Township Council Minutes
January 24, 2006
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
7:15 – Super Pee Wee Football Presentation
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the 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, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum
Mrs. Labow (7:59)
Also Present: John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Mayor De La Roche; Rick Prill,
Business Administrator; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Michelle Masser, Deputy Clerk
Mr. Rattner: Mr. President, could I ask for a point of order?
President Greenbaum: Yes.
Mr. Rattner: The Mayor over the last couple of meetings constantly looks for details about the Open Public Meetings Act and proper advertising. I have been advised that we are no longer in the Council Chambers. I believe the newspaper advertisement says specifically, that the meetings are at 7:30 are in the Council Chambers. Mr. Dorsey, does that make this a legal meeting?
Mr. Dorsey: I want to check that over, I don’t know why we would change the name in midstream. I will check that one out. Thank you, Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: I would also like to get a list from the Administration as to the Ordinances that would need to be changed and Resolutions that would need to be adopted in light of change in the room because I believe that all the public meetings talk about the Council Chambers as being the appropriate place. So there may have to be significant modifications to our Code and to Resolutions which have been adopted. At this point in time, it is great pleasure to welcome Officers of the Budd Lake Fire Department and Company for swearing in and that is going to be done by the Clerk’s Office.
The Officers of the Budd Lake Vol. Fire Co. #1 were sworn in by Deputy Township Clerk Michelle Masser:
Ken Nelson – Chief
Kevin Maloney – 1st Assistant Chief
Peter Bryn – 2nd Assistant Chief
Frank Nelson – Captain
Brad Evens – 2nd Lieutenant
William Cirone – President
Joe Compano – Vice President
Robert Hill – Treasurer
Don Turner – Recording Secretary
Steve Allen – Personnel Officer
Mrs. Masser: Please raise your right hand and repeat after me: I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of (they each stated their office), according to the best of my ability, So help me God.
Community Development Grant Applications Public Hearing:
• BLFD application for new roof/windows (facilities)
• County Club Estates dry wells & drainage (improvements)
President Greenbaum: The next item on the Agenda for discussion is the Community Development Grant Applications and this is a Public Hearing. The first Community Development Grant that we will be applying for is the Budd Lake Fire Department application for new roof and windows. Kathy, if you would just give a brief presentation as to the nature of the grant please?
Mrs. Murphy: Yes. This year we had actually three possible projects for Community Development, we discussed these last week at a Workshop but I will review them briefly. We had the potential to either file a Municipal project to do some work at the Municipal Beach by demolishing one of the old garages and trying to buy some play equipment or having the Budd Lake Fire Department try to go ahead and get some funding for new roof and replacement windows etc. and the third one was the possibility for Budd Lake Rescue Squad to apply for money for a garage for their boat, rescue boat. Of those three projects we had to prioritize and pick one of them and we have decided at this time that the Budd Lake Fire Department would have the best chance of being funded. So that is the first grant that we would like to apply for. The second one would be in the improvements category that could be an application for community development and their we have some drainage that we would like to do in the Country Club Estates, some french drains and drywell type things and see if we could get funding for those projects. They are due this Friday and if there is any comments or questions from the audience we would be happy to discuss them.
President Greenbaum: As part of the Community Development Grant Application, we are required to hold a Public Hearing with respect to the applications that we intend to apply for. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard with respect to the facilities Community Development Grant Application for the Budd Lake Fire Department? Seeing none, I close it to the public. The next Community Development Grant Application is for Country Club Estates drywells and drainage and that is improvements, in the improvements category.
Mrs. Murphy: Correct, that would be for the Town to try to do drainage.
President Greenbaum: Okay. At this point in time I will open it up to anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on the application with respect to Country Club Estates drywells and drainage Community Development Grant Application. Yes sir, Mr. McDonald if you would be so kind to go up to the microphone and please state your name and address for the record.
Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: Could you explain a little about this drywell, is this something that is being used to benefit a private development?
Mrs. Murphy: Up in Country Club Estates, maybe you are thinking of Country Oaks. Country Club Estates is up by Western Drive, Whippoorwill, Manor House, where they have had significant localized flooding programs over a number of years. Most of these houses were built in like the 1920’s and 30’s. They are fairly small lots and there are certain sections of that neighborhood that have had significant storm, sheet flow etc. during the years. It would possibly cost us a couple million dollars if we were to go in and do a complete drainage system and because the roads are narrow and it would entail a lot of tree cutting etc. We felt the best thing to do would be to put some drywells in, in the most significant spots and we have actually acquired some small substandard lots from foreclosure that we have held onto through the years just for this purpose.
President Greenbaum: It’s public roads. We have had a problem with flooding on those public roads and this is an attempt to in some way try to minimize the amount of flooding. We have been doing work in this area since I have been on Council and looking to continue to do work as best we can to fix the problem up there. This is part of that effort.
Mr. McDonald: This is not a drainage problem that has arisen recently. It is a long term problem?
President Greenbaum: Yes, a long term problem.
Mrs. Murphy: Yes, it is an existing neighborhood. It is a long term existing neighborhood.
Mr. McDonald: Okay, thanks.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else that would like to be heard on this particular application? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Thank you very much Kathy.
(Lutheran Social Ministries Lutheran Social Ministries (Mount Olive Manor II) Grant Application for Morris County Home Investment Partnership)
Donald Lubin, 32 Woodland Avenue, Glenn Ridge, NJ. : I am here today as part of the requirement of the Morris County Community Development office. We are applying to Morris County for $500,000 in supplementary funding for the Mount Olive Manor II project. This is a 50 unit addition to the Mount Olive Manor building. We were granted site plan approval by the Board of Adjustment in September of 2005. We will be submitting a firm commitment application to HUD on or about March 1st and we expect to break ground over the summer on this project. It is an $8.2 million project. We already have $6.4 million in funding from HUD, $275,000 in funding from the Federal Home Loan Bank. We expect balanced housing to approve a request for $750,000 and this we hope will gap the majority of the remaining funds and that is it in a nutshell. I don’t know if you have any further questions?
President Greenbaum: Does any Council member have any questions? Does anyone from the public have any questions? Thank you very much and we wish you the best of luck.
Mr. Lubin: Thank you very much.
Questions on Bill List?
President Greenbaum: At this point, are there any Council members that have any questions on the Bill List to be answered at the end of the meeting? Seeing none, we will move on.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
Dec. 27, 2005 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins,
Mr. Rattner, President Greenbaum
Jan. 17, 2006 CS Present: Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Buell, Mr. Tepper
Absent: Mr. Perkins
President Greenbaum: Approval of Minutes, Mr. Tepper could you please move the December 27, 2005 and January 17, 2006 closed session minutes.
Mr. Tepper: Yes Mr. President. I move that we approve the Minutes of the previous meetings of December 27, 2005 and January 17, 2006 closed session.
President Greenbaum: Okay, I will note when you vote that you would not on Council on December 27th, you should abstain as per Mr. Biondi’s educational........
Mr. Biondi: Faux pas a.
