July 26, 2011 Council Meeting Minutes - Home

July 26, 2011 Council Meeting Minutes

Date: July 26, 2011
Time: 8:00 PM

MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION MEETING OF

THE TEANECK TOWNSHIP COUNCIL

HELD IN THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING COUNCIL CHAMBERS

TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2011

 

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 331-10, setting the 2011 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

 

174-11.   Authorize Council to enter Closed Session.

 

CLOSED SESSION DISCUSSION

 

MOTION TO RETURN TO OPEN SESSION

 

Mayor Hameeduddin called the Open Session Meeting of the Teaneck Township Council to order at 8:03 p.m. and asked all those present to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Present:           C. Parker, C. Stern, DM. Gussen, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler, Mayor Hameeduddin.

 

Absent:            None.

 

Also Present:   S. Turitz – Ferrara, Turitz, Harraka & Goldberg Esqs.; W. Broughton, Township

Manager; J. Evelina, RMC, Township Clerk; I. Abbasi, Executive Assistant.

 

 

MAYOR’S ANNOUNCEMENT

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided by Resolution 331-10, setting the 2011 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 Hameeduddin recognized Superintendent Barbara Pinsak, Business Administrator Robert Finger and Board of Education President Artie Walzer.

 

PRESENTATIONS

 

  1. Arcari+Iovino Architects – Municipal Complex Plans.

 

Mr. Mel Sarkor of Arcari+Iovino Architects presented the revised Teaneck Municipal Complex plans to the Council and general public that featured two concept designs of the Old Police Headquarters.

 

Mr. Broughton added that Council has already approved funding for the new link between the current Municipal Building and the Old Police Building. He further discussed the benefit of the link between the current Municipal Building and Old Police Headquarters; the design afforded under Concept A and Concept B; and the location of the Court office under Concept A and Concept B.

 

C. Stern inquired if the Caucus Room was the same as a Conference Room so as not to confuse the intended use of the room.

 

Mr. Broughton responded that the Caucus Room was indeed a Conference Room.

 

Mr. Broughton will release the presentation to the public on Wednesday, July 27, 2011.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin inquired about the July 12th Township Manager’s Town Hall meeting.

 

Mr. Broughton responded that the meeting went well; and discussed the attendance figures and length of the meeting.

 

C. Katz expressed concern about the meeting space of the Court and Council Chambers, the size of the Violations Bureau in both plans, and the purpose of the Caucus Room.

 

Mr. Broughton answered that the Caucus Room will be utilized by the Council and various boards for their meetings. He further discussed the size of the Court Room under the preferred plan, Plan A, and the additional amount of court cases that will be heard given the increased size of the Court Room.

 

C. Katz continued to inquire about the difference in size of the Violations Bureau under both plans.

 

Mr. Broughton responded that the Violations Bureau requires space under both plans to store records and added that the two concepts were the first iteration of plans brought forward to the Council and public.

 

C. Katz noted that he would like to see the Fire Prevention Bureau’s Offices moved to the Municipal Building for a greater convenience to the residents and commended the Manager for affording the Prosecutor a conference room reflected in the plans.

 

Mr. Broughton replied that he would consider Mr. Katz’s suggestion for future plans.

 

Council Listed Items

 

  1. Busing – Route Changes (DM. Gussen).

 

DM. Gussen advised that the Council has no control, authority or budgetary responsibility for the busing provided to public and private school students in the Township. He received immense feedback from residents to the proposed elimination of the courtesy busing program. He discussed the crossing guards and the Police presence afforded by the Township at bus routes; requested a discussion with the Manager regarding this item; and requested the Manager and Police Chief re-assess bus route changes and any safety issues on the Township’s behalf in addition to any budgetary concerns.

 

Mr. Broughton responded that he has met with the Board of Education and discussed the bus route changes with the Police Department. More meetings are planned to ensure appropriate safety is met at each stop.

 

DM. Gussen questioned if the Township had additional staff or funding for crossing guards.

 

Mr. Broughton answered that if additional crossing guards were needed that they could be facilitated by our budget.

 

PRESENTATIONS (continued)

 

Mayor Hameeduddin and C. Katz presented Provost Joseph Kiernen with a certificate of appreciations for Farleigh Dickinson University’s recent donation to the Township Council.

