We need OPRA reform

Tomorrow, I’m requesting the Council put forward Resolution 204-2018 to: Call for the Legislature to Amend the Open Public Records Act to Permit Municipalities to Rely on the Government Records Council as a Defense to Attorneys’ Fees or to Abolish the Government Records Council Altogether.

The Open Public Records Act is an extremely important step towards transparency in NJ.  It permits residents to seek information from their elected representatives and to know, relatively quickly, what is happening at the municipal and county levels1.

But like any legislation, there are some exemptions and calls to be made.  The exemptions are few, with an emphasis on disclosure.  If you have an issue regarding an OPRA request, there’s also a place you can turn: The Government Records Council. Continue reading “We need OPRA reform”

Grace Terrace (between Sagamore & Woods) Traffic Study and Police Reports

The Teaneck Police Department was asked to conduct a report as to traffic and safety on Grace Terrace (which runs between Sagamore Avenue and Woods Road).

Here are the findings:

On Monday, September 17, 2018, Deputy Chief John Faggello forwarded an anonymous “Report It” notification complaining of speeding on Grace Terrace. The complainant reported that vehicles are proceeding at speeds of at least 50 MPH at all hours of the day. In response to the complaint, the Traffic Bureau performed a speed and volume study and a site survey. Continue reading “Grace Terrace (between Sagamore & Woods) Traffic Study and Police Reports”

Leonia Road Closures – Round 2

After having their previous ordinance invalidated by a superior court judge in August, Leonia has passed a new set of revised ordinances aimed at closing their streets to non-residents every morning and evening.

The judge in the case granted the Attorney General’s motion for summary judgement because the law would affect on traffic on state roads such as Route 93/Grand Avenue and Route 46/Bergen Boulevard, but Leonia had not received approval from the DOT as required by NJSA 39:4-8(a). However, Leonia Mayor Judah Zeigler released a statement afterwards indicating that the judge’s opinion affirmed Leonia’s right to pass the ordinance if done properly.

Continue reading “Leonia Road Closures – Round 2”

Mosquito Control Event – Street Treatment [Update]

The Bergen County Mosquito Control Division will be conducting an area treatment in the area shown below. Such treatment will be applied this Friday, September 21, 2018, weather permitting. In the event of rain, the treatment will be rescheduled for Sunday, September 23, 2018.

Bergen County Mosquito Control informed us that they have received almost 700 calls from residents in Teaneck requesting treatment in their area. The County regularly tests areas and when Bergen County Mosquito Control tested several areas in the treatment area, all of them indicated positive for the West Nile Virus. Spraying in the treatment area will effectively reduce the exposure of the West Nile Virus to residents.

The message is being disseminated in various methods, including a reverse-911 that will go out shortly to those in the affected area. Continue reading “Mosquito Control Event – Street Treatment [Update]”

Teaneck’s 2017 Audit Report

The Township has released the independent auditor’s report for 2017.

Part I contains the Independent Auditor’s Report and Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters Based on an Audit of Financial Statements Performed in Accordance with Government Auditing Standards.

Part II contains a Schedule of Findings and Recommendations.

The entire report can be found after the jump. Continue reading “Teaneck’s 2017 Audit Report”

In the Matter of Elie C. Jones

Two weeks ago, an order was entered in Superior Court for Bergen County in the case entitled: In the Matter of Elie C. Jones. Jones has been in the Teaneck news cycle over the past two years as he filed hundreds of public records requests to Teaneck, entered multiple civil rights complaints against the Teaneck police, accused the township clerk of assault, and was eventually sued by Teaneck to stop the flood of public records requests.

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The Township has maintained that Jones has been abusive and his complaints are without merit.

The Court now concludes:

Suffice it to say, Jones’ actions patently demonstrate a willful desire to abuse the judicial process and absorb precious state and judicial resources. His use of the judicial system is intended to spite others, and to punish anyone, including court staff who do not act as he directs: This is not the intended purpose of the judiciary and his actions are intolerable. (emphasis added) (page 29)

Continue reading “In the Matter of Elie C. Jones”