Township Council Minutes
February 22, 2005
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:29 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION
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. Mund, Mr. Guenther(7:31pm), Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Perkins
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; Bob Casey, Acting Business Administrator; Fred Semrau, Township
Attorney; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk
President Greenbaum: Let the record reflect that Mr. Perkins is out on excused sick leave.
Field Hockey Presentation
President Greenbaum: At this point, it is my great pleasure to turn the meeting over to the Mayor for a presentation of Field Hockey Certificates.
Mayor De La Roche: First I have a proclamation prior to that.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, are you doing the Read Across America Proclamation first?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Read Across America Proclamation
Mayor De La Roche: This is a proclamation for Read Across America Day. Whereas, the citizens of Mount Olive Township stand firmly committed to promoting reading as a catalyst for our students’ future academic success, their preparation for America’s jobs of the future, and their ability to compete in a global economy; and Whereas, Mount Olive Township has provided significant leadership in the area of community involvement in the education of our youth grounded in the principle that educational investment is key to the community’s well being and long-term quality of life; and Whereas, NEA’s Read Across America, a national celebration of reading, will be conducted on March 2nd, 2005 which would have been the 101st birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss; and Whereas, Read Across America-NJ is being conducted statewide by the New Jersey Education Association in partnership with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Library Association, Saturn-UAW, and the local affiliates across the State to promote reading and adult involvement in the education of our community students. Now Therefore Be It Proclaimed that I, Richard De La Roche, Mayor of Mount Olive Township, do hereby proclaim March 2nd, 2005 as Read Across America Day in the Township of Mount Olive. It’s signed and sealed and signed by me and sealed by Lisa Lashway, Clerk of the Township.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. We’re going to move right on to the Field Hockey Presentations.
Field Hockey Presentation
Mayor De La Roche: Thank you. In fact, I have one of the coaches to help me with this. First of all, let me say that I am very proud to recognize the Mount Olive High School 2004 Girl’s Field Hockey Team for their outstanding accomplishment in winning the 2004 North Jersey Group Championship. Please come up when I call your name, if you would, thank you…..or…when your coach calls your name.
Bridget Geiger: Some of it….I should preface this….many of the girls had a basketball game…our last basketball game for the girls – they’re home and the boys are away. Several of the girls are statisticians and some of the girls had to work tonight, some of the seniors.
Jenna Grossman Erin Brown
Melissa Archer Kayla Cilenti
Kayla Christiano Noelle Diana
Lauren DeBaene Jesse Ehrhadt
Maureen Dutton Terri Garlewicz
Stacey Fitzgibbons Megan Hurley
Stephanie Heasman Caitlin Kelly
Casey Jenkins Katrina Kovats
Cristin Kelly Katherine Morrison
Stephanie Kucerovy Marissa Offerding
Brittany Offerding Kathleen Priest
Michelle Piscitelli Megan Spitzer
Jacqueline Sendgikoski Allison Toth
Jamie Taylor Nikki Gnozzio
Head Coach: Brigitte Geiger Assistant Coach: Megan Selowentchich
Assistant Coach: Amy Bott Assistant Coach: Tara Gialanella
Mrs. Lashway: Mrs. Geiger, do you want to put on the record what the accomplishment is?
Mrs. Geiger: Yes. The Mayor already mentioned it and I’ll mention it again. The girls…they won two titles this season, they were the North Jersey Section 1, Group 3 Champs and from there we go on and we play Section 2 for the North Jersey Title. So, we were the North Jersey Group 3 State Champions. We were the… we finished as a runner up in Group 3 for the State behind a team that was ranked two in the State, three in the Nation, and is sending at least six girls on to play Division 1, full scholarship, and we lost to them 2 to 1 in the closest game of the day at the College of New Jersey, the most well-skilled game that I’ve heard still months later, everyone said what a great game the girls played and we played a State powerhouse, we scared them, we gave them a run for their money, but they’re the North Jersey Group 3 Champs. Clapping….. Thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: Thank you and, of course, the township is very proud of you and we do offer you our congratulations as messed up as the handing out of the certificates was, we are very proud of each and everyone of you and we thank you.
President Greenbaum: You know, it was quite the pleasure this year. I followed the exploits of the girl’s field hockey team through the season in the Daily Record in terms of watching the team come on and win, and win, and win, and it seems like, over the past few years, the girl’s field hockey team has been the most successful athletic team in Mount Olive and we’re all very proud and you’ve done great things for the township. Bernie, do you have something you wanted to add?
Mr. Guenther: I have a special place in my heart for the field hockey team, because I think one of the….. maybe it was the third year that my daughter played and was an All-State player for Bridget Geiger and she has done wonderful things for this program over the years and I think this is just a culmination of a great career with Mount Olive. Clapping….
President Greenbaum: Okay, I don’t know if you want to stay for the rest of the meeting, but you guys are free to go, if that’s what you want to do. Just kidding, you have to stay……congratulations. At this point, I’m going to deviate slightly from the agenda. I’ve had a special request to be heard on an issue. At this point, I’d ask Judy Hirky if you want to come up to the microphone and just state your name and address and the issue that you’re here to discuss this evening.
Judith Hirky, Lozier Lane, Budd Lake: Since news of my letter regarding the Library has been publicized, I’ve had quite a response from others at the Senior Center, as well as a number of comments from residents. I have now received my invitation to the dedication of the state-of-the-art Library facility. Tell me where the state-of-the-art parking is. It appears I’m far from being alone in my opinion, quite a few people have told me of their similar problems accessing the Library. Some have emphysema, arthritis, back problems, walking problems, a whole list of physical ailments, others have friends and relatives who struggle and can emphasize. Many people commented on the incline from the parking area and lamented the lack of automatic doors. Some say just managing toddlers, books and strollers through the heavy doors are enough of a problem, let alone
Mrs. Hirky(cont’d): getting a wheelchair through, add in our weather conditions, to read that the issue will not be discussed until the end of March, after the Library architects responds, seven weeks from the time of my letter, is another slap. Let me be clear that I personally spoke to the Library Board Members and the Librarian during the design and construction period about parking for the physically challenged, and was assured it would be conveniently located. Others have also told me of their similar conversations. Who authorized changing the location of the parking spaces, one person or a committee? Were we lied to about the parking? Reading the quotes in the paper, has been quite enlightening. Read between the lines. It is quite clear to me the issue is to have an attractive and unobstructed view of the building rather than to accommodate the physically challenged. Some Library Board members have been sympathetic and are eager to correct the problem. Despite the Library Director’s position that if we call ahead, she will help us once we get there, it is not acceptable. Here is the message – we want to go when we choose and how we choose, and you need to be prepared when we arrive, and the problem needs to be fixed now. To be on a building committee is more than getting your name on a plaque. The committee should have included the physically challenged and employees who will maintain the building, besides the Library Committee. To have a building go through the scrutiny of an architect, engineer, design committee, planning board, inspectors, Council and Administration, and then have this problem arise is inexcusable. If the parking spaces for the physically challenged were in the approved design but not the final construction, then the temporary occupancy certificate should not have been granted. Certainly no final occupancy certificate should be granted until this is fixed. The design pictures hanging in this hallway show cars parked in front. Getting from the parking lot to this room for me to speak tonight was enough of a problem. Now we have a second building with the same problem. I would much rather have been writing a letter of praise for the new facility. This is not rocket science. I will be quite pleased to go out with someone tomorrow and show them where the spaces should be. Order automatic door openers, benches, scooters, pave new spaces and send the Library the bill. Let’s get this done, or as an alternative, just beam me in, Scottie. Thank you.
Ms. Labow: Thanks, Judy.
President Greenbaum: Judy, do you have an extra copy of that statement, or do you want to leave it with Lisa? Thank you. Bernie, you had something?
Mr. Guenther: Well, my only question is, Bob, do you know if, I mean, there are certain ADA requirements that this Library had, right?
Mr. Casey: The Library meets the technical ADA requirements relative to the elevations, etc. The requirements are that the parking spaces should be the nearest to the building, but it doesn’t say how far the nearest is. In other words, if you have a parking lot, they have to be…the building is….the parking lot necessarily….there’s no requirement except for the fact that from that point into the building, certain grade elevations, and we know those grade elevations are there. I think what Ms. Hirky is talking about is that even though it may meet the four corners of the law, it may not be the most suitable arrangement from her standpoint, and that’s why we’re waiting for the architect to the Library…for them to come back to us and say okay, you have a design change, show us what the design change is, and it’s really…the ball is in their court, they’re the ones who designed the Library and they’re the ones who did site planning, and we’re waiting to respond to them in terms of…..and they are aware of the situation, as she indicated. We’re waiting to get a response back from the architect as to whether, in fact, he feels adjustments can be made and how.
Mr. Guenther: What about the automatic door? Is that…..that isn’t part of the ADA requirement?
Mr. Casey: There are requirements for certain energy loads, or whatever you have to….you know,
Mr. Guenther: I know what you mean.
Mr. Casey: The foot panel, you know, to open the doors. I don’t know right now what those are, I’m working under the assumption that the Building Department looked at that issue, I’ll raise the issue with them to see if it’s there, or whether it’s a matter of code or not, I’m not aware of that one.
Mr. Guenther: Because it surprises me, I mean, I’ve been in and out of hospitals a lot the last couple of weeks, I mean, everywhere there, you know, it’s always a button that you, you know, push. I mean, how do wheelchairs get into the Library unless they have that feature? It just doesn’t make any sense.
President Greenbaum: Well, Mr. Casey has said that he’s going to look at that issue, I don’t think that there’s anything more for him to…..
Mr. Guenther: Oh no, I just….
President Greenbaum: It’s a good point. Is there anyone else on Council, Mr. Rattner…I saw you with your hand up, Mr. Bonte.
Mr. Rattner: I thought that we had a committee that was supposed to review all handicap access on new construction after we made the mistake in Flanders Field with the Tot Lot.
President Greenbaum: There definitely was an ADA compliance committee. I know that Mr. Weiner was on it.
Mr. Rattner: So was Mr. Spino and a couple of other people.
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: And they were supposed to review that, because, you know, things like this can happen, I mean, you know, you can be as conscious about it, but we set that up specifically so we wouldn’t have this type of situation again, because it was an embarrassment when, you know, we opened up the park and there were a number of children that couldn’t get onto the Tot Lot, and I think we should make sure where that committee is and make sure they get active and find out what they’re supposed to do.
President Greenbaum: I’ll get a letter out to them. Thank you. Mr. Bonte. I assume it’s on this issue.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: You know, there’s probably not a single person in this room who can say they’ve done more for the betterment of Mount Olive, than Judy Hirky, and I think everybody that’s here will agree with that. So, having said that, there’s also probably nobody in this room who has complained less about Mount Olive or the things that go on in this town, than Judy Hirky, and I think a lot of you will also agree with that. So, to have Judy come here with this problem, you know that this is a real problem. This is not somebody that regularly complains, or doesn’t do anything for this community. If the design was changed, possibly even after the ADA committee looked at this and approved it, that it needs to be rectified, but certainly we need to enhance the access for the people that have a hard time getting into the Library. They’re probably the major users of this facility.
President Greenbaum: We’re looking at the issue.
Mr. Bonte: Okay. I just wanted to….I just wanted to….
President Greenbaum: You wanted to amplify.
Mr. Bonte: And to focus on the fact that this is not coming from somebody that complains all the time or who doesn’t do anything for this town. So, I wanted you all to be aware of that.
President Greenbaum: And as I amended the agenda, so that Judy could speak at an early point in time. You know, Judy knows how we all feel about her, I’m sure. Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: I just want to say that this issue became….came to the floor at our last meeting of the Library Board and a suggestion was made that we cut spaces into part of the lawn in the front to accommodate the handicap, as well as benches and so forth. So, it is being looked at, we were aware of it….became aware of it after the temporary CO and it’s being worked on, we have the architect and the engineer and everybody else looking at it to try and correct the situation. So, it’s not that it’s being ignored, it’s a matter of getting the proper expertise on it to straighten it out.
President Greenbaum: Bob, we do have on for discussion the handicap issue in March, do we not?
Mr. Casey: I think you moved it forward to some point in time, but we were waiting really for, as the Mayor indicated, a response from the Library’s professional staff as to what they want to do. The issue that I’m most interested in is the issue that was raised relative to the amount of front pull on the doors. I think….that’s why I want to talk to our code people on, to find out what the requirements are, because I’m not aware of what the requirements are. I know I’ve seen them, I just don’t know what they are.
President Greenbaum: I understand that. Judy, you’re going to have to be patient, because things don’t happen overnight, but the issue is on the agenda for discussion and fix.
Mrs. Hirky: (very hard to understand – not at the mike) The big concern is that it will be pushed off……
President Greenbaum: I understand.
Ms. Labow: No, it won’t.
Mr. Guenther: You know what, it’s not going to be pushed off, Judy.
Ms. Labow: It’s not going to get pushed off, Judy.
President Greenbaum: We’ll leave it as a listed item under Old Business, which will be discussed at every meeting so that it will not fall through the cracks, and it will get resolved.
Mr. Guenther: Excuse me, Mr. President. Does the architect have a deadline for getting back to us?
Mr. Casey: They know they have a temporary CO and they also know that they really can’t do any concrete or asphalt work until the middle of March / early April, so we’re working, you know….we’re working on the assumption, we may be wrong, that he’s moving for that date, although as the Mayor indicated, they’re having discussions, so I don’t know if the Library Board yet has resolved this problem.
