Reader suggests ways to and not to control costs for the Village

In big government, new jersey fiscal crisis, Ridgewood New Jersey on February 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Part of your homeowners insurance premium ‘rating’ considers the paid fire dept (as well as how far from a hydrant). If we had volunteers, your homeowners insurance policy would probably increase more than your taxes would go down.

For the portion of your tax bill that pays for fire, police, garbage… we get a BARGAIN. The ripoff is the schools. When the ‘average’ Ridgewood property tax bill was 11,000, it broke down as follows:

$1000 to the county, $2500 for municipal (Police, fire ,streets, garbage, shade tree) and $7500 for schools. The place to CUT the budget is the BOARD OF ED. That is where all the FAT is in the budget. The other depts are a BARGAIN.(resident since 1969)


  1. it would make sense for the Village to reduce expenses in the largest portion of the budget area…the 7500ish…=Board of Ed. It is not fair for the other employees to feel the pinch while the board of ed is immune. Cut a few administrators. thats a good start

  2. Police and firemen will post here quickly I’m sure… it’s called a diversion… “Blame the BOE”…

    We can’t vote on their salaries, benefits and retirement pensions as easily…

    Let’s put those town firemen and police budget amounts on a ballot to be voted on…. can we do with a 10% reduction in the number of police and full paid firemen?… I think so. That’s sharing a problem.

  3. my god that is a lot of fat for the bord of ed.and it only 2.500 for all my service thats cheep and yes its a big bargain.

  4. The home insurance discount comment for a paid fire dept. is absolutely not true,(look at rates for surruonding towns),the best investment a town makes is through education,many people move here for the schools,then move out when their children graduate.Let the school rating suffer and the town suffers,many towns have neglected their schools to find property values drop. The unions for police and fire departments are similar to the auto industry,check the costs of running these departments with the town,a lot of timming will eventually have to be done.

  5. But its for the children.

    How can you say cut the budget of the BOE? Aren’t they doing everything in their power to keep costs down by hiring more administrators, teachers and aids, reducing class sizes while building additions to accommodate the need for more classrooms?

    I think they are doing a bang up job, don;t you?

  6. Well said!!

  7. Remember who works for who- Government employees are posting these posts- Who signs your paycheck? I understand that these jobs have become incredibly lucritive however,cuts will eventually have to be made to the police/fire departments, don’t prolong the inevitable, start now and balance the budget.

  8. 9:53 AM makes a good point- put the budget on the ballot and vote on it.

  9. 1159> Insurance rates are based upon time to arrive at a fire, distance from fire house, and distance from a hydrant. The towns with a PAID DEPARTMENT have lower rates than the towns with volunteer departments who generally end up 'saving the foundation' after they eventually arrive 15 minutes after a dwellingt is fully involved in a fire. So you are wrong.. and CLUELESS.

  10. 11:59 wrote “many people move here for the schools,then move out when their children graduate”
    THANKS FOR THE HIGH TAX BILLS MORON… I choose to STAY HERE and I’m stucking paying for your dopey kids’ education. I shouldn’t be forced to move out since you left us holding the bag for your tax increases

  11. And you don’t think your house value will be effected by the reputation of the school?

  12. are you trying to convince me that the supposed savings i recieve on home insurance by paying taxes for a paid fire department are 100% paying for the paid fire dept?

  13. 8;09- if you want to see what happens to uneducated people look in the mirror.

  14. If you think the school budget is too high then there is a simple solution. Come April 21 vote no on the budget. Also get everyone you know in town to vote no. Out of 15,000 registered voters there is about 3000 that turn out and vote for the BOE elections. There is about 1% of the registered voters who vote yes to raise everyone’s property taxes. Don’t let the BOE scare you into voting yes with their doom and gloom tactics they use every year. The budget has been voted down before and the educational system didn’t fail.

  15. i have heard that ‘sound bite’ from all the new residents that my house value is ‘because of the schools’. Fact. My house value did not decline AS THE STUDENTS TEST SCORES DECLINE. Ridgewood, wyckoff, hohokus, glen rock ramsey paramus are all good towns. And they dont piss away as much money as ridgewood does on the school budget..and their results are within the same range..and sometimes BETTER. And guess what..the Ridgewood schools ‘reputation’ was based on the quality we USED to have. How about we make teacher compensation based upon student test scores? And those scores would be compared to OTHER districts in the state NOT limited to the above towns.Fair enough?

  16. 8;09 education is the best “bargain” the taxpayers could invest in for a multitude of obvious reasons. educated people generaly get higher paying jobs,are broader minded,and can express themselves more clearly without having to resort to name calling and insulting the very children whose parents pay your salary though their taxes. you would be fired for talking like that on the street.i’m sure you work for the town and plan to move as soon as you retire.

