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Reader asks where does the Council stand on budget issues and the Tiger Team Report?


Reader asks where does the Council stand on budget issues and the Tiger Team Report?

Reader says No question that BOE budget/contracts need to be addressed. While that is bigger portion of tax levy, there are some different issues than those involved with municipal budget.

A great first step would be to establish the financial board that was recommended to begin to tackle municipal issues and then eventually work with BOE. We have an opportunity to make meaningful changes in municipal budget right now. There is no reason to put that off until changes are made with BOE.

While BOE budget is bigger, there are $millions of reductions that can be achieved in municipal budget more quickly, much of which does not require any change to contracts.

We need an “all of the above” approach and cannot afford to accept excuses for inaction by ANY of the Village Council members. Taxpayers need to hold the Village Council (and the Village Manager) accountable right now.

I’d like to hear where each of them stand on this issue? What is their plan? Are any of them opposed to following the recommendations? If so, which ones and what is their rationale? If not, why aren’t they discussing this at every meeting? Let’s hear hear them explain their time table to address these issues.

18 thoughts on “Reader asks where does the Council stand on budget issues and the Tiger Team Report?

  1. I am struck by the fact we seem to be sticking our heads in the fiscal sand as we begin a big public debate over opening the town to development. Let’s put first things first and get our fiscal house in order before we commit to opening the Village to another 500 households.

    I don’t know if I agree with the entirety of the Tiger Testament, but I sure would like to see some of those issues addressed before we talk about welcoming another 500 households to town. I would like to hear a rationale piecemeal response to the major points raised. I would like to see debate on points worth debating. I would like to see action on points worth taking. Or, I would like to see each of the Council members go on record now as to why they have considered the Tiger Testament, and rejected for the ultimate benefit of Ridgewood.

    However, I get the sense from things I have read and heard recently that some on the council believe we will build our way out of financial problems with the new massive developments proposed for downtown. Some folks seem lulled by the promise of money from developers for quick fixes in the downtown area, coupled with the illusion that 500 new families will somehow inject needed cash into our town

    From what i see and hear in town, we are gearing up for another massively devisive showdown as committees are formed, litigation plans, citizens unite, etc., to fight over the new development. It makes me think of a homeowner debating how to remodel attic space while neglecting the termites eating away at the house’s foundation.

  2. What kind of guarantee do the taxpayers have that the tax revenue generated will pay for the costs incurred in the long term? If there are no written guarantees no one should be allowed to develop. Perhaps some kind of performance bond or escrow account put up by the developer?

    1. I think you posted this in the wrong thread. This is about the Council members telling the public what their action plan is in response to the FAC report.

    2. #3 i think your right I’m not sure how it got here!

  3. I ageee that a financial advisory committee should be created. The application process and selection process should be transparent.

    Financial advisory does not mean that they should be looking at improving the central business district. They have no way to clearly show taxpayers that improvements to the district will produce a dollar in returns, thereby reducing taxes.

    1. I think many issues in town are more interrelated that many people understand. For example, parking issues may affect commerce in CBD and the status of the CBD has a direct impact on tax revenue and budget issues. In addition, parking enforcement is a budget expense and a revenue source that requires serious evaluation regarding its usefulness. In turn, changes to parking enforcement policies have direct bearing on how consumers and employees use parking spots in CBD, which can impact businesses. The bottom line is that most aspects of the Village Management has some financial implication.

      1. The CBD has an impact on tax revenues and on village expenses. I do not think that the council should be making recommendations on improving the CBD unless they can show – in real numbers – that it will benefit taxpayers. The interests of the CBD are not the same as the interests of the taxpayers. They may overlap at times, but that overlap does not align our interests.

        Maybe we need a CBD oversight board too. We can do oversight and recommendations all day long.

  4. why a committe by appointment why not let those interested run for council? that is as transparent as you can get, and it lets the taxpayer have a say in who ends up calling the shots or think they do anyhow.

    1. Are you talking about the recommended Financial Oversight Board or the Village Council? The Council is elected by law. The recommendation in the report that was published on the village website proposed the following process…

      “FOB members may include any Ridgewood resident, who is not a member of Village Management or the Village Council. Nominations for the charter FOB members may be submitted by the Village Council, or any interested eligible resident may nominate himself or herself, according to a process defined by the Village Council. After the charter FOB members are approved by the Village Council, all future nominations would be made by the FOB members, with final approval to be made by the Village Council.”

      Clearly, the idea is to create a group that is independent from the politics within village management or among Village Council members (which is probably a good idea, given behavior of the Village Council in recent years). It does not appear to be an “appointment”. I suspect that any interested resident could be nominated.

      1. Independent from politics but appointed by the council.

  5. # 8 as long as the village council has final approval it is an appointment , and all future nominations to be made by fob members, closes the door on anyone who is interested

    1. This doesn’t seem any different than any other board in town (Planning Board, etc). If a resident is interested in volunteering, all they would need to do is contact the board to inform them of their interest to self-nominate…just like the Planning Board is seeking new volunteers right now. No big deal.

  6. but the proposal as per #8 is all nominations com from the fob members and council has final approval no self nomination, so it is still an appointment, not independent of politics as #8 suggested. #10 to your point this is very similar to the planning board bbut it is well known that the planning board is a political appointment and sometimes a stepping stone to a run for council. The charter members of the fob nominate their cronies and the chain continues. there is no way this could considered apolitical.

  7. On one hand supporters point out that the FOB is advisory only, we don’t need to worry that they are unelected because they do not have power to enact.

    These same supporters are demanding to know when the recommendations will be implemented. The FOB is not running the council or the town! Time to stand down.

    1. Why should taxpayers stand down. We are fed up. The Village Council is not fulfilling their responsibility and it is about time they do what they were elected to do and the Village Manager does what he is over-paid to do.

  8. Please, so someone list the FOB members and their affiliations. For example, member name and then village business owner or member name and CFO of a company, member name CPA/auditor at xyz company.

    1. The FOB does not exist yet. So, there are no members.

  9. Of course #14 this is how it starts, another avenue of control of the governing body by circumventing the election process. As time would move on and donations are made to campaigns, the waters get muddy, just read todays news the deputy mayor of newark is going to jail over contracts and bribery. This group reportedly had a meeting at the ridgewood country club during mayor arohnson’s campaign for reelection. The whole thing stinks

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