The many residents who give countless hours of volunteer time are a major factor in making Teaneck a special place. The Township Council takes this opportunity to thank all who participate actively in municipal government as unpaid members of Statutory Boards and Commissions and Advisory Boards and Task Forces. It is impossible to place a monetary value on their service.
We also take this opportunity to highlight some of their work during the past year:
Environmental Commission: The Commission advises the Planning Board on environmental aspects of site plans, Master Plan development and the sale of Township property. The Commission is empowered, by State law, to conduct research into the possible use of the open land area of the Township and may coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes. The Commission may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which, in its judgment, are deemed necessary for its purposes. The Commission is required to keep an index of all open areas, publicly or privately owned, including open space, marshland, swamps, and other wetlands. The Commission's Environmental Resource Inventory may be found on the Township's website, www.teanecknjgov.org. The Inventory includes the development of an open space plan which will also be included in the revised Master Plan.
The Commission also conducts hearings and organizes meetings on topics related to its charge. It has links to the Shade Tree Advisory Board, the Hackensack River Greenway Advisory Board, and one of its members, by law, serves on the Planning Board.
Hackensack River Greenway Advisory Board: The Board's mission is the design and development of a walking or jogging path along the 3.5 mile length of the River in Teaneck. Possible recreational opportunities may include canoeing, bird watching and photography. Additional objectives are environmental conservation and restoration in the form of protection and enhancement of water quality and protection of native animal and plan species.
Work has been done on the Terhune Park and Andreas Park sections; entrance signs have been placed along River Road and stories-in-art-and-text may be seen along the way. During 2000, the Board worked with the Township Engineering/Public Works Department to add trails in the Andreas Park section under a matching grant from the National Recreational Trails Program. The longest single portion of the Greenway is through the Fairleigh Dickinson University Campus. The University agreed, in 2002, to restore to nature a section of its parking lot north of Route 4, permitting a 50-foot wide Greenway which will connect to the Andreas Park trail.
Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation Advisory Board: The Board advises the Township Council, the Planning Board, the Recreation Master Planner and the Superintendent of Recreation on matters relating to parks, play areas and recreation. The Board also provides input on the annual municipal budget. The Board always seeks to enhance the quality of life in the Township and has assisted in recent projects, in 2002, including the Tryon Park Walking Path, the Adopt-a-Park Program, the consideration of an arboretum, expansion of the Hackensack River Greenway to include the Fairleigh Dickinson University Campus, and the funding of a Comprehensive Recreation Master Plan.
Patriotic Observance Advisory Board: The Board is appointed each year by the Township Council. Its members represent various civic and veterans' organizations as well as the community at large. The Board has the overall responsibility to coordinate the Memorial Day, Flag Day and Veterans' Day ceremonies. It also organizes the annual Fourth of July parade and makes recommendations to the Council on other matters of a patriotic nature such as placing of names on the Municipal Complex memorial, as well as its maintenance. During 2002, the Board coordinated the September 11th anniversary memorial which included the dedication of a plaque, at the Municipal Building, in memory of the Teaneck residents lost in the World Trade Center attack as well placing of a wreath at the Remembrance Tree on the Municipal Green. The Board's goal is to continue the recognition of all patriotic events and the education of the public regarding their participation and understanding of patriotic events.
Shade Tree Advisory Board: The Board was created in 1995 to provide technical and management advice to the Township Council and Shade Tree Supervisor as well as educating residents to the benefits and care of trees. The Board conducts tree inspections when necessary in conjunction with the Supervisor, assists in identifying suitable tree planting sites and recommends appropriate species for Township planting. The Board annually tracks and evaluates progress made towards the goals and objectives of the approved Community Forestry Management Plan. The Board also plans Teaneck's annual Arbor Day ceremony, sees that Teaneck maintains its Tree City USA status and is an active participant in the annual Clean and Green Weekend.
Teaneck Civilian Complaint Review Board: The Board provides an opportunity for anyone aggrieved by specific forms of police misconduct to bring a complaint before an independent, impartial body of residents, if they would be otherwise reluctant to complain directly to the Police Department or Municipal Manager. The Board's role is to receive complaints of police misconduct (unnecessary force, excessive force, harassment or use of abusive language), investigate them, evaluate them, and, if appropriate, refer them to the appropriate disciplinary authorities.
Teaneck Senior Citizens and Transportation Advisory Board: The Board is concerned with improving the quality of life for Teaneck residents. It advises and makes recommendations to Council about the concerns and needs of our older population. The Board maintains an interest in the program offerings at the Senior Services Center, transportation opportunities and wellness programs. Residents with any ideas, comments or suggestions should contact the Board through the Municipal Clerk's office.
Teaneck Economic Development Corporation: The Corporation is a nonprofit corporation organized under the auspices of the Township of Teaneck. Its purpose is to foster and nurture the current and future business climate within the Township and to serve as District Manger for the Special Improvement Districts within Teaneck. Currently, there is one such district, the Cedar Lane Special Improvement District. The Corporation has undertaken a project to create a business development plan which will involve all four commercial areas within the Township.
Teaneck Library Board of Trustees: The Board sets the policies which govern the operation and programs of the Teaneck Public Library. The Board works with its appointed Director to analyze and oversee the Library's operating and capital budgets. It also keeps abreast of standards and trends in the field and maintains liaisons with the Township Council, Board of Education, the Friends of the Library and the wider community.
Teaneck Municipal Alliance Against Substance Abuse: The Alliance focuses its efforts towards the prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse. Its purpose is to develop prevention programs for outreach and community support. The Alliance works closely with Township officials, including Police, School Personnel, professional organizations and residents, to support local programs such as DARE, Project Graduation, Night Out, Parenting Workshops, Seniors' Programs and alcohol/drug free activities.
Teaneck Redevelopment Agency: The Teaneck Redevelopment Agency was created in 1970 by the Township Council. The Agency's mission was to acquire, plan and provide for the redevelopment of the area set forth as follows: Routes 80-95 - Glenwood Avenue area, and to stimulate the proper and sound growth of this area of the Township. The Glenpointe Marriott Hotel and the Glenpointe Condominiums were part of the first phases of the redevelopment plan, completed during the late 1970s early 1980s. The construction of a senior living facility, started during 2002, represents the final development of this area.