TOWNSHIP COUNCIL PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES - August 18, 2009

The Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:39 pm by President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.

ROLL CALL

Present: Mr. Tobey, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Roman, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Mania

Absent: None

Also Present: David Scapicchio, Mayor; Bill Sohl, Business Administrator; John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; Sherry Maniscalco, CFO

Questions on Bill List?

President Rattner: Okay, we have Approval of… Oh, do we have any questions on the Bill List? John, just so if you haven’t been told, what we try doing is you get the Bill List in your package before the weekend and you can go over it. You can go over it but if not by tonight, at the beginning of the meeting, we ask that you let the CFO know if you have any questions. That way they have a little bit of time by the time we get to it.

Mr. Mania: Thank you, Steve.

President Rattner: Okay. Does anybody have any questions on the Bill List at this time? Seeing none, we’ll move right along.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

President Rattner: We have Approval of Minutes of the Previous Meetings. We have the August 4th Workshop and Public Meeting. Mr. Greenbaum, would you move those Minutes?

August 4, 2009 WS & PM (all present)

Mr. Greenbaum: So moved.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Rattner: Any corrections or comments? All in favor?

AYE

CORRESPONDENCE

LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS/ORGANIZATIONS

1. Email received August 12, 2009, from Curtis Turpan regarding a tree at 16 Stonewald Road.

RESOLUTIONS / ORDINANCES / CORRESPONDENCE OTHER TOWNS

2. Letter received August 5, 2009, from Allamuchy Township regarding proposed amendments to the Land Development Ordinance.

3. Email received August 11, 2009, from Mendham Township regarding a Resolution requesting the Legislature to Restructure and Bring Fairness to Tax and Franchise Fees Imposed on Telecommunications and Cable Telecommunications Service Providers in New Jersey.

4. Resolution received August 13, 2009, from the Township of Jefferson supporting an Amendment to the Open Public Records Act.

5. Resolution received August 14, 2009, from the Town of Boonton supporting an Amendment to the Open Public Records Act.

DOT/ /DEP / LOI / HIGHLANDS

6. Letter received August 13, 2009, from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding 119 Stedwick Drive.

7. Letter received August 14, 2009, from the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding a Public Notice.

LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES

8. Email received August 3, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding the Monmouth County COAH Briefing Scheduled for August 4th.

9. Email received August 5, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding a Call for Nominations for the Eighth Annual Innovation in Governance Awards.

10. Email received August 5, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Organ Donation and Your Community and Draft Proclamation, August Grant Page Posted, DEP Discusses Plans to Implement New Site Remediation Reform Act, A-3508, Enabling Municipalities to Utilize Credit Unions as Depositories, and Process for Filing Consumer Complaints Concerning Banking and Insurance.

11. Email received August 5, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding 4 Issues.

12. Email received August 6, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Federal Transportation Funding and Volunteer Background Checks.

13. Email received August 6, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Temporary Layoff Guidelines for Local Appointing Authorities.

14. Email received August 7, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding a NJ Local Government Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Program.

15. Email received August 10, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding a Special Charity Event for League Members.

16. Email received August 12, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Hurricane Season.

17. Email received August 13, 2009, from the State of New Jersey League of Municipalities regarding Hurricane Season.

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

18. Letter received August 10, 2009, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Agriculture regarding the Gypsy Moth Egg mass Survey of Mount Olive Township.

ENVIRONMENTAL

19. Environmental Alert received August 10, 2009, from Birdsall Services Group regarding Site remediation Reform Act and Licensed Remediation Professional Program.

UTILITIES

20. Letter received August 5, 2009, from Jersey Central Power and Light regarding Routine Maintenance.

DCA

21. Email received August 3, 2009, from the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regarding a GovConnect Update for August 3, 2009.

LETTER FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES

22. Email received July 31, 2009, from Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen regarding The Week Just Past, The “Uninsured” by the Numbers, House Passes “Treading Water” Defense Bill, Working to Improve Veterans Care, Spread the eNews, and Contact Rep. Frelinghuysen.

MSA

23. Email received August 6, 2009, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding Minutes of a June 3, 2009 meeting.

COAH

24. Email received August 12, 2009, from the State of New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing regarding COAH Information for Highlands Municipalities.

MORRIS COUNTY

25. Letter received August 13, 2009, from the Morris County League of Municipalities regarding a Swine Flu Update program.

26. Letter received August 14, 2009, from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding an invitation to a September 11th Remembrance Service and Candlelight Vigil.

President Rattner: Okay, Correspondence, we have 26 items of Correspondence. Does anybody have any questions or comments on any of those Correspondences?

ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING

President Rattner: Moving right along, we have Ordinances for Public Hearing. I open to the public Ord.#17-2009, entitled:

Ord.#17-2009 Bond Ordinance Providing a Supplemental Appropriation of $382,200 for Improvements to the Water Utility in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey and Authorizing the Issuance of $382,200 Bonds or Notes of the Township for Financing Part of the Appropriation.

President Rattner: Would anybody from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment and I’ll ask Mr. Perkins to move it.

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President. I move that Ord. #17-2009 be moved for final adoption and final passage.

Mr. Roman: Second.

President Rattner: Thank you. Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

President Rattner: Ord.#17-2009 has passed on second reading, and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law. Next on the Agenda, I open the hearing to the public on Ord.#18-2009, entitled:

Ord.#18-2009 Bond Ordinance Providing for Various Capital Improvements of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating the Aggregate Amount of $717,743 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $534,606 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.

President Rattner: Would anybody from the public like to address the Council? Yes, sir. Mr. Buell, you know the process.

James Buell, 7 Linwood Road: I have some concerns about the capital budget, not necessarily about the budget itself. My major concern, in terms of the capital budget, is the fact of the debt level in Mount Olive Township. Just to provide you with some information that you may or may not have available, I’ve just finished doing a comparison of the Randolph and Roxbury budget as best I could, and looked at some information relative to the budgets. The first one is that Mount Olive is the big spender. When you add Sanitation which is included in the Randolph and the Roxbury budget, our budget is $4.3 million, excuse me…

President Rattner: You have to talk into the mic. Mr. Buell, you have to talk into the mic because we can’t hear you.

Mr. Buell: Roxbury’s budget, total budget including Sanitation is $4.3 million less than our budget. Randolph’s budget is $3.3 million less than our budget of $29.9 million.

