Fact #6: YOU have the power to change the voting cycle by signing our Petition

Dear Ridgewood Community,

We hope this message finds you and your family safe and well during this unprecedented time. As you know, over the past several months we have been highlighting the facts which demonstrate why it makes sense to consolidate our spring Village elections into the November general election. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, we made a film summarizing the advantages. As we mention in the video, we need YOU, the community, to help with the next step.

FACT 6: YOU have the power to change the voting cycle by signing our Petition.

Our next step is to obtain at least 410 signatures on a petition, which will place this important question on the November 2020 ballot for your consideration and vote. That vote would be a binding referendum; if it is passed, our Village Council and Board of Education elections will all be held in November.

To keep the process safe, Governor Murphy signed an Executive Order which allows this petition process to be done electronically.

Sign the Petition!

  1. Click here for the petition.
  2. Print it.
  3. Sign it (Signatures are per voter not per household).
  4. Mail it to any of the addresses listed on bottom of the petition, or scan it and email it back to onevillageonevote@gmail.com.

Also, please share the video with all your Ridgewood friends, family and neighbors. You can also sign up to follow our efforts at onevillageonevote.com.

We look forward to continuing to make progress with you. Thank you in advance for your support.

One Village, One Vote!

Be sure to sign up for emails at www.onevillageonevote.com in order to receive all of the latest information and learn how you can help support this change in our Village. We look forward to connecting with you.

Respectfully,

Bob Fuhrman
Matthew Lindenberg
Stacey Loscalzo
Deborah Steinbaum
Siobhan Crann Winograd

Fact #5: Consolidated Elections: NOT Partisan, NOT Confusing

Dear Ridgewood Community:

One aspect of local government that Village residents appreciate is the fact that our Village Council elections are non-partisan, which enables Council members to represent our interests without pressure from major political parties. Preserving the nonpartisan nature of our Council elections is often cited as a reason to maintain off-cycle Village Council municipal elections.

We wholeheartedly agree with the importance of preserving non-partisan municipal elections in Ridgewood.

Fact #5: Consolidating Village Council elections with November general elections does not make them partisan or confusing.

Those opposed to shifting Council election timing frequently claim that November voters tend to vote straight down their political party’s column. They claim that voters either do not know that Council candidates aren’t aligned to a party or do not pause long enough to realize this fact.

In fact, many other communities with non-partisan elections have already solved this issue. For example, Mahwah includes a completely separate section for their non-partisan Board of Education ballot, using an offset table and columns disconnected from partisan races:

image of sample ballot with Mahway Municipal election separated from partisan races

With Mahwah as part of Bergen County, our County Clerk already has experience with this type of ballot.

In addition, Cedar Grove, NJ holds both non-partisan Township Council and Board of Education elections during November general elections. They have designed a ballot which completely separates these races from partisan races:

Sample ballot for Cedar Grove showing municipal elections separated from partisan racesClearly, there are multiple ways to eliminate any confusion with partisan races.

Consolidating our local elections with the November general elections saves money, increases turnout, and does so without adding confusion or party influence.

One Village, One Vote!

Respectfully,

Bob Fuhrman
Matthew Lindenberg
Stacey Loscalzo
Deborah Steinbaum
Siobhan Crann Winograd

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be presenting data to the community about why it makes sense to move our elections to November. Be sure to sign up for emails at www.onevillageonevote.com in order to receive all of the latest information and learn how you can help support this change in our Village. We look forward to connecting with you.

Fact #4: Off-Cycle Local Elections Are Expensive

Dear Ridgewood Community:

As you may know, Ridgewood taxpayers have to pay for the cost of administering off-cycle elections, including the cost of poll workers, voting equipment, sample ballots, extra security, and so on. It adds up. By choosing to hold School and Village elections in April and May, we are incurring significant and avoidable expenses.

Fact #4: Off-cycle local elections cost Ridgewood taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars annually.

The Board of Ed election this past April cost our community $65K (up from the initial estimate of $42K when the April budget vote was reinstated). That equates to the cost of a high school sports program or the purchase of dozens of needed instruments for our music program. According to a recent news article, the last two Village Council elections cost an average of $49K. One Village election would pay for more than 100 trees through the Village’s Adopt-a-Tree program, which would help restore our badly depleted tree canopy. Or, that money could be spent on modernizing the Village’s website to make it more user-friendly. Off-cycle election costs could be cut from the budget or spent on other programs if all of our elections were consolidated to November.

Consolidating our elections will make better use of taxpayer dollars and improve voter turnout.

One Village, One Vote!

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be presenting data to the community about why it makes sense to move our elections to November. Be sure to sign up for emails at www.onevillageonevote.com in order to receive all of the latest information and learn how you can help support this change in our Village. We look forward to connecting with you.

Respectfully,

Bob Fuhrman
Matthew Lindenberg
Stacey Loscalzo
Deborah Steinbaum
Siobhan Crann Winograd