June 15, 2010 Open Session Minutes - Home

June 15, 2010 Open Session Minutes

Date: June 15, 2010
Time: 8:00 PM

MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION MEETING OF
THE TEANECK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL
HELD IN THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING COUNCIL CHAMBERS ON
TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2010

Mayor Feit called the Open Session Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 8:13 p.m., upon adjournment 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 (8:15 p.m.), C. Katz, C. Toffler, Mayor Feit.

Absent: C. Honis. 

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

MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 322-09, setting 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.

HEARING ON THE 2010 MUNICIPAL BUDGET

MUNICIPAL BUDGET OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK, COUNTY OF BERGEN, NEW JERSEY FOR THE CALENDAR YEAR 2010.

Mayor Feit declared that the hearing on the 2010 Municipal Budget open at this time for the public to come forward and state their names and addresses for the record.  Comments shall be limited to five minutes per person.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - Discussed concerns with "other expenses", this particular category has less supervisory control than any expenditures in the facility, almost as much as the Police and Fire Departments combined, must cut "other expenses" in order to prevent wasteful spending. Ward Plaza was supposed to be paid for with grant money. Synthetic turf at Votee Park should be studied prior to the project taking effect. Township has been contracting engineers for years, should have additional staffing positions in the Engineering Department. Suggested concentrating more on environmental issues and energy conservation.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - Had five questions concerning the budget; 1) what was the BOE cap for this year, 2) what was the BOE percentage increase this year, 3) what is the Municipal cap this year,
4) what is the Municipal increase for this year 5) can each member of the Council explain their position regarding these questions?

Mildred Tucker - 72 Shepard Avenue - Referred to an article in northjersey.com; how is the Township paying $75,000 to a company with which we do not have a contract or resolution?  Further discussed the article and her concerns with wasteful spending.

Fred Thompson (no address provided) - Member of the Ardsley Court Block Association. Discussed the drainage system on Ardsley Court.  Inquired  whether or not  there is any possibility of  resurfacing  the street due to damage caused by a lack of drainage.

There being no further persons wishing to speak at this time, Mayor Feit declared that the hearing on the 2010 Municipal Budget is now closed.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council or the Manager wished to respond to the public comments.

Mayor Feit addressed the issues raised regarding the budget indicating that the "other expenses" line is the entire operating budget and therefore cannot be removed. Mayor Feit further stated that Ward Plaza is paid for by Federal Grant money and will not increase cost to the tax payers. The artificial turf is not being purchased at this time however, authorizing studies of the artificial turf will be discussed.  He also explained the percentage of the caps.  The Mayor referred the issue regarding Ardsley Court to the Manager. Gave a brief synopsis regarding the auditor and why the Township has been using the same auditor (Ferraioli) for many years.

Township Manager explained that Ardsley Court is scheduled for the drainage project and that Ardsley Court and part of Tryon Avenue will be resurfaced in the very near future.

C. Toffler - Explained her decision regarding the BOE budget. C. Toffler addressed the article concerning the auditor stating that Council should look into possibly replacing the present Township Auditor indicating that it is probably not a wise decision to retain the same auditor for more than five or six years.

C. Katz - Discussed cuts made to the Municipal Budget in recent years explaining that millions of dollars of Township property had been sold, saving tax payers money. The Police Department, Fire Department and Department of Public Works have been restructured  within the last four years.  He feels Council has been very aggressive in tackling the Municipal Budget in a positive manner.

DM. Parker - Expressed that she did not support the BOE budget cut and feels that it was irresponsible to do so.  Council has looked carefully at the Municipal Budget over the past four years and has made significant changes, but it was not done all at once. Further discussed the situation regarding the auditor.  The State requires an auditor be appointed to each Township. Does not feel it is fair that Council be accused of taking part in any illegal action or having their integrity questioned.  Would never partake in anything illegal.

C. Hameeduddin - Explained that to get under cap and to come to a significant tax decrease, layoffs would be necessary, they do not want to do this.  Feels the budget they have put together is the best one they can put together at this time.

