ABOUT THE GAY PRIDE FLAG

For eight months the Community Relations Advisory Board (CRAB) discussed displaying the Gay Pride Flag at Mermorial Park at Van Neste Square. I was 100% supportive.

Unfortunately, without the benefit of full public discussion, the location request was later changed from Van Neste to Village Hall.

Village Council made a decision  that was respectful of the original  CRAB discussion and request  and mindful of guidance from our Village attorney.

While some chose to negatively compare us to Glen Rock, they  also displayed the Pride Flag in a municpal park.

Click the HEART if you'd like to read  the Community Relations Advisory Board minutes from August 2016 - February 2017  - consistent with the decision of Village Council.

Ridgewood Public Safety appointments are controlled by the State of New Jersey, Department of Personnel, Civil Service, not Village Council. Ridgewood complies with the competitive testing system administered by the State of New Jersey thus eliminating all discrimination, favoritism, nepotism, or cronyism.     

My sons, who stand ready at any time to put themselves in harm's way to protect and serve our community, earned their positions the exact same way every other Ridgewood Police Officer and Firefighter has. My opponents and their supporters have chosen to take the lowest possible road, utilizing a photograph of one of my sons being sworn in, in order to smear his mother.

Please review the chronology of the residency ordinance amendment for non-public safety jobs and support documentation.

                                               

2013 - My sons took the State administered Law Enforcement Exam (LEE).

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May 6, 2014 -  Two months before I took office, then Village Manager Sonenfeld received the 2013 LEE list from the State of New Jersey Department of Personnel, Civil Service.

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July 9, 2014 – Then Village Manager Sonenfeld recommended to the Village Council a change to the hiring practice for civilian jobs by eliminating the Ridgewood residency preference and inserting a preference to residents of contiguous counties instead.  Her recommendation did not include non-civilian public safety titles such as police and firefighters.  

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Village Council does not have jurisdiction to change State of New Jersey laws pertaining to residency preference for non-civilian public safety titles. Village Council has no authority to amend, affirm, reaffirm, or otherwise change that ordinance. Even if Village Council had that jurisdiction, no action could have changed the existing 2013 LEE list my sons were on.      I have made available the New Jersey Statute and the applicable subsection.

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August 2014 - I trusted Ms. Sonenfeld’s word that she was having difficulty finding qualified candidates for certain positions and voted in support of her July 9 recommendation.  It wasn’t until later that I learned that this change was meant to facilitate the hiring of a friend of Ms. Sonenfeld, unencumbered by competition, for a newly created position. 

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December 29, 2014 – The State of New Jersey Department of Personnel notified then Village Manager Sonenfeld that her changes violated State law when she removed a hiring preference for Ridgewood residents and inserted a preference for residents of contiguous counties.

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April 8, 2015 – To correct that violation Village Council voted again to amend the ordinance for civilian jobs giving statewide preference rather than restoring the preference to our Ridgewood residents.  In support of civilian job opportunities for our Village community, I voted against the statewide preference.

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November 2015:  Then Village Manager Sonenfeld certified eligible candidates to be hired, from the 2013 LEE list, in the appropriate order based on competitive testing results.  In July 2016, Ms. Sonenfeld, as the Village hiring authority, began the rigorous hiring process for eligible candidates and subsequently hired seven highly qualified police officers. Village Council members had no part in this process. 

A FRAUDULENT STORY OF NEPOTISM 

<- July 9, 2014 meeting minutes

<- Original ordinance civilian jobs for Ridgewood 

November  2017 - The State of New Jersey found former Village Manager Sonenfeld and former Mayor Aronsohn guilty of ethics violations for the misuse of taxpayer funds.

Both were fined by the State of New Jersey Local Finance Board.

Please scroll down for documents.