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Council Majority Asking for Gabbert's Resignation, Sources Say

Closed meeting scheduled for Wednesday night could end Village Manager Ken Gabbert's tenure in Ridgewood.

The Ridgewood council majority plans to ask Village Manager Ken Gabbert for his resignation on Wednesday, multiple sources tell Patch.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck are ready to oust Gabbert, according to sources. They will call on him to resign at a closed session meeting on Wednesday night.

The sources requested anonymity as they were not permitted to discuss personnel matters.

"Village Manager's Office" is listed as a closed session agenda item.

Gabbert could fight the firing attempt by requesting a public hearing and another resolution vote. It's not yet clear what Gabbert will do.

The village manager was off Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Aronsohn neither confirmed nor denied the rumors and declined further comment when reached Monday.

He and Gabbert, a former mayor of Upper Saddle River, have had numerous squabbles since the village manager took office in 2009 over storm involvement, raises and other matters. 

"Aronsohn has wanted him gone for a while now," one source familiar with the situation told Patch. "Gwenn and Albert wanted more time. They're ready now."

Gabbert was issued a "rice notice" late last week, multiple people told Patch, meaning he's been notified they'll be discussing his employment status at a closed session meeting.

Gabbert will fight the council majority for his job, one source told Patch.

"Don't count Ken out. He won't go quietly."

Gabbert sued the Borough of Westwood when they attmpted to fire him in 2004. He was reinstated and the suit dropped.

Gabbert has also served as the top administrator in Little Ferry and New Milford.

No interim candidate has yet been identified should Gabbert leave office, according to sources.

Village Clerk Heather Mailander served briefly as the village manager prior to Gabbert's arrival in fall of 2009 and may take over until a permanent replacement is found.

Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh had no comment, nor did Councilman Tom Riche. Both are expected to oppose any attempt to oust Gabbert from office.

Pucciarelli and Hauck, who each took office in July, also refused to confirm or deny that plans were in motion to remove Gabbert.

