Township Council Minutes
April 11, 2006
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy
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. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Perkins, Mr. Biondi
Also Present: John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Rick Prill, Business Administrator; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk
Presentation on 2006-2007 School Budget – L. McEntee, K. Stansbury
President Greenbaum: This evening we have the honor of having Larry McEntee and Kevin Stansbury, Larry being the President of the Board of Education, Kevin being the Principal at the High School to give us a presentation on the 2006 – 2007 proposed School Budget. Did you want to wait for Mr. Bott or....?
Mr. McEntee: No, Mr. Bott will not be here, he is going on vacation. Actually, he left on Saturday.
President Greenbaum: Okay, you do need to speak into a microphone. You can grab this one and move it over to............
Mr. McEntee: Kevin is going to be giving the presentation. Kevin Stansbury is from the principal’s office. I just wanted to thank the Council and the public for giving us the opportunity to present the budget again. Hopefully you won’t see it in a couple weeks but we will present it and explain to you where we are at and where we are going and if you have any questions on that or anything else that pertains to the school we would be happy to answer that. Kevin has a short slide show that really summarizes it and if you have any questions, either we can interrupt him or wait until the end.
Mr. Stansbury: Good evening ladies and gentlemen, it is a pleasure to be here this evening. I am presenting on behalf of Dr. Lamonte and the Board of Education this evening, Dr. Lamonte sends her regards. She is not able to attend this evening. We have been taking turns on the Budget circuit, getting the information out, about what the 2006 – 2007 budget picture looks like. We are going to give you a little bit of a snap shot tonight of what that budget looks like and then Mr. McEntee will handle questions and stuff like that at the end.
President Greenbaum: Kevin, let me just interrupt you for a second because we are not picking you up on the microphone. We are going to switch out microphones.
Mr. Stansbury: Okay, I am sorry.
President Greenbaum: It is more for recording purposes then not being able to hear your voice.
Mr. Stansbury: Okay, here we go. We are on a short leash tonight, very good. Okay, the budget. I am going to take you back on how we actually put the budget together. I think it is very important for the entire community of the Mount Olive High School and the School District to understand how we actually put the annual budget together and it is a very detailed and complicated process. That actually started in September of 2005. The Building Administrator starts by working with their teaching staff and their support personnel and put in their budget request together. We sit down as the Building Administrators to go through those numbers. Now an interesting characteristic to this year’s process, a part of the Superintendent’s budget plan was to incorporate parents from our learning community to assist with that process. Every building, the four elementary schools and the middle school and the high school went out and procured the services of two parents to sit through that budget construction process.
Mr. Stansbury (Cont’d): At the high school, we had Liz Quimet and Mrs. Labow, they were terrific through the process. We met about three or four times at the high school level itself to go through numbers, the various program lines, the needs of our various programs, our instructional needs, our administrative needs, our security and order, construction needs and they actually got to see how we put that budget together. I see Mr. Ireland in the audience tonight. He helped with the middle school process. So through the month of October, November and December we are putting those budgets together at the building level to be sent to the central office for the Business Administrator, Assistant Superintendent in charge of personnel instruction and Superintendent for review. Then in about two weeks prior to calling us over to central office for us to defend our budgets. The parents of each respective building and their principals went and met with the Business Administrator, Superintendent, and the Assistant Superintendent of Curricular Instruction to go through the budget cutting process. Item by item, personnel position, by personnel position, resource for resource we went right on through. If it didn’t fit and we couldn’t justify it, it was cut. A very difficult process as many of the parents that went through that process could attest to. It was not easy. There were some things that the parents were upset about that ended up getting cut throughout the process, that they felt very strongly about but there just wasn’t a lot of room. We have the April School Election coming up on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 and it serves two purposes. It is a chance for you to elect members to your Board of Education and there are three candidates on the docket for the 18th, Miffy Ruggierio, Bruce Bott, and Kathy Criscuolo. Okay she is on the docket too. So we have three board members with three seats for that process. You also get a chance to vote on the operating budget for the 2006 – 2007 school years. The school principal input, central office review, the Budget Advisory Committee, the parents were involved as I had explained earlier and then once we are finished with the process it gets sent to the Board. Between the Administrative meetings with the central office, personnel there came a point where we were $3.3 million dollars over the S1701 CAP. There had to be a lot of revisiting of the budget to get it prepared to go to the Board of Education for review and that was not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. The first phase from October, November, December and January, difficult in itself, but then realizing that we were $3 million.....I will show you what the impact of S1701 has had on particularly the 2006 – 2007 school budget in a minute. Some of the major problems we faced putting this budget together and normal growth continues to climb and that is no secret. We are seeing it throughout the Township. State Aid is still based on the October 15, 2000 enrollment numbers and that can add up to a loss of several million dollars. Since 2000, our enrollment has gone up but we have been given that flat rate as Corzine likes it to be referred to, for the existing enrollment that was in place for 2000 that has not been adjusted. The debt service we have incurred through the Middle School project and now most recently the High School referendum. Ratables affect the tax rate as well in this Township. Increases in utilities have had dramatic impact on our budget preparation process. A lot of things were out of our control. Very few items in the discretionary columns could be adjusted by our district. These things were fixed. We have absolutely no control over them. Thirty-five percent increased heating new areas of the high school. We hope to open up new sections of that referendum project this September. Fuel cost on the rise, health benefits increased 12% to 16%. We just went through a contract re-negotiation process between the Board of Education and the Teachers Association. Special Education costs are up $388,000 and then our district has been charged to contribute more to the pension, the State Pension System this year. These are things that are out of our control when we put these budgets together. The capital growth of the budget is based on a consumer price index which is 4.0%, at this point. Now S1701 calls for a 2.5% increase for the consumer price index that happens to be 4.04%, that is what I meant by a 1701 CAP, we were $3.3 million over that 4.04% courtesy busing is included in as part of the base budget. Before seeking some other things out and you know that we live in a, or had a community that has some major thoroughfares run through it, which fall within the diameter of the courtesy busing limitations. It’s a two mile radius for elementary schools and middle schools and two and a half mile radius for the high school. You know that there are community members who live on the other side of 206, on the other side of 46, that create some major problems when we talk about the issue of courtesy Busing. Districts must also be conscience of their surplus. S1701 limits the CAP, the surplus, the 2%. It used to be 6%. Last year it was 3%. This year for 2006 – 2007, it is 2%. Any amount over this must be allocated for tax relief and this, forces us to forego many needed capital maintenance projects that we would have loved to have done in the last two years but were unable to. That money gets thrown back into the tax relief and if we want to propose these capital projects, we have to go out to referendum for them. It will actually cost the community more in the long run by floating a 20, 25, 30 year Bond with interest instead of being able to tap into the surplus like we were able to in years past. What are our needs? Our budget breaks down to these categories; you have, of course, staffing, special education, curriculum resources, and technology in the infrastructure, transportation, and building maintenance. We will look at tight budgets, fair budgets. What do you think is the first category that goes on that list? Anybody have any idea, anybody? What is one of the first one that goes?
