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Auto Group Owner To Run For Town Council

Todd VanDuren says his history of involvement in town prompted him to run

One of the owners of the Ramsey Auto Group, a family-owned and operated chain of local car dealerships, is planning a run for town council this November.

Todd VanDuren said he submitted petitions to the township clerk Friday because he feels his long history as an “involved Mahwah resident,” makes him a “good candidate for the job.”

VanDuren has lived in Mahwah since 1975. He has three kids, two of which are currently enrolled in Mahwah schools, and his wife is the President of the Company 4 ambulance squad.

VanDuren said he has a long history of volunteering on behalf of the town. He has been a member of the for two years, and a member of the .

“I am involved in a lot in the town,” VanDuren said of why he decided to run. “I have kids in the school system, they are involved in sports, and I feel that I can bring that perspective of the day-to-day in Mahwah to the council.”

“I talk to so many Mahwah parents and families at the schools or sports games about concerns we all share in town,” he said. “I am hoping I can make a difference for people.”

The business owner will be running with the campaign slogan, “Committed to the Community.”

VanDuren will be running for one of three open seats on the township council. Candidates so far include current council members and .

According to the township clerk, residents Jan Ariemma, M. Mian, Eileen Richter, Steven Sbarra, and Jonathan Marcus have all taken out petitions to run. Petitions must be returned to the township clerk’s office by next Tuesday in order for candidates to be eligible to run.

