I am writing to inform you about a group of people who are trying to thwart the will of the majority of voters by overturning a council vote borne of years of discussion, compromise and need.
This group is passing around a petition to authorize a special election, asking the public to overturn the ordinance (approved unanimously by a diverse council) to build a parking garage on Hudson Street.
The petitioners only need 815 signatures (less than 5% of our registered voters) to cause a “special election” for a referendum on the garage to happen!
This is the same group of people who recently petitioned for a different referendum on whether the village should partner with the county or fund our own parking deck. When we agreed to self-funding, they asked for something else.
It seems like they just don’t want any garage.
The cost of holding a “special election” for a referendum item is $50,000. Twice what the cost of financing through the County would have been.
Do you want to spend your taxpayer’s dollars re-voting on a unanimous decision by the village council – or – do you want to start building this parking garage born of public participation, compromise, and the will of the people?
We are at a point where we should start construction by this summer and be done by next year. Our Village has already spent $600,000 on research and design for this deck.
A new council would have to start all over again.
This is what happened to our Walnut Street Parking Garage plan from 2008 which was never built.
In designing today’s proposed parking deck design, the governing body of Ridgewood made sure that:
- There was assessment of our public’s interest through a non-binding referendum where a historic 30% of Ridgewood’s electorate voted 2-1 for a $15M parking deck on Hudson Street.
- There was inclusion of the public in the design process – through public forums, weekly updates, diagrams and website information.
- There were compromises – demonstrated through design down-sizing and a footprint reduction.
- There was verification by multiple independent consultants of the best garage-size and best funding sources.
- There was full participation by all council members to achieve exceptional aesthetics and fiscal responsibility.
- There was a unanimous vote by the village council!
Please just say “NO” to this petition if you want to say “YES” to Parking for Ridgewood!