Meet Council candidates running for a seat

By Howard Prosnitz, Staff Writer

Teaneck Suburbanite, April 26, 2012, p. 2

Teaneck Suburbanite asked both challengers and incumbents to provide biographical information and to respond to several questions about current issues. Incumbents were asked an additional question about a major issue during their tenure on the council. All interviews were conducted orally.

The Teaneck non-partisan Municipal election is Tuesday, May 8. Get out and vote. Polls close at 7 p.m. The six candidates running are seeking to fill three seats for a four-year term on the board.

Councilwoman Monica Honis, who is seeking reelection, did not respond to an email and phone messages requesting an interview. The issue questions follow:

1. What is the biggest problem(s) facing Teaneck?
2. What is your vision for Teaneck in 5-10 years?
3. What is your position on restoring council work session?
4. What is our position on the four day work week and re-opening the municipal building on Fridays?

Incumbents were asked the following question:
1. What is a personal initiative that you have taken on the council?

(Only the relevant candidate is shown here)

Mohammed Hameeduddin

Mohammed HameeduddinMohammed Hameeduddin is seeking his second term. Born in Bronx, Hameeduddin has lived in Teaneck since 1981. He attended Emerson School, Benjamin Franklin Middle School and graduated from Teaneck High School. He attended Rutgers University for two and a half years. Hameeduddin is the owner of HW Title Agency in Hackensack. He is married and the father of a pre-school age child. He served on the planning board from 2006 to 2008 and was chosen mayor by his fellow council members in 2010. He was the United Day coordinator in 2008.

Biggest problems: He said the largest problem is rebuilding the municipal infrastructure, including the municipal building, the fire station and DPW.

"They were basically built in the 1930s and we have been neglecting them ever since," he said. "All three are in need of dire repairs and we need a comprehensive solution to pay for these repairs."

Other problems, he said, include establishing an advisory board in Votee Park to determine if remediation is needed and raising revenues.

"It is a big challenge to find where to raise revenues in terms of ratable," he said. "Whenever we have attempted this issue in the past six years, the people who are stakeholders in that are rise up to essentially kill the plan or stop any development from happening." He noted that a comprehensive plan for revenue enhancing development is needed.

Vision: He wants Teaneck to maintain its AAA bond rating and to have a lean municipal budget that does not cut services. He also wants to see more development and, for that purpose, to establish a redevelopment agency involving township residents.

"They will come up with a plan to determine what kind of businesses we want to attract to Teaneck," he said.

"Teaneck is a great place to live and home sales continue to grow. All the diverse communities are growing and becoming more active," he said.

Initiative: Noting that council members work together and that building consensus is important, he said that his most important achievement has been in helping move the town off of self-insurance and obtaining liability insurance. A second major achievement has been to increase recycling from once a month to twice a month.

Workshops: "We should have workshop meeting as needed when we have big issues that need to be discussed and we should have public participation at those workshops," he said. At a candidates' forum last week, he said that the council is able to get its work done at two meetings a month and that regularly scheduled workshops were unnecessary.

Four day work week: "Previous councils have wanted to initiate a four day work week. If we look at changing the four day work week, we need to negotiate with the union to find the solution," he said.