Mr. Tepper: Maintenance.
Mr. Stansbury: Maintenance, maintenance is usually the first thing that goes. We tried to maintain staffing, and you will hear that a little bit later in the presentation, as much as we possibly can because that affects class size, student to teacher ratio. We feel like we have been doing some great things at the elementary, middle school and high school level academically that we would not want to see that infringed upon negatively. Things we would like to see in this budget, of course personnel at every level, elementary, middle school, and high school. One of the areas we are seeing a significant increase in population is certainly at the high school. We will probably be up another 50 students again next year and that is not including numbers that transfer in during the summer time. Which usually can be about 20 to 25 additional students, people transferring in by purchases of real estate or people who had decided to go to private or parochial, and who have decided to come back to their home school again. Special Education needs, you see a wide assortment of aides, therapists, teachers and these are all State mandated. Transportation, looking at increasing the fleet by two buses and also drivers to go along with that. I believe you have to understand that buses have a life expectancy on them by law of 10 years, am I correct? Twelve and twenty and you try to rotate those new buses in so you don’t get caught any given year where you have to replace maybe a third or half your fleet. We have curriculum, technology, looking at textbooks, materials, computers, and wiring for the new high school classrooms when we open them up and power school computers for the high school counselors. Looking at facilities, custodial staff, trucks for the maintenance department. Sandshore looking to replace some carpet, gym wall mats. Chester M. Stephens, exterior doors in the cafeteria, Mountainview, looking at a sidewalk and gym curtains and wall mats there. Tinc school, carpet replacement. Middle School security cameras and the high school, additional security cameras to handle the referendum additions. Then there is that stove for the concession stand that we talked about. I knew it was in there. Dire need of replacing some of the appliances in the refreshment stand which is a major source of funding for our Parents Club. They do all the concessions for all the home football games and they are able to give back thousands of dollars in scholarship money every year to our students which is absolutely fantastic. Bus garage, looking for a sewer connection there and redoing the parking lot for where the buses are kept. These are things that were needed but were eliminated. I just want to take you quickly through these, just take a look at them. This was all that was involved in that cutting back to CAP during our budget review process. Everything from personnel to supplies to technology to needs for transportation and maintenance. We are at that $3.3 million dollar CAP requiring more cuts. Mr. Johnson our curriculum instruction superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, was able to save us about $500,000 by of instead of purchasing computers outright in one year, lease purchasing them over four years and these are mainly to outfit the new rooms in the high school referendum project. As well as some computers in the elementary level, you see the wiring is also being leased purchased, so we were able to save about $500,000 with some creative leasing.
Mrs. Labow: When you lease them, then after.....
Mr. Stansbury: Lease purchase.
Mrs. Labow: Oh, it is a lease purchase so it would just be like a dollar or something or whatever.
Mr. Stansbury: It would be ours at the end of four years. Looking at eliminating aides from the special education budget, eliminating staff, eliminating people from the resource center, that is also special education. Again some more special education cuts, security for the high school, club segments, eliminating air conditioning for classroom wing at Chester M. Stephens and eliminate a gym partition at Mountain View. These are all part of the cuts that we were preparing to present to the Board of Education. A team of sixth grade teachers at the Middle School, .7 art staff at the elementary level, looking at increasing teaching assignments for our department chairs. Right now most of them teach one. They will be asked to teach two next year, in addition to having their grade 6-12 supervisory responsibilities. Eliminating summer projects, department chair hours and then taking a look at some of our expenditures for the new wings in the high school and listing them under SGLA, which is our student growth category that we are able to use with this new funding formula and we were able to take them out of the main budget and put them under another category. Reducing funding for our cafeteria service, our food service, eliminating requests for buildings and grounds vehicles. We had made a request to increase the Board of Education contribution to Project Graduation based on the number of students now graduating and taking advantage of this outstanding opportunity. That got cut back to our base again, and one of the areas that we are looking to cut costs, is eliminating the 5:30 late run at the middle school and the high school. Deleting that, we will keep the 4:00 but we are proposed to eliminate the 5:30 runs, still more, freezing expenditures for clubs and field trips reducing overtime for transportation and custodial staff and also reducing the number of workers that we use for some of our major events at the high school.
Mr. Stansbury (Cont’d): The total staff program cuts, you’re looking at 12 full time staff positions cut, just to get the CAP and one part time staff position. You can see what the total budget was for 2005 – 2006. You can look at the proposed budget that was passed by the Board of Education and sent to the County Superintendent which indicates a 5% increase from last year’s budget. We wanted to show you how we started with this process in September and how we continued to make deletions from that budget just to get the CAP without impacting, negatively impacting the instructional delivery that we have taken so much pride in over the last couple of years and it has shown itself in the media, in our test scores. Our programs are being recognized by the County and the State as some of the best programs in education that has to offer. We did not want to impact those areas. School budgets help children. What does the budget have an impact on? Class size, which we discussed earlier, personnel, curricular advances, and technology improvements, extra curricular activities. You know we did not want to venture into this round. It was proposed that maybe we have some kind of extra curricular fee that we charge families to have their sons and daughters be a part of clubs and athletic programs and that was something we felt we did not want to venture into. We tried to avoid that at all cost. Some programs need kids and we have also realized that some kids need programs and by putting a fee on some of those programs, you really might be boxing out some opportunities for them that some families cannot afford. Courtesy busing, we did not want to eliminate that from the budget, facilities and maintenance upkeep. These are the polling locations for this year. They are Mountain View, Sandshore, and the new location is at Chester M. Stephens. The polls are open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm so we encourage everyone to come out and be a part of this process. We want you to take pride in what we do for kids. We certainly haven’t reached our potential but we are certainly heading in the right direction, there is no doubt about that. We are very, very proud of the kinds of opportunities that we provide your sons and daughters in this entire learning community. We want to maintain the quality of our schools. We encourage you to talk to your parents and community members to assist us in passing this budget. For more detailed information, you can go on our website. I believe we passed out the newsletter that we sent out with the graphs and the breakdowns of the budget. There is our website and there are a number of programs that you can download about the budget, including this power point, if you want to review it in greater detail. You can actually call the Superintendent, however she is not going to be taking office hours until after this break so you will be able to hit her on Monday the 17th and also in the morning and the afternoon of the 18th and those are the calling times right there. Here is a break down of the budget comparison. You can look at the last three years 2004, 2005’s increase was 8.16% last year’s or this current school year budget was 6.2% increase. This year’s budget with all of the fixed increases we have been able to reduce to a 5% increase. We actually did much better this year then we have in previous years, with greater obstacles. This will be the resolution that you will see on the ballot on the 18th, Resolved that there should be raised for the general fund $50 million and odd change for ensuing school year 2006 – 2007. That is the community tax responsibility. On your handout it gives you the pie graph of I guess revenues. I think it does, it shows you where we get some monies to offset that $73 million dollar budget. Here is some information based on the average home assessed in Mount Olive for 2006, what it is going to look like for the increase, for the 2006 - 2007 budget and then here is what it looks like for the debt service fund, which is the high school referendum and the middle school. Remember Tuesday 7:00 am. - 9:00 pm. and there are your voting locations again. I thank the Council for giving us the opportunity to present at this time and if anybody has any questions?
