Teaneck Council Meeting with lingering questions

With Mayor Hameeduddin and Deputy Mayor Katz absent, Deputy Mayor Schwartz presided. The meeting began with a Lifetime Achievement Award to volunteer Ambulance Corps member Jay Eizik; Certificate of Recognition to retiring Municipal Judge James E. Young with Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton praising him and a certificate from the three Teaneck State legislators; and three promotions for Kevin Arahill to Acting Director Public Works, and Kevin Brennan and Charles Antinori to Police Sergeants. 

STATUS OF COUNCIL RETREAT GOALS 2018-19 (Packet page 17) (Councilman Dunleavy) 

  • Emergency Alert System: completed
  • Teaneck Road Streetscape: ordinance passed; bids in process
  • Votee Field House: bids in; bids approved
  • Route 4 Billboards: Clerk to update in December
  • Ordinance Dedicating Route 4 Greenbelt: no action
  • Parking Garage Locations (Pruitt, Schwartz, Kaplan): No action
  • HNMC Tax Cte (Mayor, Katz, Pruitt): No action
  • Yearly Mtg with Advisory Board Chairs: set for January 22
  • Water and sewer fee revision ordinance: no action
  • Parking Development Fund: no action
  • Rental Car Fee: no action
  • Digital Sign on Municipal Green: In process
  • Township Increased use of Technology: met 12/17/18

An important Council Development Forum (open to the public) on February 19 at 6:00 PM will be held in the library auditorium. One attendee said it was important that Mayor Hameeduddin attend. In spite of protestations from Councilman Pruitt who wanted all council members to be able to attend, the town’s lawyer said only three council members could be present because of regulations regarding Council Open Public Meetings. Pruitt urged people to come to the forum as Teaneck will be changing developmentally, particularly on some of the busy, more commercial streets. This is an opportunity for resident input. 

Questions linger on the pavilion planned in Votee Park:
Alan Sohn and Chuck Powers pointed out that in 2016 architect Anthony Gianforcaro presented a design estimated to cost  $800,000 to $1.2 million. At the December 2018 meeting a total bid of about $1.8 million was approved. They ask “Why did this project increase by 50% from the top end of the architect’s worst-case estimate? We heard some rationalizations and excuses on December 10th, but none of them fly.” Teaneck Transparency further asks, “When did that design get approved – who from Town worked on it – what possible justification is there for its size and cost? 2) Why didn’t the public know what was happening on this project?” 

Update on Rodda Center: They are doing the steelwork now and new lighting should be installed in two weeks. 

Four ordinances received final passage  (Packet pp 28-36)

  • Salary ranges and classifications for municipal employees
  • Eliminating or modifying out of date codes such as “Begging,” “cockfighting,” and “Disorderly Houses,” See North Jersey Record: Teaneck Council repeals more than a dozen outdated laws
  • Repealing some provisions regarding miscellaneous offenses
  • Amending ordinance regarding Division 8 Municipal Parking Lot Decal Parking Spaces between the hours of 5:00 AM and 8:00 AM. Several residents wanted further changes.

Resolutions Passed

  • Authorizing new fingerprinting machine and equipment for Police Department (Packet pp 46-62) (Photo on left Kevin R. Wexler NorthJersey.com)
  • Although there are stringent regulations on municipal budgets, the council has been notoriously slow in finalizing its budget. It approved a 2019 Temporary Budget of about $20 million for the period between the beginning budget year and the adoption of the final budget. (Packet pp  63-66) There will be a Council budget meeting on February 7.
  • Designating Simona N. Casian-Sirbu as the Township Public Agency Compliance Officer in 2019 (Packet page 68)

Introduction of new ordinances to receive final vote during Jan. 29 Council meeting (Packet pp 111-118)

  • Amending positions and salary ranges for higher paid staff. (Packet pp 110-113)
  • Amending ordinance related to signs and definitions. (Packet pp 114-118)

The meeting adjourned shortly after 10:00 PM. The next Council meeting is on January 29.

The Agenda Outline, Agenda Package, and video of the full open meeting

A little bit of Teaneck History: In 1949 Teaneck was chosen from among 10,000 communities around the country as the “model town” to be shown in occupied Germany and Japan as the paragon of American democracy. Paul Volcker, Teaneck’s first Municipal Manager and father of economist and former Fed Chair Paul Volcker, said at the time, “I have always found Teaneck people highly intelligent and proud of their town. They are ready to fight at the drop of a hat over any live issue.”  His service is honored in front of the Teaneck Municipal Building (See preview foto above.)

Comment (1)

  1. Gina Gerszberg

    Excellent article. Thank you for keeping the township informed.


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