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 the same.

ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Guenther, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Spino,
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 Fund.

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, 2002.

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 Council?

PUBLIC PORTION

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 is?

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? Administration? Anything?

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 30, 2001.

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
Council President

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 15, 2002

_____________________
Lisa M. Lashway
Mount Olive Township Clerk

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Mount Olive Township
Post Office Box 450
Budd Lake, NJ 07828

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Mount Olive Township
204 Flanders-Drakestown Road
Budd Lake, N.J. 07828

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