Ms. Labow: No.
Mayor De La Roche: No, it was left in the hands of the Library Director so that she could contact the architect and get him to rectify the problem, and that would happen at the last meeting.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Casey, could you contact the Library Director, and make sure that she has done that, that she has contacted the architect and he is aware of the fact that we do need an update on that?
Mr. Casey: Okay.
Ms. Labow: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Bob, I’m going to have Lisa contact you also with the tickler on the date that we have the handicap issue on, so that we can discuss it at that point in time.
Mr. Casey: Alright.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Questions on Bill List?
President Greenbaum: Let’s move on with the agenda. At this point, any questions on the Bill List from any member of Council? Seeing none, Mr. Russell, did you have any questions on the Bill List that you’re going to want to ask later on, so that the Administration could possibly get you the answers, just to identify?
Mr. Russell: I didn’t get a copy of the Bill List.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Anyone else from the audience who had questions on the Bill List, who wants to raise them at this point in time?
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
January 25, 2005 Present: Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Greenbaum
Absent: Mr. Buell, Mr. Perkins and Mr. Rattner
February 8, 2005 CS Present: President Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Guenther
Absent: Mr. Perkins (recused), Mr. Mund
President Greenbaum: Moving on, Approval of Minutes of Previous Meetings. Ms. Labow, do you want to move the minutes even though Mr. Buell is listed, I see he was absent for one of the meetings.
Ms. Labow: I would like to move for approval of the Minutes from January 25th, 2005, and the Closed Session from February 8th, 2005.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any changes, deletions, modifications? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously except Mr. Buell abstained from January 25th and
Mr. Mund abstained from February 8th, Mr. Rattner abstained from
LETTER FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS
1. E-mail received February 9, 2005, from Anne Wisnewski, Flanders regarding Sports Lighting Impact on Residents.
2. Letter received February 9, 2005, from David J. Jones, Budd Lake regarding complaints made by the Uhrmann’s.
3. Letter received February 16, 2004, from Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Committee regarding 2005 Parade in Morristown.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
4. Resolution received February 7, 2005, from the Township of Belleville regarding support of Senate Bill S-1023 and Assembly Bill A-1835 which would require the State to reimburse Municipalities for the reimbursement and payment of property taxes that disabled veterans are exempt from payment.
5. Notice received February 7, 2005, from Washington Township regarding Public Hearing on Washington Township Master Plan – Municipal Stormwater Management Plan Element.
6. Notice received February 7, 2005, from Township of Roxbury regarding Amendments to the Roxbury Township Master Plan Land Use Element and Housing Plan Element and Fair Share Plan.
7. Ordinance received February 7, 2005, from Township of Roxbury regarding Land Use.
8. Resolution received February 7, 2005, from Township of Cherry Hill regarding requiring the State to reimburse municipalities for the exemption of disabled veterans from payment of property taxes.
9. Notice of Pending Ordinance received February 9, 2005, from Township of Chester regarding Land Use.
10. Resolution received via e-mail February 9, 2005, from Township of Parsippany–Troy Hills opposing the provisions of New Jersey State Assembly Bill A-2360 and New Jersey State Senate Bill S-641. (More Lucrative benefits on members of Police and Fire Retirement System)
11. Resolution received February 14, 2005, from Rockaway Township regarding opposition to the enactment of Assembly Bill A-3529 (payment of Municipal Employees who become disabled on the job).
12. Resolution received February 16, 2005, from Township of Hanover regarding position of Township Committee in support of immediate and comprehensive property tax reform.
13. Notice received February 16, 2005, from Courter, Kobert & Cohen, P.C regarding application for Rin Robyn Pools to Washington Township for Variance approval.
14. Resolution received February 18, 2005, from the Borough of Mt. Arlington regarding expanding local responsibilities under the condo services act.
15. Resolution received February 18, 2005, from Town of Morristown regarding requesting the legislature to adopt legislation clarifying the intent of NJSA 40A:14-42 through 45 to require absolute preference in hiring of volunteer Firefighters after veteran residents.
DOT / DEP / LOI
16. Letter received February 11, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Transportation regarding Approval of Ordinance 46-2003 – Four ton weight Limitation, Mooney Road, Patricia Drive, Mount olive Township, Morris County.
17. Letter received February 11, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Seneca Highlands Block 8800, Lot 33 (65-77 Smithtown Road).
18. Letter received February 11, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Pre-cancellation Letter for Freshwater Wetlands Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Application Applicant : White Gate Homes c/o Richard Valentino, Block 2801; Lot 29 (65 Waterloo Road, Budd Lake)
19. Letter received February 14, 2005, from EcolScience, Inc. regarding Application for Highlands Preservation Area Letter of Interpretation Block 402, Lot 2 (204 Waterloo Valley Road)
20. Letter received February 14, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Letter of Interpretation – Presence / Absence Determination Extension – Applicant: Commerce Bank North Block 5400; Lot 27 (55 & 66 Flanders Bartley Road)
21. Letter received February 16, 2005, from EcolSciences, Inc. regarding Application for a Highlands Preservation Area Letter of Interpretation Block 402, Lot 5 (310 Waterloo Valley Road, Budd Lake)
22. Letter received February 16, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Applicant: Joseph Bucci Block 4200, Lots 16, 17 & 18. (58 Old Ledgewood Road)
23. Letter received February 17, 2005, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Robert G. Perkoski, Notice of Violation.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
24. E-mail received February 14, 2005, From DCA regarding Cross Acceptance.
25. Legislative Bulletin received February 16, 2005, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bills that were enacted as Public Laws for 2004-2005.
26. Notice of Tort Claim received February 17, 2005, from Janet Gelman regarding incident on March 19, 2004.
27. Agenda received February 11, 2005, from New Jersey Highlands Council regarding the February 17, 2005, meeting.
28. Preliminary Equalization Table received February 14, 2005, regarding County of Morris for the year 2005.
29. Public Hearing Notice received February 14, 2005, from Warren County Planning Department regarding the Warren County Cross Acceptance report.
30. Letter received February 16, 2005, from South Branch Watershed Association regarding Green Acres Application.
President Greenbaum: There are 30 pieces of correspondence listed in the agenda, are there any comments, questions from Council on any particular piece of correspondence? Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, we got a letter…a copy of a letter that was sent to a farmer in town with a notice of violation, stating that the DEP attempted to look to see if he was conforming with the wetlands or storm water rules, and he’s being given a violation for failure to allow access. Do we know what that is and has it been resolved with them yet? Or what were they looking for?
Mr. Casey: I read the letter, like you did, with great interest, trying to find out what it was and then suddenly realized the DEP was threatening the gentleman with a $1,000 fine for failure to allow them to go on his property to verify whether, in fact, he was in violation of wetlands, but I have not seen anything other than that, so we have nothing back from that…other than that.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, I would like to try to find out from the DEP what is it that they want to inspect, to find out if it’s something serious or is it some petty thing. I know the farmer and I know he gets upset very easily, so you don’t know if it’s something major that they were looking for, or something small and he told them to take a hike, because he’s done that here.
President Greenbaum: Any other comments or questions on any piece of correspondence?
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Greenbaum: Seeing none, we’ll move on to Ordinances for public hearing. At this point, I will open the meeting up on Ordinance #1-2005, entitled:
Ord. #1-2005 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Article IX Entitled “Development Fee and Affordable Housing Contribution” of Chapter 400 Entitled “Land Use” to Revise the Affordable Housing Fee Percentages Applied to Residential and Nonresidential Development in Accordance with the Current Rules of the Council on Affordable Housing.
President Greenbaum: Is there any member of the public who wishes to be heard on this Ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close it and ask Ms. Labow to move Ordinance #1-2005.
Ms. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #1-2005.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: I declare Ordinance #1-2005 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. At this point in time, I’ll open the meeting to the public on Ordinance #2-2005, entitled:
Ord. #2-2005 Refunding Bond Ordinance Providing for Payment of Amounts Owing to BASF Corporation for Taxes Levied on Property Located at 3000 Continental Drive in and By the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $1,320,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $1,320,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township for Financing the Cost Thereof.
President Greenbaum: Anyone from the public who would like to be heard on this ordinance? Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I guess the first question I would like to ask the Council is when you get your credit card bill and they send you these checks that allow you to transfer your balances to other credit cards, how many of you use them? No one? So, why are you doing this to us? Why would we want to take a current expense that has absolutely no returning benefit to the township, like when you pave a road, or put in a water line, or install curbs or sidewalks, take a current operating expense and take a loan out for it and pay for it over the next five years? It’s either lunacy or it’s an attempt to keep the taxes low for certain people that are running for election this fall. Otherwise, this makes no sense. Pay the bill, don’t incur additional debt on the township residents, the finance charges, bond counsel fees, and lawyers fees to pay an operational debt. Just bite the bullet, explain to the residents why we have this increase this year and it was in the best interest of the township Mr. Bonte(cont’d): to pay this debt off and not finance a debt like you would a television set or a computer from the Wiz or Best Buy. Do the right thing.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public. Mr. Guenther, do you want to move Ordinance #2-2005.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #2-2005.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Greenbaum: Is there any discussion?
Ms. Labow: I noticed Sherry is not here tonight and the night that we decided on this….was proposed to us, we had Gary Higgins here and Sherry was here and this was not a decision that was made lightly in order to do this, and unfortunately I don’t understand all the finance end of all the…..I don’t know if Steve wants to explain it in a little more detail on why we came to it.
Mr. Casey: Sherry is sick tonight, I’d be happy, if you want further explanation, for the purpose of record, to explain what’s going on. Just for those in the audience who may not be aware of it, this relates to the fact that the township, through a tax appeal, had to refund to BASF, funds that they already paid to the township, approximately $1.3 million. Now, you have to understand that this is not an expense, as Mr. Bonte indicated, this is reality of returning to a taxpayer taxes that they paid, which we have already transferred over to the schools and the County, because the township, as you know, is the collector of taxes, but not necessarily the expender of the majority of the money which is collected. This money was collected, it was later determined that it was in excess of the value of the property, due to the fact that the property is now vacant, and consequently the township must refund the money, we must refund it in a very timely manner, because if we don’t, there are special rules governing the amount of interest that we have to pay to the taxpayer after a certain point in time. Looking at that hit, that $1.3 million, the staff made a recommendation to the Mayor and the Council that, in terms of easing the burden on the taxpayer, that it would be most appropriate to take that over six years. Yes, it’s really what we’re saying is…is it’s one cent on the tax rate each year for the next six years to refund that money, but we have to refund the money now. So, the recommendation that we made is because this is a unique situation, it is not an expense because we didn’t buy anything with it, we have to return money that was collected, based upon a tax appeal, that we felt it was best that we eased that burden on the taxpayers over six years and also, hopefully, upon the premise that BASF sells their property, and we have a new tenant come in, and maybe in fact, we’ll be able to increase that assessment in the future, we can always dream, and maybe recoup some of that money. So the reality is it was a recommendation of the staff to the Mayor and Council, the staff being the Township Auditor, the Finance Director and myself, that in fact this particular unique situation could best be handled by a phased payout over six years, rather than paying the whole thing off at one time and that’s the reason for it. We have received the approval of the Division of Local Government Services in Trenton for this, they require that all refunding bonds be approved by them and we’re basically going to be seeking the bond notes on this relatively soon, because the interest rates now are fairly good and we are anticipating they are going to go up in the very near future, given the way the market is going. So, the bottom line is, we owe them $1.3 million, we have to pay them the $1.3 million now, the only issue is whether we basically raise that $1.3 million in one year or six years and we felt it was best raising it in six years in order to make it easier for our taxpayers.
Mr. Guenther: A question, Bob, are you….you brought up a very good point in that the monies collected in the past were portioned over different expenses of the town, meaning that as far as the township portion of this, where we’re dealing with approximately 20% of the total taxes of the town and 70%….probably around 70%, 75% for the schools, and the rest goes to the County, there was no way of getting that money back from the school or the County, correct?
Mr. Casey: There’s no way of getting it back from the school, the County…we may be able to get some of that back from the County, but there is a time lag and unfortunately we have to pay them before the County…. whatever, refund that. We normally do get, Fred may be more familiar with this, we normally do get some money back from the County on major appeals like this over time, but there’s a….obviously, the County also has a problem with….this is a fair amount of a chunk of change that’s floating around.
Mr. Semrau: Right, and we have sixty days from the time the judgment is entered, to repay the taxpayer and you’re right, the County…there is a way that we’ll recoup some of this, but as far as the schools are concerned, there isn’t a way. So….and we structured the settlement so that, going into 2005, we made the adjustment
Mr. Semrau(cont’d): before we wound up placing the higher number on the books and this way we protected ourselves for 2005, so this wouldn’t happen again. We adjusted the assessment before the Assessor finalized the books for this year.
Mr. Guenther: Just to answer Mr. Bonte on that issue, then, that I think it’s extremely unfair that the Municipal portion of the budget should take the entire hit in one year, when we can’t get that back from the school, and there’s no way for the school….they get off the hook as far as this is concerned.
Mr. Mund: In addition, weren’t we told that it would not be…if we could, we would pay it faster, potentially in one or two years as opposed to carrying it out the full length of the bonding.