President Rattner: Jim…

Mayor Scapicchio: Steve…

President Rattner: Jim, I want to give you time. This is, you’re talking about the general budget. That’s already been passed. If you want to talk about that that would be at the Public…

Mr. Buell: I’m going to talk about that in relation to the capital.

President Rattner: Okay, because right now what we’re talking about is just the specific capital budget covered under Ord.#18-2009.

Mr. Buell: Correct. The second piece of information is the fact that the long term debts of the two Towns… Roxbury’s debt service is $1.5 million less than ours and Randolph is $3.56 million less than our debt service of $4,744,331 if I read our budget correctly. Unfortunately, it gets worse. When you look at the Randolph budget which in essence this is their black book, you see that they spent approximately $680,000 this year in capital for the same things that are included in this budget for general operating expenses, or capital expenses. They appear to have, if I read the budget correctly, they appear to have paid out of the general operating fund the whole $680,000. So in essence they actually will reduce their debt service next year by almost 4% while Mount Olive, and I’m not talking about the Sewer and the Water, is now borrowing an additional half million dollars and we’re only paying, if I read the ordinance correctly, we’re only paying $28,000 of that this year. That means for the next twenty years we’ll be paying off the rest of this half million. My question is, in terms of our capital expenses, how long can we continue to sustain this. Mount Olive appears to be going further and further and further into debt. We’re spending $3 and $4 million more than these towns to provide exactly the same services for almost the same number of population, and yet our debt service continues to go up and up and up. My question is, and Mr. Tobey said it at several Council meetings, when is this Town going to make the meaningful cuts we need to pay off the debt in the long term? As Phyllis Shelton said when she was here before this Council, and she’s a real estate broker, when I bring people into Mount Olive they love the houses. They love the prices of the houses. They love the services but when we get to the taxes they say, “No, thank you.” I hope that I heard the Council say that you’re going to get to work on the budget early this year. In fact, spending the next three months doing the budget and I hope you do. As I indicated in March, one of the best places to start is actually doing a comparison with these other Towns.

President Rattner: Okay, Jim, you’re getting off… Again, you’re in a place for us just to do for the…

Mr. Buell: Okay, I’m just about finished, Steve.

President Rattner: …anything goes at the end of the meeting.

Mr. Buell: Okay, well let me just, I’m just about finished. For example, our comparison shows that there is an opportunity if you look at the way Randolph spends its money to save approximately $2 million a year, year after year by making the tough choices.

President Rattner: Jim, I’m going to have to, just bring that up at the end.

Mr. Buell: Okay.

President Rattner: We’re doing the individual ordinances. At the end you’ll have the opportunity to bring up any subject you want.

Mr. Buell: Alright.

President Rattner: Anybody else from the public who would like to address the Council on Ord.#18-2009? You’ll get the opportunity to speak on any issue that you want at the end of the meeting. Seeing none, I’ll close…

Mayor Scapicchio: Steve?

President Rattner: Mayor?

Mayor Scapicchio: If you’d like, Sherry can address some of those concerns that Mr. Buell had now or she can wait until another portion of the meeting. It’s your call.

Mr. Tobey: I have a comment before we get to that, Mayor. I will be supporting Ord.#18-2009 tonight. On a positive note the Mayor and I had a discussion and we’ve agreed that although there are three pieces of DPW equipment in the ordinance, the Mayor has given me his word that we will not be purchasing it so we will not be incurring that expense there. That’s a statement for the record.

President Rattner: I would recommend that we stick with the ordinance at this time and at the end of the meeting you’ll have the opportunity, I’ll make sure that you have enough opportunity if you want to answer item by item or however you want to do it.

Mayor Scapicchio: Fine, Steve. Thank you.

Mr. Greenbaum: Do it under Administrative…

President Rattner: Mr. Mania?

Mr. Mania: Steve, that money for those three vehicles that we just talked about, has that been appropriated already in the ordinance?

Mr. Sohl: Five percent.

President Rattner: The down payment has been appropriated. In other words the amount of money to fund this bond ordinance, which is basically the down payment, has been appropriated in our budget that we passed a couple of weeks ago.

Mr. Greenbaum: It’s not a substantial amount of money and it goes back into surplus if it’s not spent.

President Rattner: Mayor, you wanted to say something else?

Mayor Scapicchio: Yes, let me just explain. You know, there were a lot of other things in this budget that, a paving project that needed to get moving along. I talked to Mr. Tobey because he was one of the Council members that did not support the introduction of this ordinance, and I asked Phil what it would take for him to be able to support this. There were three items, three vehicles in DPW. They totaled about $100,000. Phil said, you know, if you can promise that you guys won’t spend the money on those three vehicles, I can then support this budget or this capital ordinance. We agreed to that and that’s what’s in front of us tonight. I forget exactly what the three vehicles were. Sherry, do you have that on hand? One was a pickup truck for Engineering/Zoning.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Yes, Engineering had a case tractor.

Mr. Perkins: A replacement pickup…

Mr. Tobey: A utility vehicle and plow.

Mrs. Maniscalco: The Engineering vehicle, the case tractor and…

Mr. Perkins: The pickup truck with plow in the Road division.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Oh, the truck for Radar. Radar’s truck.

Mr. Perkins: Radar.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Okay?

Mayor Scapicchio: So although it’s in the capital ordinance that’s in front of you, the Administration has guaranteed that we won’t bond or spend that money for those vehicles or anything else.

President Rattner: Okay, and for the public’s information, any of these capital ordinances require a super majority which means five affirmative votes. It’s not a simple majority. Any other comments from the Council? Roll Call.

Mr. Perkins: Wait a minute… Did we introduce? You didn’t get a motion to introduce.

Mrs. Lashway: Nobody introduced and seconded it.

Mrs. Labow: Oh, yes, you opened it to the public but you didn’t…

Mr. Perkins: You opened to the public but you didn’t get…

President Rattner: Okay, we’ll do a do over.

Mr. Perkins: Back up to Mr. Roman.

Mr. Roman: Do over.

Mrs. Labow: Do over.

President Rattner: Mr. Roman, will you move it?

Mr. Roman: I move for approval of Ord.#18-2009.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Rattner: I hope it’s the same vote the second time. Okay, we have a motion and a second. Any other discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed with the exception of Mrs. Labow and Mr. Rattner who voted no.

President Rattner: Okay, again, Ord.#18-2009 has passed on second reading, and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law. The next item on the Agenda is Ord.#19-2009. I open the hearing to the public on Ord.#19-2009, entitled:

Ord.#19-2009 Bond Ordinance Providing for Various Improvements to the Water Utility in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $225,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $213,750 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance the Cost Thereof.

