Many Residents Feel Special Fees are and Attempt to Silence Opposition

In Uncategorized on August 11, 2008 at 11:20 am

If one party runs out of money to defend its position, while the other party has at least another $2000 in the kitty, should the more well-heeled party expect to get what it wants from the planning board, by default, at the next scheduled meeting?

I have another question too. Why should an organization comprised of actual local homeowners and taxpayers be forced to pay even close to half of the expenses of these meetings, being as how corporate entity and non-person Valley Hospital is the party that is looking to get something from the planning board, and the homeowner/taxpayer organization is more or less assuming the role of the Village of Ridgewood in defending the integrity of the town’s charter?

11:26 AM

Anonymous said…
I am surprised that the taxpayers are treated the same as the tax exempt entity – especially when the tax exempt entity is the one requesting the major change to the neighborhood.

In the future, the taxpayers should be given more time for their side of the story. They are paying after all.

If I attend one of the meetings and speak against Valley will the homeowners group be charged for my time? I am not a member of the group but I am opposed to the change to the Master Plan.

2:56 PM

Anonymous said…
How can charges of that magnitude be fair? The tax payers pay more than the large entity proposing expansion? It sounds unconstitutional and it puts another road block in the way of the individual. I have not posted on this issue before but I now feel that whether expansion is right or wrong, the process needs to be fair and it obviously isn’t.

12:58 AM

Anonymous said…
I will be sending my contribution to the CCR today…

7:44 AM

Anonymous said…
How can we help out the CCR?
I thought the Village worked for us??? Valley should pay for their meeting since they don’t pay any taxes. Tax paying citizens who are against the expansion should be able to make their point without being charge these additional fees.

3:37 PM

Anonymous said…
3:37 Email the mayor and the village council members. Let them know that you don’t think these charges are appropriate. Ask if New Jersey Transit was charged $2,000 per meeting in June when they presented at special meetings to Village Council about the train station renovation. I think these charges and this ordinance (which was passed in last August after citizens began to organize against the Valley expansion) is a blatant attempt to shut down opposition by making it too expensive to protest. In fact, the charges have suceeded. Concerned Residents pulled their proposal from consideration by the planning board. They couldn’t afford it. Shouldn’t our elected and appointed representatives listen to all points of view and not just the views of those that can pay?

2:16 PM

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  1. Our local government should not be charging residents for voicing their opinions. Shame on them.

    Valley is a non taxpaying business looking to make a change to a residential neighborhood. They represent thier own interests. They are a regional hospital and they don’t care about Ridgewood.

  2. The residents are only making comments in response to an application by Valley. Every resident would be home in their taxed houses watching TV if they didn’t want to have information and input about this building project. They should be charged nothing. The village is totally wrong on this.

  3. Pfund et al are looking for a way to make the change to zoning. Once the resident group runs out of money who will represent them?

    Maybe Valley will let the council in for a photo op when the first shovels are turned. Better yet, maybe there will be a plaque thanking the council – by name. Maybe they could name a utility closet ay Valley after Pfund.

  4. The Council should not charge Ridgewood residents (organized or not) to participate in this debacle. I don’t live near the hospital but I am opposed to such a large expansion. The local roads were never designed to handle the all the extra vehicles an expansion of that size would generate. We already have enough traffic! There have to be other options for Valley to explore — other locations for satellite branches. I feel sorry for those who live near the hospital; it is one thing to buy a home near a hospital and know full well that you will hear the ambulances, etc. but quite another for that same hospital to grow to the enormous proportion it is proposing. It won’t be good for Ridgewood.

  5. I, too, hold no opinion on Valley expansion. However, this fee is wrong.

    Since when do citizens have to pay to have a debate about an issue before the VC?

    It appears that the tyranny of government has raised its ugly head in Ridgewood.

    It is supposed to be a government by the people and for the people.

    This VC ordinance violates the spirit of government by the people in favor of wealthy individuals or entities by imposing such fees.

    This is undemocratic and a sad commentary on our republican form of government here in Ridgewood.

    There is no excuse for this. Let’s see who from the VC steps up to the plate and submits an ordinance to repeal this travesty.

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