The Village of Ridgewood is once again undertaking a huge project at a huge cost to the taxpayers while the economy is uncertain. Currently on the table for the taxpayers to fund are the following:
Renovations to the schools projected at a cost of $40 million
COAH housing project to build 80 units on Broad Street on property that is leased
Purchase of the Schindler property projected at close to $3 million less the open space fund
Building of parking facility, housing and retail space at huge cost to taxpayers.
Hiring of another assistant to the Village Manager
I am unwilling to commit to such projects in such an uncertain time and with the current village council. The village council has not given me any reason to have faith in their projection. The following are some highlights of what I consider misdeeds that have occurred in the Village in the last few years that still need addressing before any major construction projects are untaken if at all:
The alleged secret agreement or deal between the Village of Ridgewood and the Architect to privately purchase the tract of land on which the town garage, rental facility would be built and then have the Village buy it back from the Architect. This agreement would not have benefited the residents of Ridgewood but certainly was advantageous to the individuals involved in the agreement.
The lack of funding to utilize Habernickel facility other than for elementary school soccer.
The horrible condition of the roads which are badly in need of repair. Driving down Glen Avenue and many others including my street is hazardous.
The gross overbuilding of Village Hall at an exorbitant price tag. And to boot, it floods, which requires continued costs to keep the building secure and it lacks adquete parking spaces.
The Village of Ridgewood even contemplated giving away the land owned by BF to Valley Hospital for Valley Hospital’s expansion. Thankfully the residents spoke out.
The cost of undertaking many of the projects does not include the lost revenue to the Village from removing these properties from the tax roll. The cost of losing the tax revenue is made up by all of its citizens in the form of increased property taxes.
The raising of the height of buildings in the Village of Ridgewood in order to accomodate McMansions. Again just drive around and see these oversized structures sitting being built in Ridgewood with no back yards and towering over the neigboring homes.
There are those who say the residents who complain are negative. My response to that is that we residents of this great community desire better from our Village Council. We volunteer in schools, we volunteer in sports club, drama clubs, the marching band and give to our schools, churches, our fellow citizens in times of need.
But it is time we had a realistic, honest, accountable Village Council who looks out for the best interest of all of its citizens. We need oversight in the Village Hall.
We need to be able to fund our current budget with our current tax base. We need to ensure our schools funded, our current fields and parks are maintained and groomed, we need to have our roads paved. But most of all we need to have our taxes level in times when the economy is faltering and many jobs are uncertain.
We need integrity and honesty in Village of Hall and the only way to ensure this is to have a Village Council that cares about its citizens.
I would love to have a pool in Ridgewood but at $13 million dollars along with everything else in this current budget no thank you.
Once again, it’s amazing how very few people seem to care about getting their facts straight. Please read the entire presentation, or better yet, go to one of the open houses at Village Hall this week to hear a more detailed explanation (dates/times are on the Village website).
Someone in this chain mentioned volunteering — many residents spent more than two years working on this research so they wouldn’t have to leave it to the Village. Give them a chance to be heard before just dismissing it or, worse yet, spreading false rumors.