President Rattner: Again, is there anybody who wants to speak to this ordinance which is just the capital for our Water Utility? Seeing nobody from the public, I’ll open it to Council discussion. Seeing none, Roll Call.

Mr. Greenbaum: You need to move it.

Mrs. Labow: You have to move it.

President Rattner: Did it again. Moving on, Mrs. Labow, would you move the ordinance?

Mrs. Labow: Yes, I will. I move for adoption and final passage of Ord.#19-2009.

President Rattner: Second?

Mr. Roman: Second.

President Rattner: Moved and seconded. Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed with the exception of Mr. Rattner who voted no.

ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING (second reading/public hearing September 1, 2009)

President Rattner: Ord.#19-2009 has passed on second reading, and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law. Now we come to Ordinances for First Reading and there will be no public portion on this. If you want to comment on it you can comment either at the public hearing on September 1st or at the end of the meeting. Next item on the Agenda for First Reading is Ord.#20-2009, entitled:

Ord.#20-2009 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive, County of Morris, and State of New Jersey Authorizing the Negotiation, Execution and Recording of a Conservation Easement to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection for a Portion of Block 6800, Lot 13 and as Further Described Herein and Pursuant to the Terms and Conditions of this Ordinance.

President Rattner: Mr. Roman, would you move that?

Mr. Roman: I move that Ord.#20-2009 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on September 1, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a public hearing consideration of said reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available such ordinance in accordance with the requirements of law.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:

Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.

CONSENT RESOLUTIONS

1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Capital Budget Amendments.

2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Two New Change Funds for the Tax Collector’s Office.

3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2009 Municipal Budget ($2,500 Pandemic Flu Planning). REMOVED

4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2009 Municipal Budget ($500 Donation from BASF for Police Equipment).

5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of a Grant Balance (Obey the Sign or Pay Fines).

6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of Taxes of Various Properties Foreclosed by Mount Olive Township.

7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of Taxes on Block 4100 Lot 10 aka Combe Fill Corp.

8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Relative to the Appeal Filed by BT-Newyo, LLC (UPS) v. Township of Mount Olive Block 102 Lot 18, 303 Waterloo Valley Road.

9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Supporting the Development of a “Left Lane For Left Turn Only” at the Intersection of Route 206 and Laurel Drive.

10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Resolution Authorizing the Closing of a Portion of Sand Shore Road on Saturday, September 26, 2009 for the ITC Triathlon.

11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Settlement in Connection with the Tax Appeal Entitled Young & Bakarian Realty Partnership v. Mount Olive Township.

12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Settlement in Connection with the Tax Appeal Entitled MF Mt. Olive, LLC v. Mount Olive Township.

President Rattner: As we said during the Workshop, Resolution number three has been removed and number six has been amended. It has been published and put out but this is the revised one with the additional information on the sewer assessments. Does anybody want any of the remaining eleven removed? Seeing none, Mr. Mania, would you move the Consent Resolutions?

Mr. Mania: Mr. President, I move Consent Resolutions one through two and four through twelve.

President Rattner: Thank you.

Mr. Roman: Second.

Mr. Mania: You’re welcome.

President Rattner: Second?

Mrs. Labow: Alex seconded.

PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS – none

COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS – none

President Rattner: Okay, would anybody like to comment, make any comments on any of them? Seeing none, anybody from the public who would like to address anything on the Consent Resolutions? Okay, seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and Lisa, Roll Call on the Consent Resolutions.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT

President Rattner: Okay, now we move on to the Non Consent. The Non Consent Resolution is the one that was added today and that is Resolution number thirteen. Mr. Perkins, would you move that resolution?

13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Mayor David Scapicchio to Execute a Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund Application. ADDED

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President, I move for adoption of Non Consent Resolution number thirteen.

Mr. Tobey: Second.

PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS – none

COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS – none

President Rattner: It’s been moved and seconded. Anybody from the public who would like to address the Council on this resolution? Seeing none, I close the public portion. Are there any comments from the Council? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

MOTIONS

President Rattner: Moving right along, we have Motions. Mr. Greenbaum?

Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of:

1. Approval of an Amendment to Bingo License #2308 for the K of C #6100 Fr. Joseph A. Cassidy Council and Raffle Application #2319 for St. James Episcopal Church.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Rattner: Any comments? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed with the exception of Mr. Mania who abstained.

President Rattner: Mr. Mania, in the future, I know why you abstained from the one.

Mr. Mania: I’m a member of the Knights.

President Rattner: The other ones, you only have to abstain from that one particular application if there is more than one. You don’t have to abstain from the whole Motion, just abstain from that one.

Mr. Greenbaum: He feels very strongly about the St. James Episcopal Church as well though.

President Rattner: You’ll get the hang of it. It takes a little while but you’ll get the hang of it. Thank you very much for explaining that to us, Mr. Greenbaum. Okay, moving right along, Administrative Matters.

Mrs. Lashway: Bill List.

Mayor Scapicchio: Sherry, do you want to use this opportunity to just…

President Rattner: Oh, I’m sorry, we have the Bill List.

Mr. Roman: Bill List, we have to pay the bills.

Mr. Tobey: I move the Bill List.

2. Bill List.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Rattner: Any discussion on the Bill List? Any public discussion on the Bill List? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL – Passed Unanimously

Proclamation - Honoring September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

President Rattner: I see that at the beginning we missed the Proclamation that you had, Mayor. Are you going to do that now?

Mayor Scapicchio: I can read that into the record, sure.

President Rattner: I’m sorry.

Mrs. Labow: I was trying to get your attention before to tell you.

President Rattner: So before we started the regular Administrative Matters this should have been at the onset of the meeting.

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Mayor Scapicchio: It’s a Proclamation Honoring September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.


Office of the Mayor

PROCLAMATION

Honoring September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

WHEREAS, ovarian cancer is called the “silent killer” because its symptoms are often vague or subtle; and

WHEREAS, Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women and the leading cause of gynecologic cancer death in the United States; and

WHEREAS, each year more than 22,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease and approximately 16,000 die from it; and

WHEREAS, if detected in its early stages, survival from ovarian cancer is 90-95% and the five year survival rate is only 28% because it is so difficult to detect early; and

WHEREAS, the Turn the Town Teal campaign was launched by Gail MacNeil during her 10 year battle with ovarian cancer; and

WHEREAS, Kaleidoscope of Hope (KOH), the Atlantic Health System and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition-Northern NJ (NOCC) are partnering to promote awareness of ovarian cancer through the Turn the Town Teal campaign.

