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Show or shut up – Village of Ridgewood Council Flatly Refuses to Allow “Remote Meeting Access”

photo by Boyd Loving

by the staff of The Ridgewood Blog

Ridgewood NJ, By a 3-1 vote during Wednesday night’s Village Council Work Session, Council members rebuffed calls (no pun intended) for allowing public comments to be made remotely during their open public meetings.

Numerous weak excuses (sorry; we call them as we see them) were provided by Mayor Susan Knudsen, most notably monetary concerns.

Sorry fellow taxpayers.  The Council just doesn’t want to hear from you unless you’re willing to expose yourself to COVID-19 and show up at the meeting room (sometimes crowded with unmasked & unvaccinated individuals) in person.

Absolute insanity prevails . . .

19 thoughts on “Show or shut up – Village of Ridgewood Council Flatly Refuses to Allow “Remote Meeting Access”

  1. Do council members have an option to be remote so they can avoid exposure to covid?

    Are village employees allowed to work remote?

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  2. Some do at times .if you test positive you stay home for 15 days. Some employees think it’s a joke they walk around without a mask, they don’t wash their hands After using the restroom, the vehicles they drive are filthy. Just amazing but they don’t care about anybody else .

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  3. Oh please. Have you seen the airport security lines? On a plane, bus, train, or any other crowded areas? People are doing just fine in person with masks. Can we stop hiding in boxes and get out and live? If you feel unsafe then do what you need to do but stop putting up road blocks and guilt trips to everyone else.

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  4. Just wash your hands

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  5. Not one person spoke up against having people call in their comments. Not one. What is the council so afraid of?

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  6. Yes we have noticed the Sanitation trucks are disgusting. Is anyone cleaning them. Can you imagine the bacteria and Covid that must be inside and outside and all around the truck.
    No excuse, hire a truck cleaning company.

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  7. To the person talking about airports and busses, masks are required in these places. At village hall it is an honor system with unvaccinated mayors going maskless. So it is not at all comparable

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  8. I agree, no remote questions. Stand in line like the rest of us.

    Most of the time your questions can be answered by e-mail unless you’re interesting in ‘grandstanding’.

    I won’t mention any names.

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  9. I agree, no remote questions. Stand in line like the rest of us.

    Most of the time your questions can be answered by e-mail unless you’re interesting in ‘grandstanding’.

    I won’t mention any names.

  10. The zoom tech is so easy there is no reason not to re-enable it. Why not? What are they hiding from?

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  11. I support this decision.

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  12. Stand in line like the rest of us? I’m confused. The people who have been going to meetings and standing in line are the one begging for remote access

  13. To the poster who wrote “I support this decision” – can you explain why? What advantage is there to denying people the ability to comment?

  14. “Stand in line like the rest of us? I’m confused. The people who have been going to meetings and standing in line are the one begging for remote access.” EXACTLY!!!

    I do not understand this decision at all. It’s as if the council is living in 1980. The world has changed.

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  15. At least Pam Perron tried. Thank you

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  16. The tech person is a puppet

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  17. Why it’s fine to end call-in comments:
    1. This never existed before. It was created for the pandemic. Now that meetings are held in person again, there is no reason not to return to the previous setup.
    2. Each time, the hookup costs money that would be far better spent in other ways.
    3. We do not have a good history of tech in village hall. Wasted time making it work.
    4. A small group of people repeatedly call in to harangue the council. Let them show up in person and look them in the eye.
    5. The council has considerable business to attend to at meetings. The calls go on endlessly. There is ample time for residents and others to speak.

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  18. In reply to Susan Knudsen’s five points:

    1. Just because it never existed before is no reason not to implement it now. Lots of things never used to happen but they happen now. This is a lame argument.

    2. The cost of the hookup has never been specified. But it surely is affordable. After all, look at all the money spent on bathrooms, water drop buildings, schedler, etc. to suddenly cry out about this expense is completely disingenuous. This is an expense that would enable citizen participation at meetings.

    3. We do not have a good history of tech in the village ?!? This is a reason?!? get better tech people That would be a valid expense. And this, Ms Mayor, is not rocket science. The board of Education manages remote call ins seamlessly at every meeting. Ask them.

    4. “A small group of people call in to harangue the council. Let them show up in person.” WHAT?!? The people who have been showing up ARE the major haranguers. They are showing up AND they are asking for remote meetings. This reason holds no water at all none.

    5. The council does not want endless calls? Come on. You are really TRULY trying to squash public input. Talk about a dictatorship. And the calls are not endless. And you already have a designated time frame so what’s the difference if some are by phone. At the end of the 45 minutes the comments end one way or the other.

    Thank god the Board of Education voted unanimously to encourage and enable public input. Shame on the village council. Except for Pam Perron who tried to bring some sanity to the discussion.

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  19. Loved it when Sedon said we can always email them. Sure you can. But no one on the council answers emails

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