Mr. McEntee: I just have a couple of things to say. There are some things I was hoping to talk to you about. We did a teacher’s contract this year, and Scott I don’t know if the paper quoted you wrong but it was a 4.1% raise not a 4.5% raise and our teachers this year, I think, share the pain with us. They took a half a point below the County average and continue to also increase the workload. They are giving us an hour more per week that we are going to start a mentor program in the middle school and the high school to try to reach the students in different format. This is in an effort to reach kids that may be are out of pocket and you can only see this week, you heard about the freshman being arrested in south Jersey plotting to bring automatic weapons to school. We are going to try to reach those kids in a different format and give them an hour to meet in small groups with our staff and to talk about things and to possibly to spot some of these children at risk, early on and prevent any kind of tragedy happening. That is one of the things you will never measure the success of but you will surely measure the failure if we fail to reach our kids. I think our teachers help us to do that and in the year 2002 – 2003 they actually took below the County average and they also took a tuition CAP of a reduction in tuition reimbursement capping it at nine credits, 10 year student, three credits in the first year and six in the second. I think our staff responded this year to the budget cut 1701 and they understand it. Just a moment on the State funding, the State likes to say, hold harmless because they didn’t reduce the dollar value but in a town like Mount Olive when we are growing by 128 students per year, they are killing us. In other ways they are killing us too is, we apply for extra ordinary aid, which the State is required to pay anything above $40,000 we spend for a special education student.
Mr. McEntee (Cont’d): Last year we submitted a bill for $900 and some odd thousand and we got $480,000. This year we submitted a bill for over $1 million and got $200,000. That is a cut of $280,000 but the State says it is harmless. I understand those kids that are enrolled from April 2000 and that cut alone of the $3.5 million will eat up $3.5 million. It is about $3.4 in State Aid since 2000 that we don’t get, so that would make our taxes null if we could do that. So the State has to hold up their end and at the same time their deficit in the pension fund is requiring us to fill it. So we are increasing our pension contributions to fill the deficit that they created by leveraging off the pension funds. Kevin mentioned fuel costs are up 35%, medical costs, the pension benefits and then the surplus which affects the school. Kevin has an invested interest. He teaches in the school and he has to have programs in the school. As a Board Member, I am looking fiscally. Is it sound not to do repair on the roof of Mountain View School? Is it sound to let it go until we have a problem when we have to replace the whole roof and come back here with a $2.4 million referendum and pay for it over 20 years or should we be taking the money that we have set aside in surplus and doing those repairs as we go? We have seven buildings in the district. Some of them were built...Chester M. Stephens is the oldest one. It was built in 1959 not including the Budd Lake School which is an Administration building. We need to maintain them and they are used practically 24-7 now and I think when you go by the buildings at night you will see them lit up and being used. We do make them available to Township programs at no cost. So long as the building is open and there is a janitor in it and the school or Township needs it for any recreation program or any program sponsored by the Township, the buildings are opened. That has changed in years past. We didn’t have them open all the time but we try. There are a lot of people paying for them. We are taxpayers and we deserve to use them. The Pay to Play, we looked at the Pay to Play guys and what we saw it was going to separate the kids that have and the kids that have not. How do you charge for football? Do you charge more for football than you do for basketball, or do you charge more for band? How do you collect it? Do you say a kid can’t participate or do you have collection agencies? We looked at it and thought it was....well, when you look at all of our budgets, you look at all our clubs, there is still at a small percentage of that $75 million budget. There was such a small percentage we didn’t feel like separating it, and we didn’t want to point out the kids that couldn’t participate. The buses, the courtesy busing you look at Montville, in fact, they issue a fee. Did you ever try to get into any one of our schools on a rainy day when the parents are dropping the kids off? Can you imagine everyday, if every kid was being driven to school? We would have to start school 20 minutes late everyday in every school. Sunset strip would become a parking lot. Sandshore Road would be shut down. We have to bus the kids. This town is not built for....unfortunately, it is not an inner city school where the kids can walk and it is safe. Many of our kids are young kids so it becomes a serious issue and in the high school, can you imagine kids walking from Oakwood Village to the high school on a snowy day up antique hill? It makes no sense. Our need for buses, we replace about four buses a year. Eighty buses divided by twenty, the Board before me and has continued to replace our buses with diesel buses which have a 20 year life span. We are one of the only states in the country that requires buses be replaced, be retired, no matter what shape they are in 20 years. The gasoline buses have to be retired at 12. This year the last two buses are gasoline and are being retired and we will have diesel buses. Then we get hit on the double whammy. Diesel fuel is more expensive than gas. So we did the right thing. Now we are getting hammered where diesel used to be half the price of gas. The high school computers, people come up to me, well, why the wiring? Why aren’t the computers included in the referendum? Do you want to pay for computers over 25 years? We will have four sets of them by the time we pay off the referendum bond and then the wiring, it’s not the wiring in the building. The backbone fiber building is there. It is the wiring we are talking about, it is the desktop and the routers that are in the classrooms which have become obsolete, probably, before we pay off the lease. The last thing when you talk about air-conditioning in Chester M. Stephens. That wasn’t done just for comfort. We have humidity problems in some of the buildings and we are trying to remedy those and reduce mold, increase air quality and make it a better situation for our kids. We are kind of doing that with the dehumidifiers but they are quite noisy and quite expensive so we are trying to maintain that. That is why you are going to say,
air conditioning, that is a luxury. I didn’t have air conditioning but it’s not quite that. The last thing is the efficiency. If the budget votes down understand your taxes will go down by pennies per month. Yet a $ 1 million cut in that $75 million doesn’t seem like much but you are probably talking about $ 1 million to $10 million. The $65 we are going to spend no matter what happens. The last 10 we are going to cut to $1 million out of it. It is not efficient in a sense. If I could cut all the efficiency out of $75 million dollars, we would probably have $1 million and the Board is committed in finding that $1 million but we are finding it $10.00 at a time. We don’t find it with sweeping cuts of a $1 million. So we hope that people will all understand that the State has handcuffed us quite a bit. We are trying to grow. We are trying to support. We are trying to build good buildings and that is where we are at. Just one final thing before I go, the high school project, I would love to get updates on it and Kevin can give a brief on the power point, but we are on time, under budget, and on schedule. We are a little bit behind in the front of the building which we hope to catch up with in the spring because the steel was a little late getting up but if you have been into the high school auditorium the steel is rising out of the front. The cafeteria steel is up.
