Mount Olive Township Council Minutes
December 4, 2001
The Regular meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was
called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council Vice President Scapicchio
with the Pledge of Allegiance.
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice
of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle
and the Morristown Daily Record. Notice has been posted at
the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mt.
Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those requesting
ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Guenther, Mrs. Miller,
Mr. Scapicchio, Mr. Sohl
Absent: President Rattner
Vice President Scapicchio: Let the Public Records show that
Mr. Rattner had a family function to attend to this evening.
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
1. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Providing for
the Transfer of 2001 Budget Appropriations for the Current
Mr. Heymann moved for Final Adoption of Resolution No. 1
and Mr. Guenther Seconded that motion.
Vice President Scapicchio: Any Public discussion? Seeing
none, Council discussion on this Resolution?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive Extending the Contract of Building Inspection
Underwriters for Electrical Inspections Through January 31,
Vice President Scapicchio: Resolution No. 2 was taken off
the Agenda, which brings us to the Public Portion of this
Council Meeting. Anyone from the Public wish to address this
Mr. Bonte: The Ordinance that we passed a couple of years
ago establishing a separate water and sewer utility required
that the end of each calendar year an assessment was to be
done regarding the operating expendatures and revenues and
a projection made for the following year and a determination
made as to what the rates would be for the upcoming year.
That was to be presented to the Council. Does anybody know
if that has been done? If the rates are going to remain the
same or will they change for next year?
Vice President Scapicchio: Sandy, do you know where that
Mr. Kaplan: I would anticipate that the Finance Officer is
in the process of reviewing those numbers as she is with the
review of the entire 2001 Budget.
Mr. Bonte: Isn't that information supposed to be at this
Council before the end of the year so that they can put together
new rates for the upcoming year in a timely fashion?
Mr. Kaplan: I believe so. I do not know the Ordinance verbatim,
but you are probably correct about that. The Finance Officer
has not informed me at this point in time that she sees any
problem with the rate in 2002.
Vice President Scapicchio: Sandy, based on Mr. Bonte's comments
in that Ordinance, could we ask the
Mr. Kaplan: I made a note of it and it will see that the
CFO gets the report by your next meeting.
Vice President Scapicchio: Great. Thank you.
Mr. Bonte: I would like to make a comment on a subject that
I brought up before. I am not going to be nasty, or be a pain
in the neck. This is a subject that has affected me tremendously
since September 11, 2001. First of all I want to applaud the
Mayor on the actions that he took in the latter part of September
when he cancelled the fireworks and had the very wonderful
ceremony here at the Town Hall. It was very fitting. It set
the tone for how most of us felt. But at the same time I am
again very upset about the sign in Flanders. Pride is not
something that you legislate in people, which you create by
having a committee. Pride is
Mr. Bonte (cont'd): something that comes out of all of us;
because we are proud to live where we live. But we see things
that happen in our Town and our Community and it makes us
feel good. It does not make me feel good to see a sign that
says God Bless America and then say on the bottom of it, sponsored
by the Mount Olive Pride Committee Mayor Paul Licitra."
It would make me feel good, and I think a lot of other people
to see some statement like "dedicated to all the victims
of terrorism from the residents of Mount Olive Township".
I know we had this discussion a couple of weeks ago. Late
last week, the "God Bless America" billboard was
removed and the billboard that showed a sailboat on the lake
that said "Welcome to Mount Olive Township" was
up for three days. Yesterday the "God Bless America"
billboard was back up. Brand new, with the same footer on
the bottom "Sponsored by the Mount Olive Pride Committee
Mayor Paul Licitra." I do not believe that this represents
how we as a community feel. I thought based upon comments
by the Mayor and the Council that we discussed this about
a month ago that the sign was going to be changed. I am requesting
that this Council and Administration take action to change
the wording on the bottom of the sign to express some statement
regarding the victims of terrorism and that it is coming from
the residents of this Township. That is where the money is
coming from. There is no Pride Committee that has independent
funds. It's taxpayer funds. I would truly like to ask you
all to please consider this request. To make this sign something
we could be proud of. Thank you.
Vice President Scapicchio: Anyone else from the Public?
Ray Perkins: Good evening. Thank you Mr. President. Members
of the Council, members of the audience. My name is Ray Perkins.
I am the Chairman of the Mount Olive Pride Committee. I did
not see fit at the last Public Forum to address the billboard
issue. It was addressed before the Council and the Mayor at
least on one separate occasion. I have heard through the grapevine
that at least one's persons dismay at what was placed on the
sign. A couple facts that always need to come out. It is sponsored
by, and the word sponsor if we look it up in the dictionary
says the people are just carrying something out because they
are charged with that responsibility then they sponsored it.
