May 4, 2010 Open Session Minutes - Home

May 4, 2010 Open Session Minutes

Date: May 4, 2010
Time: 8:00 PM

MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION MEETING OF
THE TEANECK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL
HELD IN THE TEANECK HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM ON
TUESDAY, MAY 4, 2010


Mayor Feit called the Open Session Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at  8:01 p.m., and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL

Present: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, 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, J. Evelina, Senior Clerk.


MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENT

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 322-09, setting the 2010 meeting dates, Resolution 81-10 amending the 2010 meeting dates, and  the April 23, 2010 Sunshine Notice 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 welcomed the Clerk back to the dais as she had been recovering from surgery.

CEDAR LANE SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ASSESSMENT HEARING

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council has any comments respecting the Cedar Lane Special Improvement District Assessment prior to opening the public hearing.

No one commented.

Mayor Feit declared that the public assessment hearing open.  Any members of the public wishing to be heard may come forward and state their name and address for the record.  Comments or questions shall be limited to five minutes per person.

Doron Goldschmidt - 709 Cedar Lane - referenced Ordinance #3425 and stated that he has not received any tangible benefits from the District.  He spoke about extra money he has expended, litter at bus stops and the lack of returns on his investments.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - suggested that the assessment be amended to original figures and spoke about taxation with no representation.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - questioned how assessments are based and suggested reassessing or abolishing the District.

Simone Sigonus - 662 Cedar Lane - spoke about her annual payments and questioned why certain properties are part of the District.

Bob Kraupp - 832 Palisade Avenue - stated that banners and trees are insignificant.  He spoke about street sweeping and lack of benefits for Palisade Avenue.

Stuart Kahn - 750 Palmer Avenue - spoke about the benefits of the streetscape, how its attracted businesses and referred to the accomplishments of the District on a small budget.
C. Katz expressed support for the proposed reductions by the public.

C. Gussen advised the public that the assessment is by way of a set percentage.  The original assessment was twenty cents per one hundred dollars, and today, the cost is twenty-five percent less than the original as a result of the reduction in administrative costs.  He further stated that the Cedar Lane Management Group must do a better job with its budget.

DM. Parker stated that she reviewed the budget last year but decided not to move forward at that time, and this year, money funding will be applied to the promotion of businesses.       

There being no further persons wishing to speak concerning said assessment, the Mayor Feit  declared that the public assessment hearing now closed.

Mayor Feit inquired whether any member of the Council has any comments respecting the Cedar Lane Special Improvement District Assessment.

DM. Parker made a motion to confirm the proposed $0.149 / $100 assessed valuation Cedar Lane Special Improvement District Assessment for budget year 2010 and the individual property assessments.  Seconded by C. Gussen.

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. Toffler, C. Katz, Mayor Feit.

Opposed: None.

Absent:  C. Honis.

Mayor Feit declared that said assessment was confirmed.

PRESENTATIONS

1. Shelter Our Sisters - Endorsing Resolution Request - Energy Efficiency Capital Project.

James Tucker, Property Manager appeared on behalf of Shelter Our Sisters.  He provided Council with information with respect to the project which entails the removal of the current air conditioning duct and the repair to insulation as a result of damage caused by raccoons and squirrels.  Council was in favor of endorsing the project, and the Clerk will prepare a resolution for the May 25, 2010 Council Meeting.

2. R.E.A.L. - Resource Education and Awareness by Latinos.

Ana Jimenez-Bautista informed Council of R.E.A.L.'s mission, to promote positive awareness of latinos in Teaneck.  She also informed of the Organization's upcoming 2nd Annual Cultural Event, scheduled for May 16th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Council discussed the addition of meetings, and the consensus was in favor of adding meetings on May 13th and May 17th at 8 p.m.  The Clerk was directed to formally invite Board of Education Members to said meetings.

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 has 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 wishing to be heard at this time shall come forward and state their names and addresses for the record.  Comments shall be limited to five minutes per person.

Robert O'Neill - 292 Hemlock Terrace - spoke about the municipal budget introduction, the auditor's review of the school budget, Ordinance #4029, auditor contributions and requests for public records pertaining to the budget introduction.