President Greenbaum: I think that the issue was to look at how the structure of the bonding would actually be done, whether it was a one year bond or a six year payout. Mr. Buell, did you have something?
Mr. Buell: Yes, I just wanted to remind everybody that one of the difficulties of the 2004 budget was the fact that we reserved monies, we knew these tax appeals were going to come in, they were just greater than we expected and I think we reserved $832,000 in 2004 to pay partially for this, as well as the other tax appeals, so we did look at that actually in the beginning of 2003 consciously, but it just was too large of a hit.
Ms. Labow: I just want to add to the whole conversation here, in that it was not an easy procedure to be able to get this bonding loan from this…..what is it called, Bob?.....
Mr. Casey: Well, it’s called a refunding bond, it goes to the Division of Local Government Services, the Local Finance Board. They require a specific hearing on this and for that you must present to the Local Finance Board a multi-year financial plan showing them, in fact, how you will be able to handle this debt and how this debt is structured, and in that respect, I think it’s important to pick up on something that Mr. Buell just indicated, that the money that was set aside in the 2004 budget we still have, because we anticipate…we know in fact that a 2005 appeal has been filed. So, our plan has been to basically reserve the funds you have available to the 2005 appeal, bond the 2004 appeal and hopefully, by the end of 2005/2006, the place is sold and hopefully we’ll be able to have better days. So, we deliberately planned out the cash flow of the township and what we anticipate to be the 2005 appeal results, and we feel that this is the best way of equalizing that major payout.
Ms. Labow: And just the…..what I wanted to say was, and thank you Mr. Casey, that this was a decision that was not made lightly, this was planned out by our CFO, by the Auditor, they went down for the hearing and due to their assessment and their evaluation, they told us this was the best way to handle this huge debt that we have in the best interest of everyone concerned. So, it wasn’t a decision made lightly by anybody. Mr. Bonte doesn’t believe me.
President Greenbaum: Anyone else from Council? Just remind everyone before Roll Call that this is a bond ordinance and requires five affirmative votes for passing. At this point, Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously except Ms. Labow voted No
President Greenbaum: I declare Ordinance #2-2005 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. At this point in time, I will open to the public on Ordinance #3-2005, entitled:
Ord. #3-2005 Ordinance Authorizing Criminal History Background Checks of Volunteers Involved with Township of Mount Olive Programs or Services for Minors.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who would like to be heard? Mr. Jaran.
Peter Jaran, Budd Lake: Let me first make the statement that I think the safety of children in the town is a priority for all of us. I question the need for this ordinance in its’ present state. Are there other ways to address this issue? I know that a number of organizations that serve the youth in town have their own policies that are dictated by their State organizations concerning background checks, or some type of other, you know, document that the volunteers need to sign that says that they do not have any of these issues in their background. I would like to have an understanding as to what the mandate is for this, what the cost to the township is. Also, you know, what are the other options that this can be addressed in? My concern in this particular document is that there seems to be some discrepancies between the text in the beginning of the document and the text at the end of the document. It appears to me that this document has been modified since it was published in the
Mr. Jaran(cont’d): newspaper, specifically in the penalty clause at the end of this document. I believe that in the one that published in the newspaper, that there was some mention in there about if an organization did not comply, that their use of township facilities would be rescinded. I see that same type of language in the beginning of this document in paragraph four, but it seems to have been removed later on, and I’m wondering if this document doesn’t need to go through another round of editing so that it’s consistent. I have talked to a number of people involved in youth organizations in the township, and have an understanding that they require some of their own background checks that are paid for by the individuals in the clubs. So, my question to the Council is, and to the Administration, what’s the cost of this program? Is it in the budget for this year? Is there another way to address this?
President Greenbaum: Does anyone want to respond? Mr. Casey, did you want to respond to Mr. Jaran?
Mr. Casey: Yes, the easy question first is the cost….the cost is $36 per person that we send down to the State Police, that’s the cost the State Police charges us in order to do that criminal background….computer check….. whatever they do down there. In terms of the…..so the issue then becomes a number of coaches, we know that there are approximately 500 individuals who coach normally with us, with the community. Unfortunately, the cost is front-loaded, i.e. once you have everybody go through it in the first year, you know, the second year you may only have 100 new coaches, you only have to pick up the new ones in the future, and then every fourth year when we redo it, it doesn’t take the full amount because at that point you can just do a name check…what’s called a name check. So, what we’re looking at is the first year cost, and talking to Jill, given the time when we are introducing this, we would probably recommend the governing body that it start with the fall season, i.e. August 1, which would pick up your fall players, and at that point in time, you’re probably looking at 350 some-odd coaches, times $36, so that’s about $9,000 or $10,000. So, yes there is a cost of $9,000 to $10,000 that the Administration has recommended be paid for by the township, it was not in our preliminary budget, it was put together in November, but we’ve talked to the governing body about amending that preliminary budget to include it in the final budget, because the Administration believes that this is an item that is important from the overall public safety of the youth of the community and, therefore, we support the expense. As to the….whatever is in the paper, is the final version I believe and the one I have in front of me has that clause in it.
Mr. Buell: I think he’s talking about the use of facility and the Whereas on the first page and there is no mention of that in the penalty phase. I was going to ask this question myself, later on in the….in other words, an organization is not barred from using our facilities even if they don’t comply with this, at least in terms of text of the…..
Mr. Casey: Well, the one I have, it was in the agenda….
Mrs. Lashway: There is only one version. So, maybe the newspaper printed it incorrectly.
Mr. Casey: Okay, it says: Penalty Clause, A – any non-profit youth organization which does not follow the rules and obtain a criminal history check for all its volunteers in the organization, shall lose the funding in whole or part of their organization and their sponsorship of that organization. We’re not saying, you know, they can use our facilities, but they’ll no longer be funded by the township and they’ll no longer be sponsored by the township.
Mr. Jaran: How many organizations are funded or sponsored by the township at this point?
Mr. Casey: Jill, would you come on up? So, it would be on the record. Thank you.
Mr. Buell: Yes, but in the…actually the fourth Whereas, it talks about the use of the facilities of the town – on the first page.
Mr. Casey: Let’s go first to the question…Jill, how many organization do we fund and/or sponsor, please?
Jill Daggon: We have 11 quasi-entities that the Council has recognized and recommended to JIF that we sponsor as quasi-entities, sports associations. Two of those last year declined to take any funds, because they were doing excellently with their own fundraising. I’m not aware of any new ones coming up, but we do have 11 sport associations.
Mr. Jaran: Mr. Casey, my math may be a little bit rusty, but if I take 40 times 500, I come up with around $20,000 not $9,000 or $10,000. The way that I read this ordinance is that it’s not just coaches, it’s anybody that has the opportunity to be alone with children in an organization. Now, it may be geared towards coaches, but all Mr. Jaran(cont’d): these organizations have people that go way beyond coaches and do have the opportunity of children. So, does that then increase the number that we’re talking about? As I go through this, I also notice that some of the terminology in here for who is responsible for the criminal record checks, is the Recreational Supervisor and I would reiterate some comments that were made by some people that I talked to that said: shouldn’t that just be the sole responsibility of the Police Chief, and not of a person who is appointed by the Administration? So, I would ask you to take a look into that.
Mr. Casey: Let me….for everybody’s…..the records checks, the Recreation Department gathers the application forms from the individuals, because they deal with the coaches and the individuals through their program. Those are then given over to the Police Department. The Police Department is the one which processes them with the State, the information comes back to the Police Department, the information stays with the Police Department. The only time it would go beyond the Police Department is if an individual is found to have an item on their record which would preclude them from participating, at which point in time that individual is then told about that and they have the right to come in and provide other information, get a copy of their report, clarify their report if necessary, but the ordinance was very carefully drafted to keep all the confidential information with the Police Chief. The only thing that is, outside the Police Chief, is simply the information that so-and-so…..the record check on so-and-so indicates that, according to the State Police, they are not….they have an item on record which would indicate that they are not suitable for coaching or something.
Mr. Jaran: I’m assuming then, Mr. Casey, that under Section 4, Item B, Paragraph 2, that language actually means all subsequent criminal record check requests shall be submitted to the Recreational Supervisor?
Mr. Casey: Correct. In other words, that’s when we have to….every four years, the Recreation Supervisor will be the one who is actually gathering the application forms and that simply….the Recreation Supervisor was the one who interacts with the, obviously, the coaches and the other people involved in the programs, that she gathers the application forms, but only the Police Chief, if you look carefully at this, only the Police Chief has the capability of actually getting the information from the State.
Mr. Jaran: So, I would ask that you add the word request or applications after the word checks there. I go back to one of my original questions, which is what’s the mandate for doing this? This seems, to me, to be redundant to what a lot of organizations already do and are mandated by their State organizations. Is there a law or a regulation within the State that is mandating that the township take up this at this point in time?
President Greenbaum: None that I’m aware of. This was brought to….as far as I was concerned, this was brought to Council upon recommendation of the Record Advisory Committee, through the Administration.
Mr. Jaran: So, then I asked the question – has this been a problem in the township where we had had people who had been with our children, who have criminal issues in their background?
Someone from the audience: Inaudible
President Greenbaum: Excuse me….excuse me Mr. Jones, we don’t speak from the audience here. The bottom line is, none that I’m aware of, but when……none that I’m aware of, although others may be aware of some, but notwithstanding that, it’s not something which you want to be reactive on, it’s something which you want to be proactive on.
Mr. Jaran: Correct, and I make the statement to you that a lot of these organizations, not all of them, because I understand some of them are new or young or don’t have these regulations, but a lot of these organizations have already become very proactive in this issue. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the audience? Mr. Jones.
Dave Jones, Route 46: How would we even know about that, if we didn’t do background checks to begin with, if there were problems? That’s my only point, but I think this is a great ordinance and I fully support it. I don’t think you guys even have a choice, you know, except to vote for it. I think it’s a, you know, a great thing to, you know, for the safety of our children. That’s it.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Fred.
Fred Phillips, Budd Lake: On behalf of the Mount Olive Soccer Club, we are in favor of background checks, and we do comply with New Jersey’s Youth Soccer in that regard. The way this one is written, it’s very
Mr. Phillips(cont’d): intrusive with fingerprints being held on file here in town, it’s an unequitable burden on our membership and the taxpayers in town. Mr. Casey’s numbers are lower than what we were told in our meetings with the Recreation Advisory Committee and Sports Committees, we’re talking 600 plus coaches and you figure 25% turnover every year, that number adds up to like $22,000/$23,000, and I don’t think it’s in your budget this year and eventually it’s going to come back to us.
Mr. Casey: Could we have the Chief talk to us about the records….what was the issue raised relative to the fingerprints and the security?
President Greenbaum: Not at this point, Chief, I’ll get to you. Bernie, you had something?
Mr. Guenther: Fred, just a question. The kind of check that the Soccer Club does, is it this kind of police check…is it the same kind of thing that is being proposed here?
Mr. Phillips: No, we supply New Jersey Youth with what they call a “kid safe form.” It’s a form filled out by our volunteers, it gives the Drivers License number, it gives the date of birth, it gives all that…basically some personal information about each individual coach, and then they come back to us with any red flags.
Mr. Guenther: Who’s that? Who comes back to you?
Mr. Phillips: New Jersey Youth Soccer.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, so they….
Mr. Phillips: We’re more than willing to run a background check, there are alternatives out there that aren’t as expensive as this. So, there’s…I mean, this ordinance just is not the only way to go.
Mr. Guenther: But what does New Jersey Youth Soccer do to check the background?
Mr. Phillips: That I couldn’t tell you, I’d have to find that out for you.
Mr. Guenther: Because my only concern is this, obviously it’s a heavy cost, I agree with you, but probably every sports organization has different rules and different procedures, there’s no consistencies on how the backgrounds are being checked, that would be my only concern. This, at least, gives a degree of consistency. Now, if there’s some language that needs to be cleared up and I think Mr. Jaran had a couple of good points, maybe we should look at that and really review it and make sure that it’s honed down, but I think the consistency that the idea of this having a straight across the board consistent check for everyone is laudable, I think.
Mr. Phillips: Oh, absolutely and I think that another point to bring out is that, throughout studies… throughout New Jersey Youth Soccer, the pedophiles….basing on the ones with records, they’re not the ones….they’re not known until it happens. So, 99.9% of your volunteers are all going to have relatively clean records, and a background check with the FBI is going to bring back issues maybe twenty years ago, that have no relevance as being a coach today. So, what we’re saying as a club is that we’re in favor of background checks, we just want….again, we want something the same as every other club in town, just not as intrusive as this ordinance is. Also included in this package, Jill is going to want three references from every volunteer, for every volunteer. Now, is that overkill? Again, it’s up for, you know, it’s up for discussion. We move on, we brought up fingerprints in town, that’s going to be left in town here, who’s controlling that, because those fingerprints are used again in four years. One thing that’s not mentioned in this ordinance, Mr. Guenther, and I think you can agree that a background check is done today, if a crime is committed six months from now, who checks on that?
Mr. Guenther: How do you match it up, yes.
Mr. Phillips: Alright, so there’s just things about this….I don’t think you guys can go forward with this tonight based on the way this is written, there’s too many….the cost is up for debate and the language obviously is up for debate, but we’re more than willing to comply. Thanks.
Mr. Guenther: Thanks
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Mayor, you had something you wanted to respond to?
