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Gabbert Staying on as Ridgewood Village Manager

Council will "establish evaluation process" for Gabbert following a closed session meeting where council members were expected to ask for his resignation.

Ken Gabbert will stay on as Ridgewood village manager for at least a few months, according to the council.

Citing anonymous sources, Patch reported on Monday that three of the five council members would be calling for Gabbert's resignation at a closed session meeting on Wednesday night.

Emerging from the two-hour closed session, Mayor Paul Aronsohn said Gabbert will remain as the chief administrator of the village.

"The council has agreed to work toward a common goal and is establishing an evaluation process for the Village Manager and will closely monitor it over the next few months," he said in a statement written on behalf of the council.

The mayor refused to say if Gabbert's resignation was called for at the closed meeting or answer further questions. Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli also declined to comment.

Gabbert and his attorney, Robert T. Regan, both declined to comment.

Speaking briefly with reporters Wednesday night, Aronsohn stressed the need for unity among an often divided council.

"There's lots of business to do in this town," he said. "We want to work together as a five-person council."

Aronsohn, Pucciarelli and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck have a strained relationship with council members Tom Riche and Bernadette Walsh, who have both supported Gabbert's performance as village manager.

Gabbert and Aronsohn have had a testy relationship throughout the village manager's in Ridgewood.

The mayor, then a councilman, was the lone official to speak out against Gabbert's appointment in 2009. He also opposed in 2011 and thrashed the administrator over his responsibilities during the freak snow storm just months later.

It's unclear what the "evaluation process" described in Aronsohn's statement will entail.