Mr. McEntee (Cont’d): The classrooms are almost all framed in the back and we are actually ahead of schedule for the infrastructure inside and we are hoping to open all classrooms in September. The high school will close June 29th to all traffic and all people because the front of that building is going to disappear this summer. The reason why school is starting 20 days late is because we need to finish the site work. The parking lot and the roadway access will be completely redone this summer and the back road will be done. All the renovations in the main building, understand in the main building, all the AC units will be replaced, all the electrical work will be upgraded while the kids are not there. It is a safety factor and a cost factor. It is happening very quickly. I understand it is a $47 million project and we are doing well. We hit a little bit of rock. Surprised? We hit some rock but our contingencies absorbed it and we were ready for it and we look like we are ahead of schedule and we will be able to do a few extra things that we had hoped to do by the time we are done. That is with the cooperation of the Township, by the way, because things have been going well as far as scheduling and inspections and approvals from the State. This is something where the Township and the Board of Education have been working hand in hand and they have been supporting us at every turn as we go. The slide show is running there. It’s exciting. The building is going to be a fantastic facility for the whole community. The auditorium, if you have been in the middle school, is fabulous but the auditorium in the high school is going to be a class A facility for us to have a gathering point for all kinds of ceremonies for this Township. We look forward to it. If you have any questions, we would be happy to answer them.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, is there anyone from the audience who has any questions for either Mr. Stansbury or Mr. McEntee? Seeing none, Mr. Prill do you have anything on behalf of the Administration or the Mayor in terms of the school budget at this point in time?
Mr. Prill: No, nothing.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Is there any Councilmember.....?
Mr. Buell: Just one question. Larry, if this budget is defeated, comes back and we cut it, what is the effect on school programs in the long term for us cutting this budget?
Mr. McEntee: We are currently looking at it, like we did in years past, to give you a scale of ....if we have to come before Council to look at cuts and to what effect, what we are afraid, it will drive classroom size up. Right now, we are holding classroom size about 25 students. That is as large as we really want to get. Any reduction in staff is going to feel it in the class sizes and any kind of growth is going to have to be absorbed in the existing classes because we are not going to be able to reduce any kind of aides. I mean we are already reducing, I think it is a total 16 aides. We are netting 12 personnel but I think we are losing 16 aides which is a difficult thing to cut but the only thing that makes any real impact in that budget is salaries and benefits.
Mr. Buell: But if we cut......Next year, the CAP is lower than....
Mr. McEntee: Well, yes. The State bases the CAP on the previous year’s budget so if you don’t, it is almost a self fulfilling prophecy, if you don’t use every dollar that you can get, it can be 4% on whatever this years is. So if you cut it we can be faced with it again. In the long term what it means is we are going to be looking at our capital projects and starting to set questions and going to referendums and in turn we will be starting to mortgage everything we do in the future, which we will be paying everything on 20 year terms. It is what the State did and now they are regretting it because now the time has come to pay. You saw the referendum in the middle school we did in 1996, we are ten years into that referendum. In another ten years that is paid off. The long term Capital gain is not a big debt until we start doing roofs and doors and windows with long term debt. That is the only way we are going to continue education and keep the class size at 25.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, anyone else?
Mrs. Labow: There is one question that a lot of people keep bringing up throughout the town the past couple of days. They want to know why does the high school have so many vice principals? I tried to explain we have a lot of students and it is not like there are a bunch of people running around with nothing to do. Each one is responsible for a segment of the population and they follow those students throughout. How many students do we have now at the high school?
Mr. McEntee: About 1400 students. When we had two vice principals, it was not uncommon for them to be responsible for something like 600 or 650 students and we definitely saw the need with the expansion of the enrollment and also with the phasing in of the additions to the high school, we are going to need to cover a lot of territory, adjusting services that we provide to those students and also maintaining order and structure in the existing building.
Mrs. Labow: There was just one other thing.....
Mr. McEntee: Understand that our Administration is also evaluating our teaching staff. The Board’s refused to except compliance or expect mediocrity. We expect written performances of all our teachers and we are trying to hold.....tenure is a powerful thing but it doesn’t have to be an end all. We are holding teachers accountable and I think, Kevin we have 90 teachers?
Mr. Stansbury: One hundred and eleven.
Mr. McEntee: One hundred and eleven that have to be evaluated. That is quite a big load for four people. Basically, you have three vice principals and the principal that do that. I don’t know any business that do management with four people to 90 on an ongoing basis as well as all those other disciplinary jobs, which is not a small task for high school full of teenagers.
Mrs. Labow: I hadn’t even thought about that part of it. I usually go with the ratio of the students to the vice principal. One other thing that you didn’t point out, I don’t know if it is necessarily super important or not? Project Graduation, a lot of people forget what it is all about. When it first came about a few years ago, there was a lot of media and people understood it was very important and it is still continuing today. Right now in order to provide our seniors with project graduation, it costs $35,000 and we don’t want to have to charge the students. We want to make a free event so that every student can go and so we do the Parents Club and the Project Graduation. We do try to raise the majority of the funds so even that cut is going to hurt big time. We will just have to do more fundraising. Some times people forget. They just don’t understand how much that actually costs to provide a safe haven for our seniors.
President Greenbaum: Thank you very much for the presentation. We always do appreciate you guys taking the time to educate us and the public in terms of what is being voted on. Hopefully, we won’t see you guys again until next April. I wish you the best of luck in your efforts, thank you.
Mrs. Labow: Great job.
Questions on Bill List?
President Greenbaum: Alright, we are going to move on with our Agenda at this point in time. We are up to questions on the Bill List. Does anyone have any questions that they would like to refer to the Administration to be answered at the later part of the meeting? Seeing none....Mr. Russell did you have anything this evening on the Bill List or does anyone from the audience have anything from the Bill List at the present time? Moving on we are up to Approval of Minutes. We have three sets of Minutes. Mr. Tepper, do you want to move the Minutes please, for approval?
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Feb. 28, 2006
Present: Mr. Tepper, Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum,
Mrs. Labow (7:06)
March 14, 2006
Present: Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Tepper
Absent: Mr. Rattner, Mr. Biondi
March 28, 2006 CS
Present: Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Biondi
Mr. Tepper: Yes, I move that we approve the Minutes of February 28th, March 14th, March 28th Closed Session.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mrs. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any discussions, deletions or changes?
