Mount Olive Township Council Minutes
January 3, 2000

The Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:00 pm by Council 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 entrance of the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those requesting the same.

Swearing In By Paul Vichness, Esq: Paul R. Licitra, Mayor

Charlene Kelly, Councilwoman

David M. Scapicchio, Councilman

Emilio A. (Earl) Spino, Councilman

President Scapicchio: Before we swear in the four candidates. On Christmas morning, we lost a friend, Charlie Brown passed away, and I would like to observe a moment of silence to remember Charlie. Okay, thank you very much. We’re going to have the four candidates sworn in: Paul Licitra as Mayor: Earl Spino, Charlene Kelly and myself, as Council members. The swearing in will be by Paul Vichness.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Repeat after me:

Mr. Paul R. Licitra: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of, Mayor of Mt. Olive Township, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Congratulations.

Mayor Licitra: Thank you very much.

Mr. Vichness, Esq. Repeat after me:

Mr. David Scapicchio: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Councilman of Mt. Olive Township according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Congratulations.

Mr. Scapicchio: Thank you.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Repeat after me:

Mr. Earl Spino: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Councilman of Mt. Olive Township according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Congratulations.

Mr. Spino: Thank you.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Repeat after me:

Mrs. Charlene Kelly: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Councilwoman of Mt. Olive Township according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Congratulations.

Mrs. Kelly: Thank you.

President Scapicchio: Thank you, Paul (Vichness.) I will now ask the Clerk to take Roll Call of the Council for 2000.

ROLL CALL: Mr. Heymann, Mr. Rattner, Mrs. Kelly, Mr. Spino, Mr. Sohl, Mr. Scapicchio

Election of 2000 Council President

President Scapicchio: I now open the Floor for nominations for Council President for Year 2000.

Mrs. Kelly: I nominate Bill Sohl for Council President.

Mr. Heymann: Second.

President Scapicchio: Are there any other nominations? Seeing none, I will close the floor.

ROLL CALL: Passed by the majority, Exception: Mr. Sohl ABSTAINED

President Sohl: Before we move on with the business, I would just like to thank Dave Scapicchio who I have had the honor of working with as Council Vice President for the last year. I’ve been very rewarded by that, and the relationship we built over time. And I look forward to his continued support for the Council and the Mt. Olive Citizens as we go forward. I now open the floor to the Nominations for the Council Vice President.

Mr. Scapicchio: I nominate Steve Rattner.

Mr. Spino: Second.

President Sohl: Are there any other nominations? If not, I will close the Floor.

Mr. Rattner: I will vote for myself.

ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously

Mr. Rattner: Thank you very much.

President Sohl: I would just make note, at this point, we have a vacancy on the Council. As new Council President, I would like to direct the Clerk to notify the Republican County Committee Chairman of that vacancy so that they can go through the proper motions to provide the three names of possible candidates to the Council within the time period according to Statute. I would now ask Father John Wehrlen to come up and give an Invocation, please.

Father Wehrlen: Let us pray. We pray this evening for our new Mayor and our new Council members. For all of those that are part of the Mt. Olive Government. They are entrusted to guard our political welfare. May they be enabled by your powerful protection, God, to discharge their duties with honesty and ability. We pray to you who are our Lord and God forever and ever. Amen.

President Sohl: Thank you. We now come to the Appointments. We’re doing a limited set of Appointments tonight, we’ll do the bulk of the regular appointments tomorrow at our regular meeting.

Appointments:

a. Mayor's Appointments with Advice & Consent of Council

Department Heads

Director of Planning, 4 year term expires 12/31/03 - Chuck McGroarty

Director of Health, Sanitation & Welfare, 4 year term expires 12/31/03 - Frank Wilpert

Director of Bldgs., Grounds, Parks & Recreation, 4 year term expires 12/31/03 - Eric Schulte

Mr. Heymann moved for the Approval of the Appointments and Mr. Rattner seconded the motion.

ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously

President Sohl: We will now swear in the Department Heads. We can do them at the same time, if that’s okay with you. It’s your re-appointment. However you want to do it.

Mr. McGroarty: As long as it’s on the Record, we don’t care.

Mayor Licitra: Do it as a team.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: Repeat after me:

Mr. Chuck McGroarty: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Director of Planning, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Frank Wilpert: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Director of Health, Welfare and Sanitation, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Eric Schulte: I, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Director of Recreation, Buildings & Grounds, according to the best of my ability, so help me God.

