You can find the link to join and participate via zoom here:
Come speak at the meeting and tell Council to TABLE the Resolution!
- When: Tuesday, June 27, 2023
- Where: Teaneck Council Chambers (818 Teaneck Road)
- Public Comment: Meeting begins at 8pm with public comment ~8:30pm
- Zoom: While it’s better to attend in person, you may speak via zoom
Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85815636293 Passcode: 703943 Continue reading “June 27, 2023 Council Meeting Information”
Dear Mayor Pagan and Council,
Council has announced it will be voting upon new members of the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment (“Statutory Boards”) at the next Council meeting on June 27th, 2023.
The following is a list of the positions for which the Council is seeking to vote on nominees:
- Class III Member
- Class IV Member (2)
- Alternate Member (1)
Zoning Board of Adjustment
- Regular Member (1)
- Alternate Member (2)
The public discussion at the June 13, 2023 Council meeting indicated that a subcommittee of the council consisting of Mayor Pagan, Deputy Mayor Gee, and Councilwoman Goldberg interviewed some 16 individuals to fill the seats listed above.
As stated by Councilmembers Schwartz and Orgen and confirmed by the Mayor and subcommittee members, no interviews were held by the full council in contemplation of filling these potential vacancies and no interviews or requests for interviews were sent to those currently holding the positions, in order for the Council to determine if the members wished to be re-nominated / continue serving.
(see discussion at June 13th, 2023 Council Meeting between 8:38pm and 8:47pm)
I write to you because it would appear that the council has announced six nominees to fill expiring positions, in a manner that does not follow the law.
In order to effect a transparent and open system through which all members of the public have an effective opportunity to volunteer and be noticed when vacancies occur, the council created procedures to govern nominations and votes to fill seats on advisory and statutory boards. These can be found in the Teaneck Code as Attachment 1 (Appendix I Council Rules of Procedure
) to Chapter 2 (Charter/Administrative Code) of the Township of Teaneck (“procedures”)
Continue reading “An Open Letter to the Teaneck Council: Transparency and Process Matter”
On January 29, 2023, I wrote to the Teaneck Council regarding the survey related to re-zoning for Cannabis licensing.
To date I have received back a single response:
Thank you for your email.
Hillary Goldberg <email@example.com>
I would have hoped for a more informative, transparent response indicating the sub-committee would review my email and respond as I know a number of people expressed similar concerns.
I hope that is forthcoming. If so, I will update the post here.
Fmr Mayor, Jim Dunleavy
Email to Council:
Thank you for following through on holding the Cannabis Forum that the last Council scheduled. I’m sure many got good information from it.
In October 2020, the Al Ummah Community Center (also known as AUCC) commenced a lawsuit against the Township, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, Building Department officials, and others.
This week, Judge Kevin McNulty dismissed the amended complaint (without prejudice) largely for the reasons I outlined back in October 2020.
Teaneck was represented by Thomas B. Hanrahan of Hanrahan Pack, LLC.
What was the suit about?
UPDATE (11/20/22): Plaintiffs filed another amended complaint on Friday, 11/18. It will take a little while to evaluate the new / changing claims)
As per Plaintiffs:
“This case is about religious liberties and the discriminatory and unequal practices of the Teaneck, its employees, and its Zoning Board of Adjustments… Despite years and thousands of dollars spent to appease the Defendants’ unlawful and discriminatory requirements, Defendants continue to act in violation of the Constitutions of the United States and New Jersey, as well as the Federal law explicitly prohibiting religious discrimination by discriminating against the Plaintiffs and imposing an unlawful burden on the practice of their faith.”
– Page 2 of amended complaint (Introduction)
Did the town discriminate against AUCC? Or was something else going on?
As it turned out, Judge McNulty said the case was more about the difficulties of land use and getting projects through boards.
“AUCC’s frustration is palpable. It emphasizes in the amended complaint that it has been “going through this process for years with no end in sight.” (Compl. ¶213.) Adding insult to injury, the ZBA has demanded that AUCC put up more money to fund its continued application process. (Id. ¶162.) The delay and AUCC’s frustration, however, are hardly unique in the annals of local land use regulation, and the process does seem to be at least potentially moving ahead, on a revised legal basis.”
– Opinion at page 14
Let’s run through the opinion: Continue reading “AUCC Lawsuit Update: Dismissed”
Teaneck is a well-run town!
But don’t take our word for it! There’s independent proof.
Every year, independent auditors review our municipal financial records and processes and Moody’s rates us for bonding.
Moody’s rated Teaneck with the second highest rating “Aa2”
Here’s the bottom line on our deficiencies:
At this evening’s council meeting, we will vote on ordinance 21-2022:
ADOPTING A REVISION AND CODIFICATION OF THE ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF TEANECK
When the Township Council passes a law, we do so by ordinance. Each ordinance lasts until it is removed.
That creates problems, such as when the State makes an update that pre-empts a local law.
Sometimes this type of State Law rule change is benign: A Teaneck-specific hands-free car phone use ordinance was passed decades ago. When the State of NJ passed a similar State statute, it nullified ours, but because it was duplicative, nothing much changed as far as practice went (other than police citing a different rule when issuing a summons).
Sometimes, this type of State Law rule change is not benign: A resident called me a few years back because their neighbor had a pool without a fence and our code mandated fences around all pools — and they feared the worst for their kids and others. Except, it turns out that NJ adopted Continue reading “Re-Codification of the Teaneck Code: August 30, 2022”
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”
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”
In his post on Planning Board Application 2021-19, Bill Orr says that “the proposal was to build one residence on the left and another on the right of the historic home”.
Is that true?
I say it is not.
Orr claims to be “reporting local news” and information for residents. He goes as far as to say I am “rarely a reliable source of information“.
So what is a member of the public supposed to do when we claim diametrically opposite views on a situation?
Ask for evidence and review it critically.
Continue reading “Sources Matter: Demand Evidence and Question Everything”
We are living in dangerous times. Attacks are happening around our Country.
It is repugnant to find out that such HATE is now home here in Teaneck!
Now, there’s also a claim that the raising of the flag is what brings antisemitism into acceptability?
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc is a logical fallacy. Continue reading “Statement from Keith Kaplan: Silence is not an option — It wasn’t the flag”