Who exactly is minding the store?

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2008 at 7:53 pm

The Fly wonders why, a week after the 4th of July fireworks display, the refuse left behind from the fireworks themselves, paper, cardboard and packaging, was never raked up. Instead it appears to have been shredded by a lawn mower when Parks & Rec. cut the lawn behind the 3rd base bench at Vets North. Is it really asking too much that the garbage produced by the Parks & Rec. be picked up by the Parks & Rec. Department?

Who exactly is minding the store here in Ridgewood when it comes to our fields? Just a stroll south and one comes upon the Vets 90 baseball diamond minus the home team’s middle bench. This bench, by the way, has been broken/missing since April. And as you can see from the photo the other two benches are listing backwards and thrusting out of the ground. The Fly wonders, how long does it take to order and install new benches? It really can’t take this long, can it?

And then there’s the pitcher’s mound at Vets 90. The field was groomed and lined today for the weekend. But what about the hole in front of the pitching rubber, why wasn’t it filled in and the mound groomed too?

Then there is Citizens Field, where the RBSA spent thousands of dollars for a new infield two years ago, including building a new pitcher’s mound for the 12 years and under teams. What does it take to make sure that the mound is maintained and that the rubber is below grade? The fact that the pitching rubber is four inches above the dirt is disgraceful. Not to mention it is a hazard for any pitcher fielding a ball. Does our Director of Parks & Rec. find this acceptable work from his employees?

Ridgewood’s Park & Rec. Department has been woefully incompetent for far too long in the maintenance of our fields. These are just but a few examples of what passes for acceptable work by the Parks & Rec. We pay far too much in taxes and sports fees to be treated like this by the people we employee.

It’s time the Village Council take a hard look at how our Parks & Rec. Dept. is run and hold those responsible accountable .

Wayside Gardens

  1. i think a lot of the fields look like crap for some time

  2. The Fly should get out there & clean himself, instead of complaining so damn much.

  3. The fields could be better BUT, they’re alot better than I played on as a kid. I have several kids who use these fields and I have no complaints about the fields. I would like to see Ridgewood Parks and Rec spring for the clay that drains better, though.

  4. I am not trying to play the blame game but when i was a kid in the 1970’s the fields were much nicer and the grass much thicker. I suspect the clay dirt has gotten a bit to acidic and perhaps our very hard water is not helping .I have also noticed it with my own yard the bushes and trees seem to grow in front of your eyes but the grass has a very tuff time ,just an observation .

  5. back in the 1970’s there were probably a few more employees in the department than there are today but in this age of cut cut cut and make due with less there are just not enough bodies to keep things the way they were.

  6. The higher up’s need to higher more workers and stop throwing all the money in their pockets. I agree PJ the fields were much nicer when we were kids. But I will also say the fields were not used nearly half as much as they are now. I would suggest that who ever had the time to stop by and take pictures then write this article should spend their time more useful and maybe pick up the garbage you see around. If everyone would help and pitch in the world would be a great place!

  7. And you would be the same person to complain when taxes go up to fix every single issue. Why don’t you donate ad revenue from the site to help fix the benches?

  8. sounds like we have a bunch of disgruntled employees here..maybe we should just outsource the work. who needs high priced employees with benefits sitting on their butts all winter. its not alaska..we dont need snow removal daily… I vote for privatization..

  9. I am appalled at the excuses posted by some defending the shoddy government work done by those in our employ to maintain the parks.

    No one should have to “volunteer” to clean up the mess left from the fireworks display.

    As for the playing fields, that is everyday kind of stuff that should be seen to without question.

  10. Oh, I suppose it is OK to have cones covering the jagged posts jutting out from the ground where a bench used to be.

    More so, it is acceptable that it take over four months to replace it.

    Where is the pride?

  11. Looks like Fly and others have finally caught on to some of the same issues that residents were talking about five years ago. The difference is that those people actually did something about it and now we are fortunate to have a new field at Maple Park that doesn’t require weekly maintenance and grooming…maybe that is one reason the other fields look half decent for a change.

  12. I cannot believe this is all you have to write about. WAY TOO MUCH TIME ON YOUR HANDS!!! GET A LIFE

  13. 1213 I’ll make a deal I will stop complaining when you start working

  14. I guess these photos PJ posted have hit a nerve.

    Funny how low Ridgewood’s pride has sunk. Players and their families from other towns come to our fields to play games just as we go to theirs to play.

    The difference is usually stunning. It doesn’t matter how high our taxes are. I do understand why we have such a low standard of upkeep here. Our workers have a lifetime job whether they do it well or they don’t. And I honestly don’t think they know how well other towns maintain their fields. They think what they do here is just fine.

    It shows.

  15. “I guess such-and-such must have hit a nerve”

    That is the lamest, most-cliched come-back on the internet. Please find a new catchphrase.

    We’re just making fun of The Fly for his constant whining. The only “nerve” that was hit is our collective funny bone.

  16. 1216 the place is a dump i suggest you get of this blog and start doing your job ,you sound like one of thoses assholes who were saying it was ok not to pay the kids that umped little league !

  17. “you sound like one of thoses assholes”


  18. Funny how when the Village is caught doing something, or in this case not doing something, people want to blame those who point it out.

    Blame the messenger, huh?

    It still remains a fact that our fields, especially baseball, are poorly maintained by the Parks & Rec Dept no matter how much money the RBSA spends each Spring to prepare the fields.

    Which by the way, is substantial and provides for the upkeep of the High School fields as well.

    All the Parks & Rec Dept. has to do is to groom the fields. That is not hard. It requires getting off ones ass, picking up a shovel and rake and filling in the holes on the pitching mound.

    Let’s get real here folks, we are getting shafted compared to other towns.

  19. 1216 the place is a disgrace this isnt Newark …well yet

  20. again these low standards continue to boggle the mind ..what has happened to this town?

  21. I looked on-line. $330.00 will buy you a bench like the one missing at Vets.

    I will take 7 days for delivery.

    I am sure we can get a better deal through our vendors.

    So, what is the problem here?

    Like the Post says, “Who’s minding the store” over there at Parks & Rec.?

  22. it is what it is

  23. I was at Vets Field for a softball game tonight and I concur that the clean-up after the fireworks was egregiously insufficient. Based on her first meeting as a councilperson, Annie Zusy has no problem questioning the status quo about the status quo here in Ridgewood. She should take a shot at Ten Hoeve and Tim Cronin, who repeatedly tell residents that all is well on the Titanic as the ship is sinking. The fields are, and have been for years, deplorable due to lack of care and maintenance by the Village. In a word, they suck. Cronin needs to be held accountable. Go get him, Annie.

  24. Sometimes I couldn’t help but to wonder that for whom Ten Hoeve works, as he seems so often sided with… er… some “powerful” folks in town…

  25. All this, and our taxes go up too. It’s a disgrace.

  26. The Department of Parks & Rec could do a better job. The problem is that they are woefully underfunded and the caliber of the workforce is just plain woeful. So, I will be interested to see what your hero, Annie, comes up with. My guess it will be that we are doing a pretty good job with the resources we have, unless the complainers here want to pay more in taxes.

    This is the issue with our fields…we have a shortage of them for our population, we don’t have the resources to keep them in beautiful shape and there are 2-3 times more children using them than 30 years ago. Recently I went to a MLB game and I counted over 30 grounds crew (no doubt with a multi-million $$ budget) who were meticulously grooming the field before the game. We either need to lower our expectations or come up with more realistic solutions than telling Parks & Rec that they “need to be held accountable.”

  27. 6:18 PM,

    You must be a Democrat to be such a dedicated apologist for the sloppy and shoddy work done by those maintaining our fields.

    What does it take to get off a riding lawn mower, move the goal (LAX or Soccer), and cut the grass beneath it?

    Instead, the employees of the Parks and Rec Dept. just cut around the goals.

    What does it take to get off your riding tractor, when grooming the baseball/softball fields and fill the holes in on the pitcher’s mound?

    One supposes that you find the mound at Citizens, pictured in the post, represents acceptable work by the Parks & Rec. Dept.?