Cost is zero to the taxpayer. It has been from day one. The
Township owns it. Infinity Outdoor Systems replaces it four
times a year at absolutely no cost and that is a direct result
of the Pride Committee who had contacted them some years ago
when we formed in August of 1998. I too am deeply touched
by the events of September 11, 2001. Not only because I know
some people that are lost there. I was five blocks away when
the airplanes hit. I made it out. I came back here. I lowered
the flag to half staff at the Memorial as I do every Memorial
Day as a Veteran. I was proud to see the patriotism that was
exhibited throughout the Township. I was proud to see the
flags went back up along the beach. To bring it to the Council's
attention, those flags have now been taken back down. The
wind is tearing them up. It is sacreligious to see them getting
torn up that way. There comes a time when someone had made
a comment that we needed flags here in the back of the building.
They are gone. No body is commenting again that they should
be put back up. It must have been a one time comment. The
comment was for the children. The children at the middle school
across the street still don't have an American flag because
someone backed into it a few weeks ago. No one sees fit to
go across the street to force that issue. Mayor Licitra is
our Mayor. Mimi Letts is a Mayor. Every sign down around Parsippany
says Mimi Letts, Mayor. It does not seem to bother many residents
down there when they see that. When I was asked on the one
day how I felt about having that billboard changed and it
was one of my Committee members who had called me who has
been charged with the task of overseeing that change. How
I felt about it. It was her recommendation that it say sponsored
by the Mt. Olive Pride Committee. Mt. Olive Pride Committee
is all of Mount Olive. A small group of us that are there,
but it's all of Mt. Olive. None of us stands up and takes
any personal reward or personal credit for anything. Paul
Licitra is your Mayor. I could have listed every Councilman,
every Zoning Board of Adjustment Official, every Planning
Board Official and everybody in the Township. Historically
you will find throughout the youth crater of the United States,
that it is the Mayor's name who ends up, whether you like
that or not, I don't use words like that in a Public forum
Mr. Bonte, so thank you for your quiet comment. So be that
as it may ladies and gentlemen. That is the status of how
that billboard was there. It was ripped. That is why it was
pulled down in the boat from this past summer was there. It
kind of looks funny to come down in the middle of December
all be the weather is kind of nice; to see a sailboat "Welcome
to Mt. Olive." I contacted the young lady and she said
she had already been in touch with Infinity Outdoor and that
yes they were coming back to put that sign up. Yes it is back.
So I would request that if the Council poses a vote on how
they would like to see that taken care of, that they consider
all of the people's time, energy and effort that is that is
placed into every decision that is done around this Township.
Decorations, flowers, awards to the children that you have
all been here for. Everyone of us has been involved in that.
Thank you very much.
Mr. Heymann: Ray, if you're posing that to us, to suggest
that maybe we discuss it and take a vote. I would like to
know on the night that you decided that. Who was there from
the Pride Committee? How many members were there when the
decision was made? That would weigh into my thought process.
If it was four of you as compared to 40 of you I might think
along some different lines. I would like to get that information
before we meet on the 18th. I have heard pros and cons from
residents in Town about that sign. So, I understand the Pride
Committee, an important asset to the Community, but maybe
with the Council it is a
Mr. Heymann (cont'd): decision we should at least discuss.
I am willing to do it as long as I see the list and who was
there, and what was going on so we could make an intelligent
decision. Rich comes up and Mr. Bonte comes up and says that.
I am assuming he is going to keep coming up unless someone
does something. I don't know if it is a decision we can make.
I don't know if we have the power to make it, but at least
we have the ability to put our own two cents worth in and
to do it, I would like to intelligently do it. If you can
let me know Ray, I am sure you guys take attendance when you
do that stuff.
Ray Perkins: Yes we do, Mr. Heymann. As a matter of fact
we have Minutes of that. No, I am not proposing that the Council
take a vote on it. That is not what I am proposing. I posed
a question that if the Council sees fit, to put it up for
a vote, that you consider all the time and effort put in.
Yes, it was a committee of six that made the decision. Some
of us were physically at a meeting. Other ones had made telephone
calls to see how we all felt about it.
Mr. Heymann: How many people are on the Pride Committee?
I know you lost a lot of members.
Ray Perkins: There are six of us that are active.
Mr. Heymann: What did we start with in that committee?
Ray Perkins: We start normally with 10 and one Council Liaison.
Mayor Licitra: When do you meet again?
Mr. Heymann: We are tentatively set for the third Tuesday
of this month.
Mayor Licitra: I would like to come to your meeting. I have
never dictated to you people. I have let you rum what you
have wanted to do. I have no problem with it. I am proud that
you picked my name and said that to you. I think we have other
things to do that are so much more important to this Township
instead of being sign Police. I would rather you take my name
off of the sign. But I am not going to dictate to the Pride
Committee. I think you people have done an excellent job.