 

Provost Kiernen thanked the Council for the certificate; spoke about the funds that were allotted to Hackensack and Teaneck as donations; and expressed joy to be able to donate back to the community.

 

C. Parker thanked Provost Joseph Kiernen and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 

Council Listed Items (continued)

 

  1. Busing – Route Changes (DM. Gussen).

 

The Council invited Board of Education officials to speak about this item at this time without a time restriction.

 

Superintendent Barbara Pinsak read a statement into the record discussing the elimination of the courtesy busing program under the Board of Education’s 2011-2012 budget and consolidation of bus stops and routes.

 

Dr. Artie Walser, Board of Education President, thanked the Township Council and Manager for their attention to this matter and for meeting with the Board of Education recently. Dr. Walser assured that a lot of time and planning was put into the revised busing routes to ensure safety. An upcoming meeting on Wednesday, August 3rd, was scheduled to address the community’s concerns and noted that safety was of the utmost of importance.

 

PUBLIC HEARING AND ADOPTION OF ORDINANCES

Ms. Evelina to read the Ordinances by title only.

 

NONE.

 

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR GOOD AND WELFARE OR PUBLIC INPUT ON ANY MATTERS ON THIS AGENDA

 

Mayor Hameeduddin inquired whether any member of the Council had any comments prior to opening the meeting to any comments from the public.

 

C. Toffler referenced a discussion at the July 12th meeting of the Council regarding Toffler v. Township Council and asked members of the Council to review three separate emails she sent on the afternoon of January 6th. She explained that the aforementioned emails contain a chain of explanations that raised the issue of retaliation, as she believed she was being retaliated against by someone. C. Toffler also referenced an email she received by Mr. Lerer, an email exchange with Police Chief Robert A. Wilson, a phone call from Joseph Ax, formerly of the Bergen Record, and she explained the chain of events leading to a story in the Bergen Record regarding an incident she was involved in, her statement to the Council on February 1, 2011, and impersonations of her under the Teaneck Progress Blog.

 

C. Katz requested C. Toffler provide him with the aforementioned emails and asked C. Toffler if her statement alluded that the Bergen Record changed her statement.

 

C. Toffler answered that someone told Mr. Ax that she felt she was being retaliated against. She further discussed Mr. Lerer’s email, a phone call from State Senator Loretta Weinberg, C. Parker’s suggestion to go back to the drawing board at a previous Council meeting, the availability of emails to the public under the Open Public Records Act, and she stated that she did not accuse Mr. Broughton or the Police Chief of retaliating against her.

 

C. Katz requested clarification regarding C. Toffler’s statement.

 

C. Toffler referenced a story written by Mr. Ax that reflected her feelings of being retaliated against.

 

Mr. Broughton referenced his January 25th letter to the Township Council; and a telephone discussion with C. Toffler wherein Mr. Turitz asked her if she would make a public apology, and she declined.

 

C. Toffler alleged that a member of the Council leaked the January 25th letter to Mr. Ax.

 

Mr. Turitz requested that C.Toffler not imply that he agree or disagree with any of her statements.

 

C. Toffler noted that she was not implying Mr. Turitz agreed or disagreed with any statements of the Manager either.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin declared that any member of the public wished to be heard come forward and state their names for the record. Comments were limited to five minutes per person.

 

Howard Rose, Teaneck- thanked the Township Manager for his Town Hall Meeting on July 9, 2011; discussed the proceedings of the meetings and a request to find the usable square footage in the old police building, the Municipal building and proposed annex, the terms of bonding for the project, the price of bonding per household, property taxes, personal budget expenses and the context of overall expenditures, and budgetary flexibilities for other items such as lawsuits and welfare of the Township.

 

Ruth Brower, Teaneck- read a statement into the record that discussed her dissatisfaction with Township personnel’s conclusion of a tree in the public-right-of-way in front her home. She informed that the roots of said tree are growing around her home and about the various options offered to her regarding the tree in the public-right-of-way.

 

Genevieve Maiburger, Teaneck – praised Councilman Katz for his email to her during the heat wave, and inquired about the notification plan undertaken during an emergency evacuation.

