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We, the undersigned residents of the Borough of Montvale, petition the Council of Montvale to overturn Ordinance No. 2013-1378, passed on July 30th, 2013, which dissolves the Montvale Department of Public Works.

We, the undersigned residents, appreciate the hard work, diligence, friendly service and care of our DPW staff. We furthermore commend them for providing high quality service, at great personal risk, under extremely challenging conditions like Superstorm Sandy, in a highly efficient manner. We demand that they be restored to the status of sole service provider to our Borough.

We believe this ordinance was hastily conceived, is ill-considered, harmful to the residents of Montvale, contrary to the principles of good government, and demand that it be reversed. We believe it will totally compromise the quality of service we expect, and leave residents endangered during severe weather events. Moreover, it represents a 10 Year Commitment, made without meaningful resident input.


We, the undersigned residents, object to the following consequences of the ordinance: 

*Montvale residents will lose all sovereignty over our own services

*Montvale residents will become 'second class citizens', as service responsibilities are transferred entirely to River Vale

*Montvale residents will have to wait during weather emergencies for crews from River Vale to respond

*Services will be severely curtailed, given the inadequate level of resources the combined agency will have at its disposal

*Cost savings outlined in the proposal are dubious, and theoretical in nature, as no discrete plan was devised to implement them. Cost overruns are inevitable

*Montvale's recycling center, funded by our tax dollars, is being given away to River Vale, without compensation being received for the value of this asset. We contend this is a violation of councilors' fiduciary responsibilities to us, their residents

*We believe this will not only hurt our quality of life and imperil our safety, but will materially and adversely impact property values in the Borough of Montvale, relative to neighboring municipalities which retain their own well-staffed, high quality public works departments. Ordinance 2013-1378 will make Montvale a less desirable municipality in which to reside

  • *We believe the reduced services the ordinance will cause, will hurt both the large and small businesses in Montvale, making the town a less desirable location for commercial activity
  • *Montvale may be forced to build a new DPW from scratch in a few years' time, which will prove very costly and disruptive
  • *Future DPW staff will have no personal stake in our welfare. Current DPW staff are residents, related to residents, or raised here


We, the undersigned residents, assert the following grievances with the process by which this ordinance was established:

*The ordinance was promulgated based on a single study, conducted by a consultancy of unknown qualifications & credentials

  • *Requests by residents for documents, analyses, assumptions and calculations used to create the study were summarily denied, preventing any meaningful consideration of the accuracy, thoroughness, reasonableness, and appropriateness of its conclusions
  • *The study was presented for review by residents only concurrently with the ordinance's introduction at the meeting held on July 9, 2013, at which residents were precluded from making comments
  • *The study appears to be the work of a financial consultancy and lacks any meaningful understanding of the genuine needs of residents, the fundamentals of DPW service provision, and the minimum requirements necessary to provide the kind of high quality and friendly service to which we as residents are accustomed *The study did not contemplate maintaining the role of supervisor and paying the associated costs post dissolution
  • *The ordinance was rushed through with a vote at the first meeting after its introduction
  • *A councilor who voted for the ordinance, was later cited in a published news article as being unaware of key budget facts, like the current surplus, which invalidates the assertion that this ordinance represents a fiscal imperative. We view this as negligence. 
  • *The ordinance was adopted before a plan was drafted to implement it, preventing substantive discussion of its drawbacks
  • *The council voted in favor of the ordinance, by a bare majority, despite overwhelming disapproval by the residents who participated in the July 30th, 2013 meeting

We demand that an ordinance be introduced at the next council meeting to reverse Ordinance No. 2013-1378. We further demand that all future changes to DPW service provision in the Borough of Montvale be undertaken pursuant to a lengthy, open, transparent, participatory process, wherein we residents are directly consulted, our opinions and needs are given full and fair consideration, and multiple viewpoints and analyses are submitted for evaluation. Anything less does not meet the standard of government we expect from our councilors.


Concerned Residents of Montvale


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