Village Council Meeting Spotlights Career of Outgoing Village Manager and Raises Traffic Safety Concerns

In a recent meeting of the Ridgewood Village Council, attendees bid farewell to a key village figure, listened to a young resident’s traffic safety concerns, and debated various local issues.

The meeting began with a special farewell presentation for Heather Maylander, who has served diligently as Village Manager and Village Clerk for seven and 34 years, respectively. Her tireless work ethic, commitment to public service, and steady guidance through the trials of COVID-19 earned praise from council members and residents alike. “You were always the calm in the storm,” Mayor Vagianos declared.

Maylander’s illustrious career, marked by her recognition as the 2023 Clerk of the Year, was honored in a heartfelt proclamation read aloud to attendees. Despite the spotlight on her achievements, Maylander humbly attributed her successes to the support of her staff and affirmed her intent to continue serving the village in other capacities.

The focus of the meeting then shifted to public comments, where young resident Sophia Mortimer voiced concerns about traffic safety near Travell Elementary School. Mortimer proposed installing flashing crosswalk lights, pointing out that cars often fail to stop at the intersection of Northern Parkway and Glenn, creating a potentially hazardous environment for pedestrians. The council promised to look into her suggestion.

Among other matters, the council also discussed several upcoming community events and projects, as well as issues related to local infrastructure and public services. Key items included an annual summer reading program at the library, capital improvements, the need for a better tree maintenance strategy, and an initiative by local Boy Scout, Jason Groner, to renovate the historical Social Services Association building.

Groner’s proposal sparked a minor debate over preserving the color of the structure due to historical preservation guidelines. Despite the unanimous support for Groner’s project, council members voiced concerns over potential bureaucratic delays, highlighting the need for rapid approval from the State Historic Preservation Office due to the time-sensitive nature of Groner’s project.

Amidst discussions on professional service contracts, leasing matters, and grant awards, the meeting also addressed a variety of concerns raised by residents. Notably, there was extensive discussion about dying trees in the village and a potential easing of high school parking restrictions. Council members addressed legal and contractual disputes regarding the dying trees in the locality, a matter brought forward by resident Jacqueline Home. She had expressed concern about dying trees in Shedler, which she reported on social media last month. The council pledged to address the issue, but the matter of warranties and potential replacements for the trees proved a complex one.

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