C. Gussen - Commented on the "other expenses" line item, indicating that it was misunderstood and gave a brief explanation stating that all expenses are closely monitored.  Addressed the drainage problem. Answered questions proposed by Mr. Rose.  The cap has exemptions, which is why the budget is being brought forth at 48 percent.  Feels the BOE shirked their responsibilities in preparing their budget.  Indicated he does not support the Municipal Budget, feels the tax payers should not incur an increase in taxes.

DM. Parker -  regarding the Municipal Budget, explained that layoffs would not only affect positions, but would also affect services which are provided to the public.

DM. Parker made a motion to adopt the 2010 Budget.   Seconded by C. Toffler.  .

Resolution #134-10 - Adopt the 2010 Budget.

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

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

Opposed: C. Gussen.

Absent:  C. Honis. 

Mayor Feit declared that the 2010 Budget is duly adopted.

PRESENTATIONS

1. TVAC.

CPR Save Awards were distributed to the following members of TVAC:
Dee Costello, Roseanne Rauch, Freda Ready, Jesina Martinez, Steve Boak, Moshe Miller, Fernando Medina, Brendan Tracy, Andrew Rosler, Michael Rothschild, Ariel Douek.

Stork Delivery Awards were distributed to the following members of TVAC: 
Fred Garcia, Amanda Davis, Kenny Karcsztark, JD Watson, Leonard Ash.
 
Lifetime Member Award was distributed to:  Paul Alexander.

Mayor Feit and C. Katz expressed the importance of donations for TVAC, as they are strictly a volunteer organization.

PUBLIC HEARINGS AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES

The Clerk read the Ordinances by title only.

ORDINANCE #4184 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 36, ENTITLED "TRAFFIC" OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE. (Installation of STOP signs at the intersection of Elm Avenue and Beverly Road)

ORDINANCE #4185 - AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 11-27 OF ARTICLE V OF CHAPTER 11 OF THE CODE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK EXEMPTING CERTAIN NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS FROM PAYMENT OF THE LOCAL ENFORCEMENT AGENCY CONSTRUCTION FEES.

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

No one came forward.

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

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - Ordinance 4185 - Hopes we are still maintaining safety, fire, and environmental standards and that the exemption does not weaken the regulations.

No further persons wished to speak concerning said ordinances, and Mayor Feit declared that the public hearings on these ordinances were closed.

C. Gussen moved to pass Ordinance #s 4184 and 4185 on second and final reading and adopt.  The Township Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to advertise same according to law.  Seconded by  C. Katz. 

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments respecting these ordinances.

Mayor Feit stated that Ordinance 4185 affects fees only.

C. Gussen gave a description of Ordinance 4185 explaining that the Ordinance permits not-for-profit organizations, such as Habitat For Humanity, to obtain permits without cost, changing fee structure only

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

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Honis.

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 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.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - Discussed FAB and the fact that it is withering away.  Wishes this would not happen.  Felt this Board could have been an asset to Council.  The Board expanded its membership which could be the reason it is not working out.  Feels it needs to be reinvigorated because it has great potential.

Jordan Wouk, Chairman HRGAB - New York resident - Requested two signs to aid in identifying the entrance to the Greenway.  Trail has been cleared out and looks good.  Invited all to visit the Greenway.  Hopes the signs are approved and requested the discussion be moved up on the agenda.

Mayor Feit recognized newly-elected Councilmember Yitz Stern's arrival to the meeting.

The following individuals came forward to support DM. Parker as Mayor when the reorganization of Council takes place:

   Gloria Wilson - 1654 Ardsley Court
   Genevieve Stanislaw -  1674 Fairfield Street
   Jackie Grindrod - Terhune Street
   Leslie McKeon - 130 Copley Avenue
   Margaret White - 50 Golf Court
   Ron Costello - 229 Shepard Avenue
   Mildred Tucker - 72 Shepard Avenue
   Estina Baker - Bergen County NAACP President
   Laura Zucker - 62 Hillside Avenue
   Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive
   Jacqueline Kates - Columbus Drive
   Angela Taylor - 412 Johnson Street
   Clara Williams - 21 Stuyvesant Road
   Belinda Nelson - 1170 Katherine Street
   Ashley Edwards - 107 Voorhees Street  

Genevieve Stanislaw -1674 Fairfield Street - Lives on border of Englewood and Teaneck.  Feels her street is always  neglected as far as paving is concerned.  Inquired about the process for electing a mayor during the reorganization.  Concerned about Teaneck Road, the atmosphere, the cleanliness, the loss of businesses.