 

Art Vatsky, Teaneck – discussed the “Welcome to Teaneck” sign, sign ordinance, planning space in the renovated old police building for the projected use of offices, the four-day work-week, and the cost of the new police headquarters.

 

Vern Lightburn, Teaneck – requested that Council re-consider bonding for 11.5 million dollars for the proposed Charter school; referenced the budget cuts from the 2010-2011 school budget undertaken by the Township Council; suggested changing the Township’s responsibility to cut tree roots and fix concrete slabs in the public-right-of-way; and the impact felt by the school due to the previous budget cuts to the Board of Education’s budget.

 

David Scharf (sic), Teaneck – voiced his strong objection to the potential re-zoning on the southside of Route 4 for any hotel of any size and his reasoning for said objection.

 

Cathy Cassares, Teaneck – read a statement into the record disagreeing with the Planning Board’s recommendation to re-zone a portion of Route 4 and asked the Council to review objections from all parties to this proposal.

 

Dr. Alex Rashin, Teaneck – spoke about the recent Town Hall meeting held by the Township Manager, the need for an annex to the current Municipal Building, the prospect and location of two (2) elevators, the maintenance of masonry of Township buildings, the condition of the basement floor and ventilation in the Municipal building; and proposed keeping electronic records for the Violations Bureau.

 

Mildred Tucker, Teaneck – discussed Council’s decision to cut money from the 2010-2011 Board of Education budget, the members of the public that Councilmembers represent, prior losses in lawsuit decisions; and requested the Council rescind resolution #47-11 and get along.

 

Sheldon Lieb, Teaneck – read a statement into the record regarding his opposition for the proposed re-zoning of the Route 4 buffer zone for a hotel chain, the composition of the Township of Teaneck along route 4, and proposed multi-family housing for empty nest parents.

 

Gwendolyn Acree, Teaneck – referenced a recent raccoon attack to a Township resident; inquired about the notification to residents, discussed signs being posted on poles violating the Township’s sign ordinance; and referenced a recent incident involving multiple police dogs searching residents’ backyards.

 

Shelby Worrel, Teaneck – asked about the amount of the donation the Township Council received from Fairleigh Dickinson University; and questioned what will be done with the money.

 

Alan Sohn, Teaneck – contrasted Englewood and Teaneck’s land usage, property taxes, tax rate, schools, ratables, the affordability of a new Municipal building, and history of construction in Teaneck on government buildings.

 

There being no further persons who wished to speak, Mayor Hameeduddin declared that the public comment portion of the meeting was closed.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin 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.

 

None.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin informed the general public that if signs are placed on any phone pole or in the public-right-of-way that residents could report the sign by contacting him via his cellular phone, and the complaint will be forwarded to the Manager’s attention.

 

Mr. Broughton reported that he had met several times with Ms. Brower along with Mr. Fran Wilson and Tree Supervisor, Michael Cassidy. They have examined her property but ultimately recommended that the tree remain, and the Township Council not change the current tree maintenance ordinance for this complaint. He then discussed the Township’s reverse 9-1-1 calling feature and other measures involving police officers during emergency situations.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin asked if the raccoon attack was one of several or an isolated incident.

 

Mr. Broughton responded that this was the first incident he was made aware of, and a press release will be posted shortly with instructions detailing what to do in case of a raccoon attack or bite. He further noted that the cupola will be composed of PVC piping and will require no maintenance; discussed the re-paving of the Municipal Building walkway and the re-paving of Sussex and West Englewood Avenue and additional roads.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin emphasized that no area around Route 4 has been re-zoned at this time but is being explored. Additionally, the Council is only exploring the possibility of bonding for the Charter School, and public meetings can be held at the appropriate time. Regarding the Fairleigh Dickinson University donation, $40,000 was donated that will be used for community projects and has been used in previous years for emergency services.

 

DM. Gussen addressed Ms. Tucker’s comments and noted that he has voted against every Township budget with an increase during his tenure as a Councilmember. He further added that the Township is legally allowed to install signs in its own parks and noted that the bill list includes 9.5 million of 10.4 million dollars in taxes due to the County and School Board.