Mr. Tepper: I will only vote for things I have attended.
Mr. Biondi: That’s right.
President Greenbaum: Are there any questions, deletions, or comments with respect with the two Minutes that have been moved? I am sorry, is there a second first of all?
Mr. Tepper: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Are there any questions, comments, or deletions? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Tepper abstained on December 27, 2005, Mr. Perkins voted no on January 17, 2006
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS
1. E-mail received January 8, 2006, from Dave Jones, Budd Lake regarding resigning from the Library Board of Trustees and Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
2. Invitation received January 12, 2006, from the Inaugural Committee regarding the Celebration of the
Inauguration of Jon S. Corzine.
3. Invitation received January 12, 2006, from the NJAC Board of Directors regarding the swearing in of Douglas R. Cabana, Morris County Freeholder.
4. Letter received January 13, 2006, from the American Heart Association regarding “Wear Red Day.”
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
5. E-mail received January 6, 2006, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding legislative developments.
6. Letter received January 9, 2006, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Labor Relations Seminar “Interest Arbitration Strategies.”
7. Letter received January 9, 2006, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar, 2006 Fiscal Update.
8. Mayor’s Fax Advisory received January 13, 2006, from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bills on the Governor’s Desk.
9. Reservation information received January 20, 2006, from Morris County League of Municipalities regarding State of the State address.
10. Letter received January 18, 2006 from Judge Theodore Bozoneli regarding Complaint for Summary
and Declaratory Relief filed on January 6, 2006 (William S. Ruggierio vs. Lisa Lashway, Township of Mount Olive, Richard D. De La Roche, Township of Mount Olive, Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive).
11. Letter received January 9, 2006, from Roy Cadorin regarding application for general permit authorization for Block 7000, Lot 20 (498 Drakestown Road).
12. Letter received January 9, 2006, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Extension of Time request, Hackettstown MUA.
13. Letter received January 9, 2006, from Larry Kron, Esq. regarding Mark Skoda, Block 4500, Lot 1
(74 Goldmine Road) application with attachments and Highlands waiver plans that have been filed with the NJDEP.
14. Letter received January 11, 2006, from DIG Engineering Company regarding GP Permit Application Block 7000; Lot 20 (498 Drakestown Road) Application package for a Freshwater Wetlands GP-25 Permit to install a Septic System on the referenced property.
15. Letter received January 12, 2006, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Subaru of Mount Olive Site Plan County Route 513, Block 8200, Lot 6 (364 Route 46).
16. Letter received January 12, 2006, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Preliminary and Final Site Plan, Phase I and Phase II Expansion, Givaudan Fragrances (Block 402, Lots 2 and 5).
17. Letter received January 12, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Pre-Cancellation Letter and Deficiency Letter for Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Applicant: Roy Solondz Block 2801, Lots 11 & 14 (80 & 86 Lozier Road).
18. Letter received January 17, 2006, from Tilcon New Jersey regarding Highlands Applicability Determination Application Exemption for Block 600, Lot 1 (off Kinney Road).
19. Letter received January 17, 2006, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Public Notice/Public Comment Period Regarding the FFY 2006 Project Priority List (Clean Water Financing).
20. Letter received January 18, 2006, from EcolScience, Inc. regarding Application for an Extension of a Letter of Interpretation: Line Verification Block 2507, Lot 1 (1 Dogwood Drive).
21. Fax received January 20, 2006, from NJ Transit News regarding NJ Transit begins process
for awarding accessible vehicles to organizations serving seniors and persons with disabilities.
22. E-mail received January 6, 2006, from DCA regarding New Pay to Play Law Approved.
23. E-mail received January 13, 2006, from DCA regarding LOSAP CY 2005 Annual Award Increases.
MSA / MUA
24. List of Allocations received January 9, 2006, from the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority for the participating municipalities in the Water Pollution Control Plant.
25. Minutes of the December 7, 2005, Meeting of the Musconetcong Sewerage Authority received January 9, 2006.
26. Information received January 18, 2006, from the Byram Township Environmental Commission regarding a Tri County Regional Forum “COAH does not have to be a four letter word.”
27. Letter received January 10, 2006, from National Geomatica regarding GIS Integration.
28. E-mail received January 10, 2006, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding interview training “Why Maturity Works.”
29. E-mail received January 11, 2006, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the 85th Annual Meeting.
30. E-mail received January 16, 2006, from the Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding the Annual Meeting of January 26, 2006, where they will welcome the new President, Ms. Florence Block Reichenberg.
31. E-mail received January 19, 2005, from Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding accepting historic preservation grant requests.
32. Fax received January 10, 2006, from Comcast regarding rewarding innovation and success.
33. Fax received January 17, 2006, from First Energy regarding JCP&L Storm Restoration Update.
34. Fax received January 17, 2006, from First Energy regarding JCP&L Outage Restoration Information.
35. Letter received January 13, 2006, from Congressman Steven Rothman regarding the white tail deer population.
36. E-mail received January 19, 2006, from Beth Crusius, New Jersey Highlands Council, regarding Downtown Revitalization Institute.
President Greenbaum: At this point we are up to Correspondence. There are 36 pieces of Correspondence. Does anyone wish to discus any particular piece of Correspondence? I have one and it is not on the list of Correspondence but it is a memo from Mr. Prill with regard to Resolutions that are going to be on for this evening. I guess Mr. Prill has indicated that, and gives us I guess a statute that says that the Mayor is the one that should be the one to negotiate contracts and it is within the Mayor’s province only to negotiate contracts and he objects to the Resolution which will be on later this evening with respect to the holdover status. The Mayor’s position or Mr. Prill’s position is duly noted for the record. Notwithstanding, it is my position that holdover contracts do not get renegotiated. Holdover contracts are what the term is defined, that is that the person stays in the position at the last... under the last terms and conditions of the contract which was adopted. Moving past that, we are up to Ordinances for Pubic Hearing, I am sorry. There are no Ordinances for Public Hearing.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (second reading 2/28/06)
President Greenbaum: Ordinances for First Reading with second reading to be February 28,2006. The first ordinance is Ordinance #2-2006 entitled:
Ord. #2-2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive, Morris County, New Jersey, Establishing Fees for the Renewal of Alcoholic Beverage Licenses.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, it is First Reading. Could you please read that please?
Mr. Buell: I move that Ordinance # 2-2006 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on February 28, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road,
Mount Olive, New Jersey , for public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Any Council discussion? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: The next ordinance for First Reading is Ordinance #3-2006 entitled:
Ord. #3-2006 Ordinance Authorizing Criminal History Record Checks of Volunteers Involved with Township of Mount Olive Programs or services for Minors.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Biondi, could you please move that?
Mr. Biondi: Yes, Mr. President. I move that Ordinance #3-2006 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on February 28, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey, for public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded, any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Award of a Contract to PCI for Engineering Services Related to the Painting of the Sutton Plaza Water Tank.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Professional Services Contract for Eugene F. Buczynski, P.E., P.P., of Schoor DePalma, Inc., for Municipal Engineering/Consulting Services.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing and Approving a Professional Services Agreement for Legal Services for John H. Dorsey, Esq., Township Attorney and His Firm of Dorsey & Semrau.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the New Acquisition Price for Block 3700, Lots 5 and 42 (JMI).
