December 7, 2009 Open Session Minutes - Home

December 7, 2009 Open Session Minutes

Date: December 7, 2009
Time: 8:00 PM

MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION MEETING OF
THE TEANECK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL
HELD IN THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2009

ROLL CALL 

Present: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Katz (arrived at 8:35    p.m.), 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.

ROLL CALL   

MOTION TO GO INTO CLOSED SESSION

CLOSED SESSION DISCUSSION

MOTION TO RETURN TO OPEN SESSION

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

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 to discuss matters concerning the potential sale of Township property, personnel, COAH and the MIC.  He further informed that the next meeting of the Township Council is scheduled for January 12th at 8 p.m.  He announced that Municipal Offices would be closed in observance of Christmas and the New Year on December 24th, December 25th and December 31st. 

PRESENTATIONS

25th Anniversary Watches:
Carol Anderson - Library
Carol Dolch - Library
Police Chief Robert A. Wilson
Police Officer George Miros

Deputy Police Chief Steve Librie, Police Captain Dean Kazinci, Police Lieutenant Kenneth Croonquist and Police Lieutenant Michael Falvey were not present at the time of the presentations.
Mayor Feit and Mr. Broughton presented the recipients with their watches.  C. Katz, C. Toffler and C. Honis spoke in honor of the recipients. 

PUBLIC INPUT ON 2010 MUNICIPAL BUDGET

Mayor Feit informed the public that no document has been drafted yet but this is the chance for the public to voice suggestions.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - spoke about unemployment and potential cuts in rebates.  She requested that the budget be cut by 10% and private contractors be eliminated.  Further, she suggested that the capital improvement be drastically cut.

Art Vatsky - 950 Garrison Avenue - requested that the Council be more considerate of energy costs.  He suggested the elimination of the collection of grass clippings and the promotion of mulching.  He stated that if the Council eliminates this, the cost savings will be approximately $250,000.

There being no further persons who wished to speak, Mayor Feit declared that the public input on the 2010 budget was closed.

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES

The Clerk read the titles of the following Ordinances into the record:

ORDINANCE #4170 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 36, ENTITLED "TRAFFIC" OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE. ("one-way designation of streets" amendment to add and delete portions of Beverly Road)

ORDINANCE #4171 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 36, ENTITLED "TRAFFIC" OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE. ("parking on left side permitted on certain streets" amendment to add and delete portions of Beverly Road)

ORDINANCE #4172 - AN ORDINANCE ADDING SECTION 36-11.3 RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF RESTRICTED RESIDENT DECAL PARKING TO ARTICLE II, "PARKING," DIVISION 1 "GENERALLY," AND AMENDING SECTION 36-12.1, RELATING TO PROHIBITED PARKING EXCEPT SATURDAYS, SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS, OF DIVISION 2, "PROHIBITED PARKING" OF ARTICLE II, "PARKING," IN CHAPTER 36 OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE ENTITLED "TRAFFIC". (establishes restricted resident decal parking along portions of Tilden, Martense, and Maple Avenue).

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

No member of Council commented.

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

No member of the public commented.

There having been no further persons who wished to speak concerning said ordinances, Mayor Feit declared that the public hearings on these ordinances are now closed.

C. Gussen moved to pass Ordinance #s 4170, 4171 and 4172 on second and final reading and adoption and hereby authorized and directed the Clerk to advertise same according to law.  Seconded by DM. Parker.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments with respect to these ordinances.  

No member of Council commented.

There having been no further comments, Mayor Feit called on the Clerk for a roll-call vote.

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

Opposed: None.

Recused: C. Hameeduddin.

Absent: None.

Mayor Feit declared that said ordinances were duly adopted.

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.

No member of Council commented.

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.

Sheldon Abronowitz - 1424 Lozier Place - urged Council to substantially decrease rent increase percentages under rent control.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - supported Mr. Abronowitz's sentiments.  She spoke about Resolutions #371-09 and #372-09.  She expressed opposition to costs of contracts, transfers and amendments to the Council Meeting Schedule.

Judy Distler - 698 Sunderland Avenue - stated that she received correspondence from Councilwoman Toffler with respect to her son, Police Captain Distler and his efforts to raise funding for the Tomorrow Children's Fund.  She read a statement into the record supporting her son's efforts, and stated that there is no reward or retribution for fund raising.

Tonya Thomas - 181 E. Tryon Avenue - expressed her concern about the increase in traffic on Tryon.  She reported that on two (2) different occasions, two (2) drunk drivers drove onto her property.  She spoke with Police Chief Robert Wilson, as per Councilwoman Toffler's suggestion.  Chief Wilson arranged for surveillance to be conducted in that area.  As a result of the surveillance, many summonses have been issued; however, she requested that Council do more.

Beverly Garvin - 163 E. Tryon Avenue - she reported that on Thanksgiving Day, a car drove into the house next door.  The police department was contacted, and the response time was approximately 21 minutes.  She stated that the police department was called five times, and she was told by a member of the department that when residents call, they must specify it there is an emergency.  She expressed that she is fearful to walk in this vicinity.

Eleanor White - Tryon Avenue - support Ms. Garvin's statements and informed that the area has been accident prone for years; however, nothing has been done.

Rene Karibi-White - 113 Gracmercy Place - suggested that Council have a traffic study conducted in that area, as the distance between the houses and curbs is quite small and the lighting is poor.
Art Vatsky - 950 Garrison Avenue - expressed sympathy for the residents of Tryon Avenue.  He stated that not enough adequate attention has been given to the situation. 

Sapphire Ahmed - 1424 Lozier Place - informed that Tryon Avenue has very large potholes that need addressing.  She questioned why pedestrian signs are on Queen Anne Road but not State Street and Tryon Avenue.  She stated that landlords should be required to produce proof of capital improvements to properties.  With respect to public meetings, the public should be involved and not discouraged.

Tasha Morton - Sherwood Avenue - spoke of Police Captain Distler and stated that his volunteerism should be honored.

Lenny Hennig - 161 Hillside Avenue - questioned if Council Meetings are available on FIOS and suggested that resolutions should not include resident information but identification numbers.

There being no further persons who wished to speak or the time limit of one hour having expired, 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.

Mr. Broughton addressed the residents of Tryon Avenue.  He reported that to date, 100 hours of police enforcement has been conducted in this area.  The surveillance will continue as appropriate, and a traffic study is underway. 

DM. Parker suggested the installation of rumble strips or bumpers.  Mr. Broughton will investigate the possibilities.

C. Toffler responded to Mrs. Distler.  She stated that she did not intend to hurt anyone with her correspondence which was sent to Mr. Turitz and Chief Wilson only.  Her intention was to protect all involved.  She was concerned that Captain Distler had an appearance of impropriety.  Her goal was to clarify the situation before anyone had any questions and/or complaints.  She apologized to Judy Distler.

Mayor Feit informed the residents that the Council is trying to strike a balance with respect to rent increase percentages and provided direction to the Township Attorney.  He requested that Mr. Turitz research names and addresses for property tax exemption resolutions and privacy laws.

Mr. Broughton informed that FiOS stops at Cedar Lane.

C. Gussen reminded Council that FiOS was looked into one year ago, and that the existing equipment was provided by Cablevision.  As per the Township's Agreement with Cablevision, FiOS cannot be included.

DM. Parker stated that she recognizes current economic conditions but in order to retain rent control, a compromise needs to be reached, and 5% is the lowest rate Council can get to at this time.

C. Hameeduddin expressed support for the elimination of funding for the retrieval of grass clippings.

The consensus of Council was in favor of listing this subject matter for discussion at the December 15th Meeting.

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. 

MINUTES

October 6, 2009 - Open Session Meeting.
October 13, 2009 - Open Session Meeting (C. Hameeduddin - Absent).

RESOLUTIONS

371-09  Award Contract - Downes Tree Service, Inc. - Safety Purning of Trees on Various   Streets.
372-09  Approve Transfers of 2009 Budget Accounts.

BILL LIST

The Clerk read the amount of the Bill List into the record.  ($3,784,832.61)

C. Toffler 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.  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 (absent at time of    vote), C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.

Abstained: C. Gussen (Check #156703 and Check #156703).

Opposed: None.

Absent: None.

Mayor Feit declared said items were passed.

MISCELLANEOUS

None.

OLD BUSINESS

1. POAB Chairperson.

C. Hameeduddin informed the Council that he was unable to attend the most recent Patriotic Observance Advisory Board Meeting due to a scheduling conflict, specifically, an added Council Meeting.  Ms. Evelina confirmed that the meeting of the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board will be rescheduled in January, 2010 upon confirmation of availability from the American Legion.  Upon confirmation of availability, meeting notices will be mailed to the members.  C. Hameeduddin stated that he will be in attendance at the meeting for the purposes of opening the meeting for the Board to move forward with appointing a Chairperson.  C. Hameeduddin explainted that this item will be listed for the Council meeting following the POAB Meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

1. Selection of Dates for 2010 Budget Hearings.

The consensus of Council was in favor of scheduling the Budget Hearings for Thursdays in January and at the Richard Rodda Community Center, if there is availability in order not to force the Planning Board or the Board of Adjustment to relocate.  The Clerk will check on the availability of the Rodda Center and will advise.
COMMUNICATIONS

1. Federal Grant - Firefighters.

Mayor Feit informed Council about a grant that would provide full funding for the hire of firefighters for the maximum of a two-year period, and this funding would be entirely paid by the federal government.

