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Hameeduddin, Gussen Re-elected in Teaneck Reorganization

Two new council members were sworn in Sunday at Teaneck's reorganization meeting.

The Teaneck Township Council voted 6-0 to keep Mohammed Hameeduddin as mayor and Adam Gussen as deputy mayor during the reorganization meeting Sunday.

"We are a team, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you to make Teaneck a better place," Hameeduddin said, as he began his second term.

Gussen spoke about some of the projects the council has worked on to improve the town over the past few years, including the addition of revenue from a cell phone tower, the creation of a handicap-accessible playground in Votee Park and changes to human resource management for town employees.

"The team that I'm embarking on serving with now is one that I think will put us in a position to do even more, even better over the next two years," Gussen said.

also took their oaths of office at the meeting, which took place in front of the Municipal Complex.

Schwartz said he hopes to in order to reduce the pressure on residents for tax dollars. Pruitt said he also hopes to create new sources of revenue, improve conditions for municipal workers and improve communication among residents.

"This is our town, and it's a great town. If we put our heads together, we can make it a truly extraordinary town," Pruitt said.

Township Attorney Stanley Turitz and Township Prosecutor Deborah Veach were also reappointed to their positions.

U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) congratulated the returning and newly elected officials, noting the diverse ethnic mix of Teaneck's governing body. 

"The last time I was here, I was swearing in someone of Jewish descent," Menendez said. "Today, we swear someone who is of Muslim descent. It teaches us in America that we can all come together and achieve for a beloved community the common good."

Hameeduddin gained widespread media attention when he became Bergen County's first Muslim mayor in 2010. 

There was also celebration for Councilwoman Lizette Parker, who recently gave birth to a baby girl. 

"Council member Parker couldn't be here tonight because she's starting the most important job of her life," Hameeduddin said. "We are all very happy for her."

Residents attending the event said they were happy with the new officials. Teaneck Board of Education Trustee Howard Rose said he had confidence in the new council.

"With two new members, Mark Schwartz brings in new, young blood and Henry Pruitt brings in wise, tried and tested blood, so it's terrific," Rose said.

 

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Art Vatsky July 03, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Zizi: I agree with a lot of your comments above. Sad to say, our Township has botched commercial development funds for nearly 2 decades. That is not just my opinion. It is the opinion of the planning consultant we hired back in 2005. Of course, since most of those decisions were made by long term members of the current council, don't expect them to acknowledge that. They "blew" about $10 million tax dollars and accomplished little between 1995 and now. Ever see the "Matrix" movies where people are viewed as computer programs? When I see some of our Council members, I see a pile of commitments and compromises, promises made, enemies lists, ambition. We don't know the inner workings between Council, Manager, and Staff. Maybe there are culture wars going on, personnel conflicts, discrimination (Note: Municipal internal discrimination cost Teaneck Tax Payers about $10 million in the past 7 years.) That is treated like a military secret. In some situations it should be, but in others, it looks like a cover-up. We pay the money, the projects get botched, we can't really know why, then we pay again to repair the project. No one knows how much the new Police Building costs due to the 15 years of repairs. I shoot for fair taxes for a high value, high productivity, 5 day a week municipal staff. As far as development, I think a lot of good ideas have been discarded. We are in the 21st century now. Teaneck should fully adjust to that fact.
JeffO July 04, 2012 at 02:50 AM
As you know, Art, only two sitting council members served during the period you insist on re-litigating. While CURRENT events have pretty much overtaken my past support for those members, I don't really feel I can talk about the days you pass judgement on, since my right of free speech has been effectively abridged by the willingness of an amoral, neo-McCarthyistic "hero" of yours to to untruthfully smear me. (Ironically, it's the same incredible hypocrite who has sued Teaneck on free speech grounds.) Suffice it to say, the picture you paint is one-sided -- especially since those who could respond are legally enjoined, on many issues, from doing so. There's a lot of current hot stuff on our plate right now. Could we put away the gunnysack and hold our current council accountable for the things for which they're currently accountable?
zizi July 04, 2012 at 03:59 AM
The police building should have been teared down and rebuilt right next to Teaneck Road with rent-able space on the ground floor and the rest of the people packed upstairs or in the basement. Teaneck could have also given the land to a developer and asked the builder to provide a usable portion of a building in return for the land (tearing down the old building included) but that would be smart thinking.... That would have saved Teaneck tax payers a ton of money.
zizi July 04, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Who hired that planning consultant? ah.... we needed a planning consultant to tell us that Teaneck wasted tax payers money...... I would like to say that having that consultant was also a waste...... I guess the ones who wasted the money hired the planning consultant to tell them "you XXXX"
Art Vatsky July 04, 2012 at 07:50 AM
JeffO: How condescendingly of you to write! Look in our Teaneck wallets, my friend. There is about $20 million missing! Payments for these will extend out to 2020 as I recall, money that could have stayed in our wallets or been used by the township elsewhere (maybe to build a garage to repair our trucks). Yes, every politician wishes their constituents had short attention spans but no one is "legally enjoined" from telling us how much the new Police Station cost or giving us TEDC expenses since 1995 or so. I hope those Council members have learned from their prior decisions and apply those lessons to the "current hot stuff". Also, Happy Fourth of July to you and all Teaneck. See you at the parade.

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