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Grant Agreement with the County of Morris Regarding the Purchase of Block 4500 Lot 8 (Blue Atlas).
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Sanitary Construction for Improvements to Naughright Road.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Appointing Brian Levine, Esq., to Defend the Township Council in Connection with the Action Referred to as Ruggierio v. Lashway, et al. Docket Number: MRS-L-119-06PW.
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Appointing Joseph O’Neill, Esq., to Defend the Mayor in Connection with the Action Referred to as Ruggierio v. Lashway, et al. Docket Number: MRS-L-119-06PW.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Contract with Morris Land Conservancy for 2006.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Professional Services Contract for Gary Higgins, RMA, of Lerch, Vinci & Higgins for Municipal Auditing Services.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Carter Construction Company for the Renovation of the Old Library for Mt. Olive Child Care and Learning Center. (received)*
Mr. Rattner: Okay, Consent Resolutions. We have 11 Consent Resolutions. Does anyone want any of them taken off and be discussed separately? Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. Vice President. I move that Consent Resolution number one be removed.
Mr. Buell: Number three.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, anybody else? Mr. Tepper, would you move Consent Resolutions two and four through eleven.
Mr. Tepper: Yes, Mr. Vice President. I would like to move for approval of Consent Resolutions two, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Rattner: Anyone from the public who would like to address any of the items on the Consent Resolutions?
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: It is unfortunate that the Mayor has decided to exit the meeting at this time because I would like to comment on Resolution number eight, which the Mayor, through his own actions has caused, without approval of the Council. I would like to know if there is any way that the Township can recoup these costs from the Mayor should it be found that the suit is either dismissed or the Township has found that it has not done anything in error.
Mr. Dorsey: I suppose that the attorney is being appointed to represent the Council, may very well include that as one of his prayers for relief when he files his answer.
Mr. Bonte: Well, having heard that Mr. Dorsey, I would like to request that this Council by Resolution request that the attorney do that because I believe that the Mayor through his actions, without any guidance from the Council, has made a move that is not in the interest of the taxpayers of this Township. I personally find offense that my tax dollars have to go to defend the Township because of an action that basically the Mayor has brought upon the Town. I would like to ask this Council to add a Resolution this evening to request that the attorney seek those damages from the Mayor. Thank you.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Bonte. Anyone else from the public that would like to address Council on Consent Resolutions? Seeing none, I will close the public portion and ask for Council comments. I will just make the comment that on number eleven I will be abstaining because it involves a contract with the renovation of the Library and the leasee is the Mount Oliver Child Care and Learning Center which I am a trustee. Mr. Perkins did you want to say something?
Mr. Perkins: No.
Mr. Rattner: Anyone else? Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, just a comment along with Mr. Bonte. The Mayor’s actions and Mr. Ruggierio’s actions and some of you can now talk about Mr. Ruggierio’s alleged credentials to be a prosecutor. As far as I know the last time I saw his resume’ he has never sat as either a prosecutor or as a public defender. If he takes over this prosecutor’s position, we are talking mega time in terms of overtime for our police officers, the ladies in the court but more importantly, we are now lawyered up, the Mayor is now lawyered up the Township is lawyer’d up, this is going to cost a lot of money, a lot of time and effort for absolutely no benefit to anybody, especially the people of Mount Olive Township. This is a bad idea. I have been talking about this for the two year’s since I have been on this Council, that this Mayor does not know what he is doing. This is the result of a person who doesn’t care about the people of Mount Olive Township. Thank you.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, anybody else.
Mr. Biondi: In line with Mr. Bonte’s thinking, I would love to be able recoup those moneys that are going to be expended. I think we would have to look to our Counsel for guidance on that. Mr. Dorsey at some future date, obviously, it isn’t something that we can do this evening, it is just not timely but we have to look at Mr. Dorsey and hopefully get that done fairly soon.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, is there anybody else? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Perkins,
voted no on #8, Mr. Rattner Abstained on #11.
Mr. Greenbaum, Mrs. Labow, absent for vote.
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t think eight passed?
Mr. Rattner: No, I think it tied. No, wait a minute it, where did it go three, two. It went down, so even Mr. Greenbaum wouldn’t make a difference?
Mr. Perkins: No.
Mr. Dorsey: What was the vote?
Mrs. Masser: It was.....
Mr. Buell: It was three to two.
Mr. Tepper: Buell, Biondi, and Perkins voted no. Rattner and Tepper voted yes.
Mr. Dorsey: So, it’s three to two. It didn’t pass.
Mrs. Masser: Okay.
Mr. Dorsey: Okay.
Mr. Rattner: Now we will go on with Consent Resolutions. Number one, Mr. Biondi would you move Resolution number one.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Award of a Contract to PCI for Engineering Services Related to the Painting of the Sutton Plaza Water Tank.
Mr. Biondi: I move Consent Resolution number one, Mr. Vice President.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
Mr. Rattner: Okay. It has been moved and seconded. Anybody from the public that would like to address Council on Resolution number one? Seeing none, Council comments?
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. Vice President. I apologize for not being here last week, business kept me out of town. Ironically enough it’s taking me away at 2 a.m. again this morning. I am looking at a letter, a memorandum that came back from our Business Administrator explaining the reason for an award for the painting of the tank which is approximately $112,000 more then the lowest bidder was. The reason being I understand, some formal documents were missing from the first two lowest bidders causing us to go to the next highest bidder. I apologize, Mr. President, I remove that. I am reading the wrong tank.
Mr. Rattner: Any other comments. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Greenbaum absent for vote.
Mr. Rattner: Okay. Resolution number three, Mr. Perkins would you move that?
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing and Approving a Professional Services Agreement for Legal Services for John H. Dorsey, Esq., Township Attorney and His Firm of Dorsey & Semrau.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. Vice President. I move for adoption of Consent Resolution number three.
Mrs. Labow: Second.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Rattner: It has been seconded. Is there anyone from the public that would like to address the Council on this Resolution? Seeing none, I will close it to the public comment and ask for Council comments.
Mr. Buell: Yes. This, in essence, goes along with Resolution number eight, this is setting us up. Probably, I suspect that Mr. Dorsey is going to have to sue the Township to get paid, which is going to cost a considerable amount of money. The other issue here is the fact that over the last two year’s Mr. Dorsey has graciously consented, I think, as I remember, to reduce his fees over the last two year’s. If he now reverts back as I understand what happens now with the 2003 contract that was negotiated, it now reverts back to the 2003 payment schedule which is a higher schedule than our current schedule is, that Mr. Dorsey has gracefully granted us in terms of cost decreases.
Mr. Rattner: Anyone else? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Greenbaum was absent for vote.
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Amstar of Western New York, Inc. for the coating of Camelot Water Storage Tank.
