Township Council Minutes
April 13, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION in memory of Joe O’Connor, a prominent member of the community, today was his funeral, he helped Les Smith build the International Trade Zone, people remember him as tireless for the American Cancer Society, for the Heart Association, Mount Olive Day, was instrumental in raising funds and building St. Jude’s Church, he was involved in every part of our community. I ask that we have a couple seconds for private reflection for him and his family.
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 same.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Elms, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Greenbaum,
Absent: Mr. Perkins
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins called earlier in the day, and wasn’t sure with the whether he was going to be able to get out of the city. I’d like to also recognize here tonight the Mayor, Mayor De La Roche; our Business Administrator, Mr. Ruggiero; Township Attorneys, Mr. John Dorsey and Mr. Peter King; Township Clerk, Lisa Lashway; CFO, Sherry Jenkins. Before we start I would like to make a request to the members up here that we do not play with the microphones, the clerk has had a problem over the last couple weeks, nervous twitches or whatever, sometimes people moving the microphones or such around. Just ask that we not play with the microphone, just speak into it when you have something to say. I think the Clerk would greatly appreciate that. So thank you very much.
Eagle Scout Presentation – Wesley Petonak
President Rattner: The first thing we have on the agenda tonight which is always something that we enjoy doing. It is an honor it is something that we can all agree on. It’s when we recognize one of our own, especially our youth, somebody who’s excelled, who’s reached a pinnacle in what his endeavors are. Tonight we’d like to recognize Wesley Petonak who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout. That is a very tough road to climb. You have to have a lot of perseverance. You have to have leadership and less than 2% of all the boys or young men who join the Boy Scouts ever get this so you are definitely the cream of the crop. I’d like you to come up with your family (clapping). Congratulations, I know that your parents are very proud of you and you should be. I’m sure they did some of the pushing. I do have what you actually accomplished for your Eagle Project. People don’t know one of the things you have to do besides all the merit badges going through the leadership and everything that you do to show that you’re qualified, you also have to have a project that benefits the community or some segment of the community, no different than a thesis when you’re in grad school and you did that to help the handicapped. Why don’t you explain what that was.
Mr. Petonak: I did a project over at New Bridge Services. It is an adult group home on the corner of River and Tinc Road. We planted some arbor vitas on the property because we had some road construction there about a year ago and left the property kind of bare and exposed. We built a cobblestone paver walkway about 30 or 40 feet between the 2 parking lots so people can go back and forth during the winter more safely and we also built a swing and swig arbor for the residents for their recreation.
President Rattner: Very well done. Now we’d like to give you this certificate of achievement in honor of receiving outstanding achievement in the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America. This award is presented to Wesley James Petonak on this thirteenth day of April, in the year 2004, by the Council of the Township of Mount Olive, Morris County, New Jersey. Congratulations. (Clapping).
We are really proud. Thank you very much for coming.
President Rattner: Ok now we have our first optional public portion of our meeting when we go to resolutions and ordinances for public hearing you’ll have time to speak we will have another portion at the end of the meeting. Is there anybody who would like to address the council at this time. Seeing none we’ll move right along at this point we ask if there are any members of the Council that have any questions on the bill list that gives the business administrator a little bit of time to go through the vouchers and see if he can answer the President Rattner (cont’d): questions. I know some of us have provided questions ahead of time which I know mine were answered very rapidly and I’m grateful for that. Does anybody else have any questions?
Mr. Buell: Yes I wanted to ask questions about noise of the geese control, the screamer, the geese banger and basically the question I wanted to ask is that a problem at Turkey Brook Park? Is that being used at Turkey Brook Park?
Mr Ruggierio: I don’t know if it’s being used at Turkey Brook Park. It was my understanding…I guess it was because it said Sunset Avenue in the documentation that I got. I asked about that question that you gave me Mr. Buell, and I am told that there haven’t been any such complaints, but I will certainly keep my eye on it.
Mr. Buell: This is a launch thing that they have at the golf course?
Mr. Ruggierio: I believe that’s right, it is activated by activity of the geese.
President Rattner: Does anybody have any other questions for the Administrator, if not I would then guess that at the end of the meeting that we won’t have any problems then passing the bill list. Thank you very much, now we move to approval of the minutes from the February 24th meeting. We went over our quota of words, it was what 31 pages?
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
February 24, 2004 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Elms, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Guenther
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, would you move the minutes?
Mr. Buell: I move the minutes of February 24th, 2004.
President Rattner: Do we have a second?
Mr. Guenther: Second
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. E-mail received March 24, 2004, from David Scapicchio Re: DPW Building, going to Public Referendum?
2. Letter received March 29, 2004, from Coldwell Banker regarding the Auction division.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
3. Resolution received March 25, 2004, from the Township of Aberdeen regarding Property Taxes.
4. Resolution received March 25, 2004, from the Township of Pequannock requesting Plan Development for Equitable Funding of the State’s Public School System and Issuing Meaningful Tax Reform.
5. Resolution received March 29, 2004, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding authorizing participation of the County of Morris in the State Development and Redevelopment plan Cross-Acceptance Process.
6. Resolution received March 29, 2004, from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Morris County Resolution of Participation.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
7. E-mail received March 23, 2004, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Transfer of Development Rights.
8. E-mail received March 25, 2004, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding the signing of the TDR bill.
9. Legislative Bulletin received March 31, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding 2004-2005 Bill Summary.
10. E-mail received April 2, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Contractors’ Registration Act, and PFRS Enhanced Benefits.
11. Letter received April 7, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar on Registering Domestic Partnerships in New Jersey.
12. Letter received April 7, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar on Gang Violence: Is it in your Neighborhood?
13. E-mail received April 7, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESETATIVES
14. Letter received March 24, 2004 from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Important Highlands Update Meeting for Morris County Officials.
15. Notice received March 29, 2004, from Congressman Frelighuysen regarding the 11th Congressional District Academy Night.
16. Letter received April 7, 2004, from Alison Littell McHose regarding Highlands Legislation.
17. E-mail received April 7, 2004, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Homeland Security update.
18. Fax received April 8, 2004, from Governor McGreevey regarding a year of Record-Breaking Accomplishments at State Ports, announces vision for 2004.
19. Notice received April 8, 2004, from Board of Public Utilities regarding legislative hearing regarding the Clean Energy Program.
20. Letter received April 8, 2004, from Freeholder Schrier regarding the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act.
21. Letter received March 22, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Draft Solid Waste Facility Permit Renewal with Modification for: MC MUA, Solid Waste Transfer Station / Materials Recovery Facility Block 4500, Lot 5 (129 Flanders-Netcong Road).
22. Letter received March 24, 2004, from the State of New Jersey Division of the Ratepayer Advocate regarding I/M/O the Application of Mount Olive Villages Water and Sewer Company, Inc. for Approval of an Amendment of Municipal Consent Franchise on an Emergent Basis.
23. Letter received March 22, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection, and Division of Water Quality regarding Storm Water Discharge New Master General Permit / Mining and Quarrying.
24. Notice received March 26, 2004, from the NJ Transportation Conference Expo, c/o Morris County DOT regarding the 28th Annual New Jersey State Transportation Conference and Expo.
25. Letter received April 2, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Notice of Civil Administrative Penalty Assessment, Block 8100, Lot 58, (1 Joy Drive).
26. Letter received April 7, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Application No. 5058 to divert water from 8 existing wells (six in the Alamatong well field and two in the Flanders Valley well field) in the Township of Randolph, Roxbury, Mount Olive and Chester, Morris County.
27. Summons received March 22, 2004, from the United States District Court regarding Civil case No. 2:04-cv-122 in the matter of Harry Dunleavy vs. Mount Olive Township and Mount Olive Board of Education, George Johnson, Marilyn Persico, Martha Hatch, Lorraine Watson, and J. Frank Vespa-Papaleo.
28. Notice of Class Action received April 7, 2004, from Circuit Court of Madison County regarding CD-ROM cost.
29. Allocation List received April 2, 2004, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding Municipalities in the 3.803 MGD Water Pollution Control Plant.
30. Letter received March 26, 2004, from Cablevision regarding Notice of Programming Changes.
31. Letter received March 30, 2004, from Cablevision regarding Additional Channel Moves.
32. Fax received March 31, 2004, from Comcast regarding Channel Package Changes.
33. Spring 2004 Course Schedule received March 22, 2004, from the Center for Government Services regarding Municipal Elected Officials Certificate Program.
34. Letter received March 23, 2004, from the State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs regarding approval of Grant for $20,000.00 for the Library to purchase various equipment that will aid people with disabilities.
35. E-mail received March 24, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding Young Professional Open Networking.
36. E-mail received March 25, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the Good Morning Morris Power Breakfast.
37. Letter received March 29, 2004, from Scribal Associates regarding Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund Public Officials Liability Retention & Coinsurance Reimbursement Invoice.
38. Letter received March 29, 2004, From the Morris County Mosquito Extermination Commission regarding Public Notice.
39. E-mail received March 29, 2004, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding upcoming events, and how to sign up.
40. E-mail received March 31, 2004, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the “Mega Net Showcase.
41. Letter received April 5, 2004, from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding Public Hearing to Amend the Land Development Standards of Morris County.
42. Letter received April 5, 2004, from Historic Preservation Office regarding Conference Schedule “New Jersey, the Early Years.”
43. Letter received April 5, 2004, from Delaware Riverkeeper regarding bringing VX nerve agent to New Jersey.
44. E-mail received April 6, 2004, from Gov Docs regarding first quarter Update 2004.
45. Newsletter received April 7, 2004, from Relay for Life regarding Spotlight on Brian Vetter.
President Rattner: Okay, next we come to correspondence. We have 45 items of correspondence, does anybody have any questions or comments on any of the correspondence? I have two or three. Number 10, this I guess is directed to you Mr. Ruggierio, is just different things that are happening or comments that have been requested by us. Number 10, the NJ League of Municipalities concerning the Contractor’s Registration Act, we received that just on April 2nd, have you had a chance to review that? The League of Municipalities is taking a position that would upset the authority that the towns have in regulating contractors, for home contracting, that type of thing.
Mr. Ruggierio: That’s pretty much what I’ve seen. I haven’t studied the Act or gotten into more depth in terms of the issue.
President Rattner: Okay, I guess I’m just asking do we have any concerns in that, because a lot of these have time limits, so I just want to make sure if we have anything. Okay, the next one is a little closer to home, something that people who’ve been in Mount Olive for a while, we’re always talking garbage. We do have number 21 from the DEP – a request for a modification of the permit of our Transfer Station. That one may come a little more critical to make sure there is nothing in there that we have a concern with because I believe the deadline is around April 16th to respond if we want to respond to the Public Portion. I read it very quickly, I couldn’t see where they’re really changing much, but in the modification there may be something in the details. So, I just ask that you look that over, check with the appropriate department to make sure that we’re well protected. And the last one I have a question on is number 26 – we’re talking about water, it looks like the County MUA is requesting to increase their diversion rights in the Flanders well fields by another 178 million gallons. I’ll recognize you in a second Mr. Guenther - he has a question. I know the last time that came up, we were very concerned because that’s the same aquifer that we get our water supply in and the last time I believe the County did not have customers – they were just trying to stockpile it, because first come first serve. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Well, that’s not exactly true, I mean, I serve on the board, they, in the meantime, have gotten to the point where there is a need for this water and in fact there have been a lot of people clamoring for this water and they’re fairly close up to the allocation – the present allocation and usage of water so. This is something that’s rather old, it’s a two year old application and the DEP has been sitting on it and it’s just, you know, they’re dragging their heals on it, but you know, it’s still up in the air according to them.