You have been complimented by so many people. I did not even
know the sign was up or the sign was down, but I know the
sign was down this weekend because I received a lot of phone
calls saying why the hell did you take the sign down? I did
not know anything until I called you up and you said it was
taken down, but it is going up again. I called you Monday
I think it was after the sign was up. There are a lot of more
important issues to come before this Governing Body than names
on a billboard. If it bothers Mr. Bonte that much that my
name is on a billboard, I would request that the Pride Committee
please take my name off the billboard.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Mayor I appreciate that. Albeit, and I do
know you, but if that was Frank Ruggiero and he was our active
not felt bad. Normally, people rally around the top person.
In your Government. You rally around George Bush, you rally
around your Governor whether you voted for the person or not.
People vote around their Mayor. The Mayor is the one that
lead the Prayer Ceremonies and that is just normally the way
it runs. I will follow the direction of the Council and the
Mayor, so again thank you very much for your time. Thank you.
Mayor Licitra: Lets talk about it on the 18th. I will be
at your meeting.
Vice President Mayor right now, then it would have been Mayor
Frank A. Ruggiero would have been on there. I would of Scapicchio:
Thank you Ray.
David Jones, Budd Lake, NJ: I just have one question. How
much funding does the Township give to Mount Olive Pride?
Also do they seek any funding on their own?
Vice President Scapicchio: I think we give them a Budget,
and Mayor correct me if I am wrong of $5,000.
Mayor Licitra: They do seek funding. They do get donations
during the year. People come into Town and like the job they
are doing on the roadways, and when one of the retail establishments
come in, they provide them with some money to continue what
they are doing.
Mr. Jones: Just one other thing. This is Mount Olive. It
is not Parsippany.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake, NJ: I have seen the sign. I think
it is a very nice sign. I have no problem with the Mayor's
name on it. The Pride Committee's name on it. Although I do
think it should have something recognizing the residents of
Mt. Olive. Mr. Perkins raised a point that Mimi Letts in Parsippany
has her name
Ned McDonald (cont'd): on a lot of things. If you recall,
when Frank Priore was Mayor in Parsippany, everything had
Frank Priore's name on it, and it got a bit ludicrous. So
I think that we should not just have things in the Township
that have only the Mayor's name on it. If we are going to
put names on things there should be a little more rationale,
than the fact that the Mayor or a specific committee because
after all it is our Township, the residents Township and I
think that we all should be recognized. Thank you.
Mr. Bonte, Budd Lake, NJ: I guess what bothers me about this
is the nature of this particular sign. If it was a sign promoting
Mount Olive I don't have a problem with the Mayor's name being
on there. It's the Mayor's function. This is a very unusual
case. This is a very, very sensitive issue. I know the Mayor
knew a lot of people that died that day. I had a number of
my customers die that day. I am still finding out. I just
found out last week that another one of my customers lost
their son. This is a very different thing than promoting Mt.
Olive, Promoting the Pride Committee, promoting the Mayor.
This is an expression of sympathy from the residents of this
Town to not only other Residents on this Town, but to anybody
that drives past that billboard that the residents of Mt.
Olive are thinking of you. I think that if that sign said
that it was dedicated to all the victims, from the residents
of this Town, and nothing else. No political statement, no
committee statement. Just from us to you, who ever you are.
Whoever is involved in this. That's why I am asking this.
People would drive by and say "wow, what a nice Town".
It would make me feel good to know that we did that. It is
not to be vindictive. I would not want to see anybody's name
up there, or any Committee's name up there. I think it should
be devoid of that. It is a wonderful sign. It was a wonderful
idea. I just think it should come from us. I think when people
drive by that they would feel wonderful. Thank you.
Vice President Scapicchio: I think that the Mayor and Ray
have said that they would discuss it at the next Pride Committee
and we will leave it there. I am sure that the group and the
Mayor will do the right thing. Anybody else from the Public?
Seeing none we will close the Public Portion. Council Comments?
Mayor Licitra: none
Mr. Heymann: As many of you know we had a very significant
Turkey Brook meeting on Friday. Mr. Guenther was there, the
Mayor was there, Mr. Scapicchio, Mr. Spino came a little later
and sat up at the top, and heard it. All the representatives
were up from North Carolina were there other than Lockerbie
himself. It was a very positive meeting. We spent as few moments
chastising them just every briefly as to our time frames and
whatever happened. With the help of Schoor DePalma, were able
to make certain suggestions to some different ideas of what
went on. I would like to have Turkey Brook on another workshop
on the 18th. I would like to discuss the different numbers
of the finance packages.
Vice President Scapicchio: Ron, the 18th is a Public Meeting.
Is it of such importance that you
Mr. Heymann: No, you can carry that into next year.