Mr. Rattner: Okay. Now we go to the Resolutions actually listed on the Non Consent and number twelve, Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I move for adoption of Non Consent Resolution number twelve.
Mr. Rattner: Do we have a second?
Mrs. Biondi: Second.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, anybody from the public that would like to address the Council on this Resolution? Seeing none, I close it to public comment and ask for Council comments.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. Vice President, after being put summarily in my place. My understanding is that the bids were rejected because of the absence of some upfront documentation, which was a requirement, a very specific requirement of the bid. Under most circumstances I would not question this accept that the cost difference between the lowest bidder and the bidder that we are being asked to pass this Resolution on is $112,000 difference. In the year 2006 in our budgetary situation that we are in right now, I do not believe that the Township is able to ill afford $112,000 extra dollars for a project and there should be some way that we either go back out to bid as we did for the DPW building out back, until we got a bid that came in at a favorable price, or that we negotiate with the now higher contractor apparent low bidder right now based on the analysis of the bids and get him to agree to come down to the lowest price or at least a mid term price. Again, I can’t see spending this extra money to get the exact same work done. $112,000 goes a long way to support at least two maybe three employees in this building. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, anybody else? Mr. Prill if we reject the bid what does that do to us, other than just delays it by a couple of months. It is not going to fall down. We don’t think prices are going up. Is there any issue if we do go to re bid? I can see Mr. Perkins concern is that $112,000 is a lot of money, if all we have to do is go out and re bid.
Mr. Prill: I know, and I certainly share that concern. That is the first issue that I confronted when we received these bids and we ended up having to eliminate the two lowest bidders. My understanding is it’s not just a matter of rejecting the bids and going to rebid and losing maybe a little bit of time. What we are faced with here is a legal issue under the Open Public Contracts Law, where the engineer’s estimate was set at a certain level and the third low bidder is below estimate. So we really have no basis for rejecting that bid and rejecting all bids and going out to rebid.
Mr. Dorsey: Who was the engineer? Was it Schoor DePalma?
Mr. Prill: No, it is PCI. I am sorry.
Mr. Dorsey: I think in fairness to the question that is raised. I would suggest that the issue be specifically raised with PCI in light of the fact that there were two bids substantially lower that would have been selected except for some documentation that was missing and I have no idea whether it was major documentation or miscellaneous documentation at this point because I haven’t seen the details, whether or not he feels that his estimate was too high to begin with. What is the price, what is the price that is going to be awarded here?
Tim Quinn: Inaudible (not at microphone)
Mr. Dorsey: Was $546,000?
Mr. Quinn: Inaudible (not at microphone)
Mr. Rattner: Yes, please.
Mr. Prill: Amstar, the bidder that is proposed to be awarded the bid is Amstar of Western New York, Inc. Their bid was $511,000.00. The engineer’s estimated was, I believe was something.... Tim, correct me...was in the $520,000.00 range or $540.....
Mr. Quinn: I believe it was $526....somewhere around there was the engineer’s estimate on that project.
Mr. Dorsey: Look, I’m not arguing. I don’t mean to argue with the conclusion that we now reach except for the fact that I think when you’re talking about two other bidders who, as far as I know, we are perfectly well qualified to do the job. I am making that assumption because nobody is showing me any of their paperwork. I assume they must have been able to submit a bid bond. I assume they must of had at least a consent surety because I don’t know exactly what was not submitted and if their bids are 25% lower than the high bid and 30% lower then the engineer’s estimate, I would think it would be worth asking the engineer to reexamine his estimate as to perhaps he was too high when he now looks at these two lower bids.
Mr. Biondi: Mr. Prill, the documentation that is missing on these other bids, is it significant or is it just normal paperwork?
Mr. Prill: These are subcontractor’s certifications, business registration certifications, which are mandatory pursuant to the ......
Mr. Biondi: But not something that could be added correct?
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t want to argue this. Mr. Prill is right, under the bidding laws if they are using subs they have to have these particular certifications but from my standpoint. If you want a feeling as to whether or not a bidder is qualified, it is whether or not he can submit a bid bond in a consent surety, which essentially is an indication or an underwriting and then an insurance company will issue a performance bond in the full amount of the job. Now, Mr. Prill is not wrong in saying that these bids could not be awarded because this documentation was not here. I don’t think that that eliminates the question which you have raised is whether or not the consulting engineer’s estimate wasn’t too high to begin with. I mean the only thing I am suggesting is to ask him specifically to review it, particularly in light of the fact that their apparently were “two” qualified bidders prepared to bid 25% lower than the high bidder and 25% lower than his estimate. That is all you can do at this time, is ask for him to review his estimate and perhaps he will be less than totally defensive and may say something different, I don’t know but that is the open question and I don’t think that there is anybody up here than can answer it as we should have it answered by the consulting engineer.
Mr. Rattner: But whatever the consulting engineer says, would that allow us any leeway not to accept the current bid and the rebid because once we have it, I mean it is a qualified engineer who gave us the estimate to begin with I would imagine.
Mr. Dorsey: You are foreclosing any possibility that when he now reviews what his estimate is. In light of the fact that they were two qualified “bidders” prepared to bid 25% lower, that doesn’t cause him to reconsider what his cost estimate was.
Mr. Rattner: Mr. Prill, when is this, sixty days we have to from the bids to award it right?
Mr. Prill: That is correct.
Mr. Rattner: What day are we at right now? In other words what I am asking for is, if can we put it off for one public meeting?
Mr. Prill: I believe we did the bid openings at the end of December. I would have to check, I don’t have that information with me.
Mr. Dorsey: Then it would certainly appear that you could put it off for two weeks.
President Greenbaum: It wouldn’t be two weeks. It would be the 14th...13th of February, 13th is three weeks it might make a difference.
Mr. Rattner: Can we hold this up just long enough to see, can you just check the records to see when it came in? To see whether we have to vote it down or if we have time to look at it.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Vice President, I see on the bid analysis form that the bid opening date was December 6, 2005 at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. Prill: Okay.
Mr. Dorsey: You can do one other thing, you can write to the high bidder. You can write to what is now the lowest qualified bidder and ask if he will extend his bid for 30 days since the Township is in the process of reviewing the price.
President Greenbaum: I guess we could always have a special meeting on the... what is it on the 6th of February with respect to awarding this bid.
Mrs. Labow: Seventh.
President Greenbaum: Is it the seventh or the sixth?
Mrs. Labow: Seventh
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Dorsey, I have a question if I may? On bidding and Mr. Prill, please feel free to chime in here, an engineer comes up with an estimate, you go out to bid, and the bids are received. As long as all the bids are underneath the engineer’s estimates, you’re bound by law to accept one of those?
Mr. Dorsey: I wouldn’t say that is necessarily so but it is clear that the emphasis tonight on whether or not this bid should be accepted or not accepted is placed on the fact that it would appear that this bid is high. It was the highest of three bids. It gets awarded to this contractor because the other two we have to presume are qualified to do the work but have not been qualified as competent bidders because they missed some technicality. The basis upon which to reject this would be that the price is too high. Now the only thing that we know about the range of the price is that which was given to us by PEI or whatever their name is....
