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Car Rollovers, Schroeder Lawsuit, Tax Appeals Top This Week's News

Here's a look at the past week in Westwood, Washington Township and Hillsdale.

Car Flips Off Westwood Road onto Resident's Lawn

A custom roll bar likely saved the life of a man who flipped his car off the road, according to Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino.

The man was driving northbound on Forest Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday — and was probably speeding — when he hit a curb and flipped, according to Regino.

Neighbors said they found the man crawling out the back window of the partially crushed vehicle. He suffered no serious injuries.

The driver had "put quite a bit of money" into customizing the car, and a roll bar he installed probably saved his life, Regino said.

Schroeder Sued by Kearny Bank

Another bank has sued State Assemblyman Robert Schroeder.

Attorneys for Kearny Federal Savings Bank, of Fairfield, filed a complaint November 13 which alleges Schroeder has failed to make payments on a mortgage since May.

The bank gave Schroeder a $900,000 loan for 100-101 West Street in Hillsdale in August 2009, according to the complaint. Schroeder was supposed to make monthly payments on the mortgage until 2034, but allegedly stopped making them earlier this year.

Washington Township Lost $324K to Tax Appeals in 2012

Washington Township property owners successfully appealed more than $300,000 worth of taxes this year.

Property owners can appeal their tax bill to the county if they believe the value of their home or business is inaccurately appraised. The number of appeals in the township has been increasing each year, and the amount of money refunded has also increased. The township lost about $168,000 in 2010 and $194,000 last year.

Westwood firefighters freed a woman who was trapped in her rolled-over car late Friday morning.

The woman was driving eastbound on Harrington Avenue at about 11:50 a.m. when she swerved and glanced off a tree near the corner of Berkeley Avenue. The driver lost control of the silver Chevy, which rolled onto its side as it slid across the intersection and jumped a curb across the street, according to Police Chief Frank Regino.

The driver "doesn't appear to be seriously injured," Regino said.

Hillsdale Council President Resigning

Hillsdale Council President Michael Giancarlo is planning to step down from his seat as of December 31.

Giancarlo, who also sits on the planning board and the friends of the library, told Patch that he does not have enough time for his various obligations.

"While I love Hillsdale and can never see myself unengaged from the town, my other responsibilities were beginning to be affected by these numerous and overlapping responsibilities of being a hands-on councilperson," Giancarlo wrote in an email to Patch.

Westwood Business Makes 'Best Places to Work' List

Modera Wealth Management, LLC, a Westwood-based company, was named one of the best 15 places to work in money management byPensions & Investments, a biweekly trade newspaper.

The paper ranked Modera as the third best place to work with fewer than 100 employees, noting that the firm's principals "do not take much stock in formal titles or job descriptions."

Only four of Hillsdale's six council members will be able to vote on issues related to the fire department next year, according to borough attorney Steven Paul. 

Recently-elected Councilman Tom Kelley and Councilman-elect Jason DeGise are members of the Hillsdale Fire Department and sit on the board of fire officers. To have them make decisions in the department, and then vote on those decisions as part of the council, would constitute a conflict of interest, Paul said.

Kelley called Paul's decision "ridiculous," noting that other firefighters have served on the council and voted on department-related issues. Kelley said was willing to recuse himself from monetary issues, but believed he should still be able to vote on policies and other department matters.

Hurricane Sandy Costing Hillsdale $176K Next Year

Emergency expenses totalling more than $176,000 will go into Hillsdale's 2013 budget.

The Hillsdale Council unanimously approved the emergency appropriations for Hurricane Sandy during their meeting Tuesday. Many borough employees had to work overtime and gas was purchased in Massachusetts for municipal vehicles and generators after the storm, Mayor Max Arnowitz previously said.

"Obviously, we're going to have to pay that back," Arnowitz said Tuesday.

The council approved a total of $176,816.31 for storm-related emergency appropriations. Other costs would be covered by the borough's insurance, according to Administrator Jonathan DeJoseph. Arnowitz also said he expected FEMA would reimburse the borough for a large portion of the expenses.

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