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Council Takes Boot to Student Parking at RHS in Favor of Teachers

In a 3-2 decision, the council has agreed to cede public parking usually taken by students on Heermance Place to RHS staff. Teachers will also be allowed to park on one side of Beverly Road, according to the agreement.

Ridgewood High School students soon won't have the option of parking at Heermance Place even if they wake at the crack of dawn.

On Wednesday night, the Ridgewood council agreed to grant the school district's request that public parking on the street abutting the high school only be available to teachers Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Citing increasing enrollment figures, Ridgewood superintendent Daniel Fishbein – joined by school board president Sheila Brogan – told the council the district simply cannot accommodate parking for the number of teachers employed at the district's largest building.

Per Fishbein's figures, there are parking 186 spaces on campus, 8 of which are handicap spots. That's met by 215 staff members on payroll, as well as custodians and food service personnel.

The utter lack of spaces is problematic he said, and not just for teachers.

“That causes people in a rush to park illegally and get tickets in our parking lot,” he said.

Under the mantra that teachers should be able to park where they work, Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck and Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli agreed to cede 23 spots on Heermance Place during the school week.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn reversed his stance from that of a year ago, citing new figures that were "not available" when Fishbein made a similar request last winter.

“I’m a firm believer this is the right thing to do,” Aronsohn said. “If you work somewhere, you should have the ability to park there.”

In addition, teachers will be allowed to park on the southern side of Beverly Place during school hours. According to Fishbein, the takeover will free up between 5-10 spaces for visitors at the main lot. It's much needed, said Aronsohn.

“That is key,” the mayor told Patch Thursday. “Right now, parents have a very difficult time parking at the school.”

The prior council voted unanimously to shoot down the school district's request this past spring (which did not include the Beverly Road component), but sang a different tune this time around.

In dissent, Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh on Wednesday said she thought the teachers should walk from the Graydon lot instead of the public being marginalized.

It's a ten minute walk, she said, instructing teachers to "get there 10 minutes early."

“I feel very strongly on this that the spots on the street are for the public,” Walsh said. “They’re not supposed to be private spots.”

Councilman Tom Riche agreed, saying he worried saying yes would create a precedent. Perhaps another business, Riche reasoned, will see the opportunity to have public streets serve private interests, creating a snowball effect.

According to Riche, the BOE also didn't do its homework on this one.

They made no attempt to explore other solutions, he said, panning the request. Resident Boyd Loving latched onto that point, telling the council the district's parking problem was precisely that – the district's problem. He, like his wife Anne, said the school board has not even considered other options to open up parking.

“What makes the teahcers more important than the students?” Anne Loving pondered. “Let them exhaust options then come to you,” Boyd added.

School board trustee Jim Morgan – who lives on Beverly Road – told Patch Thursday morning he was surprised to hear the council grant the request.

The discussion has not come up at the school board, let alone agreed to, he said.

Morgan didn't express much issue with the parking takeover on Heermance Place, but felt strongly about the Beverly opening.

“The idea of parking on Beverly has not been discussed by the board since I was elected,” he told Patch. “I am surprised that the superintendent and BOE President have apparently supported this proposal that, in my opinion, poses serious safety risks to the kids. There are other, safer options available.”

Morgan did not offer any specific alternatives.

The council has agreed to include input from neighbors and other citizens going forward. There will be public hearings for an ordinance vote, potentially coming in January.

What do you think of the council majority's giveaway to the school district? Comment below!

SK December 10, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Ridgewood Mom - I disagreed with what you said period. The next time you have a point to make try doing it without degrading the kids. However, Bill Porterfield is correct, since you won't admit what you said eventhough it is there in black and white, a real discussion with you on this topic is pointless.
Map Eltimeman December 10, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Ridgewood Mom - do you have children (a scary thought) who attend RHS?
Moist Cake December 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Give it a rest SK, she never "degraded" kids anywhere, go troll elsewhere, your posts are exhausting to read. Its a privilege for them to park anywhere. Meter the street and let em all pay for parking, we could use the revenue.
Kathleen December 11, 2012 at 11:28 AM
I am not sure why the school leadership believes that teachers are too good to walk from the overflow lot at Graydon. I park daily at a commuter parking meter in one of the downtown lots and pay the Village $650 annually for the privilege to park. Then catch a train and when I reach my destination I walk (rain or shine) 13 blocks to my office. I find the walk refreshing. It clears my head for the day ahead. I would think the teachers would enjoy the fresh air. Driving and Parking are a privilege not a right. It is a privilege to be able to park your car anywhere. Why is the Council acting as if Teachers have the right to park? What about the residents on those streets? Where do they and their guests park during the day when the teachers clog their streets? I feel the Council has made a bad decision bowing down to the School Board and Administration.
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Moist Cake, i think Ridgewood Mom has tried to "degrade" the kids, and their parents, and others on this blog seem to think so too. Since not some, or most, but all of your previous posts speak negatively of Ridgewood citizens - maybe you should find another place to live where you would be happy. It's a big world.
Joe the average American guy. December 11, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Simple. Every other school has teacher parking. That is priority one. Make the lot all teacher section that accommodates the teachers then let the students fight for the streets, municipal lots and excess parking at the school. I have never seen teachers not have parking. I'm not a fan of entitlements. For anyone, teachers included. But having parking where you work is job one. Reference students. I walked to school. All kids can walk a bit, they will need to do so in college. It is part of being a kid. We also must allow parking on the other streets near by the schools and fields. This "not here" stuff is crazy. You bought near a school or field for convenience. They are part of the community, everyone should have access to the streets. Have you tried going to a game and finding parking at some of these events. No parking signs everywhere. Ridgewood. We need common sense for the majority and stop catering to a few here and there
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Bill, Since it is clearly your M.O. to attack without regard for the topic, and with a tediousness in hoping that your nonsense will stick, I will continue to respond. I think that you have a very low opinion, and deep lack of understanding about, education the nature of learning. You act based on an obsession with sticking it to workers that you regard as needed to be placed lower then others, simply because they work in what you define as the "public sector." This push for demanding a more degrading status in your needed tight social hierarchy undermines the succes of students with reference to a functional student - teacher relationship. You are politicking, as usual, and nothing more. And it is disgusting that you would seek to drag down Ridgewood's educational system to suit this agenda. Besides having demonstrated yourself on the Patch to be a male chauvanist, who has no respect for the role of motherly participation in family, and being a biological deterministic racist bigot, you clearly do not have the better interests of Ridgewood's youth in mind.
Anne LaGrange Loving December 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Greg - The teachers DO have parking where they work. If they arrive early, they can park in the lot that abuts the building. If they arrive a bit later, they can park in Graydon South, which is not a very long walk (and in fact is a much shorter distance than many employees walk to their jobs). Public streets should not have designated parking spots for employees of the BOE. I agree with you about opening the streets to parking, but NOT to designated parking for the BOE, and only where it makes sense in terms of safety (fire truck access, etc)
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Ridgewood Mom, and yet ur the one who does all the insulting and name calling. My very successful wife would find your chauvinist claim amusing.
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Greg, i agree that the streets should be open as they are everywhere else. Why the need to have no parking from 8-3 during school days?
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 03:15 PM
and Ridgewood Mom, calling someone a racist, as you just me, is a serious claim. I do demand you show me how you can make that claim, either that or make an apology.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Thanks for the motherly support Map. Very nice.
Ridgewoodboy December 11, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Just an FYI driving is a privialage for everyone not just students, look it up. Also there is no reason teachers can not car pool to work or take mass transit. Also I think the student should fight for what they think is right.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 04:03 PM
1. The male chauvanism is in that because you, as a man, claim to know best the proper roles of women in society base upon the idea that you know one of them (your wife). How about letting women choose their own roles, individually, and not trying to dictate them to them? 2. Your words: "the book, 'The Bell Curve' which noted intelligence issues between races" http://ridgewood.patch.com/articles/more-questions-than-answers-in-youth-soccer-embezzlement-case
Joe December 11, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Just to clarify for Mrs. Loving: even if ALL the teachers & school staff arrive early, there is not enough parking for them in the lot that abuts the building. That's the whole reason for the Heermance change request.
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 04:10 PM
i noted that the Bell Curve received negative attention, never did i say i agreed with it. I have never stated anything about choosing a woman's role. I've said that i think that housewives have a limited world view. You're projecting. Others here have made rational arguments for and against preferential parking. They've done so without having to demonize the other side. Again, i've never said anything related to race. You deny things you've posted and you've made things up about what others have posted.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 04:14 PM
Unfortunately, driving is a necessity for some in order that they can get to work. It is certainly, however, a privilege that we can live in Ridgewood.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 04:54 PM
1. Bill: "i noted that the Bell Curve received negative attention" You spoke critically of the public's outcry over the book's racism. 2. Bill: "They've done so without having to demonize the other side." Like suggesting that a person hates Ridgewood and its kids because that person doesn't think that it is always best to pamper those kids with stuff? Righty then. Sort of like claiming that a person hates America if they don't agree with the president, or recite the pledge of allegiance properly or whatever. I was happy to let all of your trollish nonsense go Bill and just go on talking about parking. But you have been working very hard, as you often do, to demonize rather then engage. And now, as I have turned things away from myself and toward you for just a moment, you are the pot calling the kettle black. How quaint.
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Ridgewood Mom, i only mentioned that the Bell Curve received negative attention, not that i believed it. and you know that - as you can read the post you yourself listeed. I never said that i as a man, or any other gender, that i decide women's roles. You truly make up things.
Joe December 11, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Do you even live in Ridgewood? Have you been to the high school? There are no homeowners on Heermance in the area of the parking places in question. The street cuts directly through the campus. On the one side is the school building proper and on the other side is the athletic field. There are no BOE or Fishbien spaces. The only marked space I recall was the one Jack Lorenz designated for the principal.
James Kleimann December 11, 2012 at 05:18 PM
The comments here are really getting out of hand. It's ridiculous people can't have spirited debate without it morphing into ad hominem attacks. If it continues, I'll close comments to this article.
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 05:19 PM
You are correct, Ridgewoodboy, people all through the country carpool or take mass transit. If their commute is undesirable, they can get another job.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Yes James you are right. I apologize for any degree to which I have allowed myself to be part of it.
Ridgewood Mom December 11, 2012 at 05:39 PM
Just one point about what is going on here. http://www.teapartybloggers.com/mission-statement/
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Again, James, i suggest that the Patch require people to use their real names. It will civilize the posts because people will feel more accountable for their words.
Elizabeth Cox December 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
glen rock made and revamped the parking lot- they numbered the spaces- teachers who have been there longest got the lower numbers- when they ran out of spots the teachers have to park on the street. students were never allowed to park in the lot. we were however allowed to park on hamilton, Cornwall, HArristown, Radburn & the little one way leading up to the HS. this is the same spaces the teachers that don't have spots park as well. the PUBLIC streets are first come first serve- to make someone either Pay to park there or give up the street to teachers is in my opinion wrong- maybe they should look into expanding the lots - good luck RWD
Joe the average American guy. December 11, 2012 at 06:01 PM
If they have ample and allocated parking, then this should be open to all. Thank you Anne. Then I agree
Fan of Ridgewood December 11, 2012 at 06:04 PM
So much for RM's apology. The Tea Party, really? A plot to undermine teachers by letting students park? And, ironically, you're the one who's made all the personal accusations..
Joe December 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Annnnnd we come full circle: they do not have ample parking. Hence the request to the village council. This thread has become so entertaining.
James Kleimann December 11, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Comments are now closed. I'll be following this story as it develops, so stay tuned.

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