At a Sept. 11 council meeting,
council members termed the packages delivered by North Jersey Media Group “litter,” and
pointed to public safety issues that could stem from their unsolicited delivery to vacant
village homes, potentially alerting burglars to residents' absence.
On Wednesday, Mayor Paul Aronsohn said that after conversations with the publisher, the company agreed to take steps to address the village's concerns.
NJMG will move the delivery time from 6 to 9 a.m., he said, as well as enlarge the small-print phone number, which residents may call to opt out of the deliveries, on the advertorials’ cover.
The opt-out number will also be posted on the village website, officials said.
Stephen Borg, president of NJMG, told The Record, the company's flagship paper, that he was "happy to work with the village to address their concerns."
NJMG also publishes The Ridgewood News and more than 40 other community weekly papers.
According to Aronsohn, the ban had been considered after a complaint from a resident. In the weeks since the council first discussed the proposal, he said, some residents have said they appreciate the deliveries, and that the ad opportunities are important for local businesses.
“It wasn’t as black and white,” he said, adding that the publisher has been “very responsive” to concerns.
The packages are delivered by the media company to homes that do not subscribe to its papers. For subscribers, the ads are placed inside the papers.
Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli, a vocal critic of the packages during the previous council discussion of the matter, reiterated on Wednesday his personal distaste for the materials, and said he would seek to hold the company to its promises.
“I will opt out at the first opportunity,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, I’ll be back here saying ‘ban them.’”