The Garage Vote on June 21st is Confusing Me

parking garageThe Parking Garage Vote scheduled for this coming Tuesday, June 21st, is confusing me. Admittedly, I am easily confused these days. It is the end of the school year, and I feel like I am going to drop a ball any second. It’s Madelyn’s first year of high school finals, Lorelei is graduating 5th grade with all the parent-organized fun this entails, Serena is … well Serena is 13, and Kindergarten enrichment is already over for the boys. I am hosting two international high school students this week putting my kid count at 7, my husband is getting canned goods for Father’s Day, and I still haven’t thought about teachers’ gifts. These are all wonderful problems to have, but there is literally no space for rent in my brain until summer. So, throw a very important village vote at me, and that straw may just break my camel’s back. It would be easy to ignore it. There have been too many Ridgewood issues to be passionate about them all, but I need to see this one through.

Here is the language of the vote.

garage vote

Some informed and intelligent people believe the wording to be intentionally misleading — much like the last referendum for parking. That one read something like, “Do you want us to create more parking in town?” to which lots of people said “Yes, of course I do!” The majority of people who said yes did not realize they were voting for a very specific, very large, encroaching garage, for which the very expensive plans had already been drawn up but had not been released to the trusting public.

More of our village funds are currently being spent to urge you to vote YES. This by the way is illegal and is putting the vote under contest, but I have a field day to get to, so I can’t elaborate on the details. You can learn more HERE on The Ridgewood Blog and HERE on the NJ Foundation for Open Government website.

I am voting NO! Vote how you want but just make sure you know what you are voting for. If you vote yes, you are not just voting to spend the money. You are voting for Parking Garage Design D — four stories, five levels, narrowing Hudson street — an already narrow road — by five feet. It simply does not fit. Do not be fooled. It is NOT just about the money.

The future of the parking structure is important to me for reasons personal and practical. I do support a parking garage being built in town, but I do not support the monstrosity of the one being supported by the three current members of the Village Council who are leaving office in a matter of weeks. Personally, I do NOT want my beautiful church living in the shadow of an immense and ugly garage, and I worry about the traffic problems this will cause in town and for the parish — not only on Sundays, but for our important life events — funerals, weddings, communions, etc. Practically, I do NOT believe a garage of this size will solve our current parking problem. Call me lazy, but I for one, am not parking on Broad to go shop at Bookends. It would be easier to drive to Barnes and Noble. We need a more creative, open minded, not politically motivated solution to parking. While I do believe a garage should be a part of that solution, I do NOT support the one we are voting for on Tuesday.

Whatever your opinion on the matter, get informed, and come out and vote. Involved, knowledgable residents is the best chance we have to move The Village of Ridgewood forward in a smart, thoughtful direction.



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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.