June 16, 2009 Workshop Meeting Minutes - Home

June 16, 2009 Workshop Meeting Minutes

Date: June 16, 2009
Time: 8:00 PM




TUESDAY, JUNE 16, 2009


Mayor Feit called the Workshop Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at

7:02 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.




Present:           C. Gussen (arrived at 7:08 p.m.), C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker,

(arrived at 7:18 p.m.), C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.


Absent:            None.


Also Present:   W. Rupp - Ferrara, Turitz, Harraka & Goldberg, Esqs.; W. Broughton, Municipal                           Manager, L. Aportela-Hernandez, Municipal Clerk; J.L. Evelina, Senior Clerk




Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by adoption of Resolution #342-08, setting the 2009 meeting dates, sending a copy to THE RECORD, THE SUBURBANITE, THE BERGEN NEWS/SUN BULLETIN, THE CONNECTION, THE JEWISH STANDARD, 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.




Gail Slockett, Oradell - read a statement into the record in support of the firefighters and against the layoff plan.


Mary DeMarco - 889 River Road - spoke about the existing parking issue on River Road created as a result of Fairleigh Dickinson University students parking on residential streets during the week.


Art Vatsky - 950 Garrison Avenue - spoke about the sidewalk installed on Cedar Lane which is crumbling.


Barbara Uber - 559 River Road - read a statement into the record in support of the firefighters and against the layoff plan.


Patrick Wilkins - River Road - spoke about the existing parking issue on River Road created as a result of Fairleigh Dickinson University students parking on residential streets during the week.


Tzvi Gottesman - 1626 Sussex Road - endorsed stop sign at corner of Sussex Road and Forest.


Martin Burn - 946 Garrison Avenue - spoke about the safety issue at the intersection of Sagamore and Garrison Avenue, and expressed the need for stop signs.


C. Katz made a motion to extend Good and Welfare.  Seconded by C. Hameeduddin and carried by the following vote:


In Favor:         C. Hameeduddin, C. Katz, Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         C. Gussen, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Toffler.


Absent:            None.


The motion did not carry.


C. Toffler 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. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,

Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         None.


Absent:            None.


Mayor Feit informed the public that the subject matter of stop signs will be discussed later in the meeting; and requested the Mr. Rupp update the public with respect to Cedar Lane.


Art Vatsky provided a flyer to Council that he stated he received from Councilman Katz, and he questioned the purpose of same.


Mr. Rupp advised Council that he cannot report Closed Session matters regarding the Cedar Lane Streetscape in open session.


C. Toffler shared Mr. Vatsky's concern with respect to the intersection of Garrison and Sussex; requested that upon his returnf from vacation that Mr. Turitz provide Council with a presentation on options with Cedar Lane sidewalk


DM. Parker informed the public that a four-way stop sign would be listed as a council-listed item and not a resolution.  If there is support by Council, a traffic study will be conducted, and if recommended, the Council can then move forward.


C. Katz clarified for the public that he never stated a resolution was on the agenda for a four-way stop sign; there is a series of streets involved; over the years he has heard about and seen accidents in that area; and in his opinion it is a dangerous and deceiving road.


C. Toffler questioned if the flyer sent to the public reflects normal action by a council member; questioned this process and if it is a standard mechanism to distribute flyers on a particular issue.


C. Honis responded "no".


C. Gussen stated that it is Council's job to advocate on issues, whether it's via a flyer or e-mail, however, he disagrees with this particular action by Councilman Katz since excessive stop signs cause more traffic problems that what they attempt to resolve.


C. Hameeduddin referenced the United States Constitution.


C. Gussen stated that he once circulated flyers requesting supporting for a dog park.


C. Honis stated that for the residents who are not familiar with the Council's process, this matter should have been scheduled for another meeting when more time would have been allotted for the public to speak.


DM. Parker questioned if the police department conducted a study of the stop sign.


C. Gussen stated that previous studies have been conducted, and nothing was done.


C. Katz expressed his belief of transparency in government; the matter at hand is a safety issue; and suggested a trial period for the stop signs.


DM. Parker expressed opposition to a trial period and wanted information prior to moving forward.


C. Gussen spoke about an accident at Sussex and Forest wherein someone rolled through a stop sign; and hit his car.


Mr. Broughton suggested that prior moving forward, a study should be conducted; suggested increasing patrol at the respective location; explained that the location in question does not meet criteria; a major intersection must have 300 cars per hour in an 8-hr period and a minor intersection must have 200 cars per hour per in an 8-hour period.


