December 15, 2009 Open Session Minutes - Home

December 15, 2009 Open Session Minutes

Date: December 15, 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, DECEMBER 15, 2009

Mayor Feit called the Open Session Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 8:02 p.m., after the conclusion of the Closed Session, and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL 

Present: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker (arrived at 8:05 p.m.), 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.

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.


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 Councilmember had any comments at this time.

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.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - inquired if Resolution 377-09 took rain runoff into consideration, requested specifics on Resolution 378-09, requested Council to reject Resolution 380-09 and have DPW be responsible for landscaping the Municipal Green, requested an explanation on the budget transfers listed on Resolution 381-09, stated that Resolution 394-09 was more complicated than ever, and commented that the savings were insignificant on Resolution 376-09 in comparison to a similar purchase made in February. She complimented Council on starting the meeting at 8:00 p.m. and hoped that public participation can be restored.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - requested an update on the purchase of the Jehovah's Witness property on River Road and requested a status on the PAL building, hoping it would be torn down.

Tanya Thomas - 181 E. Tryon Avenue - referenced her report at the December 7th Good and Welfare regarding speeding and accidents that occur on Tryon Avenue and surrounding streets; asked how long will it take to resolve the issue; stated she is concerned with the lag time to get to the bottom of the issue.

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

Mayor Feit explained that in compliance with state finance laws, transfers are legally done at the end of the year.  The terminal leave trust is for employees that are retiring and the funds are coming from self-insurance as there were savings in that account this year.

C. Toffler commented that she had reached out to Ms. Thomas and requested that the Township move rapidly in resolving this matter.  Mr. Broughton explained that he has directed the Teaneck Police Department to evaluate the intersection to determine if meets the requirements for the installation of a traffic signal, guard rail and speed limit signs.  Staff is currently working on the situation, but there is no specific time table.

C. Toffler asked if police presence and enforcement was increased in the area.  Mr. Broughton responded that it has increased.

DM. Parker asked if a speed counter can be placed in the intersection and asked if the police are also evaluating installing rumble strips. Mr. Broughton responded that the speed counter will be installed and that rumble strips are included in the current evaluation.

Mr. Turitz reported that negotiations are moving forward in a rapid pace with regards to 640 River Road and hopes to have a detailed report in January.

Mr. Broughton advised Council that cosmetic enhancements have been made to the PAL Building and that improvements are ongoing.  C. Katz stated that he has received positive feedback on the siding of the building and requested that the PAL sign be taken down.

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. 

RAFFLE

All subject to approval and conditions applicable with the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission and pursuant to State Statute.
RA #1261 - Holy Name Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association - On-Premise 50/50 Cash Raffle - $20.00.

RESOLUTIONS
374-09. Appoint Municipal Judge.
375-09. Authorize Participation and Execution of Shared Service Agreement with the      City of Englewood -  Purchase of Mobile Fire Safety/All Risks Public Education Trailer.
376-09. Authorize Issuance of Purchase Order - Cargill Salt.
377-09.  Authorize Award of Contract - Reivax Contracting Company - Drainage Improvement Project.
378-09. Authorize Extension of Contract - Green Sky Industries - Processing of Township's Recycled   Material.
379-09. Ratify Payments - CFO - November 2009.
380-09. Authorize Award of Contract - Donofrio & Son, Inc. - Landscape Maintenance of Municipal   Properties.
381-09. Approve 2009 Budget Transfers.
382-09. Authorize Refund of Tax Overpayments - Various.
383-09. Authorize Refund of 2009 Taxes - Various.
384-09. Amend 2010 Meeting Schedule - 2010 Budget Hearings.
385-09. Authorize Tax Lien - 2009 Property Violations.
386-09. Authorize Tax Lien - Nonpayment of 2008 Pool Fees.
387-09. Authorize Tax Lien - Unpaid 2009 Pool Connection Fees.
388-09. Authorize Tax Lien - Unpaid 2009 Sewer Fees.
389-09. Authorize Cancellation of Taxes - Block 2415, Lot 12.
390-09. Authorize Tax Lien - Unpaid 2009 Sanitary Sewer Fees.
391-09. Authorize Municipal Consent - Taxi Cabs and Other Vehicles for Hire - Aura Express, Inc.
392-09. Authorize Municipal Consent - Taxi Cabs and Other Vehicles for Hire - Teaneck Taxi &    Limousine Service.
393-09. Authorize Municipal Consent - Taxi Cabs and Other Vehicles for Hire - Bergen Transportation   Services, Inc.

BILL LIST

The Clerk read the amount of the Bill List into the record.  ($4,515,588.55)

DM. Parker 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 394-09.  Seconded by C. Toffler.

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

In Favor: C. Gussen (abstained on check # 156866), C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker (abstained on check    #156830), C. Honis, C. Katz (abstained on the bill list), C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.

Opposed: None.
 
Absent: None.
 
Mayor Feit declared whether said items were passed.

Mayor Feit made a motion on Resolution #394-09 - Disband of Municipal Investigative Committee.  Seconded by DM. Parker.

Mayor Feit highlighted the purpose of the committee which was established to look at workplace practices, the results of the independent investigators were completed, and any issues requiring follow-up are being transferred to the Manager.  With this resolution, the Council is adopting the recommendations of the Committee.

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.
 
Absent: None.
 
Mayor Feit declared whether said item passed.


INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES

Mayor Feit moved the following Ordinances for introduction on first reading and directed the Clerk to publish the required legal notice of the introduction thereof, together with a notice of the place, time, and date on which a public hearing will be held on said ordinance, and on which said ordinance will be considered for final adoption.  Seconded by DM. Parker.

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

ORDINANCE #4173 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 36, ENTITLED "TRAFFIC" OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE. (Establishes a prohibited parking restriction on a portion of Sanford Street on Tuesdays between 2am and 8am).

Carried by the following vote:

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: None.

MISCELLANEOUS

None.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Executive Assistant.

C. Toffler stated that after reading through the job description, what is the difference between an Executive Assistant and Deputy Manager and requested a copy of the organization chart for the Manager's office. 

Mr. Broughton responded that one of the documents he provided to Council earlier this evening included the organization chart.  He explained that the Executive Assistant will have the his direction and authority to carry out any delegated assignments.  He mentioned that in contrast the deputy manager's job description is outlined in the Township Code and is the second in command.

DM. Parker mentioned that the job description provided by the Civil Service Commission only cites examples. C. Gussen cited the definition provided in the document, explained that every municipality is unique, and that an executive assistant is more of a task management position.  C. Honis concurred, citing that the position was filled six years ago by the current clerk and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.  C. Toffler reiterated that the position needs to be clearly defined.

Mr. Broughton advised that the Township must adhere to the description and it is incumbent upon him to ensure the person in this position performs accordingly and accomplishes the assigned tasks.  He thinks the description provided by Civil Service is sufficient.

C. Toffler explained that she concurred that there is no need to reinvent the wheel, that she is seeking written information on what type of credentials will be required of this person and what the assignments will be delegated to this person.


2. Grass Clippings.

Mr. Broughton referred to a memo he provided to Council earlier in the evening and explained that he spoke with the recycling coordinator on this issue.  He said that since 1993, the Township was mandated to recycle grass clippings.  It is possible to stop collecting the grass clippings, but such action may jeopardize grant funding and raises the concern about illegal dumping.  He cited that 3000 tons of grass clippings are collected annually and the dumping fee costs $150,000, not counting the cost of personnel, but seasonal and temporary employees are used in this capacity.  Mr. Broughton thinks he needs to look at the entire recycling plan and how ending the collection of grass clippings will affect the plan.  Council authorized the Manager set up the appropriate meetings to review the plan.


NEW BUSINESS

1. Fire Department - Table of Organization.

Mr. Turitz advised that Council heard and considered various recommendations on the table of organization in the Fire Department in the context of the layoff plan.  He stated Council deliberated and considered the impact on current litigation and that Council requested additional time to review this matter.  Mr. Turitz recommended that he would like Council to take formal action by introducing an ordinance on January 12, 2010 that would restructure the table of organization of the Fire Department with the hearing on said ordinance on January 26th.

DM. Parker inquired if Council can discuss this matter at their January 6th budget meeting. Mr. Turitz confirmed that Council can only discuss this issue at that time but cannot take any formal action.


COMMUNICATIONS

None.


COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

C. Gussen reported on behalf of the Parks, Playgrounds, and Recreation Advisory Board that Dr. Hoffman will conduct a presentation at one of the January Council meetings regarding artificial turf at Votee Park.  The PPRAB also discussed complaints and concerns regarding the lack of customer service at the Recreation Department and there is no correlation whether the Superintendent of Recreation is present or not.

C. Hameeduddin reported that the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board will meet in the first week of January and if anyone has any recommendations for a chairperson to the POAB to e-mail him at mhteaneck@gmail.com

C. Honis reported that she was able to attend the Youth Advisory Board meeting on behalf of DM. Parker and that a bulk of the questions the members had were for the Board of Education; however, the members wished to see greater communication between the Council and the Board of Education.


COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS

None.


TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

Mr. Broughton reported that the advertisements for Executive Assistant and Human Resources Director were placed on Thursday, December 10th and that he is receiving resumes for those positions.


TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY'S REPORT

Mr. Turitz reported that the Self-Insurance Commission received a quote from State National Insurance Company at a premium of $50,740, plus regulatory taxes for one year.  The coverage will be for $1,000,000 with a $25,000 deductible, which includes public officials liability exposures and employment practices liability exposure.  The Township already has in place a $5,000,000 umbrella policy with Praetorian.  If the Township had this coverage in place, it would've covered the Township in the Brennan, Manicini, and Shouldis case.  Yet, this does not cover prior or current claims.

Mr. Turitz requested that Council authorize the Manager to sign the binder in order the enact the policy.  Council authorized Mr. Brought to sign said document, with the exception of C. Gussen who abstained as he is a licensed property and casualty insurance producer.


At this time, Mayor Feit advised Council that he provided them with documentation last week regarding the SAFER grant, which would fund new hires in the Fire Department for the first 2 years.

C. Hameeduddin questioned what will happen in the 3rd year and beyond.  He recommended that the Township should not apply.

DM. Parker stated it would be irresponsible not to apply and they cannot anticipate future needs.

Mayor Feit explained that no match is required for the first 2 years and there is no obligation to fund the 3rd year.

C. Gussen expressed that he has no clear desire for additional employees that will cost millions in the long run, in addition to the Township's obligation to its layoff plan and exposure for litigation. 

DM. Parker emphasized there can be changes in the workforce in two years and cited retirements as an example of such a change.  C. Honis concurred and stated that Council needs to look at the possibilities and that this application does not tie their hands.

Council requested that the Clerk conduct a  roll-call vote to determine if a majority was in favor of having the Manager proceed with completing and submitting the SAFER grant.

In Favor: DM. Parker, C. Honis, C. Toffer, Mayor Feit.

Opposed: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, C. Katz.

Absent: None.

The majority was in favor of the application submission and said vote authorized the Manager to submit the application.

 

ADJOURNMENT

C. Honis moved to adjourn the Open Session Meeting at 9:02 p.m.  Seconded by DM. Parker.

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

Opposed: None. 
 
Absent: None.