TOWNSHIP COUNCIL PUBLIC MEETING MINUTES
- December 28, 2011
The Special Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 3:00 pm by Council Vice President Roman.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
Mrs. Lashway: According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Daily Record. 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.
Present: Mr. Perkins, Mr. Mania, Mr. Roman, Mr. Walsh, Mrs. Labow
Absent: Mr. Tobey, Mr. Ferrante
Also Present: Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk
Vice President Roman: Our first item is resolutions for Non-Consent. Mrs. Labow, would you move that.
- Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive, County of Morris, State of New Jersey Overriding the Mayor's Veto of Ordinance 36- 2011. PDF Resolution
Mrs. Labow: Yes, thank you. I move resolution for passage and approval, non-consent.
Mr. Walsh: Second.
Vice President Roman: It's been moved and seconded. Any discussions?
Mrs. Labow: Yes.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
Vice President Roman: Please, Mrs. Labow.
Mrs. Labow: I toyed with the idea whether I wanted to say anything or not. I'm just going to make it very quick. I think this is, I'm glad that we are all here today to overturn this veto. I just want to say that I think it was a little bit ridiculous in the fact that we've known for a couple of years now that this increase was coming about. We relied on our staff to inform us appropriately and for this veto to take place on the heels of this last Administration, I really don't understand. So I want to make it clear to the public that this is not something that was new. This was something that we all knew was going to happen. We were discussion before, it's going to equate to about less than $20 per quarter and it is necessary to make sure that this mechanism is in place starting the first of the year and again, I thank everybody for being here today and Happy New Year.
Vice President Roman: Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. Vice President. I, too, am not overly thrilled at being here today. In 2008 we increased the water by 6% and then again 20% in January 2010. Neither time did the Mayor offer a veto of that resolution which authorized those rate increases. The sewer rate was decreased in 2008 and as Sherry knows, I'm not big on decreases. I like to run surpluses for maintenance and emergency issues. It was increased again 6% back in January 2010 and again, the Mayor did not offer a veto. Colleen was very very well at predicting that yes, we have discussed this and I don't think, unfortunately, that that was the opinion or that was even part of the reasoning that was in the Mayor's veto. The Mayor strictly vetoed this resolution on the fact that previously this Council had not supported his proposal to privatize the operation and maintenance of the municipal water system with United Water which he claimed would save $400,000; a fact which was disputed by a number of Council here. To me it was akin of you not playing ball right with me so I'm taking my ball and going home. Seven members, an unanimous vote here a week ago was to pass this resolution. So the Mayor knew for with, full well that he had full Council support to move forward with these increases. I find this almost childish. I hate to say, I've known the Mayor for quite some time and I just want to just get this over with and get on and have a Happy New Year. The people will absorb the rate. They are getting a fantastic service for their money, much cheaper than any private company could be providing them. Thank you.
Vice President Roman: Anyone else?
Mr. Mania: I think Ray has said it all for me.
Mrs. Labow: Yup.
Mr. Mania: Both Ray and Colleen have said it all. There is no sense in me repeating it.
Vice President Roman: Anyone from the public?
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
Robert Greenbaum, Flanders.
Mrs. Labow: Who? Do we know you?
Mr. Greenbaum: Leaving aside the true justification for the Mayor was in terms of vetoing this particular ordinance, which I think we all know what the true reasons were, the fact remains that if we had gone to the privatization of the systems, you see what is happening on the private side as well where the increase that is being asked for by the BPU is even greater than what we are able to do for our residents. The decision was right not to move forward with privatization at this time and the decision to move this forward at this time is the right decision because part of our job, as we all know, is to take the necessary increases and to make it a softer blow for the residents as we can by spreading it out over as long a period as we can. So I am extremely gratified by the actions that the Council is taking today. I believe it is the right decision and I hope you all vote in favor of it. Thank you.
Vice President Roman: Anyone else from the public?
Mr. Mania: Just a quick statement, Mr. Vice President.
Vice President Roman: Sure Mr. Mania.
Mr. Mania: I believe the company that the Mayor was asking us to use for the privatization also had some legal problems if I recall and we didn't need to deal with a company with legal problems. Thank you.
Mrs. Labow: I just want to, one last thing. Mr. Greenbaum said it really well. We are in the business of providing a service to our residents and any of the private companies are in the business of making a profit and wherever possible I think it is important that we do provide the services as long as we are on the upside of saving the taxpayers money and in this case, I was very dismayed to read the previous, Mayor Scapicchio's comments in the paper that we didn't want to vote for the privatization. It would have saved money but that wasn't the truth and I just want to make sure that is clear, that it is on the record that we all did our due diligence. We researched the whole entire facts both pros and cons and I do agree we came up with the correct decision for the betterment of the community. Thank you.
Vice President Roman: Okay, seeing no more comments can I get a Roll Call?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Vice President Roman: The next item is the Bill List. Mr. Mania, could you move that?
Bill List PDF Bill List
Mr. Mania: I'll move the Bill List Mr. Vice President.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
Vice President Roman: It's been moved and seconded. Can I get a Roll Call?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Vice President Roman: Does anybody have any further business? Any New Business, Old Business? Seeing none, can I get an adjournment?
Mrs. Lashway: You have to open it to the public.
Vice President Roman: Anyone from the public on the Bill List?
Mrs. Lashway: No, just the public.
Mr. Perkins: Just general public.
Vice President Roman: Does anyone for the public wish to be heard? Seeing none,
Mrs. Labow & Mr. Mania: Council Comments.
Vice President Roman: Any Council Comment?
Mr. Mania: Just Happy New Year to everybody. May you all have a healthy and pleasant New Year.
Mrs. Labow: Happy New Year and thank you for all of the staff for what a great job you've done this year. I'm looking forward to a fantastic 2012.
Mr. Perkins: I think the public wishes to be heard from again.
Mr. Greenbaum: Sorry, sorry. We would be remiss if we didn't keep in our thoughts and prayers – Joe Nicastro lost his father yesterday.
Vice President Roman & Mrs. Labow: Ditto.
Vice President Roman: Can I get a motion to adjourn?
Motion made and seconded. All in favor, none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 3:07 pm.
Alex Roman, Council President
I, Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on January 17, 2012.
Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk