Township Council Minutes
December 9, 2003
The Regular Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to order at 10:15 pm by Council President Guenther with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate Notice of this Meeting has been given to the Morristown Daily Record. Notice has been posted at in the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mt. Olive, New Jersey, and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Spino, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Scapicchio, Mr. Perkins
Absent: Mrs. Miller
ALSO PRESENT: Cynthia Spencer, Business Administrator; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; Peter King, Township Attorney; Sherry Jenkins, CFO.
Questions on Bill List?
Mr. Greenbaum: I have a question for Sherry, an explanation actually, because I don’t know what it is on the $684,000 liquidation by audit on page 7.
Mrs. Jenkins: The connector road project. The developer had put up a cash bond that we were able to tap into until we got our monies from the Department of Transportation. That payment is just to clear up the monies that were borrowed until we got the DOT money which we actually just got.
Mr. Greenbaum: That money is being paid back to the developer escrow account.
Mrs. Jenkins: It is being paid back to the Developer Escrow account, returned to the funds that they put up that we had enough cash to be able to pay out the bills that we needed to pay out. We actually had an agreement that John had set up that allowed us to do that. Obviously we only just got the money back from Department of Transportation. Okay?
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mrs. Jenkins: Sure
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS: October 28, 2003
Mr. Scapicchio moved for the approval Minutes from October 28, 2003. Mr. Rattner seconded the motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed unanimously with the exception of Mr. Spino who abstained.
Resolutions, Ordinance, Correspondence from Other Municipalities
1. Resolution received November 25, 2003, from the Town of Morristown regarding the support of the property tax reimbursement program.
2. Resolution received November 26, 2003, from the Township of Roxbury regarding Council on Affordable Housing Third Round Rules.
3. Resolution received December 1, 2003, from the Borough of Riverdale regarding Home Health Care.
4. Resolution received December 1, 2003, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding honoring those Americans who served our nation at Pearl Harbor.
5. Letter received December 1, 2003, from Washington Township regarding Public Hearing on Washington Township Re-Examination and Master Plan.
6. Notice received December 2, 2003, from the Township of Mount Olive Planning Board regarding notice to Property Owners and Newspapers of Tilcon of New York, Inc. Quarry License/Reclamation Plan Application.
7. Resolution received December 4, 2003, from the Township of Pequannock regarding Home Health Care.
League of Municipalities
8. Letter received December 4, 2003, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Annual League Conference Cassette Tapes.
9. Letter received November 24, 2003, from Senator Kean thanking Mount Olive for the Resolution opposing Assembly Bill 2487 which revises statutory mental health coverage requirements and requires all health insurers to cover alcohol and drug addiction treatment under the same terms and conditions as for other diseases or illness.
10. E-mail received November 25, 2003, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Highlands Conservation Act, Anti-E-mail SPAM Legislation. Comprehensive Energy Plan, Energy and Water Agreement and COAH.
11. Letter received November 24, 2003, from Professional Environmental Associates, Inc. regarding Block 2407, Lot 2 (PAX AMICUS FOUNDATION) regarding notice of an application for a Transition Area Waiver.
12. Letter received November 25, 2003, from Motiva Enterprises LLC regarding First Request to Access Property Located at Block 6800, Lot 1 (284 Route 206) Fanwood, NJ.
Letter received December 2, 2003, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding a request for a 30 day extension for Morris County Engineering Department.
Correspondence from Organizations, Boards, Committees
13. Notice received November 24, 2003 from Kiwanis Club of Mount Olive regarding funds needed to help children with disabilities.
14. Letter received November 26, 2003, from Joseph Jagniatkowski, Manager Local Aid – District 1 regarding Mount Olive to receive funding from the Department of Transportations Fiscal Year 2004 Municipal Aid Program for Sunset Drive in the Amount of $140,000.00.
15. Letter received November 26, 2003, from Mount Olive Board of Education regarding Board of Education Special Election.
16. Letter received December 2, 2003, from Morris County Administrator regarding 2 meetings scheduled for December 4th.
17. Comcast Fax received November 25, 2003, regarding Channel Changes.
18. Comcast Fax received November 26, 2003, regarding Additional Channel Changes.
19. Letter received December 4, 2003, From Thomas C. Kelly regarding Mount Olive Villages Sewer
Company Inc. Petition for Franchise Area Extension – Emergent Basis.
20. Letter received December 4, 2003, from Thomas Kelly regarding Mount Olive Villages Water Company,
Inc. Petition for Franchise Area Extension – Emergent Basis.
21. Minutes received December 5, 2003, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority regarding the November 5th meeting.
President Guenther: Any comments on any of the items of correspondence?
Mr. Rattner: Just a question on number 11, the application to DEP on the Pax Amicus foundation expansions, do you know anything about that? Has that come before the Planning Board yet? I am just curious what they are doing.
Mr. Greenbaum: No, but I was in the Clerk’s Office today. There were documents there related to that.
Mrs. Lashway: They are requesting a wetlands delineation before the submit their application to the Board they are looking to expand the building and expand the parking.
Mr. Rattner: They got that from the documentation we got, I just wasn’t sure how big, or what they were really doing.
Mrs. Lashway: They have to get their delineation from the State before they are ready to…
Mr. Rattner: I was just curious.
Mrs. Lashway: I have had a couple of residents very concerned about it because the maps don’t show some of the residents that are right in that area.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you.
President Guenther: Okay, any other comments? Seeing none
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Guenther opened the public hearing on:
Ord.#35-2003 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Changing the Name of a Section of Madison Avenue to Elias Drive. (ARD/Morris Chase Subdivision approval).
Bob Elms, Budd Lake: I believe this ordinance was brought up once before and tabled.
Mrs. Lashway: It was introduced and we postponed the public hearing to this date to wait and see what happened at the planning board with the Morris Chase application for final approval for phase II.
Mr. Elms: Have the people on Madison Avenue been noticed on this?
Mrs. Lashway: They were noticed initially, and the ones that were here were told that the public hearing would be on December 9, 2003. That was stated on the record.
Mr. Elms: Thank you.
President Rattner: Anyone else from the Public? Seeing none.
Mr. Rattner moved for adoption and final passage of ordinance #35-2003. Mr. Spino seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council discussion?
Mr. Greenbaum: This has become such a confusing project in light of the fact that the planning board has denied the request for additional time on phase II. I assume that this change relates to phase I. The street being actually built, the Madison Avenue portion relates to phase I, but I am not really sure. I am not prepared to vote for this at this time. I don’t believe that we are under any real time rush to do it because until whatever is done on that street additional houses are built, I don’t know that there is going to be any confusion. I would really like to see how it Mr. Greenbaum (cont’d): shakes out before I’ll vote in favor of it.
Mr. Spino: Gene is here, I think it is in phase II, but I am not sure. Maybe Gene might remember? I feel the same way, we still have plenty of time to do it.
Mr. Buczynski: I believe it is actually phase I. It is the existing Madison Avenue, correct?
President Guenther: Yes.
Mr. Buczynski: That’s part of section one. Section II is the stuff that’s never going to be built right away. I don’t see a problem. It doesn’t hurt to postpone it.
Mr. Perkins: I agree whole heartedly that we postpone it, especially in light of other things that have arrived with the Morris Chase Development.
President Guenther: Okay, are we in agreement?
Mr. Greenbaum: What is it, a move to table?
Mrs. Lashway: You can’t continue because if it is going to go into next year, there is a change in the Council, so you can table it.
Mr. Greenbaum: Or take a vote and just vote it down.
Mrs. Lashway: Council’s desire.
President Guenther: Roll call please.
ROLL CALL: Defeated unanimously.
President Guenther opened the public hearing on:
Ord. #45-2003 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Section 4-31.2 of the Mount Olive Code Entitled Recreation Advisory Committee (amending the number of members).
Mr. Elms: Was this ordinance requested by the Recreation Advisory Committee.
President Guenther: Yes. it was, and there has been a lot of discussion on this, it was presented for discussion once even before it was introduced for first reading. They were having problems with the numbers and the nature of the numbers and getting a full quorum of people to show up to vote. The last meeting for example, Jill correct me if I am wrong maybe we had three voting members there.
Mrs. Daggon: Actually we had pretty good attendance in December.
President Guenther: We couldn’t have a meeting in November because people weren’t there. Also, the second purpose of it is, we felt that the sports associations were very well represented. But we wanted to have representation of a broader cross section of the populous of Mount Olive. In other words, somebody representing seniors, somebody representing youth. Who is going to represent youth, the student Council president?
Mrs. Daggon: Liaisons from the Student Council.
President Guenther: I wanted to make sure that all segments were being represented not necessarily only the sports associations. In fact I guess there is an association all sports associations and they would have a president or designate a delegate or a liaison that will attend the Recreation Advisory Committee Meetings.
Mr. Elms: So it was increased from how many members to how many members?
President Guenther: I don’t think we increased it, did we Jill?
Mrs. Daggon: It stays nine members, four permanent liaisons. We are going to have all nine members be appointed only by the Mayor and Township Council approval. The community recommends four members to the Council for approval and the Mayor will appoint five people to the committee implemented over attrition. We’ve
Mrs. Daggon (cont’d): spent over four months crafting this with a mission statement from the Recreation Advisory Committee. They are the ones that approved the actual wording of the ordinance and we’ve been working on this since June.
Mr. Elms: Thank you.
President Guenther: Any other comments from the public. Seeing none. I close the public hearing.
Mr. Greenbaum moved for adoption and final passage of ordinance # 45-2003. Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Guenther opened the public hearing on:
Ord. #46-2003 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing a Four Ton Weight Limitation on Mooney Road and Patricia Drive.
President Guenther closed the public hearing on #46-2003.
Mr. Spino moved for the adoption and final passage of Ord. 46-2003. Mr. Rattner seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Guenther opened the public hearing on:
Ord. #47-2003 Bond Ordinance Providing for the Financing of a Contribution Toward the Acquisition of an Interest in a 603 Acre Tract Commonly Known as Firetower Estates for Use as Open Space in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $1,000,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $950,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.
President Guenther closed the public hearing on Ordinance #47-2003.
Mr. Perkins moved for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #47-2003. Mr. Spino seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council Discussion? Seeing none.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Guenther opened the public hearing on:
Ord. #48-2003 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Part II General Legislation Chapter 89, Buildings Numbering of.
President Guenther closed the public hearing on Ordinance #48-2003.
Mr. Scapicchio moved for adoption and final passage of ordinance #48-2003. Mr. Spino seconded the motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
President Guenther declared ordinance numbers 45-2003, 46-2203, 47-2003 and 48-2003 as passed on second ready and hereby directed the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING
Ord. #49-2003 Bond Ordinance Providing for Improvements to the Water Utility in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $151,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $151,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township for Financing the Cost Thereof.
Mr. Rattner moved that Ordinance #49-2003 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on December 23, 2003 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, NJ for a Public Hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post, and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law. Mr. Perkins seconded the motion.
President Guenther: Council discussion?
Mr. Perkins: I have one question with clarification to the director, the meter pits now to be purchased. What status will this give us throughout the township as far as having all of our residential accounts metered?
Mr. DiGennaro: The ordinance in front of you is not to purchase the meter pits, it is to install them. This will give us completion of the metering of the Linwood system of the Pinecrest system and the Jucket system. The remaining system would be Goldmine. That would be the only one, however we have to wait, I prefer to wait on that one because that is part of a grand scheme of a larger project with storage tanks and we don’t know what we are going to see with regards to prices once that system is designed and implemented. That would basically give us 100 percent metering with the exception of Goldmine.
Mr. Perkins: Okay. Thank you.
President Guenther: Any further Council Comment? Please call the Roll Lisa.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception of Mr. Greenbaum voted no.
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 Authorizing the Cancellation of Taxes on Block 5900 Lot 9, Farm Located at 39 Ironia Road.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to OCS Printing and Courier Printing for Printing Services for Mount Olive Township.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Andrews & Company for Cleaning Services for the Year 2004.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to First Vehicle Services for On-Site Vehicle and Equipment Maintenance for Mount Olive Township.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Renewal of the Township’s Contract with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for the Township’s Medical Insurance Plan for the Year 1/1/04-12/31/04.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Additional Engineering Expense of $5,400 in Connection with Ironia Road.
7. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Supporting Senate Bill S-838 Which Would Prohibit Punitive Damage Awards Against Municipalities and Municipal Employees Acting Within the Scope of Authority.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Opposing the Petition of New Jersey-American Water Company, Inc., for Rate Increases.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing St. Elizabeth Ann Seton R.C. Church to Clear Lands to be Involved in Connection with an Addition to the Church.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of an Agreement Between the State of New Jersey, Dept. of Environmental Protection, Trust for Public Land and the Township of Mount Olive.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Settlement of the Tax Appeals Filed by Weis Markets for 2002 and 2003 Relative to Block 5300, Lots 25 and 29.
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing the Annual Reorganization Meeting for January 6, 2004.
President Guenther: Any items that anyone wishes to delete from the list and put on non-consent?
Mrs. Lashway: Just draw your attention that there is an amended agenda that was put before you. There is an additional resolution number 12, which established the reorganization date for January 6, 2003.
Mr. Greenbaum moved for approval of the consent resolutions agenda 1 through 12. Mr. Scapicchio seconded the motion.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Guenther opened the Public Portion on Consent resolutions
Bob Elms, Budd Lake: Resolution number 7, first of all if a municipal employee is acting within the scope of his authority we would hope that he would not be subjected to punitive damages or couldn’t be because his authority would not involve that kind of conduct. Is this necessary to do something like this?
President Guenther: Well, it’s a legislation that’s been imposed at the state level and several municipalities around the state have done resolutions in support of that legislation. Apparently as we learned at the League of Municipalities there has been an alarming increase in punitive damage, at least requests, and possibly awards. I forget what the percentages were but they were kind of staggering. Some of them seem to be based on at least what the opinion was, some exaggerated claims, but that came as a result of that I believe.