Mr. Prill: PCI.
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t know what other course you take other than to ask PCI to review the situation and see whether perhaps his original estimate was too high?
Mr. Quinn: Just say that he does say it was too high and I am not saying that he would, how does that change the bids that we have already opened? Then do we turn around.....
Mr. Dorsey: No, what we do then is reject all bids on the basis that the only bid that the Township can accept because all of the necessary documentation was submitted is just excessively high and then you would reject it and then make the determination to rebid.
Mr. Quinn: We can do that after the fact, after the bids have been opened and we had our price to go with, that doesn’t matter.
Mr. Dorsey: Timmy, believe me, the fact that the bids are opened doesn’t have any effect on this.
Mr. Quinn: Alright.
Mr. Dorsey: If you didn’t open the bids, you wouldn’t know what anybody’s price was and here is the basis for rejection would be is the price is unnecessarily high.
President Greenbaum: Well, we are caught in some what of a quandary here because we can’t get this on within 60 days not knowing whether or not the bidder will allow the bid to stand for an additional 30 days. We are almost forced to make a decision tonight or to hold a special public meeting next week just to address this one issue because the next meeting after that would be on the 7th.
Mr. Perkins: Mr. President, I am of the opinion that I personally would like to reject all of the bids, if at all possible, and go out for rebid. The reason behind it is strictly monetary. I notice in some of our correspondence that Cablevision has given us their gross receipts and franchise tax fee, to the tune of $75,000 plus. Now we are going to take another extra $112,000 that only leaves us about thirty some odd thousand out of that seventy-five, so we cannot continue to go on spending more money then is absolutely necessary. If there was an omission on the front end, in private bidding is obviously different then it is in public bidding, but if the price comes in too high, one that we can ill afford, I somehow believe that the administrative government here has the wherewithal to reject all the bids because they are just unsummarily high and we need to go back out and re bid.
Mr. Greenbaum: That is certainly one option. Are you putting a motion on the floor to reject all bids?
Mr. Perkins: Yes sir.
Mayor De La Roche: I just have a question because everybody is concerned about legal fees. Will this result in litigation, Mr. Dorsey, in your opinion since it was well below the engineer’s estimate and the prices came in below and now you are rejecting it because it is unreasonably high?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, it could result in legal fees but, of course, in this instance we are talking about a very significant....
Mayor De La Roche: I am sorry I can’t hear you.
Mr. Dorsey: It could result in some type of litigation. I can’t guarantee that one way or the other but, of course, we are talking about a sum of money that is worth talking about and that is $112,000. So the answer is yes, it could involve legal fees.
President Greenbaum: Could we accept the lowest bid, John?
Mr. Dorsey: No, you can’t accept the lowest bid because they clearly did not comply with the requirement of submitting these certifications that the subcontractors that they named are approved by the State. That was the reason wasn’t it?
President Greenbaum: There is a motion on the floor to reject all the bids. Is there a second?
Mr. Biondi: I would like to second that motion.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded is there further discussion on the motion to reject? Is there anyone from the audience who has something to say on the motion which is on the floor which is to reject all the bids? Yes sir, can you please state your name and address for the record.
Richard Kamin, Flanders 13 Downstream Drive: Not to throw a wrinkle in this but the two bidders who were rejected were done so under the laws of the State of New Jersey and the one bid that was submitted that met the qualifications and is under the engineer’s estimate, what is to preclude that firm from then filing a law suit because they had met all the requirements of the Township including what was the engineer’s estimate?
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, Roll Call on the motion to reject all bids.
Mr. Dorsey: Reject them on the basis they were excessively too high.
President Greenbaum: The motion is to reject the bid as the only acceptable bid was too high.
ROLL CALL: Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Perkins voted yes
Mr. Tepper, Mr. Buell, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Greenbaum voted no
President Greenbaum: The motion to reject is defeated and we are back to the motion to accept the bid.
Mr. Tepper: I move that we accept the only qualified bid that we have received.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: Another question. If don’t take action tonight, we can ask the bidder, maybe we can review the paperwork to see if there was anything else that was incomplete, or some reason that we can legally reject it. If the contractor objects, then he is going to get it and we will say that we will put it on and if he holds it open for the extra two weeks, we will vote on it in the next Public Meeting. So all we really lose is two weeks, I don’t want to fight or litigate something like this because I don’t think we are in good standing but at least have time to look at it. Usually with a lot of our bids we have the attorney to look it over just to see, especially when there is a big difference and we understand there is a disconnect to see if there is any legal reason because of the price difference in the paperwork and we can reject it. Does that make sense?
Mr. Dorsey: This is not a legal issue tonight. The question is whether or not the price bid, by the highest of the three bidders is a reasonable price, all things considered, and that is not a legal question.
Mr. Rattner: I don’t think it is but right now, I feel that if the contractor put in a legal bid and we are right and I assume I am on the other two, we are going to have to award it to him. I am saying to give us a couple weeks, since this is the first time this issue has come up in this format. We have had it now for almost 50 days or a little more than 50 days and we haven’t had a legal review of it as far as I know. I just wanted to take a little bit of time and look at it and if we don’t award it this week, the contractor is going to complain and we will do it at the next meeting. What do we lose on doing that? Are there any penalties that we can be assets for holding off on it? If the contactor says, he wants it and wants us to vote at the next meeting.
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t think there are any penalties to be applied to the Township, if two weeks, hence it awards the contract, I guess it is actually three weeks, awards the contract to now what appears to be the high bidder but the lowest responsible bidder in this game.
President Greenbaum: It would be actually one day late under the sixty day, if sixty is the appropriate time frame that has been identified, it would be one day late.
Mr. Rattner: And I want more information on how we got into...it we’re that high, we may have to accept it but right now, I would like to have time to have it reviewed.
Mr. Perkins: No hint of sarcasm here, can we get Gene Buczynski to negotiate with his contractor the same as he did with a few contractors for Turkey Brook, where we were able to get some relief?
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t think we should be discussing it.
President Greenbaum: Relief in terms of the timeframe no, I think what we are going to do, the suggestion has been made by Mr. Rattner and I assume that it is a motion to table at this point in time and to reconvene the discussion on the resolution on the 7th of February.
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Alright it will be three days late, 7th of February is the motion to table. Is there a motion to table?
Mr. Buell: Second. It will be three days late?
President Greenbaum: Three days. Roll Call.
Mr. Tepper: Don’t we have to vote on the original motion first?
President Greenbaum: No. It is a motion to table. It supersedes under Robert’s rules.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Tepper voted no.
President Greenbaum: Motion to table carries. We will have to list the meeting of the 7th as a special Public Meeting to discuss the awarding of the bid for the painting of Camelot Water Tower. The next Non Consent Resolution is Resolution #13
13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to
Bobcat of North Jersey West, LLC for (1) All-Wheel Drive Skid Loader.
