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UPDATE: Sept 1st, 2021 Village of Ridgewood Council Meeting CANCELLED


file photo by Boyd Loving

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, because of the severity of the storm that is scheduled to impact the area Wednesday night, the Village Council Meeting has been cancelled.

This Work Session has been rescheduled for 9/8/2021 at 5:30 p.m.  The Village Council’s Regular Public Meeting will be held on 9/8/2021 at 8:00 p.m.

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Village of Ridgewood Council Meeting : Last night’s horrible ending

Village Council meeting

photo by Boyd Loving

To the Village Council –

I was absolutely shocked at the end of last night’s meeting to witness such extraordinary uncivil and intimidating behavior regarding the taping of public meetings.
First of all, a resident was permitted to verbally attack another resident (who was not even present) and make wild hypothetical accusations about what might or might not be done with a videotape of the meeting.  Both Susan and Michael attempted to stop this diatribe and defend Dana, and Matt Rogers quickly explained that taping is legal as long as the individual is not disruptive.  Susan, Michael, and Matt all did the right thing, and quickly, and I appreciate their actions.  Unfortunately, they were unable to stop the Bob, Albert, and Paul.
Certainly Dana had not been in the least bit disruptive, quietly standing at the side of the room.  That  Bob Fuhrman was allowed to go on and on about how we are all at risk of some sort of unspecified internet wickedness was completely wrong.  Gwenn remained silent, instead of trying to stop this barrage of accusations; silent inaction speaks volumes.  Compounding the mess, Paul and Albert then fueled the conversation, agreeing with Bob Fuhrman, contributing to his rant, and bringing up another meeting (of the HPC) at which Dana was legally taping the proceedings.  Residents as well as elected officials should not be allowed to attack other residents, and should be stopped from doing so immediately.  Unfortunately we have seen you allow as well as participate in  this repeatedly, but last night really went over the top.  Just a few weeks ago I was publicly accused by Albert and Gwenn of being a stalker, a bully, intimidating, and weird because I had my cell phone up while I sat quietly in my seat; again, my taping was completely legal and nondisruptive.
Whether it becomes a requirement that those who wish to tape a meeting must announce their intentions before doing so remains to be seen if Albert introduces his resolution.  But at this time it is not required, so Dana’s actions at the HPC meeting you cited were neither illegal nor disruptive.  (really, since when is sitting quietly in a chair considered to be disruptive?).  And Dana’s actions last night were certainly not in any way disruptive.  Remember, Matt Rogers clearly stated that it is legal to tape these meetings as long as the person is not disruptive.
Last night’s meeting ended on a horrible note thanks to the actions of Albert and Paul, and the inaction of Gwenn.  It was actually horrifying to witness this scene, in which it was clear that you wished to intimidate and discredit one of our citizens.  I am expecting that corrective action will be taken to rectify the damage you have done.
Anne Loving