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.