NOW THEREFORE, be it proclaimed that I, David Scapicchio, Mayor of Mount Olive Township do hereby proclaim, September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and support the Turn the Town Teal awareness campaign in the Township of Mount Olive.

Mayor Scapicchio: Thank you, Steve.

President Rattner: Thank you, Mayor. Now, are there any other Administrative Matters?

Mayor Scapicchio: Sherry…

Mr. Sohl: Sherry?

Mrs. Maniscalco: If the public and the Council would indulge me a little bit so I can address some of Mr. Buell’s concerns that he raised. I want to talk about our debt levels first. Our debt level right now is a little over ¾ of 1%. We’re actually allowed to go up to 3½ % of the total value of our property. So our debt level is very low. One of the reasons why our debt service budget is as large as it is is because we’ve had a policy for a number of years of aggressively paying down our debt. We have incurred significant amounts of debt for various projects, the DPW building, this building, the Library, Turkey Brook, Open Space acquisitions, I can go on. We have instituted a policy where we’re aggressively paying down what we’re borrowing. In the ordinance that we’re doing tonight, we’re looking at authorizing debt in the amount of about $534,000. We’re actually paying off in this year’s budget well over $3 million. That’s important to keep in mind. The other issue that I want to address is comparing our budget to other budgets. I get a lot of questions on this from the taxpayers I might add. I’m sure the Council hears it as well. Unless you’re comparing apples to apples with another municipality’s budget, it’s very hard to make the statements that Mr. Buell has made. Let me speak specifically as to why. Are they providing exactly the same level of services that we are providing? Do they have exactly the same number of employees? Have they incurred or spent money on the types of projects that we have spent money on in the last, say, five to ten years? Do they have Water and Sewer operations running through their main budget or do they have separate utilities like we have? So, again, you really need to look closely when you compare, say, Roxbury or Randolph’s budget to our budget specifically. In terms of the ordinance that we’re doing tonight, I just want to clarify that we can’t actually go out to bond for twenty years for this ordinance. We can only bond for the average useful life of the projects that are in the ordinance which is only 7.9 years.

Mr. Tobey: Thank you.

Mrs. Maniscalco: You’re welcome.

Mr. Roman: Sherry, can you repeat that number again, our debt level as a percentage of our…

Mrs. Maniscalco: It’s a little over ¾ of 1%.

Mr. Roman: Okay.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Okay, so again, this ordinance we’re only incurring slightly over $500,000.

Mayor Scapicchio: Well, $100,000 less than that, Sherry, because we’re not buying the three vehicles.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Exactly, and if we’re not buying the three vehicles it will be far less than that…

Mayor Scapicchio: So it’s $430,000.

Mrs. Maniscalco: …and we are paying off well over $3 million. Since we’ve sort of gotten rid of the larger projects that we’ve done in Town, as you all know, the Turkey Brook, this building, the DPW building, the Library, we have really tapered down what we’re borrowing every year.

Mr. Greenbaum: Isn’t part of our debt service also related to the fact that we have very large tax appeals from BASF, which we had to go out and rather than hit the taxpayer’s on a yearly basis, to try to ease the pain of those tax appeals through borrowing.

Mrs. Maniscalco: You’re right, Rob. We actually went out twice. We had to go to the Local Finance Board twice related to tax appeals. So, yes, that’s in there as well. Also, keep in mind that we’re using Open Space money to offset some of the debt service. So the appropriation side is high but we also have some revenue coming in on the other side to offset it. So, you know, it’s really tough to sort of just say, okay, their budget is $35 million and ours is $40 million. Why? You really need to get into the specifics of comparing what’s really going on. I mean, let’s look at storm control. We all know the weather here is far different than it is in Randolph on many occasions. So, I mean, maybe we’re spending or need to spend $250,000 one year whereas they are only spending $175,000. I mean, I could go on. You get what I’m trying to say.

Mr. Roman: I think sometimes the weather is different between Budd Lake and Flanders.

Mr. Buell: I…

President Rattner: You’ll have a chance.

Mr. Mania: It’s true.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Yes, you know what I’m saying so it’s really, I mean, it’s something that we can certainly look at, you know, but I’m just saying you really need to get into the nitty gritty. Do they have sixty cops? Maybe we have seventy. It could be vice versa and obviously the difference of five or six Police officers could be $700,000 or $800,000 right there.

President Rattner: Per.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Not quite but yes.

President Rattner: Anybody else? Any other Administrative reports?

Mr. Sohl: I’ll just mention that I know two weeks ago there was a concern about some of these signs. I personally picked up six of them this morning. I brought them to Frank Wilpert, Jr. from the intersection of Route 46 and Mount Olive Road. So we’re keeping after those.

President Rattner: Mr. Roman?

Mr. Roman: Bill, are we formulating a plan as to have any department just whenever they see them to take them down, and also are we thinking of even fining them?

Mr. Sohl: A lot of them you can’t even get at.

Mr. Roman: Well, if they’re businesses there’s a phone number to call them. So if there is an ordinance being violated I’m sure part of our enforcement either through Zoning or Police…

Mr. Sohl: We’ll look at that and see whether… I mean, the easiest thing is to pick them up and make them lose their money because they cost a buck or two a piece.

Mr. Roman: I think the deterrent factor would be the case where they get a summons and have to explain themselves and get a fine. If you take one down they might just put another one back up. Those signs are maybe at the worst $3 or $4, but if they receive a fine in the hundreds…

Mr. Sohl: I’ll talk to Frank Wilpert, Jr.

President Rattner: Mr. Mania?

Mr. Mania: Is there a permit required when they put those signs up?

Mr. Sohl: We do have a sign ordinance that requires, that allows for that. For example, when we do a tricky tray at the High School or if we do Community Day signs we actually fill out a permit ourselves as a matter of record. No one is going to be granted one for X, Y, Z furniture store at the corner of Route 46 and…

Mr. Mania: When that permit is taken out do they say how long the sign is going to be up?

Mr. Sohl: Probably but I’m guessing that…

President Rattner: We have a limit.

Mrs. Labow: Two week limit.

Mr. Dorsey: We’re talking about totally illegal signs.

President Rattner: So then if it’s not removed in two weeks then some fines should be levied.

