March 13, 2007 Workshop Meeting - Home

March 13, 2007 Workshop Meeting

Date: March 13, 2007

  TUESDAY, MARCH 13, 2007

Mayor Katz called the Workshop Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 7:41 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present: C. Feit, C. Kates, DM. Parker, C. Rudolph, C. Honis, C. Gussen, Mayor Katz.

Absent: None.

Also Present: S. Turitz - Ferrara, Turitz, Harraka & Goldberg, Esqs.; H. V. Fall, Municipal    Manager; Clerk; L. Aportela-Hernandez, Assistant to the Municipal Manager,    J. Hodges, Assistant to the Municipal Clerk.


Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by adoption of Resolution #466-06, setting the 2007 meeting dates, sending a copy to THE RECORD, THE SUBURBANITE, THE BERGEN NEWS/SUN BULLETIN, THE CONNECTION, THE JEWISH STANDARD AND SU GUIA, filing a copy in the Township Clerk’s Office and posting it on the Municipal Building bulletin board, and the Mayor hereby directs that this statement be included in the minutes.


Jordan Wouk - 554 Cumberland Avenue - Spoke about MOST, a pathway through Windsor  Road being a good idea , the gap of sidewalk on the south side of Cedar Lane (between Queen Anne Road and Palisade Avenue); and establishing a sidewalk policy.

Claire Preschel - 907 Prince Street - Spoke about Teaneck Southern Little League and on behalf of the Executive Board; thanked Council for considering the request of renaming the field.

Pat Crowley - 67 Bennett Road - SCAB - Informed Council of the discussions among board members and other seniors, and their opposition to the proposed fees for classes.

Laura Zucker - 62 Hillside Avenue - Requested Council pass a referendum, as other towns throughout the US have down, protecting the citizens of Teaneck from eminent domain.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - Requested that the Township  become and sponsor of the Teaneck International Film Festival and questioned what the acronyms on the agenda stand for.

C. Rudolph made a motion to Close the Good and Welfare Portion of the Meeting to the Public.   Seconded by C. Honis and carried by the following vote:

In Favor: C. Feit, C. Kates, DM. Parker, C. Rudolph, C. Honis, C. Gussen, Mayor Katz.

Opposed: None.

Absent: None.

C. Kates encouraged people to stay for the duration of the meeting as a number of the items raised by the public will be addressed during the course of the meeting.

C. Gussen explained to Mr. Rose what the acronyms stand for.


a. By-laws

This item will be listed on the April Workshop Meeting, as requested by the TEDC as we are waiting for their input.

a. January 26, 2007 E-mail from Karel Littman.

This item will be listed on the April Workshop meeting as requested by the TEDC as e are waiting for their input.

1. Appointments by Council - Revised Draft Ordinance.

Mr. Turitz explained that under the Sunshine Law, all applicants applying for a position on a board will be asked if they would like to have an interview in Closed Session or during an open meeting.  In the case of a board with a limited number of spots, if one applicant would not like to be interviewed in public, no one will be interviewed in public for that board.  In regards to a board with an unlimited number of spots, each applicant will be considered individually as they desire.


1. HNBL Commissioner.

C. Rudolph nominated Mr. Mike Trepicchio for the HNBL Commissioner position.

C. Kates informed Council that S. Loft is no longer interested in the position.

C. Feit spoke about the qualifications of Mr. Trepicchio, has and is in support of the nomination.

C. Gussen agreed with C. Feit and C. Rudolph.

C. Parker informed Council that she is not able to support Mr. Trepicchio as she was not in Closed Session during his entire interview.  It is no reflection on the individual.

Mrs. Fall will prepare a Resolution for the March 20 Meeting and will notify Mr. Trepicchio of his nomination.


1. Artificial Turf Installation - Votee Park - Sponsorship Program.

Council spoke about the positives of having artificial turf.  In addition to artificial turf being cost effective, injuries occur less often according to C. Gussen.  Council feels that getting corporate sponsorship would be a good idea to displace the initial expense.  C. Gussen and C. Kates will work on this project.

2. DPW Facility.

Council members feel that there should be a deadline set and a good way to do this may be to discuss it during the Goals and Objectives Retreat with Dr. Strauss.

3. Welcome to Teaneck Signs.

Council discussed "Welcome to Teaneck" signs at Route 4 and Belle Avenue.   FDU and HNH are both willing to fully fund the signs.  Council suggested that  since HNH has offered electronic signs, this type of sign would be preferable at the Municipal Building and the Richard Rodda Community Center.  Mrs. Fall will contact HNH.  In addition, Council asked Mrs. Fall to obtain price quotes for the sign designed by Signs by Blohm as they preferred its style.

