Teaneck Pride

What happened?

When I started to put some words down in order the create Teaneck’s first proclamation naming June as Pride month, I knew that I wouldn’t win everyone over.  Truth be told, I wasn’t sure I could get it on the agenda.

Little did I know that what we tried to do as an act of inclusivity, caring and respect – would be portrayed in social media posts and beyond as “disheartening“, “shameful” and evidence that Teaneck is “no longer inclusive“.

These views weren’t from those against the proclamation — but the people that waited, some for decades, for those words to finally be uttered in our Town.

So, let’s talk a bit about what happened and what we want to accomplishtogether. Continue reading “Teaneck Pride”

Ethics complaint filed against Teaneck Board of Education President

Today, June 19th, the State of NJ School Ethics Commission indicates that it will review the complaint in case #C75-18, Pagan v. Ardie Walser.

Ethics Complaint filed against Teaneck Board of Education President.

You can view the complaint here: Complaint against Ardie Walser, President of the Teaneck Board of Education

President Walser moved to dismiss the complaint, as frivolous and requested sanctions.  The Ethics Commission received responses from the parties on the motion and issued it’s ruling on May 3rd.

Decision of the Ethics Commision

The Decision of the State Ethics Commission indicates that they denied the motion (to dismiss the complaint as frivolous) and denied any requests for sanctions..

Based on the foregoing, and in reviewing the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (Complainant), the Commission voted to deny the Motion to Dismiss in its entirety.  Notwithstanding this determination, the Commission notes that, because the Complainant agreed to voluntarily withdraw all allegations against Respondent Arjumand, Respondent Walser is the only remaining Respondent.  The Commission also voted to find that the Complaint is not frivolous, and to deny Respondents’ request for sanctions.

Continue reading “Ethics complaint filed against Teaneck Board of Education President”

Regional Symposium on Deer Management

Earlier this month, elected officials and mayors from the region met to discuss deer management at a regional symposium featuring wildlife biologists from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Coverage of the event can be found here:
Deer Dilemma Forum: Lethal vs. Non-Lethal Options Discussed
Additional coverage: Pascack Press.

Here is a video of the presentation from last December and the slides from the 6/5/19 presentation can be found below. Continue reading “Regional Symposium on Deer Management”

A forum on development

Thank you to all those that created this opportunity (as well as those that came out last night), to discuss the best way to move our township forward and meet the needs of our future.

Here is the video of last night’s event for those that weren’t able to attend.

(The forum was held by the Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee not the Township.

Live streaming and the video were provided by Allison Davis.)

 

Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development

Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development

The Teaneck Board of Education hired Whitehall Associates, Inc. to conduct an independent analysis of the effects of new development on the Teaneck Schools.  The analysis (available below) projects enrollment based on particular projects and to the overall school system through the 2023-24 school year.  Some of the numbers are projections (as the pre-k and K classes haven’t been born yet), but the rest are based on trends and the scientific methodology is outlined in the report and consistent with NJDOE practices.

From the Report:

  • Whitehall Associates, Inc. is considered a qualified demographer by the New Jersey Department of Education
  • Whitehall Associates, Inc. states that the demographic report it prepared for the Teaneck Board of Education was prepared in
    compliance with the appropriate law and administrative code.
  • Bernard Piaia, at the NJDOE Office of School Facilities, has agreed to accept this report for review and consideration, if it is submitted in its complete final form, with an original signature, along with the NJDOE cohort survival worksheets for the Long Range Facility Plan.\
  • The original of this report is on electronic file at the offices of Whitehall Associates, In c. and is available for examination by the appropriate
    authorities.
  • Whitehall Associates was retained by the Teaneck Board of Education to prepare a demographic study for the Teaneck Public School District. The information in this demographic report is suitable for inclusion in any document to be forwarded to the New Jersey Department of Education for matters concerning school facilities.

 

For those that want the bottom line up front:  The Teaneck school enrollment number for total students in 2018-19 is currently 3,504 students.

In 2023-24, that number is projected to be 3,599 students.  An increase of 95 students across 13 grades.


The Independent Demographic Analysis Report

(comments in blue appear in the report itself) Continue reading “Teaneck BOE: Independent Demographic Study of Impact of New Development”

Proposed Changes To Garbage Hauling Hours (with list as currently permitted in 2019/04)

In NJ, garbage haulers can operate during specific hours.  What those hours are depends on two things:

1) The tariffs issued by the State and County
2) Requirements of municipal ordinance

The Teaneck Municipal Code does not currently contain any restrictions on when haulers may operate, so the times default to tariff schedules.  Those times are listed below for the various haulers in Teaneck.

As you will see, some haulers (Armaniaco & Son, LLC, Generation Waste Services, Inc., Ippolito Industries, Inc., Interstate Waste Services of NJ, and Waste Management of NJ) can operate around the clock, 24/7.  For many, that means loud disruptions at 4am or sometimes even earlier.

The council will be taking up garbage collection hours in our May meeting.  The proposal will limit hauling hours to a minimum of 5am.  Several weeks ago, we also reached out to all sanitation companies requesting comment as to whether the proposed change will affect their ability to operate and / or cause an increase in prices.

As of today, we have not received a response.

The current version of Ordinance 11-2019 can be found here: AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER 19 OF THE TOWNSHIP CODE ENTITLED “GARBAGE AND REFUSE” RESPECTING HOURS OF COLLECTION

TL;DR  I’ve requested the current times of operation of various haulers in town ad we plan to curtail excessively early runs.  The information is now available below: Continue reading “Proposed Changes To Garbage Hauling Hours (with list as currently permitted in 2019/04)”

Public Comment is not Testimony: A primer on when / how to speak at public meetings

Public input at meetings of council and statutory boards is critical to the proper functioning of government.  But not all opportunities to speak are the same.

If you came out to speak at yesterday’s Zoning Board hearing against an application – it was not entered in the record for the application.

In this post, I’ll outline the problem and then make a few suggestions as to how we might find a fix.

Types of Public Input

Continue reading “Public Comment is not Testimony: A primer on when / how to speak at public meetings”

The code was meant to be a shield, but someone is using it as a sword

In my previous post (Sidewalks – the deal you didn’t know you made),  I discussed some of the origins of our sidewalk codes and explained a little bit about the deal residents made to repair them if they became a hazard.

In this post, I want to focus a little bit on how our municipal code operates and the norms that existed when certain provisions were created.

The importance of Norms

While it’s clear that residents who wanted sidewalks, agreed to fix them if they fell into disrepair, problems became apparent from the start.  New residents would buy homes and discover they had to fix sidewalk slabs, coming to council for relief.

Here is how Councilman Haggerty described the problem in January of 1948: Continue reading “The code was meant to be a shield, but someone is using it as a sword”

Sidewalks – the deal you didn’t know you made

We made a deal.

We may not know it, but we did.  The deal was simple — the town would put in sidewalks, assessing homeowners for the cost, and if they had problems, it was on the homeowner to repair them.

That was the deal. 

In fact, the Council went to great pains to see if people actually wanted sidewalks.  They sought and received input from residents, on a block-by-block basis, to see if they wanted sidewalks installed.  You don’t remember anyone asking?  It might have been before your time.

Here’s an example from the Township minutes in the 1950’s:

Beverly Road:

Continue reading “Sidewalks – the deal you didn’t know you made”