Mr. Roman: Yes, but there are two different kinds of signs. What he’s worried about, the ones that are proliferating are the ones that are endorsing, say, businesses. In other words, let’s say if I decided to put up an oil change special sign on all the telephone poles, that would be a violation.

Mr. Sohl: BuddLakeDating.com

Mr. Roman: Don’t take that one down.

President Rattner: I think one of the big problems is trying to find out, a lot of these signs have a 1-800 number. Who owns them? A few years ago we tried going out and trying to identify them. The only time you could make any head ground is usually with, I think what Washington Township does with the realtor signs that may just go out for open houses that aren’t on the property or on the right of way. I think they charge them $25 to get them back. The sign probably costs $0.50 or $0.75.

Mr. Sohl: And those for the most part are on a weekend and they usually take them down.

Mr. Tobey: You know this is going to be a never ending battle, and you know, what you’ve done, Bill, and the other DPW members, I mean, if you just continue that I think that’s the right course of action.

Mr. Sohl: Thank you.

President Rattner: If the DOT treated everyone the same, you know, come election time if you put up signs along the right of way they’d take them down right away. Everybody else for some reason can put them up…

Mr. Mania: You’re absolutely right, Steve.

President Rattner: It’s only two weeks or three weeks before each election.

Mr. Mania: You’re right.

OLD BUSINESS – none

NEW BUSINESS – none

LEGAL MATTERS – none

President Rattner: Okay, anything else? Do we have any Old Business that anybody wants to bring up? Any New Business? Any Legal items?

Mr. Dorsey: Not tonight.

President Rattner: Okay, now we go to Council Reports. Recreation Liaison, Mr. Roman?

COUNCIL REPORTS

Recreation Liaison Report

Mr. Roman: The Recreation Committee wholeheartedly endorsed the Lacrosse proposal for fields and they forwarded that recommendation on to the Planning Board.

President Rattner: Board of Health Report, Mr. Perkins?

Board of Health Report

Mr. Perkins: Meeting tomorrow, Mr. President.

President Rattner: Planning Board Report, Mr. Greenbaum?

Planning Board Report

Mr. Greenbaum: Meeting Thursday.

President Rattner: Board of Adjustment Liaison Report, Mr. Greenbaum?

Board of Adjustment Liaison Report

Mr. Greenbaum: They met last night. There was a garage variance application in Gold Mine Estates which was approved. There was a deck in Clover Hill which was approved and that’s about all the business that was done last night.

President Rattner: Thank you very much.

Mr. Roman: Steve? Rob, what time did the meeting let out?

Mr. Greenbaum: I’m going to say that the meeting let out somewhere around 8:10 p.m.

Mr. Roman: Okay.

Mr. Greenbaum: I was there.

Mr. Perkins: I know, believe me, I know.

President Rattner: Are you trying to get him in trouble?

Mr. Roman: No, no…

President Rattner: Legislative Committee Report, Mr. Perkins?

Legislative Committee Report

Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report, Mr. President.

President Rattner: Pride Committee Report, Mrs. Labow?

Pride Committee Report

Mrs. Labow: Nothing to report.

President Rattner: Board of Education Liaison Report, Mr. Roman?

Board of Education Liaison Report

Mr. Roman: The fee scale was approved for participation in sports and clubs. There were many personnel changes that were approved. Of note was the temporary appointment of the current Vice Principal Kramer and former head Football Coach to lead our Football team again.

Lake/Environment Issues Committee

President Rattner: Lake Environmental Issues, I have no report. Safety Committee Liaison Report, Mr. Perkins?

Safety Committee Liaison

Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report. There was no meeting yet. They meet quarterly, Mr. President.

Economic Development Committee Report

President Rattner: Okay, thank you. Economic Development Committee Report, there are activities but nothing I can report on at this time.

Mayor Scapicchio: Steve, how about our tour of Picatinny?

President Rattner: That’s not out. They haven’t even talked about it to their bosses yet.

Mayor Scapicchio: Okay.

President Rattner: That’s why I said “about this time.”

Mayor Scapicchio: But we are active?

President Rattner: The Committee is working, the Mayor and I actually toured Picatinny’s hi-tech incubator, trying to convince them that they are overcrowded and that Mount Olive may be a good place to relocate and we got some interest. Not relocate, but at least to have a secondary site so they can fill all of their needs. So there’s a lot of potential in that. Solid Waste Advisory Report, Mr. Perkins?

Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report

Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report.

President Rattner: Library Board Liaison Report, Mr. Tobey?

Library Board Liaison

Mr. Tobey: Nothing to report.

President Rattner: Senior Citizen Liaison Report, Mrs. Labow?

Senior Citizen Liaison

Open Space Committee Report

Mrs. Labow: Nothing to report and nothing for Open Space either.

PUBLIC PORTION

President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the next public portion that I know some people have been waiting for with baited breath. So I open it to the public. This is the point that you can speak to anything that you would like. Anybody from the public who like to address the Council at this time? Seeing none…

Jim Buell, 7 Linwood Road: I just have a few more things. Sherry, I took our black book and this black book, this is Randolph’s book. It’s almost identical. I can’t guarantee the comparison is accurate because obviously I don’t know all of the details. I don’t even know all of the details in terms of the 2009 Mount Olive budget, but there is some very interesting stuff in here. I know that the Council is committed, during the last portion of this year, to begin to look at zero based budgeting. The best place to start zero based budgeting when you’re trying to sort out needs and wants is how do other people do it?

Mrs. Maniscalco: I actually did zero based budgeting in Maplewood. That’s how we budgeted there.

Mr. Buell: I’ve done zero based budgeting in other places. The budgeting that we do is not zero based budgeting. We start with needs. For instance, how many Police officers do we need? This story here, the comparison between Randolph and Mount Olive is a very interesting one. I don’t know that much about it but I think it needs to be looked into. Just to give you an example, the Sanitation budget, excuse me…

President Rattner: While you get your stuff just remember you’re addressing the Council as a whole. You’re not addressing individuals.