AMAMOM February 05, 2013 at 12:17 AM
I smell a big lawsuit for wrongful termination....... or at the very least a big payout to avoid that lawsuit.
RHS Student February 05, 2013 at 12:28 AM
Maybe the supposed firing of Dr. Gabbert is not some kind of "diversionary tactic" and just a firing. There were no violations legally of the NJ Open Public Meetings Act. They may have violated the law in "spirit" but not legally.
RHS Student February 05, 2013 at 12:37 AM
Okay Mr. Loving, if James/The Patch is failing to report so many "key" local events, why do you spend so much time reading and commenting on his articles?
Aannoomm February 05, 2013 at 12:56 AM
Gabbert's hire and raise was based on political cronyism imo. He had baggage from his previous position in Westwood and baggage as mayor of Upper Saddle River. All has been tolerated...until now and rightly so! As far as The Patch and James, check out the other areas and find a page run as well as this one. He keeps us well informed in the midst of natural disasters, both here and on twitter. Given the division in this town, his ability to remain impartial truly amazes me. As a moderator of this forum, he does an excellent job. There are other venues in this town if you want tawdry analysis with tacky commentary. He admitted he had other responsibilities this week and he was waiting on comments and feedback. Lets give him the benefit of the doubt.
Mike Kilhaney February 05, 2013 at 01:36 AM
Why do you say who will they find willing to take pay "lower than private sector salary" that is willing accept risk of being fired ? Are you actually serious with that comment?
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:44 AM
Its not really cool to have a story on "sources",,, it more like someone is trying to play the media and it looks like that is what they did... Can I be a "source" and have an axe to grind or a political aspiration to attain?. If its "sources",, it might a well be me.... Will the reporters realize where the ilkness is coming from and realize its pretty sleazy way to play the game.
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:47 AM
Bergen Republican Walsh MUST resign, she has become a disgrace to the village.. She should go down to Hackensack where she threw thousands of dollars in political contribution to disgusting double dipper Donovan (found with illegal drugs and underage drugged out girls in her home) Walsh should slinker away cause with disgusting friends like this, she is an embarrassment to Ridgewood.... disgusting.
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:49 AM
Yeah, James is,,, but this "Source" thing isnt really the best... it does smell like a shrill ...... and while Im at Walsh should resign,especially with her close ties to Donovan, the one who appointed Gabbert to NWBCUA, only after Walsh gave Donovan a large political contribution (as reported on NJ ELEC-- publc disclosure)
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:51 AM
And zero based budgeting and merging the police departments with surrounding towns,, isnt that what the promised.????
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:55 AM
and what about the accurate report that Honorable Walsh gave thousands of dollars in political donations to County Exe. Donovan, who then in turn selected R'wood Gabbert to be on the NWBCUA, and Walsh in turn allowed Gabbert to be on the NWBCUA, when it was clearly against the Council approved contract..... Also Donovan has been foud with underage girls and illegal drugs in her home..... Walsh owes R'wood an explanation.
delgado February 05, 2013 at 01:57 AM
Walsh gave money to County Exe. and the County Exe appointed Gabbert to paid NWBCUA... this is actually pay-to-play and can be considered a crime. Walsh needs to resign....
Dennis Martinez February 05, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Keep up the good work James. To Gabbert, good riddance. To the Board, hire someone with no baggage, good ethics and who will serve only one master.
dara brown February 05, 2013 at 05:21 PM
Is it true that Gabbert was focused on changing the design on the police cars to that UGLY swish/swirl design? It looks like a taxi cab. Instead of micro-managing crap like that, the manager should be running the town and not accepting raises when long time loyal Village employees are laid off. And as a 'send off' to Gabbert, paint the police cars the way they were. Black/white like the majority of towns here.
Moist Cake February 05, 2013 at 06:50 PM
http://ecode360.com/6688961 I'm going to bet that this doesn't end too well...
News Man February 05, 2013 at 08:57 PM
Thank you MC, for the connecting above information LINK you provided here. It is very helpful. It may stabilize the conversation a little.
Dan Johnson February 05, 2013 at 10:15 PM
First it is NOT Dr. Gabbert. He is not a medical doctor. If he were at a university he would be entitled to that honorific. Not out here in the real world. Second, Mr. Gabbert clearly deserves to be fired and my only question is what took so long? He should have been fired after his no show during Hurricane Irene. There are good people out there who could bring something to this village to help make it better. The salary is good. Lets replace him with someone with imagination and enthusiasm.
Ridgewood Mom February 05, 2013 at 10:27 PM
lol Remember, we each have to justify the value of the services that we offer with each new moment. If you have something meaningful to offer in the marketplace you a get a "merit pay" bonus. If you do badly you get fired. That's the way it is in the "real world." Its called a "free" market, and a "free" market always knows best because it is self regulating via the emperor's invisible hand. If you don't see the perfect efficacy of his invisible hand it is because you are lazy and a moocher. And why should I or anyone else have to pay for your handouts? Its called ACOUNTABILITY, "private sector" style. The problem these days is that too many people just won't take responsibility for themselves and try to blame their problems on others who have more power or affluence then themselves. That's class warfare. Very bad that.
Mike Kilhaney February 06, 2013 at 12:10 AM
Dara ...your comment reminds me of Mr.Obama's change and repainting of all the logos on Air Force One and other private "taxpayer expensed" airplanes and transportation vehicles that are used in/by he and family and his administration.I guess there is one difference....as "O" has never laid off anyone...just added folks to his payroll & printed more $ to pay. So call it "micro-managing crap like that" as you wish. Should we fire Mr.Obama and Mr.Gabbert together..same rules ?
Bob Royal February 06, 2013 at 05:21 PM
"Republican Walsh" needs to resign because she made a political donation to Donovan and Donovan was "found with underage girls and illegal drugs in her home"? Truly disgraceful comments, delgado. If you have evidence that Walsh did something wrong, bring it to the proper authorities. And so what if she is a Republican -- what does that have to do with anything?
Mikka H February 06, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Well let's see...Ridgewood MOM is telling us that, in effect, she can say that the market "knows" the current demand, at any moment, for every product and service available in the entire economy, as well as the current supply, at any moment, of all these products and services Via the emperor's invisible hand....I thought that was Adam Smith, but there you go...the free-marketers persuaded us that the market always knows best because, they tell us, it has greater knowledge of economic facts than any individual or institution can ever have....sure....why don' t we run this past Alan Greenspan or Ayn Rand ...after 2008 and what has happen in our free market society any normal individual would concede the basics of the platform."private sector" style, if that's what you like to call it, is a laissez-faire approach to business that has failed badly...governance in commerce must go beyond the bare minimun as in the past because it is quite evident that the foxes were running the hen house....please govern yourself accordingly.
Ridgewood Mom February 06, 2013 at 10:04 PM
I was kidding Mikka. Sarcasm, you know. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
Ridgewood Mom February 06, 2013 at 10:08 PM
And I agree with you Mikka.
delgado February 07, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Honorable Walsh VOTED yes to give Gabbert a 12% massive raise. Also Honorable Walsh did give thousand dollars in campaign contriutions to Candidate County Ex. Donovan and fiinally Donovan then appointed Gabbert to the NWBCUA and now Walsh is NOT calling for him to resign... Gabbert shouldn't be fired, the enabler Walsh should be fired.
Mikka H February 07, 2013 at 05:12 AM
Sorry Ridgewood mom.....I jumped a little to fast on that ..... I'll Try and read next time b4 I blather.......
Joseph Alvaro February 07, 2013 at 12:36 PM
Dear Mikka H, There was no "free market" in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008. It was caused by those who insisted on "governance in commerce" of the home mortgage industry. Social engineering, no matter how benevolent and feel good its intentions has never succeeded in raising up the human condition. Only the free flow and formation of capital and the morals of a Judea-Christian society. If only our elected officials allowed for a laissez-faire capitalism and stopped trying to marginalize and denigrate the importance of religion in governing man's behavior we wouldn't think that we needed more "governance" of anything.
Joseph Alvaro February 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Why do we pretend this is not about party affiliation? We should end this charade of a non-partisan village council and ditch this antiquated Faulknarian form of government. Then everyone can lay their cards on the table and the citizens will have a clear choice of whom they want governing our village... Democrats or Republicans.
Ridgewood Mom February 07, 2013 at 09:34 PM
My fault. Sarcasm should be made clear to be sarcasm if effective communication is the goal.
Ridgewood Mom February 07, 2013 at 09:48 PM
So are you suggesting that a town of about 25% registered democrats, 25% registered republicans (as many of whom are socially libertarian as are socially conservative) and 50% unaffiliated should not try to work together across partisan lines? Or are you suggesting that one party should dominate all of the others such the not everyone in the Village is represented in their local government?
delgado February 13, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Looks like this scoop didnt happen.. Its clear Gabbert has the goods on the Bergen Republicans about what is going on at NWBCUA,,,,concerning the hiring of certain law firms....only a matter of time before that story comes out.
delgado February 13, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Bigger issue was to move the elections from the middle of May with 12% turnout to November, with more turnout and a real contested election and AT A LOWER COST, One election instead of TWO saves money.... but Bergen Republican hacks like Bernadette Walsh voted agaisnt this tax saving mesasure.... Bergen Republicans are sooooo corrupt..

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