January 21, 2010 Budget Meeting Minutes - Home

January 21, 2010 Budget Meeting Minutes

Date: January 21, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM


Mayor Feit called the Open Session Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 7:06 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.


Present: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker (arrived at 7:09 p.m.),  C. Honis (arrived at 7:09   p.m.), C. Katz (arrived at 8:24 p.m.), C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.

Absent: None.

Also Present: W. Broughton, Municipal Manager; L. Aportela-Hernandez, Municipal Clerk.


Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 322-09, setting the 2010 meeting dates, and Resolution 384-09 amending the 2010 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 inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments prior to opening the meeting to any comments from the public.

No one 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.

Robert O'Neill - 292 Hemlock Terrace - stated that the salary range for the Executive Assistant is $40,000 - $62,000, but the Manager presented at the last budget meeting a salary for this position at $60,000.  He asked Council to think about all the other Township employees who are hired at the low end of their pay scales.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - discussed the US Supreme Court decision regarding campaign contributions, doesn't think Council should hire an Executive Assistant since there is no office space and only hire a Human Resource Officer, stated a 4.8% increase is not fair to the public, recommended various cuts including contracts, asked Council to stop using the Township's credit line which is causing deeper debt.

Evelyn Brownstein - President of the Library Board - expressed how proud she is of the Library and its programs, expressed concern about the condition of the Library as the roof repair took over 5 years and the cost went up 100% at that time, there is a problem with the heating and cooling system and is concerned that the building won't be useable; recommended capital planning for the Library.

Charles Powers - 1374 Academy Lane - discussed last week's presentation, recommended to take advantage of low interest rates to fix the Library at this time, discussed county and intermunicipal relations and recommended to Council to be vigilant when sharing services.

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 stated that with respect to the Executive Assistant, the ultimate amount the person is paid is up to the Manager and pay rates depend on prior experience.  He also said the issues facing the Library will be addressed very shortly.
C. Gussen explained that now is time to go past the roof project and proceed with the Library's HVAC system.  It's not that the HVAC system didn't have Council's attention, the Township just didn't have the means to repair it.

C. Toffler expressed her hope in finding the best people quickly to fix the HVAC problem.

DM. Parker said that she did express the Library's concerns to the Manager and Council and that Council also has to look at the failing infrastructure throughout the town.

Mr. Broughton reported that he met with the Library Director and Township Engineer.  He will not let the HVAC system fail, feels confident that it will hold up over the summer, and the plan is to work on each system in the off season.


Mr. McCue explained that the Library has had a leaking roof for a decade before its final repair, in the past year the pipes bursted 3 times, as recent as January 19th, and the single pane windows are energy inefficient.  Usage increased by 7% in 2009.

C. Toffler commended the Library staff as a model for customer service.

C. Gussen asked why library cards are not issued on Sundays.  Mr. McCue responded that only part-time employees work on Sundays, so cards are not issued in an effort to prevent errors.  The auditorium cannot be booked on Sundays, fees cannot be paid on Sundays, and phones aren't answered on Sundays.

After the presentation concluded, C. Toffler asked Mr. Broughton to have DPW conduct an inventory on the number of people on staff and equipment required for operations, as well as cost in order to make a decision if outsourcing is possible.

C. Honis commented on the need to bring back DPW Superintendent Wilson to discuss the impact of the current structure on recycling since Council needs to decide if additional staff or more funding in overtime is required to get the work done.  C. Toffler concurred since DPW operations affect the quality of life of residents the most.

OTHER EXPENSES BUDGET (listed by account number)

090 - Council decided to reduce the 2048 line item to $5,000.  Mayor Feit will speak to the ABCR and DM. Parker will speak with YAB on the issue of community relations.  Council sought details on the $20,000 allocated for the website for line item 2021.  Council requested information on what was the $10,000 expenditure on line item 2048 in 2009.  Mr. Broughton advised Council that he will provide them with all the 2009 budget expenditures on CD.

110 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton provide a breakdown on what was spent in 2009 and what is planned on the training line item 2450.

125 - Council requested from Mr. Broughton more information on the $21,075 budgeted in new purchases on line item 2031.

160 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton provide additional information on line item 2580 concerning tax appeals for 2010, as well as the number of cases and total money spent on tax appeals in 2009.

170 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton provide a breakdown on how much was spent on relief judges and interpreters listed on line item 2018 for 2009 and 2008.

300 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton obtain clarification on the budget for new hires in line item 3140 and an explanation for the increase in mandated PEOSHA screenings by $4000 in line item 3170.

310 - Council determined to hold funding the preemployment screening in line item 3330 pending the outcome of the analysis of new hires versus extra overtime.

313 - Mr. Broughton committed to Council that actual expenditures from this account will solely be fore emergency management purposes.

480 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton provide a 3 year comparison on all items in the contract services line item 5410 as well as details of continued upgrading of municipal facilities in line item 5580.

620 - Council determined to hold and revisit the budget for TVAC.

710 - Council determined to hold and revisit the budget for line item 7240 concerning the 4th of July celebration for future discussion.

730 - Council inquired about the funding for the Library's fire insurance in line item 7730 since the Township acquired a new umbrella policy.  Chief Financial Officer Tony Bianchi advised that he will check with the Library Director and the insurance company and report back to Council.

741 - Council determined to reduce the rate of budgeted gasoline to $2.50.  Mr. Broughton will revise the account accordingly.

749 - Council requested that Mr. Broughton verify the amount of $4100 for the Phelps Park pool in line item 8800 since the pool is not in use.

A subcommittee comprised of DM. Parker, C. Toffler, and C. Honis will reach out to the Greenhouse Committee to discuss the various expenses in electricity, water, and natural gas associated with the greenhouse and report back to Council.

Mr. Broughton reported that he will report back to Council on the outstanding items identified this evening on January 27th, then Council can review the Salary & Wages portion of the 2010 Municipal Budget


Mayor Feit moved to adjourn the Budget Meeting at 9:49 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.


Respectfully Submitted,

Lissette Aportela-Hernandez, MPA, RMC
Municipal Clerk