July 10, 2007 Workshop Meeting - Home

July 10, 2007 Workshop Meeting

Date: July 10, 2007

  TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2007

Mayor Katz called the Workshop Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 7:03 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present: C. Feit, C. Kates (7:30 p.m.), DM. Parker (7:42 p.m.), C. Rudolph (8:04 p.m.),    C. Honis, C. Gussen, Mayor Katz.

Absent: None.

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


Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by adoption of Resolution #466-06, setting the 2007 meeting dates and Resolution #236-07 amending the 2007 meeting dates, sending a copy to THE RECORD, THE SUBURBANITE, THE BERGEN NEWS/SUN BULLETIN, THE CONNECTION, THE JEWISH STANDARD, SU GUIA, THE COUNTY SEAT and THE COURIER TIMES, 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.

A moment of silence was held for former Teaneck High School teacher, Alice Benekin, who recently passed away.


Dean Makkaoui - 19 Cherry Street, Garfield, NJ - Spoke about having a family day in Votee Park that will be open to the public.  Asked Council for a few things regarding the day, including having the Township as a cosponsor by waiving the park fees and Police Officer fees, ask for the allowance of mechanical rides, and the use of electricity for more than three hours.

Patricia Butler - 652 Ramapo Road - Is asking for support for the allowance of using the Recreation Center for their Camp Umoja.

Gwen Acree - 101 Stuyvesant Road - Spoke about not knowing what their taxes are going to be due to the recent reevaluation.  Mrs. Acree also questioned partial payments.

Howard Berger - 323 Willow Street - Feels the town should replace Dairy Queen with a three store eat-in shop.

Sharika Sanders -  Spoke about the Camp Umoja being denied the use of the Richard Rodda Recreation Center.

Jordan Wouk - 554 Cumberland Avenue - Thanked Council for his reappointment to the board.  Spoke about his appreciation for the new sidewalk on the east side of Palisade Avenue by Votee Park and asked Council to set up a formal process for determine which streets are reviewed for sidewalk replacement or new installation.  He advised that 1/4 inch in sidewalk slab elevation makes a difference when pushing a stroller or wheelchair.

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


In Favor: C. Feit, C. Rudolph, C. Gussen, Mayor Katz.

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Kates, DM. Parker, C. Honis.

Mrs. Fall advised that the letter requesting cosponsorship of the family day in Votee Park was received yesterday and circulated to the Township Council.  She did not recommend cosponsoring the event in Votee Park - not because of the program itself, but that there are a number groups which request sponsorship each year.  With respect to the mechanical rides staff also does not recommend these being permitted.  She would however be in support of extending the three hour limit on electricity as Council  has granted this to other park users in the past.  Mrs. Fall explained the Teaneck Police Department will be the ones to determine the number of off duty Police Officers  needed for the event.  

Mrs. Fall explained that with respect to Camp Umoja, there is a standard application process for use of the Rodda Center and one which Ms. Butler was familiar with.  Reservations are made when the complete application is submitted to the Recreation Department provided there is space available.  Ms. Butler did not submit an application prior to advertising for the Camp.  The Township’s own summer programs this year will be using the requested spaces during the same time period or being cleaned or in the case of the Dance Studio, having the floors refinished.  We are just not able to accommodate the request for the space.  Mrs. Fall suggests Ms. Butler to contact the Board of Education for facilities. 

Mrs. Fall informed the residents that the tax bills have not been sent out since the Township is waiting for the State to find out if we have received Extraordinary Aid.  Mrs. Fall briefly explained the revaluation results as well as the average increase in assessments and what property owners could expect based upon the average increase in assessment with respect to taxes.

Mayor Katz echoed the concerns of Gwen Acree.

Mrs. Fall explained that the Township was ordered by the State to do the revaluations and that the Council took a stand against the order, but was required to complete the revaluation.  The State mandates taxes to be paid in full by the time the tax bill is due, otherwise interest will be charged on the outstanding balance; the Township Council passed a Resolution to accept partial payment of taxes with the full tax payment being required to be made by the due date otherwise we are legally responsible to charge interest on the balance.  Residents will be notified via mailings, website, and Press Release when the next tax bills are mailed and the due date of the first bill.


Authorize Renewal of Retail Consumption Liquor Licenses.

C. Rudolph made a motion to Vote to Vote.  Seconded by C. Kates and carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: DM. Parker, C. Honis.

Resolution 273-07 -Authorize Renewal of Retail Consumption Liquor Licenses.

Mayor to declare time to comment on the liquor license renewal open, asking if anyone wishes to comment on this Resolution. 

No one came forward to speak.

Mayor Katz made a motion to close comment on Resolution 273-07 - Authorize Renewal of Retail Consumption Liquor Licenses.  Seconded by C. Rudolph and carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: DM. Parker, C. Honis.

Mayor Katz made a motion to  approve Resolution 273-07 - Authorize Renewal of Retail Consumption Liquor Licenses.  Seconded by C. Rudolph and carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: DM. Parker, C. Honis.