 

C. Toffler inquired about the location of the sign naming Kieliszek Park; discussed her admiration for Ms. Tucker and her comments, upcoming meetings with C. Parker and residents regarding various issues, her stance on the potential re-zoning of the Route 4 buffer zone; suggested meetings with residents to determine what type of developments the town should undertake, and referenced the small hotels on the west bound side of Route 4 that her husband referred to as “whore houses”.

 

C. Katz complimented Ms. Pinsak, Dr. Walser and Mr. Finger for attending tonight’s meeting and commended Ms. Pinsak for standing at the forefront of issues good or bad; and discussed the safety aspect of the newly-proposed bus stops.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin also thanked the Board of Education representatives for being present at tonight’s meeting and reminded the public that the Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 7 PM at Teaneck High School.

 

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.

 

RAFFLES

 

MINUTES

 

January 13, 2011 - Budget Review Meeting.

January 27, 2011 – Budget Review Meeting.

 

RESOLUTIONS (Resolution A – vote taken prior to Closed Session)

 

175-11.            Authorize Appointment to the Advisory Board on Community Relations.

176-11.            Approve Settlement Agreement – Beal vs. Teaneck – Docket No. BER-L-995-10.

177-11.            Award Professional Services Contract – Schwanewede/Hals Engineering – 2011 Resurfacing Program.

178-11.            Award Professional Services Contract – Resurfacing of Rodda Center, American Legion Drive and Queen Anne Road/DeGraw Avenue Parking Lots.

179-11.            Authorize Issuance of Purchase Order – Cody Computer Services – Annual Support Services for Police Propriety Computer Software Program.

180-11.            Ratify Payments – Chief Financial Officer – June, 2011.

181-11.            Authorize Sale of 1987 Sutphen Aerial Ladder Fire Truck – Township Purchasing Agent.

182-11.Refund 2010 Tax Overpayments – Chief Financial Officer – Various.

183-11.Authorize Settlement Agreement – NJPDS Permit No. NJ0151041.

184-11.Urge Legislators to Close Nuclear Power Plants in the United States.

  1. Clean Marina Program.

185-11.Appoint Members to Cedar Lane Management Group.

186-11.Appoint Members to Advisory Board of Community Relations.

187-11.Appoint Member to the Ethics Board.

188-11.Appoint Members to the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board.

189-11.Appoint Members to the Hackensack River Greenway Advisory Board.

190-11.Appoint Members to the Patriotic Observance Advisory Board.

191-11.Appoint Members to the Preserve Teaneck Greenbelt Committee.

192-11.Appoint Members to the Senior Citizen Advisory Board.

193-11.Appoint Member to the Shade Tree Advisory Board.

194-11.Appoint Member to the Site Plan Review Advisory Board.

195-11.Appoint Members to the Social Services Advisory Board.

196-11.Appoint Members to the Youth Advisory Board.

 

BILL LIST

 

Ms. Evelina read the amount of the Bill List into the record. ($10,470,179.85).

 

Deputy Mayor Gussen moved to approve the Consent Agenda, including Minutes, Resolutions 175-11 through 196-11, 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 Councilmember Stern.

 

C. Toffler believed contradictory statements were made during the previous budget meetings in January.

 

DM. Gussen noted that the minutes reflect the events of the meeting.

 

Ms. Evelina noted that resolution L would be pulled until language was received from Mr. Mark Fisher.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin called on Ms. Evelina for a roll-call vote.

 

Roll Call.

 

In Favor:         C. Parker (175-11, 187-11 through 196-11), C. Stern, DM. Gussen, C. Honis, C. Katz,

Mayor Hameeduddin.

 

Opposed:         DM.Gussen (184-11).


Absent:            None.

 

Abstained:       C.Toffler, C.Parker (176-11 through 186-11), DM. Gussen (188-11), C.Katz (177-11, 182-11)

 

Recused:         None.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin declared said items were passed.

 

INTRODUCTION OF ORDINANCES

 

NONE.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

  1. Minutes – Update.

 

Ms. Evelina circulated a report to Council and reported that eight (8) sets of Open Session minutes are outstanding and should be completed by the end of August.

 

C. Parker request receipt of the minutes from May 24th, June 28th and July 12th be circulated to Council as soon as possible.

