Fall Promoted to Township Manager

By Kate Brex

Teaneck Suburbanite, May 30, 2001, p. 1

Helene V. FallAfter two years as deputy township manager and nearly five months as acting township manager, Helene Fall will become the first female top administrator in Teaneck history.

As expected the council, in closed session May 22, approved Fall's appointment as township manager, taking effect through a June 12 public vote, but retroactive to June 1.

Fall has been action township manager since January, when Township Manager Gary Saage retired after serving the town as chief financial officer, deputy township manager and then manager since the mid-1960s.

"This has always been a dream of mine," said Fall. "When I was 13 years-old, I wrote a report for school on the council-manager form of government. I have been interested in municipal government ever since. And being town manager of Teaneck is a dream come true for me. I have come home.

Teaneck is one of the best places to exercise her administrative muscles, said Fall, due to the truly dedicated elected officials, staff and volunteers. She doesn't do it alone. With a town as complex as Teaneck, Fall's feet are firmly planted on the ground she explained. She does the best she can.

"I'm honored to be working with and for the council and the residents of Teaneck", she said.

The council did not consider any other applicants for the job because everyone, including council, employees and community leaders all agreed that Fall has done an exemplary job since rejoining the Teaneck in November 1998, Mayor Ostrow said.

"We have all watched Helene over the last year," said Ostrow. "She is a highly motivated, highly principled, hardworking woman."

Fall, 40, was born and raised in nearby Hackensack. She attended Douglas College, where she majored in political science and Italian literature and graduated in 1982. She earned her master's degree in public administration from Fairleign Dickinson University.

In 1985 Fall joined the Teaneck team as former Town Manager Werner Schmid's assistant. After Schmid's retirement, she became administrator first in Bernards Township and then back to Bergen County in Montvale.

She resides in Teaneck with her husband, Fred, a former lieutenant in Teaneck's Fire Department. She has two grown stepchildren.

Deputy Mayor Yitz Stern is very enthused that Fall has indicated Teaneck is where she would like to be for the rest of her career.

"She is in the frontlines," said Stern. "I know from personal experience and from talking with residents that she is at the top of her class. She is responsive and responsible and with a responsive government she will help foster a good feeling within the community."