Township Council Minutes
December 28, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:31 pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION in honor of our men and women serving around the world and the catastrophe that’s in Asia that’s being addressed. Thank you.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Ms. Labow, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Mund and Mr. Perkins
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins is excused, he is very ill tonight, he’s been sick for a while and Mr. Mund had notified us that he had a vacation planned.
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; Bob Casey, Acting Business Administrator; Sherry Jenkins, CFO;
Fred Semrau, Township Attorney; Michelle Masser, Deputy Clerk.
President Rattner: I just want to make sure that everybody is aware that we have an amended agenda, so make sure that you’re using the amended agenda.
Questions on Bill List?
President Rattner: As we go through, are there any questions on the Bill List? I just have one comment unless they’re ready to give a report. Normally what happens when we have a bill for the Library construction, somebody from the Library has notified Lisa that they would have somebody here to, you know, answer any questions, because we usually do, about the progress, especially with some of the issues that we’ve had with the Library. I just see the Librarian came in, are you going to speak to the bill and the progress?
Ms. Hilbert: I will answer questions, I’m not going to give the report, but Jerry will be here later.
President Rattner: Oh, okay. Is there anything else on the Bill List? It looks like it will go fairly comfortably.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Dec. 21, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow (7:20 pm), Mr. Mund, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Guenther
President Rattner: Okay, next we have approval of Minutes. We have the December 21st Executive Session. Mr. Buell, would you move that?
Mr. Buell: I move the Minutes of the Executive Session of December 21st.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, next we have…..oh, sorry, we didn’t do the optional public portion. Would anyone from the public like to address the Council at this time? You’ll get a chance at the end of the meeting, too. Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion.
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. E-mail received December 13, 2004, from B. Sachau (Florham Park, NJ) opposing the 413 homes off Flanders Drakestown Road.
2. Letter received December 14, 2004, from Maria and Tony Marchigiano regarding the flooding on River Road.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
3. Resolution received December 16, 2004, from the Township of Jefferson regarding stocking Trout in Lake Hopatcong.
4. Resolution received December 17, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Law and Public Safety regarding Resolution supporting establishment of Arab Heritage Commission.
5. Resolution received December 20, 2004, from Township of Roxbury regarding support of Senate Bill S-1023 and Assembly Bill A-1833 (taxes for disabled veterans)
6. Resolution received December 20, 2004, from Borough of Wantaque regarding urging Legislators to sponsor legislation to allow Municipal Governments to provide funding to local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Groups.
7. Resolution received December 22, 2004, from The Borough of Sayreville regarding reimbursement of taxes to disabled veterans.
8. Resolution received December 23, 2004, from Borough of Lincoln Park regarding reimbursement of taxes to disabled veterans.
DOT / DEP / LOI
9. Letter received December 20, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding funding of $100,000.00 for Naughright Road.
10. Letter received December 20, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection to the Morris County Clerk regarding Freshwater Wetlands Protection Act, Block 7000, Lot 64 (20 Shop Lane, Rezamir/Deerfield Estates)
11. Letter received December 22, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding acquisition of Open Space and Federal Funding.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITES
12. E-mail received December 14, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League thanks NJ DOT for Municipal Aid Grants.
13. Fax received December 14, 2004, from Highlands Council regarding Notice of Highlands Meeting on December 16th.
14. Letter received December 21, 2004, from Morris Land Conservancy regarding Accomplishments and Proposed Open Space Activities for 2005.
15. Newsletter received December 22, 2004, from Council on Affordable Housing regarding COAH’s Emergency rule on granting Extended Substantive Certifications, Conference on Housing and Community Development, Approving RCAs and Welcoming New Employees.
16. Notice received December 22, 2004, from Morris County Planning regarding Public Hearing on the Draft Morris County Cross Acceptance report.
17. Fax received December 20, 2004, from Comcast regarding State Franchise Fee Agreement.
18. Letter received December 20, 2004, from Comcast regarding Comcast Digital Plus Service.
19. Letter received December 22, 2004, from Cablevision regarding channel forms for changes taking place in January 2005.
20. Fax received December 23, 2004, from Comcast regarding NBC Weather Plus Channel.
President Rattner: We’ll go to correspondence. Do any Council members have any questions on the correspondence? Seeing none, we’ll move right along.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: We’ll go to Ordinances for Public Hearing and with that, I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #46-2004, entitled:
Ord. #46-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Salaries of the Department Heads, Supervisory and Non-Union Personnel.
President Rattner: Does anybody here want to address this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public
portion and ask Ms. Labow to move the ordinance.
Ms. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #46-2004.
Mr. Greenbaum: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #46-2004 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 – (2nd reading January 25,2005)
President Rattner: Now we go to Ordinances for first reading and the first item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #48-2004, entitled:
Ord. #48-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Eliminating the Position of Assistant Business Administrator.
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther, would you move that?
Mr. Guenther: Okay. I move that Ordinance #48-2004 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on January 25, 2005 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, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of law.
Mr. Greenbaum: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: The next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #49-2004, entitled:
Ord. #49-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive Land Use Procedures, Chapter 400 – Land Use: Article V – Design Guidelines and Technical Standards Section 400-74 Surface Water Management.
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, would you move that one?
Mr. Buell: I move that Ordinance #49-2004 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on January 25, 2005 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, 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: Any discussion?
Mr. Guenther: Background on this?
Mr. Greenbaum: This is the ordinance that rectifies the problem that we had with the elimination of the local stormwater rainfall data that we had…..
Mr. Guenther: Oh, the rainfall data, okay.
Mr. Greenbaum: This is putting back in….
Mr. Guenther: Okay, I understand, okay. I wasn’t sure it was the rainfall….
Ms. Labow: That’s what I was going to ask.
President Rattner: Any other 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 Releasing Certain Performance Guarantees Submitted by Toll Brothers.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Use of a State Purchasing Contract (Princeton-Nassau Conover and Ben Schaeffer).
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of Delinquent Sewer User Charges and Sewer Assessment Balances in Connection with Block 400 Lot 1, 217 Waterloo Valley Road, Morris Companies.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Animal Control Services Mutual Aid Agreement with Mount Olive Township and the Borough of Hopatcong.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of 2004 Appropriations in the Current Fund.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Township Attorney to Proceed with In Rem Tax Foreclosures Pursuant to the In Rem Tax Foreclosure List prepared by Sherry M. Jenkins, CMFO/CTC.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of a General Capital Ordinance Balance and Authorizing the Return of $500,000 to the County of Morris.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Transferring Funds from Surplus into the Reserve for Tax Appeals.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Canceling Various Sewer 2004 Operating Budget Balances.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Canceling Various Water Operating Budget Balances for 2004.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of 2004 Sanitation District Budget Balances.
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending and Supplementing a Resolution Entitled “Resolution Authorizing a Professional Services Contract with Schoor DePalma for a Wastewater Treatment Plant Evaluation and Pump Station Upgrade Capacity Study.”
13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Transfer of Unexpended Streets and Road 2004 Budget Balances to the Accumulated Snow Trust Fund for $30,000.
14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Resolving the BASF Tax Appeal for the Year 2004.
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the Consent Agenda, we have 14 items.
