Woodcliff Lake Shapes Future with Cannabis Committee

In a recent special meeting, the Woodcliff Lake Borough Council addressed several key items, shaping a progressive future for the local community. The creation of a Cannabis Exploratory Committee, adjustments to employee longevity pay, and the introduction of the 2023 budget stood out as significant moments.

During the May 9, 2023 gathering, council members appointed representatives to the newly established Cannabis Exploratory Committee. This committee’s formation reveals a potential for changes in local policy on the horizon. Notably, public concern was expressed about a cannabis dispensary’s potential impact on the town’s youth, highlighting potential areas of exploration for the committee. The council will be relying on Councilman Richard Schnall, Councilwoman Nicole Marsh, Corrado Belgiovine from the Planning Board, Mark Berninger, a Zoning and Code Official, and Borough Planner Elizabeth Leheny to navigate these uncharted waters.

The council unanimously passed Ordinance No. 23-06, updating the salary structure for certain borough employees and officials. This ordinance brings longevity into the equation, proposing that the longer an employee serves the borough, the more they receive in terms of their base salary percentage. It sets the annual maximum base compensation for the Mayor within a range of $4,550 to $10,000 and Councilmembers within a range of $2,900 to $7,500. However, the 2023 salaries for applicable employees will not reflect these longevity adjustments.

On the financial front, Resolution No. 23-123, introducing the 2023 budget, was unanimously approved. The budget mandates its publication in the Bergen Record by May 15, 2023, and a hearing on the budget to be held at the Tice Senior Center on June 12, 2023. This financial roadmap will direct the future allocation of the borough’s resources and public services. The council ratified payroll disbursements since the last meeting amounting to $199,004.09 and approved current claims against the borough totaling $2,638,076.33 across various funds.

Further decisions by the council included authorizing the disposal of surplus recycling equipment, approving payments to qualified 2022 members of the Woodcliff Lake Fire Department, and inducting a new Junior Member to the Woodcliff Lake Volunteer Fire Department. These actions continue to shape the working landscape for local service departments, contributing to the borough’s administrative evolution.

The absence of significant disagreement during this meeting may reflect a sense of unity among council members regarding these key decisions. However, potential points of contention were raised during public comments about retaining the town’s charm and businesses in light of a potential exodus to Montvale. These concerns may serve as seeds for debate in future council meetings.

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