Tenafly Council Tackles Budget Concerns and Digital Upgrades

The Tenafly Borough Council’s recent meeting centered on a review of the borough’s budget, with a focus on digitalization and the optimization of services. The council scrutinized various departmental budgets, debated the efficiency of current systems, and discussed investments in technology aimed at enhancing public service and internal operations.

During the session, a point of discussion was the proposed performance management system, with a set budget of $30,000. This system, intended to track efficiencies and boost online capabilities for residents, would provide a visual dashboard to facilitate resource allocation, reporting, and data analysis of resident requests. The system’s development is part of the council’s initiative to invest in services, facilities, and programs based on data-driven insights.

The council also considered the Clerk’s office budget, particularly the increase in the election budget line item due to the upcoming presidential election and county committee elections. There was a debate about the printing and availability of ballots, with suggestions to make election packets available online to reduce printing costs. Moreover, the council questioned the necessity of a specific budget line item for elections, given that the borough is reimbursed for these expenses.

Another point was the discussion on software platforms and applications, with the council evaluating the benefits and costs of integrating various systems like Bel pilot, Clearo strategies, and Civic plus. The aim is to improve the website’s user-friendliness and consolidate multiple software programs to a standardized platform, which includes a GIS tracking system. The council is considering options to digitize the human resources process and centralize personnel files, with potential software solutions like form and track star under review.

The council also touched upon the separation of stormwater expenses from engineering, proposing an annual allocation of $50,000 for a stormwater mapping project. This initiative aligns with the borough’s environmental goals, which were further emphasized by a request from the environmental commission to double their budget to $10,000. This increase would support the composting program and maintain the town’s floral aesthetic.

One of the more contentious budget items included a $20,000 expense for website updates, with council members debating its purpose and the need for such an allocation. They also reviewed the allocation for legal services, seeking to manage costs effectively and track usage. The topic of grant requirements and deadlines surfaced, highlighting the need for due diligence in handling the budget increases for initiatives like the environmental commission.

The council’s budgetary discussions extended to the fire department, with questions raised about the $12,000 allocation and the necessity for a report on grant spending and outcomes. Concerns were also voiced about network expenses and the high cost associated with them, prompting considerations for a transition to cloud-based systems. Moreover, the council examined engineering fees, seeking clarity on the allocation for specific projects.

During the meeting, the council debated the salary increase related to HR duties, questioning the allocation of $5,200 for HR-related expenses. They also discussed the need for a time and attendance tracking system, with options such as Kronos, Time Trap, and ADP being evaluated to handle the complexities of the town’s contracts. Lastly, a reduction in funding for the Alliance Municipal Alliance was noted, with the council seeking guidance on the effective use of allocated funds.

The meeting concluded with the council deciding to enter a closed session to deliberate on contract negotiations and labor matters.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Mark Zinna
City Council Officials:
Jamie Corsair, Venugopal Menon, Adam Michaels, Julie O’Connor, Daniel Park, John Roglieri

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