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously, with the exception Mr. Rattner abstained on March 14th.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS
1. Letter received March 24, 2006, from Mitch Weintraub regarding Lights at Russ Nagle Field.
2. E-mail received March 24, 2006, from Peter Coulter regarding Lights at Russ Nagle Field.
3. E-mail received March 27, 2006, from Tom Maiello regarding Lights at Russ Nagle Field.
4. Letter received March 27, 2006, from Karen Weintraub regarding Lights as Russ Nagle Field.
5. Letter received March 28, 2006, from Rev. Stanley C. Barron regarding St. Elizabeth Ann Seton RC Church (61 Main Street, Flanders) Planning board Resolution No. 2K-32.
6. Letter received April 3, 2006, from Denise Ernest regarding No Parking Ordinance.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
7. Resolution received March 30, 2006, from Township of Morris regarding Reintroduction of Legislation to Exempt Municipal Clerks from Penalties for Open Public Records Act Violations under Certain Circumstances.
8. Ordinance received March 31, 2006, from Allamuchy Township regarding Land Use.
9. Ordinance received April 5, 2006, from Borough of Stanhope Regarding Land Use.
10. Notice received April 6, 2006, from Township of Roxbury regarding Hearing on Adopting of an appendix to the Master Plan of the Township of Roxbury entitled “Trails Plan.”
11. Resolution received April 6, 2006, from Town of Boonton regarding Reintroduction of Legislation to exempt Municipal Clerks from Penalties for Open Public Records Act Violations under certain circumstances.
DOT / DEP / LOI
12. Letter received March 29, 2006, from Chester, Ploussas, Lisowsky Partnership, LLP regarding Stream Encroachment Application – Retaining Wall Stabilization International Trade Center.
13. Notification of Environmental review received March 29, 2006, from Chester, Ploussas, Lisowsky Partnership, LLP regarding AIG Baker of Mount Olive, applying to the NJDEP for Stream 14. Encroachment Permit regarding Block 4100, Lot 114 in Mount Olive and Block 9201, Lot 1 in
Roxbury (International Trade Center South).
14. Letter received March 31, 2006, from Equity Environmental Engineering LLC regarding David Norrie Block 1201, Lot 7 (77 Crease Road) for application for approval to the NJDEP to establish the boundary of freshwater wetlands on the property.
15. Letter received April 3, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Applicant: Angela Tartell Block 3305; Lot 14 (212 Route 46) Deficiency Letter for Letter of. Interpretation – Line Verification.
16. Letter received April 3, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Applicant: Morris, Mount Olive Associates, LLC Block 400, Lots 1&2 and Block 500, Lots 2&3. (217 and 219 Waterloo Valley Road – 215 Waterloo Valley Road and 87 Old Waterloo Valley Road) Deficiency Letter for Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification.
17. Letter received April 3, 2006, from M.D. London Associates, LLC regarding Line Verification, Letter of Interpretation for 55 Crease Road Block 1201, Lot 7.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
18. Letter received March 27, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar “Open Public Records Act – An Update on Recent Case Decisions and Current Issues.”
19. Letter received March 27, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Mayors 3rd Annual Property Tax Summit “Tax Relief Now or Never.”
20. Letter received March 30, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League’s 2005 Laws of Interest Book.
21. Legislative Bulletin received March 30, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bill Summary.
22. Letter received April 5, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar “Grant Writing, Strategies, Techniques & Content.”
MUA / MSA
23. List of Allocations received April 5, 2006, from Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding the 4.31 Water Pollution Control Plant.
24. Minutes received April 7, 2006, from Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding March 1, 2006 meeting.
25. Letter received March 27, 2006, from Peter King, Esq. regarding United States v. Beckman Coulter, et al – Combe Fill South Landfill Litigation.
26. Letter received March 24, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council regarding meeting cancellation.
27. Letter received March 27, 2006, from Lawrence Litwin regarding Ronetco Supermarket – Highlands Exemption.
28. Letter received March 31, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council regarding Annual Report for 2005.
29. Letter received April 7, 2006, from Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron regarding Mount Olive Community Bible Church Block 7900, Lot 3 (200 Flanders Drakestown Road) application for Highlands Applicability and Water Quality Management Plan, which has been filed with the DEP.
30. Fax received March 29, 2006, from Comcast regarding Municipal Breakfast.
31. Letter received April 7, 2006, from Kiernan & Campbell regarding Notice of Tort Claim for Jeffrey DelVecchio v. Township of Mount Olive, et al.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES
32. E-mail received March 31, 2006, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Picatinny Chapter of NDIA Honors Frelinghuysen, Sign up for Medicare Drug Benefit before the May 15th deadline, FAA to Host Public Meeting on Airspace Resign Options, Spirit of Enterprise, and House approves College Access and Opportunity Act.
33. Letter received April 7, 2006, from Assemblyman Biondi regarding Amending the Open Public Records Act.
34. Letter received April 7, 2006, from Assemblyman Biondi regarding “Task force of New Jersey’s Public Health Workforce.”
35. E-mail received March 31, 2006, from Department of Community Affairs regarding Advancing Greater Interlocal Cooperation.
President Greenbaum: There are, thirty five pieces of correspondence on the amended agenda does anyone wish to discuss any particular piece of Correspondence? Seeing none, we will move on to Ordinances for public hearing.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Greenbaum: The first ordinance for public hearing is Ordinance #14-2006 entitled:
Ord. #14-2006 An Ordinance Establishing a Police Department within the Township of Mount Olive.
President Greenbaum: I am going to open it up to the public at the current time. Is there is anyone who wishes to be heard on this particular ordinance? Seeing none, at this point Mr. Buell, could you please move Ordinance #14-2006 with respect to keeping the public comment period open through April 25th, as I have been alerted by the Police Chief that there is a discussion with respect to proposed changes that may be made to this particular ordinance. So I would ask that you make a motion to keep the public portion comment period open.
Mr. Dorsey: Make a motion to continue the public hearing to April 25th.
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Buell: I make a motion to continue to keep open until April 25th for public comment on Ordinance #14-2006.
Mrs. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Roll Call, please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING (2nd Reading – May 9, 2006)
Ord. #16-2006 An Ordinance to Create the Position of Municipal Housing Liaison for the Purpose of Administering the Township of Mount Olive’s Affordable Housing Program Pursuant to the Fair Housing Act.
President Greenbaum: Mrs. Labow could you please move that for first reading?
Mrs. Labow: I move that Ordinance #16-2006 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on May 9, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey, for public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Rattner: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Mr. Tepper.
Mr. Tepper: Did we want to follow the Administration’s recommendation that we modify it to indicate that it is an uncompensated position?
Mr. Dorsey: We are going to do that in the Resolution.
Mr. Tepper: Okay. That is my only comment.
President Greenbaum: Any other comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
President Greenbaum: The next portion of our meeting deals with 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.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Overturning the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance Number 1-2006, Entitled “An Ordinance Providing for the Selection of a Municipal Prosecutor.”
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Overturning the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance Number 13-2006, Entitled “Establishing Procedures to Adopt Personnel Practices and Authorizing the Township Administrator to Implement Said Practices with all Officials, Appointees, Employees, Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Independent Contractors of the Township.”
