Welcome to the Government section of Englewood Cliffs.
Englewood Cliffs was incorporated as a borough in 1895 under an act of the New Jersey Legislature. A municipality in New Jersey derives its authority from the State Legislature under Title 40 of the Revised Statutes, which mandates that municipalities enforce certain state regulations in matters of finance, law enforcement, education, health and welfare. However, state laws encourage "home rule" by permitting a local government to enact ordinances suitable for its own needs if they do not conflict with state or federal laws.
The Municipal Building, located at 482 Hudson Terrace, is the seat of Englewood Cliffs government. It houses the Administrative Offices, Tax Office, Building Department, Planning Board, the Board of Health, Shade Tree Commission, Environmental Commission and the Recreation Department. The Police and Fire Departments are located at 10 Kahn Terrace, the Ambulance Corps is next door to the Municipal Building, the Senior Citizens building is located at 7 W. Bayview Avenue; residents of the Borough use the City of Englewood Public Library; The Department of Public Works is located at 342 Hudson Terrace.
Municipal offices are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Since it became a Borough, Englewood Cliffs has been governed by a Mayor and Council who are chosen through partisan elections held in November annually. The Mayor, elected for a 4 year term, is the chief executive officer and the six Council members, elected for a 3 year term, handle legislative functions. A full-time Administrator/Municipal Clerk assists the Mayor and Council and coordinates the operations of government departments.
The Reorganization Meeting of the governing body is held during the first week in January. At this meeting, the newly-elected Council members take the oath of office, and a Council President, who serves as Acting Mayor when the Mayor is absent, is elected by the Council. Appointments for the coming year are announced by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council when required by law.
Regular Public Meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 8:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend, and comments from the audience are part of the agenda and are listed on the agenda under "Public Comments on all Resolutions on the Agenda" and "Public Portion for Non-Agenda Items." Work Sessions of the Committee of the Whole, consisting of all Council members, the Mayor, Borough Administrator and Borough Clerk, take place on the second Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Citizens are welcome to attend work sessions. Time is allotted to receive Public Comments on any item of concern, whether or not it is listed on the posted Agenda. The Council reserves the right to close work sessions and public meetings in accordance with state law to discuss personnel or legal matters.
The governing body focuses on two major areas of consideration at their meetings, whether a work session or a public meeting, in addition to other items that come to their attention. The first major area deals with financial matters affecting the operation of the Borough, specifically appropriating money and approving expenditures. The second major area deals with the laws of the Borough of Englewood Cliffs, called "ordinances". Potential ordinances are discussed at work sessions and then introduced at a public meeting. It is the responsibility of the Borough Clerk to publish the ordinance in the designated official newspaper under "Public Notices". This alerts the public to the action being considered by the governing body. It includes the date, time and place of the public hearing at which the interested public can ask questions and offer comments on the particular ordinance. Following the public hearing and the adoption of any amendments to the ordinance, the governing body then votes to adopt the ordinance and it becomes law.
Anyone wishing to have a matter considered by the Mayor and Council should send a letter addressed to them, in care of the Borough Clerk, to 482 Hudson Terrace, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632. The Borough Clerk schedules the item on the work session agenda and distributes copies of the correspondence to the governing body, the Borough Attorney and to the appropriate Borough departments to obtain information necessary for the Council to make an informed decision. When a decision is made, the Borough Clerk is directed to relate the decision to the inquiring party