C. Gussen asked about the process of the sponsorship and bidding.

Mrs. Fall explained the few options that are possible.  The sponsor or sponsors could outright purchase the signs and donate them to the Township or the sponsor or sponsors could donate the money and then the Township would seek multiple quotes and purchase the signs.

4. November 1, 2006 Teaneck Township MOST Advisory Board Annual Report

Mrs. Fall explained that this matter came from a request at one of the budget meetings to review the proposals from the MOST Advisory Board and to discuss the issue of renewal.  The current MOST open space tax has a 4 year sunset clause at the end of 2008.  C. Gussen asked Mr. Turitz to review if a sunset clause was required.  In addition, Mrs. Fall advised that the binding question referendum could be held at any of the 2008 elections but suggested the November 2008 election as it tended to have the greatest voter turnout .  Council concurred.

Council then reviewed the various suggested projects with the following results:
Ÿ Ferry Property - see if the current property owner is willing to subdivide some property to the Township along the River to create a walkway; or give the Township an easement or the possibility of acquiring the entire parcel of land.
Ÿ Artificial Turf - hold for July 2007 after further review by C. Gussen and C. Kates.
Ÿ Carriage House - Mrs. Fall suggested holding this until the Carriage House Subcommittee had met.  We are awaiting for an architect’s evaluation of the current building based upon the tree damage sustained to it over the Labor Day 2006 storm.
Ÿ Windsor Park Trails - hold for further consideration.
Ÿ Feldman Nature Preserve -  hold for further consideration.
Ÿ Pocket Parks - Kipp Street and Stephens Place.  Council was agreeable to move forward with the dedication.  Will need to list for a future agenda to discuss naming these parks as part of the ordinance dedicating them.  There was discussion that the only land suitable for playground equipment would be Stephens Place.  Mrs. Fall estimated this would cost about $10,000.
Ÿ Dog Run - C. Gussen reported that PPRAB supports this concept of a very basic park. There was discussion about potential cost and Mrs. Fall gave a ballpark estimate of between $10,000 and $15,000.  Council asked that this be held for further consideration.

Mrs. Fall will relist this matter when Mr. Turitz is prepared to address the sunset issue.

5. Energy Audit - Update.

Mrs. Aportela-Hernandez advised that Siemens began conducting the energy audit today by evaluating the buildings within the Municipal Complex.  She will advise when the remainder of the Municipal Buildings will have their walkthroughs.

6. Cedar Lane Sidewalk  - Between Queen Anne Road and Palisade Avenue.

Mayor Katz is concerned about pedestrian safety along this block. 

Mrs. Fall explained that residential backyards face this street, and the cost would be extremely expensive due to install a retaining wall.  The maintenance of the sidewalk would also be an issue.  Mrs. Fall suggested obtaining a cost estimate for the Council to review.  Council concurred.  There was discussion about contacting the County  for funding as it is a County road , may also fall under the Safe Routes to School Program as well as the $1 million dollars NJDOT has committed to the Township. 

7. HPC Request - Consultant for B’hai Center Report.

Mrs. Fall would like to refer the research to the Township Historian to see if it could be done by Mr. Robertson as opposed to paying an outside consultant.  Council concurred.

8. Teaneck International Film Festival - Request for Sponsorship.

Council reviewed the request and determined to provide limited support the Teaneck International Film Festival by paying for their off - duty Police Officer presence at the event held at the Movie Theater.


1. February 7, 2007 PPRAB Resolutions:
a. Support Garden State Preservation Trust.

This was already adopted at the February 20, 2007 meeting by resolution of the Council.

b. DPW.

C. Gussen explained that the Board felt that we may have the opportunity to reduce the DPW land use by eliminating the  Township’s recycling services thereby allowing the DPW to stay at its present location.

c. Terhune Park and Hawthorne Park- Use of BC Open Space Trust Fund

The Township has already submitted the application to the County and been advised of a preliminary award.

d. Andreas Park - Canoe Dock at Foot of Carriage House.

Council would like to invite Medoli to attend a Council Meeting to discuss the proposed location.  Mrs. Fall will contact Mr. Medioli and invite Ms. Crockett and Mr. McKearnin.