Mr. Buell: Let me just go back. One of the mystifying things, if you read the newspaper earlier this year you saw that the Randolph budget came out and was approved at $26.6. The Roxbury budget was approved at $25.5. Our budget, the newspapers had at $27.2. When you look at the comparisons the Sanitation budget is, in Roxbury and Randolph it’s $26.6 and $25.5. That’s the reason why the comparison is so great. That’s the reason why comparative information is essential to doing a good budget process. I don’t know in terms of their total debt because they don’t really talk about that particular figure that you’ve talked about. Just to give you an example of the analysis, Sanitation, our Sanitation Utility was $2,673,423. That’s our total Sanitation including our recycling costs. Randolph does their sanitation in a totally different way than we do. They continue to use their own people and their own trucks to pick up the trash, or to pick up their recyclables. To do the recyclables they have four people and three part time employees working on that part of the Sanitation budget. We obviously use our trucks, our equipment and our manpower to do this. They use an outside contractor to pick up the garbage. Their cost is, I added the total cost of their internal recycling. I added $80,000 or $20,000 per employee into that for the statutory and the insurance costs of those four employees, although I have no idea of how much they cost. The total cost of Randolph’s recycling program was $1.9 million as opposed to our $2.673. That’s, ladies and gentleman, a $769,000 difference. Now Rob, you brought up the issue of tax appeals. They have them too. They’ve got like we have for the first time since 2004, they have reserved over $2 million in their budget for tax appeals. They had a like sum last year where we had no tax appeal money. That’s the reason why our debt has grown. Looking at this budget, and again, I can only look at our black book. I can only look at their black book and take a look and make estimates in terms of what I see in terms of comparability between the two. I saw upwards of $2 million in opportunities to cut our budget from this. I also saw some other interesting things in terms of the services that they are providing that we are not. For instance, among other things they are providing the leagues in their town $550,000 a year every year to support the league. I think we’re now down to about $24,000. That’s another way of looking at the issue. So, you know, I could not get a comparative data from Roxbury. I would love to see it. I would love to look at it. I think this Council in its deliberations in the budget most importantly needs to begin to look at this kind of data instead of looking at how much we can cut from this small account of $500 here and $500 there. This is the big money that you need to look at in terms of cutting the budget.

Mrs. Maniscalco: Jim, do you have headcount data?

Mr. Buell: Pardon?

Mrs. Maniscalco: Do you have headcount data, actual headcount data?

Mr. Buell: Yes, they provided the headcount of every department, every area. That’s basically where I’m saying that there are other opportunities besides just…

Mrs. Maniscalco: Yes, I mean the headcount, like I said, is important.

Mr. Buell: Well, just to give you the one piece of information that I can’t explain, looking at the 2007 budget book for Mount Olive we had 56 Police officers. I think we now have 57. They have 41.

Mr. Roman: Jim, are you recommending that we cut 10 Police officers minimum?

Mr. Buell: No, I’m not saying that at all.

Mr. Roman: Okay, just because you said that figure. I would assume it’s…

Mr. Buell: I think the communities are different. We have more apartment complexes than they do.

Mr. Greenbaum: Smaller lots, smaller residential lots, more corridors.

Mr. Buell: Smaller lots, but I think it’s something that we really need to look at. I would really love to see the Roxbury data which I think is more comparable because they do have many apartment houses. I think this is the kind of data, this is the kind of review that the Council in the next four months should be doing and the Mayor should be doing, because I think this is important. We have got to find a way to get our debt service back and get our spending back, I think, under control.

President Rattner: Mr. Mania, you had a comment?

Mr. Mania: Just a quick question, Jim. As we all know, 82% of Mount Olive is in the Preservation Area. How does Randolph and Roxbury compare with that?

Mr. Buell: Roxbury is smaller than we are. Randolph has almost exactly the same population we have. I know that looking at the analysis of the ratables that we are 9th on the list or something. I suspect that Randolph is probably 2nd, 3rd or 4th. Yes, they’ve got more dollars coming in in terms of ratables, but that’s part of it. I’m only looking at, we can’t control that totally. We can control expenses. I’m looking at just the expense side of this budget.

Mr. Mania: Because as a former member of the Planning Board I can tell you that we’ve had to cancel meetings because there are no applications.

Mr. Buell: I agree and I said that I am not saying that that’s the side of the budget that we need to address. I think the size of the budget that we need to address is the expense side which is the thing that’s in the control of the Council.

President Rattner: …wasn’t supposed to be bantering back and forth.

Mr. Tobey: Yes, where are we going?

Mr. Roman: It’s an election year.

Mr. Tobey: It’s an election year.

Mr. Mania: That’s all.

President Rattner: Anything else, Jim?

Mr. Buell: No.

President Rattner: Thank you very much. Would anybody else like to address the Council at this time? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public…

Mrs. Labow: You’ve got one.

President Rattner: It’s good we have our hand monitors that will see.

Mr. Perkins: A couple of different angles we can all see.

President Rattner: Name and address for the record.

Gary Mahabir, 42 Eagle Rock Village, Budd Lake: I just have some concerns about the Lake and the appearance. Is there anything in the plan to develop the place, utilize it for income, maybe a boardwalk and some restaurants around the Lake to kind of generate some attention, and bring in the flow of tourists to help us through the economic part of it? I know we’re doing a lot of cuts but somehow I think we have to focus on engaging this community, in particular developing our community economically. Trying to do it as a government body by itself and not engaging the community in the process is going to be a very difficult task. It’s like a guy managing a business and trying to do everything himself. So I think we need to send out some information there, what the intention is and get some input from the community on developing business in Mr. Mahabir (Cont’d): Town. I’m just trying to inquire whether there are any plans to do something with that Lake. It’s a very beautiful piece of property. I think we could use it to make some money. That’s basically my question.

President Rattner: Thank you very much.

Mr. Mania: I too have your dreams about a boardwalk and restaurants, just got to figure out how to implement them.

Mr. Mahabir: Well, like I said, if we advertise our intention you would be surprised to see who will come forward, but if the people don’t know they can’t get involved. So I think we should draft up some kind of a plan with some ideas and send it out to the community of what we want to do. I’ve been having conversations with a few people for a couple years, and I also have a dream about the Lake, you know, what I would like to see, but I think we need to analyze what our resources are and how we could use it to our benefit for some kind of revenue.

President Rattner: Mr. Roman, you wanted to say something?

