Ridgewood Council and Mayor Shed Light on Assault Allegations and Criticized Loan

On Sept. 27th, at a meeting of the Ridgewood Council, Mayor Paul Vagianos navigated through community misconduct and fended off allegations pertaining to transparency and an alleged $47,000 loan.

Mayor Vagianos initiated the meeting with a statement condemning three incidents of community misconduct, each marked by what he referred to as “regrettable and completely unacceptable” behavior.

The first incident detailed a physical altercation between residents at a prior meeting, where one allegedly knocked a phone out of another’s hand. Village Attorney Matt Rogers, upon consultation, conveyed that the council’s authority was restricted, allowing only for the removal of individuals from a meeting under such situations. The alleged victim later substantiated the claim with an official police report, supported by surveillance footage capturing the incident.

During the public comments section, the consensus among residents was that such aggression is “completely unacceptable,” prompting calls for enhanced countermeasures by the Council. A number of attendees articulated the necessity for professional training for the Council to manage such occurrences in the future.

The workshop then steered to a second incident, where a council member’s derogatory remark towards an individual was brought to light. The remark, labeling someone as “the scum of the earth,” was condemned by the Mayor as “beneath the dignity of this or any governing body.”

The third case involved a public social media disclosure of a family’s supposed tax records, an act the Mayor condemned as an intolerable form of harassment, particularly given the family’s extensive contributions to community service.

Some residents, however, criticized the mayor’s lumping together of these diverse incidents and pointed out perceived discrepancies in the council’s response to each one, including not calling the police after the first incident and the absence of an apology for the second incident.

The Mayor also faced scrutiny over a loan he allegedly extended, amounting to $47,000, to a family during their financial strain. This family, as perceived by attendees, seems to wield significant influence over two major projects in Ridgewood.

In his defense, Mayor Vagianos cited a letter from Village Attorney Matt Rogers, emphasizing that, even assuming the loan’s existence, it doesn’t pose a conflict of interest hindering the Mayor’s ongoing participation in the related projects. Rogers explained that the Mayor doesn’t gain any direct or indirect financial benefits from his involvement and decisions on the projects in question.

Further escalating tensions were discussions surrounding the Council’s financial trajectories, especially against the backdrop of Ridgewood’s $20 million debt. Residents expressed concerns over the allocations for a sports complex. Additionally, there were voices raising environmental alarms about the ramifications of deforestation and potential contamination of residents’ private wells by a turf field.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Not avaliable:

City Council Officials:

Receive debriefs about local meetings in your inbox weekly:

Trending meetings
across the country:

Meeting Date
Filter by bodytypes
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Airport Advisory Board
Art and Culture Board
Beach Committee
Bike and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Board of Elections
Board of Health
Borough Council
Building Committee
Cannabis Control Board
Cemetery Commission
Charter Revision Commission
Child and Family Services Board
City Council
City Identity Committee
Code Enforcement Board
College Board of Trustees
Community Appearance Board
Community Preservation Committee
Community Redevelopment Agency
County Council
Disability Advisory Committee
Economic Development Board
Elderly Affairs Board
Electric Advisory Board
Environmental Commission
Financial Oversight Board
Historic Preservation Commission
Housing Authority
Human Relations Committee
Human Resources Committee
Insurance Fund
Land Use Board
Library Board
Licensing Board
Mental Health Commission
Municipal Alliance
Open Space Commission
Oversight and Review Committee
Parking Authority
Parks and Gardens Commission
Parks Commission
Pension Board
Planning Board
Police Review Board
Property Assessment Board
Public Safety Committee
Recreation Commission
Redevelopment Agency
Rent Control Board
Rent Leveling Board
School Board
Sewerage Authority
Shade Tree Commission
Special Magistrate
Taxation & Revenue Advisory Committee
Tourism Board
Trails Committee
Transportation Board
Utility Board
Value Adjustment Board
Veterans Committee
Water Control Board
Women's Advisory Committee
Youth Advisory Committee
Zoning Board
Filter by County
Bay County
Bradford County
Brevard County
Broward County
Clay County
Duval County
Escambia County
Gulf County
Hendry County
Highlands County
Hillsborough County
Indian River County
Lake County
Lee County
Leon County
Levy County
Liberty County
Manatee County
Marion County
Martin County
Miami-Dade County
Monroe County
Okaloosa County
Orange County
Osceola County
Palm Beach County
Pasco County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Putnam County
Santa Rosa County
Sarasota County
Seminole County
St. Johns County
Taylor County
Volusia County
Walton County
Barnstable County
Berkshire County
Bristol County
Essex County
Franklin County
Hampden County
Hampshire County
Middlesex County
Norfolk County
Plymouth County
Suffolk County
Worcester County
Atlantic County
Bergen County
Burlington County
Camden County
Cape May County
Cumberland County
Essex County
Gloucester County
Hudson County
Hunterdon County
Mercer County
Middlesex County
Monmouth County
Morris County
Ocean County
Passaic County
Somerset County
Sussex County
Union County
Warren County
Filter by sourcetypes