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Election Blitz: Aronsohn, Chamber Denies Endorsement Rumors

Anonymous blog post stated Aronsohn attempted to receive a political endorsement from the chamber, setting the stage for the upcoming 2012 council elections

Village council elections may be months away, but a bloody campaign season might have already started after an anonymous blog post accused Councilman Paul Aronsohn of trying to grab a political endorsement from the Ridgewood Chamber of Commerce.

On Friday morning an anonymous post on The Ridgewood Blog claimed that Aronsohn, the chamber liaison, tried to sway the Chamber in a recent Meeting, a move the post said was "forbidden by ethics rules."

"In that whole post only one line is true," Chamber President told Patch Friday afternoon. "The chamber cannot endorse any political candidates and that we reviewed that at the meeting – one I'd hardly call heated."

He continued: "We did not even mention Paul Aronsohn. He made no requests; I don't think he even spoke during that part of the meeting."

Hillmann called it a "work of fiction" penned by someone "with an agenda" and one potentially sitting on the Board of Directors.

Landlord , whom the post identified as leading "the charge" to endorse the council's liaison, said there was in fact a discussion on the chamber's political role in the village, but it was not as the post described.

"I expressed the sentiment that we obviously cannot back or support a candidate, however, it might be appropriate to support positions that are favorable to the chamber that might be articulated by any of the candidates," Sullivan said. "The sentiment of the board was that really is a derivative form of supporting a candidate."

Asked if he made a move to shore up an endorsement, Aronsohn said "absolutely not."

The politicking concerns several board members, who said they were stumped as to who released the "inaccurate" information.

"Politics here [in Ridgewood] can get nasty but making up outright lies to take a shot at someone anonymously like that?" said one board member. "That's really low."

The campaign has begun

Political insiders say Aronsohn has been busy seeking two other candidates to run for seats on the council, hoping to overturn the five-member body and become mayor.

Mark Bombace, who unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat and was previously a and captain, has been pegged as one possible candidate, according to several sources.

Aronsohn said while he thinks Bombace would be "an outstanding candidate," he's "not running on a ticket."

A second candidate has not yet emerged, sources said, one that would be needed to turn the council that often outvotes him.

Asked if it was his intent to become mayor, Aronsohn on Friday said simply: "I'm just looking to be re-elected."

Deputy Mayor Tom Riche, Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh and Mayor Keith Killion could all be vying for the same mayoral title, according to sources. Each would need two votes other for an appointment and none have yet locked them down, insiders said.

Alongside Aronsohn, Killon and are up for re-election in 2012. Both remarked Friday they haven't yet decided they're running for re-election, but are "leaning toward it."

A lot may be at stake in 2012, a year likely to include further and .

What hinges on the outcome of those three open seats could be the job of Village Manager Ken Gabbert, who has over numerous issues since his .

Were he to flip the council – – sources say an Aronsohn-led governing body might try to depose the controversial manager, .

Aronsohn was outvoted 4-1, as he was with the decision to and other non-union staff.

Boyd A. Loving January 13, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Let the games begin!
Ridgewood Mom January 14, 2012 at 12:00 AM
The question is, who is trying to spread lies to smear Aronsohn?
Melvin Freedenberg January 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
When I joined Citizens for a Better Ridgewood, the first meeting was missing some key advocates. I was informed that the absentees had business pending before the Village and were afraid of retribution. If fear of retribution for opposing the current administration is why the did not showing up, in my mind that is sufficient reason to change the present council. Nobody should be driven by fear.
Long Time Resident January 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I will support and vote for any candidate who promises to fire Manager Gabbert.
Logan Ruppel January 14, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Dirty politics at any level of government is inexcusable, but I would never expect a campaign in our very own Ridgewood to resort to such shameful tactics. This accusation is ridiculous because I personally know that Paul is a man of integrity and would never make as boneheaded a decision as seeking an endorsement from an organization that doesn't even endorse political candidates.
delgado January 14, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Looks like the smear tactics of Bernadette Walsh and he good friend double dipper Republican County Executive Kathe Donovan are infesting the Ridgewood Council race... The biggest issue should be moving the election to November to save money.
Ridgewood Mom January 14, 2012 at 05:04 AM
For the record, I was not making an accusation regarding any individuals in particular.
Dominick Nizza January 14, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Rumor has it I might run for Council, Not in this lifetime.
Long Time Resident January 14, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Go for it Dom you would be an improvement over most of the council members we have now
Helen Cool January 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I have only recently had any interest in local politics. So therefore forgive my naivete concerning your comment. No remarks should be accepted as truth if the person isn't willing to release his name. I don't put much stock in Mr/Mrs anonymous. If any group or individual is threatening retribution, this should become public knowledge. Don't you think so?
RdgwdGRock January 14, 2012 at 05:50 PM
"I will support and vote for any candidate who promises to fire Manager Gabbert" Agreed!
RdgwdGRock January 14, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Dom - C'mom...run...run!
Dominick Nizza January 14, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Perhaps an investigation of how the Village loss a $500,000 'Maude Thornton' bequest in 1979 might inspire potential candidates.
Kay January 14, 2012 at 10:36 PM
OMG!!! What has Ridgewood become??? I don't personally know Paul Arenson, but from what I have observed of his "tenure", he has Ridgewood as his main concern! Why he would try to enable himself to give more of his time to the town doesn't make sense. He's already committed to a very time consuming committment to our town!!!!! Thank you Paul!!!
Kay January 14, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Sorry Paul...I misspelled your name: Aronsohn! Kay
Dominick Nizza January 15, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Having trouble finding Newspaper stories on how the Village Council lost the $500,000 (1979) Maude Thornton bequest? Don't panic I have most of themi in my planned book story. All from the Record writers and Editors, Ridgewood News and other local newspapers. It was the scandal of the time (losing the $500,000). In the meantime check with the Village Attorney of that time...His comment "Dom, I told them they could not divert the bequeath funds to other than her desires for a Youth Center". Since then I have had very little confidence confidence in our Village Council. I guess, at 90 years of age I still don't forget so easily.
Dominick Nizza January 16, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Where are the investigative reporters of today perhaps, they are still too young?
maureen January 17, 2012 at 03:39 PM
paul aronsohn will have my vote. He is by far the only outspoken Council member who is fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.
delgado January 21, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Bernadette Walsh and her sleazy connections with double dipping Republican County Executive could be one place
Dominick Nizza March 04, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Sorry folks, I'm much too busy to run for a Council Seat, I'm planning my 90th Birthday party for March 17th. a Saturday.

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