April 16, 2024
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Rookie Mistake’ to Remove Veterans From Teaneck Boards

Newly elected rookie council members fresh off an election used their majority to put their political allies in leadership positions on the Teaneck Zoning and Planning Boards (“Teaneck Council Ousts Members From Zoning and Planning Boards,” June 22, 2023). They have not built a cohesive team, they have not unified the township, and the inexperience of those appointed will set us back years. What they have done has upset many long standing residents and made quite a few dedicated volunteers feel unwelcome.

The current Teaneck leadership started their term on council with deceit at the council reorganization meeting. Now they are continuing their back-room deal making by nominating people to immediate full positions on our planning board and zoning board of adjustment, bypassing the many alternates who started as rookies and have taken the time to learn, gain knowledge and experience, and have patiently been waiting their turn to be elevated to a full position.

I am grateful to Joey Bodner for his veteran years of leadership on the planning board. We have four current members of council who, as members of the planning board, have learned from Joey’s leadership and experience. It has not gone unnoticed that while Mayor Pagan said he plans to let Councilmember Schwartz represent the mayor on the planning board, he still intends to attend the first few meetings, I assume to ensure Joey is ousted from the chairmanship. I guess this is the price you have to pay the rookies for making you their mayor.

I would also like to thank Jennifer Prince, Mark Mermelstein and Daniel Wetrin for their years of service as members of the board of adjustment and Mark Zomick and Tony Parker for their years of service on the planning board. These residents have given countless hours of their time and they have made numerous positive contributions to our township. These individuals have asked what they did wrong in their service to be removed from their positions and everyone should rest assured, they did nothing wrong. They made Teaneck a better town and I, as well as many others, are thankful and appreciative.

Councilmember Belcher, Councilmember Goldberg, Deputy Mayor Gee and Mayor Pagan: Governing is like the NFL. Stop making rookie mistakes! Put your egos aside, leverage the veterans on your team and work with the experienced council members to keep Teaneck winning.

Eric Orgen

Teaneck

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