Ridgewood News

By Paul Aronsohn

Welcome to the November 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 only one more time this month – November 12.   (Due to the holiday season, we only meet twice per month in November and December.)  On the agenda will be downtown parking, shade tree policy and a host of other important topics.

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

Parking Downtown

As should be clear by now, the Council is focused like a laser on our downtown parking situation.  Specifically, we are continuing to take steps – big and small – to make parking easier for everyone:   commuters, shoppers, diners and central business district (CBD) employees.

  • We are exploring three different parking deck possibilities – (1) self-funded, (2) in partnership with the Bergen County Improvement Authority and (3) as part of the redevelopment of the Franklin Avenue/North Walnut area.
  • We are researching new parking meter technology that will allow folks to use “smart” technology, such as phone applications.
  • We have instituted new valet parking rules as well as new CBD employee parking rules, which are making more spaces available for everyone else on the streets and in the lots.
  • We are providing free parking in the downtown lots on weekends from Thanksgiving to New Years.
  • And we are in the process of standardizing our policies with respect to permits, meter timing and cost.

Regarding the parking deck possibilities, one question keeps coming up:  Why are we considering yet another parking study?  Good question.  Those of us who live in Ridgewood don’t need a study to tell us that there is a parking problem.  However, to raise the necessary funding to build a parking deck, we will likely need a comprehensive study to give us objective empirical data and to help us decide key issues, such as best location, number of spaces needed, parking rates, etc.

Granted, tackling our parking challenges is a sometimes slow, frustrating process, but I can assure you that we are moving ahead as quickly and as prudently as possible.  Stay tuned….

Mark Your Calendars

Veterans Day:  Come join us on Tuesday, November 10 at 11am at Veterans Memorial Park for Ridgewood’s annual Veterans Day ceremony, organized by American Legion Post 53.

Thanksgiving Service:  Come join us for the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Tuesday, November 25 at 7:30pm at the Old Paramus Church.

Diabetes Awareness:  November is Diabetes Awareness month.   Please take time to learn more about this disease that affects about 30 million American children and adults.

Giving Thanks

People often assume that being Mayor of Ridgewood is a thankless job, but in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.  Being Mayor is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done – personally as well as professionally.

And so, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving season, I would like to thank just some of the many people who make my job as your Mayor a really great experience.

(in no particular order)

 

Our Special Needs Community:   Thank you Ridgewood Community Access Network (CAN) and the many others throughout Ridgewood who work tirelessly and selflessly on behalf of those with special needs.  I am particularly grateful to our core “Access” team, who lead, advocate and organize important programs, such as “Access Ridgewood” — Wendy Broadbent, Ines Bunza, Cristina Deutsch, Janet Fricke, Debi Glennon, Matthew Mandeli, Gail Tamirian-Mandeli, Caroline Meier, Tricia Mueller, Robin Ritter, Lauren Schechter, Karen Sheehy, Joanne Stolfo and Brooke Webb.

Our Interfaith Community:  Thank you Interfaith Religious Leaders of Ridgewood for giving us a faith community that is so unified, so spirited and so inclusive.    I don’t know of another town where the clergy meet monthly, participate in 4 interfaith services and work alongside other community leaders on a regular basis.

Our Veterans Community:   Thank you American Legion Post 53 for all you do to keep our soldiers and veterans front-and-center in our thoughts and prayers.  Through your annual events – Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Gold Star Mothers’ Day and Blue Star Families’ Salute – you help us to keep it all in perspective.

Our Business Community:   Thank you Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce and Ridgewood Guild for helping to keep our downtown strong and vibrant.  Your advocacy.  Your programming.  Your commitment to Ridgewood.  Taken together, you add so much to the life of our community.

Our Education Community:  Thank you Board of Education and all of our school administrators for all of the time, effort and passion you bring to your critically important roles.  And thank you to our first-rate educators, who strive – day in and day out – to give our children the best education possible.  As your Mayor and as a parent, I am both proud and grateful.

Our VOR Community:  Thank you to the many women and men who make our town run — our Village staff/professionals, Village Councilmembers and Village board/committee members.   Notwithstanding the normal give-and-take of municipal government, Ridgewood is a well-run community thanks to the many good people who serve in public positions – often behind the scenes and often for little or no compensation.

In addition, there are a numbers of people with whom I work and from whom I get so much.  There are personal heroes, such as Michael Feeney, Ed Schwartz and Anthony Daniels.  There are extraordinary organizations, such as Children’s Aid and Family Services, the Social Service Association and West Bergen Mental Healthcare.  And there are numerous residents with whom I interact for charitable purposes, such as the RHS Jamboree cast/crew, the Knights of Columbus and the Rotarians.

Again, being Mayor of Ridgewood is anything but a thankless job.

Happy Thanksgiving, Ridgewood.