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Appointing a Municipal Housing Liaison. *amended
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Mayor to Sign a Treatment Works Approval Permit Application for Givaudan Fragrances Corporation Expansion – Phase 1 & 2, Block 402, Lots 2 and 5.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending Resolution #304, Adopted 11/22/05, Awarding a Contract to Condit Truck Center for (3) Ford F350 Pick-up Trucks with 8’ Snowplows.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Submission of a Tonnage Grant Application to the State of New Jersey (Calendar year 2005).
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Change Order in the Contract with Thomas Hitchins, Architect, for the Historic Structures Report of the Baptist Church.
President Greenbaum: There will be no separate discussion or debate on each except for a brief clarifying statement if applicable. I have asked that Resolution #1 and #2 which requires five permanent votes to be moved to the Non Consent. Are there any others that anyone wishes to be moved to Non Consent? Mr. Rattner, do you want to move Resolutions #3 through #7 please.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you Mr. President I move Consent Resolutions #3 - #7.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on Resolutions #3- #7 on the Consent Resolutions Agenda? Is there a second?
Mr. Tepper: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded anyone from the public? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Is there anyone on Council that has a brief clarifying statement with respect to Resolutions #3 - #7? Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
President Greenbaum: We are up to the Non Consent Resolutions Agenda the first resolution is:
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Overturning the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance Number 1-2006, Entitled “An Ordinance Providing for the Selection of a Municipal Prosecutor.”
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, could you please move that?
Mr. Buell: I move Resolution #1.
Mrs. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this particular ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Is there any Council comment?
Mr. Rattner: Yes, I know we need five votes on this and I have a concern. Our Code has been from, I guess, back around in the 80’s, had the appointment of the prosecutor as a Council appointment. In around 2000 or thereabouts the State changed the State Code to state that the appointment is by the governing body which for us means the Mayor and Council, consistent with the Township Attorney. It was also litigated and the judge affirmed that that is exactly the way it is supposed to work, what we attempted to do. Now that the Mayor is saying, we are giving him the additional responsibilities that he is entitled to in the appointment of a Prosecutor. The Court, the Superior Court, has affirmed it in an unambiguous way and the Mayor decided to veto it. I don’t know if I am willing to just to change it? We have to go by the State statute because the State statute at this point supersedes anything that we have. The Mayor is the one, for whatever reason, and I think he should be......he hasn’t explained to me at least any documentation that I have seen, why he thinks that the State statute affirmed by the Superior Court is wrong?
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone else that has any comments?
Mr. Tepper: Well, to Steve’s point, the Mayor did give a reason in his statement of veto. What I am curious about is that is dated April 5th and the notice from the State Superior Court is dated March 30th and it clearly spells out that it shall be made by Mayor with advise and consent. I would also like to understand why he went back and rejected it after being told by the courts that it was to be done this way.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, do you know?
Mr. Prill: Other than the explanation that he had shown, I have had no further discussion with him about it.
President Greenbaum: Is the Mayor planning on being here this evening?
Mr. Prill: I don’t believe so. He was having some medical tests done today and wasn’t sure.
Mr. Rattner: Mr. Dorsey, just out of curiosity, obviously the decision by the Superior Court can be appealed. I guess it would have to be appealed by Mr. Ruggierio because he was the plaintiff. What is the timing for that?
Mr. Dorsey: Thirty-five to forty-five days.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, so that is still open for him. Do we have any kind of indication that Mr. Ruggierio is going to appeal? I guess he would appeal what to the....
Mr. Dorsey: There is no indication. He has not filed anything.
Mr. Rattner: So what are we doing? All we are going to do is go over... I would just rather let it lay and let the Mayor explain why he refuses to obey the law.
President Greenbaum: I don’t understand that at all, Steve. I think we should just, you know we know what the law is. The judge explained what the law is and we know why the Mayor makes certain decisions and the bottom line is that this law, now we’ll be consistent with the State law and we will change a portion of our local ordinances which is out of date based upon a change in State law. I think we should just move forward with this as we are charged with in terms of our responsibilities as Councilmen to make sure that our Ordinances are in accordance with current State law. Whether the Mayor vetoed this, didn’t veto it, this is the law. This is what it should be and let’s just move on with it and get it done.
Mr. Rattner: I will go and vote for it affirmatively because you need my vote but the State statute supercedes it anyway. So we have to obey it. I just didn’t want to play his game. I will vote for it and just put it to rest.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. President, we have a number of civics students here tonight that are earning merit badges so this is a very interesting part in Municipal Government. Township Council has the right to adopt ordinances. The Mayor has the right to veto an ordinance, which the Mayor did in this case but then the Township Council, which is the legislative body, has the right to override it by a super majority which is five votes on this Council. So you are seeing rather historic action here tonight, if you can understand it.
President Greenbaum: Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Overturning the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance #13-2006, Entitled “Establishing Procedures to Adopt Personnel Practices and Authorizing the Township Administrator to Implement Said Practices with all Officials, Appointees, Employees, Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Independent Contractors of the Township.”
President Greenbaum: Mrs. Labow, could you move that please?
Mrs. Labow: I move Resolution #2 for adoption.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this? I close it to the public. Any Council members who wish to be heard?
Mr. Rattner: I just have a question on this. I know that on of the questions that we were asked was that we were required to actually put in place this personnel practice document by March 31st by our insurance carrier. I know that the question came up with the Mayor’s veto, if this isn’t overridden, do we then lose the benefits that we were going to get by having this document that was actually the framework by the insurance carrier themselves. We would definitely lose it, which means if we don’t override it, this will cost the Township considerably more money.
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, it would.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Buell: I like Steve’s very kind words on this one. Ladies and gentleman, this is the most irresponsible veto I have ever seen in my life. Let me start off by saying the personnel policies, procedures, the ordinances that are behind this were all recommended by the Mayor and his Administration in the first place to us. Now he vetoes it without comment, without, whatever. I don’t know what the legal position is at this point in time. Did we miss the 31st deadline?
Mr. Dorsey: We took care of that for you.
Mr. Buell: That is taken care of?
Mr. Dorsey: Assuming that you would override the veto.
Mr. Buell: Ladies and gentlemen, this means that any action against the Township for the last four months since January 1st, we are not covered for insurance or we are covered for insurance but our deductible I think goes up to $200,000 per case, from $50,000. I wish I had the memo that Mr. Dorsey sent to us to talk to us about the dire consequences of us not passing this ordinance with these personnel policies in time. This is not something that just snuck up on the Administration in the last year. They have been supposedly working on these since early 2004. When did they come to Council and say, oh by the way we have these? On March 1st of this year. That is the reason why we rushed to get these things done in a fashion that we thought would be legal and lawful for this Township and yet we have this irresponsible idiot person, excuse me. Sitting there pontificating, didn’t sit here through some of the hearings, didn’t say a word about objecting to any of these policies, this ordinance and all of the sudden out of the blue vetoes the ordinance. Ladies and gentlemen, this Mayor is irresponsible. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Does anyone else have anything that they wish to add? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
1. Bill List.
President Greenbaum: We are up to motions. Mr. Tepper, do you want to move the Bill List?
