A New Council

Unofficial Results, pending certification for the May, 12, 2020 municipal election:

Congratulations  to everyone that ran and I look forward to working with the new council on July 1st.

Pagan 5,115
Schwartz 5,089
Orgen 5,076
Belcher 4,750
Gerzsberg 4,657
Walser 4,618

Who will be on Council?

Teaneck’s municipal government operated under the Council-Manager form of the Faulkner Act.

We (residents) elect seven members to a council and they choose a manager who is tasked with the day-to-day operation of the Municipality.

Since 1988, Teaneck residents go to the polls in staggered council elections in even numbered years to choose members who serve 4-year terms.

This week, 3 of the 7 council seats were up, and in two years, the remaining 4 will be voted on by residents.

After each election, the newly constituted group will meet on July 1st at a “Re-Organization Meeting” to determine a Mayor and other positions.

Each of the 7 members of council represent everyone in the municipality.

[As one of your representatives, I will do my best to respond with information to any inquiries received]

Click here for contact Info for current council-members

Who will be Mayor/Deputy Mayor?  Does it go to the person with the highest vote tally?

Not necessarily. Continue reading “A New Council”

Law is hard

When one starts to review laws, either on a local or state basis, the complexity factor is readily apparent.  There are many layers, tweaked over the decades (and sometimes centuries) which make legal counsel a requirement, even to understand what otherwise look like simple words.

Take this example:

“The commission shall consist of not less than five nor more than seven members, appointed by the mayor of the municipality…”

Source: NJSA 40:56A-1

Who does the appointing?

  1. The Mayor, Mohammed Hameeduddin
  2. The Council
  3. The Manager, Dean Kazinci

If you answered, the Mayor, you probably aren’t alone.  But you’d be wrong. Continue reading “Law is hard”

Mail-In Ballot FAQs

Have another question?  Send me an email
Here are answers to some of the questions I’ve received so far based on my calls with election officials at the County Board of Elections
  1. What happens if I tore the certificate off of my envelope?
    As you can see in my instructional video, the mail-in ballot contains two envelopes. The ballot goes in the first (with a voter certification and then that goes in a larger envelope to mail back. If the certification rips off, simply put it with the smaller envelope inside the larger envelope. Do NOT attempt to tape it back.

  2. What happens if my family is away and cannot sign their ballot?
    In America: If the registered Teaneck voter is America (e.g. sheltering in place in NY or FL), they must obtain and sign the physical ballot.
    Outside America: If the registered Teaneck Voter is sheltering in place overseas (e.g. gap year program or in Europe), there is a Federal Program called the Federal Post Card Application (FCPA) available at
    https://www.fvap.gov/ where you may apply for and vote electronically.
  3. What happens if my application doesn’t arrive at the County by May 14th?
    The date for acceptance of ballots is set by the State and the County Board of Elections does not have discretion to move the deadline.  Ballots may be brought to the county, but the building is not open to the general public and an appointment must be made in advance.
  4. What happens if I damage or throw away my ballot?
    You may call the County Board of Elections at (201) 336-7020.  They are capable of generating and sending a new ballot, but you must call with enough time for it to arrive.  The clerk suggests at least 6 days in advance.
  5. Got another question?  Let me know and I’ll try to find you an answer…..
Additional information available at: MovingTeaneckForward.com/vote/

Why study history? So we aren’t doomed to repeat it.

This week, Teaneck Today published information about the Democratic Municipal Committee creating an “ad hoc committee”. In an email from the Chair of the TDMC, she said the purpose of the committee was to “explore[] the limitations and rights of the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee to participate in n on-partisan municipal elections

You can read more about the issue and participate in the discussion at the link: here

Seeking to change longstanding rules isn’t something that should be taken likely.  Political powers wax and wane.  And while this may seem like a move that would help some today, it may not be so desirable, tomorrow.

It’s worth remembering that this isn’t a new idea, either.