C. Toffler stated that despite criteria, Council moved forward with Eastlawn Drive.


C. Katz stated that the difference with Eastlawn Drive was that Eastlawn Drive had heavy pedestrian traffic; Teaneck has very few 4-way stop signs; and questioned if the federal bar is too high, making it difficult for the installation of a stop said at the location in question.


Mr. Broughton stated that the criteria is set in place for a reason but a solution needs to be created.


DM. Parker mentioned years of studying issues with respect to Eastlawn Drive.


C. Gussen seconded Mr. Broughton's sentiments regarding the federal standards; spoke about the safety of motoring; and expressed concern about unintended consequences as a result of sudden installation of the stop sign.


C. Toffler questioned if there is something in the uniform code pertaining to speed limit signs and requested that same be investigated; stated that there is not a lot of adherence to the existing site triangle ordinance; requested that the Department of Public Works be directed to do a thorough review of the town, ie. anyone who has fences, hedges, etc. to enforce certain things within the Town.


C. Katz supported DM. Parker's suggestions about how to start the ball rolling.


C. Honis stated that the Council should not "jump", as this was the case with Eastlawn Drive, which has become "the new highway".


Mr. Broughton will relist this item for further discussion at a future Workshop Meeting.




The Clerk read into the record a resolution authorizing a formal vote at a Workshop meeting, since no formal votes can be taken unless 2/3 of the members present, but no fewer than five authorize to do so.


DM. Parker made a motion to adopt Resolution #197-09, Authorize a Formal Vote at a Workshop Meeting.  Seconded by C. Katz and carried by the following vote:


Mr. Rupp provided an explanation of the Resolution for the public.


In Favor:         C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,

Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         None.


Absent:            None.




Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - disagreed with Mr. Rupp's statement; expressed her belief that one attorney can represent all in the matter; and opposed the motion to vote.


DM. Parker made a motion to close Public Input on Resolutions on this agenda.  Seconded by      C. Katz and carried by the following vote:


In Favor:         C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,

Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         None.


Absent:            None.




DM. Parker made a motion to approve the resolution(s) listed below and to dispense with the reading of same inasmuch as it has been posted on the bulletin board all day.  Seconded by

C. Katz.


#198-09           Appoint Carmagnola & Ritardi, LLC as Special Counsel.


Carried by the following vote:


In Favor:         C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,

Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         None.


Absent:            None.




1.         Designation of Newspapers/2010 Meeting Schedule.


Council directed the Clerk to contact The Connection to see if this newspaper still exists.


Mr. Rupp advised Council that the rules are governed by Chapter 2 Rules, Article II; there are various provisions, ways to combine hearings on ordinances and ways to avoid repetition of the same types of comments; the existing practices are based on Council policy; suggested that Council not impede the public and support transparency throughout their decision making processes; other municipalities have different sections for each meeting, ie. an official action section and a section for workshop discussions; and he suggested that Council direct staff to  contact neighboring municipalities.


Council directed the Clerk to meet with the Township Attorney and report back to Council at a next workshop meeting.




1.         Library Board.


Deputy Mayor Parker nominated Paul Ostrow and Dorothy Pollack.  C. Katz seconded.


2.         Parks, Playground, and Recreation Advisory Board.


DM. Parker nominated O.T. Wells, Joyce Bendavid and James Brown.  Seconded by C. Gussen.


3.         Community Relations Advisory Board.


DM. Parker nominated Jacqueline B. Kates.  Seconded by C. Katz.


4.         Senior Citizens Advisory Board.


DM. Parker nominated Jacqueline B. Kates.  Seconded by C. Gussen.


5.         Civilian Complaint Review Board.


Mayor Feit nominated Michael Samuel.  Seconded by DM. Parker.



6.         Patriotic Observance Advisory Board.


C. Katz requested that Lou Tiboldo's term be extended until July 5th.  Seconded by DM. Parker.


DM. Parker expressed interest in doing something special for Mr. Tiboldo.


The Clerk will prepare resolutions for the June 23rd meeting based on the nominations approved by Council.


The matter of recognition for community service volunteers will be discussed at a future meeting.




1.         River Road Parking.


C. Gussen informed that he has heard from many neighbors; the restrictions that have been put into place are penalizing residents beyond any acceptable level; urged Council to move forward with alternate side and/or decal program; and directed the Manager to come up with a solution.