Mrs. Lashway: Do you want to just report on the 18th.
Mr. Heymann: I can report on the 18th. I will have the information
by then. Sherry has given me some numbers already.
Vice President Scapicchio: We will list it on that Public
Meeting and you can report on that.
Mr. Heymann: I had a couple of dates. Some firm dates. The
Mayor was stressing that when we were at the meeting and what
happens is we will be out. I think it is March 12th that we
expect to open the bids again.
Vice President Scapicchio: We will list on that Public Meeting
and you can report on that.
Mr. Guenther: I thought it was March 1, 2001.
Mayor Licitra: We are going to award in early March. I want
the shovel in the ground March 1, 2002. I am still trying
to hit for that day I am trying to squeeze a couple of days
out. But I think by March 8, we supposedly will start working.
We have our first deadline Friday of which Sandy called up
Vince DeFritas and he will have everything that he had promised
by Friday to us. What I did tomorrow night, there is a recreation
advisory committee meeting, and we are having a representative
go there to explain the Amendment to the Recreation Advisory
Committee and get their opinion on it. So we should have that.
The first deadline I hope is Friday and that will be taken
care of as far as Vince DeFritas is concerned. Then we will
get everybody's input and have something for you by the 18th.
Vice President Scapicchio: As long as we are on that subject
I would like to say that Ron ran that meeting. He did an excellent
job in setting the tone from the very beginning on letting
Olympus and their representatives how unhappy we were with
the bid results for several reasons. One of which the financing
that we put forth was based on numbers that they had originally
given us. Ron let them know that our intentions that day were
not to throw mud, but to come away from that meeting with
the understanding of the importance of this project. Not only
for Olympus and their reputation, but for the Taxpayers of
Mount Olive Township. Ron you did a real good job. I think
the Mayor and everybody at that meeting felt the same way
and I think that everyone including Olympus came away with
the understanding of how important this project was, not only
to the elected officials, but to the Taxpayers of the Township.
I am confident that we have got this thing back on track We
just need to keep their feet to the fire from this point forward
to assure ourselves that it stays that way.
Mr. Heymann: Thanks Dave.
Mr. Guenther: I just wanted to add that in the process there,
I think in their defense they always kept mentioning well
we have never run into these kind of experiences in North
Carolina. I think a couple of our members made it very clear
to them, "well this is not North Carolina." I believe
the message got through and I think that hopefully they will
be more diligent in the future.
Mr. Sohl: I just want to make a quick comment. At the last
meeting when we were discussing the potential donation of
a piece of property or several pieces of property, I know
I made some comments that indicated that Kathy should of known
better or etc. I apologize for that statement because as it
turns out we do not have that forum. What I was thinking of
was the one we had put in place some time ago relative to
properties that we would sell, and that has a formal process
and we have been using that for some time. To Kathy's credit
we now have a form, and again I apologize but we are moving
forward and that is good.
Mrs. Miller: No comment.
Mr. Spino: I have none. Thank you.
Vice President Scapicchio: I have just two comments. You
will notice in your packet you have a memo from Sherry Jenkins.
At the last Council Workshop we had asked for an inventory
of our EDU's and we have that available to us. I just thought
that should go noted. I read in the paper today with some
interest in the Daily Record about the Budget and the Financing
concerns of the State. I will just read you the paragraph
that piqued my interest.
Vice President Scapicchio (cont'd): They had shifted $32
million in Plan Spending into a reserve, meaning from the
way I understand it, that they are not spending it. The $32
million now in reserve, includes $7.8 million in aid to independent
colleges, $4 million in subsidies for the South Jersey Corporation,
$2 million for Rutgers University Academic Buildings, and
$4.8 million for other higher education and library projects.
Bill I was just wondering if this somehow effects our funding
from the library.
Mr. Sohl: How much was it for?
Vice President Scapicchio: $4.8 million.
Mr. Sohl: Just to answer that, that triggered something else.
Two things. First, to answer your question, my recollection
of the background information for the funding for that for
the library construction efforts was in the order of $40 million.
It may well be that based on the original grant applications.
Some of which may not have been deemed ultimately adequate.
Maybe that is the difference between what they granted and
to the point of what has been granted, we have in fact received
correspondence from the State formally stating the grant amount
of I believe it is $963,000.
Vice President Scapicchio: Yes. I saw that dated November
Mr. Sohl: Yes. This is just within the last week. So is very
positive news. It confirms what we have understood all the
while and positioned very well to move forward next year.
Vice President Scapicchio: Thank you. No other Business.
We will move for adjournment.
Motion made for adjournment. All in Favor, none Opposed.
The Meeting was adjourned at 8:17 pm.
David M. Scapicchio
I, LISA M LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount
Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true
and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened
meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on January
Lisa M. Lashway
Mount Olive Township Clerk