Village Workers' Holiday Party to Again be Held in Hawthorne

Do you mind that the taxpayer-funded employee party will be held outside of the village?

Only one of about 20 Ridgewood businesses/non-profits approached to host the annual holiday party for village workers responded, Village Manager Ken Gabbert said Wednesday. With such a lack of interest – and perhaps courtesy – the taxpayer-funded party will again be held at Macaluso's in Hawthorne.

According to Gabbert, of the 20 places approached, only meat haven The Stable responded to the prompt. Because of its relatively small size, the restaurant on South Broad and East Ridgewood Avenue likely could not accommodate for up to 75 people. So it's back to Hawthorne they go, Gabbert said.

Taxpayers will be dropping $2,300 for the December party, which has been held at Macaluso's for years.

As he does every year the discussion comes up, Mayor Paul Aronsohn expressed disappointment the party isn't held in Ridgewood.

"It still boggles my mind we don't do this here," Aronsohn said, noting that there are 104 eating establishments in town. "It just seems wrong to use village money in another town...it's taxpayer money."

He suggested the party could even be held at Village Hall, sans alcohol.

Previous mayor Keith Killion – a former police officer – had suggested in past years that workers already spending 40 hours a week in the village prefer a cold one and a hot meal outside Ridgewood confines.

What do you think? Do you mind taxpayer funded worker parties being held out of town?

News Man September 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
National politics are creeping into National Patch Local stories. What a mess.
Harlan Consider September 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Holiday parties have all but disappeared in the private sector. There are still a few, but they tend to be funded by senior management sharing in the cost. In a time of high public deficits and layoffs, it's simply inconceivable to use any amount of taxpayer money to fund a party. Imagine how someone who has recently been laid off due to budget cuts feels knowing that they went on to spend money on a party? These are extraordinary times we are living in and every penny should be carefully watched.
Rose Boniello September 23, 2012 at 02:39 PM
"Only one of about 20 Ridgewood businesses/non-profits approached to host the annual holiday party for village workers responded" "...there are 104 eating establishments in town" So what about the other 80+ places?? Obviously some are small coffee shops, etc but there must be dozens of places that would welcome this party. Jamboree supports the local restaurants that contribute to the fundraiser -- Tre Voci (to name one) hosted a fantastic cast party last year. And I guess $2300 is not an extravagant amount for a party -- however, it should be a cash bar no matter where the party is to keep costs down. But I agree that having a holiday party is good for the morale of the people who help keep our town working.
Anne LaGrange Loving September 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM
If you take the time to go through the Work Session Minutes from previous years, it can be seen in several instances that Mayor Aronsohn (who was not mayor at that time) was adamant that the party should be held in Ridgewood. For example, in the Minutes of the September of 2010 work session, Councilman Aronsohn is quoted as saying: Hosting the party in Ridgewood would bring much needed revenue to local businesses, would lower the cost per person, and would provide great accessibility for employees who could not otherwise afford to attend the party." This is a party, folks, not brain surgery. Surely this is one area in which our elected officials could have held their ground and insisted that an in-town venue be found.
News Man September 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Anne, I hope it's not brain surgery emergency, patients would have to be sent to St. Joes, Valley can't handle it. See you at the street fair.... d


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