August 3, 2009 - Workshop Minutes - Home

August 3, 2009 - Workshop Minutes

Date: August 3, 2009
Time: 7:15 PM


Mayor Feit called the Workshop Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 7:13 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.


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

Absent: None. 

Also Present: S. Turitz - Ferrara, Turitz, Harraka & Goldberg, Esqs.; W. Broughton, Municipal Manager; L. Aportela-Hernandez, Township Clerk; C. Loschiavo, Clerk Typist.


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.

Mayor Feit reminded all present that National Night Out was August 4th beginning at 5:00 p.m. at Votee Park, weather permitting; a number of individuals were in attendance to meet on specific issues; discussed having to go into Closed Session at some point during the meeting; Council concurred with proceeding with the Interviews and holding off on Good and Welfare.


Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commissioners.

Michael Trepicchio, 780 Old New Bridge Road; privileged to serve on this Commission; takes the responsibility very seriously; have made great strides at New Bridge Landing, which benefits  the entire Township; would graciously appreciate the opportunity to continue serving.

C. Gussen - what is the status as of now; what do you vision for the next term.

Mr. Trepicchio - updating the master plan; much activity lately; have lobbied for new legislation which has been passed; working on building a visitor's center; Bergen County Historical Society is working on fundraising to build a museum pertaining to Bergen County History; working very hard to make this park all that it can be; looking to increase staffing; many positive attributes have been taking place; it is a long process, but working hard to make it happen.

C. Gussen - questioned two issues - the bridge and the signage.

Mr. Trepicchio - Bergen County had planned on building a bridge from Hackensack to River Edge, this would have been inappropriate in that it is a sensitive spot, it is private property owned by Bergen County Historical Society; offered an alternative to County which would include a visitor center; they are trying to work with the County; every problem has a solution and they are trying to come up with the best possible solution; they have the funds to place the proper signs to identify the park; County is refusing to remove their sign; Bergen County Park Commission is trying to erect the proper signage; will continue to communicate in order to maintain a strong partnership.

C. Gussen - inquired about commitment to bridge the communication gap.

Mr. Trepicchio assured Council he is very committed; has a road map as well as a long-term plan; communication is the key factor; all decisions are made with the best interest of the park in mind.

Mayor Feit - is the bridge issue resolvable; we do not want this to be a long standoff.

Mr. Trepicchio - yes; main concern is to resolve the situation.

C. Hameeduddin - can you adequately advocate for Teaneck?

Mr. Trepicchio - absolutely, always works with Teaneck's best interest in mind; trying to obtain indemnification for participating municipalities, pending state legislation.

John Oddie - originally volunteered; Mike Trepicchio has been an outstanding leader who has made the commission very effective; he has no problem working with Mr. Trepicchio because they work as a team; they have achieved more in the last six months than in the last 60 years.

Mayor Feit - can problems with the county be solved amicably?

Mr. Oddie - no problem handling any issue that may arise; also has Teaneck's best interest in mind

C. Katz nominated both individuals for reappointment.  Seconded by C. Toffler.

Mr. Turitz will prepare the resolution recommending the reappointment of both Commissioners to Governor Corzine.

C. Gussen - thanked and congratulated the Commissioners on an amazing achievement; looks forward to future endeavors.


Tony Nayowitz, 493 Forest Avenue - status of Cedar Lane signage and traffic flow study; recommended implementing in the month of August so it will be completed when school begins.

Joey Goffstein, 13 years old - the PAL building is falling apart; the building represents the youth of Teaneck; has many ideas for repairing the building.

Alan Sohn, 752 Cottage Place - information for sustainability is already in the budget; fuel use and street lighting can improve financial efficiencies; referenced the SUV purchase for Teaneck Police Department, does not think this is a good idea; should look into greenhouse gas emissions; purchases should be made looking at the bottom line in order to maintain future savings.

