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”

Working Productively For A Better Shared Future

This week Council did something new and different.  We had a weekday meeting.
Mayor Hameeduddin suggested that Council meet in open session at 2pm instead of our typical 8pm meeting time.1

Truth be told I was a bit skeptical.  I wasn’t entirely sure that anyone would show up!  We walked into the council chambers to this scene:

A packed house

Literally, every seat was filled.  We had an overflow crowd in the halls.  Residents were speaking at the Good & Welfare portion for well over an hour, telling the council about their concerns and informing us of how they wished us to proceed.

This was democracy in action and the daytime meeting provided a rare opportunity for many who otherwise couldn’t, to come and address council about their concerns.  We will continue holding these types of meetings throughout the year (hopefully supplementing others meetings with additional ways people can address council-members, e.g. video from home).

The importance of having more people be able to contribute

One of the reasons I was so happy this was such a success is because Continue reading “Working Productively For A Better Shared Future”

Historical Perspectives on “New Problems”

Since joining the Teaneck Planning Board (about a decade ago), I’ve spent a lot of time researching how we did things, in the past.

I use that information to gain perspective, and guide decisions on what we might wish to do, going forward.  When you know what has been tried (for better or worse), you gain a good perspective.

Issues residents face tend to be cyclical1 and knowing how we handled them in the past, is very informative if you want to avoid prior mistakes2.

With that in mind, I hope to make several posts in the future about issues affecting Teaneck, that we face on Council.

Lighting:

A couple weeks back, a resident asked, via the Facebook group Teaneck Today (click to join)  “has there ever been an audit on the effectiveness of Teaneck’s street lighting? Continue reading “Historical Perspectives on “New Problems””

[UPDATE] The Port Authority Apologizes For Any Inconvenience But That Is [NOT] All

[UPDATE] After posting this, I received a call from the manager of the Port Authority.
The update appears below the post


Last month, I was frustrated by the fact that carpools are limited to “Cash-Only” lanes at PA bridges and tunnels and I fired off a tweet to the Port Authority and my elected reps.  Shortly after, I got a letter from Diannae C. Ehler, Director of the Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals at the Port Authority, who is responsible for operations and maintenance at the PA.

If you are tasked with making sure that people can efficiently move between NYC and NJ, there are several things you want to do.  Among them is to

  1.  Reduce the number of cars on the road and
  2. Have the remaining cars move as quickly as possible.

 

The Port Authority has an incentive program, for people that wish to carpool (with 3 or more people) whereby they pay reduced rates to go over the GWB or Lincoln Tunnel: Continue reading “[UPDATE] The Port Authority Apologizes For Any Inconvenience But That Is [NOT] All”