Mayor De La Roche: Oh, I think that some of the questions raised by the members of the public could be answered by the Chief and the purpose here was just to safeguard the children and keep the expenses away from the volunteers, that was the whole intent. There are a number of ways to pay for it and most people who apply for a job…even if they apply for fifteen jobs, have to have fifteen different checks and that becomes very expensive. The purpose behind this was to have the background checks for the safety of the children and the safety of the coaches, alright, at the same time, not to pass the cost on to the volunteers. Of course, if somebody wants to donate money to help us out, I have no problem with that. The question here is that, you know, I think eventually it’s going to be mandated, I think we’re just being proactive, as the Council President has indicated, I think that we’re trying to get ahead of the curve because the Board of Ed requires background searches that puts in, every bus driver, it’s going to be a universal thing, it’s just a matter of time and why not be active now, I mean, they’re our children, and that’s the whole idea behind this and, at the same time, like I say, we have tremendous volunteers and we don’t want to do anything to discourage them. That’s the whole intent behind this, sure some wording has to be redone, that’s not a problem, but the purpose behind this is just as I’ve explained and I think the Chief can answer any of your fears regarding invasion of your privacy, that’s certainly not the purpose. It’s just as I’ve indicated.
President Greenbaum: Chief.
Chief Katona: Thank you. I have a very short attention span, so you’ll have to remind me what some of the questions were. I’d like to just get to the one point….what’s the difference between this search, this fingerprint check or criminal history, and some of the other ones that are out there. There are other ways to go, there are other ways that are less expensive than this, but none as thorough as this. This is based upon the actual fingerprints that we all have, in the run against the records of convictions that lie within the databases of the State of New Jersey and the NCIS, the FBI NCIS system. So, it is a…..if there is a hit, if there is a connection, it is definitively conclusive that that individual, and I’ll point to you Mr. Bonte….okay, so there is no….there is no confusion when we use fingerprints. The other things that are out there are very good, and they’re good for organizations which do not have the resources that perhaps a municipality has, but they check public databases, on-line public databases, to see where your name comes up. If you’re late with a bill, if you’ve got a traffic ticket in some cases, in some States, or if you’ve been convicted in some court, you will find that by name. So, John Smith has been arrested a million times throughout this country, so there may be some issues that come up with misidentification on the similar names. So, that’s why we would recommend a check based upon fingerprints.
Mr. Casey: Chief, security of the fingerprints in longevity?
Chief Katona: The fingerprints are not kept by the Police Department. I’m told that they’ll be kept at….the fingerprints themselves….once we’re done, once we send them to the State, the State Police will look at them, they’ll classify them, and the results will come back. That fingerprint card itself will be stamped and they’ll be, in the vast majority of cases, a stamp that says “no record.” Now, what we do with them once it returns here is up to us, we can take a photocopy of the “no record” if we’d like, we can even return the fingerprints, I really don’t have a problem with that, to the applicant. We actually don’t have to hold onto the physical card once we have a fingerprint response the…or rather a criminal history response from the SBI.
Mr. Phillips: Chief, one of the questions was, and they referred to the ordinance, about whether…what information the Recreation Supervisor would have in coordinating these checks, the actual results and the applications…..would any of that information be in the hands of the Recreation Supervisor, or are there your own laws that basically trump anything that’s in here?
Chief Katona: The information that we’re asking the Recreation Supervisor to collect, of the personal identification information, which goes on the certain blocks that have to be typed into the blocks on this fingerprint card; where you live, your date of birth, your social security number, that type of information, go on that particular fingerprint card. In addition, for our identification purposes, it would be my recommendation to acquire that information and keep it in our Recreation file that this particular individual, I’m pointing to Mr. Bonte again, is who he says he is and here’s the information that he provided us. If we wish to go further, we have the resources, we can also use, I heard the comment before, now asking for three references, we can also use those references to call up and say hey do you know Ed Katona, do you like him, is he a jerk and, you know, we all know what those answers will be.
Mr. Phillips: The information that comes back, for example, if someone is flagged, the reasons for them being flagged would not be disclosed, say to the Supervisor?
Chief Katona: No, under the….there’s a new program, it’s called the Volunteer Review Operations, it’s a State and Federal background check that is administered by the State of New Jersey, Division of Criminal Justice, Division of State Police. What happens is the fingerprints go in, they look at the fingerprints, and they will send back to the responsible person that we indicate, that the individual is acceptable, under the guidelines, in other words, that there are no convictions for the enumerated offenses which are in the ordinance, or there is a disqualifying entry in their criminal history record that pertains to one of those enumerated offenses. We would not be told what that offense was. In previous versions, the State would report to us what that offense was and when it occurred. Under this program, we won’t even know that. So, the privacy, and privacy is a big issue here, will not be violated. It will then become incumbent upon the applicant or the prospective coach to say, whoa…there’s an issue here, I need to get this corrected, this is something that happened when I was 18 years old and that was 30 years ago, and how we evaluate that is in the ordinance as well. The further back from the, or the further away from the incident we are and the less serious the incident is, then the less effect it will have on the suitability of that person to perform as a coach in this time period.
Ms. Labow: I actually have a lot of problems with this ordinance. Besides the fact that I think it’s good for the protection of our children, I also…and that’s foremost in my mind, however, we also have the coaches that we have to….and the volunteers, and the number one problem I have is the fact that the Administration brought this to us after they already submitted there budget, with a $20,000 price tag included in, which I think was a little bit unfair. The second thing that I have a problem with, and I had discussed it with some people, you have a lot of regular chaperones that go to a lot of the events and they may not be coaches, and when children see the same face over and over and over, that person may not fall into the guidelines of being in a supervisory position for the children, but the children will go to that person because they’re familiar with them, and so there is really no way to address that issue. The other problem….
Chief Katona: But there is, you could include them in here if you’d like.
Ms. Labow: You could, but when I spoke to Jill about it, that was not included in.
Chief Katona: But it’s not included now, what I think….I’ve been talking with Jill about this off and on for over two years, to improve the control that we have over the people involved in sports organizations and our Recreation program. I’m a Scout Master and an Assistant Scout Master in a Boy Scout Troop, I also submitted to fingerprints for that organization and, you know, the organization paid for that, but it’s something that we’d been moving forward to, not only protect the children, but it has to be said, to protect our community. I mean, we have to take an affirmative step and I’ve often said to Jill, what are we doing to insure, what control do we have….we are providing the insurance, we are providing the fields, we are providing funds, these are our programs, even though there are quasi-entities out there and they do a great job and we couldn’t afford to pay everybody to do that, but these are our programs. The responsibility lies with us.
Ms. Labow: I personally….I’m not done.
President Greenbaum: Colleen, Colleen, I don’t want to get into a back and forth, if you have questions, we’re in the public session right now, you’ll have an opportunity to give your opinions on the ordinance itself. If you have something for the Chief, otherwise I would like to turn it back to the public for discussion. Jim, you had a question?
Mr. Buell: Just one other question, Fred, did several others raise the issue of other people who are not coaches, that might be covered by this, I mean, just looking at d. on page 2, volunteers should mean any person involved with a non-profit youth organization who has unsupervised direct access to minors as a result of their involvement with the organization. Are there other people besides coaches that we’re not including?
Chief Katona: This is the question that Colleen is raising about the chaperones and you’re talking about unsupervised. If there’s someone…..my interpretation, if someone is in charge of that particular dance, who we recognize as the leader or the chairman of that committee and they’re pulling it off, and they’re supervising the activities of that dance, then I would say they’re supervised. If we just say here’s a dance and eight people come out to chaperone it, then they are unsupervised and they do, according to how I would read this ordinance, they would be required to submit to fingerprints.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: I have one comment, but I’ll wait until…..
President Greenbaum: Wait until….I’ll recognize you. Thank you, Chief. Yes, Mr. Ira Shives….see, I gave you a free plug there.
Harry Brown, Vice President of Operations for the Mount Olive Soccer Club: Thank you. Indifference to the Chief, here….the VRO program will supply the agency with specific ID number via preprinted….State and Federal printed cards, but the VRO will process the applicant fingerprint cards, review the cards, respond to the registered agency with a letter reporting a recommendation of approval or denial, as you said, with a copy of the State fingerprint card laminated, which means that they’re looking to reduce the cost of redoing the cards, which is why you have the discount on the recheck….on the rechecks, so the cards do come back to a location, they’re not holding them and babysitting them. So, that needs to be addressed. The sports clubs themselves do a fairly decent job in watching the volunteers. Parents are there, for the most part, coaches have assistant coaches, they’re not traveling on a bus or hanging around in a locker room with the kids. While I believe that we have to protect our kids, your provisions under this ordinance, going back to what Mr. Phillips said, if next week a coach does something detrimental, this ordinance actually keeps him in the program for four years, whereas, if we catch wind of it, under our bylaws, they’re done. Now, you’re offering them a blanket of protection because they have their ID fingerprint card that says that everything is rosy. So, you have no backup plan, if something happens within four years. At least with the club….within most of the club’s bylaws, they can remove, without cause, a coach from coaching, period, the end. Baseball has it, football has it, soccer has it, it’s been done before. Most of the clubs have adopted a very stringent D&P, disciplinary procedure, which expedites the kick-out clause for a coach. Again, I agree that the children need to be protected but, you know, the parents do have to step up and take a certain amount of responsibility. Our national association has brochures that we leave around at registration and right in the brochure it states criminal record checks are important, but they are not enough to keep kids safe. Most sexual predators have no criminal history. Would a $2.00 background check, because we have a discount via the US Youth Soccer, on a program called Volunteer Select, be a lot cheaper for this town and it has the guidelines, is it something that’s worth exploring, instead of just pushing this type of program through? Get the sports clubs more involved….they’re the experts at working with the kids. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the audience? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the audience. At this point, Colleen, you had something you wanted to add, and then Mr. Rattner.
Ms. Labow: Yes, the only things I wanted to add is…..actually…..are the fingerprints going to be scanned into a computer? No, okay, that was one question I didn’t get a chance to ask him. First of all, I think this is going to make it very hard to get volunteers, and we are really stressed out in this community for volunteers as it is, and a lot of the volunteers will volunteer again and again and again for one sport after another and, although I feel it’s important to do some sort of background check to protect our children, I also feel that we have to protect the privacy of our coaches who come to help out with these events for our youths. The biggest problem I have with this ordinance, and I would like to ask to table this ordinance this evening, is the appeal process. I had a serious problem with who will be taking care…..not who…specifically who, but how the appeal process works, and also after what Chief Katona that if a red flag comes back, you’re not going to know what the offense is, so that’s kind of like how’s a person going to appeal, if they don’t know what their offense is, and in the appeal process, and it’s on section 6, item c and d, the review committee consists of the Recreation Supervisor, the Township Administrator, and the Chief of Police, so review an appeal request and make a final determination. I feel that….I have no problem with the Police Department being on the review committee and this is not personally intended towards the Supervisor of Recreation or the Administration, but I feel that that is a violation to anybody’s privacy to have anybody besides the Police, who has stronger controls. So, I would like….I think we need to work on this ordinance, I’d like to have it tabled.
President Greenbaum: Tabling is not an issue here, because it’s on second reading at this point. If you’re going to change it, it needs to be defeated and redrafted and reintroduced. At this point, Mr. Rattner, before I give you the floor, I’d ask that you move the ordinance, please.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, Mr. President. I move that Ordinance #3-2005 be moved for adoption and final passage.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Greenbaum: It’s been moved and seconded. At this point, Mr. Rattner, you have the floor for discussion.
Mr. Rattner: We live in a different world. I’d imagine most of the same information is probably going to be required very shortly for your driver’s license. They’re already requiring even more and more to get on an airplane, but the bottom line is that if we do anything with background checks, it has to be consistent. I just heard the last gentleman who spoke, we do a fairly decent job. Maybe you do, I don’t know what fairly decent is. I also don’t know what the next organization does. Also, the fact that each one of these organizations have applied to the township to become what we call a quasi-township organization, that puts extra responsibilities on them and extra responsibilities on us. The main reason why they went for that designation, was so we can indemnify them, we provide the insurance. So, now we have a vested interest in making sure what was there, because we also…and I think anybody who knows anything about the lawsuits that run around today, is if we didn’t do our due diligence, we didn’t do everything that is possible or practical, then we are liable and the taxpayer is going to pay. I also don’t like section 6 at all. I don’t see any reason why it has to come out of the Police Department or some professional who would make a decision. The way it’s written, it actually says that it comes back, the Police Chief and two township employees will decide whether it’s bad or not and should we let them go forward. I do think that when you start talking about unsupervised chaperones, that makes a real big difference. If you don’t go on trips, it’s just the coaches and whoever have the different meeting there, it’s not all the other volunteers, because nobody is really alone. If there is somebody with trips, that may be a little bit different, but even there, not everybody is unsupervised, you have a certain hierarchy. I think, by the township, the Administration made a recommendation that the township would pay for it. I think they did that because they felt it was very important, they didn’t want to put any burdens on the different organizations and the volunteers who were putting out on themselves, but I really think it is necessary. It may be 99 out of 100 we don’t have any problems with, if we’re going to 500 or 600 reviews, 99 out of 100 means that there may be a possibility that six of the those people there’s a problem with, and I’m sure that nobody would want or take a chance with their children, I know I wouldn’t. I belong to different organizations, like the day care center, that has to go through the background check. My daughter graduated from college and became a teacher, she has to go through it and she’s probably a lot more supervised than a lot of these different organization, especially if they travel around. I think just by filling out the form, maybe we have to tie up exactly what unsupervised means and the appeal process, I think could support it without any reservations at all. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: So, your prospective is what, Steve, that it needs to be revised slightly, and then…..