Mr. Rattner: So moved.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded is there any one from the public who wishes to be heard on this particular Non Consent Resolution? Seeing none, close it to the public, anyone from Council? Mr. Rattner.
Mr. Rattner: I had an issue with this one when in came up in Workshop. It is over 30% more than what we said the estimated price would be. My concern is that we went all of last year without this piece of equipment, then it comes in and the specs were redesigned after the budget when we put our priorities in place. I am not ready to approve anything more than what we approved last year during our budget. If it is that important then we should include it with the 2006 budget and see how it falls out in the priorities of the capital that we are going to expend.
President Greenbaum: Anyone else from Council who wishes to be heard? Seeing none Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Rattner, voted no.
Mr. Buell, absent from vote.
President Greenbaum: The next resolution for discussion is Resolution #14.
14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Promoting National Wear Red Day.*
Mrs. Labow: I move Resolution #14.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second?
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this Resolution? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Any Council member who wishes to be heard?
Mr. Rattner: I will support, however it is interesting how things have come around. I was a Korean War baby and when I grew up in the 50’s and the early 60’s the saying was better dead than red. In the height of the cold war, it is amazing. It must be a liberal thing. Maybe you really are a Democrat.
Mrs. Labow: Oh, thanks.
Mr. Rattner: Thank you Mr. President.
President Greenbaum: Thank you Roll Call please.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously, with the exception Mr. Buell was absent from vote.
President Greenbaum: There was one additional Resolution that was not on the Agenda, but it was received late and I am going to read it into the record and I would ask ultimately that Mr. Biondi move this after I have read it into the record.
RESOLUTION OF THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF MOUNT OLIVE COMMENDING SERGEANT WILLIAM GALOP ON HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP POLICE DEPARTMENT
WHEREAS, on February 1, 2006, Sergeant William Galop will have completed his required year’s of service with the Mount Olive Township Police Department. He plans to retire this year and as such his final day at work will be February 17, 2006; and
WHEREAS, Sergeant Galop began working for the Township of Mount Olive on March 13, 1978. Prior to his service here he was a Morris County Sheriff’s Officer for nearly three year’s; and
WHEREAS, for over thirty year’s Sergeant Galop has unselfishly served the citizens of Morris County in a manner that is beyond reproach. He has become one of the state’s premier traffic specialists and has developed Mount Olive Traffic Bureau to the professional program it has become; and
WHEREAS, Sergeant Galop is a Police Training Commission Certified Instructor in the Basic Traffic Function, Enforcement and Investigation. He is a Certified Radar Instructor. Additionally, Sergeant Galop is a Certified Drug Recognition Expert. He is also a court tested expert in many facets of motor vehicle law and has successfully prosecuted many serious cases, including Death by Auto and Vehicular Assault; and
WHEREAS, above and beyond Sergeant Galop’s expertise in motor vehicle law he has also excelled in his mastery of firearms and special weapons and tactics (SWAT). He has served for many year’s as one of the Mount Olive Township Police Firearms Instructors and was a member of the Mount Olive Township SWAT Team from the time of it’s original inception in 1984; and
WHEREAS, the citizens of Mount Olive Township and the members of the Mount Olive Township Police have been fortunate to have such a dedicated officer serve them so well for so long.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive that they do hereby congratulate Sergeant William Galop on in his retirement and wish him health, happiness and fortune in his future endeavors.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Biondi could you please move…
Mr. Biondi: Mr. President, I move that the Resolution celebrating Sergeant William Galop’s retirement be moved.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Is there anyone from Council? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: We are up to motions. Mr. Tepper, could you please move the appointment of Don Cartwright to the Recreation Advisory Committee.
1. Appointment of Don Cartwright to the Recreation Advisory Committee for a three year term to expire 12/31/08.
Mr. Tepper: Yes Mr. President. I move to appoint Don Cartwright to Recreation Advisory Committee for a three year term to expire 12/31/2008.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell could you move the Bill List.
2. Bill List.
Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously
Library Board Report
President Greenbaum: Administrative Matters, Mayor is there a Library Report?
Mayor De La Roche: The Library indicates to me that they sent you a copy of the complete Minutes so they can be read at your leisure.
President Greenbaum: Okay, do want to educate the public as to what happened at the Library meeting last week?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I think we could read the Minutes into the record. Unfortunately, I don’t have them.
Mr. Rattner: The Clerk, do you remember getting it? I didn’t get it. All I got is two days after the meeting was a copy of their Agenda, but here were no Minutes.
Mrs. Masser: I don’t recall any Minutes at this time. I would have to look in the file and check.
Mr. Rattner: Normally the minutes wouldn’t be distributed until the Board votes on it at the subsequent meeting, right?
Mrs. Labow: What it was, they sent us a copy of the Agenda with little notations on what took place on each thing but they were in a different color, and it wasn’t actual Minutes.
Mr. Rattner: That is everything that went on?
Mrs. Labow: Apparently.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, were you at the meeting?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Can you just briefly go over what was discussed?
Mayor De La Roche: I am trying to recall all of the information, let me see.
President Greenbaum: Would you rather hold that until you can do it....
Mrs. Labow: I found mine.
Mayor De La Roche: If you have a copy of the Minutes, it might refresh my recollection.
Mrs. Labow: I have it.
Mayor De La Roche: Okay. Keep in mind I am a member of every Board so after a while it gets a little crowded. Well, this is pretty thorough. The green indicates what happened at the meeting.
President Greenbaum: Okay, if you wouldn’t mind just reading into the record, I would appreciate it.
Mayor De La Roche: Sure, I will read it all if you want. They approved the Minutes of the prior meetings, November 9, 2005, December 14, 2005, December 21, 2005, and January 4, 2006. Public presentation to discuss the Board regarding items on the Agenda, status of Handicapped parking, waiting from word from the Council response to the letter sent by the Board. There was no President’s report that I recall. Action on the Bills, they were all approved. The December 14, 2005, bills ratifying the January 11, 2006, bills were also passed. The Financial Reports were all approved unanimously and ratifying, that was for December 14, 2005, was ratified, In January 11, 2006, was approved. The Library Director’s Report, reference library published books, Around Bangor. This makes two members of the Library staff to have books published by Arcadia Press. The book is Mount Olive by Rita Hilbert. There was a Committee report regarding the lighting in the main area and the expense involved in replacing all the bulbs. Apparently, the discussion was the original Architect had indicated that they could have had lights taken down but it was much more expensive so they went to replace the bulbs manually. There was also a discussion regarding fundraising and special activities. Last year’s Chair was replaced in October with the Committee as a whole. The Gala is tentatively scheduled for November 3, 2006. The time and place to be determined. There was discussion that occurred regarding personnel in the Closed Session, which cannot be communicated now. Letter of resignation was received by email to Council from David Jones. The unfinished business was regarding Handicapped Parking and they indicated earlier they are waiting for some response from the Council.
President Greenbaum: What is the status of the Handicapped Parking Resolution at the present time?
