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Reader says, “The dark side is supporting Loncto for BOE”

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The dark side is supporting Loncto for BOE. Signs are on the lawns of Voigt, Sonenfeld, Aronsohn, Jeanne Johnson, Willett. Are you going to endorse a candidate on The Blog? It has to be Kaufman. He is not strong, that is for sure.. But he is sincere. Loncto sucks. At the debate the other night he was watching Fishbien and Hutton for cues. And Fishbein and Hutton were all but laughing out loud and they were slapping their knees every time Kaufman spoke. Loncto was appointed once and then ran unopposed the next time. With seven years of experience he still had to read pre-scripted answers to questions.The thing is, ANYONE BUT LONCTO. He is part of that toxic soup of the BOE and we have to start cleaning them out.

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Reader says Having the backing of Halaby, Hauck, Pucciarelli, Sonenfeld, Voigt and Aronsohn is going to be lethal to your career

3 amigos in action Ridgewood NJ

SUGGESTION TO MS. HARWYN: You are probably a very nice person. You are clearly a very educated person. So let me offer you some practical advice – GET OUT NOW. Having the backing of Halaby, Hauck, Pucciarelli, Sonenfeld, Voigt and Aronsohn is going to be lethal to your career. Your candidacy is already tainted beyond repair with their poison ink. But your career as an attorney could be destroyed if you are keeping company with those who have ethics violations, harrassment complaints, etc on their dossiers.

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Ridgewood Planning Board Meeting




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Village Court Room – 7:30 P.M.

(all timeframes and the order of agenda items below are approximate and subject to change)

  1. 7:30 p.m. – Call to Order, Statement of Compliance, Flag Salute, Roll Call – In accordance with the provisions of Section 10:4-8d of the Open Public Meetings Act, the date, location, and time of the commencement of this meeting is reflected in a meeting notice, a copy of which schedule has been filed with the Village Manager and the Village Clerk, The Ridgewood News and The Record newspapers, and posted on the bulletin board in the entry lobby of the Village municipal offices at 131 North Maple Avenue, and on the Village website, all in accordance with the provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act.Roll call: Knudsen, Voigt, Altano, Joel, Reilly, Patire, Thurston, Scheibner, Torielli, McWilliams
  2. 7:35 p.m. – 7:40 p.m. – Public Comments on Topics not Pending Before the Board
  3. 7:40 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Committee/Commission/Professional Updates for Non Agenda Topics, Correspondence Received by the Board
  4. 7:45 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Executive Session
  5. 9:30 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. – Appointment of Legal Counsel
  6. AdjournmentIn accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, all meetings of the Ridgewood Planning Board (i.e., official public meetings, work sessions, pre-meeting assemblies and special meetings) are public meetings, which are always open to members of the general public.

    Members: Susan Knudsen, Jeff Voigt, Joel Torielli, Melanie McWilliams, David Scheibner, Richard Joel, Kevin Reilly, David Thurston, Isabella Altano, Debbie Patire

    Professional Staff: Blais L. Brancheau, Planner; Gail L. Price, Esq., Board Attorney; Christopher J. Rutishauser, Village Engineer; Michael Cafarelli, Board Secretary

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Voigt, Hache and Walsh in a Landslide Victory in Ridgewood Council Race

Vote Ridgewood

still unofficial with the numbers

The Reign of Terror Has Ended
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photo by Melanie McWilliams
May 10th 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

unofficial updates to follow   5698 voted 34.04% of total voters

Jeffery Voigt                3839  67.37%
Janice M. Willett     1803   31.64%
Evan Weitz                   1736    30.47%
Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh  3611  63.37%
Richard S. Brooks       1656  29.06%
Ramon M. Hache       3867  67.87%

Ridgewood NJ, Voigt, Hache and Walsh in a Landslide Victory in Ridgewood Council Race .Six candidates were running for three, four-year terms on the Ridgewood Village Council in this year’s non-partisan election. In what could only be called one of the most contentious elections in many years. With None of the three incumbents seeking re-election it was a wide open race .

 The Mayor , developers ,  Chamber of Commerce , and Ridgewood Guild endorsed  Willett , Brooks and Weitz  who failed to impress the public with their message of build build build . While Voigt, Hache and Walsh focused more on a vision of keeping the small town feel to Ridgewood. It was above all else a resounding rejection of Mayor Paul Aronsohn’s policies , a rejection of over development, machine politics , professional politicians and a blatant disregard  for residents desires .
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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!”