Mr. Rattner: I think the appeal process, which is probably substantive on here.
President Greenbaum: So, it needs to be defeated and tightened up in specific areas, but generally you’re in favor of the ordinance?
Mr. Rattner: I think it’s necessary just from a financial standpoint, to protect the taxpayers of the town, because we have to indemnify and we’re paying probably over a million dollars now on all our casualty and liability insurance, it’s probably somewhere around that. So, we’re paying dearly for it, and maybe….just like if you take sexual harassment classes, we all get discounts…the town gets a discount, I’m sure these are going to be figured into the rates and there’s a good possibility that if we do this, we may be able to get a better rate. Just like when you take safe driving, on your auto insurance. So, yes, I do like it, I just have a problem with the appeal process, as Ms. Labow.
President Greenbaum: Anyone else besides Ms. Labow have something to say? I’ll get back to you, Colleen.
Mr. Mund: Question, do we have to defeat it to modify it, or can it be…..
President Greenbaum: Substantive changes need to be defeated and reintroduced.
Mr. Casey: I think what you’re indicating is, you can continue it and amend it, but you have to hold a public hearing upon the readvertisement and amendment, so….
Mr. Semrau: Since you have to do that, you know, if you elect to defeat it, you can do it with a statement that it’s not necessarily because you’re against what’s been put in front of you, but because you’d like to see changes as discussed, so that the record would reflect that you’re not necessarily defeating it because of the purpose it serves, but because… again, you want to make some changes.
President Greenbaum: I think everyone is in agreement that that’s what’s happening here, or maybe…. everyone is in favor of protecting our youth. It seems to me that there are some issues related to this particular ordinance…some people have problems with wording, some people may have problems with the scope of the background checks. Mr. Mund.
Mr. Mund: Now if it’s….when we defeat it, how long before it can be rebrought up?
Mr. Rattner: Next meeting.
President Greenbaum: Immediately.
President Greenbaum: Yes, the only problem….right, I’m not inclined to do that at this point in time to make the changes on the record, because I think it needs to be reviewed….
Mr. Rattner: It’s too important.
President Greenbaum: It’s too important.
Mr. Buell: Yes, and I think it needs to go back to the Recreation Committee. I thought this was supported by the vast majority of the sports teams. It’s become obvious to me that it’s not the case, and I think we need some more time to be reviewed by the groups that are going to be…this is going to be enforced on.
Mr. Mund: The question I have for Jill is…when this was reviewed by the Rec Commission, was it provided to the other sports teams for comment?
Jill Daggon: I received a copy of the proposed ordinance after it already went to Council for the Workshop. As soon as I received it, it went to the Recreation Advisory Committee, and we had a sports association president’s committee meeting on February 12th, and they also received a copy of the ordinance at that time.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: So, they weren’t in the….
Mr. Mund: They weren’t in the loop.
Ms. Labow: They weren’t in the loop from the beginning, though.
President Greenbaum: Well, it’s…I mean, it seems very clear, I would like to call the question that it’s going to be defeated in its current form and sent back for revisions and, I guess, the scope of the revisions are going to be first looked at by legal counsel, sent back to the Administration, sent back to Rec and we’ll reintroduce as soon as possible. Is that everyone’s point on this? So, then I will have the Roll Call announced and the vote is no, and it will kill the ordinance. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Unanimously Defeated
President Greenbaum: Okay, that ordinance is defeated.
Mr. Casey: So, do you wish this to be discussed at the next week’s Workshop to get everybody’s thoughts on it?
President Greenbaum: I’ll put it on next week’s Workshop, which means that….if you have any comments or concerns, you might want to put it in writing so that it can be discussed at the meeting. We’ll put it on next Workshop, Bob. Thank you. Moving….
Ms. Labow: Mr. Greenbaum…..
Someone from the audience: Inaudible.
President Greenbaum: You can send it to Lisa Lashway.
Ms. Labow: I would like to make a suggestion, too. I think that perhaps….I mean, I’ll volunteer for it, we have a background check, actually I’ll pay for my own and send it forward, just so everybody sees what the whole process is and how it comes back and what actually happens.
President Greenbaum: Only if I get to see the results.
Ms. Labow: You can see the results, you can frame them, you can put them under your pillow, whatever you want.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, one thing….I think, if the soccer organization has something that’s equal to or exceeds ours, I think it….you know, maybe we have to look at that. It can be reviewed by the Police Chief, because he could probably look there, and if he is satisfied that it meets or exceeds what we’re doing, and we could have the same type of control, that may be something that can be done, there’s no reason to do it twice if they’re already doing something like that.
President Greenbaum: I agree, get all recommended changes to the Clerk’s office as soon as possible, for discussion at next Tuesday’s Workshop. Thank you.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – Second Reading March 22, 2005
President Greenbaum: Moving on with the meeting, Ordinances For First Reading. Ordinance #7-2005, entitled:
Ord. #7-2005 Refunding Bond Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey Providing for the Advance Refunding of Certain General Improvement Bonds, Series 1998 and 1999, Certain Sewer Utility Bonds, Series 1998 and Certain Sewer Utility Refunding Bonds, Series 1999 Appropriating $11,965,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $11,965,000 Refunding Bonds of the Township Consisting of $7,970,000 General Improvement Refunding Bonds and $3,995,000 Sewer Utility Refunding Bonds for Financing the Cost Thereof.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Rattner, can you please move that.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, when will this be held for second hearing?
Mrs. Lashway: March 22nd.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you. I move that Ordinance #7-2005 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on March 22nd 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 Greenbaum: Okay. At this point….this was an item which was brought to us by our auditor, who indicated that by….there’s a special opportunity because of the market, as it currently stands, to refinance a portion of our existing debt, both general and sewer related, which would decrease our interest cost without incurring any additional timeframes in terms of repayment. So, it’s a win-win for the township. Any other discussion? Okay. Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Ordinance #8-2005, entitled:
Ord. #8-2005 An Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending and
Supplementing Chapter 176 Entitled “Parks” of the Code of the Township of Mount
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, can you please move that?
Mr. Buell: I move that Ordinance #8-2005 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on March 22nd 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 Greenbaum: Discsussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Next item, Ordinance #9-2005, entitled:
Ord. #9-2005 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Acquisition of Lots 42.01 and 20 in Block 3700 Owned by Dorothy Bruun.
President Greenbaum: Ms. Labow, will you move that please?
Ms. Labow: I move that Ordinance #9-2005 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on March 22nd 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 Greenbaum: Any discussion? Seeing none, 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 Authorizing a Bond Reduction in Connection with Morris Hunt – Phase I (amended 2/8/05 version)
2. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Making Application to the Local Finance Board Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:2-51.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement Amended Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval Between the Township and Reza Hashemi.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Approving Change Order #1 to the Contract to the Vickery Companies for (2) 2005 Type III Ambulance for Flanders First Aid.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Rejecting all Bids for the Ironia Road Drainage Improvements.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Jenicar Builders for the Reconstruction of Sunset Drive.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of Certain Lands Known and Designated as Lot 1, Block 3507; Lot 7, Block 2507 and Lot 5, Block 2301 Which are No Longer Needed for Public Use by the Township.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Extension of a Contract with Jersey Professional Management for Administrative Services.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Changing the Meeting Dates for the Month of March 2005.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Supporting the Adoption of S-1990 and A-2432 Authorizing the Imposition of Additional Fines for Overcrowding in Dwellings Containing Four or Fewer Units.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Acceptance of the List of Eligible LOSAP Emergency Service Volunteers.
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Highlands Community to Include Certain Areas in the Township of Mount Olive as Preservation Areas Within the Highlands Planning Area.
President Greenbaum: Okay, Consent Resolutions Agenda. At this point in time, I would alert Council that we are removing Resolution #8 related to Jersey Professional. I’m going to put that on the Non-Consent Resolutions Agenda. Are there any other Consent Resolutions which anyone would like to have removed?
Mr. Guenther: Number 5.
President Greenbaum: Okay, we’ll put 5 and 8…..
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: At this point, I would open up to the public on the Consent Resolutions Agenda. Seeing none, close it to the public and ask Mr. Guenther to move 1,2,3,4,6,7,9 through 12.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for the passage of Consent Resolutions number 1 through 4, 6 through 7, 9 through 12.
Mr. Mund: Second.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: Are there any comments on the Consent Resolutions?
Mr. Buell: Yes, just a quick one, on number 10, the LOSAP, I think….we have all of the social security numbers…..
President Greenbaum: No, it’s number 11.
Mr. Buell: Or 11, all of the social security numbers of the Firemen? Yes, you’re right 11. I would like that not to be given to us in the future, and I would like everybody to, you know, make sure that they destroy their copies of this tonight, simply because that’s, you know, that’s information I don’t need, I’d like the names, but as I said, I don’t need their social security numbers.
Ms. Labow: That was given?
Mr. Rattner: I just have a question for the attorney on one of the resolutions, we’re doing a developer’s agreement. We also just modified section 400 107, final passage. Does that new developer’s agreement now come under the new section?
Mr. Semrau: Well, they already have approval so….are you just talking about the COAH fees?
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Semrau: Yes. They already have approvals, however…..
Mr. Rattner: However, they don’t have a developer’s agreement yet, based on…..I’m looking at….I’m reading the resolution for the actual developer’s agreement.
Mr. Semrau: I’ll have to check, I don’t believe they do apply, because we’ve already given them approval……
Mr. Rattner: We have to do whatever it is on law, I was just looking at it because it’s increased those items.
President Greenbaum: Well, by passing it tonight, we’re going to set in stone the developer’s rights and obligations through their agreements, so is that something that we need to table at this point in time? Are you willing to give us an opinion that it’s not…..the new ordinance would not…..
Mr. Semrau: I don’t think it will, because they’ve already….again, they have their approvals as opposed to, you know, whether or not the developer’s agreement is approved or signed, isn’t going to effect one way or the other, the opinion isn’t going to rise or fall on the developer’s agreement being signed, it’s going to be whether or not their approval will have any impact on it. So, I think we can go ahead with the developer’s agreement approval.
Mr. Rattner: I just want to make sure that if it does get covered, that we step right up.
Mr. Semrau: If it is applicable, we’ll be sure to include it, and I will get back to you and let you know.
President Greenbaum: Any other comments or questions? Okay, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Guenther abstained from 6
President Greenbaum: I don’t know if anyone from the audience picked up resolution #11, which is the LOSAP resolution. If you did, we’d like to have it returned to protect the confidences of those individuals who’s social security numbers may have been listed. So, if you have it, we’d like to get it back if possible. We’re going to check you as you leave the room.
NON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Greenbaum: At this point, we’ll move to the Non-Consent Resolutions Agenda. Mr. Guenther, can you move Resolution #5 please?
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Rejecting all Bids for the Ironia Road Drainage Improvements.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for the passage of Resolution #5.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Greenbaum: Discussion, Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Just a question, because I wasn’t at the Workshop last week. I assume this is strictly drainage. Is it also curbs? Detail it for me for my own understanding.
Mr. Casey: It is mainly a drainage project, however, there are curbs being placed along where the catch basins are going in order to direct the water to the basins, and there is some pavement restoration in the area being reconstructed, but we’re rejecting because the bids are considerably over available funding.
Mr. Guenther: Okay.
President Greenbaum: Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: I asked that number 8 be pulled, because we just recently got in a new contract for Jersey Professional, which will save the township some money. So, the resolution will be to adopt the new contract which was received and which you have in front of you.
Ms. Labow: Wait a minute, which one is it?
Mrs. Lashway: It’s not in your packet, it was put in front of your seat for this evening. It was a resolution, it was a cover letter from Mr. Casey with the actual agreement.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Mund, can you please move Resolution #8 and then we’ll have discussion.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Extension of a Contract with Jersey Professional Management for Administrative Services.
Mr. Mund: So moved.
Mr. Rattner: Second.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Casey, can you please describe the difference between the two contracts?
Mr. Casey: Yes, essentially what has occurred is that Mr. Dorsey has been successful in securing, through the State MEL, the necessary public liability insurance policy that the township needs to continue my involvement here with the community. So, what the resolution did…..my….your sixty day appointment expired last week on the 15th, what this resolution has……and John was able to get that dated starting February 1st. What this does is this changes my relationship with the township from that of an employee to that of a management consultant, and what the bottom line to the township is, there is a reduction of….a slight reduction in the hourly rate….a $5.00 an hour reduction, plus you’ll save the FICA and the insurance multipliers that effect any payroll account. The resolution provides for my involvement in the township on a 20 hour per week basis, the resolution is….the contract is for a 10 week period, however, it is severable at any time by the township, upon two day notice, so there is no loss of control by the township, but I think we’ve talked about this before, this basically provides more flexibility to the township, if they continue to need my services here in an interim basis.
President Greenbaum: Any comments or discussion? Is there anyone from the public who wanted to discuss this? Seeing none, Roll Call.
Ms. Labow: Well, wait a minute.
President Greenbaum: Go ahead, I asked if there was any discussion.