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Mark Case September 02, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Mr. Levine, Google: Ramsey AutoGroup lawsuits. Read the 1st thing that comes up and decide if perhaps you might want to retract your post.
NDW September 02, 2012 at 10:16 PM
http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/state/state-accuses-ramsey-chrysler-jeep-dodge-of-bergen-county-of-fraudulent-sales-practices
NDW September 02, 2012 at 10:20 PM
CENSORSHIP!!!! "Pending Approval posts since Sat?????? This is censorship plain and simple. Many other posts put up. Did Mayor take the weekend off????? Where is Journalistic integrity??
Chardel Vyjial September 03, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Todd, Thank you for wanting to help the community you live in to be a better place. khushnaseeb (means good luck!)
tracyw September 03, 2012 at 03:45 PM
@ Gotttardo... yes. They were peddling both. Will the mayor buy up their domain names as well now ???
Chardel Vyjial September 03, 2012 at 04:13 PM
TracyW Let me get this straight, you buy gas from a person you don't like? you just signed up to leave comments this week? and you want us to believe that you aren't someone running for council and using a fake name? or a mad DPW worker looking to keep a overpaid job as long as you can? But I'll humor you anyway. If the Mayor appointed Todd to the Planning Board and Marcus to the Citizen advisory Panel why wouldn't he help them get on the ballot like all the other candidates supporters help? The stop the mall group including Gottardo worked hard for Lisa's Mayor campaign.
Andy Schmidt September 04, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I'm always saddened when there are precisely as many candidates as their are open positions - which means automatic "election", making a mockery out of any voting. Having several candidates actually competing for few open seats means that residents gets a chance to express their preference and making their vote count. So I'm thankful for ALL the candidates who all are willing to subject themselves to the unflattering comments of a small number of their fellow townspeople.
ref September 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Andy all knowing all seeing where have you been?vacation or just hidding out until your man stops trying to make childish, imature,sneaky plans for a town I and alot of other people so like living in.
Ted Slockbower September 04, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Interesting that my comments about Ramsey Auto Group being sued by the NJ Dept of Consumer Affairs are getting flagged as inappropriate. Does someone want to hide something? http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/press/ramsey.htm http://www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/press/nissan.htm http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/011811_State_sues_Bergen_auto_dealer_charging_deceptive_marketing.html http://njconsumeraffairs.gov/press/ramsey2.htm
Andy Schmidt September 04, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Hi ref - thank you for your kind concern.
Really!! September 04, 2012 at 07:48 PM
To Vyjial....you sure have come out of the blue! On your previous posts you come across as someone who just wants to find out about the candidates and encourages posters to respect one another. Now all of the sudden your posting comments claiming people are overpayed and being current council members. Where is the respect that you talk about? Maybe you are the one hiding behind a fake name. Respect is a two way street! You seem to be closer to some of the candidates than you initially appeared to be. This is exactly why I am in disbelief over how unprofessional the politics in this town are getting. Be honest...do what you say and say what you do!!! The concerned citizens of this town won't be bullied into becoming a privatized town no matter who tries to spew lies and inconsistencies out there.
ref September 04, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Hey Andy,if its true that the dealership that is owned by the Vandoren family did a lot of fraudulent dealings with the public and not just once but twice, that is known about, what type of of person do you want to represent you and our town,we have to trust the people on the council to do the right thing for mahwah, right
ref September 05, 2012 at 10:00 AM
Mr. Vanduren do the right thing and tell your Mayor thank you but no thank you,lets see how long this post stays up
Dennis September 05, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I support Todd and his run for council. I think we need some new fresh ideas and people that aren't afraid to mix things up and change the way things are done in the town for the better. I believe status quo has got to go!! Bring on someone like Todd that will bring new ideas, business acumen, and a fresh perspective for the people and the town!
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 01:23 PM
several thoughts: #1 Yikes!!!, #2 Chardel, i respect anyone's/your use of their full names, and also understand why others are afraid to reveal themselves. if one doesn't have the boldness to own their name then they should perhaps consider presenting more objective questionings as a way to resonate without inuendo or assault. #3 what qualifies your determination that those are "overpaid" jobs? #4 we were front & center for Lisa D... we feel its our civic duty to support who we believe in. #5 the mayor can help whomever he likes; people just want any facts they can have.
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Lessen the load? Mahwah and it's elected officials have done an outstanding job keeping the tax-load modest here, while preserving the integrity of our town! Lisa DG and John speich, former Mayor Martel, and many others have done fine work here for many years. i applaud Mr Speich's having voted for privitization of recycling even though i disagreed. i would campaign for him if ever i thought he needed my help... as integrity deserves recognition & respect more than party lines or stubborn ideology. .
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Here here! i'm praying they all jump in... s--t, are we out of time for them to submit petitions?
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Andy, you're the demi-god; i'm the soap-box :O)
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Acumen? is that like egg-whites? buff protein for lean muscle-mass? C'mon people smile, a little humor goes a long way.
Andy Schmidt September 05, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Hi Gottardo. Petitions were due yesterday. So the the list of contenders is now complete. As far as your other comment, outing me: Ευχαριστώ <g>
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Andy, i'm certain bad choices have been made, and that coffers wax & wane regardless. Good economies build us up (coffers included) bad ones whittle us down. Did Mahwah make some of the same exhuberant mistakes as most or all of America did? Maybe Yes. Did elected persons stick there heads in the sand to avoid political risk? i'm certain Yes. But within all the difficulties, and with excellent schools, Mahwahs taxes remain enviably low low... and now they are capped. So people need to pitch in and come together with a comprehensive plan. i'm not sure the 4 dpw sacrificial lambs was enough... certainly not without cuts spread evenly elsewhere.
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 05, 2012 at 04:03 PM
All good Andy. My mother always said "it's most difficult, and most important, to cinch the purse strings while there's still something in there.
ref September 05, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Andy,your dining on Laforet baloney again,do you really think that the 1.75% increase in taxes had anything to do with your current mayor? I hate to say this but your right(pretend I didn't say that) its good to have more than one candidate but it should be candidates that truely want the job not because the mayor needs"YES" votes no matter what he wants to shove down our throats.
ABBY September 07, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Andy I will ask you again, did the Mayor have anything to do with the one time gift that the Governor gave to our town? Since you have not answered it the 1st 10 times I have asked you let me help you out, NO HE DID NOT. Funny how a Mayor who has taken so many Democratic contributions to his campaign did not recognize the Republican's Governor's gift for getting his budget done. Now that there is no new money coming for Trenton he wants to blame the Council for all his budget problems. He has bad fiscal policy, he is a horrible leader and come Nov. 6th hopefully he will back to having just 1 job.
Andy Schmidt September 07, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Abby, I'm sorry, I don't recall you every asking me about any personal gifts from the Governor? And if you think you asked me 10 times, then I'm not quite sure what to make of your mental state. Why don't you start by specifying what "gift" you are referring to? What date was it given? Is there a URL to some news report or other source you can cite that explains what in the world might be going through your mind? As far as party politics - this town has non-partisan elections. I never ask and I don't care which presidential candidate or which member of congress our local leaders may support in any given year -- because it would only distract from the itty-gritty work they need to accomplish in Mahwah (as proven in neighboring towns and specially the county mess). I'm only interested in the issues, not the party-book.
ABBY September 07, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Andy interesting point about Mahwah being a non-partisan town? Then why would our Democratic Mayor take all kinds of money from the head of the Hoboken Democratic Party? Why all this money from the Democrats if we are non-partisian and why all of this money from outside Mahwah? Is it just me or does this not seem right? One other question the big checks he is getting is coming from competing gas stations of his inside Mahwah. Am I the only one that says something smells funny over this?DetailFilingReport.aspx?ID=320192&Page=1&LastName=laforet&Location=233
Ted Slockbower September 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Abby, Do you have the complete link to LaForet's filing? It is cut off.
ABBY September 07, 2012 at 08:42 PM
TS sorry aboout that, here you can check all his reports right here. http://www.elec.state.nj.us/ELECReport/MultipleSearchView.aspx?Page=1&Location=233&LastName=laforet
Gottardo DiGiacopo September 08, 2012 at 12:56 AM
Really!! "Maybe you are the one hiding behind a fake name." i think you got something there!
ref September 10, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Abby it seems that a certain gasolione station owner wants to expand his business on Rt 17 North,its my understanding that he is going to the planning board to try and get a variance,just so happens he owns two or three stations already,isnt that right Chardel?

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