President Rattner: Okay, I just ask that you check with our…go back to the records Mr. Ruggierio because also the most recent was about three years ago where our acting Business Administrator was talking to I believe Chester trying to wheel water from them up to Chester and we were concerned on how it would affect our wells. So, all I want to make sure is that we address it, I believe there is a period of about thirty days from the filing when you can make any comments. That’s all I have. So, if there is nothing else, we’ll move right along and go to the Consent Resolution, oh I’m sorry – Ordinances.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: Okay, we have Ordinances For Public Hearing. The next item, I will open the hearing to ordinance number 2-2004 entitled:
Ord. #2-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Requiring the Posting of Informational Signage Relative to Development.
Does anybody from the public like to address this ordinance? Mr. Bonte.
Mr. Bonte: Richard Bonte, Budd Lake. I just have a couple of questions, first of all it states in here that this does not apply to renovations to existing residences. If a land owner, an individual, owns a parcel of land and is going to build a new house for himself, does he have to do this? Does he have to put a sign on that site if the house is for himself?
Mr. Guenther: Yes, if you’re going to put up a whole house, the answer is yes, renovations were…I mean it’s a policy decision, renovations were thought not to require this elaborate sign.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, but a new home does?
Mr. Guenther: Yes.
Mr. Bonte: Okay then, on the first page, I was a little confused with the language at the end of the second paragraph, and maybe I’m just reading it wrong, where it says for the issuance of a permit to allow the installation of any infrastructure including disturbance of soil. I didn’t know what that meant.
Mr. Guenther: The thrust of this ordinance is to deal with major developers and major subdivisions and therefore, the whole concept is a sign is going to go up in connection with a major subdivision before they begin to install the infrastructure and grade, cut trees, etc.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, so basically, once the permit’s been issued, they have to put the sign up before they can do anything.
President Rattner: Mr. Bonte, just…I just want to say that if you see we’re going to table it, we are actually going to kill it tonight there is a couple different loose ends that we felt that were in there and after review by the Construction Department and the Administration, we are going to start, you know, clean up those issues and start with a new ordinance. It’s just that it’s listed, I wanted to hear the comments in case anything else came up that we didn’t think of.
Mr. Bonte: I just basically wanted some clarification for my own mind.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Bonte. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I think Mr. Bonte brought up a good point though and Mr. Dorsey kind of confirmed it. The intent of this was to require a larger development, I think it came up in relation to Toll Brothers on Flanders- Netcong Road, they didn’t put up a sign and people were calling all over the place and nobody had any information and that was really the purpose of it. I don’t really see the purpose of this for somebody that’s putting up what we call “spot lot one home” why have the builder have to put up a huge sign there just for, you know, for that one home. That really wasn’t the intent of this ordinance.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, that’s a policy decision and I wasn’t going to make that policy decision. I was going to make it all inclusive, because some would say the individual lot can be as disturbing to the surrounding property owners, but that’s an easy exception to put in.
President Rattner: Well, we’re going to start from scratch, you know, it’s going to take you and me. We were up by Manor House and we know what one lot can do when we saw the mud in that other house, so, something like that, but we do have to clean it up and we are going to be voting this down tonight.
Ms. Labow: Just I want to agree with Mr. Bonte. My next door neighbors put on a substantial addition to their house and, of course, they disturbed the soil so that’s another thing I think we have to tighten up.
President Rattner: Well, we don’t want to make it onerous for, you know, the person trying to do improvements, I mean you have to draw a balance there. But that’s something that we’ll discuss when we look at this. I’m going to ask that, Ms. Labow, you move it, we are going to vote this down, so we…
Ms. Labow: I use the bond one right? Because this would be the second reading. So, number three, I move for adoption of final passage of Ordinance #2-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Then we’ll vote it, if we’re going to kill it, it’s a no vote. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Defeated Unanimously
President Rattner: Thank you. Now I’ll open the Hearing to the Public on Ordinance #6-2004 entitled:
Ord. #6-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Fees to be Charged by the Recreation Department for Programs for the Year 2004.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the Public
Portion and ask Mr. Elms to move it.
Mr. Elms: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #6-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #6-2004 was passed on second reading and I, hereby, direct the Court to
forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. Okay now I will
open the Public Hearing to Ordinance #7-2004 entitled:
Ord. #7-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Recreation Utility.
President Rattner: So, anybody from the public like to address the Council on this Ordinance? Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I’m looking at this and looking at the Resolution you have to come
on later. This is not the entire Recreation Department that this utility is covering, is that correct?
President Rattner: Well, that’s right, that’s for the recreation programs not the department itself.
Mr. Bonte: Why don’t we move the entire Recreation Department, all the activities, into this utility?
President Rattner: Because this is why we have the fees. What we are trying to do is match up the programs
that we generate fees from and have the flexibility in being able to run those programs, give refunds, which is
actually a very big item, and that’s why were doing this. This gives the flexibility…we were using a trust fund
for that purpose, we found certain procedures we had were in conflict with the law, this way it allows us to
operate the programs without having definitive numbers, knowing how many people, what the anticipated
revenues are going to be at the beginning of the year. We are not held to the same burden of setting the revenue
budget and then sticking with it, the same thing with the expense. This way, if we get more revenues in because
we have a bus trip and twice as many people sign up, we can use that additional money to rent another bus. The
reverse also becomes true.
Mr. Bonte: I understand that, but how exactly will the accounting of this utility take place? Is it going to be a
self liquidating utility?
President Rattner: Yes, if we want to make a conscious contribution because we want to subsidize something,
but the utility will run on its own and their costs will be segregated completely so we’ll know exactly what’s
going on. They’ll also be able to carry surpluses over to the next year so they have the money to start the
programs in the winter.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, but self liquidating means that basically the fees are established to cover the expenses.
President Rattner: For the program, right.
Mr. Bonte: For the program. So what about, and I’m jumping ahead here but I think it ties in with the
ordinance, you know, we’re putting in money here which I presume is coming from the taxpayer, the general
fund, into this recreation utility fund of approximately $85,000.
Mrs. Jenkins: You’re talking about the resolution to actually establish a temporary budget?
Mr. Bonte: No.
Mrs. Jenkins: Because that’s the resolution that’s on later tonight and that doesn’t come from the general fund.
That’s just to establish a temporary budget so we can begin to operate the utility.
Mr. Bonte: But where does that money come from to pay all these salaries? Will that be coming from the fees
that are charged for the program?
Mrs. Jenkins: We are going to transfer over the balance that we have in the current recreation trust into a new
bank account called recreation utility. We’re now setting up a budget so that we can begin to operate.
Mr. Bonte: So am I to believe, from what you’ve said is that the operation of this utility will not be…there will
be no taxpayer monies in that utility? For the operation of the utility – in other words, all these salaries and
other expenses, etc. will be paid for by the fees that will be collected for the programs.
Mr. Greenbaum: Wait a minute, I think in asking that question, you have to reflect upon what the Council
President said, and what he said before was there may come a time in which the governing body decides that
it wants to support, subsidize a particular program. And on that basis, some contribution might be made. But
the real purpose, I mean, outside of that instance, the understanding would be that the utility would become self
sufficient, self funding, with the expenses paid from the fees.
Mr. Bonte: Alright, I understand that and I don’t…I’m not in disagreement with that. That’s why, I guess, I’m
asking why don’t we move everything recreation-wise into this utility? All the recreation salaries, determine at the beginning of the year what the Township’s annual contribution to that should be and I would presume that that would mean, that that would actually be itemized as a separate line item on our tax bill. I’m getting people saying no, but I know we do it with sanitation for example.
President Rattner: Wait a minute, Mr. Greenbaum had his hand up so he’s next and then Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Bonte: The problem I see here is that there’s going to be co-mingling of two types of recreation
monies in this town. Some employees will be paid out of general funds, some employees’ salaries will be paid
out of this fund, there may be employees who half their day is out of one fund, half out of another. If one fund
is running short of money, well we’ll put his time on this other fund and we don’t get a true accounting overall.
President Rattner: Mr. Bonte, I think what we’re trying to, and then I’ll get to Mr. Greenbaum, is I’ll use the
beach. The beach we made free about ten, twelve years ago – we used to charge, that is just like Turkey Brook
Park, Flanders Park, Tulip Park, any of our other parks. That is something that is being paid, the beach itself is
going to be paid out of the general fund. It’s one of our recreational grounds. What, swimming lessons…this
came up with the thing, remember the paddle boats and the purchase. Out of the trust fund we weren’t allowed
to buy capital equipment, say the boats and things like that. This will allow it and we’ll be able to see. We did
a certain amount of money in here, they’re collecting fees, at the end of the year did you end up with more
money or less. So, it’s for the programs. Yes, if we have a lifeguard, and that can happen, if we have a
lifeguard and they’re going to spend twenty hours a week giving swimming lessons, which they get fees from,
then some of their salary will be paid out of that recreation trust fund because the fees are being generated for
that and they’re basically doing the work for that program and each program is going to be accounted for. The’ll
have subsidiary ledgers which the CFO has said that they’ve already set up…they have the ability to do, and
they’ve actually been doing that to some degree in the past so they know how much each program actually costs
Mr. Bonte: I understand completely what your doing, Steve, and believe me I’m not trying to floor any of it.
But I see that, for example with sanitation, we’ve basically isolated everything sanitation expense wise and
revenue wise is off on it’s own. It’s basically it’s own separate company.
President Rattner: Except with snow plowing.
Mr. Bonte: Right, but snow plowing is technically not a sanitation utility responsibility. I know how the
money is transferred but here we have I think a similar type case, we have “Township Recreation” and maybe
we could get a better handle on the whole recreation issue in town and possibly even have more flexibility as to
how we handle things and have a better accounting of it all if we have one utility for everything recreation-wise
in town. And, at the beginning of the budget cycle we determine how much of that gets funded by the general
operating budget and there’s a line item for that – how much is going to be raised, but the money stays within
that utility. Just, what I would think would close this whole package here and I think make it more meaningful
and accountability-wise would be better to look at from both the citizens as well as the Township.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, then Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Greenbaum: I don’t think anyone ever thought of it from the angle that you’re coming from, Rich, to be
quite honest with you. It’s an interesting concept. As you know, I was against the creation of the utility, I
wanted all of the monies to come out of the general budget related to recreation because I was concerned
that once you split up the programs as is being done here, you lose control over the budget process. The
liquidity, by it’s very nature, takes a certain amount of financial oversight out of the entirety of what’s
Mr. Greenbaum (cont’d): happening. I think your proposal is interesting, but you can take it several steps
Further. You could say that we could have a utility for every single function that government provides. I mean,
you could take it down the line and say you know what – we’re going to have a snow clearing utility, we’re
going to have a utility for the Health Department, we’re going to have a utility….you could actually do that and
then clearly separate…so I’m not sure that’s the answer either, but….
Mr. Bonte: My logic here is that the utilities made sense when not every member of the Township is
either going to use it or have access to it. Snow plowing, police services, obviously everybody benefits
from that. Now water and sewer, we debated for ten years before we finally created a water and sewer
utility, which was the right thing to do. Sanitation, I think, is over twenty years, has been a utility, because
not everybody in town receives Sanitation services. This is a good case of where you have programs that
are paid for by the user and programs that are paid for by the general taxpayer. I think what concerns me
more is when you have these mixed…when you have a utility for part and part is funded by the general. I’m
not pushing…I wouldn’t advocate utilities for everything, but when you have a mixed type thing, then I
think it might make sense, I think that you might have more control with the utility. To me this is not a
self liquidating account for two reasons. Number one, the prospect of a contribution out of the general fund,
that’s number one and number two is the fact that you actually have the possibility of a surplus, which to me,
by definition means that’s it’s not self liquidating, because self liquidating generally, in my terms, means
that you pay for what it’s going to cost to run the program and at the end of the year, you end up with
nothing. That’s generally what self liquidating…to me, the sewer and the water utilities are more kin to
self liquidating, because we don’t take any monies out of the general tax fund to subsidize those activities, am
President Rattner: We would have to if they ran a deficit…and they carry over the surplus. Anyway, Mr.
Mr. Guenther: Just a question, I mean, the idea of this, I believe, was to try to keep track of the funds that
come in…the fees that are….
President Rattner: The program fees and any contributions that may come in for recreation.
Mr. Guenther: We didn’t feel that we had a good handle on it, and that’s why we decided on this as a way
of saying well how much is really coming in and where is it going out.
President Rattner: Right. And we also heard from the recreation department that for the general…for the
operation under the budget under general fund, I gave the example of the bus, they have those types of issues.
Under the trust fund, they couldn’t buy equipment, that have to come out of our own capital and we’d rather
see…if you have…they operate must be sixty programs now that they’re getting fees. Some make money
some don’t make money, and this way they can use them across, even though they’re keeping track of it.
I think it’s good that the common cost, the beach, is just like somebody using the park – it doesn’t matter
which park you go to, but if you have a program on the beach…just like if you had a program on Turkey
Brook, we may charge for it and it may go in utility, but I don’t think anybody wants us to put all the
Turkey Brook costs into a utility and try to manage it that way. Then Mr. Guenther then Mr. Elms, then
Mr. Guenther: Just a follow up question…Mr. Bonte mentioned that it’s paying for the salaries, are there
any salaries…I mean, outside of the seasonal help that’s put on, for example are the lifeguards their expenses
meant to be self liquidating from the fees that we collect? Or do we make a contribution to….
President Rattner: No, the lifeguards, I believe, and the CFO can correct me if I’m wrong, the lifeguards
themselves are going to be paid just as a seasonal employee. If they happen to be working as a swim instructor
which fees are being generated, then they’ll be paid…you know…they’ll be charged to the utility. They could
be in both.
Mr. Guenther: Okay so that in effect there would be a contribution from us toward paying them, or their
salaries are not included…would be included in the utilities.
President Rattner: If they’re working the beach, they’re just like any other recreation or buildings and grounds
employee. If they’re working on something that we’re charging fees for, like swim lessons or the paddle boat
program, then it would come out of the fees, that part of their salary would come out of the fees. Mr. Elms,
then Ms. Labow.
Mr. Elms: For that reason to get a better handle on where the money’s going, I had recommended that we
separate the two sewer utilities so we can better cost out what each one of them is costing us. Especially
since we’re spending…planning on spending a half a million dollars down in Flanders.
Mr. Bonte: I believe that the ordinance right now has basically three cost accounting systems in the
water and sewer utility; one for the Budd Lake system, one for Flanders, and one for all the water systems.
Mr. Elms: They’re at two different rates.
Mr. Bonte: They’re at two different rates and I believe they’re supposed to keep track of expenses.
President Rattner: It’s done at the yearly review, yes.
Mr. Bonte: Then it’s already being done.
Mr. Elms: No it’s not.
Mr. Bonte: One comment while I’m up here, on the resolution…
President Rattner: We haven’t gotten to the resolution yet.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, do you want me to do that after….
President Rattner: Okay, you might as well make it efficient.
Mr. Bonte: On the salaries and wages we have $40,000 and in social security we have $4,500. Is there
something missing here, shouldn’t social security be 7.5% of salaries and wages, it looks like the number
is too high? How is the social security number determined on the resolution, as $4,500?
Ms. Jenkins: We don’t really have a history with the utility so I just put in an approximate amount that
I felt that we would need to cover ourselves in the next few months.
Mr. Bonte: Well, if the salaries and wages are $40,000, we know exactly what social security would be.
Ms. Jenkins: Again, I just put in an approximate.
Mr. Bonte: I would suggest that that item being taken down to whatever 7.5% would be.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Bonte. Ms. Labow, you still have questions.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I still have a question. For the utilities, basically it’s for the beach and if there’s a surplus…
President Rattner: No, there’s a lot of different programs, there’s about sixty programs I think.
Ms. Labow: That are all going to fall under this? Are they going to be specified for this? We going to list
President Rattner: I don’t believe so, we…you know, as the department comes up with new ideas and new
and new programs or new ones, some that may not go…may be eliminated, I don’t know. Ask the
Administration if they know exactly what…
Ms. Labow: Because I would like to know what the criteria is as to what’s going to be in the recreation,
what’s going to be in this…I like the recreation utility very much, but I think we need to decide which
programs and going to go into which area. Like for instance, now we’re faced….you know…different…
baseball, basketball, whatever, when the people pay a fee ….
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: What it says there…
Ms. Labow: I’m not done yet.
Mr. Guenther: It’s creating the public utility for the purpose of operating the operating the fee based
recreation programs. So anything that’s fee based.
Ms. Labow: Okay, so I was just waiting for him to get done talking…
President Rattner: Yeah, but we’re not trying to…remember…we’re not trying to micromanage, you have
to give them…I mean…the whole idea of having utility is it isolates all the costs and it allows them, the
administrators who actually have to administer it, to operate the programs on a seasonal basis. They don’t
have time for the budget.
Ms. Labow: I just wanted to clarify it for my own self so like when you have basketball registration, baseball
registration, that sort of thing, all those fees will go into the utility.
President Rattner: Well, I think you…I would ask the administration to give you a list, because I think we
have a complete list of all the programs and the fees that are associated with it.
Mrs. Jenkins: Jill keeps a spreadsheet by program of the income that comes in and the
expenses associated with it, we have that.
President Rattner: As Sherry said, you’ve been doing that on a basis…that’s going to formalize it a little bit
more in our accounting system.
Ms. Labow: So then the recreation department itself, then that is run by money that is appropriated from the
President Rattner: No, I don’t believe so. Oh yeah, from the budget – not from the fees.
Ms. Labow: Yeah, right that’s what I’m saying. So, this utility is all fee based programs.
President Rattner: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Okay, any other questions or comments? Oh, anybody from the public? No, any other comments from the Council? Roll Call. Oh, I’m sorry, Mr. Guenther would you move it?
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #7-2004.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any additional comments? Now Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception Mr. Greenbaum Voted No
President Rattner: Ordinance #7-2004 is passed on second reading and I, hereby, direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.
Ms. Labow: I just want to say I want to thank Mr. Rattner for his idea coming up with that program.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: You’re welcome.
President Rattner: And I’m sure we will be tweaking it as we go forward. I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #8-2004 entitled:
Ord. #8-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing the Salary of the Deputy Township Clerk for the Year 2004.
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public like to address this ordinance? Seeing none I close the public portion and ask Mr. Greenbaum to move that.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for adoption of final passage of Ordinance #8-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Is there any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #8-2004 is passed on second reading and I, hereby, direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law.
I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #9-2004 entitled:
Ord. #9-2004 Bond Ordinance Amending Bond Ordinance Numbered 11-2001 of the Township of Mount Olive in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Finally Adopted May 8, 2001, in Order to Amend the Description of the Project.
President Rattner:This is the Library project. This is allowing existing monies to be used for some of the
internal furniture, shelving, I believe, computer networking. This doesn’t spend anymore money that still has to
come to us but it gives us the availability to do that work. Is there anybody from the public like to address the
Council on this Ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr.Greenbaum to move it.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #9-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Is there any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #9-2004 is passed on second reading and I, hereby, direct the Clerk to forward a
copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of the adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
President Rattner: Now we’ll move the section of Ordinances for first reading. The public hearing on all of these will be scheduled
for May 11, 2004. The first item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #10-2004, entitled:
Ord.#10-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part I Administrative Legislation Chapter 8, Committees and Boards Article III, Board of Health Section 8-17 Qualifications of Members.
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, would you move that?
Mr. Buell: I move that Ordinance #10-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that the
meeting be held on May 11, 2004 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building at 204 Flanders Drakestown Road,
Mount Olive, New Jersey for Public Hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance
and Clerk shall be directed to publish and post to make available said Ordinance in accordance with the
requirements of law.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Is there any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: The next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #11-2004, entitled:
Ord.#11-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part II General Legislation Chapter 76, Alarm Systems Section 76-10 False Alarms.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I move that Ordinance #11-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a
meeting to be held on May 11th, 2004 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders Drakestown Road,
Mount Olive, New Jersey for a Public Hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance
Mrs. Labow (cont’d): and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in
accordance of the requirements of law.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, I have a motion and a second. I also see the Chief of Police who proposed the
changes of this Ordinance and I believe he wants to say something.
Chief Katona: There are two versions of this Ordinance. There are…The Police Department suggested
modification as did the Fire Marshall. The Ordinance set before you incorporates only those revisions
forwarded by the Fire Marshall. The Police Department recommends a more wholesale change to the
alarm ordinance and, due to the fact that we no longer act as a central station, there are certain regulations
in there that require all alarms to be connected to our own alarm panel, which we don’t have any longer.
That information has been forwarded to Mr. King and during this week we could work out the language
issues between this version and the version that the Police Department is….
Mr. Dorsey: No, this is first reading, I think it’s best you table this and if you give me the changes that you
think are appropriate, I’ll incorporate them, so….
President Rattner: I think the Clerk wants to say something to Mr. Elms.
Mrs. Lashway: Mr. King prepared a second Ordinance, separate from this one, but because
the Council had not discussed it and it only reviewed the two-page draft, which is before you, I thought it
better to hold that other version addressing your comments as a second ordinance, not to be combined with this
and have that discussed at the next workshop and handle that as a separate ordinance.
Mr. Dorsey: Does that make sense?
Chief Katona: Well, it makes sense but the…
Mr. Dorsey: No, no, excuse me, does it make sense that two Ordinances dealing with this subject rather than
integrating the two versions into a single version?
Chief Katona: I think it should probably be just one ordinance.
Mrs. Lashway: Well they’re amending the code, so you can amend different portions of the
code by Ordinance.
President Rattner: I think what the attorney is saying is why don’t we do it once and make sure there’s no
conflicts between the two. Instead of doing one and having a second one coming forward, why don’t we just
look at both of them and put it into one Ordinance that it will amend the code.
Mrs. Lashway: Well, then let’s just not take any action on this.
President Rattner: Mr. Elms, then Ms. Labow.
Mr. Elms: Steve, I think that we discussed at workshop was the Chief’s version.
President Rattner: No, it was very specific because we asked a question and we were told we were only
discussing the version of the fees. It was discussed at workshop. If you remember, the Chief was not here so
we did not discuss it…we only discussed…and we said we would put on the fees, that’s on the tape.
Mr. Elms: But we had a breakdown of everything that had to come out because of the lack of the central
station panel. We discussed that in workshop.
President Rattner: I don’t remember discussing anything other than fees.
Mr. Elms: We had his marked up….
Mrs. Lashway: I’m just not comfortable putting anything on. On Thursday, it was a little
bit crazy, people were out, it was a short week…
President Rattner: We had some of the….we had the two versions, we only discussed one and we only
discussed the fees. Yes, we received the other information prior, but that’s all that we were prepared to discuss
at last Tuesday’s meeting. I suggest that we table it and we just discuss if we can have that all together at the
next workshop. One of the issues besides the operation from the Police Department is the number of false
alarms that we have in town and we have to do something as a disincentive for letting these businesses just
letting the false alarms and letting our emergency people respond to them every time.
Mr. Elms: Alright then the mover of this should withdraw the motion.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow, would you….
Ms. Labow: I just have a question, it’s probably a silly question, but I not sure like where the calls come into,
if you get your new console in there, in the….
Chief Katona: We’re not getting a new console. In 1985/1986, there was a movement to have the Police
Department answer alarms directly to remove the middle man and the thought there was that it’s a quicker
response. There was a provision in there which permitted individuals to still opt for the middle man in their
alarm services. With that, our alarm system did not work, there wasn’t enough fees generated to keep
maintaining that alarm panel so the alarm panel went belly up and we’re out of the alarm business.
Ms. Labow: Okay, that answers it. Thank you.
President Rattner: Now will you withdraw your motion, your…
Ms. Labow: I have to withdraw it now? How do I do that? I never withdrew one before.