Ms. Labow: I know, I didn’t get a chance. I don’t know, we just get this tonight and I didn’t have a chance to really review it, I’d like to table it and have a chance to review it and vote on it next time.
President Greenbaum: You understand that Mr. Casey is without contract at this point in time?
Ms. Labow: I don’t want to be forced into…..
President Greenbaum: It’s been reviewed by Mr. Dorsey’s office. I’m more than happy to table it if…..Mr. Casey, is there a problem in carrying this for two weeks?
Mr. Casey: No.
President Greenbaum: I have no problem…..
Mr. Casey: With the provision that, of course, that you adopt the other resolution, which continues me as a part-time employee or I take vacation.
Mr. Mund: It’s either one or the other, you have to approve.
Mrs. Lashway: And it’s not posted, it’s not……so it has to be read in full, if we’re not going to go with the new one.
President Greenbaum: Say that again.
Mrs. Lashway: I removed the old one, so if you’re going to adopt the old one, you have to read the resolution in full. It’s not posted or put out for the public. The new one is put out for the public.
Ms. Labow: But I mean……you get something that night, how are we supposed to read through this tonight and then vote on it? My vote would be no only because I didn’t get a chance to read through the whole thing.
Mr. Mund: There was a…..in the package, there is a certification by the Mayor that the contract for Management Assistance Services and not subject to normal bidding practice. Are you in concurrence with that document?
Mr. Casey: You’re asking the Mayor?
Mr. Mund: Yes.
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Well, Colleen, do you want to make a motion to table?
Ms. Labow: Yes, I would like to make a motion to table this until we have a chance to review it.
President Greenbaum: The problem is that we’re going to have to adopt the other ordinance or Mr. Casey is going to be…..effectively terminated and does not have an agreement. Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: Can I then ask for a ten minute recess, let anybody who wants to read through it, read through it…it’s only a few pages. This way, we can come back and ask any questions.
President Greenbaum: The chair is going to take a ten minute recess at this point in time.
Ms. Labow: Thank you, that seems fair.
President Greenbaum: At this point, we were in discussion on Non-Consent Resolution #8, related to Jersey Professional. Are there any other comments?
Mr. Guenther: I had a question. Under section 2 of the actual contract, something that doesn’t make sense to me, paragraph…..
Ms. Labow: Fred, where did you put my copy, Fred?
Mr. Semrau: Your copy? I don’t think I took it, Colleen.
President Greenbaum: What’s your specific question, Bernie?
Mr. Guenther: Alright, it’s….it reads: if the contract is terminated by the township with less than a full week of services, the township shall pay to Jersey Professional Management the sum of $85 for each hour of service provided to the maximum amount of $1,600 hours per week?
Mr. Casey: It should be $1,600 per week, hours should not be in there.
Mr. Guenther: But what is this…the sum of $85….I don’t understand this….
Mr. Casey: Okay, the issue would be that if the township should exercise its rights and terminate the contract mid-week and say that there’s only ten hours, okay, you obviously don’t owe $1,600. So, what we did is we put in that that there’s a, you know, you basically drop back and you pay $85 per hour at 10 hours, which would be $850 etc. That is, and it’s written that way to protect the township.
Mr. Semrau: Okay and, I mean, Mr. Guenther, there’s a two day, you know, termination period. So, you need something like that in a contract……
Mr. Guenther: Okay, now I understand……it just, I sort of figured it was $1,600 per week.
Mr. Casey: Yes, the hours was a typo.
President Greenbaum: Colleen, anything?
Ms. Labow: No, I had the same question Bernie did and then Fred answered another question I had on the front page, so…..
President Greenbaum: Okay, any other comments or questions? Roll Call. Oh, wait…..this is subject to a certification of availability of funds by our CFO.
Mrs. Lashway: Which I believe was provided for under the other contract at a higher amount….the certification was at a higher amount.
President Greenbaum: Right, okay.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Okay, moving on with the agenda, we move onto Motions.
President Greenbaum: The Peddler’s Permit, Ms. Labow.
1. Approval of the Renewal of a Peddler’s Permit for Phil D’Angelo for mobile food vending.
Ms. Labow: Move for approval of Renewal of Peddler’s Permit for Phil D’Angelo.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Greenbaum: Discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Mr. Guenther, could you move the Raffle Application, please?
2. Approval of Raffle Application #2073 for the Parents Club Mt. Olive High School
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for approval of Raffle Application #2073.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Greenbaum: Discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: At this point, the Bill List is the next item up for discussion. Mr. Buell, can you move the Bill List, please.
3. Bill List.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Russell, you had indicated to me that you had some questions on the Bill List. Have your questions been answered?
Mr. Casey: No, he can ask them, I have the answers for you.
President Greenbaum: Do you want to ask your questions?
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: Several questions on the Bill List….one was on page 4, having to do with an Airfare for $1,207.64. I had a question on the 64 cents on the price of an airline ticket and wondering where we’re going for $1,000?
Mr. Casey: That’s four tickets to Indianapolis. One gentleman….we have four Police Officers going out to a conference on something….anyway, one guy bought all the tickets and we’re reimbursing him for them.
Mr. Russell: Okay, and it came out to 64 cents?
Mr. Casey: That’s what he asked for.
Mr. Russell: Okay. On page 8, Edmunds & Associates, which I understand is a software company, I see $12,850 for hardware maintenance. Don’t we run that on our own hardware?
Mr. Casey: It is software…it’s the program….it’s hardware maintenance, when you go to the bill, it’s software maintenance. It’s for all of our financial tax….it’s for our appropriation, our tax accounting. Our payroll systems are all run on Edmunds, and that’s the cost of maintenance and upgrades. Any upgrades that are required during the year are also included in that.
Mr. Russell: I also see on the next line is the software maintenance, is that different?
Mr. Casey: Yes, that goes to a…..the first one goes to the Finance office, if you look at where it’s charged off, and the second one goes….it’s a continuation, but it’s a different software package. One’s Finance and the other one goes to part of the server network.
Mr. Russell: Okay. On page 10, I see $1,080.50 for typewriter maintenance.
Mr. Casey: Yes, that is, if I remember Sherry’s note right, it’s for like twenty typewriters. We have to maintain typewriters for forms, there are a lot of forms that we have to fill out that you cannot feed into a computer because they’re on specialized card decks or paper decks, and so we have twenty, I think…
Someone from the audience: Twenty three.
Mr. Casey: Twenty-three, thank you. Twenty-three typewriters that we, you know, we have a contract out at fifty bucks a typewriter or something for guys to make sure that they still work.
Mr. Russell: I’m surprised we still require typewriters.
Mr. Casey: Actually, one of the more interesting things is that with all these new forms coming out from Homeland Security and everything else, typewriters are back in vogue.
Mr. Russell: Okay, then I see Clear Cut Vinyl Badge Holder for $260.
Mr. Casey: What page was that please?
Mr. Russell: That’s also on page 10.
Mr. Casey: They were….
Mr. Russell: I see it’s singular, and it seemed to be an expensive price for a badge holder.
Mr. Casey: Yes. It’s really not a badge holder, it’s…..I believe it’s an evidence holder within the Police Department. These are clear packets that they put material in that they use for storing evidence and other items like that. It’s not like the little things you see here, they’re sleeves…like sleeves that the Police Department uses for segregating their data.
Mr. Russell: And it was obviously more than one.
Mr. Casey: Oh yes, I can get you the number if you wish, it’s…..
Mr. Russell: No, that’s alright, I just saw one badge holder for $260.
Mr. Casey: Two thousand of them.
Mr. Russell: Okay, and on page 18, we bought some padlocks for $247.32.
Mr. Casey: Yes, basically that’s in the Water & Sewer Division and what we did is we had to change all of the locks, all of our keys….to all of the locks and these are master locks. In other words, one key opens every well house and every sewer plant so that the guys going out have one master key to use on all of them and we just Mr. Casey(cont’d): changed all the locks, and they do this periodically, because there’s too many keys floating around at times to provide security in our water & sewer system.
Mr. Russell: Okay, we don’t make sure the keys come back when employees are terminated?
Mr. Casey: Well, you can always say that, but there’s no real way of assuring they haven’t duplicated it, other than switching the locks periodically.
Mr. Russell: Okay. It seems awfully expensive for padlocks. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public on the Bill List? Any comments or questions from Council? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Administrative Matters, Mr. Casey.
Mr. Casey: We have nothing else for tonight, thank you.
President Greenbaum: Old Business. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: I know our LAN Supervisor has been out….had been out for a while. I don’t know if it was sickness or what….
Ms. Labow: It was surgery….back surgery.
Mr. Guenther: Surgery….is he back?
Mr. Casey: Yes.
Mr. Guenther: I don’t want to, you know, I do want to bring it up…..I was on the web site yesterday. It needs some serious updating. There’s some discrepancy, for example, on the Mayor’s page, where it has a picture at the top, it really refers when he first took office and his message refers to his first….after having been in office for a year, so there’s some discrepancy there. There’s….on the recent events in the township, it’s old news. There’s nothing in there about the new Library, I would think we would want to cheer and rave about that somewhere on the web site. There’s a discrepancy on the Council page, the facing page still has Mr. Elms in, yet Mr. Mund’s picture appears under the pictures, so that’s confusing. I mean, there’s just….off the top of my head, things that I saw. I think there’s probably some other things as well. I just would request that somebody get on that. I can understand he’s been out for a while, so maybe that’s the excuse.
Mr. Rattner: Ever since we’ve had the web, every year at this time, sometimes as far as June, I ask for the same thing to be updated. I’m not one with the memory of remembering what holidays our Sanitation Department picks up garbage, mine happens to be on Monday. So, I go to the Sanitation page, I go to the calendar, it said to be updated shortly. Two years ago, it was at least a year behind and then they had the wrong year. I knew I could go….I went to the major calendar, but if you went through the Sanitation Department and through all the other listings, no resident could find out if you had garbage pickup on Monday, that yes you were supposed to put out your garbage. I know when that happens, that we get a lot of calls and the Sanitation Department backtracks and makes another run the next day. At least that’s what they told me for the last few years. So, something as important as calendars, really have to updated, and that is something I look at. I was embarrassed two years ago when I told….somebody asked me and I said I don’t know, go check on the web site, and that’s when I found out it was wrong, but it’s not there. It says will be updated shortly.
President Greenbaum: It’s something you’re going to look at, Mr. Casey?
Mr. Casey: Yes.
President Greenbaum: And you’ll report back to us, when? What’s the timeframe that you need?
Mr. Casey: I’ll tell Scott that he’s going to do that rather than some of the other stuff for the Chief and stuff, and we’ll get it done this week.
Status of Mount Olive Child Negotiations
President Greenbaum: Okay. Any other Old Business? Status of Mount Olive Child Negotiations – Mr. Casey.
Mr. Casey: I had some telephone calls from them. I’m waiting for a letter from them. They are seeking confirmation of the township, still interested in pursuing it. Before they expend about $6,000 for a preliminary feasibility study by the architect, I told them to put it in writing to me, I would bring it up to the governing body to make sure that we are still in agreement, before they lay out their money for this preliminary study, and I’m waiting for a letter from them. So, it could very well be on the next week’s Workshop, as soon as I get a letter from them.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. You can tell Mr. Rattner that he can come back. Let the record reflect that Mr. Rattner stepped down during that discussion. Any other Old Business?
President Greenbaum: New Business. Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Two items. I would like to recommend the appointment of Philip S. Tobey, 15 Donna Lane, Flanders, New Jersey to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee. You have a copy of his resume in your packet… or your mailbox.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Greenbaum: It’s a motion and it’s seconded. Any discussion? All in favor?
President Greenbaum: Opposed? Let the record reflect that it was unanimous.
Ms. Labow: How many more do we need for that?
President Greenbaum: What’s that? I think we’re…..
Mr. Buell: That’s the last person.
President Greenbaum: I think that’s the last one.
Mr. Buell: That’s what Lisa told me told me today. The second question is, I read in the newspaper, on Saturday, that unfortunately somebody from First Vehicle was caught stealing fuel from our depot, and I would like to know what happened and I would like to know what we’ve done to secure that.
Mr. Casey: The individual was observed on Friday night by a Police Officer fuelling up his private car. He was arrested, he has admitted to the fact that he has been filling his private car up. He’s only been with us, I think, since November. He has been arrested; his car was impounded, etc. We immediately notified First Vehicle, who has also terminated him, and provided…..today, they had alternate people filling in, you know, doing his work. He was technically the Office Manager, so they have somebody else doing that work In reference to security over there, one of the items that we had on the list for the new DPW Center is replacing the computer system which, to the best of my knowledge, has not worked for at least four to five years. When they originally installed it, they had on that a system that had a card control system and I know it was broken in 2000. It has never been repaired, and is at the point now that the problem is that the mainframe has been….is not operable, it’s totally gone. So, we are proposing that when we relocate the gas pumps, we’ll be installing a new system, whether it’s a card system or an alternate system, I’m not sure yet, dependent upon what’s finally decided. So, at this point, and actually, really not for the press reporting, the last five years, there has been no lock on that system.
Mr. Buell: Do we plan to do anything with it between now and when we get the DPW Garage?
Mr. Casey: It will probably just be a waste of money, until we relocate and buy all new computers and relocate everything.
President Greenbaum: Is there no way to lock the pump?
Mr. Casey: Not with everybody coming in. You have to remember, the number of non-employee type, I mean, all your Fire, all your First Aid, your Police, it’s….you know, around the clock, people coming in and out. So, if we lock the pump, we’d end up having to distribute a couple hundred keys and I’m not quite sure that we’d have that much more security, because the gentleman who, basically was involved, would have had one of the keys anyway, because he periodically has to….he has to refuel our own vehicles. So, it wouldn’t have stopped what occurred. I mean, it may stop the outsider coming in, but given where the fuel depot is located, I don’t think we’ve had a problem in the past, on somebody wondering back there, because the Police are always in the area.
President Greenbaum: What about a security camera?
Mr. Casey: If we want to go to the expense and we could, you know, put one up and wire it all the way into this building….
President Greenbaum: Why would we have to do that? Why couldn’t we just put up a cheap security camera for periodic review?
Ms. Labow: They sell them at Radio Shack.
Mr. Casey: I could have someone look at that, I just don’t know whether….how valid they are one way or the other.
President Greenbaum: But periodic review…you know what, it might be a deterrent to somebody who would otherwise think to use the gas. Colleen.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Casey, several months ago, I was having a meeting here at town hall with somebody, and I got here early, and just for the heck of it, I went back there and I parked by the pumps, and I sat there for about 20 – 25 minutes I think it was, listening to a book on tape. Not one person asked me what I was doing there. I could have filled up my van ten times over and no-one said a word.
Someone from the audience: Did you?
Ms. Labow: Fringe benefits, but no one said a word to me, so….
President Greenbaum: Well, it’s something to look at, Mr. Casey. I understand the other issues.
Mr. Casey: It may be, you know, I’ll see if we can get…I know that part of the problem is that the system that they had, again…going back to 1999 or 2000……it never worked right and it was problematic, whether we can pick one up now, and I just have to find out how much, you know, if we relocate, and it will just cause us more grief down the road, because hopefully we’ll be relocating within the next nine months.
Mr. Buell: You know, I was here at 11:30 on Sunday and the gate to that back area was open at 11:30 on Sunday, and there was nobody back there, and is there any way we can just secure that gate?
Mr. Casey: Again, given the number of people coming in and out, ideally we can’t say yes. If you’ll remember, the presentation we made in our concept plan, we deliberately kept that route, through that, outside of our gated area, knowing that we’ve always had difficulties in all Public Works, because of the Police going out all the time, the Fire, and everything else, gates just don’t work. That’s why we isolated the area off to the side and made it separate from the rest of our building.
Mayor De La Roche: It’s open for the Recyclables.
Mr. Casey: Well, yes, the Recycling area, but that’s only on Sundays. He’s referring to the area where the gas pumps are, at night.
Mayor De La Roche: No, he’s referring to the outside gate.
Mr. Guenther: Is there some….obviously, there’s a cost involved, is there some sort of a pump just the way you pay with a credit card at a gas station, you could have a pump that…where everybody is given a card that they insert, to make them eligible….
President Greenbaum: But that’s what we had talked about, except that it doesn’t work now, and the cost of bringing that in at this point, and…..the fact that it’s changing, doesn’t make sense. That’s where the discussion first started.
Mr. Casey: That’s what I have to look at, and part of the other problem is that those credit card systems, I’ve used them in two other locations, and they sound real good, but if you leave the card on the dash of the vehicle, it melts. In reality, to be frank with you, the best one I’ve seen is the old key troll system, which is a mechanical system, but they actually have a longer life, because it’s harder to break. I had cards in another location, the guys carry them in their pockets, they get….they melt, they whatever. So, we have to look at that issue as to what’s the best way to putting a recording system up there.
President Greenbaum: Any other items for New Business? Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Going along those lines, Mr. Buell and I were talking the other day and something like….it was in the paper and we had been getting press releases from the Police Department on various incidences….just in case you get called from the reporters, and we haven’t been getting those reports in months. Is there any reason why?
Mr. Casey: I’ve not seen any press releases from the Police Department either, so whether….we can ask the Chief, is whether they’re given out directly, I’ve not seen anything.
President Greenbaum: Chief, was the decision made to discontinue the Police Alerts that we used to get?
Chief Katona: Only to Council……no, we’ve…..
Ms. Labow: Yes, the Press gets them, we don’t.
Chief Katona: Did I say that out loud?
President Greenbaum: How many cars did you need this year, Chief? I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you.
Chief Katona: We’ve changed….internally, we’ve changed some procedures and some personnel, and there is a learning curve. The Press Releases are going out to the media and to….with the new person to program all of your e-mails and stuff together, we’ll get that in place. That hasn’t been done as of yet.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: So, nobody gave you the order to stop giving them to Council?
Chief Katona: No, no, no.
Ms. Labow: Okay. I just wanted to clarify that.
Mr. Rattner: How does…..to get eliminated, if you have a mailing list, that doesn’t change no matter what system you’re on, and if some of the people are still getting, it means that other people had to be deleted, right?
Chief Katona: Or the information was not brought forward, it was brought forward from one individual to another. I don’t know that the list is complete, I don’t know what Kluska gave Cordileone. So, I’ll check that out tomorrow and we’ll make sure that that works correctly.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other New Business?
President Greenbaum: Legal Matters.
Mr. Semrau: Just to report that next week we anticipate closing on the Silver Springs acquisition.
President Greenbaum: Council Reports.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: The Library….we discussed earlier with Mrs. Hirky, we did discuss that at the Library Board Meeting. I think I brought that up at the last meeting. Everyone should have gotten, or will get, their invitation to the dedication on March 13th, Sunday at 2:00 pm, and hopefully we’ll have the parking situation resolved.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Mund: I was absent, but Jill was nice enough to send me the Minutes from the meeting. One of the key things is they sent the letter of recommendation regarding Tulip Park to the Administration, changing the status of that park. The applications are being accepted for summer recreational staff for the beach and playground volunteers. The volunteer counselor in training may begin at age 13, Flanders Park only, age 14 at the elementary school, the counselors…the minimum age is 15, 18 for the Middle School Program. Assistant Supervisors minimum age is 18. Our program director, Melissa Lata, is expecting her second baby next month and is not able to work this summer. Beach Staff, beach attendants minimum age is 14, certified lifeguards 15, job information and applications are available on line on the township’s web site. One of the bad news things that they’ve received is that the….for Mount Olive Day, the Recreation Advisory Committee was informed that Saint Elizabeth’s carnival organization could not accommodate the week of August 11th through 14th, 2005 dates that the Recreation Committee supported for the event for Turkey Brook Park. The Recreation Committee feels that the public expectation of fireworks and carnivals to be held in conjunction with Mount Olive Community Day. The August dates were the only ones that did not impact current sports programs, therefore, there will not be a carnival with fireworks or a Mount Olive Community Day this year at Turkey Brook.
Ms. Labow: Did they set a date for next year to try and coordinate it?
Mr. Mund: That’s what I got in this package. That’s about it.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: There was a meeting a couple of weeks ago….very routine, nothing unusual to report.
Planning Board Report
Ms. Labow: The Planning Board, this last week, we reviewed the ordinance for the development fee and the ordinance for the age restricted residential zoning, they were recommended, and we had one new applicant come through for Seneca Development on Stephens State Park Road and Mine Hill Road. It was very very interesting there, and the Highlands Core, there was a lot of recommendations going back and forth and they’ve pretty much been sent back to the drawing board to redo some of their work on it. Tilcon Quarry, which was a big…. which was an issue, a lot of people I know are interested and we talked about it here at the Council meeting for the renewal of their license…that was carried to March 17th and that’s about it.
President Greenbaum: Okay. I note that, in our mailboxes today, that the Highlands Commission has exempted Morris Chase.
Ms. Labow: Did they really?
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Ms. Labow: I didn’t see that. We got that today?
President Greenbaum: I saw it today.
Ms. Labow: They exempted them?
President Greenbaum: Yes, they exempted them.
Mr. Guenther: That was expected.
Ms. Labow: That means 400…..400 more houses.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Guenther: I wasn’t at the meeting, but it was kind enough to get a report from Kathy Murphy. Essentially, making our plans for this year, we’ll be requesting a closed session with the Council next week as to certain properties that we want to target. So, that’s it….and some good news, Laura Szwak, Head of the Open Space Committee is just….she’s no longer with Morris Land Conservancy, is going to be working for the Highlands Commission.
President Greenbaum: Oh, good news.
Mr. Guenther: This is very positive for Mount Olive.
President Greenbaum: Too bad she wasn’t working there before the Morris Chase decision. Alright, we’ll schedule an Executive Session next week to discuss Open Space issues.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Mund: None.
Board of Education Liaison Report
Mr. Buell: We met on the 14th, Monday, very routine. They’re still working, obviously, on the design of the school and beginning to get ready to bid that out. The only other thing that happened was that they unveiled the robot over at the High School on Sunday, and they hope to win the nationals this year.
Ms. Labow: Could I add just one thing….with the robotics team. When BASF left, we lost a $10,000 contributor and a new company….relatively new company, and what’s it?
President Greenbaum: DPC Cirrus.
Ms. Labow: DPC actually this past week committed to a $10,000 donation to the robotics team, which was fabulous….absolutely fabulous, and the robotics team is now….I don’t want to step on….Jim and I were both at the event Sunday, they are now a 501C…..5013….what is it?
President Greenbaum: C3…501C3.
Ms. Labow: 501C3, which means…which enables them to get other contributions from….other organizations who could not give before until they had that tax designation.
Mr. Rattner: That means that when you give a contribution to that it’s also tax deductible.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. IRS Committee, Mr. Rattner……I’m just kidding. Lake Environment….
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
Mr. Rattner: Mr. Casey’s contract…..you know, it was worded to make sure it conforms. I have nothing.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: We also met last week, which I was not present, but I got a report here. There has been some, I guess, a little bit of friction between the Budd Lake Fire Department and the State Police, but they seem to have had meetings to straighten out the possible conflicts when there are incidents on Route 80. The Police Department asks, on May 1st there’s a walkathon….I don’t know…is that the heart walkathon, or MS, or whatever it is. Anyway, there’s a walkathon on May 1st and they need volunteer help. So, anybody who would like to help or knows somebody that would like to help, the Police Department is looking for them.
Finance Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: We just have been having our budget hearings, we’ll have another set of them this Saturday. Everybody is welcome, we even feed you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. At this point, I’ll open it to the public for discussion. Mr. Jones, please state your name and address.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: Though I don’t speak for the other members of the Library Board, I want to take this time to apologize to Mrs. Hirky for the situation with the parking at the Library and I will try and work to rectify this situation. Thanks for your patience with us.
President Greenbaum: Thank you Mr. Jones. Anyone else from the public? Mr. Russell.
Nelson Russell: Two points, one – I don’t feel it’s fair to blame Scott for lack of updates on the web site. He’s not in charge of content, he’s in charge of facilitating that. If a new Sanitation schedule is not there, it’s the role of the Sanitation Department to submit a new calendar and Scott’s role is to put it in. This is always a continuing problem, he’s not in charge of content….just getting the content in. Also, the second point – questions on….or it’s points on Ordinance #8-2005, under paragraph 176-3, I ran into three misspellings or typographical errors. One is on the second line, it’s talking about soil, grass or plat life, I think that should be plant. A half a dozen lines later, “thereof or ay sign” should be any sign, and three from the bottom of that first paragraph “destroy, alter, damage or taper with any drive, path, walk, etc. Before it goes to final reading, we may want those corrected.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mr. Russell. Anyone else from the public who wants to be heard? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public. Oh, I’m sorry.
Mr. Guenther: I think somebody….you’re too quick with the gavel.
President Greenbaum: Well, I’m just trying to move it along, I’m sorry for gaveling you. Name and address please.
Joseph Balku, Flanders-Drakestown Road: I have a question about this Highlands Act. I own a piece of property on Route 206 by Mooney Road and I just wonder why that’s not able to….township help to take that out from the Highland and to go from….so able to build on it. Just north of the property on Roxbury, all those land is…the Roxbury Township, I understand, is taking that land out so able to build on it. So, wonder the township able to help to get this out of the Highland Act.
Mr. Casey: I met with the gentleman before, his property is located on the….going up 206, it’s on the northern side of Mooney Road/206, it backs up to Roxbury Township. His concern is the fact that he had a development plan that he was bringing forth on that site which would be precluded under the Highlands Act and he is….. feels, as he indicated, that his concern is that in Roxbury Township the large area just north of him, which will all be developed by, I believe, Hovnanian. There’s a large developer going in there…he feels that….right behind him, the Township of Roxbury and the Highlands have agreed to a large development. He….one foot over the line, is not, and he doesn’t feel….putting words in his mouth, he doesn’t feel that…..
Mr. Balku: It’s not fair. That one section is…it’s actually commercial, it’s not fair that a little piece of property is taken out, and just….so not able to do anything with it…just sitting there.
President Greenbaum: Well, you should note that, while the township has argued in the past that certain properties should be either included or excluded from the Highlands Core preservation area, we have not been successful in terms of getting the Highlands to change their designation. It’s not our choice in terms of what is and what is not designated as….within the Core Preservation Area. We are, at this point, going to try and move other areas into the Core Preservation Area……
Mr. Buell: We voted on that tonight as a resolution.
