Mt. Olive Township Council Minutes
December 3, 2002

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and defending the freedom we all enjoy

OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT

According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice of this Meeting has been given to the Mt. Olive Chronicle and the Morristown Daily Record. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those requesting the same.

ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Guenther (7:35), Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Scapicchio, Mrs. Miller, Mr. Spino

Absent: None

Also in attendance: Mayor Licitra, Sherry Jenkins, CFO/Act. Business Administrator, John Dorsey, Township Attorney, Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD

Pete Goodwin, Drakestown Road: The number which is not exactly clear at the moment; I received today a notice of change of address effective January 1, 2003. I am not at all adverse to fixing the mess on Drakestown Road which has been a nightmare for years. I understand the need for this. I have absolutely no argument with the fact that we are changing numbers even though it costs me a lot as far as aggravation is concerned. What I do have a problem with is the fact that effective January 1, 2003 my number must be changed according to this, all the post offices are going to work well with us. This is one of the busiest times of the year and anybody knows that it takes anywhere from four to eight weeks to get addresses changed and to get stuff mailed to you properly. Come January 1, I have all kinds of important papers coming to my house. Couldn't we have thought of this and maybe not have done it for January 1, 2003? Or have given the property owners some notification in advance with this? All of the sudden we have a change here and we have to deal with it, and we are going to come up on the short end of the stick. Where is the thinking?

President Scapicchio: Pete I have to tell you, this is the first time I have seen this. As one who is familiar with that neighborhood, I think this is a long time coming and I think that this is…

Mr. Goodwin: No argument. I have no problem with this change. I have a problem with the execution of the change. The timing of it, the lack of notice to the people involved. Although we are a minority in this Town and we keep getting forgotten whenever messages come out to the Town as a whole. I have an address that does not get them.

President Scapicchio: Mayor, who is our 911 coordinator? There's not a name attached to this. Who is that?

Mrs. Spencer: Actually the Chief of Police is responsible for the 911 call and it is because of the number of responses that have been made on this road for emergency assistance.

Mr. Goodwin: I have lived there for 22 years. I understand the problem.

President Scapicchio: Sir, please let her finish and you will have as much time as you'll need to voice your concerns.

Mrs. Spencer: Because of recent issues; our police officers have been dispatched for emergency purposes and have gone to the wrong houses repeatedly, it was felt that this was an issue that needed to be addressed sooner rather than later. We worked with the Chief of Police and the Tax Assessor. It is critical to the Tax Assessor to have the addresses changed on a Calendar Year basis for continuity of tax records, revenues, tax collections. The decision was collectively made that it would be effective January 1, and that was done only after meeting with all three affected post offices who really felt that a January change was the best for all involved.

President Scapicchio: Council, any questions or comments?
Mrs. Miller: I would think that those post offices who get the old number after January are going to automatically know that it's yours I would think because they have been delivering it that way for years. So they will know that it goes to the new number.

Mr. Goodwin: Long Valley can't get our mail straight now, they send it to Drakestown Rd. Laketown Road and every other Town road in Long Valley. I have a Long Valley mailing address. I have had fun for twenty two years up here with post office so please don't insult my intelligence by telling me the post office is going to do a good job. I am sorry; I can't abide, it is just not going to float.

President Scapicchio: I think the post office has a different responsibility than we do and I think our responsibility as a Governing Body is to insure the safety of all residents is provided. I could tell you I have been a resident of Mt. Olive Twp. for 26 years now. I know this neighborhood well. I get confused every single time I go there and I think that this proposal was a responsible one and I for one would have liked to have seen this sooner and I am glad that it is on the agenda now and I am in favor of moving forward with the proposal as it is presented to us. I am not quite sure, Cindy do we need to take any kind of action or is this advisory for us?

Mrs. Spencer: It is just advisory for you. It is within the realm of responsibility for the Tax Assessor who actually issued the letters.

President Scapicchio: I would think that we all would realize that this was a good thing that was happening. I don't think we have much choice is what I am trying to say.

Mr. Goodwin: I am thinking the execution of it stinks. My issue is with execution not the basic concept.

Mr. Spino: I am not arguing, I think the timing is terrible, but what we are hearing is that the timing has to be that way because…

Mr. Goodwin: Someone could have thought about this six months ago. This has been here since 1989, this is 13 years ago, c'mon and we are going to jam it in a month. I have been up here with members of this Council; I have said this very thing. For all these years I said this stinks.

Mr. Spino: I don't know what other solution we could have.

Mr. Goodwin: It just rankles me that we are paying the price again because I live on Drakestown Road for people not thinking and not anticipating, not going ahead. This Town is just incredible.

President Scapicchio: Pete, lets just hope that everybody has put the best effort forward and that the post office won't miss a beat, you'll get your mail and the safety of the residents of that street will be provided for.

Mr. Rattner: One thing, I would just like to ask the post office how they would do it if you had a person that was the old 136 and there was a new 136, how would the post office know which house to give it to? How do they know whether you have changed your address?

Mrs. Spencer: Each of the post offices have, as I said, the Tax Assessor met with representatives from each post office and they went through the maps and they have been given a one on one transfer document so that each resident does not need to fill out a have moved kind of change of address, and that was what they required and all of the paperwork has been done.

Mr. Rattner: What I am saying is; they are renumbering. I know if you have two lots, I get stuff even from the County and from the Town from past times. My number is 33, I have gotten 35 because on a tax map it shows that there is an additional lot. What I am saying is that it looks like that there may be some numbers that's on the old current address and on the new address. Something comes in on January 14th that was somebody's old address and there is also a number given out for somebody's new address. How does the post office with that lead time know who's house it goes too?