Mr. Vichness, Esq.: You are all sworn. Congratulations.

Council President and Council Members' Messages to Citizens

Mr. Heymann: Hopefully, we all survived the Y2K without any incident. I know at my house was fairly peaceful, other than somebody intentionally hit the circuit brakers to scare all the kids at Midnight, which, I have to say did work. But that was planned.

Mr. Spino: Why would you do that?

Mr. Heymann: It was not me, it was my neighbor, and I won’t give up his name. It’s nice to see a big crowd here today, in what I hope is the beginning–and I’m quite certain, since I’ve worked with Paul (Licitra) for many years up here, which will be the beginning of a new era in Mt. Olive where there will actually be communications–something, unfortunately we haven’t had for many years here. I don’t think that’s new news, that’s old news. So, I look forward to the ability to be able to speak to Department Heads, who will be permitted to come to meetings, and I think the usual effort of attempting to get everyone involved in the Grass Roots of our Community, because you people certainly have more ideas than just the seven of us have. So that way we can learn and understand better ways to improve our Municipality. This is my third term here, I’m halfway through it, and I do know that this Community has improved just by the fact that we’re sitting in this Building–because if we were in the old building, we couldn’t have this many people in there. So, I know that there have been improvements made and I hope that this Administration will finish up the projects that are on the table–the major recreation projects that we all know are well overdue and needed for this Municipality so that we can support the continuing growth that we have in our Community, especially in the residential sector. So at least for the next two years, I look forward to working with Paul (Licitra) and our soon-to-be new Business Administrator. And hopefully the Year 2000 and the future will be very good times for Mt. Olive.

Mr. Scapicchio: I would just like to take this opportunity to share with the audience my goals for the next four years. With respect to the Library, I’m in favor of the construction of a new Library on Township owned property, right next door to this new Municipal Building–a Library that is sized to meet the needs of Mt. Olive Township, and turning the old Library into a Youth Center. With respect to the old Municipal Building Mr. Scapicchio (cont’d): and the Beach, I would like to remove all the additions that have been added on to that building over the years, and just leave in place the original structure, set up to accommodate bathroom facilities, changing areas, and a small concession stand, all of which will make it more enjoyable for those using the Lake for year-round recreation. Open Space–Morris County has been very generous with Mt. Olive Township with respect to the purchase of Open Space. We’ve done an outstanding job in acquiring open space, and I see us continuing to aggressively pursue additional open space opportunities for the residents of the Township. Sanitation–I’d sort of like to change around somewhat the way we collect our sanitation. I’d like to see us go to commingled recyclables, I’d like to see us add a Clean-up Week for the residents who don’t have the means to get rid of some large items. I think those are two areas that residents can see an immediate improvement if we go to commingled recycling either once a week, or some scattered clean up days throughout the year. Soccer fields–we just purchased over 200 acres which we referred to as B&H Property on Mt. Olive Road. We are in the Planning Stages now of designing a State-of-the-Art Soccer facility. Hopefully in the very near future that’s going to be a permanent home for Mt. Olive Soccer Club. One of the last things–and it’s a little item, but I think it’s important to some of the residents that are effected–I’d like to put in place quarterly payments of the Budd Lake Sewer Project Assessment. Right now, the users of that facility pay that Assessment in one yearly payment, and I think that if we can manage to break that down to quarterly payments, we can ease the burden for the residents to allow them to at least work it into their yearly Budget rather then them having to come up with one large sum at one time. And with that, I wish everybody a happy, healthy, and productive new year. Thank you.