Joan Davis, 976 Alpine Drive - follow-up to energy presentation; hopes to use Teaneck residents  in environmental change in that they have been so far removed from the Township; hopes Teaneck will re-democratize and re-energize the townspeople; referenced Ordinance 4139 indicating the language was superficial; definitions are not understood; there is no reporting requirements for committees; there is no media outreach for 48 hour notice requirement; suggested using FDU's radio station.

Ken Hoffman, 956 Phelps Road - MOST approved $33,000 purchase of lightning detection system, recommends Council move forward on this; thanked Council for moving ahead with the artificial turf at Votee Park.

April Serfass, 909 River Road - e-mailed photograph of car accident on property on July 31st where an SUV jumped the curb; the neighbor was in the area just before the accident occurred; feels as though the tenants are competing with FDU for parking spaces; dangerous walking to parking alternatives such as River Road where 10 accidents occurred in 2008;

Robert O'Neill, 292 Hemlock Terrace - 64 days have passed since he had to retire; has not heard from anyone regarding terminal leave money; intends to fully litigate; wants to be treated the same as every other employee.

Salatiel Sanchez, 71 Werner Place - has an issue with the parking restrictions; Township should consider installing the same parking restrictions as Cranford Place and Elizabeth Avenue.

Mayor Feit - the budget is a good starting point; parking on River Road is open for future discussion, however there is no change at this point.

C. Gussen - polling on this subject was done in the past and feels this may not be the answer; there is no legal obligation but can be a listed item on the next meeting where restrictions can be removed. C. Toffler concurred.

Mr. Turitz - since the issue of litigation was raised, suggested Council make no comments in public.

Mayor Feit  recommended that Mr. Sanchez e-mail the Township Manager to begin the process of correcting the parking problem on Werner Place.

C. Katz made a motion to Close the Good and Welfare Portion of the Meeting to the Public. Seconded by DM. Parker 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.


Ad Hoc Committee on Sustainability.

Michael Rogovin; Norma Goetz - Environmental Commission; Joseph Steinberg - Financial Advisory Board.

Mr. Rogovin's presentation including the committee's their main objective to preserve, maintain, and promote the Township's state goals obtaining private and state grants; described the goals and the mission of the committee; described the steps to certification under Sustainable Jersey.

C. Toffler -  remediation of the old Police Headquarters is a great idea; this building is a good model for a green building.

Mr. Rogovin - lead certification includes renovation of old buildings, extensive documentation is required; the cost of going green has declined drastically; this would make the building a much healthier atmosphere; he will forward a resolution to Council to establish a formal committee on sustainability for the Council to consider.

At the conclusion of the presentation, Mayor Feit explained that Council must enter into Closed Session to discuss some personnel matters, but that no formal action will be taken.
Mrs. Aportela-Hernandez read the resolution authorizing the Council to enter into Closed Session.

Having adopted Resolution # 254-09, C. Honis made a motion to close the meeting to the public to discuss matters concerning personnel. Seconded by DM. Parker. 

Carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: C. Gussen.

Absent: C. Katz (at time of vote). 

Council reconvened from Closed Session at 8:05 p.m., with the exception of C. Honis.


Clerk to 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.

C. Katz made a motion to adopt Resolution #255-09, Authorize a Formal Vote at a Workshop Meeting. Seconded by Mayor Feit and carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Honis


C. Katz introduced the following Ordinance and setting August 18, 2009 at 8:00 PM, or as soon thereafter as the matter may be reached as the date and time and Municipal Building Council Chambers as the place for a hearing on said Ordinance.  Seconded by Mayor Feit.

The Clerk read the title of the following Ordinance into the record:

Carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None. 

Abstained: DM. Parker

Absent: C. Honis


Joan Davis, 976 Alpine Drive - Resolution #257-09; had recently viewed an interesting segment on 60 Minutes pertaining to substance abuse; prosecutors are taking serious action with individuals involved with these crimes; Resolution #259-09; what work is being done on Votee Park; referenced soccer fields drainage; is not in favor of artificial turf.

C. Gussen 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. Katz, C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Honis.