C. Gussen questioned what would occur for the years three to 25 and pension, and he suggested that the grant would ultimately be more costly for the Township down the road.

Mayor Feit informed that the grant relates to the size of the department, and the application deadline is December 18, 2009.

Mr. Turitz advised that the Manager could move forward with the preparation, and he would provide legal advice prior to submission of the application.

This matter will be further discussed on December 15th at which time the Teaneck Fire Department Table of Organization will provided by Mr. Broughton to the Council.

COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

DM. Parker reported on the following:

Library Board - She informed that the Helping Hands Food Pantry is requesting that the Library be added as a site. 

Social Services Advisory Board - the Board is requesting to partner with the Board of Education to hold the Social Services Fair in March at one of the public schools.  The Clerk will correspond with the Board of Education.

Municipal Investigation Committee - informed that the Committee is coming to an end.  There are investigative reports that will be forwarded to the Manager.  The Committee will meet with the Manager.  A Resolution will be drafted to disband the Committee at the next Council Meeting.

Youth Advisory Board - she informed Council that she would not be able to attend the upcoming meeting of the Board and requested that Mayor Feit or Councilwoman Honis attend, as there will be discussion of eliminating the Community Policing Bureau.  She stated that $6,000 is available from The Forum Grant for training.  $1,500 was previously spent for training but this funding was not encumbered against the grant.

Mayor Feit reported on the Advisory Board on Community Relations and informed that the Board is concerned about the Community Policing Bureau.  The Board also needs to appoint a Chairperson, and reference was made to the Matthew Feldman Award which was not presented to any recipient in 2009.  He will report back to Council.

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS

1. Town Sewer System - C. Hameeduddin.

C. Hameeduddin spoke about back-ups and the Township's aging infrastructure.  He stated that the Township needs to have proactive maintenance.  The Township has an obligation to educate the public regarding the mainline and the type of insurance coverage needed.  The Department of Public Works submits a monthly report to the Bergen County Utilities Authority, and he requested that Council be copied on the report.

TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

1. I have probationally appointed Mark Distler to the position of Police Captain effective   December 1, 2009.

2. I have probationally appointed Veronica K. Thornton to the position of Police Lieutenant   effective December 1, 2009.

3. I have probationally appointed William Croonquist to the position of Police Sergeant   effective December 1, 2009.

DM. Parker congratulated the officers and mentioned that no too long ago, a resident complained of the lack of minority representation in the command structure, and this resident has since passed away.  She expressed appreciation to see that the Township is moving forward.

4. Executive Assistant Position in Manager's Office.

Mr. Broughton requested permission from Council to hire an Executive Assistant for the purposes of moving the Manager's Office in a more efficient fashion.

DM. Parker questioned if this is the appropriate position in lieu of a deputy manager or in addition to a deputy manager.

Mr. Broughton stated that this is the proper hire at this time to interface with department heads and to handle council meeting items.

Mayor Feit questioned the deputy manager position.

Mr. Broughton responded that the deputy manager position is not being fulfilled at this time.

C. Toffler requested a job description for the executive assistant position.

C. Honis stated that there should be a description on file since the Clerk previously served in that position.

C. Gussen stated that he was comfortable with the Manager's decision, and C. Katz stated that the office would be more efficient and responsive as a result of the hire.

C. Toffler requested a more extensive job description to confirm that the position in question serves as more than a secretary.

Mr. Broughton informed Council that the executive assistant would be responsible for monitoring, composing monthly reports from departments, tracking council-assigned items, conducting research, inter-facing with attorneys and additional tasks.

Mayor Feit inquired about the salary range for this position, and Mr. Broughton informed that the salary range for the position would possibly be $40,000 to $66,000.

The Clerk provided a brief description of her previous duties as Executive Assistant.

Council approved Mr. Broughton moving forward with hiring an Executive Assistant.

TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY'S REPORT

1. COAH.

Mr. Turitz advised the Council that we received the Second-Round Certification.  Over the past seven to eight months, Mr. Preiss has been trying to reach an agreement regarding the fair share obligation recommendations.  He stated that he will have to report back to Council on this matter.


ADJOURNMENT

C. Gussen moved to adjourn the Open Session Meeting at 10:30 p.m. Seconded by C. Hameeduddin  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.