From the minutes of Council on June 11, 2008:

C. Kates agreed with C. Feit.  C. Kates does not think it is coincidental of the challengers to be representatives of a certain group.  Hopes Teaneck remembers that it is a nonpartisan professionally managed community.  C. Kates spoke about the County politics influencing Teaneck, the shared vision of African Americans and Jewish people in the fight for civil rights and that she feels the community does not trust the Council. Recommends the Advisory Board on Community Relations needs to be more involved and Council needs to use them.

Do we want to go down this road, Teaneck?

Nominating Petitions for 2020 Municipal Election Available Beginning Thursday, January 2, 2020

Nominating Petitions for 2020 Municipal Election Available Beginning Thursday, January 2, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Doug Ruccione, Acting Township Clerk
Telephone:  (201) 837-1600, ext. 1025
Email:  clerk@teanecknj.gov

Nominating Petitions for 2020 Municipal Election Available Beginning Thursday, January 2, 2020 Continue reading “Nominating Petitions for 2020 Municipal Election Available Beginning Thursday, January 2, 2020”

Dog-Whistle Politics? An Open Question for Teaneck’s A Team

One of the benefits to running on a slate is that you get to work on coordinating messaging.
Below are the responses from “The A Team” to questions posed by the League of Women Voters.

Question: Who is this certain “demographic” that will create an inability to meet the demands of the changing “demographic” due to the change in “demographics“?


  • Linda Burns:

3.  What impact do you anticipate the influx of new apartment development will have on the Teaneck public schools and how should the district plan for this?

The Teaneck school district commissioned a study to gauge the impact of the near-term development projects on our school system and both have found that we can currently absorb the estimated 150 or so children expected to arrive. However, although the apartment complexes are being marketed as ‘luxury’ apartments with the expectation that a certain demographic will be renting them, there are no guarantees that those in the market for luxury apartments will indeed be the ones that rent those units. Currently, one of the completed projects is having difficulty renting out their units at the amount of rent they are asking for. In addition, the Pre-K program could be a pipeline to increase overall enrollment in the district. Therefore, I think that long term planning should allow for the possibility that enrollment will increase over time.

What demographic are you referring to here, Ms. Burns?

  • Denise Sanders

2.  What do you see as benefits and/ or challenges of offering Pre-K?

Although there is controversy about whether Pre-K programs are beneficial, it doesn’t mean there is no value in a high-quality Pre-K program. In a diverse community like Teaneck, we need to seriously look at implementing programs that work to elevate the academic achievement of all students with different learning styles. While the long -term benefits of Pre-K have mixed results, we believe that by appropriately supporting students as they move through our school system, students will be the beneficiaries of a world- class education. In addition, Pre-K provides high quality childcare for young parents helping to make Teaneck become a sought-after community for new families. A significant challenge would be the inability to meet the demands of the changing demographic groups attending Teaneck schools.

What demographic changes are you referring to, Ms. Sanders?

  • Sebastian Rodriguez

3.  What impact do you anticipate the influx of new apartment development will have on the Teaneck public schools and how should the district plan for this?

Based on the reports I have read, in terms of children attending the public schools the effect seems to be minimal, about 60 children. The numbers, spread among different ages/grades will have an insignificant impact on class size. So from that aspect, I expect a positive impact. On the other hand, anytime you have a change in the demographics of any community it is important for the newcomers, as well the people who already reside there to find ways to get to know each other and work together to continue to improve the community.

What demographic changes are you referring to, Mr. Rodriguez?

Enough with the politics of division.  We need board members that will work collaboratively for everyone’s benefit.

[Video] 2019 Northeast Teaneck BPA Forum for BOE Candidates

Last night the Northeast Teaneck Block Presidents Association held a candidate forum for the Board of Education election on November 5th..

Video of the forum has been posted courtesy of Allison Davis

North East Teaneck Block Presidents’ Association Forum from Allison Davis on Vimeo.

Keith Kaplan: Please join me in support of Martin Ramirez and Yassine Elkaryani for BOE on 11/5

[Video] 2019 Voters’ Guide: Teaneck Board of Education Election Questionnaire from the League of Women Voters of Teaneck