  28. That’s interesting 9:50.

    I had a totally different take on 6:18’s comments. As I read them, the poster claimed that P&R “could do a better job” and that “the caliber of the workforce is just plain woeful.”

    However, I thought the explanation of the issues that contribute to the poor state of the field conditions made sense. Rather than flatly complaining about P&R’s performance on this blog, we should start dealing with the source of the problem, which 6:18 summarized as follows, “we have a shortage of them (fields) for our population, we don’t have the resources to keep them in beautiful shape and there are 2-3 times more children using them than 30 years ago.”

    I would be interested to know what our budget is to maintain each field in town and the breakdown of the costs per field between materials and labor. Is this public information? Only then we can begin to assess whether the budget is inadequate or the P&R staff is incompetent.

  29. 10:51 AM,

    The lack of fields (if one choses to believe this line)or amount of use has no baring on whether one cleans up the debris from the fireworks or fills in holes on pitcher’s mounds or orders new benches does it?

    This is really simple stuff here. Nothing complicated and nothing out of the ordinary.

    It has nothing to do with man power, use of fields or any thing else other than laziness and incompetence on the part of Parks & Rec. from top down.

    As for the budget you would have to ask each sports organization what they contribute in addition to the Parks Dept. budget for fields.

    For instance, in the Spring, the RBSA spends more than 30k per year to ready the fields. And in past years as much as $52,000.00.

    This amount from the RBSA is used for all of our fields, including the High School fields for Baseball and Softball, regardless of whether they are owned by the BOE or Village.

    It is real simple, we pay high taxes and get poor results when it comes to the Parks & Rec. services.

    It is time for a change of leadership at the Stable.

  30. 1:15

    Amen to that. You are spot on.

  31. Walk a mile in another man’s shoes and then pass judgement. As for Vet’s Field. Many years ago it was taken care of by Mr Blauvet, who kept it up to the highest standards. It was the best field in Bergen County. He happened to volunteer his time and money to keep it that way. Memories are funny, the sun was brighter, the grass was greener and the schools were number 1 , only thing is the truth be told our memories always glamourzie the past glamorize.

  32. As a baseball coach, I think it is a disgrace the way that our fields are maintained. The invesment in infrastructure is sorely lacking in comparison to other towns (Woodcliff Lake, Upper Saddle River, Franklin Lakes, etc). Partly to blame is the Board of Ed – who controls many fields.

    The lack of modern benches and fencing systems is evident at most fields – not to mention the condition of the playing surfaces and irrigation systems.

    Case in point – most parents and players prefer away games because our fields are disgraceful.

  33. the immediate concern is the lack of cleanup after the fireworks,,,Is the Parks dept that inept? It truly is laziness, ignorance and lack of management

  34. well if you like to solve all this get the supivsor from the street dept.he can turn things around like he did in that dept.he has the judgment and the organizational skills that we need in this town.and on the other hand he is a no bs man he will do what needs to be done.

  35. I know that all depts are in need of workers.you say laziness well i say come down and show us how good you are.show us all how the town can get work done when we are low in the work force.the ploce and fire are not in bind like the rest of the town depts.so manny of us just dont know.come down and you will see and talk to the workers look for your self.its no bs story my frind,s

  36. Parks & Rec is underfunded?! That dept. is run and staffed by the LAZIEST people! There are leaves in school parking lots that have been there, against corners and fences for YEARS, slowly breaking down in ice, snow, rain… Not one worker would dare take a rake and physically rake… if they miss it with the leaf blower, oh well… Have any of you ever seen them "maintain" the schools and fields? LAZY, LAZY, LAZY workers. That's the problem. Having been in other towns for sporting events, our field ARE a disgrace. Just look at that Duck Pond on Rwd Ave. A Shame! Go to any town with a duck pond, they have GRASS, pretty trees, nice plantings. Rwd Duck Pond looks like a sump.

  37. so true.

  38. to 1022 thats so true but will they give him to us.that guy should be incharge of more then the road dept.

  39. to828 we need to talk plese call

  40. Maybe it’s time for the town to use tax all the parents of those that are using the fields like they are charging the merchants for excess waste tax.

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