PJ BLOGGER

Ridgewood could see a new mayor this summer

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2008 at 11:06 am

By Matt Friedman

Ridgewood Mayor David Pfund isn’t up for reelection tomorrow, but he may not keep the mayoral seat much longer.

The town’s five member council, governed under the Faulkner Act, chooses one of its own every two years to become mayor. Pfund has been mayor for four years, and his council seat is not up for reelection until 2010. But with five candidates vying for three seats on the body in tomorrow’s election, Pfund may either step down and allow someone else to take the helm. Or he could try to hold on for reelection at the council’s July 1st reorganization meeting.

As of right now, Pfund isn’t letting on what he’s going to do, though some local insiders have suggested that he’s getting ready to step down.

“The focus right now is on the municipal election, and afterwards we’ll have a closed-session meeting and we’ll discuss all these issues to move forward in the next term,” said Pfund.

The position of mayor pays $5,000, as opposed to the regular $3,000 council salary. While the mayor leads the council, most of the day-to-day operations of running the municipality are the responsibility of the village manager.

One possible contender for the mayoral spot is Councilwoman Betty Wiest, who’s running for her second term on the council and whose husband, Quentin Wiest, served as mayor between 1986 and 1990. She was the top vote-getter in the 2004 municipal elections.

Also running for council is incumbent Jacques Harlow and newcomers Paul Aronsohn, Anne Zusy and Keith Killion.

Pfund has stayed neutral in this year’s election.

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  1. Wiest would be the worst choice as mayor. Mancuso or Pfund are the only reasonable choices, regardless of who wins in this election.

  2. Here is the law with respect to Open Public meetings in NJ. How will the Council meet in “closed session” to appoint a mayor and still remain in compliance with the law? Mr. Rogers; do you have an answer?

    OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS

    The Law requires that public bodies permit all members of the public to attend their meetings. However, the right to attend meetings does not entitle members of the public to participate in the meetings. The public body may exclude the public only from portions of a meeting known as the “executive” or “closed session.” Prior to excluding the public, the public body must first adopt a resolution at a meeting which is open to the public indicating generally what matters will be discussed in closed session and when these discussions will be disclosed to the public. The following items are permitted to be discussed in closed session.

    1 Any matter considered confidential by federal law, state statue, or court rule;

    2 Any matter in which the release of information would impair the receipt of federal funds;

    3 Any material which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy if disclosed;

    4 Any collective bargaining agreements or other discussion of the terms and conditions of a collective bargaining agreement, including negotiations leading up to such an agreement.

    5 Any matter involving the purchase, lease or acquisition of real property with public funds, the setting of banking rates or investment of public funds where disclosure of such matter could adversely affect the public interest.

    6 Any tactics and techniques used in protecting the safety and property of the public and investigations of violations or possible violations of the law.

    7 Any pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiations in which the public body is or may become a party, and any matter falling within the attorney-client privilege, to the extent that confidentiality is required to preserve the attorney-client relationship.

    8 Personnel matters related to the employment, appointment or termination of current or prospective employees, unless all individuals who could be adversely affected request, in writing, that the matter be discussed at a public meeting.

    9 Any deliberations of a public body occurring after a public hearing that may result in the imposition of a fine upon an individual or the suspension or the loss of license or permit belonging to an individual. The New Jersey courts have recognized the potential for misuse of the closed session exceptions by public bodies and have, therefore, strictly construed these exceptions in an effort to further the legislative intent of providing open public meetings in most instances.

  3. “…afterwards we’ll have a closed-session meeting and we’ll discuss all these issues (selection of mayor and deputy-mayor)…” said Pfund.

    Closed-session? By law, it is supposed to be discussed in public.

  4. All Ms. Wiest has talked about for the last four years is her quest to be “The Next Mayor” that’s why she shoves her way into every photo- and in everyone’s business
    Ridgewood needs someone who can lead, is knowledgeable, and makes rational decisions, not someone who needs to feed her ego and establish an identity.

  5. Pfund should step down –he no longer needs to be mayor… i cannot wait to vote against him.
    We see right through you Pfund… You do not care about a neighborhood nor this town! Valley has you in its back pocket…You should have stepped down when you law firm was found out as being employed by the hospital.

  6. we need pat mancuso he,s the man.

  7. Good, Pfund is a loser.

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