Mayor De La Roche: They are waiting for a response from Council.
President Greenbaum: No, we responded. Mr. Prill, do you know what the status is on that Resolution? We were moving forward and we were waiting on some additional information is that correct?
Mr. Prill: At the last meeting I believe you had indicated that you would be notifying Rita to move ahead with the.....
President Greenbaum: That was done. There were memos that back and forth, at least from the Clerk’s office to the Administration and that there was further indication that there was additional information which was required from the Administration before the Resolution could be put on.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, what happened at the meeting was they said they were waiting for information from the Council.
President Greenbaum: I understand.
Mayor De La Roche: That was the report he asked me to give them.
President Greenbaum: I understand that. I was following up with the question with Mr. Prill, as to where we stood currently with that parking resolution.
Mr. Prill: My understanding, and please correct me if I am wrong, that this is a bid that will be let by the Library and not us, so we would not be awarding any bidder or pursuing it.
President Greenbaum: Okay.
Mayor De La Roche: If you could pass this down?
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: That completes the report.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: You’re welcome.
President Greenbaum: Any further Administrative matters?
Mr. Prill: Two items if I may? One is, whether Council is prepared at this time to take action on appointing Mr. Fleischner I believe to the Library Board. Is that correct?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone who wishes to move that appointment at the current time?
Mayor De La Roche: You have had his resume’ for about ten days.
President Greenbaum: There is no one that wants to move the motion, next item.
Mr. Prill: Okay. More just a clarification with the defeat of Resolution #8 this evening. Should that be interpreted that Council has no intention of approving a Resolution authorizing legal counsel for the Mayor or how should that be interpreted? How should that matter be proceeded?
President Greenbaum: I wasn’t present and the Resolution failed. Any further items?
Mr. Prill: No, just again to repeat the request, how should that be interpreted? Should the matter be brought up at another meeting or...Just trying to understand where the Mayor stands at this point in time with regards to legal counsel in this litigation.
Mr. Dorsey: Of course, there is one point you might want to reflect upon and that is in Mr. Ruggierio’s own complaint he says that the Mayor’s position and his position are identical in paragraph 11, so I suppose there is some question as to whether or not the Mayor actually needs separate counsel, since for all practical purposes, Ruggierio and the Mayor are one in connection with the law suit.
Mayor De La Roche: I would disagree with that. I don’t know how you came to that conclusion. I was named as a defendant and the Mayor’s office is required to defend itself. If Council defends itself then Mayor should defend himself.
Mr. Dorsey: I came to that conclusion, Mayor, because I read the complaint and I think if you read the complaint in paragraph 11 and think it is 11, you will see that Mr. Ruggierio, who you nominated for Prosecutor, has said very specifically that his position and your position are identical.
Mayor De La Roche: Okay, so you will give me that legal opinion in writing, right Mr. Dorsey?
Mr. Dorsey: I will give you in writing what I just said if that is what you request?
Mayor De La Roche: I want some case law on it also.
Mr. Dorsey: There is no case law. I am simply telling you what the complaint says.
Mayor De La Roche: I know what the complaint says. I read it. I am asking you to give me that with citations.
President Greenbaum: We don’t need to go back and forth. Mr. Dorsey you don’t need to respond any further. Mr. Dorsey’s position is, he simply reviewed the complaint and ultimately took the language from the complaint, which is that Mr. Ruggierio has indicated, himself, has indicated that his position and your position are identical and that is all Mr. Dorsey said at this point in time with respect to his review of the complaint. Mr. Dorsey did not make the decision to as to the resolution. That was decision which was made by majority of Council. Just so the record is clear Mayor, I would have voted in favor.
Mayor De La Roche: Yes, I am sure you would have.
President Greenbaum: I would have and to the extent that a....there is one person...you would have voted in favor and you weren’t here? Well, what I am happy to do is to put it back up for a vote at this point in time. I was not here for that resolution.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I understand that.
President Greenbaum: At this point in time, I would like to make a motion to reexamine number eight on the...was it removed?
Mr. Tepper: It was just defeated Rob.
President Greenbaum: It was defeated; I am going to ask for reconsideration of number eight, which is:
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Appointing Joseph O’Neill, Esq., to Defend the Mayor in Connection with the Action Referred to as Ruggierio v. Lashway, et al. Docket Number: MRS-L-119-06PW.
President Greenbaum: Is there a second to reconsider?
Mr. Rattner: Second.
President Greenbaum: My position, I will get to you Mr. Bonte, my position is that until you have been sued and until such time the litigation unfolds irrespective of what Mr. Ruggierio may say, your position may differ slightly or significantly from arguments that Mr. Ruggierio may make or may not make and I believe that you have made a...although I disagree with your decision for many different reasons, I believe that your position is at least worthy of being defended as with anyone’s position in the event that they got sued as a result of sitting up here. While I don’t believe that you being sued in this litigation was anything more than a tactic, the fact remains that you were sued and I believe as I said during our closed session you were entitled to a defense and I thought we had actually resolved this in Closed Session.
Mayor De La Roche: I thought we had too.
President Greenbaum: Well, as I said I was not sitting here for the vote and that is why I asked for reconsideration.
Mayor De La Roche: I wasn’t either so.
President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: Well, now that you are here Mr. Greenbaum and the Mayor is here, I will have to repeat what I said before. I have one additional question because the official Agenda states that this is a.... the lawyer is being hired in connection, to defend the Mayor. Yet the Resolution reads that the purpose is to defend the Township Council. So I would like to know first of all.
Mayor De La Roche: They are separate ones.
Mr. Prill: Number seven and Number eight.
Mayor De La Roche: There are three parties being sued.
Mr. Rattner: The way the lawsuit was filed with the naming, we did have to have a closed session last week and we did come to an agreement with the Mayor. The Mayor and the Council are probably going to take different opinions on it. At the same time, Mr. Dorsey can represent the Town and the Township Clerk but can’t represent the Council or the Mayor because he can’t take sides. Then what happens is, and then we are in a situation that two parties to approve a contract.
Mr. Rattner (Cont’d): You need a professional service contract and we need the Mayor to sign it. So basically we had to come to an agreement as long as the fees are reasonable because the Council is going to have to be represented so would the Mayor. It is ridiculous and the expense that we are going to go through because the way that it was with the three sides and the law and the complaint does say that Mr. Ruggierio is relying on the position of the Mayor, we can’t share an attorney. We have to be represented. We think it is a waste. I don’t know what you are going to defend if you are not asking any relief from that party but it is just a situation that we are in and the actual legal way that works out, I guess Mr. Greenbaum or Mr. Dorsey can explain it but that is the situation that we are in and it is a no win situation.
President Greenbaum: I agree, it is absurd Mr. Bonte and technically the lawsuit should have been entitled Mayor De La Roche and Bill Ruggierio VS the Township Council of Mount Olive. The fact remains that it is not and until the lawsuit unfolds, the Mayor is entitled to a defense, in my opinion. Mr. Dorsey has reviewed the contract and he has come to the conclusion that Mr. Ruggierio has said that the Mayor’s position will be identical to the Mayor’s position but the fact remains that he is entitled to counsel and I don’t expect that the expense of this litigation based upon the claims is going to be substantial, although any expense is unfortunate.