Jackie Grindrod - Terhune Street - Suggested having streets cleaned after residents leave for work in order for it to be beneficial to the Township.

Leslie McKeon - 130 Copley Avenue - Thanked Mayor Feit for his time served as Mayor, and informed him that he will be missed. 

Ron Costello - 229 Shepard Avenue - Thanked the Manager and Council for the paving of Shepard Avenue, it was a job well done.

Mildred Tucker - 72 Shepard Avenue - Thanked Mayor Feit for serving the Township as Mayor.  Wished him well in future endeavors. Questioned Mr. Turitz on Resolutions and Bills with vendors, should there be a contract involved?

Estina Baker - Bergen County NAACP President - Has been inundated since May 11th, with phone calls from senior residents concerned with turmoil, mistrust and individuals not working together.  Assured the seniors she would attend the meeting to speak on their behalf informing Council of their concerns.

Howard Preschel - 400 Cedar Lane - Voted for four people and would be proud to have any one of these individuals as mayor.  Cited a Building Department violation.

Laura Zucker - 62 Hillside Avenue - Stated that past practice has been that when an incumbent has been Deputy Mayor or received the  highest amount of votes, that person would become mayor.  Feels that DM. Parker could heal this Township and therefore should be the next mayor.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - If  DM. Parker is not elected as mayor, it will indicate that there is a four-vote block majority with an agenda for this Township.  Feels public participation must be restored.  Although the carpeting is dank, doesn't feel replacement is necessary.  Should have more control over spending. 

Jacqueline Kates - Columbus Drive - Indicated that DM. Parker has not asked anyone to come to the meeting
to speak on her behalf, those who came to do so, came to show their support.  Spoke of the reasons as to why DM. Parker should take the position of mayor.  Feels she is the most qualified as well as the recipient of the  most votes.

Angela Taylor - 412 Thompson Street - Addressed the BOE budget cuts indicating that it was an irresponsible decision to cut an excessive amount of funds.  Stated that the students have become the unfortunate pawns in the battle of wills.  Hopes there will be appeals made that all sides can live with.  Thanked DM. Parker for her support for the students through the YAB.

Clara Williams - 21 Stuyvesant Road - Asked Council to share their intentions regarding the election of DM. Parker as the next mayor.

Belinda Nelson - 1170 Katherine Street - Thanked Mayor Feit for his time served as Mayor. Stated that he is a man with great integrity.  Wished he would have run for Council again.  Feels the other members of Council who were running misled the public.  Hopes Council does the right thing on July 1st, and elects DM. Parker as mayor.

Ashley Edwards - 107 Voorhees Street - Spoke on the artificial turf indicating that it is a  good idea and would be beneficial to anyone who plays a sport in that it provides a safer play area.

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 to have a separate discussion thereon.

Mayor Feit addressed the process for determining who becomes mayor during the reorganization. The seven members vote for mayor and then they vote for deputy mayor.  It has been past practice to give the nomination to the highest vote recipient, but that is not a rule.

C. Gussen discussed the FAB and indicated that it was actually an experiment that Council had high hopes for, however it never worked out.  Cannot envision process in which the FAB can be functional.  It was a valiant experiment, ultimately it is time to realize it is a failed experiment.  Spoke of endorsements and literature.  He supported DM. Parker for Council. Of the nine people running for Council, he feels he supported the four individuals who would best serve the Township.  Did not endorse anyone for mayor at any time during campaigning. Asked DM. Parker to endorse C. Gussen and she refused, he asked her to join in a celebration unifying the Township and she declined.  It is very difficult time reconciling with DM. Parker in that she did not support him. It is a very difficult decision, but it will be done with research and diligence.

C. Hameeduddin also spoke about the Financial Advisory Board, agreeing with C. Gussen.  Addressed revitalizing Teaneck Road, stating that Mr. Broughton applied for an appropriations earmark with Steve Rothman's office and chances of receiving the earmark are high.

C. Gussen stated that with regard to the FAB, gathering comparative information for municipalities is a daunting task but suggested listing this as a Council listed item for a future meeting. 

C. Hameeduddin commented on the Hackensack River Greenway.  Walked it on a Thursday with Dee Ann Ipp and again on Friday with Jordan Wouk.  They were two completely different experiences after Jordan cleared the entire path and made it much easier to walk through.  C. Hameeduddin noticed there were several individuals hanging around the area.  He was not sure if they were vagrants or just individuals enjoying the Greenway, but suggested  having the Township Manager look into who is hanging around the facility to ensure there is no danger to our residents.

DM. Parker stated that she feels the FAB failed because it was not being properly studied.  It did not receive the proper leadership, direction or study from the Council. When the Youth Advisory Board was created, it started as a task  force which is why it has been successful. DM. Parker expressed her appreciation to the community for all of the support she has received. Has lobbied and will continue to lobby each of her colleagues for support, as she feels she has honorably served the Township.  Never made disparaging comments about any of her colleagues.  Has always shown the utmost respect for each of her colleagues. In respect to the unity party, could not partake in a celebration where honest conversation and honest dialogue did not take place.

C. Katz also feels FAB was created with the best intentions, with great volunteers on the board, but feels the board should not be reappointed.  Indicated that it should be reevaluated with the intention to rebuild a committee that works together with the Board of Ed.  Strongly supports the revitalization and enhancement of Teaneck Road.  The next Council must have this on the front burner. The positions of mayor and deputy mayor is a passionate decision with the residents.  Supports town-wide election for mayor which would require a change in the form of government.  Hopes whoever is elected will work hard to bring the community together.

C. Toffler spoke regarding FAB indicating that she spoke with Joseph Steinberg, the Chair of FAB, and they both agreed that it is time to dissolve the Financial Advisory Board.  Supports DM. Parker for mayor.  Two years ago she was the highest vote recipient, felt it would have been irresponsible to be the mayor during her first time serving on the Council.

C. Gussen questioned Township Manager on the street sweeping schedule.

Mr. Broughton informed Council that he would further check the schedule but gave a brief synopsis of the present scheduling of street cleaning.  Will speak with Township Superintendent, Fran Wilson on this item. Was out this week completing an evaluation of the Township roads. Mr. Broughton did not get to Fairfield Street, but will get out to evaluate the area. Explained there is only so much money allotted in the budget for road repair so there is a list prioritizing the roads most in need.

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. 

RESOLUTIONS (start with 135-10)
#135-10. Authorize Renewal of Club Liquor Licenses.
#136-10 Authorize Renewal of Retail Consumption Liquor Licenses.
#137-10. Authorize Renewal of Retail Distribution Liquor Licenses. 
#138-10. Authorize Submission of 2010 Green Communities Grant.
#139-10. Ratify Payments - CFO - May 2010.
#140-10. Authorize Appointment to the Shade Tree Advisory Board.
#141-10. Authorize Appointment to the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board.
#142-10. Award Professional Services Contract - Gianforcaro - Votee Park Drainage Study.
#143-10. Award Professional Services Contract - Innovative Engineering, Inc. - Library HVAC System.
#144.10. Support Repeal of Kyleigh's Law.
#145.10. Ratify Issuance of Emergency Purchase Order - Fleet Source, LLC.
#146-10. Authorize Process of Payment for Acquisition of 640 River Road.
#147-10. Authorize Refund of 2009 & 2010 Tax Overpayments - Various.
#148-10. Deem Contract With BCUA (Pursuant to Resolution #130-10) Null & Void & Approve New    Contract With BCUA - Disposal of Municipal Waste.

BILL LIST

The Clerk read the amount of the Bill List into the record.  ($ 7,979,452.66 )

C. Gussen moved to approve the Consent Agenda, including Minutes, Resolutions, and Bill List, and to dispense with the reading of same inasmuch as was posted on the bulletin board all day.   Seconded by C. Toffler.

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

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

Opposed: None.

