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”
Statement from Deputy Mayor Schwartz and Councilmembers Kaplan & Orgen:
Due to the overwhelming number of emails, we cannot respond to everyone individually at this time. We want to thank you for your correspondence and the many valid points you and others have shared.
Requests for assembly concerning the right to protest (e.g. in public rights of way) generally receive automatic approvals in accordance with general freedom of assembly laws. Our police chief, attorney, and outside expert counsel have approved this permit with our Township Manager. The manager has the ultimate say, not the Council. Continue reading “Statement regarding planned protests [Schwartz, Kaplan & Orgen]”
How does Teaneck compare to surrounding areas in terms of bonding?
In the State of New Jersey, municipalities may bond up to the debt limit1, which is 3.5% of the equalized valuation2 of taxable real estate.
In plain English: each town adds up the value of all their land, buildings, etc… averaged over the last three years. The limit they can bond is 3.5% of that number. And since the amount each town can bond is relative to their individual valuations, you get a metric that can be compared.
The annual debt statement, allows you to compare neighboring municipalities’ percentage of authorized debt, against each other.
(The data below are pulled from the authorized debt statements submitted to the State)
Here’s how Teaneck looks, based on the submitted annual debt statements from Bergenfield, Bogota, Englewood, Hackensack and New Milford
Each link below will bring you to the Annual Debt Statement, filed under oath with the State of New Jersey.
- 40A:2-6. Debt limitation
No bond ordinance shall be finally adopted if it appears from the supplemental debt statement required by this chapter that the percentage of net debt as stated therein
pursuant to 40A:2-42 exceeds 2.00%, in the case of a county, or 3 1/2%, in the case of a municipality.
- 40A:2-41. Contents of annual debt statement
The annual debt statement shall be in the form prescribed by the director and shall set forth as
to the local unit:
a. Gross debt;
c. Net debt;
d. The equalized valuations of the taxable real estate, together with improvements, for
the last 3 preceding fiscal years, and the average thereof;
e. Net debt expressed as a percentage of such average of equalized valuations; and
f. Any other information or detail required by law or by the director. The amount of any item which is indefinite or unascertainable may be estimated.
L.1960, c. 169, s. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1962. Amended by L.1964, c. 72, s. 5.
On Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 at 6:00 pm, the Teaneck Council will hold the semi-annual reorganization meeting at the Teaneck Town Hall.
(Agenda available here: Reorganization Agenda)
We will be swearing in Mark Schwartz, Karen Orgen & Mike Pagan.
In addition, Council will elect the Mayor & Deputy Mayors, among others.
For those that may not be familiar with the way the Teaneck Council operates, I’d like to offer some additional information:
How does our system work?
Teaneck utilizes the Council-Manager form of Government under the Faulkner Act. What that means in practice is that residents choose their council-members “at-large” (i.e. you vote for everyone, as opposed to a ward system like neighboring Englewood) and the Council as a body, once elected and seated, chooses a mayor from among the council-members (as opposed to municipalities where the Mayor runs separately). Continue reading “Save the Date: Teaneck Council Reorganization on July 1, 2020”
This Tuesday, at 9am, the Township Council will meet (virtually) to discuss an extension of the tax deadline.
May 1st taxes are currently due (with a 10 day grace period until May 11th). The Governor has recently permitted municipalities to extend the deadline until June 1st (with a 10 day grace period until June 11th).
Sunshine Notice - special mtg 5-5-20 2nd qt tax
On Monday, April 20th at 7pm, the Teaneck Holocaust Commemoration program of the Jewish Community Council of Greater Teaneck will recognize Yom Hashoa – Holocaust Remembrance Day – via a town-wide conference call.
The dial in number is (563) 999-1684
The Yom Hashoa program will serve to honor the memory of the 6 Million Jews murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Shoa (1939-1945) and recognize Survivors living in the greater Teaneck community. The call will last approximately 35 minutes.
The Teaneck Holocaust Commemoration Committee thanks Deputy Mayor Elie Katz, who provided us with this opportunity to use his dedicated ‘call-in’ line and make this program available to the greater community.
Thank you very much.
Holocaust Commemoration Committee
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”
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”
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.
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””