Mr. Roman: Yes, as far as on the Lake, I mean, the same thing as John, I would love to see a boardwalk but I think something like that would require a huge capital expense which would, addressing Jim’s issue, would increase are debt level humongous. There is not going to be a business that’s going to be able to come out with the kind of money to do anything on that Lake that would end up being financially sound by no means because of all the hoops you have to jump through with the State, the DEP and the like. I think the best thing that Mount Olive can do to attract businesses is to make it easier for them to have a business in Town, to get the hurdles out of the way, because there’s nothing we can do as a government body to say build something. It’s up to the economy. It’s up to the residents and it’s up to people here in Town to shop locally so that other businesses decide I want to put my business in Mount Olive because the people of Mount Olive shop in Mount Olive. The businesses are going to put their location where they believe they can get customers. So if we make sure that when we decide to go purchase whatever we want to do, you know, that we think Mount Olive first. When we think about getting a contractor, try to see if we can think of Mount Olive first. Whatever we have to do to think of Mount Olive first and not go outside first. Once that starts happening businesses won’t shut down. They’ll open up and they might even expand because they have an increased customer base.

Mr. Mahabir: Well, I share your opinion of shopping locally. In fact, that’s one of the things I’ve been pushing but if the municipal government does not engage the community by advertising your intention and plans, you can’t move forward or succeed in developing this community economically.

President Rattner: Mrs. Labow, you wanted to say something?

Mrs. Labow: Gary, we had a meeting a few months ago regarding the Lake and what we could do with the Beach with the Pride Committee and some Recreation Committee members. One of the problems that we’re having with that right now is the storm water runoff from the highway is actually going under the water there and it’s washing away the Beach. The Beach is, it used to be where the municipal building used to be. The Beach was from there, several feet now, the Beach area is actually the footprint of the old municipal building. That’s how much has washed away. The other problem that we had is that there isn’t any potable water on that site. So we need to do two things which Jill Daggon is working on - get the storm water runoff issue fixed so we don’t lose any more of our Beach, and then we have to bring potable water to the area before we can really start to do anything else.

Mr. Mahabir: Well, the Lake is just one reference that I am throwing out to you, but the idea I’m projecting to this Council here is engaging this community in the process. There are a lot of other things that we can do, but what I don’t see is that engagement from the community and getting involved. That is the idea that I’m throwing out to you. Okay, thank you.

President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum wanted to say something.

Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, I just wanted to comment on a couple of things. First of all with regard to the Lake, and I know that’s not where your comment is solely limited to, but a while back I had brought somebody who was interested, a private company that was interested in developing the lakefront property where the old municipal building used to be, and a private-public partnership with a restaurant and a snack bar to the Beach that would be operating. The Town would actually get some money back. It could have been incorporated with the Boardwalk and also taking a look at other properties that were surrounding the Lake going further to the west as a possibility for redevelopment within Mount Olive. The problem that we have at this point with Mr. Greenbaum (Cont’d): generating additional revenues for the Township basically stems from the fact that we’ve had two Democratic Governors who have instituted the Highlands Legislation, and basically have shut down Mount Olive for business in terms of generating new revenues from properties which are not currently developed. 80% of Mount Olive, and you can imagine that when I talk about 80%, you’re talking about most if not basically all of the undeveloped properties in Mount Olive cannot be developed, period, cannot be developed. We have been shut down. It’s an incredible, incredible dichotomy that we have to deal with up here in trying to handle the expenses, healthcare expenses, pension expenses which continue to increase without the ability to bring in new ratables into the Township to offset those expenses which we have basically no control over. What we have done, the Mayor, I don’t remember if it was Mayor Scapicchio or prior to Mayor Scapicchio but we have an active Economic Development Committee which is in the process, and Steve sits on the Committee, which is in the process of ultimately doing the kinds of things which you have suggested here. Perhaps that’s something you want to get involved with on a going forwarded basis to start putting out advertising, to start generating a buzz in the Town and outside of the Town that Mount Olive is looking to be accommodating to businesses. We’ve looked at the properties very closely that we have in Town that we can develop. For instance, I’m sure that you are aware of the fact that we took a piece of property that was an abandoned landfill owned by another company, and which is adjacent to the ITC Shopping Center, and we actually sold that property even though we didn’t own it at the time, we now own it through the tax foreclosure, to a company related to the Rockefeller Group for better than $10 million. Once that property is developed, we’re moving it along as best we can. It takes a long time because you’ve got to deal with all of the governmental hurdles that the State puts in place, the State, the County. Once that is done we’re looking at another 500,000 – 700,000 square feet of retail that’s going to be accessed through the Trade Zone. So it’s going to be an ongoing ratable for the Township for years to come, not to mention the large amount of increase in funds which are going to come into the Township once that transaction is finally consummated. What else have we looked at? Down around Flanders Valley Golf Course, there’s an old horse farm. We looked at that property. Obviously, it’s not really good for commercial development, but we looked at the next best thing. We went out and we found a developer who was interested in putting in an adult active community. Mr. Buell is well aware and was very involved in this project as well. This is something if it ultimately gets built, and I know that there are issues with adult active communities, but this is a particularly interesting piece of property to someone who might be looking to retire in Mount Olive because of its proximity to 36 holes of County golf. They’re still looking to move this forward. When that gets built, 250 units without putting kids into the School system at say three, four or five hundred thousand dollars per unit is going to generate an incredible amount of tax revenue to the Township. At the same time through hard work of the Council, Mr. Buell was involved as well, we worked out a lot of the issues in terms of that aspect of the Town. We were having a problem with the Rosewood Ditch. Through working with the developer, the developer has agreed to resolve that problem. We have a problem with traffic at that intersection where my daughter happened to have been involved in an accident today, you know, Flanders Bartley Road where it intersects with Main Street. It’s a bizarre intersection and they’re going to fix that problem as well. So we’re looking for creative ways to maximize the value of tax revenue that we’re going to get through the small amount of pieces of property that we actually can develop in Town. I love to hear people come up and talk about ways, things that we can do to generate additional revenue because, personally, I think that’s the way we get a handle on the tax situation and I really invite you to participate in the Economic Development Committee. You can get the information from Steve as to when…

President Rattner: He already has.

Mr. Greenbaum: Oh, good.

Mrs. Labow: He’s a new member.

Mr. Mahabir: I was recently appointed by our wonderful Mayor here. I met with Mr. Don Hill. I’m still waiting to hear what the next step is, but all I’m saying to you is engage the community. You’ll get a lot of help. You might be surprised to see what kind of help you can get. I’m interested in putting some cookies in the jar and that is cutting the budget. Thank you.

Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.

President Rattner: Anybody else who would like to address the Council at this time? Yes, sir. Name and address for the record.

