Dear Ridgewood Community,
Today, August 13, we submitted a “supplemental petition” to the Village Clerk to cure the defects she identified with our original submission. The law allowed us just ten days to fix the issues identified by the Clerk, collect new signatures, and resubmit. Thanks to tremendous support from the community we were able to meet this tight deadline. And we did so with 582 signatures from Ridgewood voters, once again well more than the 410 threshold needed to put the question to consolidate Ridgewood’s elections on the ballot in November as a binding initiative.
As a quick recap, our original petition submission was deemed by the Village Clerk to be “insufficient” for two reasons. First, the full text of our proposed ordinance to move the timing of the elections needed to be on the actual petition form each voter signed, rather than the more simplified summary we had included. Second, while use of an online form is acceptable under Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 132, the Clerk objected to how the form was shared on our web page and potentially by others in the community.
Given the grassroots nature of our effort, these obstacles do sometimes arise; however, we received some great advice and fixed the identified defects. We included the full text of the proposed ordinance on the amended petition form, and we ensured that only the five official petitioners personally circulated and collected the petition form. With these updates, the Village Clerk has five days to review, and then we expect her to certify that the petition is sufficient.
Most importantly, neighbors in the Village are really talking about the issue, sharing their perspectives, and listening to each other. We all care about our Village passionately. This initiative will make Ridgewood a better place to live by improving our democracy – increasing voter turnout, saving tens of thousands of dollars per year, and helping with school security. And while not everyone agrees with us, this much now seems clear: IT IS TIME TO LET THE VOTERS DECIDE. This is an important issue which merits conversation and a binding vote. We call upon the Village Clerk and Village Council to ensure this happens this November.
Thanks again for all of the support, and we’ll keep the community updated as we hear news.
Siobhan Crann Winograd