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Ridgewood Council Candidates Voigt, Walsh, and Hache are not anti-hospital. not anti-modernization, anti-change, anti-development

Vote Ridgewood

To my fellow residents:

This coming village council election on May 10 is likely to be the most important in Ridgewood’s history. It sounds like I am exaggerating, but unfortunately I am not. In the four years since most of the current council was in place, Ridgewood has set in motion three projects–a doubling in size of Valley hospital, high-density luxury housing, and a parking garage–all at the same time. This to me signals a move toward urbanization and is not the reason we moved to Ridgewood!

I did not know this when we moved here in 2013, but the village council plays an enormous role in the village. Residents elect council members, and from that five-person group come the mayor and deputy mayor. Those two roles are largely ceremonial but as a group the five people have a LOT of say in the village, including appointing the planning board, zoning board, financial advisory committee, village manager, and more.

These three projects coming to a head now are because the three exiting members of the board have voted lockstep in a bloc. We want three INDEPENDENT voices bringing different viewpoints to the table, who will manage measured growth and development holistically across the village–taking into account infrastructure, schools, safety, and more–and who will work WITH residents as well as developers toward right-sized projects instead of letting the floodgates open.

For this reason I am voting Voigt, Walsh, and Hache

I’ve spoken to many of you regarding the high-density housing issue. I’m not against development, I’m against massive development. 35 units an acre is too much and sets a precedent for future development. More importantly is the impact it will have on our school system. Our schools are already overcrowded and I’m not willing to stand by and sacrifice our children’s education.

This next part is probably too much in the trenches, but it’s important to know the hospital SUED the village–the planning board and the village council–after its expansion plan was rejected in 2014, and the next village council is our best shot at fighting back. Since it launched its expansion plan 10 years ago, Valley continues to fail to give us a viable compromise–the last one offered a mere 3 percent reduction. That’s not a typo.

I, and the candidates I’m endorsing, are not anti-hospital. not anti-modernization, anti-change, anti-development. I am anti-doubling in size and projects that are too big. Valley wants buildings the size of Paramus Park Mall in a residential area surrounded by homes–this will in effect dramatically, and forever, change the fabric of the entire village.

I could go on and on, but appreciate your taking the time to read this! Thank you for voting May 10.

‎Christopher Kaufman

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Growth is necessary- responsibly. Revitalization is a good thing- when handled by careful, thoughtful people. Please, please come out and vote on Tuesday and elect Voigt, Walsh, and Hache

Vote Ridgewood

Dear Neighbors,
I am writing not simply to express my support for 3 candidates in the council election, but to endorse record participation in the election process.

I am vocally in support of candidates Bernadette Coghlan-Walsh (line 4), Jeff Voigt (line 1), and Ramon Hache (line 8). I have spent a great deal of time speaking with them, and getting to know them. I have a tremendous respect for each one, as do a great number of people who’s opinions I hold in a very high regard. Additionally, I support these 3 because I have personally spoken to them at length regarding the pressing issues that Ridgewood is facing.

Multi family housing, which will affect our schools tremendously, our infrastructure, our water, our police and fire, fields, and village programs. That building at this density and in the proposed locations, is not at all in keeping with the character of this village, and how can we mitigate the irreversible damage that will be caused if, and when, it is completed.

Valley Hospital, and its proposed expansion. It’s utter disregard for the neighborhood that it resides in, and it’s community as a whole. How the hospitals need to modernize must be done while respecting that it is a community hospital residing within a residential neighborhood tucked next to elementary and middle schools.

Being a life long Ridgewood resident, these issues, in conjunction with so many others, weigh heavily on me. Being residents here for decades themselves; the importance of these issues hits home to these 3 as well.

Ramon, Bernie, and Jeff are not a group. They’re not a bloc. They don’t agree with me about everything, they won’t agree with YOU about everything, and they don’t agree with each other about everything, and I like that.

I like to see that they will have to, and have had to, engage in actual conversation with each other, and I know they will welcome conversation with residents. Something that has been deeply, and purposefully lacking in the last 4 years of council interaction.

Unlike the other 3 candidates in this election who have chosen to run as a trio, Bernie, Ramon, and Jeff are beholden to no one. They’re not bought and sold. They’ve signed no pledges making any promises to ANYONE. This is not because they don’t want to see certain projects completed. On the contrary! They would like to see, for example, the garage built. BUT, they’re unwilling to sign a pledge to anyone to make promises. They have the integrity, and the intelligence to know that NO one should ask that of them, and even more importantly, the integrity and intelligence to say no.

