Hache
website:                       email:

Jeffrey Voigt
website:             email:

Please vote on May 10.

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

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”

Posted on

The Preserve Graydon Coalition enthusiastically endorses Susan Knudsen and Michael Sedon for Council

Susan Knudsen and Michael Sedon for Council

The Preserve Graydon Coalition enthusiastically endorses two of the three candidates for the two open seats in the May 13 Village Council election for their preservationist sensibility.


Susan Knudsen

How Susan describes herself
I’m Susan Knudsen, a Ridgewood resident for 15 years with my husband and family. My parents and my sister’s family live here, too.With a corporate background and an extensive history of volunteer work throughout the Village, includin g donating photography services for the Jamboree Scholarship Fund, I’m currently Vice-Chairman of the Village’s Zoning Board of Adjustment.

By attending Village Council and Planning Board meetings frequently, I have followed developments in the Village, paying particular attention to the most pressing issues, including the proposed H-Zone and high-density housing. On the Zoning Board since 2011 I have studied the Master Plan document and grown to understand the thoughtful process involved in creating zoning and Village ordinances that affect us all and will continue to do so far into the future.

I believe responsive, responsible, representative government is best for our community. As my next act in town I would like to put my knowledge and experience to the test by serving on your Village Council.

What Susan says about Graydon
The Preserve Graydon Coalition has taken the leading role in preserving one of the Village’s greatest assets, Graydon Pool.

My position on the preservation of Graydon Pool is unequivocal: its uniqueness, tranquil setting, natural beauty and historical significance must be preserved for generations to come.

It is our responsibility as custodians of our Village assets and treasures to ensure that Graydon’s immeasurable value and integrity are never compromised.

Contact information


Request a yard sign, host a meet & greet coffee: 201-312-7420 (Ellen)

Campaign donations: see website above (PayPal or credit card) or send a check to: Susan Knudsen for Village Council, 120 Circle Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 07450



Michael Sedon

How Michael describes himself
Hello, I am Ridgewood resident Michael Sedon, and I am running for one of the two open seats on the Village Council in the May 13 municipal election.

I am a journalist and wrote for The Ridgewood News from September 2007 to May 2011. I moved to Ridgewood after meeting my beautiful wife Lynn in 2010. Since leaving my post at The Ridgewood News I have continued to attend Village Council and Planning Board meetings as a civic-minded citizen.

When I discovered that incumbents Bernadette Walsh and Thomas Riche were not seeking reelection I decided to run due to concerns with overdevelopment issues facing our Village, maintaining vital infrastructure badly in need of attention and bringing basic services back to an acceptable level.

I feel that my experience as a journalist, especially reporting on municipal government in Ridgewood for nearly four years, and my deep knowledge and understanding of the Village and the issues it faces would be a natural fit on the Village Council.

What Michael says about Graydon
I’ve always felt Graydon is a beautiful, natural swimming pool and park in the heart of our Village.

Having grown up in Pennsylvania before coming to the Village to work at the Ridgewood News, I have enjoyed swimming in many natural areas, but none were as pristine and safe as Graydon.

My step-children swim and play at Graydon as part of the Parks and Recreation’s day camp program in the summer, and I go to Graydon when my schedule allows.

Graydon is a treasure in an increasingly overdeveloped world smothered in concrete, and I would vehemently oppose any changes that would destroy this natural gift.

Contact information
Website: (should be up within a few days)

Request a yard sign, host a meet & greet coffee: email (preferred) with your name/address or call 570-956-3610 (cell)

Campaign donations: see website above (PayPal or credit card) or send a check to: Michael Sedon for Ridgewood Council, 319 Franklin Tpke., Ridgewood, NJ 07450

How to help Susan and Michael get elected
Please support these candidates by posting a lawn sign, offering to host a “meet and greet” coffee hour for your friends and neighbors (important), and making a donation of any size toward their campaigns.

The third candidate, Jim Albano, longtime president of the Ridgewood Baseball & Softball Association, is eager to replace the wooded Schedler plot with a 90-foot baseball field. Those who want this to happen will head for the polls in large numbers.

If you care about preserving our Village, please vote for Susan Knudsen and Michael Sedon on Tuesday, May 13.


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

“It’s clear—we love Graydon!”


Request a yard sign, host a meet & greet coffee: 201-312-7420 (Ellen)

Campaign donations: see website above (PayPal or credit card) or send a c