October 6, 2009 Council Meeting Minutes - Home

October 6, 2009 Council Meeting Minutes

Date: October 6, 2009
Time: 8:00 PM

MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION MEETING OF
THE TEANECK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL
HELD IN THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2009

ROLL CALL 

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

Absent: None.

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

MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 342-08, setting the 2009 meeting dates, and Resolution 283-09 amending the 2009 meeting dates, sending a copy to THE RECORD, THE SUBURBANITE, THE BERGEN NEWS/SUN BULLETIN, THE JEWISH STANDARD, and THE COUNTY SEAT, 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 informed the public that Council met in Closed Session from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to discuss matters concerning personnel and potential litigation.  He further informed the public with respect to the following:  the upcoming October 13, 2009 Council Meeting; Late Night Voter Registration, scheduled for October 13, 2009; and the upcoming Financial Advisory Board Meeting.  He announced that Municipal Offices would be closed in observance of Columbus Day on October 12, 2009, and he informed that all Council Meetings will commence at 7 p.m. with the Open Session Meetings generally to start at 8 p.m.

PRESENTATIONS

1. Dr. Harry Kissileff - Environmental Commission - Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan.

Dr. Kissileff provided a PowerPoint Presentation reflecting the State's application and/or Vision Statement for the above-referenced Plan.  He provided a verbal summary with respect to the Plan, State requirements for participation and his requests with respect to involvement.

C. Gussen questioned the total costs associated with the Plan, and Dr. Kissileff responded that at this time, there is no definitive amount.

Mr. Turitz questioned if grant monies for the project would have to be returned by the Township to the State in any event, and Dr. Kissileff responded that the inquiry would have to be addressed to the State.

Council discussed the matter, and the consensus was in favor of holding the matter until such time as the approximate financial figures are produced by Dr. Kissileff.

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES

The Clerk read the title of the Ordinance into the record.

ORDINANCE #4150 -  AN ORDINANCE APPROPRIATING $82,000 FROM THE BERGEN COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT-RECOVERY (CDBG-R) GRANT THROUGH THE U.S. DEPT. OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) FOR THE RESURFACING OF VARIOUS TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK STREETS.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments with respect to the Ordinance prior to opening the public hearing.

No member of Council commented.

Mayor Feit declared that the public hearing on the above Ordinance was open.  Any members of the public who wished to be heard on said Ordinance or had questions concerning the Ordinance came forward and stated their names and addresses for the record.  Comments or questions were limited to five minutes per person.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - questioned if the Township contributed funding for this Ordinance.

Bill Tesser - 537 Englewood Avenue - stated that resurfacing is the perfect time to establish bicycle lanes.

There having been no further persons who wished to speak concerning said Ordinance, Mayor Feit declared that the public hearing on this Ordinance was closed.

Councilmember Katz moved that Ordinance #4150 be passed on second and final reading and authorized and directed the Clerk to advertise same according to law.  Seconded by Councilmember Toffler 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.

The Clerk read the title of the Ordinance into the record.

ORDINANCE #4151 - AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND AND SUPPLEMENT CHAPTER 29C OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE ENTITLED, "RENT CONTROL".

Councilmember Katz recused himself and stepped down from the dais.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments with respect to this Ordinance prior to opening the public hearing.

Mayor Feit requested an explanation pertaining to the Ordinance from the Township Attorney in an effort to address rumors.

Mr. Turitz advised Council that if the Ordinance was not adopted, there would be no rent control.  He further advised against amending same; however, if Council was seeking to amend the Ordinance, he advised Council to adopt, as is, and prepare a new Ordinance for amendment in an effort to avoid abolishment.  He further advised that any amendment made would not make proper process with regards to time, as there would not be  enough time prior to the deadline, November 1, 2009.

Mayor Feit declared that the public hearing on the above Ordinance was open.  Any members of the public who wished to be heard on the Ordinance or had questions concerning the Ordinance came forward and stated their names and addresses for the record.  Comments or questions were limited to five minutes per person.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Place - expressed opposition to percentage and questioned why the Rent Control Ordinance is reviewed on an annual basis.

Doron Goldschmidt - 709 Cedar Lane - stated that he manages approximately 225 properties within the Township.  He provided a list of capital improvements completed and expressed concern about the increase in fueling costs.  He requested that the Ordinance be approved, as is.

Larry Yates - 139 Tryon Avenue - supported the Ordinance being adopted with an amendment, specifically, the elimination of vacancy decontrol.