  17. There is already a problem with the reputation of our schools

  18. I very much enjoy reading the varied views held by others in town. That is the very reason I keep coming back to this blog. The topic of cuts in local service and education is a very hard one that will no doubt bring out many different points of view.
    EDUCATION: It is the most expensive issue taxpayers deal with. Even if other town services were cut in half, our tax bills would not be reduced in a meaningful fashion. Education funding it the true killer.
    On the other hand good schools have a direct effect on property values. As a community we all have a responsibility to the next generation.
    FIRE PROTECTION: I own a home and a small commercial property in Ridgewood as well as a rental home and commercial property in a town with a volunteer fire company. My residential and commerical property insurance is lower in Ridgewood. The residential policy is a little lower, while the commercial policy is ALOT lower.
    POLICE SERVICES: In every recession since the 1950's when economic times get bad the crime rate goes up. We don't have much violent urban type crime here, but property crimes are an issue. We also have community issues like crosswalk safety and others mentioned on this blog that people want police to deal with. You cut the number of officers there will be less of a response.
    GENERAL MUNICIPAL SERVICES: As residents we have always wanted services such as our Library, rear yard garbage pickup, streets maintained, parks and so on. Less employees means less service. Somehow I don't thing the average Mr & Mrs Ridgewood will accept that.
    The answer to each of these issues will vary in the mind of each resident. I am just presenting the issues in the view of one person.
    As for the blogger who suggests voting on the town budget and salaries like to school budget? I don't know if that would solve anything. ONE – No such measure has a meaningful politial chance of passing in this State or any other I know of. TWO – Our voters keep passing the school budget and that is the true tax problem under NJ's school funding mess.

  19. We could make some money for the Village if the police would just enforce either the cellphone, jaywalk or seat belt laws. Whenever I am downtown, I see people driving while on the phone, passing right in front of the cops parked near VanNeste; or while those mothers dragging babies run in the middle of the road, why not give a ticket? If none of these laws are ever enforced, why not just remove the crosswalk signs, and the other laws from the books. A recent flashing signs says “pedestrians have the right of way” but isn’t it supposed to be “pedestrians in crosswalks”? Or does everyone have the right of way, I didn’t see a new law about this.

    We could make up some budget shortfall in a hurry.

  20. How ’bout cutting out some of the positions at the Bd. of Ed. to save some money. Let’s start with Botsford.

  21. this post was placed by one of those “bargain” department employees and it back fired. 25,000 residents don’t have to take any nonsence from 90 or so “bargain” department employees.

  22. Hey, 7:30, do you have a clue? Ridgewood’s schools spend less per student than Glen rock, Ramsey and Paramus, and just a bit more than Wyckoff and Hohohkus. In addition, Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Hohokus and Ramsey spend LESS than the state average. Go check the state dept of ed statistics. Yes, the total budget is a lot of money. But the fact is, Education in Ridgewood is a BARGAIN.

  23. What’s a “Bargain Department”? And who are their employees?

  24. ridgewood education is a bargain?… in “J” districts… you get what you pay for. RPS doesn’t teach grammar to its elementary students. Elementary schools don’t even use textbooks in any of the subject areas. Schools are run like the wild west where principals (paid over $100,000 in salary) make decisions about the quality and type of education their students receive based on the best marketing tactics out there, not solid research.

    BOTSFORD is rewarded with a salary of over $150,000 and DOES NOTHING BUT DESTROY THE SCHOOLS. Katie Kashmanian kisses her arse because she wants what’s best for GW, she’s an operator. Margy Leininger can’t make a decision for herself to save her life and follows Regina like a puppy dog. The new principals are crossing their fingers to keep their jobs so whether they think Regina is effective in her position is irrelevant. Most of the faculty can’t stand Regina, although we now know Dan Ilaria is her new fall guy… parents in the community loathe her…. how the heck does she drag herself out of bed in the morning?

    So I guess you’re right 9:01 the education offered here is a bargain. That’s why Ridgewood is known as Tutorville. Students are tutored here not because they need supplemental help, but BECAUSE RPS DOESN’T DO ITS JOB.

    Ways to find $ to help with the 2 million dollar budget shortfall… fire Dan Fishbein, Regina Botsford, Angelo DeSimone, Carlo Ritschel (or however you spell his name), Steve Tichner (or however you spell his name) and replace them with qualified people. In today’s economy, we can offer new hires a lower salary.

    I predict the admins at Cottage Pl. will tell us they aren’t going to take a pay raise this year to make themselves look like they are doing EVERYTHING they can to help during these difficult financial times. Give me a break and a barf bag if they do!

  25. 9:01 Thank you,investing in education is money well spent.

  26. Ridgewood education is no bargain, and I’m not convinced people move here anymore “just for the schools.”

    There are a lot of Ridgewoodites sending their kids to Dwight Englewood, Rivervale, Horace Mann, Saddle River Day, Eastern Christian, and etcetera.

    Ridgewood’s property values are also associated with the town and the very good commute to NYC.

    My child is in private school.

  27. they have the money come on wake up.do you think they have no money ha,ha,ha,yea hello.can you say bull shit story.

  28. People… Listen… You home owners insurance rates will NOT go up if we did not have a paid fire dept.
    Thank You

  29. the b,o,e is full of shit.and they are not that smart.

  30. can you say dog doo.

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