Mr. Tepper: Yes, I move the Bill List as presented by Administration to be paid.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Rattner: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion?
Mr. Tepper: I do have one question.
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Tepper: Is Mr. Dorsey’s Bill included in this?
Mr. Dorsey: No, it is not.
Mr. Tepper: His past bills that were...
Mr. Dorsey: The finance took care of the past bills very quickly. Mrs. Lashway has put a block on this bill. We will take care of that.
Mr. Tepper: Alright, thank you.
Mr. Dorsey: Thank you though.
President Greenbaum: Any other discussions? Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Library Board Report
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill do you have anything to report.
Mr. Prill: Nothing.
President Greenbaum: Do you know when the Library Board is meeting next?
Mrs. Labow: Tomorrow night.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, I would ask that you send something to the Library Board re-confirming that the $100,000 that they are holding should be deposited with our CFO pursuant to past resolution.
Mr. Prill: We have been advised it will be brought up for discussion, by tomorrow night so hopefully, we will have an answer from them.
President Greenbaum: Okay, thank you and then you will report back at the next meeting?
Mr. Prill: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any Old Business? Any new Business?
Mr. Buell: Yes, I had the delightful opportunity to meet with the newly formed Kings Village Tenant Association last Saturday here in this building. They have requested our, I guess, assistance, participation in what they see as some significant problems that relate to the Kings Village building and their relationship with their owner. We spent about three hours with about nine members of the Tenant Association and we discussed some of the issues many of which I do think relate to some of our laws, our codes and some things that we potentially should get involved with as part of this and some things that obviously relate to just the tenant/owner relationship. Some of the things they described to me are broken windows, nailed down screens, mold conditions, pest control, or infestations. They indicated that at times that there was a concern for stacking four and five people in one bedroom apartments. For instance grills on their terraces. The parking lot was in poor repair, they talked about the concerns with snow removal and they also talked about the increase of number of washing machines that have been placed in the facility and potentially in a way it did not conform to our building code and or our sewer ordinances.
They are going to write a letter to the tenant, or excuse me, to the owner, listing these, copying us, and indicating to the owner that they think these specific issues need to be corrected. I am just informing the Council that this is something that is going on and I think it is something that we need to get involved with.
President Greenbaum: Well, first and foremost, Jim, I assume you are all from the Tenants Association and I appreciate the opportunity that was extended to me and to other members of Council to participate in the discussion. I apologize that I had a previous commitment on that day and wasn’t able to make it. From the issues which Jim has identified, you have been brought to bear several departments within the Township, whether it is the Health Department, whether it is the Zoning Department, or the Building Department, I am not sure. As soon as we get the list, we will pass it along to the various departments and I will re-list it for updates in terms of what action is being taken by the Township. We sit up here as a legislative group. We don’t have individuals working on our behalf. The individuals of the Township work under the Mayor and under Mr. Prill’s direction. I am sure Mr. Prill has every interest in making sure that if there are violations in terms of the codes and the regulations that the Township has to protect our residents, that those issues will be addressed in the speediest of fashions. Mr. Prill, I am going to ask that Mr. Buell get that list to you and that you update us within two weeks as to what action is being taken, what plan of action is being taken by the Administration in terms of addressing whatever issues are identified ultimately. I am sure you will have no problem with that.
Mr. Prill: That’s fine. I just need to see what the issues are.
Mr. Rattner: Basically, you got to what I was going to say. One thing and this is not just for this group but for anybody when you have an issue and a lot of these fall under the purview of the Township for enforcement. You have to go to the Administration. They are the enforcement agency. We are basically like the Council President said, the oversight. We actually pass the laws, most of them on their recommendation. The first stop should always be the Administration and give them an opportunity to address it. Then what we usually become is, because we have public meetings, we become the complaint department. In all fairness to the Administration, this is for any group you always go to them first. We have the Health Department that covers some of this; some of it may be Zoning, or Building. It depends on exactly what type of violation it is. We have a lot of good employees who do their job very, very well.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else?
Mrs. Labow: I don’t know if anybody can answer this question? I think all of you have been in those apartments for more than five years, long term? The State is supposed to come out every five years and do an inspection on every apartment in the whole facility. Has that ever happened? They do? Because I understand from our Health Officer that you are due for an inspection soon. I think in like another year it is slated.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else? Thank you very much. Any other New Business?
Mr. Rattner: Mr. Prill, there has been a long standing project that predated you that I had brought up periodically. I don’t know if it has been since you have been here but a few of us went to a function last night and we got cornered by some people from the County AG Board. Basically, what they asked for, or actually demanding is a tight time schedule when we are going to have the Charter Farm ready for sale. They put up half the money. It was a joint venture. They expected that the sale would have been completed a couple of years ago. What they are asking, they didn’t make any specific complaints, but that they get a regular timetable. They want to close it out. They do a lot of these things and this is by far the longest one, so I am going to ask.........
President Greenbaum: I believe the issue was contaminated soil and it is stockpiled at the site.
Mr. Dorsey: Are you at all familiar with it, Rick?
Mr. Prill: Yes I am. I mean, we are aware of that. I am trying to get it back on track. What happened some time last year is, it fell by the wayside, it wasn’t....
Mr. Dorsey: Where was it left off though? Suburban, I think was supposed to develop some specs, Suburban Engineering, some specs to be taken away. Just so you know, it has been in that status, I am going to say almost two years.
Mr. Prill: It has but.....
President Greenbaum: What I would like to have done and what I had promised to the AG people last night is that we would develop an action plan with a timeline in terms of appropriate dates that we expect to have that certain activities at that site completed. I would like to have that on the meeting of the 25th, which is two weeks, should give you plenty of time with the CC: to the AG Board to show that the issue is being addressed by the Township. I guess what you need to do is get in touch with Suburban and we need to move, finalize that project in all due course.
Mr. Prill: Well, we are. I have had a couple of meetings with the consultants. The sticky part right now is they came back with a proposed change order doubling their cost, which I took exception to and we have been discussing it. I am hopeful that we can resolve that issue and find some middle ground in terms of work that they have already done, that they should be compensated, for but not going to the extent that they have proposed a while back. Once we have that done, the next step will be to arrange for the soil to go out to bid and to have that soil removed.
President Greenbaum: Not withstanding that, I would still like to get an action plan for the 25th with a CC: to the AG Board so they know we are on top of the issue.
Mrs. Labow: We have to replace the soil they are removing, is that correct?