Deputy Mayor Parker moved that Ordinance #4151 be passed on second and final reading and authorized and directed the Clerk to advertise same according to law.  Seconded by C. Honis and carried by the following vote:

Mayor Feit requested that this matter be listed on an upcoming meeting for discussion.

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

Opposed: None.

Recused: C. Katz (left the dais).

Absent: DM. Parker (at time of vote).

DM. Parked explained how Council wished to remove the limit on the number of youth members on the Youth Advisory Board and wished to appoint the recently-interviewed applicants.  An additional resolution is being added to tonight's agenda regarding membership of the Youth Advisory Board.

The Clerk read Resolution #318 into the record.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR GOOD AND WELFARE OR PUBLIC INPUT ON ANY MATTERS ON THIS AGENDA

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments prior to opening the meeting to any comments from the public.

Mayor Feit declared that any members of the public who wished to be heard come forward and state their names and addresses for the record.  Comments were limited to five minutes per person

Melanie Gluck - 75 Bennett Road - requested that all residents who own vehicles and leave their cars in the street during leaf pick-up and/or snow removal be ticketed.

Bill Tesser, Environmental Commission Member - 537 Englewood Avenue - questioned how much of Votee Park will be covered by unnatural materials, ie. concrete, artificial turf, etc.

Larry Yates - 139 Tryon Avenue -  referenced his lawsuit and spoke about the process whereby a tenant files a complaint against his/her landlord.

Lillian Lewis - Ardsley Court - informed that the Hargreaves Avenue to Tryon Avenue needs to be resurfaced.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - concurred with Mr. Tesser.

Alan Sohn - 752 Cottage Place - spoke about budgetary issues.

Cindy Balsam - 446 Ogden Avenue - requested that Council does not move forward with any improvements that do not include wheelchair accessibility.

Matthew Wallen - 526 Beverly Road - requested that a 25-mph sign be installed at Beverly and Lincoln Place.

April Serfas - 909 River Road - referenced an article and spoke about parking issues as a result of Fairleigh Dickinson University affiliates.

Schmi Williams - 909 River Road - spoke about parking issues as a result of Fairleigh Dickinson affiliates that resulted in her altercations with students.

Kim Stewart - 1556 Walden Street - questioned the policy and procedure for damage as a result of main line sewage back up, as she recently experienced this occurrence.

Charles Donahue - River Rd - spoke about the parking issues as a result of Fairleigh Dickinson affiliates, and stated that there will be greater restrictions to access parking as a result of the upcoming seasons.

David Stewart - 1556 Walden Street - questioned why there are no assistance programs for the individuals who experienced the sewer back-up.

Patrick Crowley - 67 Bennett Road - stated that MOST funds should be applied towards the development or expansion of existing parks and expressed opposition to the artificial turf project.

Lana Schnerosky - 447 Ogden Avenue - questioned if the plans for wheelchair accessibility is included in the CSX overpass plan.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - announced that Teaneck Comes Together held their fourth event this past Sunday which was informative and fun, and he thanked Council for their support.  He suggested that the times for the Council Meeting Schedule be placed on the website for public review.  He questioned why rent control was discussed in the Closed Session Meeting.  He advised that signs were posted within the Township in violation of the Code.  He removed the signs and presented same to Council.  He expressed support for sustainability.  He thanked Dr. Kissileff for his presentation and thanked Alan Sohn for "pushing the envelope".

Arnold Balsam - 1839 Hanover Street - expressed disappointment as a result of Council's lack of support for people with disabilities.

Dr. Kissileff - thanked Mr. Rose for his comments and advised that the survey was presented in March 2006 issue of Teaneck Topics in an effort to make an attempt.  Further, he informed that emails were sent to the  Manager and Council Members today regarding the overpass by the railroad tracks wherein he made a suggestion for handicapped accessibility.

Ronn Costello - 229 Shepard Avenue - requested more police presence on Shepard Avenue as a result of a recent incident wherein a resident was held up with a pistol.

Sarah Jones - 1659 Irene Court - thanked the Manager for meeting with the Director of the Greenhouse.

There being no further persons that wished to speak, Mayor Feit declared that the public comment portion of the meeting was closed.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council or the Manager wished to respond to the public comments or whether a member of the Council wished to remove any item from the Consent Agenda and have a separate discussion thereon.

Mayor Feit advised the public that there is already an Ordinance restricting parking during snow storms.

