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No2BCIA Citizen Group

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Grassroots Parking Garage Petition Exceeds Signature Goal, Seeks to Put Garage Financing Options to Voters

Hundreds upon hundreds of Ridgewood, NJ taxpayers demand a voice on how to fund parking garage.

Ridgewood, NJ, March 01, 2016 --( Friday afternoon, in a victory for the voice of the taxpayers and responsible public financing, the NO2BCIA ( citizen group delivered over 1300 signatures, more than enough, to force a binding referendum on a Village ordinance that would have the county rather than the Village bond the proposed Hudson Street parking garage.

The Committee of Petitioners were formed in the aftermath of a failure of the Ridgewood Village Council to achieve the 4­1 super­majority vote necessary for the Village to bond the project itself, due to lack of critical design renderings requested by Council member Susan Knudsen for the community and Council to review and assess, and the lack of a payment plan to present to taxpayers, as requested by Councilman Sedon.

Instead, a simple majority (3­2) of the Council immediately at the same meeting, introduced Ordinance 3519, an ordinance authorizing the execution and granting of a Lease Purchase Agreement with the Bergen County Improvement Authority.

The petition seeks to protest and repeal Ordinance 3519 until it can be voted on by registered voters of Ridgewood, as a binding referendum question. The Committee of Petitioners seeks to ensure that all aspects of the garage remain securely within the control of the Village.

“This is a huge victory for the residents of Ridgewood who want to have common sense solutions to parking and how it is funded. This petition is not anti­garage. In fact, in talking to the many people who signed, many of them voted for a garage on the non­binding referendum in November. They just want Ridgewood to have full control and flexibility of the pricing structure, especially when it comes to resident and non­resident commuters using the garage,” says Petitioner Lorraine Reynolds. “Now we hope to encourage full Council support for a garage design that meets the wishes of the surrounding community, including shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and most of all, the residents of Ridgewood.”

Petitioner Gail McCarthy adds, “I am very optimistic. ‘Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.’ I am pretty sure we would all much rather be spending our time and money shopping in downtown Ridgewood!”
Contact Information
No2BCIA Citizen Group
Gail McCarthy
201 888 7724

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