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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.

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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