C. Hameeduddin mentioned that Chief Wilson has been provided with Jersey City's Program; the City is broken down into zones; the determination of zones can be made for the Township; and special permits can be provided for special reason.


C. Gussen stated that New Jersey State legislation was changed to allow this type of intratown zoning; requested that Council direct the Manager to work with traffic enforcement; requested  zone restrictions that prohibit the type of parking for bus pick up and drop off; and stated that Council should consider a ripple affect.


Mr. Broughton expressed his opinion that the pursuit of a parking permit plan would be most appropriate.


C. Katz stated that the issue is the selfish students that go to Fairleigh Dickinson University; and urged Council to pinpoint and do whatever is possible to chase away out-of-towners.


C. Gussen stated that Fairleigh Dickinson students are residents of the town so this is part of the problem; no parking zones implemented on streets such as Martense, Tilden, Maple, etc. was the sledgehammer approach by the Township; the parking problem is townwide, and Council should be mindful of the broader parking issues.


This matter will be relisted for further discussion for the July Workshop Meeting.


2.         Shared Services Study - Bogota.


Mr. Broughton informed that he listed this item for the purposes of establishing a subcommittee to determine how to move forward; mentioned his meeting today with the administration of Bogota; and a resolution is need to make application to the state for a study.


C. Gussen mentioned that one of the towns would need to be designated as the lead agency, as per the meeting with the Department of Community Affairs; and recommended that the Manager determine and use his judgment.


Mr. Broughton suggested the Council schedule a meeting for the Subcommittee can meet with Bogota.


DM. Parker withdrew her name, and C. Toffler volunteered.


The Subcommittee was established, and C. Toffler, C. Gussen and C. Honis will serve.







1.         Old PHQ - Remediation/Use.


Mr. Broughton informed Council that at this time, no one can enter the police building, as same needs to be remediated.


Mr. McKearnin, the Township Engineer, advised that the building needs to be remediated to remove asbestos, lead paint and mold.


C. Gussen stated that the prior manager said this matter was not emergent.


Mr. McKearnin advised that there is asbestos throughout building; and the cost for the remediation of the entire building is $250,000.


C. Gussen questioned if the building will be used only for storage after remediation.


C. Toffler supported as a major capital project; and volunteered the free services of her husband with respect to asbestos removal.


Mr. Broughton estimated the costs for the project to be $275,000 to $300,000 for remediation and an additional $50,000 for space; and wants to move forward as soon as possible.


C. Honis suggested that the Manager reach out to Mr. Rothman, as there are municipalities that are receiving money that have existing projects.


2.         2009/2010 Liquor License Renewals - Council Review.


The Clerk informed Council that the only location that police have cited is New Gerdes Deli, and if Council does not want to renew, a hearing would have to be scheduled.


Council directed the Clerk to move forward accordingly with renewals of said licenses.


3.         Council Representative and Alternate to the Bergen County Community Development                  Regional Committee.


The terms for DM. Parker and C. Honis have expired.  C. Katz nominated both members again, and Council consented.


The Manager will designate the staff representative.


4.         NJDOT Requests - Additional Mitigation Sites.  (8:14 p.m.)


Township Engineer McKearnin informed that 3 acres of land need to be purchased from Green Acres bank to compensate for a loss; sites are 1.7 acres and could be considered; the Township land is a very large parcel; the land is on Alfred Avenue on the right-hand side and approximately 4.6 acres.


C. Gussen questioned if Green Acres was interested in purchasing the land, and Mr. McKearnin confirmed that they want to purchase the land to give back.


C. Gussen questioned in years from now, if that piece of land will fit into the general industrial zone and if it would better the Township.


Mr. McKearnin stated that the parcel is only 125 feet wide.


C. Katz stated that the Township may need the area at a later time.


Mr. McKearnin questioned C. Gussen as to the recommendation of the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board.

C. Gussen stated that he has not presented the matter to the Board; questioned when the decision needs to be made; and prior to decision making, he would want to see a list of inventory to land that might have significance.


Mr. Broughton questioned if there is a need for 1/2 acres, and Mr. McKearnin affirmed.


Mr. Broughton questioned if Council is seeking additional options, and C. Gussen affirmed.


Council requested that Mr. McKearnin provide a list of alternative sites for their review at the July Workshop Meeting.


5.         Recommendation for  Bergen County Open Space Trust Fund Projects.


Mr. McKearnin informed that he and Glenna Crockett, Superintendent of Recreation went around the Township looking potential projects; the tennis courts are falling part; the cost for repairs is approximately $300,000; and a Resolution is needed by June 23rd.


