Teaneck Today

Teaneck is a town with a unique and proud history. I’ve created this blog to provide a place to exchange ideas and share visions for how to solve the challenges facing the town in a manner that brings diverse groups of people together.  Contributors are welcome.

Please join us and help Teaneck live up to its promise.

I also created a Facebook Group where residents can bring up and discuss topics about the Township: Teaneck Today

Feel free to click the link, join and share with your neighbors.

That’s Not An Election Law Violation; THIS Is An Election Law Violation

It’s “Silly Season” again when people start thinking up scurrilous attacks to throw around.

First, out of the gate, this year goes to Margot Embree Fisher through the local chapter of LWV of Teaneck, where she sits in violation of the by-laws of her own organization:

[It’s a shame that an organization with such a wonderful national presence has been reduced to sniping like this on the local level, but here we are]

The LWV Teaneck chapter sent a letter (see pdf below) to the Bergen County clerk claiming that last November Councilmember Keith Kaplan “was inside and outside of the Rodda Center polling place “for much of the early voting week” and that he “was talking with voters and handing out business cards inside the 100-foot boundary set for purposes of preventing electioneering.”

Of course, he was.

Residents at the time were writing me and other council members personally and posting all over social media about — all sorts of problems — they were having with the new touchscreen voting machines.  So he and others went to see what was going on and talk to the people running the show.

Councilman Kaplan met with Howard Cramer, the representative from Dominion Voting and he gave out his card (link).  Kaplan gave him back his own.  We also met with the head of Bergen County’s Board of Elections, Richard Miller.  He too gave us his card and we gave him one of ours.  Knowing the rules, if a resident asked to speak with one of us, we told them it wasn’t the right place to talk about such things, but they could email and we could talk another time.  I gave them a business card too.

These are intimidation tactics now?

Maybe the local LWV is just so successful they routed out all nefarious conduct?

But that’s not true, you see!

Because this actually *IS* a violation of NJ Election Law, only it’s not Kaplan violating it.  It’s LWV board member, Margot Embree Fisher (who was on the ballot that day, too!

Watch Margot Embree Fisher chatting up voters on the way in to vote IN THE PROHIBITED ZONE, in the district where she was on the ballot:

But there was an allegation that someone else did the bad stuff.  Who made that allegation?

From the police report filed by Officer Apreda that day:

Officer Apreda responded to the polling place after police dispatch fielded a telephone call from a concerned resident who reported harrassment occurring within the polling location. The caller, Margaret Fisher, was not located upon Officer Apreda’s arrival.

and

Shortly thereafter, I contacted Ms. Fisher via telephone. She informed me that she did not observe any acts of harassment or electioneering. She stated that she heard of Mr. Kaplan’s presence at the Rodda Center from an unidentified third party, and contacted headquarters because she was concerned that he would engage in these acts based on her estimation of his past history. I advised Ms. Fisher, who wished to retract her involvement, that any witnesses or victims of the alleged acts could contact the police department.

Got it – so the person doing actual violations called in a report to send armed agents of the State to attack someone who campaigns against her.

I join the LWVT’s call for routing out election law scofflaws.  But you might want to look in your own ranks, first.

Like I said: It’s silly season.

Letter from LWV to Bergen County:

Shepard Ave Traffic Study and Police Reports

The Teaneck Police Department was asked to conduct a report as to traffic and safety on Larch Avenue (in the area of Terhune Street).

Here are the findings:

On Monday, April 25, 2022, the Traffic Bureau was asked to conduct a speed survey on Shepard Avenue. This request was prompted by a Shepard Avenue resident, Gina McCullars, who was concerned about a speeding problem.

A site survey determined that Shepard Avenue is a twenty-five-mile-per-hour two-lane Continue reading “Shepard Ave Traffic Study and Police Reports”

Elm Ave Traffic Study and Police Reports

The Teaneck Police Department was asked to conduct a report as to traffic and safety on Larch Avenue (in the area of Terhune Street).

Here are the findings:

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, the Traffic Bureau was asked to conduct a speed survey on Elm Avenue. This request was prompted by an Elm Avenue resident, Juanita Brown, who was concerned about a speeding problem. Ms. Brown attended a council meeting to address her concerns about speeding on Elm Avenue.