2. February 19, 2007 E-mail - Arbor Day 2007.

C. Honis requested the event to be moved to 2 p.m. or 3 p. m.

Mayor Katz invited STAB Chairperson Cochrane to discuss this with the Council.  Ms. Cochrane stated it would be good if the celebration followed the Clean and Green Activities.  After discussing the full calendar for that day, the Arbor Day celebration will commence at 2 p.m. with the Clean and Green activities concluding just prior to it.

3. February 26, 2007 E-mail - Payment for Mandated Course for Planning Board and BOA Members.

The Council is in favor of paying for the Planning Board and Board of Adjustment members to take the State mandated class.  Mrs. Fall will advise the Boards.

4. February 14, 2007 Letter - Southern Little League Ballfield.

The request to rename a field after Phil Apreda will be listed on the March 20, 2007 Regular Meeting for approval.

5. Resolution of Support - North Branch.

There is a request from the County to have a passenger train come through Teaneck.  Council was supportive of the service as long as it would also provide mass transportation opportunities for Teaneck residents as well as sufficient facilitates.  In addition, Council does not want the County and other legislators to loose sight of the need for passenger service along the West Shore line.  Mrs. Fall will draft a resolution for comments from Council.



1. Council Meeting Cancellation Policy Due to Inclement Weather.

Mayor Katz stated that the cancellation of meetings should be at the discretion of the Manager.  Council concurred.

2. Advisory Board Secretary - Create From Board Membership.

Mrs. Fall asked Council if they wanted to make a specific position for board secretaries as they have chairpersons and vice-chairpersons.  C. Gussen feels the advisory board should fill the position themselves.  Council concurred.

3. MOST Renewal Referendum - 2008 Scheduling.

The MOST tax is up for renewal in 2009 and needs to be scheduled for an election to vote on in 2008.  Council discussed the best election to and decided the General Election in November of 2008, as that election has the biggest turn out. 

C. Gussen questioned if the time period in which it expires can be expanded.

Mr. Turitz will look into how long the referendum can last.

4. Resident PROW Tree Planting Program - (2/15/07 Budget Meeting).

Mrs. Fall would like to seek suggestions from the Shade Tree Advisory Board on planting trees by private individuals.  Council concurred.

5. Workshop Room Configuration.

Council discussed changing where they sit during Workshop Meetings.  There were mixed feelings about how to configure the room and would like to try the configuration out during the April Workshop Meeting used during the budget meetings.


(Items listed at request of the Councilmember as noted in parenthesis.  Backup provided if available.  Council to determine whether to discuss, list for discussion at an upcoming meeting, or not discuss).

1. Naming Rights (Mayor Katz).

Mayor Katz would like Mrs. Fall to hold from putting on the agenda until further notice.

2. Good and Welfare  - Time Expiration (DM Parker).

Council discussed a ten second warning being implemented into Good and Welfare to advise residents their time is coming to a close.  Council discussed the pros and cons of doing this and the consensus felt that it is too much of a distraction, and the process will remain as it now exists.

3. Customer Service Survey (Mayor Katz).

Council discussed different ways in which they can survey the general public who come to the various departments for services about their experience.  Council's suggestions are to put in Teaneck Topics, on the Website, and making postcards as well as having a suggestion box.  Council would like the process of obtaining services from the Township to be flawless as possible and feels this would be the best way.

Mrs. Fall advised that a suggestion box was previously used, and she will make it available.  She will explore various ways to implement a survey and further report to Council.

4. Alternate Side Parking (C. Kates).

C. Kates feels that this is an issue that needs to be looked at.  Council determined that this matter should be held for the Commuter Parking Subcommittee.

5. Commuter Parking Subcommittee (C. Feit).

Council is forming a Subcommittee that will consist of C. Kates, C. Rudolph, and C. Feit with DM. Parker as an alternate.  This Committee will discuss the issues associated  with commuter parking and the possible solutions.

6. PHQ (C. Rudolph).

C. Rudolph discussed that  the bid opening for the Police Headquarters is on March 20, 2007.  The issue that Council is currently facing is the possibility of the confliction with the Master Plan.  Mrs. Fall advised the bids can be held for 60 days before they become null and void.  Council will hold to discuss at the Goals and Objectives Workshop but keeping in mind the time period in which they have to make their decision.

7. Tax Exempt Properties - Donations.

Council is considering sending letters to all of the Clergy Council with a list of items that  could be donated to the Township.  Since houses of worship are tax exempt properties, they may wish to consider to donate these items.

