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The Race is Over: Tuesday Marks Council Election Day

Will you vote in Tuesday's election, which features six candidates vying for three seats on the Ridgewood council?

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.

delgado May 08, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Lets keep the tax raising double dipping Bergen Republicans from calling the shots in R'wood. Vote against them.
Boyd A. Loving May 08, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Yes. I will vote, and I hope all of Ridgewood's registered voters do the same. Polls are open at 6am and close at 8pm. Rides to the polls are available for those in need; check ridgewoodnj.net for complete details.
About the town May 08, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Has anyone verified that Paul Aronsohn is employed? Name not listed anywhere on Bristol-Myers Squibb website; he has been seen all around town during the day for some time; accepted family medical insurance from town despite supposedly working for giant corporation with great benefits.
Long Time Resident May 08, 2012 at 09:53 AM
Why does Mayor Killion, who has a pension of over $100,000.00 a year, need the $5,000.00 pay that the Mayor receives, He should be made to give that back or better yet just vote him out of office.
Craig Hueneke May 08, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Go VOTE!
Long Time Resident May 08, 2012 at 03:20 PM
My wife and I just cast two more votes for Aronsohn, Hauck and Pucciarelli. I agree with you Roberta we need a change in leadership in the Council. The way I see it Aronsohn, Hauck and Pucciarelli are the best candidates in the race.
RdgwdGRock May 08, 2012 at 04:17 PM
http://www.linkedin.com/in/paularonsohn
jp1 May 08, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Cast my vote this morning and it was not for Killion. Regardless it was sad to see no one there besides the poll workers,so if you are going to b----- and moan please vote or keep your mouth shut.
Craig Hueneke May 08, 2012 at 05:39 PM
AMEN JP1... Vote or be quiet!
J.D. Luke May 08, 2012 at 06:24 PM
My polling place was also deserted when I voted around 11:30. What kind of turnout do these council elections usually get, anyway?
roberta sonenfeld May 08, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Local elections generally run between 18 and 25%.
Long Time Resident May 08, 2012 at 08:19 PM
of the 16,000 voters maybe 2,000 to 3,000 turn out for municipal elections J.D.
WoodMom May 08, 2012 at 09:39 PM
In recent elections, approximately 30% on the east side and 10% on the west side voted. Appears on its face that some of the special interests (CRR, PGC) have had success in rallying voters around certain issues such as Valley, turf fields/lights, and Graydon (latter more so its seems in 2010 election). Valley is one of many issues, including financial sustainability and downtown viability. Vote! Polls open until 8pm.
Ridgewood "West Sider" May 09, 2012 at 12:50 AM
A lot more get out and vote messages this election. Glad to see it. I think it will make a difference and hopefully we will see better voter turn out. Hopefully this election will bring fiscal responsibility back to our town and protect its future!
james gorman May 09, 2012 at 01:01 AM
Okay, was really happy a minute ago, but now that I know I've voted for the same people you did Roberta I'm terrified. I must have been led down the wrong path. Heaven help us. Jim G.
Dan Gergoslow May 09, 2012 at 01:22 AM
Any idea of the best place to get election results?
Terri Genovese May 09, 2012 at 01:40 AM
According to the Bergen Record Arohnson and Pucarelli are in with Hauck leading Killion by 16 votes with the provisional votes to be counted
james gorman May 09, 2012 at 01:53 AM
They finally woke the west side......
Inigo de Loyola May 09, 2012 at 02:02 AM
We're screwed if Benedict Aronsohn, Pooch and Hospital Hauck win.
James Kleimann May 09, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Sorry guys, I had some computer troubles earlier. Pucciarelli and Aronsohn definitely won seats. Hauck has 1727 votes, Killion 1717. Provisional ballots still have to be counted and that could take up to five days. Complete story is up here: http://ridgewood.patch.com/articles/aronsohn-pucciarelli-victorious-hauck-appears-to-edge-killion

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