RdgwdGRock February 07, 2013 at 12:41 PM
translation? Gabbert was going to sue the Village, so now this convoluted solution.
Boyd A. Loving February 07, 2013 at 12:47 PM
This is great news for the Village. I'm happy that the 5 Village Council members were able to agree on both a practical and sensible plan of action.
News Man February 07, 2013 at 01:13 PM
The "Council has agreed to work toward a common goal" statement sounds like a graceful exit compromise has been provided for all concerned. In the meantime perhaps, a search for expected changes will be made.
jp1 February 07, 2013 at 01:26 PM
How many chances does one get? Thank you mayor and council for nothing.
Rene February 07, 2013 at 04:07 PM
that must have been a fun meeting.
Ridgewood Mom February 07, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Agreed.
maureen February 07, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Great job by council to put Gabbert in check . He never deserved a raise and at least it is being made clear his job is in jeopardy. He definitely needs to go but who knows if getting rid of him is too costly due to legal repercussions .? At least some progress is being made .
Mikka H February 07, 2013 at 05:27 PM
and absolute pathetic situation....the council and Gabbert were all over the Bergen Record yesterday and now this.....the laughing stock of Bergen County....wake up Ridgewood.....your getting raked across the coals....and go away boyd....get a set of em will ya,,,,
Marco Maric February 07, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I will apply for Village Manager and take $1.00 less than the current salary so that the town can save some money, but you can speak to my attorney about me giving up my other 6 jobs all over the county.
George Thanasides February 07, 2013 at 06:48 PM
why do we tolerate these crooks?
chele February 07, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Marco Maric, could you please list for the rest of us, the "other 6 jobs all over the county" Dr. Gabbert holds. Thanks much.
Mikka H February 07, 2013 at 09:09 PM
woooo. it's DR. Gabbert now.....does that make him better than the rest of us chele? what's your point? snob.... good comment Tommy.....
chele February 07, 2013 at 10:23 PM
It's been Dr. Gabbert since he earned his degree Mikka H. He would never correct you though as he is eminently more courteous than the Bickerson Brothers. Now make yourself useful and help Marco Maric find those "other 6 jobs all over the county" Dr. Gabbert holds. Go on now...put the remote down..you finally found your "special purpose".....just like Steve Martin in The Jerk!! The new phone books will be here soon and then you'll really be somebody.
JAFO February 07, 2013 at 10:50 PM
Does "and is establishing an evaluation process for the Village Manager" mean there never was a formal evaluation process in place? Where can I sign up for a job that gives huge raises without having a performance review?
Marco Maric February 08, 2013 at 12:10 AM
My form of humor involves sarcasm and exaggeration, but I am no doctor
delgado February 08, 2013 at 01:45 AM
add in the massive campaign donations Wlash personally gave to Donovan who in turn appointed Gabbert to the NWBCUA... Also it is in complete violation that Gabbert has a second paid job, WITHOUT village council approve. Why is this complete lawbreaking by Walsh not being addressed. Perhaps instead of trying to get out of parking tickets an honest discussion on double dipping by Gabbert and allowed by Walsh is more important.
mike waters February 08, 2013 at 01:45 AM
This guy layed how many people off from the town, cut services, and persuaded the council to give himself rediculious raises along the way. In the end what did it really accomplish? Cant agree with you more Mikka, You people need to wake up! Theirs alot of fat that needs to be cut and its for sure white collar not blue!!! If only you knew.....
delgado February 08, 2013 at 01:48 AM
Why is Honorable Walsh not be investigated for breaking Village rules for allowing Dr. Gabbert be allowed to be a double dipper when the Village contract requires the Council to approve the second job? Why is Walsh always allowed to break the law? And why did she give the County Executive thousands of dollars in contribution and then magically Gabbert gets appointed to a second job?
chele February 08, 2013 at 03:41 AM
JAFO, that particular job is called a phys ed teacher..and poor, dear mike waters...where to begin, all I can say is I hope your're actually a 2nd grader goofing on people because "theirs alot of fat" alright, all of it between your ears. Every sentence a masterpiece. And our watchdog from south of the border, delgado, I believe councilwoman Walsh's parents named her Bernadette, not Honorable. Listen, when you come up with the "6 other jobs all over the county" Dr. Gabbert holds and in what regard exactly he is a 'double dipper" could you also point us to where "Walsh (is) always allowed to break the law"? Our village attorney (who apparently isn't the brightest bulb, if your assertions are true) is really going to need your help in prosecuting Honorable, so stay on the case, your insight is invaluable (that means really, really good). I gotta tell ya, after a long day in the button factory, you, mike waters and JAFO provide more comic relief than a Three Stooges marathon! Are you sure your names aren't really Moe, Larry & Curley?
Bob Royal February 08, 2013 at 01:35 PM
"She turned her single vote on the council into 5 council votes for what she wanted: to keep Ken as manager." --- Doesn't say much about your beloved Mayor and his side-kicks, huh, Tommy? I actually give the three-amigos the benefit of the doubt on this one -- perhaps they learned something that changed their minds (for example, and I am just guessing, perhaps they learned that a lawsuit over this issue would cost the town a lot of money and that the town would likely lose anyway).
Lisa Fitzmaurice February 08, 2013 at 02:39 PM
