As the Teaneck Town Council concurrently was made aware, on March 15, 2016, I inquired by telephone with their Health Department about whether the lead levels in the schools and the township were recently checked. As the buck was passed from person to person to person, I was given the following verbatim responses: “We only do code enforcement,” “Call United Water” and amazingly, “Call the Board of Ed” (as if that is their function!). Everyone that I spoke to subsequently at Teaneck Township, including but not limited to the Town Manager and Health Commissioner, by email or live on the telephone, responded that United Water/Suez regularly checks the town’s water. I also made similar inquiries with Barbara Pinsak, School Superintendent, about the lead levels at the schools and was told she was unaware of any testing and that she would get back to me. I opined to everyone that Teaneck telling me that we can rely on United Water/Suez is similar to the fox guarding the chicken coop. Now we find out that the chicken has come home to roost (to continue the metaphor).
In an article by Mary Diduch in the Record, we read that elevated levels were found in “some parts of all district schools” in Teaneck. I have also learned from the testing finally done by the Teaneck Township that elevated lead levels were found both in the public library and the Municipal Building. We have yet to obtain the results of the lead levels in the public fountains throughout the Township.
I write this as a concerned resident of Teaneck. One would think that our Township, Council and School District, which never misses an opportunity to note its ability to “work together” would actually do something and get ahead of a problem by being proactive rather than reactive. Whether it’s lead levels, perpetually broken streets (yes, $4,000,000 is being spent), blackouts and even wild turkeys, I think the adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is appropriate here.
I thank all for their attention to this matter.