In a recent meeting of the Tenafly Borough Council, Councilman Daniel Park was elected as the new council president following the resignation of Councilman Jeff Grossman. Kevin Gallen was welcomed as the interim environmental administrator. Other significant issues discussed included opposition to a controversial project in Englewood and the council’s successful score on the 2023 best practices inventory.
The resignation of Councilman Jeff Grossman necessitated a shift in leadership within the council. Councilman Daniel Park was nominated and unanimously voted in as the new council president. Concurrently, the council discussed filling a class three member position on the planning board, for which Councilman Venugopal Menon was nominated and approved.
Amid these changes, the council also welcomed Kevin Gallen as the interim environmental administrator, emphasizing his office hours and availability for council meetings. This appointment reflects the council’s commitment to environmental issues, a theme which also surfaced as Councilwoman Julie O’Connor reported on the Environmental Commission’s successful compost pilot program and the upcoming ‘pumpkin smash’ event, and reiterated the delivery of 140 trees to the Tenafly Nature Center.
In a matter of regional concern, Mayor Mark Zinna vocalized his and the council’s opposition to a contentious project in neighboring Englewood. He pledged to continue fighting the project’s variances and stressed the necessity for engineering reports regarding stormwater outflow and the impact on surrounding properties. The council pointed out the need for proper retention wells and expressed concerns about the project’s delays and changing plans.
The council also addressed local historic preservation and environmental protection measures. They tasked Councilwoman Lauren Dayton with researching the costs of maintaining residential and commercial properties and exploring historic preservation grants and tax payments. In addition, Councilmembers Venugopal Menon and Julie O’Connor were charged with reviewing and strengthening existing codes related to landmark trees.
The council clarified that minutes from the Democratic committee meeting are not public records and thus not subject to public request. Furthermore, they expressed a need for better communication regarding work done by CSX on local tracks and the subsequent cleanup.
Finally, it was announced that the council scored a 36 on the 2023 best practices inventory, exceeding the required score of 29.