Since the story in last Friday's Ridgewood News failed to present a balanced account of the discussion at last week's Board of Education meeting, I thought it would be helpful to share the following statement, which was made by Board of Ed president Michele Lenhard at that meeting. This statement has been posted on the District website:
We are aware that some members of our community have concerns and questions about the field lights currently being installed at RHS Stadium and Stevens Fields. When the project is complete and fully powered by PSE&G our lighting engineer will undertake tests to measure light output to adhere to the specifications in the design plans. This includes light spill surrounding the fields.
Recommendations for the usage of the fields and the lights will be made by the Fields Committee in the form of policy. They are currently revising the Field Use Policy to reflect the changes to the Stadium and Stevens Fields. The policy will come before both the Village Council and BOE for approval. The spring 2011 schedule of sports activities is being developed and will be posted to both the BOE and Village website when complete.
On October 27th [resident] Jim Morgan presented a statement to the Village Council on behalf of his neighbors, which differed significantly from the concerns recently brought before this Board. In the past when concerns were raised, we met directly with the neighbors and supported requests for adjustments to fencing, traffic, parking and landscaping. Mr. Morgan emailed a copy of the statement to BOE members, and on 10/29 Dr. Fishbein and I met with Colleen Kossoff, Jim Morgan, and Mayor Killion to better understand concerns. Unlike concerns raised to date, it questions Village Council or Planning Board authority over Board of Education activities. Prior to commenting on specific allegations raised by Mr. Morgan we are consulting with legal counsel.
Understanding our neighbors’ concerns is an important part of our evaluative process as we look to institute policy to manage the use of RHS Stadium and Stevens Fields. We hope that we can continue to work together to achieve mutual satisfaction for the neighbors, the Board of Education, and most importantly the children of the Village of Ridgewood, whose best interest we strive to serve.
Believe me, I wish we could just talk more freely as we work everything out (and I personally believe we will work it out), but once the possibility of lawsuits was raised, the Board had an obligation to consult our attorneys. Hopefully we'll be able to say more at our next BOE meeting, on November 15.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org