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“Open Letter to Paul Vagianos “, Rocks Village of Ridgewood

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the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, yesterdays open letter , “Open Letter to Paul Vagianos “ brought out some interesting responses and the usual allotment of crazies and a$$kissers .  Many defenders of the “feed the front lines” initiative, did not help their cause  by sounding a bit to much like the people who supported the old fashioned change only parking meters 20 years after they were obsolete .

After running the Ridgewood blog since 2006  I am often amazed at how little the critics of this blog understand how it works. There are now over 50 regular contributors to the Ridgewood blog , 95% of the posts are written others, there are 119,  204 published comments and 43,849 published posts. 40% of all comments are not published (ie …who your wife is sleeping with now). 4 people assisted by an algorithm approve comments . There is a full time IT company supporting the blog’s software and hardware .

The “Open Letter to Paul Vagianos ” was submitted from someone who wanted to remain anonymous , precisely because they feared the hostility of their “neighbors” .  Oldy it was not the most read post on the blog on 9/11.  The questions raised are all legitimate and should be easy to answer . The IRS, Federal regulators and State regulators all require answers to these or very similar type questions . They are questions every charity should and must answer .

The IRS https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-501c3-organizations

“To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organizationi.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.

Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170.

The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.

Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities. For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues.”

Frankly I don’t see why there is any big issue about this at all . The Ridgewood blog feels confident that the Healthbarn organization perhaps through a series of press releases  could shed some light on the feeding and finances, volunteers , and restaurants . I mean why wouldn’t they , its great  public relations and a great sales tool to get more people involved and gain more public trust .

After all the shouting the following questions seemed to be foremost on peoples minds :

Do you know how many restaurants from Ridgewood participated in the first Million Dollar Grant of feed the front lines?

Do you know what was the ratio of administrative fee vs the money that actually reached the restaurants?

Do you know who were the top 5 restaurants to benefit from this one million dollar grant and how much did each of those restaurants recieve ?

Do you know where the food was delivered?

The initiative says “feed the front lines” – do you know – how much of 1M went to feed the front lines?

Lastly, do you know if some of the recipients of this money had political connections?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44 thoughts on ““Open Letter to Paul Vagianos “, Rocks Village of Ridgewood

  1. The problem is that the round of money was not collected by donation drive. 1M was TAX dollars for economic development and it all went to just a handful of restaurants and more than 53K to one of the organizers.
    The prior lot of donation drive, where more than 125k was collected, only 67k went to food, that too at an expensive rate of 24$ a meal?

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  2. The real problem is that some people just can’t deal in facts or truths. They insist on remaining in a self imposed state of denial because it conveniently suits them. These same folks always seem to blame the messenger for every little thing that upsets the balance of their day. Get a life please; you know who you are.

  3. Vagianos is so shady. He cannot be elected

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  4. Laurie Bender we know you are reading this one too.

    Checkmate!

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  5. Don’t worry Ridgewood. The slush fund of money being spent in an orgy of fiscal insanity will be repaid by your grandchildren. In the interim, China will lend us the money.

  6. Who got the 53K and if that was for 1 mil will the same person get double the pay with the new 2 mil grant? Making over 150,000.00$ off of our tax dollars and calling it charity????Who is it?

    Also what is Ramon’s connection to all this?

    Please let us know

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  7. Shouldn’t The Blog also be asking Ms. Hoobin why she was fired from her job? Fair and balanced, right?

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    1. waiting on a response

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  8. If Hoobin can’t hold a job at the YMCA, how do we expect her to adequately serve the community?

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  9. She was fired because she refused to quit her campaign. She was asked either to drop out from the council race or resign.
    They used this exact same trick with Mike Sedon years ago.

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  10. She was bullied in to choosing one or the other and it was never really a choice.
    It’s shameful.
    Makes you wonder why.
    Hasn’t she been a planning board member for a while? What was the new conflict..?
    Hint:. There wasn’t one.

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  11. Sounds like someone really thinks she can win.

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  12. Oh? It had nothing to do with the state of the Y’s kids program? The one parents are pulling their kids from because it was so poorly run? You know, her responsibility?

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  13. No, parents left AFTER they learnt that she was bullied and fired. That’s when parents decided they did not need to stay with this program anymore.

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  14. That’s what I heard too. Parents know whats up.

  15. Perhaps a condition off her employment said she can’t be an elected official. Until we hear from Melanie herself we’ll never know.

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  16. Don’t get me started on the current Y director…

  17. I agree no one will know unless she speaks, but let’s hope a lawyer told her not to.
    If she’s like most employees at a Y, she’s at will and wasn’t she already a planning board member?
    Shouldn’t matter. Shame on them.

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  18. I am thankful for The Blog. I don’t agree with many of the posts but I do not think I am capable or have the energy to start my own. James posts a lot of non political stuff that you can’t find anywhere else and when it comes to local issues, the same is true. I post anonymously but I try to follow the golden rule of blogging: Never say anything that you couldn’t live with if your name was attached.

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  19. Taken right from the Paul Aronsohn play book of dirty tricks. Mike Sedon part deux.

  20. Does anyone have a copy of the letter that the Y sent to parents announcing Melanie’s departure?

  21. Melanie Hooban may not be perfect. Who among us is? But she will be perfect as a Village Council member. She is dedicated, determined, serves on the Planning Board and the Master Plan Committee, went through the Ridgewood schools, is raising her family here – she is the real deal. Please, vote for her. Vagianos is a terrible choice.

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  22. Melanie ran the camp our kids went to this summer.
    She was the ONLY reason we went there or would have gone back. We were holding off on school because of covid and we will now be poking elsewhere.
    The parents in the program adored her and the conversation is most will be leaving if they haven’t yet.
    Say what you want but if you were there you know, she was amazing.

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  23. Mike Sedon is endorsing Vaggianos BTW

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  24. Hooban actually already HAS adequately served the village.
    I guess Unless you wanted massive high density housing.
    Oh…. Wait…..
    Now it makes sense.

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  25. Mike is a trader. Ramon was and may still be the treasurer for the RHS scholarship committee when he was mayor and ion council. What is all the hoopla around Melanie. She was fired because she was an employee running for council. WTF. I think there are so many more conflicts in this town. Wake up people
    Where did all the feed th front lines admin money go?!!$ hmmmmmm

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  26. So let Melanie set the record straight. I’m sure we’ll all hear from her at the debate.

  27. I would caution people against writing off Vagianos simply because he is financially invested in downtown Ridgewood. I say this simply because if we continually scream “conflict” to put down a potential candidate, we will end up with people in positions who most likely will have little to no experience in how the Village should run- in fact, if you think of the idiots we have had at the helm, look to their life experience.

    I would much rather have a business person on council talking about the real fiscal issues as opposed to glad-handers like Ramon Hache taking photo-ops with every aggrieved group under the sun or Susan Knudsen working the angles to get her kin employed and now forever on the Village tit. That goes for the likes of Jeff Voigt and many of the others.

    I have never met Vagianos- however, I am not sure I want a resident like Melanie Hoobin who is seemingly an online bully and who also seems to have trouble holding down a job.

    As the election nears, I will try and give each a fair hearing and make my choice.

    Churchill said we get the government we deserve- think about that for a minute before you start screaming at the keyboard.

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  28. “real fiscal issues”? Vagianos has been advocating for 8-10% increase for CBD valuations and increased taxes on CBD. He doesn’t understand how the taxation works on those properties.

  29. Churchill’s reference – this must be Rurik! and yes, Mike is a trader. I don’t think his endorsement matters. No one knows him in town.

  30. Our son went to the camp as well, with two of his friends. It was outstanding. She is awesome. Such a loss for the Y

    I am thrilled that she chose Village Council over the job, however. We have to do everything possible to beat back Vagianos and his wheeler dealer crowd.

  31. Ms Hooban was NOT a member of the Planning Board when the high density housing was approved.

  32. And meanwhile Voigt supports Vagianos. That’s all I need to know

    Vote Hooban

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  33. Yes.
    Hooban was a planning board member when those were negotiated who worked tirelessly on those site plan applications and negotiators with the builders.
    Do your research.

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  34. You know it’s rurik who has repeatedly purposely misspelled her very familiar last name in every comment just the way he always purposely mispronounces Susan last name as kah-nood-son
    Rurik doesn’t like any lady who doesn’t cow tow to him.

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  35. Aug 2 2017 the first master plan meeting held with Melanie and the mayor. 4 years and no tangible plan just a vision document that you could have gotten if you googled ridgewood. Have you seen some of the mcmansions in town who do you think approved all of the variances and set backs. Not sure shevis the right person

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  36. I agree that this MAY be a 2 sided story but why must so many slam Melanie without considering how much of a questionable politician Paul is. he was the first to demand a no parking space in front of his property and the first to win over the request to make sidewalk walking possible without walls in the way–his walls were the first. He seems to just ask and his will is done. That is clean politics? and a famous quote “Trace the money” I’m not saying that money is involved in this anywhere but I would advise printing of all of his non-local contributors!

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  37. So now we have an unemployed single mother of five as the best candidate? I guess we do get the government we deserve.

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  38. Will Hooban be collecting unemployment insurance and food stamps for all of her kids while running for office instead of finding work?

    She needs to get a job first or she will be prone for corruption!

  39. All this chatter… tempest in a teapot…
    “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble, it’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so!”
    Mark Twain

  40. The McMansions are approved by the zoning board. Not the Planning Board. Melanie Hooban fought against high density housing, overdevelopment, and the original gargantuan garage on hudson. Hope Olmc is paying close attention

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  41. To elect Vagianos would be to re-elect Aronsohn. Want that?

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  42. Agree – – Hooban was quite vocally against the massive slums being built in town. The Vag was very vocally in favor of building on the railroad tracks and throughout the town.

  43. His BIO indicates he was a lawyer fighting environmental concerns and plans to help RW correct our water issues but doesn’t explain how. Moreover, a search indicates his NY license is suspended? so what’s the full story? Is he a lawyer or not?

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