Mayor Katz proposed moving Discussion of Ordinances item #3 -  Revised Ordinance No. 4002 and Old Business item #5 - Appointment/Nomination Process, directly after Retreat item #1 - Rules of Procedure/Agenda Motion.  Council agreed.


1. Rules of Procedure/Agenda Motion.

Council discussed changing the current rules and providing for agenda motions at the beginning of the meeting to move certain issues up further that they feel may be better suited at the beginning of the Agenda due to the presence of a speaker or a lengthy topic.

Mr. Turitz explained Robert's Rules and Mason's Rules.  Mr. Turitz stated that neither of these fits Teaneck.  Our current rules are clearly delineated for Council to follow and for the public to understand.

DM. Parker said that she brought it up at the retreat because she feels Council should be able to move certain subjects up earlier on an agenda. 

Mr. Turitz explained if four people would like items moved on the Agenda then it could be allowed by vote.

DM. Parker asked if Council would be able to see the Agenda before Thursday, to move the items before the meeting. Mrs. Fall explained that staff cannot poll Council about the agenda and Mr. Turitz concurred.

Council determined to take no further action.

3. Revised Ordinance No. 4002.

Mr. Turitz explained there is no need to have a specific section discussing who appoints who in the event of reorganization.  Mr. Turitz explained as it stands now if there is a vacancy before July 1st the lame duck Council should appoint and if the vacancy will be as of July 1st then the new Council will appoint unless the majority of the lame duct Council carries into the new Council.

An Ordinance will be introduced at the July 25, 2007 meeting to delete this section.

5. Appointment/Nomination Process.

Council discussed the process of nominating people and voting for them. 
Council decided to leave the process as is because they are still able discuss the nominee during a Regular meeting when they are voting for them.


1. Regulation of Commercial Delivery Boxes.

Council is in favor of regulating the commercial delivery boxes throughout the Township.  Mr. Turitz had circulated a draft ordinance which is still under staff review in terms of who should be the enforcement officer.  Mrs. Fall suggested that if Council is satisfied with the ordinance as drafted, when the matter of who would be responsible for enforcement is resolved by staff, that the revised ordinance reflecting that change be listed for introduction.  Council was in agreement.

2. Administrative Fee - Marriage Ordinance.

Mayor Katz and DM. Parker did not participate in this conversation.  Council is waiting for Mr. Turitz to produce a draft.

4. Revised Holiday Parking Ordinance.

Council reviewed the draft.  Ordinance to be introduced at the July 25, 2007 meeting.

5. Sign Ordinance.

Mayor Katz, C. Kates, C. Rudolph, and Mrs. Fall are the make up of the subcommittee.  The Planner has been consulted as well as sign makers in Teaneck.

Mayor Katz went over all the items he felt needed to be added to the proposed draft sign ordinance which had been discussed by the subcommittee with the Planner and still needed to be added.   C. Gussen asked about the definition of a window sign and how it would be applied to a sign which could be seen through the window i.e. a soda machine which advertises specific brands of soda.

Mrs. Fall will provide the comments to the Planner for inclusion and/or clarification.  Mayor Katz requested permission for the revision to be sent directly to the Planning Board.


1. Parking Subcommittee Report.

Council reviewed the Report of the subcommittee consisting of C. Kates, C. Feit, C. Rudolph and Mrs. Fall. 

Council discussed the recommendation to establish a commuter decal program being set up in specific lots.  In these lots there would be a designated area for commuter parking and an area with meter parking for the visitors of the area.  The subcommittee has looked at private lots and have not yet found an owner that would like to participate.  Mass transit is not available throughout the Township therefore, a jitney company was contacted and an evaluation is underway as to the feasibility of setting up a program with them.  In addition, the subcommittee is analyzing the parking usage in designated locations in Teaneck.

Council determined the following next steps:  Invite the jitney company to a subcommittee meeting, schedule a community meting in September or October for public input on commuter parking issues, draft a questionnaire to be distributed to commuters areas seeking the needs of the commuters, wait to further consider use of a decal program in municipal parking lots.

2. Sign Subcommittee Report - Facade and Design Guidelines - Part II.

This subcommittee will be made up of the same members as the Sign Ordinance subcommittee.


1. Opportunities Analysis Report - Circulated May 7, 2007.

Mayor Katz suggested setting up a community style meeting with BEI and the residents.  Have the meeting set up to educate the public and the capabilities of having a two way dialogue.  Mrs. Fall will have the revised draft put on the website and contact the Planner about September or October dates for this meeting.

2. Naming of Parks, etc. Policy.

Council would like to move forward with the current request for naming a part of the meadow in  Andreas Park for Dr. Mausner as well as establishing a policy.  C. Gussen spoke with Mr. Wouk who requested that the specific area discussion be held in abeyance until further information was provided to Council by the HRGAB about a potential revised locations.

Council will further discuss the general policy at a future meeting after Mrs. Fall has obtained policies from other municipalities.

3. HNH - Message Centers.

Council feels the sign proposal is too much, very bright, a little excessive and would not support the project as proposed.  Council would consider an alternate smaller proposal.  In addition, Council is concerned about content, etc.  Mrs. Fall will contact Ms. Ellis to set up a subcommittee meeting (Mayor Katz, C. Kates and Mrs. Fall). 