Mrs. Kelly: I would just like to thank some of the Committees that I’ve been involved in. One of the Committees that I’m especially fond of is our Environmental Commission. They have worked very hard over the past few years with some very challenging development that’s going on in Town. They review all the plans before they go to the Planning Board, and they give their comments, and they voice their opinions at the Planning Board level. Also, one of the things that the Environmental Commission is very involved in is our Stream Monitoring Program. They monitor the Raritan River just below where Turkeybrook comes into it, and I’m proud to say that we have the highest water quality in the entire State for the Raritan River, and we’d like to keep that high quality. We’ve been monitoring it for, I believe, six years now and we could use some new people that would like to get involved in stream monitoring. So, if you’re interested in a Committee, that’s maybe something that you could get involved in. One of the other Committees that’s very aggressive in Town is our Open Space Committee. We actually tried to purchase a parcel next to the Middle School called Rickland Village–it’s now called “Wyndham Pointe.” We were unsuccessful trying to purchase that property, it was sold to Toll Brothers and it is now under construction for 98 homes. However, the money that we got from the County we were able to bring over for the purchase of the B&H Property which is going to be–as Dave said--the home of our Soccer fields. We were very fortunate because the County had never done anything like that before. I believe that there is a vacancy on the Open Space Committee, too, if somebody would like to get involved in that. One of the Committees that’s not often talked about is the Earth Day Committee. They did the Municipal planting and it is a continual project. They also planted all the shrubbery and plants around the Senior Citizen Center. They’re always looking for new members and new ideas and people who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. These are some of the Committees that I’m involved in, and I would like to see more people get involved in our Community. I would like to thank you all for coming here and I’m just really proud that we have so many people in Mt. Olive that are interested in seeing us into the new century. Thank you.

Mr. Spino: I’m going to keep it very short and say that I will pledge to work with the new Administration–a friendly Administration–not just because Paul and I have been friends for a long time, but, that, with him brings an atmosphere of cooperation, friendliness and a dedication to do what we feel, and what the people tell us is the best for Mt. Olive Township. To continue to purchase open space, and finally get some fields, and recreation areas built–things that concern development, I think we are going to work very hard under this Administration. I think the direction the Administration will push the Planning Board to will be one of–people have the right to develop their property, but they’re going to have to do it within the rules and regulations that Mt. Olive is going to set down, and I think one of the first things we’re probably going to work on is changing some of the rules. Even though the Master Plan is fairly new, it does not mean it can’t be changed. That is one thing I would like to see done. I know during the campaign, one of the things that almost every one talked about was that, development in the Township. Other than that, I would like to wish everyone a happy, prosperous New Year, and enjoy the party later on.

Mr. Rattner: I actually came with prepared remarks, but I don’t really want to take much time. Really, this is the new Mayor’s day. This is when we have a change in our government right from the top. With the work ahead and the responsibility involved, this will probably be the most happiest day of his term. Mt. Olive has come a long way in the last 10 - 12 years, with all the new infrastructure, new buildings, new recreation, new parks, but there’s also, the responsibility and expense of maintaining it and keeping it first class. So, with

Mr. Rattner (cont’d): that, I just want to thank every body who came. Because, really, the people that we are facing are the important people, and the people are here. One thing that we didn’t do at the beginning of the meeting is, I notice that most of our County Officials–elected Officials have come to honor the new Mayor and the re-elected Council members. And with that, I would like to introduce them. First, Freeholder Director Doug Cabana; and Freeholder Joe Pennacchio, Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom, Freeholder Cissy Laureys, Freeholder Frank Dreutzler, and Freeholder John Murphy. We would like to thank them for sharing this joyous day with us.

President Sohl: Thank you, Steve. Thank you for introducing the members from the County. I would just like to say–and I’m not going to introduce everybody because there are so many here–but it’s very, very encouraging to see the various members of the Township itself present tonight, in addition to those that were sworn in as reappointed Department Heads. I did prepare a couple of short messages here, and I just want to go through them because I thought about this the other day, and I thought–how many people get a shot at being the first Council President in the New Millennium? So I figured I better do this a little more formal than I’m used to. Tonight we have "officially" launched Mount Olive Township government's beginning of the year 2000, the first year of a new decade, a new century and a new millennium. In doing so, we should acknowledge, at least briefly, our global participation. While we have seen great advances in the past, especially the 20th century, we must also remember that mankind's history is not without its dark moments. The end of the 2nd Millennium just two days ago will, I hope, close the door on those horrible periods when people inflicted the most horrible evils on others as could be imagined. In contrast, I am truly encouraged as I sit here today having witnessed the recent beginning of the 3rd millennium, a global party that went off without incident. People assembled in record numbers everywhere and they celebrated with millions

of others. What a wonderful indication that was of the fundamental good and law abiding attitudes of the great majority of people wherever they live. In Mount Olive, I am excited as we begin the 3rd millennium

