Mayor’s Corner

Ridgewood News

June 5, 2015

By Mayor Paul Aronsohn

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

Council Agenda

The council will meet two more times this month – June 10 and 23.  On the agenda will be parking – including our proposed parking deck, valet parking and our new meter technology – and a host of other important topics.

All meetings are on Wednesday evenings.  All meetings are open to the public. All residents are encouraged to attend and participate.

Please visit our website for more information – ridgewoodnj.net – or to watch the meetings online.

Parking Update

Parking remains one of our top priorities.

New Technology:  We have made “Park Mobile” meter technology available in all of the parking lots and will soon make it available on all meters, on all streets.  This gives us the option to pay by credit card or with quarters.

New Parking Deck:  We continue to move toward building a parking deck, presumably on the Hudson Street lot.  By June 30, we expect to have three requisite pieces of information in hand:  the first phase environmental study of the property, a land survey and an analysis comparing conventional and automated decks.   With that information in hand, my hope is that the Council will spend the summer looking for a firm to design the deck.

New Parking Chief:  New CFO/Parking Utility Director Bob Rooney has hit the ground running.  Among other things, he leads a weekly steering committee meeting focused exclusively on building parking decks.

Redevelopment Zone:  A firm has been hired to conduct a financial analysis of Kensington Assisted Living, a finalist in our effort to identify a partner for our redevelopment zone (at Franklin Avenue and North Walnut Street).  The hope and expectation is that this project will result in several benefits for the Village, including a fully-financed parking deck.   If all goes well with the analysis, my hope is to begin negotiations with Kensington in early summer.

Valet Parking:  The Council is considering additional valet parking sites in the downtown.  Already, our valet efforts have resulted in more than 100 additional public parking spots available to customers on weekend nights.

Unlimited Parking:  The Cottage Place lot now allows for unlimited parking for anyone.  Quarters or Park Mobile can be used.

Extraordinary Ridgewood

As previously discussed, Ridgewood is an extraordinary place with extraordinary people.  And from time to time, I feel compelled to highlight some of them in this column.  This is one of those times….

  • Ridgewood Police:    Without question, the Ridgewood Police Department is great.   Professional.  Responsive.  Effective.  It all adds up to a first-rate department, which was on full display during our recent scare at George Washington Middle School.  But what makes the Department extraordinary is that the officers, including those in leadership positions, often go above and beyond their law enforcement roles to play an even more important role in the overall life of our community.

This was true when Chief Ward and Captains Luthcke and Lyons recently attended the biannual Ridgewood Japanese Association social                 luncheon.  This is true when they participate in the monthly meetings of the Ridgewood Interfaith Clergy Group and roundtable discussions            on civility.  And this is why our Chief was given the “Community Service” award by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee of Ridgewood            and Glen Rock – a particularly meaningful honor in light of the tensions that exist elsewhere between police departments and the                                communities they serve.

  • Special All-Star Baseball:  One of our Village’s best kept secrets is the Ridgewood Baseball & Softball Association’s “Special All-Stars” – a program designed for children with special needs from Ridgewood and surrounding towns.  Led by Commissioner Tracy Keeney, Board Member Brendan Buckley and Teacher Frank Mauriello, the program is made possible by support from the Ridgewood Elks Lodge #1455 and Van Dyk’s Ice Cream.

Everything about this program is extraordinary.  The professionals who run it.  The students who volunteer for it.  The parents who support              it.  And, of course, the ballplayers at the center of it.

The 2015 season ended this past Sunday with drills, a game and an awards ceremony.   I wish everyone in our community could have been               there to experience it.  Stay tuned for 2016….

Mark Your Calendars

Best Day Ever:  The 2nd annual “Michael Feeney’s Best Day Ever” will be tomorrow (Saturday) at BF Middle School from 10am to 3pm.  A color fun run.  Food and drinks.  Music.  Games.  And yes, I will be spending time in the dunk tank again, so those of you upset with Village services or the parking situation get in line….

Wiffle for Cancer:  Please join us at the 11th annual “Wiffle for Cancer” on Sunday, June 7 at 11:30am at RHS.  All proceeds of the tournament will benefit the Nick Currey Fund for Ewing Sarcoma Research.  Good fun.  Good cause. Good time.

Graduation:  The Ridgewood High School Graduation will be on Thursday, June 18.   As a very proud parent and a very proud Mayor, I encourage everyone to come out to cheer our graduates and share in this wonderful Village tradition.

Office Hours

I will hold my monthly office hours tomorrow, Saturday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 11:30a.m. 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.