Abstained: C. Gussen (checks 158606 and 158649), DM. Parker (Res. #144-10, check 158585),
  C. Katz (bill list, Resolutions #135-10 and #136-10), Mayor Feit (check 158589).

Absent: C. Honis.

Mayor Feit declared said items were passed.

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES

C. Gussen  moved that the following Ordinances be introduced and passed on first reading and that the Clerk is hereby authorized and directed 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 ordinances, and on which said ordinances will be considered for final adoption.

ORDINANCE 4186 - BOND ORDINANCE TO AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION OF NEW RECYCLING TRUCKS, INCLUDING ORIGINAL APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT, IN, BY AND FOR THE TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK, IN THE COUNTY OF BERGEN, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $630,000 TO PAY THE COST THEREOF, TO MAKE A DOWN PAYMENT, TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS TO FINANCE SUCH APPROPRIATION AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BOND ANTICIPATION NOTES IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS.

Seconded by C Toffler.  

Mayor inquired as to whether any Councilmember wished to comment upon the motion to introduce.

No one came forward.

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

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Honis.

Mayor Feit declared that said ordinances are duly introduced and passed on first reading.

MISCELLANEOUS

None.

OLD BUSINESS

1. Financial Advisory Board.

DM. Parker suggested letting the FAB sunset out on June 30th without reappointment.  C. Gussen suggested that during the first meeting in July, Council should pass a Resolution disbanding the board, C. Katz requested a letter be sent to the board members thanking them for their participation.

NEW BUSINESS

1.  Shared Services. 

C. Hameeduddin suggested sharing gasoline with the Board of Education due to the fact that we pay much less.  Requested formalizing communications to do so from the Manager. Council concurred.

COMMUNICATIONS

1. HRGAB - Request for Additional Signs for Riverside Drive.

No issue with the signs.  Council gave the go-ahead to order.

COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

C. Gussen - CLMG - after several years of service, Stuart Kahan has decided to step down. Karen Carecchio is the new Chair.  Previously had a problem with attendance, hoping to have new members attend meetings.  Asked anyone who is interested in partaking on this board, please fill out an application.

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS

1. Thank You for Mary Topolosky, Landscape Designer, Garden Club and Greenhouse (C. Toffler).

C. Toffler thanked Mary Topolosky as well as the Greenhouse and the Garden Club who was responsive to the Council and contributed to work completed within the Township.
Mr. Broughton stated he plans on clearing out the opposite side of the Garden Club, which is the Township side, with a volunteer later in the year. 

2. Gold Star Families License Plate Resolution (C. Toffler).

C. Toffler requested the Resolution supporting the Gold Star Families License Plate be passed.  The plates are issued to families who have lost a family member in the war.  Council concurred.

3. Several Members on Municipal Boards (C. Katz).

No further action.

4. Outdoor Dining Partition (C. Katz).

Outdoor dining partitions (safety barriers) should be provided to the merchants who want them.  Not having them could be a safety issue for people who are walking as well as the individuals who are dining.  Would like to obtain information from the Building Department for criteria regarding this issue. 

TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

1. Clean and Green.

Campaign took place over the weekend cleaning out Argonne and Brooks Parks, as well as the Burial Ground.  The Girl Scouts and the Delta's participated in the event.  Thanked Bogota Savings Bank for donating t-shirts for this campaign. 

2. Award from Department of Defense.

The Township of Teaneck, in particular the TFD, received an award from the Department of Defense for the support of fire department personnel who are serving in the military. 

3. Building Department - Open House.

There is a tentative date of July 20th for the Building Department to hold an "open-house" in Council Chambers which will allow residents to attend and ask any questions they may have regarding projects on their homes. 

4. Shared Services.

Bogota-Teaneck Shared Services Study, there is no state funding available at this time, however, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office may be able to fund this using forfeiture funds. Waiting for verification regarding this issue.

C. Katz wants to make the "open house" more than a one-time deal. 

Mr. Broughton will look into this.

TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY'S REPORT

Tree Ordinance is being looked into at this time.  Emergency Services is under review at this time.

ADJOURNMENT

C. Hameedudin moved to adjourn at 10:31 p.m.  Seconded by Mayor Feit.    

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

Opposed: None.

Absent: Honis.