C. Gussen - will never consider using eminent domain as a solution to the drainage problem; the drainage issue will be the same no matter what turf is used.

DM. Parker - explained that she will not vote for Resolution #262-09; will abstain from Resolution #261-09.

Mr. Broughton - the vendor of the vehicles, who is under state contract, has the vehicles on hold at the lot for the Township. 

Mr. Turitz - we can add a clause subject to adopting Ordinance 4142 on August 18, 2009.

C. Gussen - should Council make this decision, are we obligated to make the purchase?

Mr. Turitz - with this additional clause, if 4142 is not adopted, then the transfer of funds is moot.


C. Gussen 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. Toffler. 

#256-09 Amend 2009 Meeting Schedule - August 18, 2009 Closed Session.
#257-09 Establish a Substance Abuse Alliance Committee.
#258-09 Authorize Submission of Municipal Alliance Grant.
#259-09 Authorize Execution of Grant Agreement - Rehabilitation of Sport Fields at Votee   Park.
#260-09 Authorize Execution of Memorandum of Agreement - Local 108.
#261-09 Amend 2009 Capital Budget.
#262-09 Amend 2009 Capital Budget.

Carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: C. Gussen - #254-09, DM. Parker - #262-09, C. Toffler - #262-09.

Abstained: DM. Parker - #261-09.

Absent: C. Honis.


1. Rent Control.

C. Katz recused himself from this discussion and stepped down from the dais.

Mayor Feit - discussed the ordinance; in the past, there had been a one percent split, it was raised last year due to heating cost.

C. Gussen - crude oil has gone up and will continue to raise over the year.

Council determined not to change the current rates.  Mr. Turitz will prepare an ordinance for an upcoming meeting.

C. Katz returned to the dais.




1. NJDOT Requests - Additional Mitigation Sites.

Mr. McKearnin, Township Engineer - New Jersey  Department Of Transportation needs additional right-of-way, which will encroach on Township parkland; identified other sites for potential purchase by NJDOT; using comprehensive recreation master plan; Green Acres has to accept site; sell property to the state so it will be protected as Open Space parkland.
C. Gussen - the best property is Block 5608, Lot 10.

Mr. Turitz - nothing prohibits Township from designating balance of parcel that is not sold.

Mayor Feit - prefers to bank the balance for future state projects; final decision - Coolidge Avenue and a portion of Shepard Avenue; Township Manager and Engineer will advise the DOT and report back to Council.

2. PAL Building.

C. Katz - the community is very interested in being involved in this project; has professionals devote time, especially David Bilow and Eugene Coleman.

Mr. Bilow - has been practicing for 35 years; he was contacted by the Engineer three years ago  due to a roof collapse; structure was substandard; south end of building was going to be destroyed; Department of Public Works began to rebuild but work stopped because there was no footing and there was decay; floor beams were questionable; middle is okay and building can be saved; has been vacant and is an eyesore; should be renovated or torn down; needs to have handicapped bathroom must be installed, insulation installed and building brought up to code.

Mr. Coleman - if the project can be completed by volunteer, professional effort and materials, it is worth refurbishing.

C. Toffler - what is the purpose of the PAL building?

C. Katz - a meeting space.

Mr.  Turitz - already exists, use can not be expanded; if the use will be for the same purpose as when the land was dedicated, there will be no problem.

C. Katz - leaving the building in limbo does not do justice to the community; there is community interest, groups interested, sports, passive recreation, arts; professional labor in community.

C. Toffler - prefers to take the building down.

DM. Parker - what would be the cost to repair as well as materials?

C. Katz -  would like to take the next step, wants to see if there is an interest and perhaps apply for CDBG for handicap-accessible background; suggests going to the next stage.

C. Gussen - wants a timeline to coordinate funds and private donations/resources by the end of the year, if not, then steps should be taken to remove the building.

