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Ridgewood Village Council resorting to name-calling of residents who express concerns about impact to a neighborhood or tax dollars.

Maura McMahon DeNicola with Bernadette Walsh ,Ramone Hache,Mike Sedon, Susan Traina Knudsen and Jeff Voigt

January 5,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood Mayor Susan Knudsen spelled out her position on Facebook , “My position about placing a business in a public park in the middle of a residential zone MUST NOT be confused with my opinion about the business itself. Healthbarn is a successful, active business with a variety of offerings for all ages including weekend children’s birthday parties.It is adorable. Stacey should be commended for her success and charitable work.

However, I stand by my “NO” vote (abstained in September 2015 due to lack of information and opposed in February 2016) for several reasons including a failure to follow GA procedures in the correct order likely tainting the outcome of the Public Hearing requirement. Again, my liking or supporting a business and/or the proprietor has no bearing on the discussion of appropriate location; the issue was the placement of a business in a Village residential zone. ”

But Mayor Knudsen once again took no prisoners with here condemnation of Councilmen Voigt attacking a Ridgewood resident for questioning so clearly a poorly thought out decision by the previous Aronsohn led council ,the 3 amigos, ”    I take great exception to any member of the Ridgewood Village Council resorting to name-calling of residents who express concerns about impact to a neighborhood or tax dollars. Such name-calling is an attempt to bully into capitulation and represents an abusive vilification of residents for merely disagreeing. Village Council members must be held to a higher standard, by themselves and by residents. “

21 thoughts on “Ridgewood Village Council resorting to name-calling of residents who express concerns about impact to a neighborhood or tax dollars.

  1. Jeff Voigt is the name-caller. None of the others are. If anyone even looks crosseyed at Jeff Voigt he goes into his basement and types out a vitriolic blasting. He lies all the time, too. He comes from the Rurik Halaby and Jan Phillips school of untruth – just say whatever you want, and say it often, and hopefully people will believe it.

  2. Oh for goodness sake eat grape nuts flakes.

    Well well well. I called Health Barn a couple years ago and asked them what charity work they did. I asked them if they taught classes on healthy eating and gardening to children of disadvantaged neighborhoods. They said if the poor/disadvantaged town gets a govt. grant to pay Health Barn then they would. Otherwise no. Hey, that is the answer I got.

    Now , in this affluent town, are there really any parents who do not know that fruits and veggies and lean meats, fish and poultry are they way to feed a family. Do parents really not know that chips and donuts and soda are unhealthy. IT MAKES ME SICK that HEALTH BARN is here in this advantaged town and not in a poor town. When so families in poor towns do not even have access to fruits and veggies, because food stores in poor towns do not sell them. Gov. Christie refused to pass law that said stores in poor towns had to sell fresh produce and not just fast food and soda. Really!! Look it up.

    The Health Barn people take advantage of the rich parents here who just give their kids everything whether needed or not. I do not approve of Health Barn being here for that reason. I did write Knudsen my opinion a couple years ago, but did not get a reply. I do not belong to Facebook, so I don’t know what is going on there.

    Parents in poor towns often do not know how to feed their kids healthy. They may not have pediatricians who care to tell them ,and they often do not have easy access to healthy foods as I said.

    I do not live in the Health Barn area. I am old and female and nature loving and have always been concerned about healthy lifestyle. If people lived healthy lifestyles health care costs would go DOWN enormously. A famous physician once told me that. Hey, I believe it.

  3. Jeff Voigt has lost it. Completely lost it. He fires off nasty letters to the editor about anyone who says anything. Guess what Jeff – your detractors, of whom there are many, are not going to stop. You have been a huge failure in your elected office, bringing shame on our town with your harassment of concerned citizens. Your nasty letters to the editor serve no purpose except, possibly, that they give you a warm feeling. You are useless, dangerous, and you need to shut up.

  4. 9:17am, _resident Obama got a wild hair and started lecturing Americans to keep their tires inflated to the proper air pressure and thereby get better gas mileage and buy less gas (at the then confiscatory per gallon cost). He was roundly mocked and stopped the nanny-state lecturing. Nobody wants your advice on healthy living.

  5. Susan is such a class act. She never writes anything that isn’t thought through and correct. she does her due diligence on every level and all with a smile on her face. I cannot believe the attacks she suffers from present and past council

    Thank you Susan for serving Ridgewood!

  6. 10:27 a.m. I thought President Obama , a two-term president and his wife Michelle were superb on their health and safety advice.

    Trump is a poor example and a disgrace in the health arena.