 

Ms. Evelina responded that the completed minutes of May 24th, June 28th and July 12th are will be circulated to Council.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin requested an update regarding the website project from the Manager.

 

Manager Broughton responded that the Committee met on Tuesday, July 26th with the developer. The developer, Delaware.net is designing a flow chart of the current web site’s content and reported that the project is scheduled to be completed on time.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin requested an update regarding the lightning detection system.

 

Manager Broughton reported that the vendor will be replacing the antennas and correcting signal problems. Currently, the detection system is operational in seven (7) of 14 parks.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

 

None.

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

None.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

None.

 

COMMITTEE REPORTS - COUNCIL LIAISONS

 

C. Parker discussed her attendance at a conference at the White House on Monday, July 19th, sponsored by Building One America wherein transportation projects were the topic of discussion. She reported that there may be some potential grant opportunities for transportation projects including our infrastructure. C. Parker noted that the appropriate time to invest in the Old Police Headquarters was 15 years ago. She advised there will be future meetings at the White House and an upcoming meeting in August headed by Assemblywoman Mila Jasey, and she will update Council of any new developments.

COUNCIL-LISTED ITEMS (continued)

 

  1. Affirmative Action Advisory Board (C. Toffler).

 

C. Toffler requesting that this agenda item be re-listed for the August 16th meeting and would like to speak with Mr. Turitz to further discuss the advisory board.

 

C. Katz reported visiting Phelps Park and noticing residents with dogs on leashes. He requested that the ordinance prohibiting dogs in Township parks be rescinded for 120 days.

 

Mr. Turitz informed the Council that an ordinance cannot be temporarily rescinded.

 

DM. Gussen spoke about an instance of informing a resident that they could not have dogs in Township parks.

 

C. Katz requested that we have a six-month trial period to allow dogs in parks before allowing dogs in all parks.

 

C. Toffler agreed with DM. Gussen that a trial period could be considered to have dogs in parks.

 

Mayor Hameeduddin requested C. Katz draft an ordinance with the Manager to have a trial period for dogs to be allowed in parks.

 

C. Katz requested that an ordinance be drafted for one park. He further requested that DM. Gussen and the Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board request a certain marked area for dogs to be allowed into Township parks.

 

DM. Gussen suggested rather than creating an ordinance to overturn not allowing dogs in Township parks, the Manager can choose to not enforce the ordinance in an agreed upon area of a park as a trial period.

 

C. Parker added that she was not in support of allowing dogs in Township parks.

 

Council charged the Manager to explore relaxing the Township Ordinance prohibiting dogs in Township parks.

 

TOWNSHIP MANAGER'S REPORT

 

  1. I have appointed Mr. Constantinos Skoufas as Police Officer in the Teaneck Police Department, effective July 14, 2011.

 

  1. I have appointed Mr. Adam Lohsen as Police Officer in the Teaneck Police Department, effective July 14, 2011.

 

  1. I have appointed Mr. John M. Annillo as Firefighter in the Teaneck Fire Department, effective July 14, 2011.

 

  1. I have appointed Mr. Jason A. Williams as Firefighter in the Teaneck Fire Department, effective July 14, 2011.

 

  1. I have appointed Mr. Joseph R. Pichetto as Firefighter in the Teaneck Fire Department, effective July 14, 2011.

 

Manager advised Council that the Youth Advisory Board Press Release for members has been placed on the website and in local newspapers. He also reported that the plans for the tennis courts at Phelps Park have been reviewed by the Purchasing Agent and Township Engineer and returned to Kinsey Engineers on Tuesday, July 19th with revisions. He advised that he is awaiting revised plans which are to be resubmitted by Kinsey Engineers. He expects the project to go out to bid by the end of July or early August.

 


TOWNSHIP ATTORNEY’S REPORT

 

None.

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

Councilmember DM. Gussen moved to adjourn at 10:25 p.m.

 

Seconded by Councilmember Honis.

 

Roll Call.

 

 

In Favor:         C. Parker, C. Stern, DM. Gussen, C. Honis, C. Katz, C. Toffler,

Mayor Hameeduddin.

 

Opposed:         None.

 

Absent:            None.