I’ve seen them dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to this election process while still being dedicated to their families, friends, and jobs. I know when elected they will see it through. We can expect positive changes. We can expect the sun to come out after 4 years of storms. I, for one, am looking forward to it.

Ultimately, I hope my neighbors and friends DO simply find the time to get out and vote. This election, and its outcome, are crucial to our future, our kids future. What happens in the coming few years will have the ability to change the landscape of this town forever. The history here is so precious, and we are supposed to protect it. Staying home, forgetting, or not participating on Tuesday is leaving that history, and so many of the qualities that make living here special, vulnerable to damage that we can, and should, prevent. I feel it’s our responsibility to vote- even more than a right-It’s our duty. It pains me to know that 2 other candidates running in this election, have either NEVER exercised that right here in town, or have done so less than 5 times in decades of residency. It’s simply too important to have your voice heard, and to use your vote to effect change.

Growth is necessary- responsibly. Revitalization is  a good thing- when handled by careful, thoughtful people. Please, please come out and vote on Tuesday and elect Voigt, Walsh, and Hache to be those people for us.

Polls are open on Tuesday 6am to 8pm. Remind your neighbors, remind your friends. Take an elderly family member to the polls, but please, please don’t stay home.

Melanie Hooban McWilliams

Don’t forget to vote May 10, 2016!!
Voigt, Walsh, Hache!!!

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Reader takes issue with Ridgewood Planning Board Attorney’s Comments


Mrs. Price is not correct that there are two blocs. There is one bloc running, and there are also three independent candidates. Three candidates have intentionally aligned themselves together, that is Brooks Willett and Weitz. They made it very clear that they are together, and even ran a full-page ad in the Ridgewood News to this effect. The other three candidates are not a bloc. They are independent of each other. The fact is that many MANY people support the three of them, Walsh, Hache, and Voigt. That does not change the fact that the three of them are running independently.

Next, the Attorney for the Planning Board is paid by taxpayer dollars and as such that person works for the Village. You can depict it any which way you want, but the fact remains that the Planning Board Attorney is paid for by us. So there is nothing inaccurate or twisted in stating that one of the candidates, Richard Brooks, is married to the Planning Board Attorney and as such this looks like a conflict. Granted most of the Planning Board business does not come to the Village Council for consideration or action……but some things do. And there are two representatives from the Village Council who serve on the Planning Board. There would be a potential for husband and wife to be together in this. I’m sorry, if it looks like a conflict and it smells like a conflict then it must be a conflict.

Next, the comment about “tradespersons” possibly making more than $125 an hour…..this is wrong on so many levels. Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but it sure sounds like Mrs. Price thinks she is superior to “tradespersons” and therefore her measly $125 an hour should be increased because maybe a plumber or carpenter makes more. Kiss my A*** Mrs. Price Brooks. You don’t like your hourly wage? Then don’t take it. We can get another PB attorney, and we would be lucky to be rid of such a disgruntled one. You think lowly tradespersons should not make as much as you? I’m betting they do a much better job than you do!

HACHE VOIGT WALSH are the three to elect. Save us from four more years of this systematic destruction of Ridgewood.

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The Ridgewood Chinese American Association has endorsed council candidates Hache, Walsh and Voigt!!!

The Ridgewood Chinese American Association

May 1,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, For the first time, these Walsh, Hache and Voigt met a group together at the request of the RCAA.
In a warm and inviting gathering on Saturday, about 30 members of this organization came out to an establishment in Waldwick owned by Travell parent, Yongxi Ke, to meet and speak with these 3 candidates. The event was largely organized by a group of Travell parents including Yimin Zhou.
Many questions were answered including positions on Valley, and thoughts on how to combat or work with the high density housing issues.

It was stressed that these are independent voices,and independent candidates who are willing to work with residents, and each other, for the good of Ridgewood.
This is a very underrepresented community in our town, and it was amazing to see how much interest they have in this election.
A huge thank you to the hosts, and to the candidates for attending.

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Ridgewood Council Candidate Voigt supports garage that fits. Vagianos demands loyalty oath for the Garage Mahal

Jeff Voigt Ridgewood

Dear Editor,

I recently received an invitation from Paul Vagianos, local Ridgewood business owner, on behalf of Progress for Ridgewood, inviting me to participate in a candidate forum at the Park West Tavern on May 2 nd . I was rather surprised to learn that the price of admission to the forum,however, was a signed pledge to support the immediate construction of a five level (Design D)parking garage at the Hudson Street site. It would be inappropriate for me to make any pledge about matters to be decided shortly in an upcoming Village referendum. What are candidates to do if the referendum vote doesn’t come out in their favor, and they are elected? Not honor the referendum?

While I agree Ridgewood needs more parking and; even agree that an appropriately sized garage at this location should be built (i.e. one that fits with the surrounding character of the neighborhood and does not impact traffic adversely), we should also look at other parking solutions throughout town. The Riche and Associates 2002 report (the only recent study done on parking) even stated that traffic would be an issue at the Hudson Street location and;recommended other sites as more appropriate for a garage (i.e. Ken Smith site and North Walnut St). Lastly, based on Ridgewood being designated as a transportation hub (as part of the $20 billion Gateway project essentially linking Bergen County to NY Penn Station), as time goes on, we likely will require more parking options that fit with our Village.

Also, this election is about multiple issues; not just one issue. It is more appropriate to focus our efforts on comprehensive master planning and inclusive governing for all of Ridgewood.  If elected, it is my intention to respect the results of the garage referendum vote and to work with my fellow council members to address all issues efficiently and effectively. Needless to say I declined the invitation, keeping instead my pledge for open, transparent leadership working with all interests in the community. This is the most effective way to ensure the best outcomes for our village.

Paul Vagianos needs to carefully re-consider what he is asking: Seeking a pledge from the candidates that will pit prospective council members against one another – those who will sign on his demand vs those who won&#39;t – even BEFORE the election. It is exactly this type of divisive and binary thinking that has created the current toxic climate. It has to stop; enough is enough.

Like all the candidates, I have my views, they are well formulated and clear, and I am open to listening to the other side. However, I want no part of any organization that proposes a restrictive litmus test for those who would seek to serve in public office.


Jeffrey Voigt

Candidate for Village Council

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April 21, 2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood, NJ – Citizens for a Better Ridgewood (CBR) is pleased to announce that we will be endorsing Jeff Voigt, Bernadette Coughlan-Walsh and Ramon Hache for VillageCouncil in the May 10th municipal election.

CBR is committed to ensuring that Ridgewood engages in inclusive and comprehensive
planning that will promote reasonable and appropriate growth and progress, while preserving the character, size and scale of our Village for generations to come. “We believe Jeff, Bernadette and Ramon will make decisions that protect and improve the quality of life of Ridgewood residents, as the next Village Council addresses opportunities and challenges that will impact us all,” said Trustee Amy Bourque.
CBR met with all six candidates and chose to endorse Voigt, Walsh and Hache because they support CBR’s goal of comprehensive planning for the future of Ridgewood. These three candidates are dedicated to community engagement that allows residents a voice in their future, and will exercise independent judgment always in the best interest of Village residents. Lori Weil noted, “we feel these three candidates will work hard to thoughtfully address the many issues facing Ridgewood, and trust they are best prepared to move toward the future while still maintaining the charm and character of our Village.”
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April 20,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood, NJ, The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood (CRR) is delighted to endorse Jeff Voigt, Bernie Walsh, and Ramon Hache for Councilpersons in the May 10th, 2016 Village elections.

“This election is about residents regaining control over the big decisions in our town, rather than falling in line behind applicants and institutions like Valley Hospital, which has sought to replace our Village planning with threats of litigation.  As we embrace positive change in Ridgewood, our Council and Planning Board can no longer let applicants lead the discussion on the appropriate scale and intensity of new building and land use in our village,” said Pete McKenna, president of the CRR.

“We think Jeff, Bernie and Ramon will challenge a recent trend in Ridgewood government where bigger is always presumed to be better and where applicants for changes in land use are treated as higher authorities than our own residents.  We
chose to endorse these three independent candidates because we feel they each will listen to residents on matters of village governance before reaching a conclusion.  ,” added Mr. McKenna said.

“We have interviewed all the candidates and feel that Voigt, Walsh and Hache are best suited to restore a positive vision of the Village of Ridgewood’s future.  Please get to know them and mark your calendar for Tuesday May 10th to vote as you see
fit,” a.  Added Mr. McKenna.

The Concerned Residents of Ridgewood, Inc. (CRR), a grassroots organization that has sought moderation and sound land use planning at the H-Zone site, and opposes the expansion as currently exerted by Valley Hospital through its ongoing
litigation against the village..  A group of CRR members met individually with each candidate for Council in April of this year, to discuss their views and priorities for the village prior to their endorsement.