C. Katz stated that as a result of the Snow Ordinance being in effect, tickets have not gone down; however, the parking issue during leaf pick-up is a problem, and he suggested that the Department of Public Works develop a solution.

Mayor Feit informed that with respect to artificial turf, Council has discussed this matter, and the cost is understood.  With respect to open space money, recreation is a legitimate use of funds.  Further, the Township has made application to the County for land acquisition.  He referred concerns with respect to Tryon Avenue, the 25 mph sign and police presence to the Manager.

C. Toffler mentioned that the Elm Avenue creates a problem for Beverly Road and Lincoln Place.
C. Gussen requested an update with respect to traffic at Elm Avenue and Cedar Lane.

Mr. Broughton informed that Elm Avenue to Cedar Lane is located within the County area, and although the Engineer is working on this matter, it will take time to complete.

C. Gussen questioned the duration of time.

Mr. Broughton informed that a directional-traffic light is being added.  The entire plan is being handled by the Engineer, and the project should be completed within a few months.

Council requested a response from the Township Engineer.

Mayor Feit reiterated the process by which to begin council meetings.

Mr. Turitz advised that the Open Public Meetings Act requires that every meeting be opened in public whether Council starts in Closed Session or not.  In response to Howard Rose, he cited topics that can be covered in closed session meetings.

Mayor Feit expressed the need for further discussion with respect to the River Road parking issue.

Mr. Broughton reminded Council about the town-wide parking system being examined by Mr. Turitz.

Mayor Feit requested that the River Road parking issue, specifically, be addressed without delay.

Mr. Turitz advised that homeowners cannot be allotted parking on public streets, as this would be unconstitutional.

C. Katz requested the implementation of a parking pilot program in an effort to filter students.

C. Toffler expressed opposition to this suggestion, as any spaces potentially provided by the program could lawfully be used by other residents.

C. Gussen stated that in each situation, there is no solution where everyone goes home happy.  He added that there are a finite number of parking spaces and an infinite number of persons wanting to park.  Mayor Feit addressed the comments with respect to wheelchair accessibility, and informed the public that the funding for the bridge was provided by Congressman Rothman, and there was no other grant money available.

C. Gussen made mention of his sibling who was wheelchair bound and stated that the Township in not in the financial position to construct the project the way it should be done; however, the bridge is dangerous in its current condition and must be repaired.

Mr. Broughton responded to Council with respect to the residents of Walden Street, stating that their situation was unfortunate; however, it is not normal custom for the Township to enter private residences.  He further informed Council that he had a discussion with the family wherein he advised them of the process by which to submit a claim.

Mayor Feit suggested informally that residents contact the Department of Public Works routinely as a reminder to clean out the system, as there is no money to remedy the existing problems.  He informed the  Township sewer system is relatively old.

C. Toffler requested that the Manager address residents' concerns with respect to Shepard Avenue.

Mr. Broughton stated that he will increase patrol in that area, as well as, meet with the residents.
C. Toffler expressed her disappointment regarding Belle Avenue zoning for an information hall in a residential district.

C. Gussen responded to Mr. Rose's comments regarding the survey.  He stated that there were 400 signatures, and the survey was not backed by Council but conducted by private residents.  In response to Mr. Sohn, he stated that he took great offense to his allegation that Council does not know where dollars are spent.

Mr. Broughton responded to Mr. Rose by advising him to contact the Teaneck Police Department if he should see signs illegally posted in the future.

CONSENT AGENDA

All matters listed below are considered to be routine in nature by Council and will be enacted by one motion.  There will be no separate discussion of these items.  If any discussion is desired by Council, that particular item will be removed from the Consent Agenda and will be considered separately. 

All subject to approval and conditions applicable with the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission and pursuant to State Statute.

RA #1259 - Congregation Beth Sholom - On Premise Draw Raffle Awarding Merchandise - $60.00.

MINUTES

August 3, 2009 - Workshop Meeting.
September 22, 2009 - Closed Session Meeting - Approved for Content Only (C. Honis - Absent).
September 22, 2009 - Open Session Meeting (C. Honis - Absent).

RESOLUTIONS

314-09. Endorse BCCD Block Grant Application - Teaneck Women Train & Work - FY    2010.
315-09  Endorse BCCD Block Grant Application - Interreligious Fellowship for the   Homeless of Bergen County - FY 2010.
316-09. Authorize Submission of Grant Application to County of Bergen - Resurfacing of    Robinson Street.
317-09.   Revoke Resolution #442-07 & Authorize Execution of Deed of Conservation    Easement - 662 Pomander Walk.
318-09  Appoint Members of the Youth Advisory Board.