Lucy Fernandez - 258 Elm Avenue - invited Council to the Teaneck High School Dance Ensemble.

Lillian Lewis - Ardsley Court - requested a timeline for drainage work at Ardsley Court.

Brian Thorn - 311 VanBuren Avenue - on behalf of the Teaneck High School Student Council, he invited the Council to a basketball game wherein the Harlem Wizards would be competing against the Teaneck High School teachers on May 8th at 7 p.m.

Howard Rose - 575 Northumberland Road - extending congratulations to the Council with respect to 640 River Road.  He also spoke about the school board budget and requested a report on the status of the audit in writing.

Joan Davis - 976 Alpine Drive - spoke about the public's knowledge with respect to Council's actions, the lack of staffing in the Department of Public Works, the recycling program presentations, expenditures of the Board of Education and environmental conservation.

Kaitlyn Richards - 264 Kipp Street - questioned if houses of worship within the municipality offer any locations for the youth to "hang out".

Tony Nayowitz - 493 Forest Avenue - spoke about class sizes, teachers' benefits, teachers' salary and suggested that school district items be reassessed for the purpose of costs savings.

Dr. Alex Rashim - 543 Sagamore Avenue - spoke about the school district's rating and expressed the need for Teaneck schools to be restored to former glory.

Dr. Henry Pruitt - Voorhees Street - advised Council that the Board of Education cut twenty-one positions in an effort to meet the cap requirements then, the government cut 4.1 million dollars of funding for schools.  He stated that Teaneck Schools need to remain competitive.  He spoke of private school busing and the cost of the annual audit.

Chuck Powers - 1374 Academy Lane - spoke about transparency in government.  He referred to last year's school budget which was cut by one million dollars, and he questioned the charge of the auditor with respect to the school board budget.

Shelley Legerman - 278 Shleigh Place - expressed opposition larger class sizes and fewer teachers and requested clarification with respect to charter schools.

Lee Rosenbaum - 801 Club Road - spoke in favor of teachers insofar as the value of education.

Issac Rappaport - 747 Bogert Street - stated that there is an achievement gap and spoke in opposition to increasing class sizes.

Paula Rogovin - 625 Linden - spoke in favor of teachers, smaller class sizes and stated that the funds being expended to continue the war should be going to the nation's educational systems.

Rifka Rappaport - 737 Mildred Street - stated that teachers go beyond the call of duty and as such, expressed support.

Jay Salzman - 250 Glen Court - expressed opposition to the school board budget being defeated and suggested the assimilating of Orthodox families with public schools.

Gerald Rosano - 292 Hemlock Terrace - spoke on behalf of the PBA and questioned why the municipal budget was being delayed.  He also questioned if the municipal budget includes any layoffs.

Ron Costello - 229 Shepard Avenue - spoke about school district and expressed concern for the future of the youth.

Andres Santacruz - 449 Cedar Lane - spoke in opposition of cuts to the school board budget.

The meeting recessed from 9:43 p.m. to 9:48 p.m.

There having been no further persons who 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 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 informed the public with respect to the school board budget review process by the Township Council, including the auditor.  He reminded the public that more residents voted against the school board budget which resulted in the defeat of same.  He stated that any and all meetings pertaining to the municipal budget were public meetings. 

Mr. Broughton informed that public that the delay in the introduction of the municipal budget was as a result of him being scheduled for jury duty and his wife being honored, and such delay was approved by the Township Council.  He referenced the $714,000 lost from State funding as a result of the deficit.  He stated that any and all meetings have been transparent and public.  He stated that he does not anticipate layoffs but staffing must be determined.

Mr. Turitz advised Council that the governing body has no authority over the Charter School.  He stated that the scope of services by the auditor is being driven by how the Council must act.  Cuts cannot affect the Board of Education's ability to deliver effective education nor the Board's long-term plan.  With respect to auditing services, he referenced the Pay to Play Ordinance and the State Statute which requires that an annual audit be conducted by a Registered Municipal Accountant, and the carryover of the expired auditing contract was authorized by Mr. Fehrenbach.  The auditor cannot be compensated for work on the school budget if same does not conform to Pay to Play.

