Teaneck Council: Pot, Pets & Priorities

No single issue dominated the Tuesday Teaneck Council meeting. Among matters discussed were pot, pets, facility maintenance priorities, bonding, a 501 (c) (3) SALT fund, and animatronic dinosaurs looking for new home. A new hotel just opened here. (See above.)

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS  

  • Setting up a SALT 501 (C) (3) fund: to allow property owners to contribute to a non-profit fund via the city to get an offset on their property taxes – referred for further review. 
  • Bike share: council is in conversation with several companies to manage it.
  • Planning Council Retreat: probably in September with a mention of retreat priorities and council members’ self-analysis.
  • Prohibition of facial recognition software: under review by Police Department as ACLU has exposed problems with the system.
  • 2019 Budget process timeline: it should be started as early as possible, maybe after September with some controversy over whether it should include a multi-year budget.
  • Technology: looking at how the town can save money and increase value.
  • TOPS 5K: approved for this year.
  • Creating a Redevelopment Agency:  to look broadly and help with the process.
  • Plastic recycling bins with wheels: for seniors to be further examined.

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES

The following were duly introduced with scheduled voting on passage in the September or October meeting:

  • Prohibiting production, processing or sale of marijuana in Teaneck – with one person, Tom Abbott, during Public Testimony questioning why it is necessary and why the rush. Councilman Kaplan expressed strong opposition noting marijuana is already for sale in Teaneck, and allowing legal sale would reduce the unscrupulous criminal element. The Mayor strongly supported the prohibition claiming it would just enrich hedge fund managers and not necessarily provide the financial benefits to the town promised by the Governor. 
  • Amending regulations regarding fences and retaining walls – controversial topic at the last meeting.
  • Amending regulations to public signs.
  • Restricting the retail sale of dogs and cats to forbid puppy mills – with one councilman wanting to preserve the right for reputable breeders.  (Read the Humane Society: of the U. S.: NJ Pet Store Report.)

OTHER ISSUES 

  • The $8 million bond issue was kicked to the Finance Committee for further review/changes. 
  • In Public testimony one individual asked what the council position was on the county’s plan to build an animatronic dinosaur facility with hundreds of parking spaces in the midst of Overpeck Park. The chairman said he wanted to find out more about what financial benefit would accrue to the town while some in Teaneck consider it a serious environmental mistake.
  • Two individuals in Public Testimony expressed concern that municipal infrastrure keeps getting worse and is not being fixed. “Maintenance now prevents bigger problems later,” said one individual. The Rodda Center and a stairway in the main municipal building were some of the facilities cited.

The Agenda Outline is here.  The Agenda Packet (over 200 pages) is here.  Video of the entire Public Hearing is here.

What’s happening in your municipality’s Council Meetings? 

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