Mr. Elms: I withdraw my motion.
Mr. Dorsey: I wish to withdraw my motion and introduce Ordinance #11-2004.
Ms. Labow: I wish to withdraw my motion and introduce Ordinance #11-2004. Thank you.
President Rattner: The next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #12-2004, entitled:
Ord.#12-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part IV Land Use Procedures, Chapter 400, Land Use: Article II Definitions, Section 400-6. Terms Defined; Section 400-18. Fees, Section 400-23. Zoning Permits and Certificates of Occupancy; Fees.
President Rattner: Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I move that Ordinance #12-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a
meeting be held on May 11th, 2004 at 7:30 pm 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 law.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Thank you. The Clerk has found a typo in the published and distributed copy. Do you
want to make that comment, so we can amend?
Mrs. Lashway: In the third whereas, the Township Council, based on recommendations by the Planning
Administrator and the Township Planner agree that the fine – it should not be fine, it should be fee for zoning
permits should be increased to meet the increased cost associated with issuing same. I will make the correction
President Rattner: Is there any discussion on this Ordinance? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: The final item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #13-2004, entitled:
Ord.#13-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part IV Land Use Procedures, Chapter 400, Land Use: Article IV Site Plan and Subdivision Review and Plat Details Section 400-32. Subdivision Review (Sewer Systems)
President Rattner: This involves the acceptance of sewer utilities for sewer system. Mr. Greenbaum, would
you move that Ordinance.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move that Ordinance #13-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a
meeting be held on May 11th, 2004 at 7:30 pm 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
Mr. Guenther: 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.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Temporary Budget for the 2004 Recreation Utility Fund.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding the Contract Bid #04-03 to Aqua Pro-Tech for Water Testing Services.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Interlocal Health Services Partnership Agreement/LINCS.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Cash Management Plan as Prepared by the Director of Finance/Chief Financial Officer in January 2004. (Recreation Utility Fund)
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Dedication by Rider for Donations for the Tree Bank Fund.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Change Order #5 RE: The Mount Olive Public Library.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Releasing Performance Guarantees in Connection with a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and ISI RE: Planning Board Application #01-24.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Extension of the Time Within Which Infrastructure Improvements Shall be Completed Pursuant to a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and Toll Brothers RE: Wyndham Pointe- Section IV.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement Preliminary Major Subdivision Approval Between the Township and Daniel and Francine Nelsen In Connection with Block 4400 Lot 12.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement Between the Township and Woodfield at Mount Olive (Partial Clearing Sections IIIA & IIIB).
11. Resolution Authorizing Participation of Mount Olive Township in the State Development and Redevelopment Plan (State Plan) Cross-Acceptance Process.
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Utilization of Certain Personnel in Connection with the Olympvs Litigation.
13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Filing of a Declaration of Taking in Connection with Smith Farm.
14. Resolution Determining the Form and Other Details of $2,958,000 General Improvement Bonds of the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris, New Jersey and Providing for Their Sale.
15. Resolution Providing for the Combination of Certain Issues of General Improvement Bonds of the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris, New Jersey into a Single Issue of Bonds Aggregating $2,958,000 in Principal Amount.
16. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Extension of Certain Professional Service Contracts NUNC PRO TUNC.
17. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Endorsing Legislation to Protect the New Jersey Highlands and Establish a Highlands Commission.
18. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive to Contract with a Land Surveyor for the New DPW Garage Site.
19. Lakeview Estates Developer’s Agreement - not received
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the consent agenda. We have nineteen items on the Consent
Agenda. Number nineteen, we are going to take off and put on the non-consent because the resolution came
in late so we can discuss it. Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I would like to ask to remove consent resolutions 9, 12 and 13 to non-consent, so that we can
President Rattner: Okay any other requests to move any items? Seeing none, Mr. Guenther can you
move the resolutions excluding…the list excluding 9, 12, 13 and 19?
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move to pass the resolutions 1 through 8, 10 and 11, 14 through 18.
President Rattner: Can I get a second?
Mr. Buell: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, is the anybody from the public like to address anything on the Consent Resolutions?
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I would just like to bring your attention to Consent Resolution #1, I believe the appropriate number for social security should be $3,000, that is 7.5% of salaries and wages, that is a quantifiable figure.
Ms. Jenkins: It’s actually 7.65%, if you want to change it, it’s $3,060, so if it pleases the Council and you want to change it by, whatever it is, $1,300 that’s fine.
Mr. Bonte: $3,600?...$3,060?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, $3,060, again, we just put in an estimate.
Mr. Bonte: Resolution 17, I’m just curious, who wrote this? This is regarding the Highlands.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio.
Mr. Ruggierio: There was a conference call to the Governor’s office that I didn’t attend, but Kathy Murphy our Grants Coordinator wrote a complete recitation of what was said and what was thought to be important, so I wrote the Resolution based on what she reported to me and passed it along.
Mr. Bonte: This is wonderful, and pass that on to her also. This is an important document. I think it adequately protects the interests of Mount Olive Township, as well as the Mount Olive residents and the governing body and in light of everything that is going on this week, and you may be aware of the hearings that when on last night and they’re going on tomorrow night in Hunterdon County and there was a meeting, I believe it was either Saturday or Sunday of some of the Republican Mayors, and I wish our Mayor had been there also, but a number of the Republican Mayors in the Highlands community have taken on our Republican representatives in the state house who are basically trying to stop the progression of the Highlands Legislation because it’s a Democratic idea, and the Republican Mayors stood up yesterday or Sunday and stated that this should not be politicized, that whether the Governor who gets the credit for this is Democrat or Republican makes no difference, the time is now. So, this is very timely, I hope that we get this to everybody involved. I don’t know how, you know, as urgently as possible, both in state house and to the newspapers and to the other members of the Highlands Coalition. This is very well written and I hope you approve it tonight. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Bonte. Mayor, you wanted to say something.
Mayor De La Roche: No I just want to comment. I did attend the Highlands meetings, but I attended them with the Governor at the Governor’s office in Trenton, and with the Senator Smith and all the rest of them so, and there were Republican Mayors there as well as myself.
President Rattner: Thank you Mayor. Any other comments on the Consent Resolutions? Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Well, the only comment I would make about the Resolution we’re talking about number 17 is that, you know, we have a provision in there that we vigorously oppose the loss of control concerning Township Planning Boards. I personally, I think the creation of this super commission, whatever they call it, I think it’s unconstitutional, quite frankly. I think it’s…when somebody reads what kind of powers it’s going to have, you’re not even going to be able to put an addition on your house without approval to DEP, and that kind of a super agency really is…it smacks of the almost totalitarian…as something that’s being imposed from the top with, you know, very little control. I would have liked to have seen a stronger…I guess it kind of covers us in that we’re reserving the right of our Planning Board to maintain control, but I would have put something stronger in there.
President Rattner: I think that it addresses it appropriately and you’re right, but I disagree about it being unconstitutional because the Pinelands Commission has been around for almost forever and if anyone was on that conference call that I was on with the Governor and Commissioner Bradley, when I asked them about that, they started yelling and saying yes that’s what they’re trying to do is stop the growth period, stop all construction. One of them that I was really concerned about is that anybody who wants to pave their driveway that lives in Mount Olive, will have to go through and do the engineering on their property, the hydro studies then submit that to…and that’s what I think we’re concerned about, things like that. Not the concept, the concept is good and we want something so we can slow down and put appropriate growth, protect our valuable resources, but not the end that it makes it almost impossible for you to do anything. You wouldn’t be able to put a deck on your house, if you’re within 300 feet of any type of water, if you were in the Highlands, that includes a swale and, you know, that’s how it goes. I was very concerned, I stated that over the last couple of months, I’m very happy with the way the Resolution came out, because it says that we support the concept, we do have some concerns and that’s what we really do, and we’re just going to have to watch it – that’s what the real thing is. We have to watch it and make sure that our interests are protected, the transfer of development rights sounded like a great idea, however, it doesn’t say how it’s going to work, who’s going to accept all these
President Rattner (cont’d): development rights? I mean, there are a lot of places that want to send them out, so there’s a lot of things that have to be worked out but we don’t want to stop the whole process. Does anybody else have any…Colleen.
Ms. Labow: If just want to…is this the…a couple of weeks ago we talked about $1,500 fee for the group?
President Rattner: That was for the Raritan Compact. That was for the six or seven towns that are in…for the Raritan River, starting with Budd Lake and going down. No this is something completely…this is a lot bigger.
This one we want to get into because we have definite vested interest and we’re supporting it. This one is the state. Anybody else from the public, let’s do the public portion, that wanted to address anything on the Consent Agenda, the individuals you’ll be able to get separately. Okay, we call the public portion.
Mr. Dorsey: Whoever is moving it, is moving it with an amendment to Resolution number 1, so that social security, instead of $4,500 will read $3,060.
Mr. Guenther: I’m sorry, what…I didn’t hear you.
Mr. Dorsey: The amendment that was offered was that Resolution 1;
Mr. Guenther: Right.
Mr. Dorsey: The amount for social security which is in the Resolution at $4,500 is changed to $3,060.
Mr. Guenther: Thank you.
President Rattner: So the person who moved it, will you make that amendment? Just make sure we have it on the record.
Mr. Guenther: I guess I moved it. So I’ll amend it.
President Rattner: Okay so…and the second.
Mr. Guenther: As the aforementioned Attorney said.
Mr. Elms: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, now we’ll go to the Non-Consent Resolutions. The first one we’ll have was taken off the Consent Agenda. Resolution #9, Mr. Buell, would you move that?
Mr. Buell: I move Resolution #9.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to address Resolution #9? Seeing none, I’ll call the public portion Council comments, Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I believe that this was before the Planning Board some two years ago and it amounts to dividing up a single lot into three and at the present time those lots don’t have water or sewer and I guess the developer’s agreement is going to allow them to drill wells.
Mr. Dorsey: The developers agreement would only incorporate by reference whatever the action was by the Planning Board. I don’t….
Mr. Elms: Was there limit, John, on the when the developers agreement has to be formulated after the Planning Board action.
Mr. Dorsey: There is a period of time after the Planning Board grants the major…preliminary subdivision but it expires, and off the top of my head I believe it’s three years.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I have a question about this one as well, I was glad Mr. Elms pulled it off. For the Goldmine well system there, we have a moratorium that’s pretty close. Doesn’t this follow in that area, like can they drill wells for that there?
Mr. Dorsey: I can’t really answer that because I don’t have in front of me a copy of the Resolution, oh maybe Mr. Guenther has it.
Mr. Guenther: Well, there’s a moratorium on anybody tying in. There’s another builder in there that wanted to build in four lots and he was given permission only on one. The other three he was told he had to drill wells. Mainly because this is tied in eventually to Morris Chase when they will build that water system, or if they ever build it, that then at that time Goldmine Estates will be opened up for tying into the water system but until that time, there is just a shortage of those wells that are supplying that system now are overtaxed, so there is like a moratorium on it, you can’t tie into that system.
President Rattner: I believe, just to expand on what Mr. Guenther says, because I remember that that developer has been around and trying to build for the last ten/fifteen years. What the issue came about is that he said you can’t hook into the water system and he says I’ll dig wells. Well, the town looked at it and looked at one of the lots was too close to one of the wells that supplied the Goldmine water system. It was the Water Department, the Public Works that said that it would be better to let him hook in that one so that he doesn’t dig a well close. They already did that and I imagine this was looked at also on these lots. So, three of the lots if he wants to build, he has to dig his own well or he can wait until the water system is improved. One, we decided it was in our best interest, because he would be allowed to build…you know, dig a well, he’d get an engineer to say that it wasn’t going to hurt our water; we, as a town, felt it was uncomfortable so said it was in our best interest for the couple hundred gallons he’s used to hook into the well and stay that much further away, and that’s what happened there.
Ms. Labow: So, do we know that that’s going to be the situation here?
President Rattner: I would imagine that was looked at, you know, with the Planning Board, otherwise they wouldn’t have given him approval to build, because he wouldn’t have been able to build.
Ms. Labow: Do you know….
Mr. Guenther: You know what, it was so long ago that I don’t remember the specifics of the application, however, the developer’s agreement doesn’t talk about connecting into the water system.
Mr. Dorsey: Right, it does talk about connecting into the sanitary sewer so I assume that, because it’s silent as to connecting into the water system, and certainly the Goldmine water system moratorium would have been in place at that point, that the issue was wells and it was at least looked at by the Planner and the Engineer. I don’t remember it being a specific issue for the Planning Board.
Ms. Labow: That leads me to another question, Mr. Rattner, and you said that, in the case of the builder who had wanted who had wanted to build four wells, and
President Rattner: Four lots.
Ms. Labow: Four lots, and one well he was allowed to tie in instead of drilling the well, brings me to another one of my pet subjects here of the situation of the wells in Mount Olive, in Budd Lake specifically, that, you know, homeowners are very nervous when a developer comes in and starts drilling wells, is it going to affect their wells, and here the Township was concerned about one well affecting the Goldmine well. So, why isn’t that consideration being done….
President Rattner: It is from the study, from the hydro studies in the water drains, I mean, they look at it and it was just decided, I don’t know, I’m not the engineer, it wasn’t, you know, my department, it wasn’t, you know, it was just coming down, and that was…
Ms. Labow: No, I’m not saying it was your department…
President Rattner: Because they’re going to have to hook into probably the water system once it is built because then they’re going to be mad because they’re going to have to abandon the wells.
Ms. Labow: Well, my next…right now…I’ll ask again later on, with the next part because it doesn’t pertain to this.
President Rattner: Okay, any other questions? Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: Steve, this was set up for three lots, not for four because…
President Rattner: No, I’m saying it was the other developer. He got one and the other three they said dig the well because it was a further distance.
Mr. Elms: The size of this lot won’t support four lots at 15,000 square feet.
President Rattner: No, they already got whatever the approval is, the approval is and he’s gotten it, I mean there’s….
Mr. Elms: It would help if we were to get a tax map when we go to discuss this.
President Rattner: Well, on Tuesday, they were out on…we had the full size maps, if you remember, at the workshop. Okay, any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ms. Labow, would you move Resolution number 12.
Ms. Labow: I move Resolution number 12.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to address Resolution number 12. Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion. Any Council comments? Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I asked to review this because I was concerned about what the cost is going to be for…the anticipated cost for this. It’s utilizing some professionals for….
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, this has to do, of course, with the Turkey Brook rock extra litigation. Mr. Casey was the Township Administrator for a period of approximately two years and he was the one…he was the one Township employee who probably had more interface with the Olympus Design team, the geotechnical worker, more than anybody else. Of course, he is no longer within the employ of the Township, so he is entitled to be paid for his services. The other is the architect who designed, what was it, the baseball building, it was a building there. We think we will probably not need him for more than two and a half hours. He has located some uncoordinated work that was done by Olympus. And, of course, we will need Buczynski, because Buczynski was the Township Engineer. Buczynski now has a current 2004 contract with the Township and he will participate on that basis. These are all professionals and they have very specific knowledge of things when they occurred.
Mr. Elms: You’re going to use Mr. Casey as a professional?
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. Casey is a professional in a sense, he’s not a licensed professional, but he is a professional in that he was the Township Administrator at the time the contracts were entered into and during the critical phases of the contract.
President Rattner: Any other comments? Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Are these fees coming out of Township money or they could be recouped?
Mr. Dorsey: There’s already been an allotment put aside in Turkey Brook bond ordinance for these fees and, hopefully, they will all be reimbursed with some kind of a settlement in this case.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: Any other questions/comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Mr. Elms, would you move 13?
Mr. Elms: Yes, I move for adoption of Resolution number 13.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, we have a motion and a second. Anybody like to address, would the public like to address number 13? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion. Mr. Elms, you asked to put this on Non Consent also.
Mr. Dorsey: Let me just explain what the process is. We instituted the condemnation action in this matter in January of 2003. When we instituted the condemnation action, because we knew it was going to be on hold because of the Interverse zoning litigation was ongoing. We did not pay money into court. We, as you know, one the Interverse zoning litigation. This property has now been and will be appraised for fair market value based upon the RRAA Ordinance and it simply has come time to say it locally for the Township to put up or shut up. The owner is now demanding that we put our money up. I see no reason not to do that, I think it is the determination of the Township to take this property, we have certainly gone through a great deal to get to the point we are, and it now becomes our obligation to put our money up based upon our appraisal at the time we instituted the condemnation action.
Mr. Elms: Is this declaration of taking, like eminent domain taking?
Mr. Dorsey: Absolutely and condemnation action is also referred to as an eminent domain action and this is part of the process. And when we file the declaration of taking the 100 acres referred to as Smith Farm, then, by law, it becomes owned by the Township, leaving open the only issue as to what the final market value will be determined to be.
Mr. Elms: And at this point, I mean, in order to do eminent domain, it has to be something that the Township has to have this property for the good of the public?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, let me say this. At this point, the Township could walk away from this whole thing with a certain amount of expenses, but the determination was made and an ordinance was adopted, I’m going to say sometime in the year 2002, to take this property. The determination has been made over a very long period of time that this was a tract that should be taken and I’m sure you know where the tract is, it’s west of Smithtown Road and it abuts Allamuchy State Park. On the basis that the Township believed, it was an appropriate piece to be acquired under its open space, it made an application to Morris County Open Space Preservation Trust Fund, and they have allocated to us, I think the number is $500,000 for the acquisition of this property. If a determination should be made tonight to walk away from this property, I mean, legally that would be fine. But the determination has been up until this point in time, take this property and now the property owner says okay you’re going to take it, now you have to put your money up.
Mr. Elms: And the talking of this…this property that we’re taking is the property that they have been tree farming for the last year or so?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, it is the property, and I think you know the property, the front of it’s down to Smithtown Road, there are 38 acres which have been crop farmed by my favorite Mount Olive farmer, Bob Perkoski who apparently farms everything here and now we understand, he also farms in Washington Township. Then as you go up to the ridge line, it’s forest, at one time it appears it was farmland, but at the moment it is simply a continuation of the forest that is in Allamuchy State Park.
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Just a comment, I think it might even go back beyond 2002, because I remember being in the presentations to the County where we wanted to funds and having to go back to the County every year and asking for an extension and in fact, the County putting pressure on us. At one time, they wanted to withdraw the
Mr. Guenther (continued): $500,000, because we weren’t coming to a resolution on this and we were kind of obligated to go through the condemnation proceedings to show the County that we were serious about acquiring this property.
President Rattner: I also believe there is Green Acres money in here too that are really, if we get it for around the appraisal price, we’ll be able to pick up these 100 or so acres at really no cost to our local tax rate. Obviously, if the County Open Space and the State Green Acres bond issue and I believe the State provided as much funds as the County did. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I might be confused on the property, is this the one that has the old house on it?
Mr. Dorsey: It really doesn’t have a house on it…fifty or sixty years ago, I think the farmhouse that is at the eastern end…there’s a farmhouse on the eastern end. It is not part of the property we’re buying, I think it was subdivided up some time ago. The property that we are buying stretches to that farmhouse all the way up to that major subdivision and the one corner, I have to think, the northwest corner of the property is where the water tower is, you’ve seen the water tower and that’s one of the corners of the property.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow, the one that you’re thinking of, that somebody you know lived there, that’s the Charter’s Farm. That’s the one we’re going to be reselling.
Ms. Labow: Okay, that’s what I wanted to know. Aren’t these properties pretty close?
President Rattner: Not really. I mean aside from Mr. Perkoski.
Mr. Dorsey: This property is on Smithtown Road, you have to proceed further west than Smithtown Road, then some of it becomes Stephens Park. You go half way down Stephens Park and you come to Charter’s Farm.
Ms. Labow: Right, okay. The other question is, this is not the parcel where there were some soil contamination?
President Rattner: That, again, is Charter’s Farm. That’s why we haven’t resold it.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: And just so you know, we’re reselling it. We’re buying it and then we’re going to resell it “deed restricted as farm.” That’s what the plan is on that.
Ms. Labow: Okay, and when does that come up?
President Rattner: Whenever everything is cleaned up. Do you have the status on that?
Mr. Elms: No I do not. You’re going to resell Charter’s Farm?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes. So everybody understands, we’re going to resell Charter’s, we’re fifty-fifty with the County, when we resell, we own the fee title with the County, when we resell, we sell it without any development rights. Development rights will be restricted for the resale. The only use the property can then be made is for agriculture use but anybody that buys it for agriculture use, is entitled to put some housing on there for farm workers.
President Rattner: Okay, we have… it was moved by Mr. Elms and seconded by Mr. Guenther. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, next item for non-consent is item #19. Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: I don’t want to move it.
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, we’ll just go back down….
Mr. Buell: I move Resolution number 19.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, opened up to the public – anybody from the public like to address Resolution #19? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I just…I’m referring to Mr. Dorsey’s cover letter on this and I just…what is the…possible…he simply indicates there is no way for us to control what the developing builder will do. There are all kinds of restrictions in it, but we don’t seem to be 100% protected. Am I reading that right?
Mr. Dorsey: It’s not so much that the Township would suffer. The fear here is the developer will sell a lot, sell a house and not advise that it’s not, until some time in the future, the water system that exists can be connected to this house, because the permit to operate has not yet been granted by NJDEP. And, as I understand it, I know this builder – he’s not going to sell lots, he is going to sell homes so the amendment requires him to get a signed statement from every contract purchaser that the contract purchaser has been advised that the water system has not yet been authorized for operation.
Mr. Guenther: We must turn that into construction. Then why…you said yourself, there’s no perfect amendment…
Mr. Dorsey: No, there is no perfect amendment. It’s only perfect if we will believe that the developer will do anything and everything we told him he has to do.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, but there’s a control at the construction….until the official gets it…
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, I’ve done my best to do that.
President Rattner: Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: John, isn’t it possible that the developer could go in there, sell all the lots and leave town?
Mr. Dorsey: You see, that’s the fear. I don’t want to make it difficult. Once you sign the final subdivision…once you authorize this developer’s agreement and sign it, then the Mayor will be called upon to sign the final subdivision plat. The final subdivision plat will be filed. The minute the final subdivision plat is
signed, he is then…the developer is in a position to sell individual lots, either one or all of them. Now, he could do that, although I don’t think that’s his intention, I think he intends to build homes because that’s the way they make more of their money in these kinds of cases, but if he does that, then there is no control that works.
Mr. Elms: John, I don’t know anything about the developer, I’m just asking hypothetically.
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Elms, I’m going to ask you to move the Resolution, I look at the agenda, number 19 we took off, I thought we were just moving it. Twenty-one, because it was rewritten, the Resolution of the Township Council authorizing a supplement. So would you move, 19 is really 21 on the list on the agenda, so I think it would just be a lot cleaner if you would move what’s listed on the agenda and read it.
Mr. Elms: The whole thing?
President Rattner: No, read the title.
Mr. Elms: Number 20, you’re talking about?
President Rattner: Twenty-one
Mr. Elms: What about number 20?
President Rattner: We’ll get back to that, but since we’ve already discussed this, we’re not going to…I just want to make sure we get on the record that it’s the right one.
Mr. Elms: Oh, I’m sorry.
President Rattner: That’s okay. I was confused too.
Mr. Elms: You want this Resolution read?
Mr. Dorsey: Not the Resolution, just the title that’s on the amended agenda.
President Rattner: I’m asking Mr. Buell to move the...read the Resolution title.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. Buell or Mr. Elms?
President Rattner: Mr. Buell…he made the motion. So why don’t you just reiterate what you moved and read the title so we have it correct.
