Hackensack City Council Discusses Operational Best Practices, Major City Projects, and Public Safety Concerns
The recent Hackensack City Council meeting focused on the city’s operational best practices, major ongoing city projects, and public safety issues. The council discussed the Best Practices Inventory, the progress of various construction projects, and concerns regarding street safety and crosswalk discrepancies. The meeting also included updates from the public comment session, addressing residents’ concerns about local ordinances and safety measures.
At the heart of the meeting, the City’s CFO, Mr. Manion, presented the Best Practices Inventory for 2023, an annual state assessment to determine how well municipalities adhere to operational best practices. Hackensack scored a consistent 86%, despite falling short in eight areas, including multi-factor network authentication, considerations for hybrid vehicle purchases, an anti-nepotism policy, updates of the personnel manual, insurance procurement improvements, and financial analysis for labor contracts. Despite the areas marked for improvement, the city has not seen any reduction in state aid. The council members welcomed this transparency, encouraging questions and ensuring the inventory would be publicly available on the city’s website.
Alongside operational best practices, the council discussed updates on several city projects. The city engineer highlighted ongoing works, including City Hall roof updates, a CSO separation project, and a southern area flood mitigation project. Despite some challenges, such as discrepancies in the pipe network, the projects are progressing, with completion expected by December. Other notable updates included the City Hall offices project, expected to conclude in March 2024, and the Cyber mediation for the Fire Department headquarters, currently in its third round of the injection and recovery process.
In terms of public safety, the council addressed concerns about crosswalk discrepancies, arising from a historical county practice of not painting ladder crosswalks on County Road streets. The issue of intersections with varying numbers of crosswalks was raised, and the council agreed to investigate and provide further information. Public safety was also brought up by a resident during the public comment period, who recommended replacing current pedestrian crossing signs with flashing signs to enhance visibility and improve safety. The council agreed to explore this suggestion, considering potential grant funds that might cover the cost.
The meeting also included discussions about changes to various resolutions and ordinances. These included changes to truck tonnage limits on Spring Valley Avenue, reappointment of Municipal Judge Roosevelt John, changes to fire prevention fees, and approval of an updated city personnel manual. A resident’s concern about receiving a violation notice for parking on a grass extension was addressed, with council members promising to investigate the ordinance and provide clarification.
John P. Labrosse Jr.
City Council Officials:
Kathy Canestrino, Leonardo Battaglia, Stephanie Von Rudenborg, Gerard Carroll