BILL LIST

The Clerk read the amount of the Bill List into the record.  ($3,902,804.34)

C. Gussen moved to approve the Consent Agenda, including Minutes, Resolutions, and Bill List, and to dispense with the reading of same inasmuch as it has been posted on the bulletin board all day, except Resolution #319-09 (Endorse BCCD Grant - Barrier Free Bathroom - Belle Avenue Information Center & Meeting Hall).  Seconded by Mayor Feit.

Mayor Feit called on the Clerk for a roll-call vote.

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

Opposed: None.        

Abstained: DM. Parker (Check #156031), Mayor Feit (Check #156036).

Absent: None.

Mayor Feit declared said items were passed.

C. Gussen made a motion to move Resolution #319-09 (Endorse BCCD Grant - Barrier Free Bathroom - Belle Avenue Information Center & Meeting Hall) for discussion and approval.  Seconded by C. Katz.

C. Toffler questioned the importance of this Resolution.

C. Gussen responded that the purpose is to zone the location for public use.

C. Toffler expressed opposition to the Resolution.

C. Katz stated that C. Toffler's opposition has been noted.  He informed that the name was established by the Engineering Department, and the facility has been a public meeting place.  He stated that when Council went through the budget, there were three other funding possibilities for this site, and this Resolution supports one.  The others were New Jersey EDA, PSE&G and one other component, a non-profit organization.  He stated that when he brought this issue to the Council's attention, the Council authorized him to seek funding to remedy the site.  He has found the funding and wants to move forward, as the site in its existing condition is an eye sore. 

C. Toffler reiterated her objection.

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

Opposed: C. Honis, C. Toffler.

Absent: None.

MISCELLANEOUS

None.

OLD BUSINESS

None.

NEW BUSINESS

None.

COMMUNICATIONS

None.

COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

C. Gussen reported on the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board.  He announced that he attended the Board's meeting last night where the discussion of Field Turf Program ensued.  He provided literature to Council, and clarified several misconceptions about what was presented at the meeting.  The   Teaneck Soccer Junior League contacted the company to inquire about products, feasibility, etc.  Comments were made about cost, age, usage, and the Board supported moving forward with the installation of turf.  He also informed about the concern with respect to the bidding process for same.

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS

1. Overpass - Handicapped Accessibility (C. Katz).

This matter was discussed during Good and Welfare.

2. Artificial Turf Bidding Process (C. Toffler).

Council briefly discussed the matter, and the consensus felt as it the discussion was premature.

TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

1. Request for Removal of Sidewalk.

Mr. Broughton informed that he received a request from the residents of 557 Ogden Avenue for the removal of sidewalk.  This matter was reviewed and approved by staff.

Council authorized the Manager to move forward.

2. Holland Terrace - Parking Restriction Request.

Mr. Broughton advised that at this time, there is no restriction in effect.  A poll of residents was conducted with respect to a 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. restriction on weekdays.

Council authorized the Manager to move forward but requested that any further requests be held until such time as the polling process is revisited.

3. 2010 Budget Preparation.

Mr. Broughton informed that upon review, he plans to meet with the Subcommittee for the purposes of reporting back to Council.  He is also arranging dates in November to review with department heads.  His goal is to submit a good product to Council by December 15th.  He will announce dates next week.

C. Gussen requested that respective department heads attend the budget meetings to respond to questions by Council.

Mr. Turitz reminded Council that this is a new process implemented by the Manager, and he has invited Subcommittee members to participate.

4. Sustainability Committee.

Mr. Broughton informed Council that he met Monday with Michael Rogevin.  Letters have been sent requesting various organizations to appoint someone to the Committee after November 8th.

C. Gussen selected Ken Hoffman of the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board as Representative for the Sustainability Committee.

5. Acknowledge Receipt of Flag.

Mr. Broughton informed Council that he was in receipt of correspondence from Firefighter Connors who is serving his third tour with the military.  Firefighter Connors flew the Flag over Baghdad in honor of the Township, and in an effort to express his appreciation on behalf of the residents and Council, he wants to fly the Flag here until his return home.

Council authorized Mr. Broughton moving forward.

TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY'S REPORT

None.

ADJOURNMENT

C. Gussen moved to adjourn the Open Session Meeting at 10:57 p.m.  Seconded by C. Honis.

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: None.