8. Certificates.

Council discussed  what policies and procedures should be in place for the preparation of Certificates given to members of the public, which Councilmembers should sign them, should it be all members, or those attending the event, etc.   Council determined at this time not to set a specific policy and to leave it up to the discretion of each Councilmember to notify each other when they are attending a function to ensure that all those present are able to sign the certificate.


1. Recreation Fees - Request for Changes Effective 6/1/07.

Mrs. Fall reviewed the memo  provided by Ms. Crockett, Superintendent of Recreation, of the new fees that she has proposed to implement.  Mrs. Fall advised that the  new fees should be effective before November 1, 2007 and before the new school year.  This can become effective May 1, 2007 if on the March 20, 2007 meeting or the  April 11, 2007 Regular Meeting.  Mrs. Fall further explained that other recommendations would also be presented to Council from the Recreation Department as well as from all other departments as part of the every other year review of fees, with a proposed effective date of November 1, 2007.

C. Feit feels that there should remain a sibling discount for  the Preschool Program, and suggested it be $250 per additional sibling.  Council concurred with this recommendation and the balance of the other recommendations in the memo.

2. Junior Football Trailer - Use Existing Building in Votee Park.

The Teaneck Junior Football League has requested exclusive use of the building in Votee Park for storing their equipment. Council would like to explore splitting the building to be used for more than one purpose.  Mrs. Fall will contact Junior Football and further report.

3. Parking Structure Letter - Response From Consultants.

Mrs. Fall reviewed the response to her recent letter and that interest remains in this project.   Council determined to list this as an item for the Goals and Objective Retreat.

4. Ward Plaza Conceptual Plan:

a. Update of Neighbors’ Review of Conceptual Plan

There will be a final meeting held on Wednesday, March 21st.  Mrs. Fall reported that the plan has an overwhelming support of the neighbors.

a. Proposal from C. Statile, P.E.

Mr. Statile has formalized the work he has been doing for the Township with regards to Ward Plaza.  He had to proceed to some extent with the meetings with the neighbors and keeping the State advised so that we did not loose the $250,000 grant.  Mrs. Fall recommended awarding a portion of the proposal as indicated.  Council concurred and a Resolution will be prepared.

5. Smart Growth Parking Study Grant.

Mrs. Fall advised the Township was awarded $55,000 in September for this project, and the Township needs to match it.  Currently the matching funds were used for another project since we did not know, at the time the other funds were needed that we would get the grant.  Should Council wish to move forward with the project (September 2008 completion) then we will have to locate matching funds.   Mrs. Fall advised Council may also wish to ask that these funds be re-appropriated to the Ward Plaza project.  Council will hold for further consideration.

6. Bypass Road Between Route 4 and Route 95.

Mrs. Fall explained about the concerns of speeding on East Lawn Drive.  The Police Department recommends discussing a bypass road.  The Township Engineer had already discussed this with  the Planner and a recommendation is being incorporated into the Master Plan.

7. Teaneck Road Futurescape Project - Status Report

There is an up coming meeting on Monday, March 19th at Bryant School to discuss the Teaneck Road Streetscape, which has been called Futurescape.

8. Interview of Volunteers.

Council determined to schedule meetings  for April 5 and April 30 to interview applicants for advisory and other boards, with the applications received to date.  The meetings will start at 6:30 p.m. with interviews scheduled at 10 minute intervals.


C. Gussen informed everyone that there is a National Dog Conference on April 28 and would like a member of the PPRAB or staff to attend on this Saturday.  Council concurred to pay the registration cost.  Mrs. Fall will advise the PPRAB and staff of the opportunity.


1. Glenpointe South Rezoning Ordinance - Status.

Mr. Turitz explained that we are waiting for parking statistics to be supplied to the planner by the developer.

2. Rooftop Antennas - Status.

Mr. Turitz advised by adding antennas to properties it may require additional BOA review.  Council asked Mr. Turitz to proceed.


3. Meter Parking Lots Ordinance - State Street.

Mr. Turitz advised there is no legal objection to the ordinance prepared by staff.  Council authorized its introduction at the next meeting.

4. Commuter/Resident Parking Restrictions.

Mr. Turitz informed Council of this issue in Closed Session.

5. Historic Burial Ground Easement- C. Statile Proposal.

Mr. Turitz explained that we are waiting for approval from the DEP; Mr. Statile needed to perform work for the Township in order to move the matter along with DEP.  The current proposal  from Mr. Statile is for an amount not to exceed $5000.  Council concurred and a resolution will be prepared.


On a motion made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 10:58 p.m.