Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Village Council meeting: Well, that was awkward

Members of the Board of Ed, along with Dr. Fishbein and Angelo DeSimone, Business Administrator, attended last night's meeting of the Village Council. Our purpose was to inform the Council about the upcoming Bond Referendum vote on Dec. 8. (Normally we invite the Council to attend a Board meeting for this presentation, but this year they declined. Everyone's busy this time of year and adding another meeting can be problematic. I'm assuming that was the reason. But we really wanted our Village leadership to be informed about the facts of this important issue, so we traveled to their fancy Village Hall digs.)

Anyway, Dr. Fishbein raced through his powerpoint in order to finish within our allotted 15 minutes. Council members asked what have definitely become "frequently asked questions:" 1) Why now? 2) Have you looked at alternatives? 3) Why not re-open Glen School? 4) How did the schools get into this shape? (Click on each of those questions to read my previous thoughts on these topics.) And that was it. Oh, yeah, Councilwoman Zusy thought it would be helpful to have the Village Clerk remind everyone about how the Village's budget was going to increase our taxes this year, too. That was helpful.

We stayed around for the fireworks when the Chamber of Commerce president and other representatives complained about the Village Council's actions on raising fees (parking, sewer, dumpster, health dept, sidewalk, etc.), in light of the terrible business climate in town and 35-40 businesses closed. It was so unpleasant and emotional and frustrating for everyone in the audience, at one point Councilman Mancuso commented that he could tell that the BOE members present were glad we ran for the Board of Ed and not the Council. Right you are, Pat!

People were shouting (on both sides of the lecturn). There were personal attacks. Most of us BOE members left after that. (Awkward!) Needless to say, I'll definitely hit my local Ridgewood stores when running errands today!

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