    10:17 a.m You did not respond to what I asked. WHAT CHARITY DOES HEALTH BARN provide to poor communities? Jeff Voigt said they provide charity. I called Health Barn and they said they do not give away anything for free; that poor communities would have to get a government grant in order to learn about proper nutrition and gardening.

  7. Why isn’t Health Barn helping out in towns where there is a lack of fresh fruits and veggies: FOOD DESERTS.

    Because all they care about is $$$$$$$$$$$. I ask again what charity to they give at Health Barn. None.

  8. If you look at Health Barn website, they ask for donations to do charitable work. They do not dip into their own profits. As I said I called them two years ago about their charitable work. None without govt. grant to pay for it.

  9. and the big question asked over and over “what does Healthbarn do for Ridgewood?” Most of the clients are from out of town, what difference for RIDGEWOOD would it make if it was in another town.

    and I believe there is confusion with Healthbarn the private business and Healthbarn the non profit and non profits do take a profit FYI

    It is also in green acres law that a headquarters should not be in a green acre park, if in fact the headquarters are located at Habernickle then that is also illegal and needs to be looked into

  10. So if the Mayor voted no why is she involved with the Healthbarn? She clearly has a bias where they are concerned and actually is providing a great lawsuit for them by continuing her commentary on their operations. And we all know she hates Councilman Voigt so why doesn’t she just give it a rest already.

    1. why dose not the councilmen ,the three stooges and the rest of the Hudson County flunkies give it a rest

  11. 11:09 Is that you Susan????

  12. Isn’t it time to say “yes some people LOVE Health Barn” but how much is it costing the Village of Ridgewood? As has been pointed out, their activities spread over much of the property rent free while preventing residents from having access to “Their park”. They take many more than their assigned parking spots, for free. They even serve alcohol on Village property! Has anyone checked into the insurance they need? Or is she “self insured” by Ridgewood? A drinker gets into an accident? Ridgewood has the deep pockets and it is OUR property on which the drinking occurred. I’m willing to bet that she has not told her insurance company that she allows alcohol to be served there. She certainly doesn’t want her basic policy (if she has one) to be raised to cover that. Why should she? So far Ridgewood has provided immediate free response to all her requests. Susan, as much as you love them, you have said their costs to the village should be counted in. So why doesn’t the council do a true economic evaluation (and read the Green Acres law) and give the residents a true perspective? So far the only “Green” in this whole boondoggle seems to be her bank account! Ridgewood, instead, apparently is happy to allow her freedom, at no additional cost, to do anything she wants. That leads to red ink for us. You can’t keep avoiding reality. Villagers will not shut up until some honest answers are presented by the Council. We’ve been asking for several years; how long are you going to continue to not acknowledge we have a problem? And if you claim there is no problem, please give us honest answers that prove it!

  13. James – – we’ve gone from the three amigos to the three stooges? no future for us, just the past over and over again?

  14. Nope, 11:09 is not Susan. Good try. I am a 64-year-old man.

  15. At 4:41 nope it was me. A concerned tax payer that is sick of my money going to a private business because of a favor!!

  16. James, I hope you do not mean to give attacks on the illegal Health Barn a rest. The foul and stupid name calling should cease but certainly not the requests to honestly answer questions about the Habernickle farce. As of yet, none of our valid (legality, cost to Ridgewood, insurance, etc.) questions have not even attempted to be answered. Instead we get a love chant about how great they are. I agree they do great things but they should not be doing them there and Ridgewood should not be shouldering the costs. Was the PE&G bill she refused to pay for the lights that were installed for her use at her request? We wouldn’t be using them if she was never there. But, that’s OK, just give her what she wants. I am sure the name calling (as juvenile as it is) will only get worse. People are getting very frustrated by their taxes being paid to an apparently illegal business. At this time, we have never seen any actual figures as to what the Village is paying and has paid for her profit making enterprise. She’s making enough, why can’t she even have some poorer children there at her cost?

  17. @8:05. Agree. Whether it is the healthbarn favor/give away or something else we all deserve to know where our $ is going and I for one would not want my $ going to a private business profit

  18. If HealthBarn is part of Parks and Rec…then residents can obtain full disclosure of financials, signup sheets, members, etc. Concerned residents…time to dig and put the pieces together yourselves.

  19. Health Barn is a private business. It is definitely not part of any Ridgewood Dept. It just thinks it is because all their expenses are being paid by Ridgewood.

  20. They tried to pull the wool over Ridgewood’s eyes by calling it a “partnership”. That ended after many demanded to know exactly what the partnership was? Where was the “sharing” that the term partnership eludes toward. There isn’t any ! So the term is no longer used

    Somewhere Along the line the former VM tried to call it that but when it was pointed out to her that a tenant -landlord relationship is not a partnership that BS ended.

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