President Greenbaum: Right, although that may not be…that may not ultimately be successful. I don’t know anything about your piece of property, but I’m willing to take a look at the issue to the extent that an argument could be made that it’s outside of the….that it should be outside of the Core Preservation Area. I’ll look at it, but I’m not sure that there’s anything that we, as a township, can do.
Mr. Balku: Isn’t the township able to go to the State to ask to take this piece of property out?
President Greenbaum: I mean you have the right to go as an individual property owner, and to petition to have your property removed from the Highlands. The problem is that we have been approached by numerous individuals that would like to have their properties removed from the Highlands, and it becomes a very tricky legal issue to the extent that we, as the township took a position on one particular piece of property and not on another, we might have some legal challenge, which I’m not, at this point, prepared to undertake on behalf of individual property owners, where the individual property owners have the right to petition and make application to the Highlands for exemption on their own merit. I don’t know if anyone else has any comments. Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Well, one of the things we found is that when the Highlands Legislation was pushed through, and it was, quite frankly, hammered through very fast, there was a very short window of opportunity to make any revisions and, in fact, we missed the deadline by just a few days on this one particular property that we’re now trying to get rectified. So, you know, there was an agenda in Trenton for getting this thing passed as quickly as possible and they just said sort of “damn the torpedoes” and not…..they really didn’t listen to very many people, and, you know, again, not having…..not seeing the map and…..I think I understand what you’re talking about. You’re contiguous to property in Roxbury that is not in the Preservation Area, that it’s apparently in the Planning Area.
Mr. Balku: Yes, right…
Mr. Guenther: Unless it’s been grandfathered, that they had their approvals and it might be in the Preservation Area, but, as you heard tonight, the development that we have in town where they were given exemptions by the Highlands Commission. So, I don’t know the status of that property, we would have to research that with Roxbury.
Mr. Balku: I’ll take a look at the Roxbury and I’ll come back.
President Greenbaum: In other words, if that project that was being discussed, that large developmental project, they already had their approvals, the property may or may not be within the Preservation Core Area. The fact is that because they had certain approvals, they may be exempt from Highlands Legislation because of their status of having already received approvals, which is what happened in this town with a major piece of development which is currently in litigation. Yes sir, your name and address please.
Dr. Yoskowitz, I’m with the Heritage Group out of Hackettstown: We’re working with Mr. Balku on the property. We’ve done engineering and preliminary planning on this piece. As Mr. Balku has mentioned, it is contiguous to Roxbury and also contiguous or next to the Gottdeiner tract that you were referring to, which is being developed by the Steiner Group…Steiner Equities. That project is still in abeyance that they will try to change their designation. They’re currently also, as you know, in the Preservation Area and they are attempting to change that as well, with the State. There may be opportunities with the State to change it. As you know, the politicians in Trenton are talking about changing the Fast Track Legislation, which may allow some trade offs, vis-à-vis the Highlands, in terms of making some modifications to the Highlands Legislation. It will be very very helpful for Mount Olive to go on record regarding their preferences, because the opportunity may develop itself in the near future. So, it may be worthwhile for the township committee to think about the issues as time goes on. This particular piece is at a signalized intersection and it’s on the….it’s an isolated piece, really on the northeast corner of 206 and Mooney Road, really not contiguous to any other residential areas in Mount Olive Township. So, you can make a case for this particular piece, which is isolated and unique versus the other side of 206, which we understand is in the Planning Area. Probably Mount Olive would desire to retain it in the Preservation Area on the other side of 206, but the eastern side of 206, north of Mooney Road, is totally industrial and commercial in nature and this would be keeping with the same kind of existing use that’s there.
Mr. Semrau: Just for everybody’s information, the deadline was March 29th of 2004 and if you didn’t have approvals in place, there’s a lot of people similarly situated to yourselves, that had plans or ideas, but no approvals in place, and what’s happening now, people are trying to posture to see if things can be changed. The Highlands Council meets once a month in Chester and, you know, that’s an open forum as well for you to go and find out exactly how you, as a property owner, can try to petition for some type of relief, and as a property owner in the Preservation Area, it doesn’t mean you just, you know, have lost all utility to your property either. There are certain mechanisms that I’m sure you may be aware of already where, either the State is going to have to purchase your property, or other things will have to happen before you’re just precluded from developing.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Dr. Yoskowitz: I don’t think that gives Mr. Balku any ease. I can certainly see the township taking a position regarding this piece or other pieces, would be helpful to Mr. Balku’s cause. You’re talking about a very very minor development that can occur anyway, you’re talking about probably approximately 16,000 feet of total space that could be developed there, especially because of the constraints, given the streams in the area and wetlands, that’s all you’re talking about to begin with.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Rattner, then Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, one of the difficult parts is that, I think you realize, is that 86% of the township is in the Highlands Preservation Area, and there are a lot of developers and property owners. Some of them have been here, they’ve been continually coming in, mostly on the 206 corridor, saying well, there’s a shopping center right next door. We even have some properties right at the Trade Zone, Givaudan Roure, I believe, is in the Core Area. They’re trying to do an expansion there, they already have the company, they’ve already had plans, they’re a major employer, and they’re caught up. We’re all over and I think what you heard, one of the big problems is if we pick one, especially after people have been here…some of them have been here more than once. The Vice Chairman of the Highlands Council, Mr. Schrier, said that the Highlands Council is going to serve as a Board of Adjustment. They’re going to look at the situation, they’ll be able to look at testimony from the environmental utility of the property and the public good. The problem is, the way the Legislation was written is, you probably knew that…there’s probably another what….eight or ten months before they even have the regs developed on how to apply. So, it’s really difficult, I’m not even sure what standing we really have. I know with cross acceptance, and you’re probably in a PA 5, which causes another set of problems, if we didn’t sign on with that, then we just get locked out of everything from the State, saying there goes all your State Aid and all your help and everything else, and so, we got caught in a box there too, so I’m really not sure what we can do and what would be in the best interest of the township in total. If we do this…say this looks good, but somebody else who has another piece of property, especially if it’s a minor piece of property adjacent to an already developed property, how that’s going to work, plus the fact the town does want commercial ratables, I mean in proper places, so we have a vested interest, too, but I’m not really sure what we can really do.
Mr. Guenther: Well, I’d like to point out, there is no relation really between Preservation Area and Planning Area and Zoning. I mean, it’s very conceivable, a lot of industrial and commercial areas are in the Preservation Area, and that’s not the way the State…or the way it was done. It was done according to their, I feel, somewhat arbitrary formulas to protecting water resources or whatever it was. That’s number one. Number two, I think you mentioned also that that the Gottdeiner property is now in the process of trying to get themselves out of the Preservation Area. I thought you originally stipulated that it was in the Planning Area, so they have a major issue, they have more of an issue than you do. I would say that if they were in the Planning Area and already succeeded in doing that, you would have a strong case, but them not having that, I think your case is a lot weaker.
Dr. Yoskowitz: Without a doubt, it’s a difficult situation….the Gottdeiner tract had some very strong political forces and certain very strong dynamics in its favor, so that’s going to be seen. Again, a lot depends on the wheelings and dealings, as you know, in Trenton, as to what’s going to happen in the next few months, but that’s why I’m saying the town should be positioned to make a decision internally as to what it wants, and…I’m not just saying this piece, I mean, you really should look at the….all of your choices very carefully, because there…from a planning point of view, there are certain areas of the town that you have a chance to really look at your options carefully and be prepared.
Ms. Labow: This gentleman brings up a good point and I was wondering if we could have Chuck McGroarty perhaps evaluate some of the parcels that maybe should be put in the Planning Area and taken out of the Preservation Area and we could review them, because we’ve had this coming up before us a lot of times.
Mr. Rattner: If we spend the money and then what do we do?
Mr. Guenther: Well, I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that’s kind of been done, I mean, and especially with the Route 206 corridor, there were issues….a lot of them have environmental issues anyway, slopes and streams and wetlands. So, I believe, I don’t know if it was a formal presentation, but I remember, you know, talking but I don’t remember if it was here, or in an Open Space Committee Meeting, or wherever it was, or an ad-hoc meeting that we had on the…..
President Greenbaum: We did have an ad-hoc meeting.
Mr. Guenther: Right….that, on the….now, did we go through it in that kind of detail, I can’t attest to that, but I think in general the 206 corridor was felt that the way it had been designated is probably in accordance with what the township desires.
President Greenbaum: That is absolutely true, especially in light of the recommendations originally made in the master plan, which dealt with certain issues which were ultimately sent back to Planning Board for reexamination in light of the Highlands Legislation, which was going to accomplish the same purpose as that which the Planning Board had originally attempted to do through the master plan. So, I can tell you that Route 206 was specifically looked at and that the Highlands Legislation cured a lot of the issues which were identified in the master plan.
Ms. Labow: It’s just this parcel I don’t remember being one of those parcels that we were concerned about. So, we really should….I don’t know if we want to make a position one way or another, it’s the fifth property owner.
President Greenbaum: You know what, I think you have to be very careful when you start, as a township, recommending certain pieces of property be removed out of….or make arguments on behalf of certain property owners and not on behalf of other property owners, because you open yourself up to significant legal issues.
Ms. Labow: Right, so our position is then, basically, that all the property owners have a….can go and fight themselves. As a township, we’re not going to take a position on any of the properties other than our own.
President Greenbaum: Except to the extent that we feel that a particular piece of property should be put into the Core Preservation Area for protection of the water resources of the township.
Ms. Labow: Okay. So, that would be our official position then, and I agree with that.
President Greenbaum: That’s the position we’ve taken today.
Mr. Semrau: And Colleen, from everything I’ve read and heard, I don’t think there’s going to be too many changes as to where it is right now.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I don’t think so either, but I feel bad….these people keep coming up asking for us to give them support, but we’re really…..our hands are tied.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard? Closed to the public.
President Greenbaum: At this point, final comments, Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: No comments.
Mr. Buell: None.
Ms. Labow: I just want to clarify…earlier, when we were talking about the $1.3 million that…I know it did appear as if I was in support. I just felt bad that Mr. Bonte had made a comment that it was because it was an election year. I….from day one, when it was proposed to us, I was against it, I don’t like the idea of borrowing money, I felt we should have planned for it last year and this year, and if anybody thought that I was in favor of it, when I was asking all the questions and the explanations, it was just because I wanted it to be on the table and how the whole process was said. That’s it.
Mr. Mund: None.
Mr. Guenther: None.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, I wanted to comment on that ordinance, too. I don’t like it, you heard me speak very strongly against it in Closed Session and in one of the open sessions, but we are boxed into a corner. Last year, when we were doing the budget, we knew we had this expense, we also knew about where the settlement would come out, because we used a number, discounting what the former Business Administrator thought it would be a Mr. Rattner(cont’d): lot lower and a much bigger money going back. If you remember, I fought and fought and fought to put enough money….I said why spend money when we know we’re not going to have it. In fact the Administration came up with an expert who said we shouldn’t put away any money for tax appeals, just borrow everything going forward, which I felt was irresponsible. We did put a certain amount of money away. We also….when we passed the budget, it was a new budget for the Mayor, a lot of it was done before he got here, so we let some of the things in the budget stay there, some higher levels in the expense part of the budget, stating this gives you some time to start making changes going into the next year, because he didn’t have the experience, he didn’t have a handle on every department, as would be expected, but we did collect more than this in additional assessments from new assessments, we did, but now we come to the point where we are now. We already have a budget presented which has about a 10% increase, that’s without…if we don’t go with the accelerated tax sale, which I think is a gimmick, a one-shot deal, and you get the money in advance, but this alone would be another 10% surcharge….10% more on your property tax bill for the municipality, just to cover this, and when you start looking at all of that, I really think that 25%, 30% increase in taxes in a single year is more than most residents in Mount Olive can absorb. It is right, if you knew there was going to be a tax appeal, everybody knew about BASF because they filed in, I guess, 2003, or they made it known. We knew we were going to have to refund the $1.3 million, we knew that we were going to have to absorb what we paid the School Board. That’s also why it was my recommendation to push for a settlement, to get it done before the end of 2004 so we wouldn’t have to pay back all that money for 2005 also for the School Board, but now we really don’t have much of a choice and we keep borrowing money. There’s no doubt about it that if you borrow money, there’s less flexibility in the budget. Right now, about 25% of the taxes that we collect, just go to pay off debts, so, we can’t cut much. If we want to cut those types of expenses, we’re probably talking about cutting eight Policemen. We’re talking about cutting some major things. We could close down Turkey Brook and we still have the $600,000 worth of debt. There’s not a heck of a lot we can do, so with that, this is going to add another penny onto the tax rate over six years, rather than all at once, 6.6 cents to this year, and what we have to start coming to the realization that we just can’t keep borrowing money. If you build a building that’s going to last twenty years, it makes sense, everything else shouldn’t be bonded, and this year’s capital budget as proposed is a lot less, but we have to start going forward, but there is nothing else we can do. That’s why I have supported, I didn’t like it, but the burden on the taxpayer would have been too much. Yes, we had to refinance, it’s basically what we did, it’s just like if you were about to lose your house and somebody gives you some credit and hopefully you’ll be able to clean up your act the next year, and that’s what we have to start doing. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. I have no comments. At this point, I would entertain a motion to adjourn.
Mr. Guenther: So moved.
Mr. Mund: Second.
All were in favor and the meeting adjourned at 10:06 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______________.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk