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Notice of Complaint Village of Ridgewood

Village_Manager_Roberta_Sonenfeld_theridgewoodblog

Ms. Hone,

I find your email to be threatening, highly inaccurate and defamatory; as such I will not respond to it.

 

Roberta

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

From: Paul Aronsohn

Sent: Tuesday, October 06, 2015 2:49 PM
To: Matt Rogers; Heather Mailander; Donna Jackson
Cc: Roberta Sonenfeld; Janet Fricke
Subject: Re: Notice of Complaint Village of Ridgewood

Sent from my iPhone
On Oct 6, 2015, at 2:45 PM, Matthew Rogers <msr@mrogerslaw.com> wrote:

This should be shared with Heather/Donna because of the allegations of improper notice of the meetings.

 

From: Paul Aronsohn [mailto:paronsohn@ridgewoodnj.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 1:52 PM
To: Roberta Sonenfeld; Matt Rogers; Janet Fricke
Subject: FW: Notice of Complaint Village of Ridgewood

 

​Roberta, Janet, Matt —

 

FYI

 

Paul

 

Paul S. Aronsohn, Mayor

Village of Ridgewood

@paularonsohn

From: Jacqueline Hone <jhone201@yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 1:48 PM
To: Gwenn Hauck; Paul Aronsohn; Susan Knudsen; Michael Sedon; Albert Pucciarelli
Subject: Notice of Complaint Village of Ridgewood

 

Mayor and Council Members: 

 

In regards to the Schedler Park Project, I would like to file a complaint and draw your attention to the following for scrutiny and disciplinary action. 

On 9/8/15 and 9/16/15 it was brought to your attention, that the applications used to obtain approximately $2 million in Open Space grants, were completed with intentional omission, false and misleading information, without municipal endorsement, and without public notification as required.

Village Manager and Counsel quickly diverted attention and dismissed the matter saying submissions of incomplete applications, to Bergen County, is acceptable and common practice.  This is not a matter of submitting incomplete applications. The applications are fraudulent and were submitted with the intent to receive funds. If the facts were known, the site plan for Schedler would be in violation of County and State provisions. Thus, the Village should not proceed with the Schedler plan as is. 

1) Village Manager, Roberta Sonenfeld, submitted an application, on or about 9/1/15, seeking $100,000 of Bergen County Open Space Funds. This application was submitted with blatant, intentional, false and misleading information, without Council endorsement and public notification as mandated. The application shows the Village Manager committed $100k of municipal funds (tax payer’s money) without Council approval. What authority, if any, does the Village Manager have to authorize and commit tax payer’s money without Council approval? Under what authority was this done?

When confronted about the allocation of municipal funds, Village Manager stated the 100k would eventually come from the Ridgewood Baseball Association (RBSA) via gift donation. However, since the RBSA money was yet to be received, municipal funds were allocated in its place. Once the gift is received, it will be moved into the municipal funds account. What authority does the Village Manager have to front tax payer’s money and act as a temporary lender to the RBSA? This accounting practice is suspect and I believe also constitutes commingling of funds, which is prohibited. If this was done for the RBSA, why wasn’t this preferential treatment extended to the Friends of the Historic Zabriskie House. 

2) Land Use Restriction: The State and County have strict provisions regarding Open Space, Green Space, Historic Preservation and full disclosure of threatened wildlife, vegetation and environmental impacts. As such, development at Schedler would have strict limitations, regulated land use and mandated historic, wildlife and vegetation preservation. 

-Site Plan: The initial Open Space application, used to acquire the Schedler property, stated the land would be used for 60/40 active/recreation use and no lights. It was under this plan that the Village was granted Open Space funds. Violating the County Deed of Conservation Easement, the Village of Ridgewood revised and adopted a new plan showing 70/30 active/passive recreation area, lights, and a two-story concession building with recreation hall. 

-Revenue/Profit: This park will generate a substantial amount of money…concession stand, hall rental, field time, uniforms, player enrollment fees, membership fees, field rentals etc. Additionally, site plan includes two-story building. Full second floor to be used as meeting room or rented for sports related functions (possible discrimination). RBSA involvement is an arguable breach of contract with the County and in violation of Open Space and Green Space guidelines. 

-Historic Structure/Features /Elements: Historic house, features and elements were not fully disclosed to County. In some circumstances they were completely omitted. The preservation of the home and parcel was abandoned by the Village. Proper disclosure would mean strict preservation and limitations of park development and use. (See attached NJ DEP National Register of Historic Places, 2009, 2015 grant application). 

– Environmental/Wildlife/Vegetation: Adverse environmental factors, threatened wildlife and threatened vegetation were not disclosed on applications. Full disclosure would mandate preservation and impose strict site limitations. This omission is how the Village is proceeding with Phase 1, demolition and clear-cutting of the last green acre parcel in our area (7 acres), which will expose hundreds of residents and wildlife to noise, pollution, Route 17,  high volume traffic, dangerous conditions and irreversible damage.

– State and County Clearance: This property, directly on Rt. 17. North, within feet of an interstate commuter Park & Ride, is the last green space in the area. All this is being done without expert studies and without notification to or clearance from Bergen County, New Jersey Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Historic Preservation. 

3) Public Meeting Notifications: The Village has demonstrated a pattern of questionable omission and secrecy (see attached). Now, out of the blue, a meeting has been scheduled (10/7) to accept a second 100k donation form the RBSA and to present another revision of the Schedler Park plan. The agenda was just posted to the Village website. The general public has not been notified these matters will be discussed on this date. As such, again residents are being robbed of their right to participate, review the process, verify gifts and prepare for public comments/questions prior to the meeting. This matter must be tabled until all of the above is addressed. County Open Space Guidelines States: 

      As part of the application submission, the municipality shall hold a Public Hearing on a proposed park development project before it submits its application. The applicant shall publish a notice of the public hearing in the official newspaper of the municipality. The hearing must be advertised as a display ad at least 15 days before the hearing. The hearing notice must specifically reference the proposed Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund Municipal Program Park Improvement application. The public hearing must be held in the evening, and may be held as part of a public meeting, as long as the hearing is properly advertised. 

Council has a fiduciary obligation to cease and desist the Schedler Park Project, until this matter is investigated and cleared of wrong doing.  Continued dismissal of the above, is gross negligence and an act against public good. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.  Failure to act and proceeding with Phase 1, intentionally permits irreversible damage to public health, safety, general welfare, public land and historic/vegetation preservation. 

I believe State/County provisions and the Deed of Conservation Easement prohibits most of everything the Village is proposing at Schedler. We want due process, expert studies and a park which represents the true needs and desires of our neighborhood residents. Please allow us to present the facts before it’s too late. 

We look forward to hearing from you and moving forward in the right direction. In the meantime, thank you so much for your attention.

 

Respectfully,

Jacqueline Hone

 

13 thoughts on “Notice of Complaint Village of Ridgewood

  1. Let’s get someone to look into how the town does its business. Between this and the garage spend, sounds like something criminal may have occurred.

  2. Anonymous- whoa! Wth is going on with this town ! Roberta is s coward if all she can say is she’s not responding. If the letter writers statements are false then Roberta needs to prove that !

  3. Ummmmm Roberta, if you are not responding then why did you respond?

  4. A little birdie told me that the Bonvarlet Senior league has been canceled due to a lack of interest.

    Kind of makes the 60×90 field “crush” laughable…

  5. wow. looks like someone has their hand in the taxpayers cookie jar. Follow the money…

  6. Didn’t Janet Fricke fill out the application for the grant? Let see Janet Fricke Assisent to the Village Manger , wife of Richard M. Fricke of Council Price, Meese, Shulman & D’Arminio, PC Gail Price planning board attorney and wife of Richard Brooks who is running for Ridgewood Village Council. I guess there is really Six degrees of separation here in the Village. The best is that Brooks had the balls to say the he is against nepotism in the Village.

  7. At a public council meeting the village manager stated that she was holding an RBSA check for $100,000 with the caveat that it could be cashed only if a 90-foot baseball diamond was built at the Schedler property. Waiting for that check was the reason to apply for a grant? What’s going on here?

  8. 1:15pm – she lied. There were no strings attached to that check.

  9. Wow.
    I’m sure glad we hired Roberta to bring some of that private sector professionalism to the post of village manager.

  10. 10:33 and 1:15. What you’re saying is false.

  11. Ms Hone had a very detailed map of what happened. Why wouldn’t the VM respond? Why the huff?

    When I saw the lead line I thought that someone sent a crazy threatening letter to her. Now I see it was a resident who has spent a lot of time researching the issue and she has been brushed aside.

    I don’t know why the mayor is so woried about Roberta’s job. She is doing a good job trying to get fired.

  12. Possibly she can go with the mayor for her next job and take her electronic sign with her.

  13. boy she looks like aunt B ,

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