Mr. Buell: I move the Resolution of the Township…the amendment to the…which one am I reading?
President Rattner: Twenty-one – on the revised agenda.
Mr. Buell: I’m reading it from here?
Mr. Dorsey: No, let me do it, let me read it. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Supplement to a Developer’s Agreement Between Lakeview Estates and the Township of Mount Olive.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, any further discussion. Mr. Ruggierio.
Mr. Ruggierio: I just have a procedural issue. At this point, we do not have a signed developers agreement, because there are conditions precedent to the signing of the agreement, namely that this…at least at this point, until you pass this Resolution, the developer has to have an approval in order to even get the developers agreement signed. Once you take this action, this so-called supplement resolution, you will at that point relieve him of that obligation and you will allow the developers agreement to be signed with the understanding that the developer could come in later…will come in and basically, without an approval from DEP, get building permits. I just don’t understand…I certainly guess I understand why we had the condition precedent in the original agreement, but I don’t understand why we’re doing two documents. That’s my procedural question. I mean, why can’t we just have one document that’s called the developers agreement, you meld these two concepts together. This is an amendment to something that hasn’t even been signed yet, so that’s my issue.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, I don’t know if that’s an issue, but the fact of the matter is the developers agreement…the developers agreement has already been signed by the developer; it is my understanding he has submitted….
Mrs. Lashway: No, the developer has entered into an agreement under preliminary. The final developers agreement has not been signed.
Mr. Dorsey: It’s six of one and a half dozen of the other. This was, I got a call from Lisa today that she wanted this done. I had not been advised that the Council had preliminarily approved it. The format could be either the way we have done it here or the format can be simply to work this supplement language into the developer’s agreement.
Mr. Ruggierio: I’m not trying to embarrass anybody. I just really think that it should be a modification of a previously drafted developer’s agreement. It should incorporate these terms and it should just be one document.
President Rattner: I think what happened is that this Council had voted on this developer’s agreement but we said that it wouldn’t be signed, it was subject to getting the DEP approval. So we’ve already passed it, that part with the subject to. What this is trying to do without rewriting the whole thing is saying that we are taking that one item, that we’ve already voted on, out. In other words, we are modifying our previous vote.
Mr. Ruggierio: I won’t beat a dead horse but I agree completely with what you have just said. You should modify the previously approved agreement so that you have one agreement, not two documents.
Mrs. Lashway: This supplement will be made part of the original so it will be the original developer’s agreement with the supplement attached to it.
President Rattner: Any other comments? Roll Call. We already had public, we just reread it. Okay, I’ll open it back up. I’m saying they read the wrong one, it’s Lakeview Estates Developers Agreement. But I said we rewrote it and we called it title. Okay, Mr. McDonald.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: A point of order. The Township Attorney read the resolution and it was seconded by a member of Council. Is that legal?
Mr. Dorsey: There is nothing wrong with that. I was just helping Mr. Buell along. He moved it, not I.
Mr. Greenbaum: Mr. Buell is the one who made the motion. He shook his head.
President Rattner: What I wanted to do, if you notice, we’ve been doing the resolutions by just number. Because of the confusion, I asked that the correct title be read so that there wouldn’t be any confusion. That’s all I did.
Mr. McDonald: Secondly, the public doesn’t have any knowledge of what this supplement contains. How can we comment about it?
Mrs. Lashway: The resolution is out there. The agreement is not.
Mr. McDonald: The resolution speaks of the supplement but we have no supplement.
Mr. Dorsey: The resolution I drew had attached to it the Supplemental Agreement.
Mrs. Lashway: The agreement was prepared for Council. It was not put out for the public. It was discussed at workshop last week.
Mr. McDonald: So the public doesn’t have knowledge of what you are voting on.
Mrs. Lashway: I don’t normally put out for the public the developer’s agreement. I usually only put out the resolutions in general.
Mr. McDonald: Well it would have been nice if we had a little bit of knowledge. I know the developer’s agreement may be a bit lengthy but a supplement….it said in the handout, supplement attached and it wasn’t attached.
Mr. Elms: Ned, do you want a copy of it?
Mr. Bonte: There was some confusion in my mind, too, between 19 and 21. That’s why I’m up here now. What is the reason for wanting to give these approvals without the NJDEP approval first? We went through this for a long long time on another development but I thought it was going to become the Township’s policy that before a developer received approval, in fact, before he even came in to the planning board, he was going to have all of these DEP approvals in hand ahead of time. We shouldn’t be giving out approvals and then letting it go off the trend and we never find out what gets finally negotiated in the end or some times it never happens. The problem is the developer’s go down to Trenton and they say that the town is already in agreement with this and the DEP just rolls over and plays dead. It should be the other way around. They should have to convince the DEP first and then come in here and say that the DEP has already passed judgment on this and at least we have some educated value but I don’t see why now we want to reverse when you already publicly voted the right way on this. I would strongly urge you to disapprove this. Everybody knows the game. You get your approvals and then you build. You don’t go about it in a half way.
Mr. Guenther: This is a little bit different situation in that he was required, not required, he built a water system for not only this development but for the other one plus he agreed to extend the water system to the existing houses around there. I forget how many there were, 200 or whatever it was. His contention is and this is what he represented, this was above and beyond what he really had to do and he spent a lot of money and made a lot of investment in developing this water system which is for the benefit of the town. Normally, you are right. They should go for their DEP approvals but this was a little bit extraordinary case. I’m not defending him. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just saying, that’s the explanation that was given in that he feels that he is entitled to start selling when he’s made a lot of investment over a period of time when, in fact, he was expecting to be selling homes here last year and he’s been delayed due to other requirements that we kept putting in. There was also the, what are they called, the controlled valves.
President Rattner: Pressure reducing valves.
Mr. Guenther: That he agreed to pick up the cost of those or part of the cost of those.
Mrs. Labow: The installation.
Mr. Guenther: The installation. I think we paid for them and he was doing the installation. That’s the reason for it, Rich. It’s a little bit different situation than your normal situation.
Mr. Bonte: But without DEP approval, can he do what he wants to do?
Mr. Dorsey: Just so you understand. Apparently there are two DEP approvals. The first one authorizes him to install the system and it is my understanding that a significant portion of the system has been installed. Apparently the system is composed of not only pipes but also a series of wells. He has now received permission from NJDEP to drill the wells that will supply the water to this system. I don’t believe those wells are drilled.
Mr. Guenther: I think one of them is, John. He needs another one.
Mr. Dorsey: Any way, he apparently has all of the authorizations to develop the system. He doesn’t have authorization from DEP, the second authorization to operate the system yet.
Mr. Bonte: And we can’t give that approval.
Mr. Dorsey: Absolutely not.
Mr. Bonte: So what are we doing here? If we can’t give him that relief any way, what’s the point of this?
Mr. Greenbaum: I agree wholeheartedly with you. What he wants to do is build the houses, sell the lots but no one can occupy them until he gets his approval. He’s looking to recoup some of the costs so he can move forward with other…you know what I see this as, Rich? I see this as Pandora’s Box. That’s what this is and you know what? There is no benefit to the Township whatsoever in agreeing to this and this is the second time that they’ve come back with regard to relief in the developer’s agreement and you know, these are sophisticated people. They agreed to the terms of the developer’s agreement, whatever was negotiated and now they are coming back and saying, they want to do it a different way. There is no benefit to the Township and I don’t understand why we are discussing it either.
Mr. Bonte: And the town couldn’t allow occupancy of those houses without these DEP approvals/permits, right? All I see is the guy coming back against the town with a hardship case.
Mrs. Labow: I have a really big problem with this situation because you are talking about people who are possibly selling their home, closing on that home and not really knowing when they are going to be able to move into their new home and then they are going to be in a transition home and then who’s going to have all that cost? I’m totally really against it because I think we should do it the proper way, get the approvals, then you sell the homes because I really feel that the buyers are going to be misled, they are not going to understand and there can be further hold ups. You just don’t know and it’s an unknown and I’m not willing to take that chance. Like Mr. Greenbaum said, it doesn’t benefit the town, it doesn’t benefit the future homeowners.
Mr. Buell: Question. This just simply says that the developers must obtain written permission from the person who buys the house or lot?
Mr. Dorsey: No, they must receive acknowledgement from the purchaser that he has advised the purchaser, presumably at the time they sign the contract, that he has not received NJDEP approval to operate the system which permission is necessary before individual homes can be connected and the system operated.
Mr. Buell: What happens if somebody buys the house anyway?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, that’s the problem. Did you see my long letter? That is the issue here. Bill Ruggierio put out a number of scenarios. The scenario that I worked into the resolution probably gives the township as good cover as it can get. It’s not perfect. Some homeowner is going to walk in and say, I didn’t understand. Why did you let him sell me the house? There may be no legitimate basis for the gripe but I’ve seen it happen in other places that Mr. Dorsey (cont’d): it happens.
President Rattner: I have a question. The clerk reminded me that Morris Chase, I believe, they filed, they don’t have approval yet. They’re allowed to sell. Are we being inconsistent?
Mr. Dorsey: Morris Hunt you mean.
President Rattner: Is it Morris Hunt?
Mrs. Lashway: Morris Chase.
Mr. Guenther: Morris Chase?
Mrs. Lashway: Morris Chase has a final developer’s agreement and final maps signed. So I don’t understand what the difference is because they can now go and sell lots and they haven’t even started construction.
Mr. Guenther: I don’t think they can sell lots until they put the improvements in, can they?
Mr. Dorsey: No. They can’t sell lots….but that’s not what they are going to do. That is a different situation. This case arises because when Mark DiGennaro was here, as I understand it, he was the one that placed the interpretation in paragraph 22C that the developer not only had the right to install the system but had to have the approval to operate the system and that decision by him, which is obviously a policy decision, may have come down after the developer’s agreement was drawn with Morris Chase. I’m not sure.
Mr. Ruggierio: Mr. Dorsey is right. It was represented to me, of course I’m the new person on the block, that the interpretation given by Mr. DiGennaro was perhaps not what was intended. I don’t know if that is true or not. I just spotted the same concerns that Mr. Dorsey was saying that some buyer would be in a hotel saying that the home couldn’t be occupied because of the absence of DEP approval. I made a lot of phone calls to utility type people, saying how can this happen? I’m used to the system where preliminary commitments of capacity, permanent connection fees are issued before building permits are issued and what I was told is consistent with what Mr. Guenther said, that this developer apparently agreed to do something above and beyond and connection fees were even waived with respect to this site because of the additional well capacity being given. So, given all of these circumstances and given the fact that it really was something that occurred some time ago, I tried to come up with a way to resolve it that seemed consistent with what everybody was telling me but also to try and protect the homeowner and add a disclosure by the developer, that signed by the homeowner that said, okay we know that we might be in a hotel worrying about the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. It’s not a perfect solution but I thought it pretty much was consistent with our discussion at the workshop meeting where the engineer came and made pitch to us.
ROLL CALL: Defeated Unanimously
President Rattner: Resolution #20, Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I would like to move Resolution #20.
Mr. Greenbaum: Second.
President Rattner: Anybody like to address the Council on Resolution #20? Seeing None, I call the public portion – any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Resolution #22, Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I move for adoption of Resolution number 22.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to comment on Resolution number 22? Seeing None, I call the public portion. Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I have just a question about the wording on this resolution. It says that the Mayor appointed the three members to the Recreation Advisory Committee and I believe he only appointed one and the other two were appointed by, or selected, or however you want to call it, by the Recreation Advisory Committee itself.
President Rattner: I believe it was recommended, they gave the recommendation.
Mr. Buell: Well, the current ordinance that we have in effect from the past last November requires a selection by the Recreation Advisory Committee, Mayoral appointment, and then our Advisory.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, you wanted to say something?
Mr. Ruggierio: No, I didn’t hear the last…I didn’t….I guess I was shaking my head before Mr. Buell finished his sentence, but the…technically the Mayor appoints and then the Council gives advise and consent, but the derivation of a couple of these appointments have to be from recommendations of the committee, so everybody’s right.