Mr. Prill: There is some clean soil on site, not enough to backfill the hole but Tim has probably some soil, more than enough soil I think from the high school that we can use.
Mrs. Labow: I was going to say the high school has plenty of soil, thank you.
President Greenbaum: I am also going to ask the Clerk to also list this on Old Business on a going forward basis so that the AG Board is satisfied and that the Township is taking the appropriate steps to complete the project and put the property up for sale. Is there any other New Business?
Mr. Dorsey: No.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Biondi - Absent
Board of Health Report
Mrs. Labow: We meet next week.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Tepper: Meets Thursday.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins - Absent
Open Space Committee Report
Mrs. Labow: We met last night. It was a very delightful meeting. We had the representatives from the Morris Canal Greenway come and give a wonderful presentation and they are looking to work with Mount Olive to preserve the Morris Canal sites here in Mount Olive. They will be coming forward with a presentation to the Council shortly. Also, Mrs. Murphy spoke about her recreation agenda plans and they are working on it and it does include some open space areas and so on and so forth. I think in about two weeks she might be ready with the recreation plans.
Mr. Prill: We intend to have at least a draft presented to Council by the next meeting.
Mrs. Labow: Okay, it was a very good meeting.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Biondi - Absent
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins - Absent
Board of Education Liaison Report
Mr. Buell: Basically, we had it tonight.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Perkins - Absent.
Finance Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: We have all been working on the Budget.
Economic Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.
Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report
Mr. Tepper: Communicated to the MUA and to Trinity on their proposals to the Township requesting additional information. We are trying to look to cut costs.
President Greenbaum: At this point in I will open up the floor to anyone in the public who would like to discuss any particular issue. Mr. Russell, if you would be so kind please state your name and address for the record.
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: Previously I noticed that street signs were missing from Babs Road and Dogwood. Those signs had been replaced and I would like to publicly thank Mr. Prill for acting so quickly.
Mr. Prill: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you very much.
Mr. Rattner: I am also happy to see we are making use of the sign machine.
Mr. Prill: We will see how long they stay up.
Mr. Buell: I would also like to add on to that the replacement of Karen Drive, Theresa Drive, and Falcon Drive.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone else from the public? Yes sir.
Stan Roedel, Pine Grove Road, Budd Lake: So regarding the use of Pine Grove Road as the Castle bus route, was that designation tied to the condition of Manor House Road bridge and subsequent out of commission for being re-built and if so, is that Pine Grove Road going to be, the status as the Castle bus stop has to be changed.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, do you know that answer to that question?
Mr. Prill: I don’t have an answer for you without checking it out.
Mr. Buell: Is this a school bus route?
Mr. Roedel: No, it is that Pax Amicus Theater uses it since that bridge was out of commission. There is a sign out on the end of Pine Grove Road that this is the Castle bus route and there is a lot of heavy bus traffic on that very narrow road.
Mr. Rattner: It actually happened before the bridge went out. What happened is after the inspection of the bridge they put a weight limit on it and the weight limit would not allow a bus. So it has actually been up a few years but it was specifically because the bridge could not handle the weight. I would imagine it should revert back but we will have to look into that.
President Greenbaum: You are looking at actually changing the signage to re route the commercial traffic over to Manor House Road which is more appropriate way to do it. Mr. Prill, would you look into that please?
Mr. Prill: Yes, I will.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, the bus drivers I am sure would be happy with that too.
President Greenbaum: Yes. Thank you for bringing that to our attention.
Mr. Roedel: How can I check the progress on that?
President Greenbaum: You can check with Mr. Prill.
Mr. Roedel: Okay and one other thing is at the base of Smithtown and its intersection with 46, there seems to be a sign lacking in that. Since, I don’t know, several years ago, it was widened to allow some traffic to go straight and some traffic to turn left. There should be a sign there that the people on the left have to turn left and the people on the right is for straight or right because many times I have come to that intersection and you see people in left want to go straight, people on the right want to go straight and it is hazardous.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, would you look at that as well please? These are Administrative matters and you can follow up with Mr. Prill in terms of progress or whatever his decision, assuming that you are correct, and that it should be done in that fashion. Then you check with Mr. Prill and he will let you know when it is going to get done. If you get a response from Mr. Prill that there was a decision made that that type of signage should not be done at that site, then you need to come back to Council at that point. Thank you very much. Is there anyone else from the public that wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I close it to the public.
President Greenbaum: Final comments, Mr. Prill do you have anything this evening?
Mr. Prill: Nothing further.
Mr. Tepper: Nothing.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, I would assume that you pretty much...... you have more?
Mr. Buell: No, no, I haven’t finished, oh yeah. Just first of all, Charlie Johnson passed today or yesterday - ex-Mayor of Mount Olive, a friend for 30 years and a citizen of Mount Olive. I think he had Mount Olive’s heart in the right place all of those years. Sorry to hear it and just to say he is a friend and he will be missed. Second issue is, last Council meeting, after the meeting the Mayor couldn’t wait to run out of this room after the Fire Department or as the Fire Department was leaving to tell one of the chiefs of the two Fire Departments that he was vetoing the resolution or the Ordinance #13-2006, which refers to the personnel policies because the Council made the mistake and covered the volunteer fire fighters and the volunteers of the Township under the grievance procedure and voluntary or arbitration procedure that, that policy contains. Note, the Mayor was here at that meeting, could have objected to that resolution, either the week before or that week. He did not. I think that is irresponsible as well. The ordinance does not cover the volunteer fire fighters. It was specifically written specifically written contains the specific language, it covers non-union municipal employees only with the exception of the Chief of Police and the Business Administrator. But still the fact is, he could have sat here two weeks before when that was proposed and could have made that comment and we might have had a chance, if that was a problem, to check with legal attorney to find out whether or not that was a true statement that he made to one of the volunteering chiefs of the services. If we needed to, we could have changed the policy but no, he decides to veto the whole thing. Irresponsible, ladies and gentlemen.
Mrs. Labow: Nothing.
Mr. Rattner: I have nothing.
Executive Session – Building Department Investigation and related litigation
President Greenbaum: I have nothing as well. We are going into a brief Executive Session to discuss the Construction Office Investigation. It is going to be very brief.
Mr. Dorsey: Related litigation.
President Greenbaum: And related litigation. At this point in time Mr. Rattner, do you want to move us into Executive Session.
Mr. Rattner: According to Sections 7&8 of the Open Public Meeting Act, I move that we go into Executive Session to speak about potential litigation and the investigation. Information regarding both issues will released when appropriately completed.
Mr. Tepper: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded all in favor?
Adjourn to Executive session: Motion to go in to the Executive Session made and seconded. All were in favor, the Executive Session started at 8:40 pm the meeting reconvened and was adjourned at 9:06 pm.
Robert J. Greenbaum
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 May 9, 2006.