Tenafly History & Structure

Tenafly was incorporated as a borough in January 1894 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.

Government Offices

The Municipal Center, located at 100 Riveredge Road, houses the various local government administrative offices, the Police and Fire Departments, the Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the Public Library, Youth Center, McCandless Room, Mayor’s Office, Council Chambers/Municipal Court, and meeting and conference rooms. The Department of Public Works is located at 107 Grove Street. The Tenafly Senior Center is located at 20 South Summit Street.

Municipal offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, excluding holidays. Since it became a Borough, Tenafly has been governed by a Mayor and Council who are chosen through partisan elections held in November annually. The Mayor is the chief executive officer and the six Council members handle legislative functions. A full-time Administrator assists the Mayor and Council and coordinates the operations of government departments.

Reorganization Meeting

The Reorganization Meeting of the governing body is held on the within the first week of 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.

Finances & Laws

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 Tenafly, called "ordinances".

Potential ordinances are discussed at work sessions and then introduced at a regular 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.

Meeting Schedule

The Mayor and Council Meeting Schedule is adopted during the Reorganization Meeting. The public is encouraged to attend, and comments from the audience are part of the agenda and are listed on the agenda under "Audience Remarks for Agenda Items" and "Audience Remarks for Non-Agenda Items" during the Regular Meeting.

Work Sessions

Work Sessions of the Committee of the Whole are held prior to the Regular Meeting, as noted in the adopted schedule, consisting of:

  • All Council members
  • Borough Administrator/Borough Clerk
  • Deputy Borough Clerk
  • The Mayor

Getting on the Agenda

Borough Attorney 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 for placement on the following work session agenda, to:

100 Riveredge Road
Tenafly, NJ 07670

The Council reserves the right to close work sessions and public meetings in accordance with state law to discuss specific Closed Session items.