Council discussed whether to proceed with refurbishing the building or to tear it down.  Mr. Turitz advised Council of the legal issues involved with volunteerism and construction of building, whether renovated or new building is in the plan.  It was determined that if there is no further information by the end of this year or if refurbishing the building was not feasible, then the building will be demolished.

Certificates of Appreciation were given to Mr. Bilow and Mr. Coleman in recognition for their efforts with this project.  


1. Contracting/Purchasing/Preparation of Bid Specifications.

C. Toffler - concerned with the raised tiles on flooring of the all-inclusive playground; questioned why this happens; wants to examine the contracting process.

C. Hameeduddin - it is an oversight; somebody signs off when they should not.

C. Toffler - the outcome of construction projects is too repetitive; we must revisit the way the specifications are written.

C. Gussen - should go back and choose a couple of projects, review the process and look for common threads; suggested having the Manager review.

Mr. Turitz - the bidding process is a strict procedure; most bid specs have been state-wide bid specs; there may be a problem with the design and the contractor and owner blame one another;  police building - the decision was made by management, design and contracting are crucial decisions.

C. Toffler - suggested the Manager come up with a plan to study and improve the process in a reasonable and timely fashion; does not want the same thing to occur with the new project.

Mr. Turitz -  the most inexpensive contractor is not always the best contractor; will discuss further at an upcoming meeting.

2.  Cedar Lane Management Group.

Mr. Broughton - The Cedar Lane Management Group is structured as an agency of the Township.

Mr. Turitz - Cedar Lane Management was part of the TEDC, they were two separate entities  but kept as an agency of the Township; alternative was to have it become a 501C3 but Council previously rejected making it nonprofit - it has its own tax identification number; do you want it to continue as a Township agency or its own group; either way the group needs to comply with OPMA and OPRA.

DM. Parker - what prompted this discussion, thought they made a conscious effort to keep it as an agency.

Mr. Turitz - it was brought to the prior Manager's attention, operation of group, W2's, auditing, payroll methodology; employee is paid by group; technical issues must be resolved.

DM. Parker - former Manager had an issue with meeting with CFO; need to know what the issues are prior to making a decision.

C. Gussen Council was clear on their decision with regard to this with the previous Manager; the new Manager is taking control; an Ordinance by this Council must be put into place; they should operate as per the Manager.

Mr. Broughton - must approve the bill list, purchasing requirements, and that credit cards cannot be used in order to bring an Ordinance into compliance.

Mr. Turitz - it took over eleven months to complete the separation; Council wanted it done a certain way and the previous Manager did not comply.

C. Hameeduddin - were there oversights?

C. Gussen - the Manager now has a clear direction.

Mr. Turitz - there are small corrections and adjustments that have to be made.

DM. Parker nominated Toni Nayowitz and Allen Heinlein to the Cedar Lane Management Group.  Seconded by C. Gussen.  Council concurred.

The Clerk will list on the meeting for August 18th.

3. Balance of 2009 Meeting Schedule - September through December.

Clerk explained the procedures of the meeting change.

C. Toffler - questioned if every meeting would be televised.

The Clerk confirmed all meetings would be televised.

DM. Parker - Youth Advisory Board - extended deadline for submission and press release; schedule interviews for September 8th.

A resolution to amend the remainder of 2009 meetings from September 15th onward will be listed for September 8th 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. Interactive Council Response During Meetings (C. Toffler).

Mr. Turitz advised that he will address this issue in Closed Session.

2. "Your Town" Booklet and Annual New Resident Welcome Reception (C. Toffler).

C. Toffler explained that Judy Shaffer, (FAB) is seeking support to produce a booklet for real estate offices explaining what the Township offers new residents; as well as a welcome packet to be distributed once a year.




1.  Mr. Turitz reported that the target opening date will be in September, 2009, for open active recreational activities, Overpeck Park; Mr. Broughton and Ms.Crockett (Recreation) are working to obtain priority use for additional Township recreational facilities.

Council went into Closed Session at 10:20 p.m.


On a motion made, seconded and unanimously carried, the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 p.m.