President Scapicchio: Steve I don't think the Administration could answer a question like that.

Mr. Rattner: But they had said that they talked it over and they worked it out with the post office.
President Scapicchio: They said that the post office said that they can handle this and that it is not a problem.

Mr. Rattner: I am just asking how that would happen. If he has a problem, there's a situation based on these numbers that looks like it could happen that if you had somebody who was 177 and you have another person a mile down the road who is now 177 and a letter comes for 177 who's house does it go to?

Mr. Spino: It comes down to that guy throwing the mail looks at the name. When you get down to a local level, it is not done by a machine.

Mr. Guenther: I do a lot of mailings and my experience is that if you are off one digit, they return it to you.

President Scapicchio: But what is our responsibility here? Our responsibility is to provide for the safety. Bernie, you know just as well as I do that road is terrible. We don't even know which doors to knock on when we campaign.

Mr. Rattner: I think job 29 days notice when you don't know it is coming is unreasonable.

Mr. Spino: I didn't want to say that when Mr. Goodwin was here but I think that would have been, I think the better thing to do having hindsight now and we just found out this; we didn't know it was happening, was to do it in June or to put it off until next June.

President Scapicchio: I think the safety is more important.

Mr. Spino: Having said that I don't think that could be done now at this point.

President Scapicchio: We have the Chief of Police in the audience Ed, just for the record, can you just tell us real briefly some of the hardships that the department has with regard to the confusion with street addresses?

Chief Katona: If you look on the list you will see that we identified 17 double or triple addresses. The complaints that we have received most recently were that constantly, or two or three times a year this one woman gets a knock at the door at 2:00 in the morning from the Police Department or the Ambulance looking for a particular address. Her fear is that when she needs to call and she is getting up in age, her and her husband, when she needs to call, that the ambulance will stop at one of the other two addresses and not get to her. How many times a year does this happen? We haven't been able to conduct the survey and I really don't think that it is important to get the empirical data that says this happens 22% of the time or 1% of the time but I think that in that time it happens once, and you need that two or three minute response that we don't have it, that we need to take the steps to get it done. My recommendation is that we do it as soon as possible. I would like to have had and we have discussed with the Tax Assessor who's responsibility this is and I don't envy his position certainly but it is his responsibility to set the addresses. The only times he could set the addresses as I understand it and I may be speaking beyond my experience is at the beginning of the calendar year. We couldn't do this as we proposed or the Administration thought originally we can do this in March, which would be a sufficient time period. We can't get that done. It is either this January or next January. If it is next January it is my recommendation not to wait. We know that it is an issue. It is has been brought to our attention. I think it is irresponsible if we do not act on it. I feel for these people, I have heard the complaint today. I will have a conversation with the Assessor and the post master to see if there is something we can do to lengthen that period out and answer the questions, what is it exactly that they are going to do to ensure a smooth transition. In my experience, I had been a mailman. I do know that when you sort the mail it is all a line and it is in the line according to the way the mailman travels. So he has to physically take that and 112 may not be next to 113 in his route. So takes it and looks at first the number, second the name. It's his case, it is his route, he knows where these people are. Simply because we change the designation from 115 to 12 it is still this particular box in his route and I think that the transition will be smooth.

Mrs. Spencer: I just want to add that one of the things that we took into consideration is we have now made the numbering on our side of the street to be all even. Washington Township is all odd. We have made it sequential so that it all matches up any driver is going to realize that you are going to get to the next number which was not true before. We have even taken the step at the far end of the road
Mrs. Spencer (cont'd): where Mt. Olive is on both sides of the road to change those numbers so that they also sequentially follow on the Washington Township numbering system so that it is clear all the way through that road.

President Scapicchio: I think you are doing a good job with this, I wish it was done sooner.

Mr. Guenther: Just a general question. How come it was reversed? The order of the number was reversed. In other words, what are the lower numbers now on Drakestown will be the high numbers and vice versa?

Chief Katona: The recommendation nation wide, if you have driven on any of the interstates you
Have seen that the exit numbers have changed. They go from west to east. West being highest to east being zero and North to South. So that is the same scheme that is being imposed here.

President Scapicchio: Ed, thank you.

Chief Katona: You are welcome.

President Scapicchio: Anyone else from the Public on anything? Seeing none

ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING - (Public Hearing December 17, 2002)

Ord. #53-2002 Refunding Bond Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris, New Jersey Providing for the Refunding of Certain Unfunded Pension Liabilities of the Township Appropriating $650,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $650,000 Refunding Bonds of the Township for Financing the Cost Thereof.

Mr. Rattner moved that Ord. #53-2002 introduced by title and passed on first reading, that a meeting be held on December 17, 2002, at 7:30 pm in the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ, for a public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and Mrs. Miller seconded the motion.

President Scapicchio: Council Discussion?

Mr. Rattner: I think that it looks like that we lucked out on this one because the interest rates have been rising gradually. I know because the Musconetcong Sewage Authority is looking at going out and we are getting our quotes tomorrow when we go to market and it is up basic points just in the last couple weeks. It looks like we got very very close to the historical row of interest rates.

President Scapicchio: Anyone else Council? Seeing none.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Motion made for adjournment. All in Favor, none opposed. The Meeting was Adjourned at 7:48 pm. The regularly scheduled workshop followed.
_______________________
DAVID SCAPICCHIO
Council President
I, LISA M LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on December 10, 2002.
________________________
LISA M. LASHWAY
Mount Olive Township Clerk


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