Mr., King: If I can say, this saves you from a jury.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I have some questions on that same resolution. Two things that come to mind. One is, you have a Municipal Official who is acting within the scope of his authority, but acts maliciously. For example and I am just pulling out of the air, a code enforcement official has the authority to approve or disapprove something and then within his authority he maliciously doesn’t approve something. How does this deal with that. I mean it’s his authority to make that decision, but realize that the conduct may not be authorized government conduct, but how do you separate that and were does that leave an applicant for example?
President Guenther: I guess you would have to prove it in a court of law that it was malicious.
Mr. Bonte: But this legislation is going to prevent anybody from being able to file that. That’s what my concern is.
President Guenther: Well, that is only punitive damages and the way I read it was that the punitive damages are only in the case when the compensatory damages are judged. It can’t just be punitive damages by themselves, so there are compensatory damages that would have been assessed.
Mr. Bonte: Right, but I think that if a public official or anybody acts within their authority but they act maliciously they should be assessed punitive damages. That is the way our system works. If somebody isn’t punished for something that they do, they are likely to possibly do that again. That is the one concern that I have. The other concern I have is what happens when a public official may make comments that are sort of related to his official standing but is he is not acting directly representing that particular board or entity. Are those allowable or will this exempt that?
Mr. King: I think what would happen is there would be a jury charge, and it would be a question for the jury. Based on the legislation, a jury charge would be made, that would be read to a jury and the jury would have to find if that employee acted within the scope or maliciously outside the scope.
Mr. Bonte: So is this legislation necessary?
Mr. King: It is because what has happened is a lot of attorneys have taken cases where an employee has acted with the best interest of the municipality, they didn’t like what the employee did, so they filed a suit and sometimes a jury depending on what area of the state you go to, and the make up of the jury, you can find a jury that is going to award punitive damages against an employee where we would think the employees are doing what is best for the town and that is what this legislation would do, would be based upon it. It would carve out certain things. A jury charge would be formed that would further give instruction to a jury member that they could not find an employee guilty as they go over a certain threshold.
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s an added protection as Mr. King has stated. Do you find that Mr. X acted within the scope of his job, and if somebody acted maliciously, the jury is likely to come back and say he acted outside of his job responsibilities? That would be a jury question similar to other types of proofs that you have to put in when you seek to establish a claim against a municipality or a public official such as in a personal injury case you need to establish that the injury is of a permanent nature which is an added protection. It used to be that you couldn’t sue,
A municipality at all and the tort act brought it back somewhat. So this is trying to find the right level of protection for people who volunteer for municipal and also to protect those people who are injured to say look, if someone is acting within the scope of his job responsibilities, you are going to be limited to compensatory damages. If you can establish that the conduct was so egregious that it cannot be deemed to have occurred during the scope of his job responsibilities you will still be able to succeed on a punitive damage claim.
Mr. Scapicchio: Rob, is that what that senate bill says?
Mr. Greenbaum: That is my understanding, yes.
Mr. Scapicchio: Peter?
Mr. King: It is my understanding as well and that was as a result of a case about a year and a half ago where someone was hit pretty hard based on the jury. The employee basically acted on the best behalf on that municipality.
President Guenther: Any other comments from the public? Seeing none. I close the Public Hearing. Council discussion? My only concern about this was this; I remember when this came up at one time in our discussions, we looked at the ordinances of Kinnelon and they specifically stated in there, unless it was an illegal act and I don’t see that in here, Rob maybe my two attorney’s could clarify that. If somebody committed any legal act.
Mr. Greenbaum: You are automatically acting outside the scope of your job responsibility.
Mr. Rattner: Is that an opinion, statement or fact.
Mr. Greenbaum: That would be an opinion to a 99 percent degree.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
1. Approval of Raffle Application #2012 for the Mt. Olive Jr. Baseball Softball Association and Bingo Application #2013 & Raffle Application #2014 for K of C #6100 Fr. Joseph A. Cassidy Council.
Mr. Spino moved the raffle applications as listed above. Mr. Greenbaum seconded the motion.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously.
2. Bill List. – R. Greenbaum
Mr. Perkins moved for approval of the Bill List as submitted through page 21.
President Guenther: Were we taking something off? We were taking the boat off, weren’t we? Do you want to revise your motion Mr. Perkins?
Mr. Perkins: I’ll make a motion to; what do you want us to take off?
President Guenther: What are we moving and what are we seconding. Let’s do that first.
Mr. Perkins: We want to remove the $7,362.00. I will amend it to.
President Guenther: There was no second.
Mr. Rattner: And we are leaving on, because the administration took it out of the regular budget, which was the rafts and stuff like that that. So that is a change from last week because they did not take it out of the trust fund.
President Guenther: What are we taking out?
Mr. Rattner: I am trying to wait for a second so we can have a discussion so I could tell you why I want to take it off and we get getting stopped. I wanted to take off, I said until the next meeting so either we can show that we can take it out of the trust fund, or we modify the trust fund and that would be a check number 33661 which is Joe’s Marina for that boat, the $7,362.00. I just wanted to make the comment that two weeks ago I asked that also Cadworld Inc. for the rafts and stuff like that was taken off and I believe the life guards chair. That is being taken out of the regular budget account so I do not have a problem with that. The only one I am taking off this time is the boat.
President Guenther: Are you in agreement with that Ray?
Mr. Perkins: I will revise my motion to move check number 033661 in the amount for $7,362.00 to Joes Marina.
Mr. Greenbaum seconded the motion.
Mr. Guenther: Council Discussion?
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, has that boat been delivered?
President Guenther: I don’t know. Good question, has it been delivered?
Mrs. Daggon: No it has not; it is waiting for us to pick it up.
Mr. Spino: I think we should we should buy the boat. I believe in the program and we need a boat to do it.
President Guenther: Well I think it is also for the safety of the lifeguards as Jill described it the last time, that they have to now swim out with...
Mrs. Daggon: Actually in my discussions with the JIF about the program, I also mentioned that we were looking to get a power boat would be additional insurance costs either from liability sake, from risk management perspective. Actually they are more concerned that my lifeguards were swimming out 75 lb buckets of concrete to be able to anchors our equipment. It is going to take 35 anchors to build a secure playground structure that floats in that deep end area. It is really unreasonable to expect the staff to go swim out 35/75 lb concrete buckets. They don’t get lighter in the water. People’s bodies have a floatation factor, but not concrete buckets. So that we really do need to have a safe mechanism for getting those out. If those go out initially when we do set up before Memorial Day, they get taken out at the end of the season, Labor Day. But, sometimes for whatever reason lines come free, and the buckets down there, we have no way of getting to it. So we have to put another one out and another one out so that we have a supply of them because for whatever reason, things become detached. We also are looking for that boat not just for the beach program in sense of doing the paddle boat program, although the application of the paddleboat program would be that we occasionally get unexpected very strong winds, and even though I have a buoyed line ready to be used for the paddle boat area, a big wind comes up, those paddle boats are going to go over the buoy line, so then we need to get them back, because with winds that strong, they are not going to be able to paddle against it. So that is a safety issue that I am concerned about. We also have a goose population that we maintain or try to get to be a little bit less through a depredation process that the animal control officer does through egg addling which is approved by the State and right now what happens is one of Jim’s crew goes out in a leaky row boat that somebody left on out beach a couple of years ago and one person bailed and one person looks for eggs. This is not very effective. We also have water sampling issues we have beaver dams being dealt with. We have quite a few issues and we are really to the point now that we need to have a boat. When I did my research to find out what kind of boat I was initially thinking of a row boat with a motor on it, that was my initial approach. But by the time I looked at the price of a row boat, $1,400.00. Those little bass motors, they are like $2,000. They are a lot of money. By the time I do that, I am half way to the price of a power boat. A row boat will not hold all the equipment I need and the person to be able to steer that motor to get that boat where it needs to go. For Jims crew, they are not real light people and they have equipment. Sorry Jim, I didn’t know how to say that nicely. A rowboat has a capacity of only holding three people and no stuff. The power boat can hold 6 people and stuff. So that the rowboat has seats going across acting as force to help hold the shape of the rowboat, but you don’t have any workspace that you can be without falling out of the boat to be able to put things in the water, the power boat does. You don’t have that tip factor in the power boat that you would have in a row boat. So there are a lot of safety issues that went into
Mrs. Daggon (cont’d): the decision that for a few extra thousand dollars, we had something that we could use in multiple formats, be much safer, be able to accommodate all of our needs including if we need to do some sort of towing the people in, doing rescues, having equipment in the boat. It made sense to me to do it one time and do it right.
Mr. Perkins: Is there any reason this can’t come out of the trust fund?
President Guenther: It was, wasn’t it?
Mrs. Daggon: I’m sorry I didn’t hear the question.
President Guenther: He asked if there is any reason this can’t come out of the trust fund?
Mr. Perkins: This all comes out of the trust anyway.
Mrs. Daggon: That is where it is, we have planned for that in our programming and have allowed for that to be paid for from the trust fund. We felt it being used in a programming format but more than that; it has multiple uses. It is not just because we want to play that is not the point of it. We looked at all kinds of things to see what could we use. This seemed to be the most practical solution to what our needs were.
President Guenther: Could I get a consensus on proposing an amendment to reinstate the boat on the bill list? Do I have support for that, or shouldn’t I bother.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have a problem with the boat generally, but taking it out of the trust fund without someone telling me next week that the trust fund can be used to purchase a boat.
President Guenther: If Steve wants to go back to the 1988 resolution or whatever it was setting it up, I believe it did state for capital expenses and this is a capitol expense. This is the one item that I think would qualify for the trust fund versus the others which were expansion of programs that you objected to.
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, could I just make a suggestion that it is December 9, 2003 and I don’t think that they need that vote this year. They don’t need that vote until the springtime. I would suggest that this is a budget item that should be discussed in the 2004 budget. That is when the purpose and the issue of this boat could very well be justified and appropriate, but I think it is a budget item, and rather then tackle this issue, at the end of a budget year, it should be discussed at the beginning of a Budget year, especially when we are at the end of that year.
Mrs. Daggon: May I address that comment? The reason why I have it on the Bill List for now, is that we will get a price break ordering at the end of the year. It is not a 2004 boat, it is a 2003 boat. But also, we start the program in March and Budget approval won’t happen until final money is available. Well, if it is capital, August as in previous years. That’s too late to take care of the geese population. It is too late for our summer program.
Mr. Scapicchio: How have we been taking care of the geese population?
Mrs. Daggon: Now, with a leaky rowboat.
Mr. Scapicchio: Does it work?
Mrs. Daggon: So so.
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, the program is probably worthy, but it is a budget discussion for 2004 not the end of 2003.
You’ve got a proposal on the table with a second, lets call the question.
President Guenther: Okay, we are calling the amendment. The amendment was to put it back on again.
ROLL CALL: Defeated
President Guenther: Any further discussion?
Mr. Spino: If I may; now you know why because we were missing a council person who was here, I don’t know how she would have voted on it, I didn’t talk to her about it, so I really don’t know, who we are missing one opinion because of the way meetings have been run, I mean as far as reorganization, both the workshop and the regular meetings go. When it was first talked about I agree, but now you realize something does happen, she has to get up at Mr. Spino (cont’d): a god awful hour in the morning and we are missing a vote no matter what it was.
Mr. Perkins: I just want to respond to Mr. Spino. The Council Member that left, that is what her job required, that’s her choice. When I still was employed, that was 5:00 am that I got up and if I was here until midnight, then I was here until midnight that night, it is a choice. I think that productively we can take care of both of the meetings, the workshop and the public meetings at one time, it would be nice if we didn’t have a lot of other things, sometimes presentations go a little bit longer than they should. Nothing against Jill or anybody else, I don’t like powerpoint presentations. You want to hand out fliers with what you are trying to do, give me a ten minute synopsis on why we should have it, that’s a lot better than setting up all the equipment and having everybody watch a picture show for 45 minutes. I think it will work right, it is just a matter of right now it is only 10:45 pm and Mrs. Miller had to leave. Her job requires that to happen.
President Guenther: Lets go back and review what we are voting on. We are voting on the bill list without the boat.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception of Mr. Perkins who voted no.
Turkey Brook Report
Mrs. Spencer: Gene reported to me that he met with Kyle Conte after Kyle had addressed the items on the site and that the work has been inspected at this point and that all work appears to be satisfactory with the exception of the north end goal posts which need to be adjusted probably in the Spring as well as the issue of whether or not the sod will take over the winter. That will again have to be assessed in the Springtime.
President Guenther: Any other questions from Council? Seeing none
Old Municipal Building
President Guenther: Could you give us an update on where we stand; we were going to start addressing some issues on that.
Mrs. Spencer: Actually I did not bring a copy of the report with me, I did send a report to Council on November 10, 2003 which out lined numerous steps, probably forty to fifty steps which need to be addressed from going out to bid to design a DPW building, getting that done moving the current DPW employees off of the site. We addressed everything down to the minute detail of capping and abandoning wells on site where we would have to go. But it is a multi year process.
President Guenther: Your right and I think we came to the conclusion that we really need to find a home for DPW first. It’s a whole site, it is not just the whole municipal building but it is the other buildings in back of it that we were going to try and address.
Mrs. Spencer: The acquisition of the two buildings that are in the front; we outlined in that report that if you would like another copy, I’ll be happy to provide that.
President Guenther: That’s okay, I am sure I have a copy in my file.
Mr. Greenbaum: I would like another copy please.
Mr. Rattner: Me too. Make sure the newly elected people too. Hopefully we’ll be able to start at least deciding where we are going to go with it early next year.
President Guenther: We really need to start to come to grips with this.
Mrs. Spencer: Okay. Because one of the things we did in the report was identify time frames for the completion of each task, we were not able to do a complete timeline because it depends on which actions are going to be started and which decisions are made in the beginning and then several of the processes can run concurrently.
President Guenther: I have something on old business here that I think is either from the last meeting or the meeting before when some questions came up about water tank inspections and painting. I think we were going to try and address it, try to find out when the last time that was done. I understand they usually are supposed to be done every ten years. I know in private discussion with Mark, I think it has been kind of lax in the past and some of the
President Guenther (cont’d): water tanks aren’t that old that any previous inspections had been done. I think what we wanted to see is see a history of at least the older tanks to see what the history is of inspections and maintenance meaning painting, or scrubbing, whatever needs to be done to see on what kind of a schedule that is on, I think we need to come to grips with that.
NEW BUSINESS - none
Cindy Spencer Discussion of Award of Contract to Large Docs
President Guenther: The final matter we have is legal matters and I want to read into the public record the following statement. The Township Council last summer commenced an investigation which would appear to be an improper granting of a contract for large document storage. In other words, what the feeling was, was there was a possible circumventing of the bidding law. A large amount of evidence was collected in the form of emails and other documentation. Investigation was suspended in September due to the inability to schedule first hand testimony from the persons involved. Since the current Administration is coming to an end, it is the opinion of the chair that this investigation should not be resumed and that the facts as previously presented speak for themselves. I am therefore turning over the results of the investigation to the new Administration.
Library Board Liaison Report - none
Mr. Rattner: Mr. President, Mr. Greenbaum just mentioned there was a bill on for Black Stone that was for a change order done at the last meeting we approved.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Guenther: All of a sudden I am drawing a blank. Since you are here, please help me out. I meant to bring in the minutes from the meeting and I am drawing a blank here.
Mrs. Daggon: We discussed a number of things that would effect some policies for these sports programs in terms of possibly looking at the screening of coaches, we were looking at criminal history background checks. We were looking at the paddle boat program. We were getting input for other kinds of programs. We are looking at all kinds of policies to set up in terms of establishing how we would notify other sports associations if a coach had been sanctioned and how many times. At what point does that mean that we notify people. We have a variety of policies, that the Recreations Advisory Committee would like to address. So we looked at those, and basically the Recreation advisory committee was very supportive of all the problems we have brought to the committee for approval and where we are going with the direction for things. We looked at the people who asked to be appointed to the committee as three terms expire this year. So we talked about those as well.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Perkins: No quorum, Mr. Guenther, so there was no meeting.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: Meeting Thursday night.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report.
Master Plan Committee Report
Mr. Scapicchio: Nothing to report
Mr. Greenbaum: Let me just jump in. Planning Board already voted to direct Mr. Buzak to draft a resolution adopting the Master Plan. The formal adoption of the Master Plan by the Planning Board will occur Thursday night.
Open Space Committee Report – none
Mr. Scapicchio: Bernie, just a question on open space to make sure that we are moving forward with somehow trying to figure out a way to identify to the public in terms of signage, the open space in Mount Olive Township.
President Guenther: We were going to try and address that, you are right.
Mr. Scapicchio: I just want to make sure that is still moving forward with some thought.
Mr. Rattner: Mr. President, the next meeting is going to be our last meeting, I would also like to get an update on the farm that we have intended on selling. We haven’t heard anything in the last couple of months. We definitely want to get that resolved.
President Guenther: Peter, do you have any update on that at all?
Mr. King: The County is supposed to be removing the dirt. The extent of contamination was contained and the County has a contract with the soil removal company at a cheaper rate and they are supposed to be removing the dirt.
President Guenther: When?
Mr. King: I’ll have to get back to you.
President Guenther: As soon as the ground unfreezes. That’s a real shame because the house has apparently been vandalized and obviously has depreciated the value of it.
Legislative Committee Report – None
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: I spoke with Mrs. Spencer today, JCP&L has been out there on Route 46 and I think they are going to be hitting Flanders also for the few poles that were picked for the snowflakes that the Pride Committee had gotten through the office of the Mayor. My understanding is that they will be lit up this Friday night. Starting this weekend along the Lake, most of the telephone polls out there will have white snowflakes on them. So that will help to add to a little bit more beauty of the lake as you drive down Route 46.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Guenther: Is there anything beyond what the Board of Education presented?
Mr. Scapicchio: I know to some extent we discussed and it was with the access to the renovation to the High School and I would just like to bring to everybody’s attention that in the Daily Record today there is an article that is related to the County transportation plan and their new updated plan actually had three areas of Mount Olive that needed approval. One of them was Netcong –Flanders road from Route 206 to Corey Road. Another entrance and exit to the high school were two of the ones that I noticed. The other one had to do with some bridges on Bartley Road.
Mrs. Lashway: The Manorhouse Road Bridge.
President Guenther: I had a long discussion today with Kathy Murphy, it is going to be a long process; getting the state to approve the Green Acres Program.
Mr. Scapicchio: I read that briefly Bernie, I think that the County Master Plan may help push that effort forward.
President Guenther: The only thing she pointed out as I did before is that the State, they don’t seem to favor; whether you are a public entity or who you are, they don’t like to make exceptions and they look very unfavorably on it. Once something has been preserved with their money, there is some stiff compensatory rules involved and it’s a long process. Your right, it might help, but from the sounds of what Kathy said, it didn’t sound like it is going to be awful easy for us. To their credit, they did say that part of the plan is like a three year plan. It is not one they plan to do immediately. It is not involved in the referendum they are putting in front of the public.
Mr. Rattner: One of the things that did come up is the area where they want to put the road for the most part is already disturbed property and that may mean something else. It will be interesting to see the timing there because
Mr. Rattner (cont’d): we purchased right when we were putting in the sewer lines, so which went in first. But it is already a disturbed area that there is an easement already.
Mr. Guenther: That could possibly help more, because I think we believe that went in before we took title to the property, correct. So that might actually help us in that it’s precedent for us. Both Kathy and I seem to remember, it was mentioned to the Board of Education. Do you want to use this; and I don’t know if it was specific and for access, but do you have any other use for it now that you have the sewer easement in here or do you wish to acquire it. I think the question was more on the basis of do you wish to pay for this? They backed out. They had no interest at that time.
Bob Elms, Budd Lake: A couple of quick things. First of all I think if anybody could accomplish that Kathy Murphy can. The power boat issue, both the Budd Lake Rescue Squad and the Budd Lake Fire Department of have boats and qualified divers to retrieve the 75 lb. buckets. I am sure that they would be happy to do something like that if they were asked. The other thing is, on the bill list maybe somebody could explain to me, what the $50,000 payment is to Vincent Paragano.
Mrs. Spencer: It’s a return of their COAH deposit. It had been discussed at several meetings and they had met all the guidelines, that money was on deposit with them in case they hadn’t.
Mr. Elms: They put up $50,000 as a deposit to accomplish what?
Mr. Rattner: It was like a bond, they had a certain COAH requirement for low and moderate income and even though we can’t believe how they qualified. They put that on the case, they didn’t reserve enough of their units. They did based on the contract and everything else we had to return that deposit.
Mr. Elms: The moderate income limits?
Mr. Rattner: They call it low and moderate.
Mr. Elms: I understand the cheapest studio goes for over $1,300 a month.
Mr. Rattner: We asked them to come in and explain this.
Mr. Elms: And that’s affordable housing.
Mr. Rattner: They met their requirements.
Mrs. Lashway: It includes meals though.
President Guenther: Good point. Anyone else from the public?
Mr. Bonte: First of all, I absolutely not would be in favor to the Board of Education. I think this sends a message all the time when these types of things happen to the public that land, that is quote “preserved” forever are not. I don’t think we should support it. I think we should figure out some way of doing it, but I don’t believe any time land is put into this type of status forever as they say, should never be touched. I don’t think the Town should support it. Secondly, regarding the boat issue. In my opinion this is basically a capital expenditure. Capital expenditures should be budgeted through the budget process and approved by this Council prior to anybody going out and making purchase order commitments. I personally believe that what has happened in the case of this procurement of this power boat, verges on being illegal, because it is an item of capital equipment that has not been approved by this Council in advance. It certainly would not be an emergency necessity, so I agree with you Dave 100%. It is an item that should be handled by the 2004 Council. I will miss your valued opinion on things. Thirdly, regarding Crown Towers only have two words to all of you; thank you. I do have a question. I don’t know if anybody knows yet of when the possible closing might be and whether there will be any ceremony, or whether this will be done in a public setting. We’ll certainly push for that. As far as we know, we have no official notification that they have gotten all their private funding together even though we think they are close to it. There has been no official notification that they have really copped the whole deal all together. I understand that it is imminent. The reason I am asking this question is, as you know there were hundreds of people involved within bringing this thing to fruition. It would be nice if many of them could be present at the time that either the closing takes place or some type of ceremonial closing would take place, and we certainly would like to let everybody know who was involved and supported this. So if you hear anything, if you could let me know. Thank you.
President Guenther: Anyone else from the public. Seeing none.
President Guenther: This will probably be my last meeting as Council President, I will not be here on the 23rd, I’ll be enjoying Christmas with my daughters. I express thanks to the rest of the Council for their confidence in me and their support. See you next year and to welcome the new Council members, hopefully we call all work together.
Motion to adjourn, all in favor, none opposed. The meeting adjourned at 11:05 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 January 20, 2004.
LISA M. LASHWAY
Mount Olive Township Clerk