Mr. Buell: Do we need to revise the Resolution?
Mr. Ruggierio: No, the Resolution is precisely consistent with the ordinance.
President Rattner: Mayor, you wanted to say something?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I just want to indicate that I sat with the Advisory Committee and we worked it out as to choosing it as a joint offer to the Council of the people for the Board, so it was a consensual…an agreement between myself and the Advisory Board.
President Rattner: Thank you. Any other discussion, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Was Bert Barrier selected by the Committee?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
Mr. Buell: Formally, I mean did you have enough people there to have a quorum in the Committee.
Mayor De La Roche: All the voting members were there, I mean…I think a letter was sent indicating that it was a joint agreement and it was proposed by both of us. All the voting members were there.
Mr. Buell: I have seen the resume of Jim Farley and Laura Szwak, I have never seen the resume of Bert Barrier. I don’t know Bert Barrier, who he is, I think I really would like, before I vote on him, to at least see his resume.
President Rattner: Any other comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Mr. Buell – Yes on Jim Farley & Laura Szwak, No on Bert Barrier
Ms. Labow – Yes on all three
Mr. Elms – Yes on all three
Mr. Guenther – Before I vote, the only (I have no objection on any of these
Individuals) my only concern, again is that in the spirit of the ordinance
as we wrote it, we wanted to get representation of various constituencies
I don’t see seniors being represented on the Recreation Advisory
Committee, but in the interest of…
Ms. Labow: Bert’s a senior he, is? I take it back, I vote Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum – Yes on Jim Farley, I’ll abstain on Bert Barrier because I believe
that all of us should have an opportunity to review the qualifications of any
individual, I have nothing good or bad to say about Mr. Barrier and Yes on
Mr. Rattner – I’ll vote Yes on all three
President Rattner: Now we come to the motions. Raffle Applications, Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you, I move for approval of Raffle Application #2028 & #2029 for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish and Raffle Application #2030 for the Mount Olive High School Parents Club.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Bill list – Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Elms Abstained
President Rattner: Okay, now we move to Administrative Matters, this is where the Mayor, Bill, you can make
your comments or anything you want to advise the Council or the Public. Do you have anything?
Mr. Ruggierio: No comments.
President Rattner: Thank you. Moving right along, any old business? Any new business?
Ms. Labow: I have a question – it’s about the bog study we were supposed to get way back when, we never did – when they put in the sewers and we were supposed to get updates.
President Rattner: I would recommend…you know, you remember that and some of us remember that, Bill probably doesn’t know what you’re talking about, give him some background and he could work with the Clerk and figure what we’re doing and when.
Ms. Labow: Okay, it’s just an old issue with me, with the wells and everything, with Budd Lake, and we’re supposed to be doing studies and Charlene Miller, before me, brought it up several times and I still…we keep talking about it, but nothing’s done.
Mrs. Lashway: Kathy Murphy has all the information, she’ll be able to update Mr. Ruggierio.
Ms. Labow: She does? And then could we discuss it at a workshop?
President Rattner: I recommend…speak to the Business Administrator, we’ll talk to Kathy, we’ll discuss it and we’ll schedule it, yes.
Ms. Labow: Thank you.
President Rattner: Any other old business? Any new business? Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: We received a letter from the Prescos about a lot on Outlook Avenue, I guess they were…it was received on April 8th. Was that supposed to be on this agenda or are we going to discuss this in the next workshop?
Mr. Guenther: Well, this is a matter that has come up before and, Kathy Murphy’s not here tonight, we had put this on hold for discussion because we wanted to get a determination from the ROSI inventory of the properties that were identified as being Township properties to…there are certain ones that were identified as being critical to keep as open space, others had no determination. What we wanted is a recommendation from her department or from a construction…I guess the various departments in the administration, as to what the purpose of the other lots are that we have and to make sure that we’re not selling lots that might have some future value, such as drilling a well or for drainage. This is a common problem we have in the Country Club Estates. I don’t think that’s a problem in this area, but we wanted to make sure that we’re not going to be putting up something…this was originally put up for auction last year and we rescinded that until we got that determination. I believe the administration was working on that, the last time we discussed it was, I don’t know, four or five meetings ago and the last I talked with Kathy Murphy, she needed some time to put all that together. Now, I don’t know what the schedule is for that, but I think rather than…my concern was in going about this piece meal, were every time somebody comes in and requests a piece of property because they need it for a garage or they need it for something else and we make an overall determination of our open space inventory as to whether we really need it and what our policy will be regarding all this open space we have.
Mr. Elms: I believe Kathy has already said that this particular lot is not contiguous to any other that we have available. My concern is that the Prescos have been asking about this for two or three years and I don’t want to see it delayed any further.
President Rattner: It’s probably longer than that and, if the people who were up here – Bernie you will also remember, is that when we were ready to move on it, we thought we solved everything, the issues we had about making additional building lot with the Prescos, the lot owner on the other side came down and just said that no you can’t and threatened legal action. It came up, we had no pressing need to sell the property and adjoin it with it, and instead of setting up new litigation, if there was that kind of problem, we just felt that there was no reason we had to sell it. And, instead of ending up with legal fees because if we got sued we would have to then defend it, so any money we would have gotten for the lot, because we weren’t asking that much because it wouldn’t have created a new building lot, we would have ended up losing or spending more. So, part of my reasoning was it’s not worth it, if we have that type of issue, I’m not going to end up into a law suit.
Mr. Elms: I understand that the two parties were interested in splitting the lot and I think John talked about doing that at one of the meetings that Mrs. Presco was here so I just, I would like to see it put to bed.
President Rattner: Okay, Presco I think agreed to it, the other property owner did not – they threatened us by using an adverse condemnation, adverse possession lawsuit, saying that they’ve used the property unimpeded and in public view for 25 years and they were going to press their case on that. And we just felt that at that point it wasn’t worth our while, we had no vested interest in giving that piece of property away.
Mr. Elms: But I think John already said that adverse possession doesn’t apply to Township land, is that right?
Mr. Dorsey: I think that’s a very difficult case for that property owner to prove.
President Rattner: But, do you want to go to court with it, though?
Mr. Greenbaum: Notwithstanding that, I think that the issue has been raised. Procedurally, I think we should get a straw poll, we don’t need to discuss the merits but we should get a straw poll as to whether it should be something that should be scheduled for a workshop.
Mr. Elms: Why don’t we get the information from Kathy Murphy, too?
Mr. Greenbaum: To see if it’s on the ROSI.
President Rattner: It’s not on the ROSI, but there are other possible uses that the Township…my belief is once you have property in the public domain….
Mr. Greenbaum: The merits of the decision to sell or not to sell, is not what’s an issue here, the issue is that it’s been raised by a Council Member as an issue which he’d like to have on the agenda. And I think that if the majority….irrespective of whether or not I believe that the lot should be sold, I think that if there’s a majority of Council that feels that it should be discussed in a workshop, then we should put it on the agenda for the workshop. I think that’s all that Bob is asking at this point.
President Rattner: I think Bob…a Council Member has asked that we put something on the workshop, it’s something that we’ve gotten correspondence from a resident, not everybody was here through all the discussions, we’ll schedule that for…we’ll see when Kathy can have whatever information is needed and then we can finally resolve it, we’ll decide one definitive way to get the administration’s recommendation, basically I President Rattner(continued): guess through Kathy, that department.
Mr. Elms: That’s what I was going to ask. At that workshop, can we get the….
President Rattner: When we schedule it, we’ll have all the information. Thank you Mr. Elms. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Can we also invite the parties involved, so we can discuss it all at one time?
President Rattner: We’ll notify the adjoining property owners, if there’s anybody on the property behind, because they have to be advised too.
Mr. Elms: We had promised to do that.
Ms. Labow: I remember that agreement, I think we should just, instead of having it piece meal, do it all at one time – hear everybody at once.
President Rattner: Well, unless we just decide we don’t want to sell it.
Ms. Labow: But they should still be here and hear the reasoning behind it.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mrs. Labow.
Ms. Labow: You’re welcome, Mr. Rattner.
President Rattner: Any other new business? Okay, moving on, no legal matters, good.
Mr. Elms: Do we have a workshop schedule, or do you want to wait until…
President Rattner: Well, as soon as they say they have the information. You know, I’m not sure what needs to be gotten. We don’t want to schedule it before they have everything and Kathy, or whoever, has to be able to attend. If we can get on the next one, I don’t….you know, it’s not going to be a long discussion.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: We meet this Wednesday.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Elms: We had a discussion and made three appointments.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: That was given last week and we don’t meet for another three months, I think.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: There is a meeting Thursday night, I am not going to be able to attend, I am going to be out of state and if anyone else can go, just to sit on the audience so you can report back.
Mrs. Labow: I’ll go.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you Colleen, if you want the materials, I have them. I’ll get them to you so you can sit out. Thank you.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins is not in attendance.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Elms: The April 12th meeting was cancelled. It has been rescheduled for April 16th, which is a Friday at 5:30 in the parking lot. We’re going to go look at something.
Ms. Labow: I think they’re going to get the senior citizen bus. We’re going to view different open space area. They said to wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes.
President Rattner: We’ve done that periodically and that’s good. See, you need to really see it.
Ms. Labow: We’re all invited. We can all go.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, but you can’t have more than four Council Members there.
Mrs. Lashway: You can’t have four Council Members.
Ms. Labow: I responded, do I get to go?
President Rattner: I’m not going.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Elms: Nothing yet.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: I would just like to say, this Sunday is Earth Day Celebration. It starts at 12:00 to 3:00. We have a lot of activities planned. That’s also the day I’m going to make the announcement – I’m going to kick off a new program, which I’m calling the Turkey Brook Park Trail Blazers and I’m going to be doing this one Saturday a month to work on the trails. We’re inviting every single group, every single resident, everybody who’s interested in coming and clearing out the trails to come and be there and my thought process on this is like in that movie, Field of Dreams – if you build it, they will come, and I believe if the public realizes that somebody’s there clearing the trails, hopefully people will come and join in. Mr. Lynch will be advising us in which trails. I spoke with the Mayor and Mr. Ruggierio and Kathy Murphy, there is some open space funding that’s available. There is approximately $15,000, I believe, that we’re going to lose in August. If we don’t clear at least three miles of trails, we’re going to lose $15,000 worth of funding. So, our first goal is going to be to clear three miles worth of trail. We will be making use of materials, such as wood chips and so forth throughout the trails. May 15th is going to be first Trail Blazing Day, which I will be announcing Sunday. Anybody interested in joining the committee, anybody interested in participating, please let me know.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Buell and I were at that last meeting. Do you want to comment about anything?
Mr. Buell: Well, we’ve actually had two meetings. One on March 29th, where they introduced the budget for this year. They’re calling for a 12 ½ cent increase this year, looks like a very pared down budget. About 2.6 cents of that 12.4% or actually 20% of it is actually debt service on the borrowing for the new renovation. On April 5th, the major thing of note is that the Mount Olive Robotics Team won a competition in Columbia, South Carolina and has been invited to participate in a national program, I think in Atlanta, Georgia, in the next week or so.
President Rattner: And they let it be known that they are looking for anybody who wants to make contributions, any corporate sponsors, because they’ve been spending a lot of money on travel for all these competitions. So, if anybody knows a nice benefactor that would like to donate money towards the Robotics Team to defray their travel costs. The School Board pays, I believe, for the registration and that’s it. They do not pay for the travel and that’s up to the individual members or the group as a whole. So, they’re looking for President Rattner (cont’d): that. The only thing that I could add, is that at their last meeting, they did finally set the calendar for next year. There was a bunch of controversy, it was voted down the week before, so they have it in, I think it’s the calendar that the teachers liked, I don’t know if that means anything, so that was settled. Other than that, there wasn’t much else going on.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: Well, everything going on with the Highlands, but the Lake Committee will be doing its annual clean up, that’s scheduled for the two weeks before Memorial Day Weekend. We will be looking for volunteers, or volunteer groups. We usually start by the Boat House and we clean up all the debris that we could find in the lake from the Boat House to the Municipal Building. We also do the maintenance on all the pear trees that the Lake Committee sought contributions and planted some years ago. That was all done by their fund raising efforts.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Rattner, that gentleman from the Commission was here that day and they talked about lighting the docks for safety – did anything come of that? Did we discuss that further? The dock ordinance?