C. Gussen provided the position of the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board and other stakeholder groups with respect to court resurfacing; spoke about the ability to leverage the amount of trust fund; questioned how does this impact drainage and engineering; and questioned if there is any opportunity to apply for more projects.


Mr. McKearnin spoke of existing facilities; does not want to close same; there are some maintenance issues that need to be taken care of; and with respect to soccer fields, nothing comes to Township.


C. Gussen expressed an interest in applying for grant money.


Mr. Broughton advised that the Township is receiving $165,000 which can be applied to any project.


C. Gussen spoke in favor of soccer and ball fields taking precedence.


DM. Parker asked Mr. McKearnin which project takes more precedence.


Mr. McKearnin mentioned that Phelps, Argonne and Votee Parks are in need of attention.


C. Hameeduddin spoke in favor of Votee Park taking precedence over courts.


Mr. Broughton responded that it is going to take time and much more than $300,000.


C. Hameeduddin stated that maintenance should be deducted from the operational budget; there are finite amount of dollars; and Council must make tough decisions.


Mr. Broughton responded that one project is maintenance; and one is a capital project.


C. Gussen reminded Council that the Open Space Trust Fund  was to be used for the acquisition of historical preservation property or amenities and only some maintenance but maintenance is not the spirit of the trust fund.


C. Katz urged Council to direct the manager to establish some type of maintenance plan long term, as both projects should be done due to safety hazards at Votee Park.


C. Gussen stated that if court resurfacing takes place, he will only support same if funding will be provided by 2010 capital budget.


C. Toffler stated that the tennis court at Andreas Park is about to fall into the Hackensack River.


DM. Parker suggested that Council apply for grants but hold on spending.


Council requested something for their review next week.




1.         Section 33-3 Subdivision - Request from Planning Board.


Mr. Broughton advised that the purpose is to modify the definition of subdivision, and Mr. Rupp will prepare the Ordinance.


2.         Jacob Geffner (Poppy's Bagels) - Vending Machines at Parks.


C. Katz recused himself from the discussion and removed himself from the dais.


Mr. Broughton informed that a proposal to use vending machines as a revenue source was submitted by the above.


This matter will be referred to the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board and relisted for the July Workshop Meeting.



(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.         Stop Signs - Forest/Sussex and Sagamore/Garrison (C. Katz).


This matter was discussed earlier in the meeting during Good and Welfare.


2.         Credit Card Payments (C. Toffler).


C. Toffler withdrew her request for this discussion.


3.         Bike Racks (C. Toffler).


C. Toffler informed that as per Harry Kissileff, the existing racks are the wrong height and placed in the wrong direction at the high school.


C. Gussen reminded Council that these racks were purchased from a bike rack vendor and questioned if the height and direction are universally incorrect or only in the opinion Mr. Kissileff.


Council instructed the manager to investigate bike rack inventory and requirements.


4.         BOE Subcommittee (C. Toffler).


C. Toffler requested the establishment of a Subcommittee for the Board of Education, and Council informed C. Toffler that there is already one established.


5.         Repeat Broadcast of Council Meetings (DM. Parker).


DM. Parker directed the Manager to reach out to the Board of Education to review the concept of repeat broadcast of televised Council meetings and to report back to Council.


6.         Manager Ordinance (DM. Parker).


DM. Parker referenced Fair Lawn's Report and suggested that the Report needs to tailored to Teaneck, and the consensus of Council was in favor of incorporating financial reports in the report.










Mr. Rupp advised that Council must go into Closed Session.


Mrs. Aportela-Hernandez read the Resolution #199-09 authorizing the Council to enter into Closed Session to discuss matters concerning personnel, contract negotiations, and litigation.  Council will not return to open session at the conclusion of the Closed Session meeting.


DM. Parker made a motion to go into Closed Session as per the aforementioned resolution.  Seconded by C. Honis and carried by the following vote:


In Favor:         C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,                                        Mayor Feit.


Opposed:         None.


Absent:            None.





On a motion made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at                    9:40 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,




Jaime L. Evelina, Senior Clerk

Municipal Clerk's Office

Township of Teaneck




_______________________________          ___________________________________



_______________________________          ___________________________________

ADAM GUSSEN                                           MOHAMMED HAMEEDUDDIN


_______________________________          ___________________________________

MONICA HONIS                                          ELIE Y. KATZ