with a new Mayor, a new administration and a joint commitment from this council and the mayor to one of true cooperation for the betterment of Mount Olive Township. That commitment does not mean that either branch of government must rubber-stamp the plans or goals of the other. Rather, it means we will share our ideas, beliefs and opinions in an air of open discussion and work together to arrive at what is best for Mount Olive. That is the only agenda we will follow... "Doing what is best for Mount Olive."As we celebrate this new beginning, I am saddened only by one thing, our loss of Police Chief Brown. It is an understatement to say he will be missed. But, as I am sure Charlie would insist, we must go forward. Accordingly: I wish to once again congratulate Mayor Licitra as he takes office and I look forward to a fruitful and rewarding year working with him and his administration, I congratulate Eric Schulte, Frank Wilpert and Chuck McGroarty on their reappointments as department heads, I again congratulate Charlene Kelly, David Scapicchio and Earl Spino on their re-election to council, and Steve Rattner as Council Vice President, I thank all of the council for their faith in electing me to be the first Council President of this new millennium, and, last, but not least I thank my wife Linda and my family for their support, without which I wouldn't be here. Now, let's party a bit knowing we'll begin tomorrow to roll up our sleeves and get to work in earnest for the citizens of Mount Olive.

Mayor's Message to Citizens

Mayor Licitra: First I have to tell you, if you go down to Disney World between Christmas and New Year’s for a week, you need another vacation after you come back. The only good part of it is, you walk so much, and you go to so many places that you really don’t gain any weight. So, you can eat as much as you want, and you walk it off. Anyway, I would like to try to keep this as short as I can, and I’ll try to rush so we can get over to the Senior Center and celebrate our new beginning, and also my father’s 88th birthday, which is today. Thank you for being here tonight. I have no “State of the Township Message.” I do have a message–in 100 days I will tell you what the State of the Township is, and I’ll tell you the truth about where Mt. Olive is going. I will set forth tonight some ideas that I have, and then you can judge me in 100 days how I’ve accomplished some of these ideas and how I’ve gotten them started. But I will promise you in 100 days from now how the Township stands and where we’re going. Tonight, three days after the change of the century, and also on the day my father celebrates his 88th birthday, let the word go forth out to all the State of New Jersey that the citizens of Mt. Olive are ready to take their rightful place as the premier community, not only in Morris County but also in the entire State. Let the word go out right now, right here that Mt. Olive will no longer follow the pack, but we will be the leader. Let the word go out that we have 24,000+ citizens that are hard working, and dedicated to quality of life, volunteers all over the place, people that put their time and effort in. People that I’ve worked with for the last 28 years. Good people, good people that want to see Mt. Olive grow and prosper, and we are going to bring the best out in everybody. Let the word go out that we’re passing the torch from an era of Government by Exclusion, to Government of Inclusion. Not only will the adult voices be heard in our community, but also the young adults and children’s voices. Let the word also go out to the developers who wish to locate in Mt. Olive that the rules have been changed. We will welcome Mayor Licitra (cont’d): your development, but under our terms, and our terms only. Mt. Olive is a great place to build your homes and start your businesses. But let it be known from this day forward that if you want to develop in our great town, you will play by our rules. You will not pitch your tent, swell my roads with traffic, and change our citizens quality of life, earn your money, and leave. You must contribute back to our community. If your heart and your intentions are for the good and the welfare of our citizens, then and only then we will welcome you. If your intentions are not what is best for our community, then maybe you should think of developing in another community. This new government in Mt. Olive is totally, totally committed to its citizens and their precious quality of life. As your Mayor, I will expand our efforts to purchase as much open space that is affordable for our citizens. Because this is the most meaningful way we can control development. I will expand the position of Grant Coordinator to Full-time status in order to break our enviable record that we have right now of procurement of Grants that we enjoy, and I will ask the Council to fund a Full-time Field Maintenance position to maintain all the fields that we presently have. As your Mayor, I will set a very aggressive Agenda to make sure your voices are heard, and you’re part of the decision making process of this government. My opponents called me the “Committee Candidate” because my use of committees to bring people into the process. Well, guess what, they were right. I am the Committee Candidate, and I believe in the people. This Mayor will form an Industrial and Commerce Committee along with the different Organizations in Town–the Chamber of Commerce to not only