Mr. Casey: Mr. Council President, if I might, we would like to withdraw #13. The recent activity in the last week has required us to use a portion of that money so it’s not available now for the Trust Fund.
Mr. Greenbaum: It snowed.
Mr. Casey: So, we would like to withdraw 13, please.
President Rattner: Who couldn’t foresee that? Was that just bad planning, Mr. Casey?
Mr. Casey: Well, you know, we wished.
President Rattner: Okay, so right now 13 will be removed. Is there anything else? We do have on there, just so everybody sees that, we do have number 14, I just want to draw your attention to, is the proposed settlement with BASF. We did discuss it last week and we do have an agreement. So, with that, Mr. Greenbaum, would you move the Consent Resolutions 1 through 14, excluding 13.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for approval of Consent Resolutions 1 through 12 and number 14.
Mr. Buell: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to address the Council on any of the resolutions? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any Council comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to Motions.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Rattner.
President Rattner: Yes.
Ms. Labow: I have one resolution I would like to add, one second.
President Rattner: If you want to make a motion, we’ll see if we’ll consider it.
Ms. Labow: I’d like to make a motion to pass a resolution from the Council.
Mr. Greenbaum: I’ll second it.
President Rattner: She didn’t say what it is, yet.
Mr. Greenbaum: I know what it is.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Rattner, could…..
Mr. Guenther: Well, tell the audience.
President Rattner: What do I have to do?
Mr. Greenbaum: You have to go down there with her.
Ms. Labow: First of all, I would like to thank Mr. Rattner for all of his hard work this past year and we kind of got together to give him….to give you a little gift I would like to start out with, and since this is your last meeting as our Council President and we are facing very tight budgetary restraints this year, we would like to present you with this pencil and pencil gold and silver engraved set for you to work on the budget for us.
Mr. Guenther: It’s got a big eraser on it, doesn’t it?
Ms. Labow: Yes and I’d like to read this resolution that we…Mr. Dorsey prepared for the Council to give to Mr. Rattner and a little bit of history for everyone. As if we don’t already know, this is the first time, I think, ever, that there were three and then four, another new Council person, and when you run for office, it’s not like you get to go to classes and take training and get to know what you’re supposed to do, and Mr. Rattner was extremely helpful to all of us and gave us some valuable information on how to learn how to do the job. One of the key things I think he told Mr. Buell and I specifically was to make sure you go through all the vouchers, read all the attachments, and that’s how you really get to understand what it’s all about going through the town, and he was actually right, we learned a lot, and I want to thank him for all the hours and hours and hours he spent helping us out, and I would like to read this for Mr. Rattner. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive commending the distinguished service of Council President, Steve Rattner. Whereas, the Township veteran Councilman, Steve Rattner, accepted and assumed the position of Council President at the reorganization meeting of the Township for the year 2004 and, Whereas, this year has been an extraordinarily difficult and complex year, because the Township Council was, for the first time in many years, comprised of four new members who had never served on the Council before, and the Council President extended himself in many ways to assist and acclimate the new Council persons to their duties, obligations and privileges and, Whereas, this has been an extraordinarily difficult year in terms of the Administration of the municipal government, because the new elected Mayor had never previously served within a municipal government, and the Mayor’s selection for the position of Business Administrator had never previously served as a Township or Business Administrator, thus placing an extraordinary burden upon the Council President. Given his knowledge and background, in terms of Mount Olive’s government, to undertake tasks normally routinely resolved by way of the Administration and, (Mr. Dorsey wrote this) Whereas, Council President, Steve Rattner was extraordinary in his pursuit of attempting to resolve all issues in connection with the 2004 municipal budget and particularly in connection with the limiting of tax increase for 2004 generated as a result of factors outside the control of Township officials and, Whereas, Council President, Steve Rattner has extended himself in every possible way to make municipal government serve the government of Mount Olive and function in an appropriate manner. Now Therefore Be It Resolved, by the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive that it wishes to acknowledge extraordinary contributions made by Council President, Steve Rattner in terms of the Township’s municipal government, and in terms of addressing and resolving all of the very serious issues with which the Township is faced. Thank you. Roll Call.
Mr. Greenbaum: You’re running the meeting now, too?
Ms. Labow: I’ve taken liberties here.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Rattner abstained
President Rattner: Thank you very much. I didn’t ask for Council President this year, it just came about only because I had a lot more experience than other people. It has been an extraordinary year, but it’s been an extraordinary year with all the work of everybody on the Council. I can honestly say, in all my years up here, this Council probably worked together of the best of any Council, and just as I told the new Council Members, wait six months and everything would come together and that’s about what it took. About June, all of a sudden, things started making sense and with that, I also want to acknowledge that it has been a difficult year, everybody knows that, but the Township employees have kept doing their job, and regardless of what was in the newspaper, regardless of rumors, and anything else that was going on, they came in every day and they served the public to the best of their abilities, and they did a very good job. So with that, I thank you for this, but all I did was run the meeting, everybody put in work and everybody has their own expertise that really contributed to the successes that we did have this year. Thank you very much. Clapping….
Mayor De La Roche: I would just like to take this opportunity to have it put on the record that I, too, have found Mr. Rattner to be very knowledgeable and easy to work with. I hoped that he would consider continuing as Council President for another…a much longer time than just this one year, but I want it put on the record that the Administration does appreciate the hard work that Mr. Rattner has put in for this year. Clapping…
President Rattner: Thank you, Mayor. Okay, so I’ll let you put a resolution on at the last minute.
Ms. Labow: Do you like your pencils?
President Rattner: Yes. It’s really not engraved, it looks like a label maker put the names on.
Mr. Guenther: Hey, we have a limited budget.
President Rattner: That’s right.
1. Bill List.
President Rattner: Okay, we go to the Bill List, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, any discussion? Does anybody have any questions for the Librarian? Usually, we have
a report. Of course, we got to it a lot quicker than it was expected, on the Library.
Ms. Labow: What’s the status right now?
Mr. Guenther: We’re doing the Bill List.
President Rattner: Well, that’s what we usually get on the Library, is the status and exactly what’s been done.
We’re getting near the end….it is an issue because we are getting near the end of the project, we also know there’s
been some delays, and from what we gather, at least the Council hasn’t been notified that they’re still lacking a CO
or a temporary CO, which means there’s still some work that has to be done.
Rita Hilbert, Library Director: The reason you don’t have anyone here giving you a report is because Jane is
away in Atlanta, where it’s warm, and Jerry’s wife had a stroke, so he’s at the hospital now, and he said he would
try to get here. It looked like we were pretty late on down, but you’re moving quickly. So….
Mr. Greenbaum: What hospital is Jerry’s wife in?
Ms. Hilbert: Dover.
Mr. Greenbaum: Is she going to be there for a while?
Ms. Hilbert: I don’t know.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, do you know the status of her…..
Ms. Hilbert: I think this was just Sunday, that this happened.
Mr. Greenbaum: Is she getting better, or is she….
Ms. Hilbert: I really don’t know, I only talked to him for a little while, and he’s saying she’s going to come home
tomorrow, but he wanted to be down at the hospital tonight. So, we are still awaiting a TCO. We have had the site
engineer come on site and do what Mr. Buczynski had asked for for a survey where they do a points for the access
ramps. So, we’re awaiting the report from that survey. Of course, we hit the holidays, so everything is a little
bit….taking a little bit longer than what it’s….what we had hoped it would. As soon as that comes, we’ll pass that
on to Mr. Casey who will share it with Mr. Buczynski, and that’s all I can say at this point, it’s all I know.
President Rattner: Ms. Jenkins, after we pay….if we pay this bill, how much money is remaining in the contract?
Mr. Casey: I have that information, the balance of finish is $152,000 plus there’s a $76,000 retainer, so there’s
actually $225,000 left in the contract.
Mr. Greenbaum: After this payment?
Mr. Casey: After this payment. So, you’re…..in construction lingo, you’re ahead of the contractor.
Ms. Hilbert: And I will tell you that we had held this bill and then, upon the advice of our attorney, we put it on
the agenda for the Board meeting and voted to pay it at the Board meeting.
President Rattner: I don’t know how much you’ve really gotten involved with this. I mean, obviously, you
can see the Library is getting near the end, but obviously, there are some different issues. I don’t know if
you….I think what happened the last time is that one of the handicap ramps didn’t meet ADA standards. They
said they were going to make it, or at least that’s the way I got it. They have another ramp that was ADA, so
they only have one that they’ll post as ADA accessible, but then the other one didn’t meet, you know, the
standards by, I don’t know how much, and I really don’t understand what it is, and I don’t know….most of the
other things are, you know, a different punch list of things, but we are getting on a $4 million contract there,
give or take, only having $150,000 left. I mean, the retainer is something else, the retainer is also going forward
to make sure for guarantees and after you actually take over the building. What is usually an acceptable amount?
I mean, that’s the only concern I have.
Mr. Semrau: Mr. Casey, at this point, do you have any recommendations?
Mr. Casey: Well, I mean, you have, the only other thing I can say is that your architect has signed off on the
work as being done, you know. As I said, you have $152,000 held back, plus $76,000, that’s $225,000, plus
your bonds. I’ve heard nothing from anybody in terms of Russ Brown, Gene or even with the Library people, to
indicate that there’s anything significantly missing or remaining to be done. It appears to be the normal punch
list cleanup stuff. Yes, there was an issue of that ramp, worse case scenario is tear it out, regrade it and put it
back in, I mean, there’s not that much……the money, one way or the other. So, with the architect having signed
off as to work being done, as far as draw down, and with the $225,000 remaining, which is about 8% of
contract, it doesn’t seem unreasonable where they’re at.
President Rattner: Okay, well, the last meeting we did have, that Mr. Greenbaum and I attended with you, Mr.
Casey, and some of the other town professionals, they talked about a punch list and a lot of, you know, a list of
things, not all unusual, that had to be remediated, things like removing the insulation that was water-logged, you
know, that’s a bigger job….
Ms. Hilbert: That’s done.
President Rattner: And there were certain areas. That’s what I’m saying, there were a certain number of
things, and a lot of it is not abnormal. You buy a new house, there are certain things that are done after, and
that’s what you keep in escrow. So, that’s really what I’m looking at. When you buy a house, you know, you
may put 5% or something, or 3% - 4% in escrow, if I’m looking at the same percentage, we’re already below
that amount. $200,000 on $4 million is right at that point and that’s the only thing I wanted to make sure of,
how much work has to be done, because we have to have the incentive to make sure the contractor doesn’t just
leave at the end, which we’ve had those issues before. Mr. Greenbaum, you wanted to add something?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, Bob, I’m prepared to vote to pay this bill if the Administration is prepared to make a
recommendation that Council approve it.
Mr. Casey: The only recommendation that I can make, and the Administration can make, because we’ve not
been directly involved in the ongoing activity, is the fact that the Library Board has approved it and our architect
has approved it, and as I indicated to you, we’ve received no information of major failures over there. We can’t
basically make a positive recommendation, because we’ve not been directly involved in the construction
activities that have been delegated, by this Council, to the Library Board.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, well, that seems very qualified….a qualified response, it is what it is.
Mr. Casey: That…we can’t do something beyond that, because we haven’t been there.
Mr. Greenbaum: Mayor, you’re a member of the Library Board. Do you recommend that this bill be paid?
Mayor De La Roche: I think Mr. Casey has already stated the Administration’s position.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. So, you have no position via-a-vis the Library Board, then, as your position on the
Mayor De La Roche: No.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
President Rattner: Does anybody have any other comments? Roll Call.
Mr. Guenther: Wait a minute….oh, all the comments on the whole bill list? I thought you meant just the
President Rattner: Bill list, yes…just the bill list.
Mr. Guenther: This is just a question for my clarification. I noticed on page two, we had a couple of fill ins
for Fire Inspector and fill in for Building Inspector. I guess that’s….they were ill or…..
Mr. Casey: Vacation and ill, and stuff like that, and they have other people who fill in on an hourly basis.
Mr. Guenther: Is there….there’s a….do we approve that at the beginning of the year, the schedule that they’re
paid for fill in. Is that something that…..
Mr. Casey: I don’t know if you approved the fill in schedule, but it is not unusual when, for instance, your
Electrical Inspector is on vacation, that they’ll bring in a part time person to do those minimal inspections, and
he’s paid out of the, you know, the fees generated out of it. I mean, because we have to make inspections
within so many hours of calls for it, etc.
Mr. Guenther: No, no, I understand.
Mr. Casey: So, this is fairly standard in all jurisdictions, in order to respond to that need.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, I’m just wondering if that’s something we approve at the beginning of the year. I seem
to faintly recall that we approved something on schedules, I don’t know if it’s for the fill ins or not.
Mr. Casey: As far as your salary schedules, something like that?
Mr. Guenther: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Yes, it’s for temporary….
President Rattner: But we’ve done it, you know, over the past few years, because we had to have somebody
here. I mean, it’s not a practice that’s any change from anything. We just have to make sure that, you know, if
we have to, we’ll tighten it up as we go into the new year, that it’s actually on, you know, that we vote and say
these are the temporary people, and put money away for temporary…..and in fact, they’re being paid as, I guess,
on a voucher, which we have money in the budget for temporary help, and it probably gets covered out of there.
Mr. Casey: Correct.
President Rattner: As I said, it’s something that we’ve done every year and if we need somebody to fill in, we
need somebody to fill in. Any other questions on the bill list?
Ms. Labow: I just have one quick question, only because I’m curious. Also, on page 2, for Marilyn Ryan, there
are six round trips to the Mayor’s home for $27.00. What is that about?
Mr. Casey: She has to, periodically, take materials specially down to the Mayor that has to be signed and in and out on a daily, you know, we have a fast turn around and the Mayor’s unable to come in…..so if we have material that has to be signed on a daily, you know, if something comes in from the attorneys, some say please sign and get this back, we’ll take it down to him and get it signed and take it back and it’s purely that convenience to make sure it gets out in that one day. So, the employee volunteered to do that and, you know, she’s using her car to do that to our advantage, and I see nothing wrong with, you know, paying her the IRS mileage.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
President Rattner: Anything else, Ms. Labow?
Ms. Labow: No.
President Rattner: Nothing else? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Greenbaum and Mr. Rattner voted No on the bill
President Rattner: If we don’t have somebody here who can say that the Library is on schedule or is done properly, or get the CO, that we really need more information, but I guess it passes anyway, so..
Ms. Labow: Is that something that needs a super-majority, or no?
President Rattner: No, that’s only capital. No, it passed, you got your way.
President Rattner: Okay, Administrative Matters.
Mr. Casey: Nothing to bring before Council, other than wish everybody a Happy New Year.
President Rattner: Any Old Business?
Mr. Guenther: I noticed on the Bill List, there was a first payment to Flanagan, the contractor on Turkey Brook. How many more payments are due and is the work nearly completed? Where do we stand on the Turkey Brook work?
Mr. Buell: I think there were actually two bills paid to Flanagan.
President Rattner: There were two bills, both about a hundred and some-odd thousand dollars, a page apart.
Mr. Greenbaum: And part of the work was deferred until the Spring.
Mr. Casey: Part of it is obviously weather sensitive and I will ask Gene, given the early advent of winter, as to the impact on site. I have a suspicion that the early freeze is going to prevent him from closing off much more up there, but I’ll get a report from Gene for you as to how he’s….what he schedules out.
Mr. Guenther: I just, again, I want to make sure, you know, that enough is being held from payment that, you know, to assure the work being completed in the Springtime.
Mr. Buell: Just a quick question, you don’t have to answer it tonight, but….Bob, could you….I asked for a status report on the lights at Flanders Park, in terms of….
Ms. Labow: Oh, I actually have something on that. I had spoken with Mr. Masotti, we were discussing the lights and I told him that I had requested the pricing on the six stanchions versus the four. He sent me an e-mail today and it has a rough….it has an estimate of $74,000 to six stanchions, four would be 70 feet tall, two would be 80 feet tall and he gave me quite a detailed quote on it, and I made copies for everybody. The one thing on the bottom, it says that this quote is based on typical design, a site visit is required for a more definitive quote. So, we really don’t have any more information than we had before, other than before we only had the price on four stanchions versus six.
President Rattner: So, we’ll see about putting that on for a workshop in the early part of next year.
Ms. Labow: Can I pass these out in the meantime?
President Rattner: If you want. Anything else, Ms. Labow, at this point?
Ms. Labow: For Old Business? No, because that’s what I was going to bring up, but I thought it was for new business.
President Rattner: Since you brought up Turkey Brook, I went up there and the parking lots, I think, came out very very well. I said that we could put off paving some of the parking lots, because I was just looking at it from a strictly dollar amount, but the paved parking lots makes the place look a lot cleaner. Hopefully, we’re not going to have more runoff now, because now we have more impervious coverage, but the paving…and it was a lot, and I think they did a real fine job, and it really made an improvement. The extra parking lot by the Tot-Lot’s been put in, so you can definitely see a lot of work has been done, and so far, the work looks very very good that’s been done at this point. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: On the same subject of Turkey Brook Park, Mr. Casey, I don’t know if you can answer this question. Last winter, January/February/March, I was very concerned about the electric bills that we had in Turkey Brook Park, specifically for the restroom areas, it was an exorbitant amount of money, and I wanted to know, are there any plans to winterize those….at least one of them? Perhaps, leave one open if we have any winter activities?
Mr. Casey: I will find out from Jim as to whether, in fact, we can drain all those buildings out.
Ms. Labow: Because it was several thousand dollars just to keep them heated, and they also had the….the temperature was pretty high, I don’t remember if it was 60 or 62 or something, it was very high, and it was electric heat, kept kicking in, and it just seemed like a….just a huge amount of money to go through.
Mr. Casey: I will find out and get something for you.
Ms. Labow: Thank you.
President Rattner: I hope everybody noticed that we got a letter from the DEP about our water permit for Turkey Brook Park and they cut the gallonage in half because of the Highlands thing, so I don’t know how that’s going to effect what we have up there. If we have a wet season like we did this year, it won’t make a difference.
Mr. Casey: If I might, Gene and I have already talked. We’re very concerned about that and I think the issue that we’re looking at is we believe DEP improperly withheld issuance of the permit for about six months, as they did many of their permits, as some of you may know, the DEP just stopped issuing permits last fall, on purpose. If they continue with that fact that they’re going to reduce the gallonage to 50,000, from 100,000 per Mr. Casey(cont’d): day, you will have a serious problem using that park on a daily basis, because you just won’t be able to let the grass grow. So, we’ll be looking at that, we’re going to meet with his people from Manalapan early in January to see if, in fact, there is any recourse within DEP that the permit should have been issued under the old rules and not deliberately held for nine months to issue under the new rules.
President Rattner: And we spent two years getting the permit and the approvals for doing what we wanted to begin with.
Mr. Casey: The landscaping well permit, which is 99,000, is historically known as a walk in one day permit. I mean, that farmer’s got those permits for years, walk in, get your permit, as long as you got under 100,000 per day per owner, you’re okay. So, for them to sit on it for nine months, is…..may not have been proper, for lack of a better term.
President Rattner: I just brought that up because it’s an issue we’re going to have to deal with, but on the other side, the way we did the irrigation, you don’t realize it that we pump the water up and we put it in that retention basin, then, that way….that retention basin also takes stormwater, so when we irrigate, we take water out of there, so we wouldn’t be pumping up as much. Hopefully, if we have a normal season, we’re probably okay. If we have a dry season, they’re not going to have enough water in there. You know, this year we had plenty of rain, we probably didn’t have to really irrigate much, but that’s what the real issue is and, again, it’s really unfair. Mr. Casey is absolutely right, the DEP knew that something was coming down, so they stopped issuing everything, just to hold everything off, under the orders of the Director. So, what are you going to do? Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: What….say we can’t get the gallonage we need every day, what would be an alternative? What could we…you know, we can’t lose the fields.
President Rattner: Part of what Jim has done, is came up with a program for the fields, about the irrigation and watering them a certain amount, if we have a hot summer, you know it deteriorates a field, and if we can’t water, we may have to limit use, otherwise it will just tear it up as the grass burns and you’re on it, it’s just going to kill all the grass. That’s what the issue is.
Ms. Labow: Just to play, I don’t know if it’s devil’s advocate or possibly a solution, when they had the High School referendum going through and they were talking about putting in the artificial turf field and had learned a lot of information about that and how it’s actually more cost effective to have the artificial turf….I know, Steve is giving me these eyes….
President Rattner: $800,000 a field.
Ms. Labow: I know, that’s just it….
President Rattner: You can just forget about it.
Ms. Labow: Forget about it…I was thinking like….at a little bit of a turnover….
President Rattner: Forget about it.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
President Rattner: $800,000…remember what the referendum was for the High School, and they’re giving the money back, they’re not going to do it.
Ms. Labow: Yes, they can’t do it.
President Rattner: Maybe they’ll want to build one there.
Mr. Buell: They can’t do that, I know.
President Rattner: Okay, but anyway, it’s just something that we’re going to have to deal with, I mean, this is something else again. It’s not anybody here, made the right/wrong decision, we’re going ahead, everything is good, and they throw another curve ball, after the fact, they changed the rules, which could hurt us. Any other President Rattner (cont’d): old business?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, there’s the Mount Olive Child Care…
President Rattner: Yes, that’s separately listed on the agenda, you can bring that up now, since we didn’t have anything else.
Status of MOCCLC Negotiations
Mr. Greenbaum: Bob, is there any further progress?
Mr. Casey: I have received from them, yesterday, a response. I’ll be meeting with them to go over that response, so we are basically…they’ve committed….they looked at the proposal and they are basically responding back, so we will be working on that a little bit. So, I hopefully will have something for you within two to three weeks after I meet with them again.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
President Rattner: Any other old business?
President Rattner: Then we’ll go on to new business.
Board of Adjustment Ordinance
Ms. Labow: I just want to bring up briefly, I asked to put this on here and I was reading through all the ordinances, especially with the appointments coming up in the future and was really confused on the Board of Adjustment ordinance. It starts out….apparently the State statute is seven members, is that right, Mr. Semrau?
Mr. Semrau: Yes it is.
Ms. Labow: And if you read the first paragraph, it goes on to say that this ordinance was amending it to seven members, it used to be five members, and then it goes on to two alternate members, and I like read it a couple of times. I just thought it was very wordy and very confusing and a few months ago, I had spoken about reviewing the ordinances and trying to make things more compact and easier to read, and I thought this was extremely confusing. It should just say that we have seven members, two alternates, what the terms are, I just wanted to get everybody’s feelings for that. What do you think?
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther, do you want to say something?
Mr. Guenther: Well, I mean, it appears that this was written at a time when they established the Zoning…. Board of Adjustment, and what they’re trying to do is indicate that they are staggered terms.
Ms. Labow: Now what it says is…first there was five original members, and then the first paragraph is adding two more, and the second paragraph is adding two alternates, which is a good thing. So, you actually have nine, but I just think it needs to be updated.
President Rattner: Well, I think….Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, let’s move this along and refer this to John’s office for review and comment. It should be consistent with the State ordinance on the Board of Adjustment and should be relatively easy to revise.
Mr. Semrau: I think it is but, you know, we’ll take a look at it and, if it’s just a matter of going over it with Colleen, I’ll reach out for you.
Mr. Casey: If I might, if you know the history of the Zoning Board, it started at five, they increased it to seven, then two years ago, they added two alternates. So, what the ordinance reflects really, is the history of the Board as it has evolved over time, and rather than integrate one sentence, they kept on adding on. So, maybe it should be edited back to being a simple statement. That’s the evolution of the Board.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I understand that part, but I just think that for anybody picking it up and reading it, we should….we don’t want to get rid of the history, but we also don’t want to have words we don’t need. Thank you.
Mr. Greenbaum: Personally, I think that history is totally irrelevant, at this point, then just change it to reflect what the State ordinance requires.
Mr. Guenther: Just say there are seven members and they have to have staggered terms.
Mr. Greenbaum: Two alternates.
Mr. Guenther: Well, and the two alternates.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I just made a commitment to try and go through the ordinances and make sure they say what we want them to say.
President Rattner: Anybody else? I just have one item. After we were surprised about the public hearing from the County on the Waste Management Plan Modification, I went through all the different notes and everything that I had, and I realized that the town received a copy of the application for a new…..this is something separate….hazardous waste facility permit for the Transfer Station at the beginning of November and there was a thirty day comment period. Bob, do you know if anybody from the town reviewed it to make sure that there wasn’t anything in there, or any changes, or anything else? It’s already expired, but I only found this because I was going through all the records we had on the Transfer Station.
Mr. Casey: No, we did not, under the mistaken assumption that it was simply a renewal permit like they have to do after so many years, we did not redo it.
President Rattner: Well, it probably was, but sometimes they have different changes and modifications and, you know, unless you read it, you don’t know it.
Mr. Casey: We did not review that in-depth, no.
President Rattner: Okay. Again, I just found it because I was going through everything else after that last surprise, and everybody saw my correspondence on that, and I saw the Mayor’s, we just took a different approach, but both said that we were a little concerned, we didn’t know.
Ms. Labow: Did they respond to that?
President Rattner: Well, I think a lot of people have talked to different people. I mean, I have a good relationship with them, I just wanted to let them know that, you know, we’ve had it good and we’ve been involved with everything and just have to clean up and make sure that we stay involved, because there are some different issues, and we have, you know, we didn’t like it, we fought….a lot of us up here fought against them, it wasn’t real pretty, and since then, the next sixteen years we’ve basically had a pretty good relationship, if there was a problem, we addressed it and resolved it, and plus we need your host benefit fees.
President Rattner: Okay, moving right along, any Legal Matters?
Mr. Semrau: The only thing to report is the Silver Springs acquisition. We’ve completed the due diligence and there was also a title issue that was resolved favorably, it was cleared. So, we’re in a position now where we’re going to…..you’ve already authorized the execution of the contract, but we’re just coming up with a new closing date, which we anticipate will be February 28th, 2005, we’re going to send that up to the Mayor for his signature.
Mr. Guenther: Steve, in regard to that, I noticed this letter from…or this memo from Kathy Murphy on the 23rd about the $500,000 grant for Smith Farm Park/Interverse. I guess we do have to technically return that before the end of the year, correct?
Mr. Buell: We already did.
Mr. Casey: We already did, it was on tonight’s agenda.
President Rattner: Yes, just so you know, my recommendation, after talking to the Director, was don’t even bring it up at this point because they wouldn’t ask for it until March, once they know then….once you make the decision, you have to return the money. I mean, that’s really what it is. I was just looking for some flexibility. Mr. Casey said, from their research, that if the landowner realized with the Highlands and everything else, we can still go ahead, we can get the money back, then that’s the same thing. We don’t want to hide it from them, because we have a good relationship with the County. If they can use it someplace else, and later on we have an application, we want to keep that relationship. That’s all it was….
President Rattner: Moving right along, we’ll come to Council Reports.
Library Board Liaison Report
Mr. Buell: I filled in for Colleen at the Library Board. We met, I guess it was two Wednesdays ago. We spent a long period of time, both Bernie Guenther and Rob Greenbaum were there, we spent a long time talking about how we were going to achieve the obtaining of the TCO for the Library. It was agreed at that meeting that on Thursday, that the engineers and the various people involved, would meet here and we would resolve the issue and I understand that that meeting was very productive. The only other thing that was discussed at the Library Board was the bill that we approved tonight in terms of the $179,000 payment.
Recreation Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Mund is not here.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: The next meeting is January 5th, so it’s after our reorganization meeting. There has been none since the last report.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: None.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins is not here.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Guenther: I made a report the last time.
Legislative Committee Report
President Rattner: Mr. Mund is not here tonight.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Well, last week we had our Executive Session at 7:00, I did stop by there before I went into the Executive Session, but all the members weren’t there yet, but I did get an e-mail for an update on some of the things that we’re working on. The Brown house at 333 Route 46 in Budd Lake, that’s supposed to be demolished. That one is…now the gentleman has to wait for DEP approvals because of the Highlands Act.
President Rattner: Even to demolish.
Ms. Labow: Even to demolish.
President Rattner: To do a clean up. Well, I guess it’s like trying to clean up the Public Works Building.
Ms. Labow: So, they gave him a sixty day extension to acquire the proper permits. He was finally at the point where it was going to come down. The other issue, if anybody has driven down Route 46, you’ve seen the US Fuel, is that the name of the gas station that’s next to the 7-11….they finally started taking that down. Now, they can’t start building yet, but they do have their permits to remove everything and get ready, but they have to wait for the approvals to actually build. They want to put in a convenient store, so-on, so-forth, but they are going to get that tarp….they might have taken the tarp off….what I’ve been talking about for a year now.
President Rattner: Okay, do they have the letter from the DEP stating that no further action on the clean up has to be done, because that’s usually the hard thing to get, the Brownfields clean up, that before you can do any plans, you have to get your letter, right Mr. Semrau?
Mr. Semrau: That’s correct.
President Rattner: About no further action.
Ms. Labow: I believe that’s what they’re waiting for, they can only go just so far. They were given permission to take down the island, and then they have to wait for their other…..
President Rattner: That could be a real big thing, because they keep testing…see how far….and we know some of the spills they had there, actually went under the highway right into the lake.
Ms. Labow: Yes and the thing I’m really concerned about to see what’s going to happen also, is you figure the gentleman who owns the house on the…100 feet down the road, can’t take down that building because of the Highlands, so I don’t know how far this guy at the gas station is going to get, because he’s a little further behind on the process actually, and they’re both in the same area.
President Rattner: I didn’t read that in the Highlands, Mr. Semrau, does it…..but you can build on the same footprint, and if you’re under an acre, you’re going to be exempt from it anyway.
Mr. Semrau: I’m thinking that that’s probably…..he might be exempt. That most likely is exempt, I can’t imagine….
Ms. Labow: He’s only allowed to like move forward little bits at a time, but I will say that the gentleman….. we complained, people were dumping there and he did put up the hurricane fencing, so he has a very…….
President Rattner: Mr. Semrau, could you go through, you know, check with Zoning and just make sure. I mean, if they’re having a problem, let’s make sure that they’re getting good advice in the moving, I mean, if they really want to move with all deliberate speed, we should assist them to clean up the place, because it just….you know, I mean it’s very possible when the State gets involved, but it just doesn’t seem reasonable, even for the State.
Ms. Labow: The Pride Committee also started to check out the gas station….the old Shell Station, over at the corner of Woodland and Route 46, by the Budd Lake Diner, to find out who owns that and what the status is on that, and the last project that they’re working on for clean up is Dock’s Marina. Right now they’re at the point where the owner is not responding, so….we’ll see how far that goes.
President Rattner: Well, as the Mayor has said on other things, many Mayors have tried and everyone has failed and I know it goes back at least four or five, so….you’re up to bat, Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: No problem.
Ms. Labow: I’m hoping that with the Highlands, that there is a little more, you know, a little more muscle into it, but….that’s about it. It’s been a very successful year for the Pride Committee.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: It was a pretty quiet meeting, you can….
Mr. Buell: Yes, pretty quiet meeting, they’re still designing the new school, in fact they’ve redesigned most of the rear end of the school because of the environmental problems on the property, which they had to spend an additional $69,250 to do. Actually, the design is not as good as the original because of the Highlands…or the Wetland permits they needed to do this, but they’re moving along and it looks like they’re going to be in a position to bid out the contracts for the new High School and the renovations on time. That basically…..
President Rattner: Right, and they’ll also be moving some of the portable classrooms to some of the elementary schools where there’s an immediate need, plus they have to move them anyway because that’s where they’re going to be doing some of the work for the expansion. Even with the redesign, and it isn’t as good, of circulation flow, Guy Gregg’s office did intercede to at least get an answer from the DEP quicker so that they didn’t get too far in the process. They only had about 22% of the design completed, so it wasn’t that much that had to be redone. What they were worried about is they weren’t sure of the answer and they had to go another sixty days, which the DEP was telling them, they could have been 70% - 80% done, they really didn’t want to just slow down, because they’re on a very tight schedule.
Ms. Labow: I have a question. For the concession stand, I’ve been working on that for…this will be my tenth year, we got an e-mail stating that there’s a chance that there won’t be any home football games next year because of construction, did they cover that at all?
Mr. Buell: No, not at all, they didn’t say anything at all about that.
President Rattner: Is that because they’re going to be taking some of the utilities through the field?
Ms. Labow: Yes, they…the reason why I just heard they’re upset is because that kills all of our fundraising for the Parents Club.
President Rattner: I hadn’t heard that.
Ms. Labow: Okay, I’ll check further into it, thank you.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: There has been nothing to report. Mr. Casey, other than the one person who’s come to a Council meeting, has anybody complained about the dock ordinance at this point, that the Administration knows about? You know, about having to take out and marking them, that type of thing.
Mr. Casey: I know Catherine has had some discussions with several people, but I do not know the tone of the discussions.
President Rattner: I just wanted to know if there were any complaints. We realize that this year it will be brand new and that it went in late, but I think we’re making some progress. I was just curious.
Mr. Casey: I think that the action that the governing body took to basically say that the, you know, enforcement is basically off to Spring, you know, looking forward. I have not heard of any violent reactions yet.
Mayor De La Roche: Mr. Smith spoke at the last meeting, I recall, regarding that.
President Rattner: Yes, one or two people have come to the meeting and have said when they understood exactly what they had to do and they were given some time to try and conform, it was basically a safety issue, that portable ones to be taken out of the lake. If they’re going to be left in the lake, just mark so if it snows a little bit, people would see it, so they wouldn’t get hurt. It wasn’t really unreasonable, but it will take some time, not everybody is aware of it.
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the final public portion of the year. This is your chance….the last comments you have for 2004, at a public meeting. Is there anybody from the public who would like to address the Council at this time?
Mike Foote, Budd Lake: Question. Safety Committee Liaison, Bernie Guenther, is that also for fire department, first aid squads. Is that the safety committee? Who is the liaison of the volunteer organizations?
Mr. Guenther: Fred Detoro runs the meeting. Yes, there is a liaison from every one of the emergency services. There is one from the first aid squad in Flanders, the fire department. I think Frank Wilpert is also part of that.
Mr. Foote: Are you the liaison of…
Mr. Guenther: I’m just the liaison. I just attend the meeting. In fact, it is my understanding that I’ve probably attended more meetings than had been done in the past. That sometimes they didn’t have a liaison from the Council. I just bring back the message of what is decided at the meeting.
Mr. Foote: So if a volunteer firefighter or firstaider had a complaint, they would come to you regarding the fire and first aid liaison?
Mr. Guenther: This is strictly for emergency management. It is a safety liaison that deals with township wide matters. It doesn’t deal with a specific department. I’m just the liaison. I’m just a messenger.
Mr. Foote: I don’t know so I’m just asking the Council who is the ultimate authority of the fire department. Who is in charge of the volunteer organizations?
Mr. Guenther: Ask the Administrator who has experience with that.
Mr. Casey: In Mount Olive Township, the fire department is an independent corporation which reports unto itself. The governing body does not become involved in the internal affairs of the fire department or the first aid squad.
Mr. Foote: Okay. Why is that if we’re Township employees?
Mr. Casey: They are not Township employees.
Mr. Foote: Yes, we are under Title 40. We are unpaid Township employees.
Mr. Casey: That is purely for liability for workman’s comp which is a very specific section of the law.
Mr. Foote: We get LOSAP, health benefits, death benefits from the Township of Mount Olive.
Mr. Casey: As I repeat, in Mount Olive Township, the way the current ordinances are written, the fire department is an independent organization.
Mr. Foote: Okay, so if there is a lawsuit on the fire department, it comes back to the Town, correct?
Mr. Casey: It depends upon the nature of the lawsuit.
Mr. Foote: Okay, who would you meet with if you would like to discuss an issue involving the fire department? That’s what I’m trying to get.
Mr. Casey: If a volunteer has an issue with the fire department, I would assume that they would go through the fire department mechanism which is the Chief and the President of the department.
Mr. Foote: Okay, if you don’t get nowhere with them, then where do you go?
Mr. Casey: I don’t believe in Mount Olive Township that you have recourse to the governing body.
Mr. Foote: Okay and the Council is happy with that decision?
Mr. Greenbaum: Mike, it’s not a question of whether we are happy with that decision. It’s a question of what the law provides and I’d like to get a legal opinion as to whether or not that is accurate.
Mr. Semrau: It is accurate. One of the things that has been discussed this Fall was to see if there was a way that some of the disciplinary matters for the fire department, if this governing body was interested in working with the organizations in trying to set up some type of disciplinary review position procedure but….
Mr. Foote: Right, that was my wife.
Mr. Semrau: But that is something that is still under works. There has been a change in the Business Administrator and we are in the process of trying to coordinate that because we would need the consent of the fire departments in order to implement that and, of course, the consent of the Council.
Mr. Foote: Correct. That was my wife that put that resolution in and she’s tried to talk to Mr. Casey but no phone calls have been returned.
Mr. Casey: I, specifically, sent a letter back indicating that, and I’ll be frank with you, based upon my knowledge of what happened in Roxbury Township, this last year where they just made a $50,000 pay out when the Township became involved in a case, and they have a different legal structure in Roxbury, totally different…
Mr. Foote: I understand.
Mr. Casey: But I would not recommend that this Township enter into a same type of agreement to lay yourself open to that type of liability and I corresponded directly with Dawn and told her that. I would strongly recommend that this company, and I would be happy to explain the difference between the two structures because I’m very familiar with both of them, as to why I would not recommend it but I think the attorney is exactly right. The issue is whether the governing body wants to open that door.
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, at the end of last summer, and it was agreed between the Administration and the Council after Fred did an analysis or did some research about what other towns have, and it was agreed, it was before you got here, and obviously we’ve had some changes, that the Administration would sit down and go back to the chiefs of each one of the organizations and say, “This is what we have. Is there some type of mechanism, consistent mechanism, we can have that satisfies everybody’s needs?” I know I was surprised with your letter because the Administration did say that they would do that first to try to get, to basically mediate, I guess, with the chiefs saying, “Listen there is something. We have to be concerned about getting…these are the conversations that we’ve had…keeping the volunteers, keeping and encouraging people to come and stay and there should be some sort of outlet.” We didn’t necessarily want it coming back to the Council. I mean, this is just very messy for anybody involved but it was something that was agreed that we would sit down with each one of the chiefs and see if they could come up, right Mr. Semrau, from the information that we had, if there were any good areas or some sort of consistent appeal process that everybody would at least know. They would put it in the handbook, this is the process you go through because right now it isn’t real clear and the complaints we were getting, it was catch-can. When this issue came up, it was decided by the executive board of each one of the organizations, I’m not going to single any out because everyone did it differently, how they would address the appeals, how they would hear a grievance and we were trying to look at something that was more standard because we have standard benefits, as Mr. Foote would say, with some of the things that we do do, there are certain regulations about who is supposed to approve because I believe the Statute says that any fireman or rescue worker has to be approved by the Council.
Mr. Casey: That’s purely for the relief association, that’s an old law.
Mr. Rattner: It doesn’t matter. We are still doing it but we said that is what we would do to try and work with the chiefs to come up with something standard.
Mr. Casey: All I would suggest is that you may want the attorney to review what happened in Roxbury before you guys go forward on that.
President Rattner: I think the attorney was actually involved with it so he is very well aware of it.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have a comment.
Mr. Semrau: I think it’s a fair point and I think you know really where we left off, and then Bob you came in to the picture, was for us to maybe have an opportunity to talk about it and then meet with the representatives of the organizations to get some feedback and then take it back to the Council with some of the recommendations like you just made.
Mr. Greenbaum: The flaw in your argument, Bob, as I see it is that we provide worker’s compensation benefits, we’ve open the door for the Township, for whatever reasons and they may be justified, to litigation in worker’s compensation court for injuries received on the job. So in essence, we’ve already decided for reasons that make sense, you know, if someone is out fighting a fire, that we will take on that liability as a Township. To Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): me, the door is open. So maybe, if we are not going to open the door, maybe what we need to do is review whether or not that we should actually be covering these people for worker’s compensation.
Mr. Casey: Workman’s comp is required by law to be provided to the volunteer fire departments. That is a State law.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. I learned something new.
Mr. Casey: I’d be happy to meet. Fred, you and I should sit and talk. I’m just saying, there are some issues that came out in the Roxbury case that I was surprised with and I’d be very concerned about that precedent carrying forward.
Mr. Buell: I think you would also need to look at the specifics of this issue.
Mr. Casey: I recognize that they are different operations. I’m just saying that I was surprised when I saw what happened in that case and I think that is something that the attorney should look at closely.
President Rattner: We did make some representations to different people, including Mr. Foote, that this is the process we would follow. I mean it was well known because we discussed it publicly.
Mr. Foote: Mr. Casey, just to let you know, I was thrown out of Budd Lake Fire Department on April 10th after 23 years of service and if you think Judy Shoudy’s case was a mess for Roxbury, Mount Olive is going to have a mess. Thank you.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: This question goes out to the Mayor. I was wondering if you ever had any discussions within the last couple of weeks, regarding garbage removal on Route 46, with any of the…any of your staff?
Mayor De La Roche: Garbage removal on Route 46?
Mr. Jones: Correct.
President Rattner: Mayor, I don’t think we’re picking you up. Is your mike on, because we’re not picking you up?
Mayor De La Roche: I’m not too sure I understand the question, you’re talking about garbage pickup on Route 46?
Mr. Jones: Correct.
Mayor De La Roche: No, I haven’t had any discussions.
Mr. Jones: Have you ever discussed with any residents, termination of employees of the Township?
Mayor De La Roche: I don’t really understand the question. If you’re asking me about garbage pickup, no, I haven’t.
Mr. Jones: This was a separate question. This question regards termination of Municipal employees. It’s a separate question.
President Rattner: Mr. Jones, I have to ask, where are you going with this? I mean, obviously, personnel matters I’m not sure if the Mayor would even be allowed to speak with that…you know.
Mr. Jones: Well, that’s my question, if he ever spoke with any residents about it…about terminations, specifically Charlie Uhrmann, regarding termination of Frank Wilpert.
Mr. Semrau: Well, you know, Mayor, at this point, also, I mean, you certainly…..you’re not obligated to answer these types of questions either if you’d rather not comment, you’re entitled to do that as well.
Mayor De La Roche: I’m aware of that, I have no problem in answering any questions that are asked of me. I still don’t understand what you’re talking about with garbage pickup on Route 46.
Mr. Jones: You already answered that question.
Mayor De La Roche: Okay, so you’re asking me another question, I’m sorry, and what was the second question?
Mr. Jones: I’m asking if you’ve had any discussions regarding termination of Municipal employees, specifically Frank Wilpert, with any members of the public?
Mayor De La Roche: I think most everybody involved in government, probably in two Counties, has had discussions with Mrs. Uhrmann regarding Mr. Wilpert, including the State, the County, probably every governmental body in the entire State.
Mr. Jones: Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Jones. Anybody else?
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: Just to kind of close out the year, I was just wondering what the final resolution of the Elms Radio Tower investigation was?
Ms. Labow: Good question.
Mr. Greenbaum: From my perspective, we paid for the report that we never got.
Ms. Labow: And we asked not to pay it and the check went out anyway, right?
Mr. Casey: If I might, the status of that is that Mr. Elms….we had correspondence back from him relative to the issuance of the use of that tower. In that correspondence, he indicated that he used the site to operate a professional business. He has been notified by the Zoning Officer that if he is to continue that usage, it would require an additional use permit from the Township and should he return to the Township and reestablish that use, he would have to apply for that. Since he is not in the Township at this point in time, it’s a moot issue until he comes back to operate that business. We have a response from him and in that response, he indicates very specifically that the antenna in question was not for commercial activity other than his own use for his business, and that’s when he was notified that it takes a conditional use permit from the Planning Board should he decide to reactivate that business.
Mr. Russell: Okay thank you.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum, you wanted to say something?
Mr. Greenbaum: Bob, have you seen the report that we paid for?
Mr. Casey: Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: Can we get a copy of that please?
Ms. Jenkins: I don’t know that we paid for that yet, I’m going to double check on that.
President Rattner: We paid for it.
Mr. Greenbaum: We paid for it.
President Rattner: The check had been reissued after we voted it down, and that did happen.
Ms. Jenkins: Okay, because there was discussion, I thought that it was not… I’m going to double check that.
President Rattner: It was reissued a month later.
Ms. Labow: It was reissued and sent out. Can I ask a question?
President Rattner: Go ahead, Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: This case, I don’t know if you’re familiar with all of it, remember in reading some of the correspondence going back and forth regarding the Elms Tower, that when Mr. Elms had gone all the way to the Appellate Division, he was….one of the conditions was that the Township would let him keep the tower if he wrote a letter stating that it would be for personal use only, and they requested it twice. He never wrote the letter, and then some…I think it was an article in one of the papers, said that when they were researching it, they found that he had applied for four FCC licenses and on the applications he put down it was for commercial use.
Mr. Casey: One of the issues that’s in that report, and is also in his correspondence, is that the license frequency that he is using is a commercial license frequency. Whether, in fact, that is for commercial use, or that’s the frequency he uses, is one of the issues that’s open. However, in his response, that we’ll supply a copy…when he responded back to us, he indicated he did use the tower for his business purposes and that’s what triggered the fact that that would require a conditional permit from the Planning Board should he reactivate that use. We will provide that information to you, it’s correspondence which occurred within the last three weeks.
Ms. Labow: Good, thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Seeing none, I’ll close the final public portion.
President Rattner: And ask for final Council comments.
Mr. Buell: Happy New Year.
Ms. Labow: Happy New Year everyone.
Mr. Guenther: I do have a comment. Quickly, on the school and having read the article in the paper, to me it’s mind boggling the kind of regulations that we’re subjected to and the whims of the DEP and I think that if you read the article in the paper, I think it was the Daily Record, I’m not sure. It’s just….this is a man-made ditch, or man-made drainage and they consider it wetlands. They make the school completely add to the taxpayer’s expense…our taxpayers in this town, completely redo the drawings, and I guess now we’ve also had to sacrifice the field….
Mr. Buell: Several of the fields, yes.
President Rattner: And we’re sacrificing safety….this plan has blind hallways now.
Mr. Guenther: They had to move them closer to the…the driveway closer to the school, eliminate some parking spaces, I mean, just for a man-made culvert I guess it was, or a ditch. It’s just….there seems to be no logic at the State level when they consider these things. I’m just….I was very aggravated when I read that.
President Rattner: And that ditch was dug when they put in the sewer line, when they got the easement with all DEP permits, to insure that there would be no runoff from the school property onto the B&H property. It was put there as a requirement to protect the park at the direction. One of the other things that’s even more interesting is you remember we went through for a year about the access road. The access road was reconfigured and that’s why they needed another 10,000 square feet, because they moved it. Why they moved it was because one department the DEP said put the road alongside the drainage ditch so you do less disruption of the property and then another department said the storm water rules doesn’t allow you to use that now, because now you have to be 150 feet from it. That’s what happened. Now, of course, what I always question…well, did the professionals really ask the right question, but that’s a separate issue, but it is ridiculous, especially with the safety, and that’s probably the bottom line. Worrying about a ditch was more important than the safety of the students with the security.
Mr. Guenther: Anyway, Happy New Year to everybody except the DEP.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have several comments and both of them are directed to the Mayor. I was happy to see that you did the right thing by revising what had been placed on the website. It’s unfortunate that it had to be discussed in public and that it was the subject of various editorials in the newspaper before you fixed what was Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): wrong. I was disheartened by your response to my questions when the issue was discussed at the Council meeting, but I hope that type of problem will not happen again in the future with regard to Township property. The second issue that I have is your response with respect to the Library bill. While I can understand Mr. Casey’s position, in that he wasn’t there, the Library Board is a Mayoral board and you are the member of that Board, although my understanding is that you’ve….you have someone in sitting…..you have Linda Rosa sitting in for you at the Library Board meetings. Notwithstanding that, you are….that is your Board and as your Board recommends that the payment be made, I would expect that you would endorse that recommendation of your Board. I find this to be a continuing problem, Mayor, that you don’t step up to the plate when a decision has to be made, that you either say you didn’t know about, you don’t take responsibility for it, or you sidestep the issue completely…..
Mayor De La Roche: Is it alright if we put this on the internet, because this is political statements I believe, right?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes.
Mayor De La Roche: Why don’t we put this on the internet also? You can use the Mayor’s page even, if you like.
Mr. Greenbaum: That’s really the end of my comments.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Greenbaum. I just want to wish everybody a Happy and better New Year. I want to make special acknowledgement to what we consider our regulars, everybody, even the people who don’t agree with us, yes that even means you, Mr. De La Roche, because it still takes a lot of time out of your day, and to come down and sit through this all the time, the press who we get to know very very well, that love/hate relationship depending on what day of the week it is and what edition comes out, and we’ll be starting a new year, a new start and we have a lot of issues ahead of us. We’ve closed out some, a lot of them continue, and there’ll be new ones with the new regulations. So, with that I’ll move for adjournment.
Mr. Greenbaum: Second.
All were in favor and the meeting adjourned at 8:40 pm.
Robert J. Greenbaum, 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 February 8, 2005.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk