Welcome to the August edition of the Mayor’s Corner – my monthly Ridgewood News column that seeks to make village government more accessible, more transparent, more responsive.

Council Agenda

The council will meet two times this month – Aug. 6 and 13. On the agenda will be parking proposals, planning board-related issues, employee residency requirements, the establishment of a Green Team and a host of other important issues.

All of our meetings are open to the public, and residents are encouraged to attend and participate. Please visit our website for more information – ridgewoodnj.net – or to watch the meetings online.

The New Council

Following our reorganization meeting on July 1, the new Village Council hit the ground running. Our July meetings were full of good discussions, important votes and even a few laughs. We’ve even played softball (see below).

In addition to our standard council work, each of us serves as a liaison to different committees/boards. Here is a quick snapshot of our respective areas of responsibility:

Mayor Paul Aronsohn: Planning Board; Chamber of Commerce; Bergen County League of Municipalities; and Ridgewood Community Access Network.

Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli: Library Board of Trustees; Board of Education; Ridgewood Arts Council.

Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck: Financial Advisory Committee; Ridgewood Community Center Advisory Board; Parks, Recreation and Conservation Board; and the Fields Committee.

Councilwoman Susan Knudsen: Planning Board; Ridgewood Fourth of July Committee; Project Pride Committee; and the Historic Preservation Committee.

Councilman Michael Sedon: Ridgewood Environmental Advisory Committee; Ridgewood Green Team Advisory Committee; Citizens Safety Advisory Committee; and the Shade Tree Commission.

If you need to contact any or all of us, please visit the “Mayor/ Council” section of the village website.

Downtown Discussion

The deputy mayor convened a meeting last week to discuss the Central Business District (CBD).

It was the start of what will be an ongoing community-wide conversation about the future of our downtown – one that addresses everything from parking needs to traffic flows to public transportation to possible development. The meeting participants represented a good cross section of the village and gave voice to a good mix of ideas and suggestions.

Going forward, the key is to recognize that we all have a role to play in this process. Government officials should facilitate the conversation. Business and other community leaders should inform it. Residents should drive it. And throughout the process, we should all embrace the fact that this conversation is an opportunity to take our CBD to the next level – a unique opportunity to make it an even better place to shop, dine and just have a good time.

The next meeting is tentatively planned for Wednesday, Aug. 20 at the Ridgecrest apartment building (7 Ridge Road). All Ridgewood residents are welcome. To confirm the time and location, please check out the village website or contact the deputy mayor at apucciarelli@ridgewoodnj.net.

The Big Game

So, last Saturday was the big rematch – the one you probably won’t read about on the pages of this newspaper.

The Village Haulers took on The Ridgewood News Headliners in what was billed as the game of the century … or at least, the game of the week. Regardless, it was a lot of fun and a great chance for local officials and local journalists to mix it up in a friendly, albeit spirited way.

In the end, the Village Haulers pulled off the win, thanks to solid hitting, great fielding and very energetic coaching from our village manager.

Thank You Kasschau

Clearly, it wouldn’t be summer in Ridgewood without the Kasschau Memorial Shell concert series. Now, in its 56th year, the free concerts provide a welcome opportunity to relax “under the stars” and enjoy world-class entertainment.

Unfortunately, I often have meetings on Tuesday and Thursday nights, which prevent me from sitting through the shows. However, due to the Shell’s close proximity to Village Hall, I can often steal away for a few precious moments of great music. For me, that has included the Ridgewood High School Bands, the Orpheus Club Men’s Chorus, the McVey Family & Friends, and Mack Brandon and the Connection. For me, that has been wonderful.

So, thank you Kasschau Shell Committee and your extraordinary lineup of performers for helping to make summers special in Ridgewood.

Office Hours

I will be holding my monthly office hours tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Village Hall Council Chamber (4th floor). All Ridgewood residents are welcome

Please contact the Village Clerk’s office (201-670-5500, ext. 201) to make an appointment, or just take a chance and stop on by. If you’ve got an idea, question or concern, I want to know about it.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn can be reached via email (paronsohn@ridgewoodnj.-net), through his

Twitter account (@paularonsohn) or through the Village Clerk’s office.