I have lived here for 20 years and have watched two Village Managers hold this position before Dr. Gabbert (title earned and deserved by education) and quite frankly, the two before Dr. Gabbert should never have been allowed to stay in their jobs as long as they did and then collect a nice pension all funded by taxpayers. One, I believe left Village cars in a flood zone and the taxpayers had to replace them, oh and lets not forget the numerous accidents he had with Village vehicles also. Then the one before him was a proponent of spend, spend, spend with no regard for the taxpayers or where the money was to come from. From what me and my husband have seen of Dr. Gabbert's work ethic since he was hired by The Village, we have been more than pleased that someone finally has the gumption to say "No" to some spending and "where is the money going to come from" also make what were deemed as necessary cuts to Village departments. Cutbacks are a way of life, and why should The Village of Ridgewood be any different. Are these all the reasons why Dr. Gabbert is being villafied in the press? Not one person has come out with the real reasons. I do know one fact, I have lived here for 20 years and my taxes have doubled and really I have not seen much back for that cost increase--so which way shall we go--can't get what we want so fire the guy OR keep the guy and try to work together at making more cohesive decisions that do not cost the taxpayers more and more money.
kevin February 08, 2013 at 03:41 PM
So chele are you in support of Ken Gabbert and the job he has done? The fact that he doudble dipped with the money he received from the NWBCUA? Not sure if you are trying to disparage the teaching profession, Physical Education teachers in particular. Acually I am not sure what your point is, did you have one about keeping Ken Gabbert on as town manager?
mom with a POV February 08, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Excellent point!
mom with a POV February 08, 2013 at 04:36 PM
I hate to get involved in what clearly seems like a personal fight, but for the record "chele", I believe he was being sarcastic in his post. Get it? "He'll (Marco Maric) take the job for $1 less, but keep his other 6 jobs". You may not appreciate the humor, but at least I didn't take it as if he was accusing Gabbert of having 6 other jobs. Again...just my opinion.
Bill Connor February 08, 2013 at 07:06 PM
PS: Taxes out of Control and Rising , diseased Shade Trees looming over our families and Properties/Liabilities.No real plan To Change the Direction of the management of OUR town- despite the last Elections Mandate- Perhaps more of the Same Ridiculous Approaches to the harder issues of Cost Management/Services Consolidation- which is inevitable on Cost forward Basis.So what is the Plan that our Paid town government Managers Propose outside of all of this snone-walling And internal bickering- no wonder the Main Press taking us to Task- we are not managing well- one of the major Investment centers in Bergen County.Citizens are not very Pleased with the current Approach - We need to move forward- keep costs down (less Green Acre Park intiatives- more Rateables- and no tax increases for the Next 3 years- how- manage the towns Spend and Obligations in a better way- might include Cuts in Services or Layoffs.Great town worthy of a better Management approach.
George Thanasides February 08, 2013 at 08:23 PM
Great point Bill O'Connor...and may I ask did anyone try to find out what it cost Westwood and Franklin Lakes to get rid of Gabbert before we made the same mistake?
Mike Kender February 08, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Unfortunately, Mr. Gabbert blew it, in my opinion, with the police and fire contract negotiations, when he and the council had the chance to get significant contract concessions in the middle of a recession. Instead, they gave the two unions multiyear raises and preserved most of the extremely generous step system, which results in police officers making over $100,000 per year at a young age. Now, with those contracts locked in for years, he has to lay off lower-paid public works and clerical employees to reduce costs, which then hurts our services. A broader sharing of the cost cuts between the police, fire and other municipal emplyees would have been a more rational and fair strategy, and would have given Mr. Gabbert the ability to make shallower cuts in public works and other village services. The double-dipping with the utility board is a sideshow. The key issue, in my opinion, is suboptimal cost-cutting and rising taxes.
chele February 09, 2013 at 12:23 AM
OF COURSE Ken should stay, unless Heather Mailander wants the job. She knows everyone and everything that goes on over in Village Hall. Until then, give KG a short list of goals chosen by the council with a reasonable time frame and see what happens. He doesn't do it..NEXT! There is no "double dipping". The NWBCUA stipend is 100% legal. Some Village Concil members have paying jobs and collect a stipend for their services, are they double dipping? Kathe Donovan is posturing to deflect from her own problems. This town was "managed" for so long by a guy who had an elbow-bending issue that KG spent 3 years cleaning up his mess. In the future, let's see what the mayor can do to negotiate with those union "brothers & sisters" he has such affection for. SO much in fact, that he pledged his solidarity with them down in Trenton and wrote about it extensively."Once the Party of union households, state Democrats have allowed the Governor to scapegoat teachers, police officers and firefighters while giving a pass to the short-sighted politicians and ethically-challenged bankers"...employee benefits packages for those three groups are what have bankrupted our country. We pay more to retirees in those professions than to active members (lest we forget our own library union employees) You can't have it both ways...maligning "bankers" to satisfy the progressive base while simultaneously pandering to unions in print, doesn't get more DC than that.
chele February 09, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Ummm "mom"... is that Pint of Vodka? Thanks so much for your insights on sarcasm, are you by any chance a phys ed teacher? (Did I do it right?)
delgado February 11, 2013 at 01:29 AM
LOL... more like Gabbert told Walsh about what he knows about the inappropriate hiring of the Republican Mayor of Wyckoff law firm at the NWBCUA and he if gets fired from R'wood, that story will come out..... so suddenly Walsh whispers to her all the other Republican double dippers lemmings,,,, and viola ,,,,, Kenny is the newest Republican double dipper,,,, you gotta love these Bergen Republicans.

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