Ron Bellows, Sharon Court, Flanders: This is my second meeting so the things I’m going to mention are just ideas and thoughts from somebody who doesn’t know anything about a lot of what you guys do and don’t do. I’ve been in the Town 16 years and I’ve been derelict in that time in not being here more. I’ll try to be here more often, but you know kids and work and all of that. A couple of quick thoughts. I only came to the meeting last 4th. Some of these things you may have already addressed, you may have already discussed, so just Mr. Bellows (Cont’d): take them as ideas. First, the easy stuff, I see water restriction signs all around the Town and with all of the rain we’ve had, for somebody who is just driving around as a common person you say gee, why do we have water restriction signs when we have all this? I wondered today after you talked about this water development project or whatever that was, maybe that has something to do with the water restrictions. Maybe some advertising about what the water restrictions are. I mean, I’ve got a sign on the end of my block saying that water restrictions are enforced. I have no idea what that means. There’s probably some place to look that up but I don’t know. Anyway, that’s just one thought. The water reports that we get, I’ve been getting water reports from the Town every, I guess quarter or whatever it is for years, and in the reports it says how much calcium, how much magnesium. That’s all nice and wonderful but I wonder about volatile organic compounds and we have that landfill down here. I wondered if there was a report on pesticides and other stuff like that. Hardness in the water was important but I’ve never seen anything on volatile organic compounds or pesticides or anything else. Maybe that’s an idea that could be, I don’t know how much it costs to do that kind of testing. Maybe it’s prohibited. I’m not sure but just an idea. Next, you talked last week, I’m sorry, the meeting prior, about redoing something called a hybrid reassessment. I just thought to myself we paid a lot of money for the realty appraisal company to do appraisals in the Township, and if they weren’t good, they weren’t right, if I hired a contractor to do something and it was wrong I would just say hey, you’ve got to go back and fix this. I don’t know why we have to pay another $75,000 to do it over again. I don’t know the reason for that.

President Rattner: There’s a real good reason. It’s basically what the public asked us to do. We did a reval. We happened to be at the top of the market. Most people’s houses have gone down in value.

Mr. Bellows: I agree.

President Rattner: To make it fair, so what the hybrid is is to come in to adjust the values. They’re not going to do the same thing they did the last time, but they’re going to look at the houses and try to place a more realistic value. What that will do is put everybody on the even keel and cut down the number of tax appeals. The tax appeals as long as everybody, if everybody is 20% too high then everybody is in sync, but we still have to defend the tax appeals. This is going to bring it down to what the current market value is. The State law says that you are supposed to be assessed at market value. It just happened to be bad timing. Nobody foresaw this decrease this quickly in the market. That’s what we’re doing and it’s going to benefit probably the taxpayers in general.

Mr. Bellows: Am I reading this correctly that it’s the Morris County Board of Taxation that is requiring us to do this?

President Rattner: No.

Mr. Bellows: I’m reading that wrong, okay.

President Rattner: They required us to do the reval in the year that we did the reval.

Mr. Bellows: Right, the first time around.

President Rattner: Now, if you’re house is…

Mr. Dorsey: No, answer his question. They did require us to do it three years ago.

Mr. Bellows: Right.

Mr. Dorsey: The latest event in terms of a reval was initiated by the Assessor and he had to receive approval from the Morris County Tax Board to do it, but he did. He also received approval from the State to do it. Apparently any number of Towns are now doing the same thing.

Mr. Bellows: Okay, just for what it’s worth the more you talk to people on the street it’s basically wait a minute, we paid those guys to do that. If it’s wrong why don’t they just fix it?

Mr. Greenbaum: It’s not a question of being wrong. It’s a snapshot in time and when they did it the snapshot in time was one thing and then the market changed so drastically in such a short period of time. What happens is that your house is worth X dollars on one day, and then ten days later it’s worth X dollars minus Y dollars. You say to yourself okay, my house isn’t worth what it was assessed at. I’m going to come in for a tax appeal. Homeowner A does that. Homeowner B does that. Homeowner C does that. Tax appeals kill us. They kill us at the municipal level. So we look for a way to say how do you stop the tax appeals? What you do is you come Mr. Greenbaum (Cont’d): in and you reassess again at the snapshot when the market has somewhat equalized, and that stops the tax appeals because now everybody is at the number that they should be. It’s not that anyone made a mistake. It’s just that the market dropped so significantly in such a short period of time from when we were ordered to do the tax appeal originally. That’s really what has happened.

Mr. Bellows: Thanks, I appreciate it. That’s all the thoughts I had for today. I appreciate your time.

President Rattner: Thank you very much. Anybody else who would like to address the Council? Seeing none, we’ll close the public portion. We’ll go to final comments. We normally don’t allow the Mayor to make a comment but because a lot of the comments were directed to him, are there any comments that you wanted to make?

COUNCIL COMMENTS

Mayor Scapicchio: No comments tonight, Steve.

President Rattner: Okay. Mr. Mania?

Mr. Mania: No comments, Steve,

President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum?

Mr. Greenbaum: No comments.

President Rattner: Mr. Tobey?

Mr. Tobey: Nothing, thank you.

President Rattner: Mr. Perkins?

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President, I’ll make it real quick, just to answer two quickies for you. You may want to contact the Water department here in Town and they’ll let you know what the water restrictions are for whatever reason. It could be because whatever system you’re in just can’t supply enough water. That is a problem. Also, the primary and the secondary requirements under the Safe Drinking Water Act have a cornucopia of different chemicals that have to be tested on an annualized basis. That’s a continuous test. What you’re getting is a snapshot, and feel free at any time to contact the Water department. If you would like to know what the other, like 111 trichloroethylene or anything else, they are obligated to give you those results. So you can get those either through the Water department or through the department of Health.

Mr. Bellows: So they do testing it’s just that we don’t see it in the report we have?

President Rattner: You can’t speak from there.

Mr. Bellows: I got it, thanks.

Mr. Perkins: That’s it. It’s just that there’s so many things under both the primary and the secondary, you’d get a five page report and I don’t think you’d be able to make heads or tails of the five pages anyway unless you’re a chemical engineer. Thank you. That’s it, Mr. President.

President Rattner: Thank you. Mr. Roman?

Mr. Roman: Nothing.

President Rattner: Mrs. Labow?

Mrs. Labow: Nothing.

President Rattner: And I have none. Move for adjournment?

Mrs. Labow: So moved.

President Rattner: All in favor?

AYE

ADJOURNMENT

Motion was made and seconded, all in favor and none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 8:39 pm.


_________________________________
Steven W. Rattner, Council President

I, Michelle Masser, Deputy 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 September 1, 2009.

_________________________________
Michelle Masser, Deputy Township Clerk

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