In a recent marathon meeting, the Tenafly City Council members grappled with various topics of local concern. The night was dominated by discussions on pickleball, traffic woes, fiscal worries, LGBTQ+ Pride Day, and more.
The proposal to establish a dedicated pickleball court emerged as one of the top agenda items. Councilman Jeff, an advocate for the increasingly popular sport, proposed improvements to local facilities, including repurposing the old skate park into a pickleball court. The council agreed to identify the best possible location for this project, following several public comments from pickleball enthusiasts advocating for dedicated courts. However, the decision-making process wasn’t without friction, as some council members expressed concerns about the lack of expert input in recreational decisions.
The council also agreed to leverage open space funds for this, despite earlier refusal. Councilwoman Lauren expressed her support for this move. A notable comment during the meeting was: “This Council refuses to suspend its open space money… they’ve collected these taxes from you, put it aside for recreation and refuse to spend it.”
Beyond the pickleball fever, the council discussed several downtown engineering priorities, including traffic signal updates and street closures. Members raised concerns about potential budgeting and financing challenges for planning and executing these projects.
However, concerns were also raised about neglecting other projects due to a hyper-focus on traffic issues. The council also recognized the rising town debt and the implications for future fiscal years.
In the light of inclusivity, the council discussed the importance of LGBTQ+ Pride Day, recognizing it as a day for acceptance and safety. There were calls to continue this tradition, with one passionate advocate saying, “I implore my Council if there’s anything that you are going to continue after my time it is this day… people were getting harassed left and right for putting the pride sign on walls so the [pride] day is more and more important especially for our youth to have a safe space to be accepted and to fight the fight.”
Finally, the meeting also touched on future plans for a Covid-19 Memorial Trust Fund.
The Tenafly City Council’s recent meeting revealed a diverse list of local priorities and shed light on the challenges of balancing fiscal responsibilities with a desire to enhance recreational options and support inclusive initiatives. From pickleball courts to traffic patterns to LGBTQ+ rights, the council grappled with numerous decisions that will shape the future of the borough.