The roller coaster ride that's been the council election race ends Tuesday with for three seats on the dais of the .
Councilman Paul Aronoshn at the candidates night debate dropped the biggest bombshell, asking voters to pull the lever for himself, Albert Pucciarelli and Gwenn Hauck. The move to endorse two candidates that have expressed support for the Valley Hospital 'Renewal' expansion Concerned Residents of Ridgewood (CRR), who .
Mayor Keith Killion and Jane Shinozuka, meanwhile, have also been , as was Pucciarelli.
Russell Forenza, the Paterson budget officer, hasn't been endorsed by the special interest groups or by other candidates.
Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the 19 polling locations in the village (see attachment at right). Transportation is available. The three selected will serve four year terms. They'll be sworn in at the reorganization meeting in July.
Here's a quick look at who's running, listed in the order they appear on the ballot. Click on the highlighted names to see their candidate profiles and check out the recap of the candidate's debate . [Note: Killion declined interview requests.]
: A lawyer, pilot and the planning board vice chairman, Pucciarelli has run largely on the platform he believes Village Hall needs legitimate reform when it comes to finances. He is a vocal supporter of keeping Graydon Natural, said he will abstain from Valley votes but wants to mediate to reach an agreement, and reconfigure how the Shade Tree Division is staffed. He spoke out against Village Manager Ken Gabbert's raise and also said the village needs to explore shared service agreements, suggesting Ridgewood might want to consolidate some public safety services with Glen Rock and Ho-Ho-Kus.
Keith Killion: The sitting mayor, a former captain in the , says it's time to get back to basics. Infrastructure needs to be addressed and the council can't get stuck dedicating further time to Valley negotiations, he said. Killion voted against the hospital expansion, wants to see no large changes to the Graydon pool, and defended the amended police contract, saying it saves the village a lot of money and hires more officers. He defended his vote on Gabbert's raise, saying a good day's work should be met with a good day's pay. Killion said he wants to prevent "urbanization" of Ridgewood.
: Paterson's budget officer, Forenza said he knows the ins and outs of municipal government and could help taxpayers spot things that go unnoticed. He has supported the hospital expansion but says it should only be done if it doesn't come at the expense of neighbors. He supports preserving Graydon, wants to use underground cameras to inspect infrastructure, says he'd like to reach out to the business community and ease the fees, and move faster on improving pedestrian safety. He was against the Gabbert raise and questioned the taxpayer impact of the police and fire contracts.
: The incumbent communications executive at Bristol-Meyers-Squibb says Ridgewood desperately needs a change at Village Hall. He has pitched a "zero-based-budgeting" approach to justify all costs along with a "complete audit" of the budget. He says the council needs to open discussions with Valley, claims he only wants to see accessibility changes to Graydon, wants continued work on flood mitigation, pitched exploring changes to the Building Department, and wants greater funding for the library. Aronsohn has been the loudest voice against raises to Gabbert and seniors staff.
: The 17-year resident living east of Route 17, Shinozuka said she wants to be an independent voice for residents, many of whom are struggling to pay the bills. She said she wants to start looking at levelling taxes, keep Graydon natural, keep Valley's hospital expansion plan at bay, while looking for ways to remove red tape in the CBD. Shinozuka said she wants to see a housing focus on seniors and more pedestrian safety enforcement. The candidate said she didn't think she'd have issued the management raises but contends the public's reaction was not in line with the council's 4-1 decision.
: A homemaker and past VP of the Valley Hospital Auxilliary, the community volunteer is running on a platform of bringing people together and listening to all sides. Hauck said she wants to see the stakeholders all meet and determine if Valley's needs can be met while keeping resident impacts minimal, suggested no changes to Graydon, wants the village to explore consolidation measures, suggested fundraising to boost the village's tree stock, would like to consider changes at the Building Department, and also panned the management raises.