A site survey determined that Elm Avenue is a twenty-five-mile-per-hour two-lane roadway that runs Continue reading “Elm Ave Traffic Study and Police Reports”

User-Friendly Ordinances: Let’s Focus on Making Government Easier to Figure Out

If you have ever gone to look in Section 36 (Prohibited Parking) of our code, to see what parking regulations are on a particular block, you probably needed patience and possibly, luck.

Let’s face it — our code wasn’t written for convenience or you, as the end-user (subject to its strictures).

Has anyone in the history of time ever wondered where you are prohibited from parking except for 8am to 6pm excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays (Sec. 36-17), as distinct from where you are prohibited during those hours except (only) Sundays and Holidays (Sec. 36-16)?

If so, now you know.  But seriously… who thought this was the best way to make a code?

A User-Friendly Approach

It took the better part of two years to update our code, as decades of Council changes were never appropriately updated in a cohesive manner.  But we are now at a point, where you can know what the Township Ordinances that apply to you, actually say.

So, without changing ANY regulations, I’ve drafted an ordinance that makes a relevant part of the code user-friendly.  My proposed ordinance, which can be found in our agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting, combines Sections 36-13 through 36-20.5.

These changes let anyone see, at a glance:

  • each street
  • in alphabetical order, along with
  • the applicable parking regulation

The section on the right, below is what I’ll be pitching to Council to adopt on Tuesday.

And if these are well received, I plan on doing more of them.  What sections would you like to have me handle first?
Have suggestions?  Email me

(Residents (and others) should be able to glance at the ordinance sections and see what is relevant to them) Continue reading “User-Friendly Ordinances: Let’s Focus on Making Government Easier to Figure Out”

Township Manager re Uptick in Omicron Cases: Municipal Building Access Changes Effective 12/21/21

Because of the significant uptick in positive COVID-19 cases in the Teaneck community, the manager has made the decision to close all municipal buildings to the public effective Tuesday, December 21, 2021.

The municipal buildings will remain closed to the public through Monday, January 17, 2022. We will reopen our facilities to the public on Tuesday, January 18, 2022 contingent upon data showing COVID-19 cases have declined to a safe level, and our health officer determines it’s appropriate to do so. The January 18, 2022 reopening date allows us to safely get through the Holiday season, and the fourteen (14) day post-Holiday incubation period.

Please note that the Sunshine Garden and after-school program will continue to operate at the Rodda Center until December 23, 2021. Continue reading “Township Manager re Uptick in Omicron Cases: Municipal Building Access Changes Effective 12/21/21”

Kaplan: Remarks on Veterans Day, 11am, 11/11/2021

Remarks for Veterans Day, 11/11/21
Keith Kaplan, Councilman

Without veterans, without the service to a cause larger than yourselves, many of us simply would not be here today.  That service, right here in NJ, earned my grandfather his citizenship — and on behalf of the Township Council and the Township of Teaneck, I want to wish everyone a happy Veterans Day and thank you for your service.

We owe our veterans a profound debt.  Not merely for service, but for what that service has meant foto us all.

The history of any town is the history of its people.  And veterans have always been an integral part of what has made Teaneck what we are.  Even before we had our own name, our sons and daughters sacrificed for our freedoms in the 22nd infantry of Bergen County during the Civil War.

Last year, I focused on this day, at this time – and how it was inextricably linked to WWI and the Armistice signed to end the fighting for that “War to End all Wars”.  In many ways, we still mirror that time, including a world struck with a global pandemic.

Just as we are meeting here today, Judge A. Demorest Del Mar spoke here in 1938.  Del Mar was a lieutenant in the Navy during WWI and he said to those assembled: “We fought to retain that which we value above all earthly things – liberty.  We will fight again and again to preserve it if necessary.”

Unfortunately, those words would become true too soon.

Today, I wanted to take a little time to talk about Teaneck’s WWII veterans and specifically the way Teaneck was molded by their service. Continue reading “Kaplan: Remarks on Veterans Day, 11am, 11/11/2021”

Mayor’s Statement on Referendum Questions 1 and 2

PRESS RELEASE
Mayor’s Statement on Referendum Questions 1 and 2:

November 4, 2021

It is now clear that the majority of township voters who cast their ballots on November 2, 2021 chose to move our Council elections from May to November. Voters also voted in the majority to have the township pursue energy aggregation opportunities for our residents. Thus, the 2022 council elections will convert to Bergen County control in November, rather than the traditional month of May. Continue reading “Mayor’s Statement on Referendum Questions 1 and 2”