Mayor Knudsen: Volunteering… to sell merch

Mayor Susan Knudsen has made a big deal about her volunteer work at the annual RHS Jamboree and is shocked, shocked that anyone could think that she would make any money off such a valuable event.

Let’s See the Proof(s)

The following are screenshots taken from Susan Knudsen Photography’s website.

Profit-seeking or altruism?

If Mayor Knudsen volunteered her time and shot pictures of RHS students and their families during an event, then sold, say, a $112 poster-sized photo back to one of those families, it would seem like she was taking her constituents’ money and donating it to the RHS Jamboree under her own name while benefiting from the tax write-off. Is this altruistic or is it self-serving? And, why does her photography sales website say nothing about any portion of any sales going to the Jamboree? Were the sales of these photos tax-deductible for the families who bought them? Did anyone keep receipts?

Accomplishments or Alternative Facts?

An Open Letter About the Knudsen/Sedon Mailer

I reviewed the Knudsen/Sedon mailer, and I need to share my view of what Ms. Knudsen and Mr. Sedon stated in this document. Once I got started, I quickly came to the realization how difficult it is to arm wrestle a puff piece. I will try anyway.

My critics wonder what is motivating me to be a vociferous critic of the Knudsen/Sedon team. Do I have anything personal against Ms. Knudsen or Mr. Sedon or their families? No, I don’t. Why should I?

I care deeply about Ridgewood, and I worry about the direction it is heading–a slow decline to oblivion. And, in my humble opinion, this decline is being accelerated by having Knudsen and Sedon in power.

I am an American by choice and have lived in the US since 1958, when I emigrated from Lebanon to attend college. I never looked back, and I am now happily ensconced with my family in America. I know the country well, having traveled the highways and byways from sea to shining sea, and have been to 49 states. In June I will visit my 50th, Alaska.

I have studied America’s history and institutions and all that makes America great! And, like many naturalized Americans, I feel that the greatest gift we have as citizens is the U.S. Constitution. I urge parents with young kids to go out and purchase copies of the Constitution for their children.

Thanks to the Constitution, when it comes to expressing my views and opinions, no one will silence me. If the Mayor thinks she can browbeat me with her bullying or slander, such as claiming that I am perpetrating “fraud on the Ridgewood residents” or finding me out of order whenever I say something she does not like, I say to the Mayor: Save your breath. Go and bully someone else.

The Knudsen/Sedon mailer mentions five accomplishments and in my opinion these claims fit the definition of alternative facts. Let me address them one by one. Continue reading “Accomplishments or Alternative Facts?”

Robocall and Response

Transcript of Hache’s Robocall from April 18, 2018 edited with comments made by Hans-Jurgen Lehmann on April 22, 2018.

Good evening! This is Councilman Ramon Hache, and I would ask you to please listen and don’t hang up.

This local election has turned so negative Ramon! You might want to consider the source of the negativity. I am only reporting on the activities of your two allies on the council. You can’t make up this stuff. It’s out there in the public eye every week. against Mayor Susan Knudsen and Deputy Mayor Michael Sedon that I now feel compelled to respond. I wanted to remain neutral in the campaign, however I now feel the need to speak out.

A recent piece of mail received by residents spoke about one voter’s remorse. I read it with disbelief, because none of it was truthful. I encourage you to read the full letter where I supply documentation to support my remorse. Given your message, I suspect that you have never taken the time to read the full letter nor click on the links that I supplied. In fact, it was so negative and deceitful strong words for a statement made with lots of supporting documentation that I found it disgusting. What does one say to this type of language other than you betray your ignorance when you speak in this manner? To accuse Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, where I am a parishioner, of somehow colluding with Susan Knudsen was a new low in politics. Ramon, I think you misread this part of my letter. At no time (here or in my subsequent email to you) do I state or imply that there is collusion between the Mayor and Mt. Carmel. In fact, the word collusion is yours, not mine. I would never accuse a vaunted institution like your house of faith of even considering a quid pro quo with the Mayor. The idea is so ludicrous I am shocked you would even say the words! The issue is all about the optics of a sitting council member taking the grand prize of $25,000 from the one institution in town whose parishioners are vocally opposed to a parking garage on Hudson Street. In my world, I could have admired the Mayor if she had returned the money to the school which probably had a better use for it. Just think of how noble that would have looked!. And, to continually accuse her of nepotism is ridiculous. The Council has no hiring authority and testing is governed by the State of New Jersey. Ramon, this kind of language is a red herring at best. Yes, the Council does not hire or fire; that is left to the Village Manager. Yet, none of that takes away from Knudsen’s affirmative vote on Ordinance 3429 on August 13, 2014, requiring Ridgewood residency for uniformed services civil service candidates, all in her full knowledge that all three of her sons were already on such a list. Her subsequent vote on an ordinance governing non-uniformed candidates is totally unrelated to this issue. For the Mayor to hang her hat on this particular vote is, in fact, deceitful and an attempt to bamboozle residents. Surely you are smarter than to not see this!

By the way, I have never attacked her children for having these jobs. I made that clear in the email I recently sent you. Whether they hold those jobs or not, someone would have been hired to fill those positions, and the cost to the Village would have been the same. If you don’t get the idea that the Mayor paved the road for her children to obtain their jobs, then you truly do not understand the idea of nepotism!

I ask you to know the facts before you vote. We have no place in our town for this type of low down politics. We are better than that. You bet there is no place in Ridgewood for this type of politics, low down though they may be, and without the current Mayor and Deputy Mayor, we will be better than we are now. I have never understood your vote and role on the question of the gay pride flag. We pride ourselves on being an inclusive community, and for you and the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to waffle on making a decision to a simple request and then to give a flat out “no” months later based on some dubious advice from our Council attorney, how sad! Mayor Knudsen and Deputy Mayor Sedon have been committed to our community, and they deserve re-election. Say no to this type of divisive politics. It will only hurt our community.

Thank you for listening, and have a good night.

This message is paid for by me, Ramon Hache.

An unedited transcript of Hache’s robocall follows. Continue reading “Robocall and Response”

Seriously disappointed by robocall

Credit: Flickr user, notionscapital.

Councilman Ramon Hache
Village of Ridgewood

I was disappointed by your robocall the other day. You did not use my name even though I signed the letter, A Voter’s Remorse. Your uninformed remarks led me to believe that you have not read the expanded version of the letter on my website,

At no time have I attacked the Catholic church. In fact, I am certain that the raffle holders acted honorably in awarding the Grand Prize to Susan Knudsen. It is even listed in Mt. Carmel’s church bulletin from June 19, 2016, the month before she became Mayor (with your help I might add). From that point on, the optics around this prize went horribly wrong. A sitting Councilwoman, and then Mayor, accepted a $25,000 prize from the one institution in town that positioned itself vehemently against a parking garage? Even you must be able to see how bad that looks! The mayor then stumbled through a rather strange explanation as to why she was keeping the money. It just keeps getting worse! Continue reading “Seriously disappointed by robocall”