4. TCT Proposal For 2007-2008 - Request for Funding.

Council determined to fund a maximum of $17,500 and would like a new summation of the breakdown of funding before approval.  Council would like the BOE to be asked if they would like to fund the balance or part and asked that this matter be discussed at the Council/BOE Subcommittee meeting.

6. Schedule Fall 2007 Clergy Council Meeting and 7. Schedule Board Chairpersons Meeting - Fall 2007.

Mrs. Fall will provide potential dates via e-mail.

8. Certificates.

Council decided to sign 100 certificates and therefore not have to come into the office when signatures are needed on certificates.  Each Council member will be e-mailed for final approval of using their signature on each certificate.

9. Sewer Ordinance.

Mrs. Fall discussed  the volume of calls based upon the recently released bills.  Mrs. Fall also advised that any property owner who is being billed is being provided a copy of the ordinance at no charge. 

Council discussed why previous notice of the new ordinance was not provided.  Members of Council as well as Mrs. Fall reminded the governing body that Council had previously determined not to make a prior notification.   Council asked Mrs. Fall to prepare a letter of explanation to be sent along or distributed with the ordinance.  Mrs. Fall agreed.

1. April 19, 2007 E-mail - Affordable Housing Advisory Board.

Mrs. Fall asked Council if they are interested in having the AHAB do additional work.  Council decided to wait until the 3rd round COAH is finished.  Mrs. Fall will so advise the Board.


1. 2008 Meeting Schedule.

Council requested the November 25, 2008 meeting be moved to November 24, 2008.  C. Honis asked if the calendar had been reviewed for all holidays to which Mrs. Fall advised yes.


(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. New Meter Locations - Mayor Katz
 A. Puffin Way
 B. Old New Bridge Road.

Mayor Katz advised that after further consideration, he did not believe he Township would benefit from having meters in these locations since there are a limited number of spaces.

Council determined to have a public input meeting on the subject of parking in the business districts.


1. Budget Presentation, Etc.

Mrs. Fall had provided to Council a report from the Auditor explaining the current budget format used by the Township as being required by State.  C. Gussen discussed having an alternate budget format by programs or functions, presented in a different matter, but with the same numbers.

Council discussed whether additional staff would be required.  Mrs. Fall explained that she believed it would require additional staff and software.

C. Gussen further explained what he is requesting and would like to have it relisted on a future Workshop meeting he meets with Mrs. Fall.

Mrs. Fall also explained that it was her intention to have the 2008 Proposed Municipal Budget to the Council at least one week before the end of 2007 and that the Council budget review meetings were proposed to start the second Thursday of January to give the Township Council additional time to review the budget.  She was going to provide the following directions to the Department Heads for the 2008 Budget preparation - other expenses were to be presented at 0% or less; scenarios of 5% reductions and 10% reductions from the presented budget.  In addition, Mrs. Fall would provide to Council, as was requested with the 2007 Budget, two alternate scenarios - an overall 0% increase from the 2007 appropriations (other expense and salaries and wages) as well as one-half of the increase of what ever the 2008 Proposed Budget presented to Council by the Manager would call for.

2. Youth Task Force - Recreation Programs/Center for Teens.

Council reviewed the proposed outline for programs and the monetary support needed for a Fall 2007 program.  C. Rudolph and C. Gussen do not feel a poker table is appropriate.
Council discussed possibly seeking grants and asking Board of Education for support.  Will be discussed with the Council/BOE subcommittee.

Mrs. Fall advised Council that funds were not specifically provided for these programs in the 2007 budget and will ask Ms. Crockett to identify what currently planned Fall 2007 programs would be impacted if this other program was implemented in Fall 2007.

3. September 11, 2007 Proposed Observance.

Council was in agreement with the observance as proposed in Mrs. Fall’s memo..

4. Proposed Open Space Grant Projects.

Council would like to move forward with the submission of the grant application for barrier free access to all the wading pools and the resurfacing of Herrick Park basketball court.

5. Energy Audit.

Acting Municipal Clerk Aportela-Hernandez advised that Siemens walk through is finished.  A proposed analysis will be done in the few weeks.

6. Solar Energy Use Study.

Mrs. Fall reported that the BCIA consultant has completed a solar energy study and concluded the Richard Rodda Center and Fire Station #3 would be the only buildings that would be able to benefit from solar panels.

Will list on August Workshop to discuss next steps.

7. Parking Structure Interviews.

Mrs. Fall will circulate dates in  for interviews.

8. Dahr Islah Park Request.

Council discussed the report Mrs. Fall provided after good and welfare.   Council was in agreement with the exception of allowing the same type of trackless train that the Township uses during the Votee Park July Fourth celebrations.

9. August Workshop.

Council was in agreement to have the August Workshop start at 6:30 PM on Wednesday August 1, 2007.

10. Setup of Meeting.

Council discussed the seating setup for the Workshop Meetings; what they liked about the setups and what they did not like about the setups.  Council will brainstorm how they would like their future Workshop Meeting's seating arrangement and notify the Clerk's Office.




On a motion made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 10:02 p.m.