C. Toffler urged residents to support school programs.

DM. Parker stated that as a result of Governor Christie's reckless decisions, the Township has been put in its current unfortunate position.

C. Hameeduddin stated that the existing problems are systemic over the past ten years and hopes that students are attending Board of Education meetings.

C. Gussen stated that the residents should be thanking Governor Christie for "putting the cart before the horse".  He understands the value of sports, and the cost of extracurricular activities is a very small drop in the budget.  He stated that the Township's relationship with the auditor predates the Play to Pay Ordinance.

Mr. Broughton advised that bids will be going out this month with respect to Ardsley Court, and there are no private companies working on pot holes.

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

104-10  Ratify Determination of Award on the Bond Anticipation Notes.
105-10  Endorse Fair Trade Certification.
106-10  Authorize Refund of 2008 Taxes - Block 2205, Lot 1.
107-10  Authorize Acquisition of Vacant Land - 640 River Road. 
108-10  Recognize May 2 - 8, 2010 as Municipal Clerks Week
109-10  Oppose Assembly Bill A-2555.

BILL LIST

The Clerk read the amount of the Bill List into the record.  ($7,474,885.30)

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.  Seconded by DM. Parker.

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

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

Opposed: None.

Abstained: C. Katz (entire Bill List).

Absent:  C. Honis. 

Mayor Feit declared said items were passed.

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES
  
C. Katz 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 #4182 - BOND ORDINANCE TO AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION OF A NEW FIRE PUMPER TRUCK, 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 $500,000 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 DM. Parker.

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

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

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

Opposed: None.

Absent:  C. Honis. 

Mayor Feit declared that said ordinance was duly introduced and passed on first reading.

MISCELLANEOUS

None.

OLD BUSINESS

1. School Budget.

The consensus of Council was in favor of scheduling two additional meetings with respect to the school board budget on May 13, 2010 and May 17, 2010.  Council directed the Clerk to contact Teaneck High School and the respective officials.

NEW BUSINESS

1. Winthrop Road Sewer Project.

This matter was held for discussion, as further information is needed from the Township Engineer.

COMMUNICATIONS

1. Bergen County Division of Emergency Management - Countywide Emergency   Notification System.

The Council was in favor of the Manager moving forward with this item.

2. HRGAB - Easement through 1500 River Road.

C. Gussen informed the Council that the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board is in support of same. 

The Council authorized Mr. Broughton and Mr. Turitz  to contact the property owner to discuss the matter.

COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

C. Hameeduddin reported that the Shade Tree Advisory Board hopes that $50,000 stays in the municipal budget for tree planting, and the Board is looking for members.

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS

1. Bonim Builders - C.  Gussen.

C. Gussen informed that this group is similar to Habitat for Humanity and looking for permit fees and the survey requirement to repair a walkway for an elderly resident charity organization. 

The consensus of Council was in favor of Mr. Turitz corresponding with other municipalities with respect to ordinances that address this issue. 

Mr. Turitz advised that this must be done by Ordinance, and Council was in favor of same.  An Ordinance will be drafted for discussion at the May 25, 2010 Meeting.

2. Corner Lots - C. Katz.

The Subcommittee will review this matter.


TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

1. Banner Policy. 

Mr. Broughton informed the Council that he met with Mr. Hoffman for the purposes of having a written document prepared by Ken Hoffman with respect to the banners in the outfield.

TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY'S REPORT

1. Tax Appeals.

Mr. Turitz reported that for the calendar year 2010, 650 tax appeals have been filed with the County, an increase of over one hundred from the preceding year.  He further reported that there are 108 appeals being heard by the State.

ADJOURNMENT

C. Gussen moved to adjourn the Open Session Meeting at 10:43 p.m.  Seconded by C. Toffler.  
In Favor: C. Gussen, C. Hameeduddin, DM. Parker, C. Toffler, C. Katz, Mayor Feit.

Opposed: None.

Absent: C. Honis.