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Reader says get our fiscal house in order before we commit to opening the Village to another 500 households

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Reader says get our fiscal house in order before we commit to opening the Village to another 500 households

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.


6 thoughts on “Reader says get our fiscal house in order before we commit to opening the Village to another 500 households

  1. I agree. One step at a time, and the most important step is financial.

  2. Makes sense. Let’s start setting some priorities on the VC agenda. There is no more urgent agenda item than addressing the village finances and tax burden, esspecially with the 2013 Budget due in a month or so. The VC should provide a written declaration outlining the positions of each member on each of the recommendations of the Financial Advisory Committee and a timeline for their action plan in response, as a coordinated council. The first step should be the creation of a Financial Oversight Board to help with the process.

  3. Well put. Additionally, I’d like to hear where each Council member stands on these projects’ collective impact on current taxpayers – will the average tax bill go up or down as a result of these buildings being built?

  4. #3 — from what I am hearing, the tax bill will go up — we will need improvements in traffic, water, sewage, schools, etc. We need to be careful we are not smitten with the money the developers will put into their immediate development area, that simply push problems further into our community neighborhoods. For instance, if we need new sewer pipes around the complexes, we may need them through the whole town. Developer isn’t likely to pay for that so we will be stuck. Increased school attendance is biggest risk — at 10,000 a child, for instance, we are looking at increased costs of anywhere from $300,000 to $600,000 a year. And if they all attend one school, we have the potential for having to build a new class room, hire a new teacher, etc.

  5. The financial impact to the Village is paramount as mentioned above, especially to the school system. (I don’t believe the developers who say these developments are not going to draw couples with children for one second.) The other major concern is what will the additional traffic congestion do to the town?!? Many people just don’t walk – even if they can. Each unit will most likely add an additional two cars. We already have gridlock in town! None of these developments are going to add anything positive to the town. Ridgewood will become Montclair or Englewood. If I wanted to live in a more urban environment, I would have moved there instead!

  6. What a nightmare of short-sightedness. With the Planning Board being stripped of those who are not boosters for the builders, and the Village Council set to do whatever Aronsohn wants, just as he planned when he brought two devoted followers with him, Ridgewood could literally be on the way out as a lovely place to live. It’s getting there fast.

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