attract good, clean ratables, but also to attract businesses that want to locate in Mt. Olive and will prosper in Mt. Olive, businesses that we want. I will form, and I have formed a Teen Advisory Committee. I have already gone up to the Middle School, and have been in touch with about 15 of our young people and we have adopted each other for the next four years. They’re going to be brutally honest with me, and I’m going to be brutally honest with them, and I’m going to follow them through their Senior year. I formed a Shared Services Committee because I totally believe that that’s the way to save money in Government. I want to form a new Master Plan Committee–and I know that my friend, Earl, is going to be a part of it–a major part, and I thank him very much. We are going to tinker with the Master Plan, we’re going to make it even better. I want to form a LOSAP Committee. You did vote that in. LOSAP was to give First Aid and Fire Volunteers Annuities, tax breaks and things like that. We need our volunteers. I don’t know about you, but when that alarm goes off at 2:00am, I hear that, I thank God for the volunteers in this Town. So, we have to give them something to look forward to you. I want to institute a special telephone number so that citizens complaints and recommendations and suggestions can be logged in, researched, and responded to in a very, very timely manner. I want to form project teams for all our projects because I want to assure that these projects are on time, and on budget. And I want to ask the Council to fund a legal advisor. I know we tried this eight years ago, we used the wrong term. We called it a Public Advocate, and for some reason a Public Advocate doesn’t fly, so we’re going to call it a legal advisor. People that come before governments, and this Town don’t know what they’re doing. They’re just citizens, they’re out-manned by legal people, they’re out-manned by lawyers, they’re out-manned by Planners and Developers. I want to make sure that these people are prepared to ask the right questions to these Boards in Town, and I want to put somebody in charge of that. So, I’m going to ask the Council to fund that position. I want to expand the Recreation Committee by three members. I want to put a High School Coach on the Committee. We always said we wanted cross-talk between the High School and Recreation Teams; and I also want to put two young adults on the Committee. I want to expand the Pride Committee and ask the Council for funds to hire a Public Relations Firm to promote Mt. Olive. I want to expand our efforts to promote Budd Lake and its natural beauty. I have a vision of after we decide what we’re going to be doing with that old Municipal Building–and maybe expand the lake–what’s wrong with making a Boardwalk around Budd Lake even if we have to do it one foot at a time for the next 50 years. There is nothing wrong. We have a jewel of a lake, a place where we can recreate, where people can be proud. There are two signs in the parking lot–one is “Reserved for the Business Administrator” and one is “Reserved for the Mayor.” Well they’re coming down. We’re going to have an “Employee of the Month” and an “Employee of the Year.” We’re going to make sure that every effort is put forth to expand our present Library or find a new home for it. If that new home is found, we can then think of a Teen Center for our young people, and definitely a means of transportation to get them there. And finally, to my ex-Council colleagues, I’ll miss you as far as a Councilman, but let me tell you something. I need you. Bill, I need your advice and your Administration. Dave, I need your tenacity on things that you go after. And, Earl, your friendship and experience. Charlene, you’ve been my environmental conscience and please continue to be. Ron, your recreation abilities, I need that. And, Steve, your accounting, and use for the numbers, I’m going to need that too. I need a spirit of cooperation. And, truly, we have to respect one another. We’re not going to always agree on everything. You know that, and I know that. But I need your help. And, my friends and neighbors, I also need your help. I can’t do all these things alone. I need your help, and I need you to volunteer. I need you to say, “Okay.” And I need you to help me. And, God bless us, and God bless Mt. Olive. It’s going to be an exciting four years. Thank you.

Benediction

Father John Wehrlen: God let the light of your Devine wisdom direct the deliberations of our Mayor and Council. Let it shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government. May they, the new members of government seek to preserve peace, promote happiness, and continue to bring us the blessings of liberty and equality. We pray to you our Lord and God for ever and ever. Amen.

President Sohl: Thank you, Father. If anybody is sitting here and doesn’t know–we will adjourn and will go and party across the parking lot at the Senior Building. Every one who is here is certainly welcome to attend.

class=Section2>

Motion made for adjournment. All in Favor, None Opposed. The Meeting was adjourned at 7:30pm.

______________________

William H. Sohl

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 June 27, 2000.

________________________

LISA M. LASHWAY

Mount Olive Township Clerk

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

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

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