President Rattner: No, I haven’t seen anything on that They only meet every couple of months, they don’t meet on a regular basis, it’s not that type of … I’ll call and follow-up where that is.
Ms. Labow: They also talked about marking the docks somehow, with colors.
President Rattner: Well, it’s just marking so if they broke off, we would know who they were. Okay, what we have now a little bit of time because during the winter that we need that.
The Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: I haven’t been called.
President Rattner: Okay. We’ve come to the final public portion. This is the opportunity the public has to speak to any issue they would like. Mr. McDonald.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: I noticed on the bill list on page six, there is a $1,210 bill for long distance calls. Now, I have no problem with the price of long distance calls, but it’s my understanding that the phone system we have, we have no way of knowing who makes long distance calls, there’s no way to authorize people, or have a record or anything. Is that true?
Mr. Ruggierio: That’s not precisely true. We have, of course we can trace long distance calls to extensions, which is typically how we used to do things in the old days. We are exploring. We’ve had three interviews to date, but we’re exploring new systems which will not only give us savings in terms of long distance costs, but will give us all the access to the new technologies that allow us to track those types of issues, by exception software more easily.
Mr. McDonald: My feeling is that if you knew who was making the calls, I think your cost of long distance calls would probably go down quite a bit.
Mr. Ruggierio: Right now what we do in order to spot check it is we look for unusual patterns but you know, of course, you know that today in the computer age, computers can do that more efficiently and faster than human eyesight can.
Mr. McDonald: Okay, so long as there is somebody looking at it. You’ve answered my question.
Mr. Buell: Ned, could I just make a comment? I asked the same question and I asked what are Administration’s plans, if any, to better monitor and control long distance calls, or is it the Administration’s position that there is no need to control these costs in the long distance. I also asked the same question about cell phones and a variety of other areas, so I also share your concerns.
President Rattner: Thank you. Mr. Bonte.
Mr. Bonte: I have a comment and question on a proposed ordinance. The comment is let there be humorous, but at the same time serious. For example, on the bill list, if we give $2,500 here as a contribution to the Mount Olive Youth Hockey Sports Association. Absolutely no detail whatsoever as to what we get for that $2,500 – where it goes, what’s done with it, no idea. And then, the next expense beneath that is $311.22 to Mount Olive Hardware and that’s broken to 55 cents for 1 inch couplings and I see the same thing for Lowes. So, you know, it seems like we’re getting detail in the wrong areas in this list for you guys to make your decision as to where money is going and what’s being expended. I don’t think we need to know every elbow and every fitting and every bottle of glue that’s being bought at Lowes and Mount Olive Hardware, but it might be useful to know where the money would go, how the money’s broken out on the major items. Now, I have some comments relative to proposed Ordinance #10-2004 and I’m bringing this up tonight because it’s always been my belief that it would be beneficial to the Council and the citizens if the citizens were allowed to comment at the time an ordinance is introduced. Because, many times, when an ordinance finally gets to the final reading and things a brought up, the arguments are well we need to get this enacted or we need to do this, we need to do that, or we hadn’t thought of that, but let’s put it through and revise it later. It seems to me that the time to start getting comments on an ordinance are when you’re first thinking about it. So, I’ll use my public comment portion to comment on 10-2004 and that is, I heard the arguments a couple weeks ago as to why we need to do this, but I think this is a very bad precedent and I disagree totally with the concept of having somebody who is not a resident of Township serve on a Township Board and I question as to whether it’s even legal, especially since the Board of Health has the ability to pass legislation that effects the residents in this town. So, I seriously think you need to reconsider this and we need to outreach to the entire community to find that if there is a physician in the community that would volunteer his time for this Board or if we even have to possibly compensate somebody to be on this Board. But I really do not believe that anybody that is not a resident of the community should be serving on any Board within the Township. And especially an entity that does have law making ability.
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther then Ms. Labow.
Mr. Guenther: The way it was outlined to us, Rich, and the reason for doing this, I mean, outside of the fact that, you know, he has had a practice in town and it’s just he’s moving slightly across the borderline of 206, and he does have knowledge of the town and it’s called the Mount Olive Health Care. So outside of that, we were told, and Peter can clarify this because he’s the attorney for the Board of Health, if we don’t find…we did put out a search, by the way. We put out notices to doctors, we’ve tried everything possible to find a physician that would serve. The way it’s set up is that if we can’t find somebody, the State appoints somebody and they might appoint somebody from East Hanover, who has even less knowledge of the town, and that apparently is…I’ll let Peter answer the rest of it.
Mr. King: That’s what we were told by Frank Wilpert. He has extensive knowledge with regard to the Health system in the County and in the State.
Mr. Bonte: Well, Peter, I guess what I would suggest is you might want to research the actual law because I’ve been finding it hard to believe that somebody that was not a legal resident of the town could serve on a Board that has law making ability.
President Rattner: Mr. Bonte, just for clarification, the current person that, you know, we’ve had different people that have not been residents of the town, the Ordinance did not require it. The Ordinance required resident or place of business, we have had doctors that their place of business was in town and…
Mr. Bonte: Oh I would even question that, Mr. Rattner.
President Rattner: …if he didn’t move his office, I don’t think he’s a resident of town, this doctor that’s being appointed, but if he didn’t move his office a couple hundred feet, he would have qualified because his place of business, but his legal domicile is someplace else…
Mr. Bonte: I would question that, I would question that as to whether that is a. legal or b. advisable. I think it’s a very bad precedent. I mean, one could extrapolate this to the point of well nobody is running for mayor in town, let’s open it up to other communities. I mean, there are certain things that I believe are basic to our rights as citizens in America and you can’t run for office unless you’re a resident of the political jurisdiction and I don’t see how you can possibly serve on a Board that has lawmaking authority without being a member of that political district.
Mr. King: The statute that allows the town to set it up, doesn’t have criteria that says that the person has to be from the town, it sets the qualifications. But, I will go back and look.
Mr. Bonte: Would you please, would you please check that. And have we actually gone out to every physician that we know resides in this township and not been able to find one individual that’s willing to give some time back to this community? I find that hard to believe and if it is true, maybe that’s something that should be made at the State level, you know, a requirement for people to serve in these kinds of positions. There has to be some giving back to the community, you know, there’s not that many hours a month that’s required in this, but I very strongly believe that if somebody’s going to have…be in a position where they can establish rules for the township residents, they have to be a resident of this town. I just can’t see how we can do anything other than that. So, I would strongly recommend you reconsider this.
President Rattner: Mayor, you wanted to comment on that?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, the only comment would be that I agree with you and that I would have hoped…I don’t know, because this is not one of my boards that I have anything to say about. But, I would think that maybe if we petitioned the State, because that’s the next step and we’re trying to avoid that, I don’t know whether that was done first to find out if maybe they would direct some doctor in town to serve, I don’t know whether that was done or not. I know as attorneys, we are constantly directed to do pro-bono work, so I don’t see why it should be any different for doctors, but that’s only my own personal opinion, this is not something that I have to say about.
President Rattner: Thank you. Anyone else like to address the Council? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and move to final Council comment. Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, two things that I….I provided the first report on the Consumer Resident Survey and it’s back in the back, if anybody wants to, I would appreciate it if you’d take it. I also provided blank copies of the survey, please fill them out, I’d appreciate having your responses. It’s fascinating, you have the thirty two people who have responded to the survey so far, they’ve rated our services as good or excellent garbage collection, recycling, fire prevention, first aid and public library. Responses to employee and animal controls received fairly average responses. The $1,000 question in terms of how people broke up their…spent their $1,000, which we asked them to on various improvements, 37% were spent for municipal tax cuts and the only other major place where people spend any money was on police service and that was $4,150 or 13% of the total dollars spent, so I think it gives you some idea in terms of the way our residents look at us. I mean I’m not saying with 32 responses it reflects the accurate sentiment of the people in the town, but I think it does provide some interesting information. The other point is that about two weeks ago the Mayor was quoted in the newspapers saying although Mr. Buell and Ms. Labow ran as Democrats, they’ve consistently responded as Republicans. De La Roche said they have the titles of Democrats and the reaction of Republicans. To that, I just want to respond, if thinking for myself and acting in the best interest of Mount Olive is a reaction of a Republican, then I guess in a local sense I’m a Republican. Thank you.
President Rattner: Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: To Mr. Buell’s comment, I would like to say that I don’t think anybody can really judge if somebody is a Democrat or a Republican or an Independent, if you’re green, purple, orange, I think it’s up to each individual to decide what they are and no one has the right to decide that for anyone. Next, I would like to say that the Recreation Department is selling rental time for the paddle boats and I already got my rental fee in and I would like to invite the entire Council to put up their money and on Memorial Day we should all ride out on the lake – be the first ones out there and, Mr. Rattner, now that he’s got his new slim trim you, I think it would be nice if we all got…I’d actually like to race Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Are these bumper boats? Do I have an oar?
Ms. Labow: I think it would be a fun idea, I think it would be a really nice thing for the public to see that the Administration and the Council, everybody get out there on boats on Memorial Day and be the first ones out there, kick off the program in the sense of community and togetherness.
President Rattner: And we’re going to be on water where you can drown somebody, that’s cute.
Ms. Labow: Well, in that case, I don’t think the Mayor and I should be close to each other, right Richard?
President Rattner: Is that all? Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: Unfortunately, I won’t be able to go out a row on the paddle boats with you because I’ll be watching the Indy 500 at the track, as I have for many years. No other comments.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Elms. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: A couple comments. I drove up to the Library this last week and just for the heck of it, I drove in to see how they’re progressing and I ran into what apparently is a new construction supervisor and I said how are things going? He says, well I’ve only been on the job a week, or whatever it was – he’s new, and he’s been spending his time straightening out problems that the previous supervisor left. I think it would have been nice if the Library Board had informed us that there were issues with the construction supervisor that Blackstone had, and that this possibly might have delayed the project. I don’t think we’re informed and, you know, I would like to see some report on that the next time possibly to see how has it effected, what were the issues that this fellow had to rectify that had not been done properly by the prior supervisor, how serious are the things – maybe they’re just superficial, but I think that we are owed that explanation. Secondly, I was very dismayed both with the Chronicle and with our two top Administration officials – their quotes in the Chronicle last week regarding the head of our Health Department. I just think that since it is an ongoing investigation by the County Prosecutor’s office, it was not their place to make any comments to the paper, and the quote here from Mr. Ruggierio I find completely out of place. It says the Mayor wants to have judgment on the Uhrmann thing – whatever the Uhrmann thing is. Now that Uhrmann has been brought up, this is a person who admitted that she lied to us, okay. Not that stock should be put in her allegations, beyond what the Prosecutor is doing/investigating, is really not appropriate. Let the Prosecutor investigate it and come up with conclusions, and if there are questions that are asked by the paper or anybody else, you should so answer it and Mr. Wilpert did by saying “no comment” because it was a subject of investigation and I think that’s the way it should be treated. I’m surprised that two attorneys who are sitting in the Mayor’s office and the Administrator’s office, would commit such an error.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Guenther. Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: No comment.
Mr. Dorsey: And I have no comment.
Motion to adjourn made and seconded, all in favor, none opposed. The meeting adjourned at 9:47 pm.
STEVEN W. RATTNER
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 July 13, 2004.
LISA M. LASHWAY
Mount Olive Township Clerk