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Council Majority Asking for Gabbert's Resignation, Sources Say

Closed meeting scheduled for Wednesday night could end Village Manager Ken Gabbert's tenure in Ridgewood.

The Ridgewood council majority plans to ask Village Manager Ken Gabbert for his resignation on Wednesday, multiple sources tell Patch.

Mayor Paul Aronsohn, Deputy Mayor Albert Pucciarelli and Councilwoman Gwenn Hauck are ready to oust Gabbert, according to sources. They will call on him to resign at a closed session meeting on Wednesday night.

The sources requested anonymity as they were not permitted to discuss personnel matters.

"Village Manager's Office" is listed as a closed session agenda item.

Gabbert could fight the firing attempt by requesting a public hearing and another resolution vote. It's not yet clear what Gabbert will do.

The village manager was off Monday and could not be reached for comment.

Aronsohn neither confirmed nor denied the rumors and declined further comment when reached Monday.

He and Gabbert, a former mayor of Upper Saddle River, have had numerous squabbles since the village manager took office in 2009 over storm involvement, raises and other matters. 

"Aronsohn has wanted him gone for a while now," one source familiar with the situation told Patch. "Gwenn and Albert wanted more time. They're ready now."

Gabbert was issued a "rice notice" late last week, multiple people told Patch, meaning he's been notified they'll be discussing his employment status at a closed session meeting.

Gabbert will fight the council majority for his job, one source told Patch.

"Don't count Ken out. He won't go quietly."

Gabbert sued the Borough of Westwood when they attmpted to fire him in 2004. He was reinstated and the suit dropped.

Gabbert has also served as the top administrator in Little Ferry and New Milford.

No interim candidate has yet been identified should Gabbert leave office, according to sources.

Village Clerk Heather Mailander served briefly as the village manager prior to Gabbert's arrival in fall of 2009 and may take over until a permanent replacement is found.

Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh had no comment, nor did Councilman Tom Riche. Both are expected to oppose any attempt to oust Gabbert from office.

Pucciarelli and Hauck, who each took office in July, also refused to confirm or deny that plans were in motion to remove Gabbert.

Joseph Alvaro February 07, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Why do we pretend this is not about party affiliation? We should end this charade of a non-partisan village council and ditch this antiquated Faulknarian form of government. Then everyone can lay their cards on the table and the citizens will have a clear choice of whom they want governing our village... Democrats or Republicans.
Ridgewood Mom February 07, 2013 at 09:34 PM
My fault. Sarcasm should be made clear to be sarcasm if effective communication is the goal.
Ridgewood Mom February 07, 2013 at 09:48 PM
So are you suggesting that a town of about 25% registered democrats, 25% registered republicans (as many of whom are socially libertarian as are socially conservative) and 50% unaffiliated should not try to work together across partisan lines? Or are you suggesting that one party should dominate all of the others such the not everyone in the Village is represented in their local government?
delgado February 13, 2013 at 02:51 AM
Looks like this scoop didnt happen.. Its clear Gabbert has the goods on the Bergen Republicans about what is going on at NWBCUA,,,,concerning the hiring of certain law firms....only a matter of time before that story comes out.
delgado February 13, 2013 at 02:54 AM
Bigger issue was to move the elections from the middle of May with 12% turnout to November, with more turnout and a real contested election and AT A LOWER COST, One election instead of TWO saves money.... but Bergen Republican hacks like Bernadette Walsh voted agaisnt this tax saving mesasure.... Bergen Republicans are sooooo corrupt..

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