Mr. Bonte: That is correct. Any expense is unfortunate and in this case you know we are dealing with a person who is an employee of the Township, who was removed from the Township. Why that person would want to come back to the Township again is beyond me. Why the Mayor of this Council would want to rehire him is beyond me and that is why I will request again what I requested earlier while you weren’t here but now that this is back on the floor, and that is, that Mr. Dorsey be requested to prepare a separate resolution, which I know he can do in a minute, that should this suit be found to be frivolous and is dismissed or if the Township is victorious, that we seek to recoup the funds that were expended to defend this lawsuit from the Mayor and Mr. Ruggierio because I, as a taxpayer, don’t want to see my hard earned money and I am sure there is nobody in this room who wants to see their hard earned tax money go to defend these type of lawsuits. I don’t know what is going on in this Town but this is the epitome of what has gone on for the last year and I think we should put some teeth into getting this stopped. So that is what I would like to request.
Mrs. Labow: Can you do that?
President Greenbaum: It is not quite that easy. Passing a resolution of that type certainly could be done but the teeth of the Resolution certainly is guided by the law with respect to when and if cost can be recovered as a result of frivolous litigation. There is a specific court rule in New Jersey which deals with seeking costs related to frivolous litigation. Certainly, the American rule is in place which is that each litigant bears the cost of their own attorney’s fees. Attorney fees are not costs, under the court rules and I believe that passing a resolution of that type would not result ultimately in the awarding of... attorney’s fees would not be part of the cost that the court could award. There are separate lawsuits that can be brought after the resolution of the case, such as abusive process or malicious prosecution but neither of those would probably go anywhere and would result in further waste of money. I can tell you that the Council will ask for frivolous litigation cost, which is the cost of filing an answer, the cost of certain other court imposed fees but that is about all that you can get back in the New Jersey Court system.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. President, what I think I should do is obviously I am going to have to draw a professional service contract for both, for Mr. O’Neill and with the Council’s approval I will write to Mr. O’Neill and advise that he has been appointed and it is our position that while he should certainly review the complaint and consult with the Mayor, the Council will not be inclined to approve bills if he simply duplicates what is Mr. Ruggierio’s position in this case, inasmuch as Mr. Ruggierio has already pleaded in his complaint that the Mayor’s and his position are identical.
Mr. Rattner: I would put him on notice on that one.
President Greenbaum: I agree with that. Mayor I assume you have no problem with that? You are not looking for duplication of efforts? You are looking areas where you may not be adequately represented, correct?
Mayor De La Roche: I am looking to defend the office of the Mayor on being sued. I don’t know if, you would consider it frivolous because obviously I consider my position to be the correct one and the Councils failure to ratify it would be the frivolous part. No one seems to discuss that part of it. Statutes are pretty clear that as the Mayor’s appointment, it does not require ratification so I assume Mr. Bonte will be looking for recovery from Council too.
President Greenbaum: Doesn’t the fact that someone you have appointed has now sued the Township bother you in some small degree?
Mayor De La Roche: Doesn’t it bother you that someone you removed after approving, after studying his record for three months straight going over every case he ever handled, utilized a super majority to remove him less than three months after he was approved and I doubt very seriously that had anything to do with his qualifications. You have made that choice and I consider him to be an exceptional lawyer and that is why I consider him to be an ideal choice for Prosecutor.
President Greenbaum: I don’t believe that that answered my question and actually, you are not accurate but....
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell did you have something?
Mayor De La Roche: I think it is factually accurate.
President Greenbaum: Okay, Mr. Tepper.
Mr. Tepper: The question I would ask, I believe this entire expense is being incurred as a result of the Mayor’s action, attempting to appoint someone as Prosecutor who has no prosecutorial experience. We are attempting to appoint someone who does not reside any where even in the area. I am sure if you did want to replace Mr. Mason for whatever reason you could find someone from Morris County that is eminently qualified. So the sole reason for doing this is unknown to anyone but yourself as to why you believe Mr. Ruggierio is qualified to be Prosecutor.
Mayor De La Roche: Well it is the same reason you believe Mr. Dorsey is the only choice among all the lawyers in the State. Mr. Dorsey is the Township Attorney. I am sure he could handle the job as Prosecutor. I have no doubt and I don’t know if he ever has? I know he is certainly capable because once you are a Township Attorney you should have the ability to prosecute traffic tickets and various other domestic offenses. So I am sure Mr. Ruggierio is well qualified to handle that as I assume Mr. Dorsey probably would, even though neither on has been tested to my knowledge.
Mr. Tepper: Excuse me, Mr. Greenbaum, one has nothing to do with the other as I ....
Mayor De La Roche: Mr. Dorsey doesn’t reside here either.
President Greenbaum: I don’t want to get into a back and forth. Mr. Kamin, you have the floor please.
Richard Kamin, Downstream Drive, Flanders: I am sure Mr. Bonte’s outrage and disbelief about the things that are being advanced in this Township and that have to be considered, when a casual person does a little bit of their civics and even in high school can learn better about how the Faulkner Act functions and what it allows and what it doesn’t allow. Just a small point, on a motion to reconsider it is generally from one of the three no votes and in this case would be those that were not present for the vote are considered to be part of eligible to on a motion to reconsider according to Robert’s Rules.
Mr. Dorsey: No, I think when one wasn’t here when the vote was taken or one who voted against the resolution are the persons who are qualified to make the motions for reconsideration. That is my parliamentary experience.
Mr. Kamin: I just wanted to make sure....
President Greenbaum: I personally think it is irrelevant because we have the motion on the floor. It has been seconded and we are not going to defeat it because of Robert’s Rules so I’ll.....
Mr. Kamin: But knowing this is so important to the integrity of the Council and how they are trying to deal in a fair way with this Administration, I wanted to make sure you did it as best as you could.
President Greenbaum: You know what, the bottom line is that it’s... the only reason I brought it up and we had discussed it closed session is that it is ultimately an issue of fairness or whether it is on this issue or some other issue down the road, where the Mayor could withhold the Council the right to retain counsel of their choice it has to be done in this fashion. While I agree, wholeheartedly that the Mayor does not need representation in this matter nor will he ever, the fact remains that he is entitled to it so long as the fee which is being charged is reasonable and we discussed that in closed session and we came to an agreement and I think it is bad forum at this point for Council to number one, to renege on an agreement which we had President Greenbaum (Cont’d): already come to and number two, to not provide the Mayor with counsel. He has, in fact, been sued. That is the way that Mr. Ruggierio phrased his complaint and he is entitled to representation. I would agree with Mr. Dorsey that the professional services agreement should be written in such a fashion that it is not duplicative of the efforts that Mr. Ruggierio is doing and I am sure that the Mayor not wanting to waste Township dollars would ultimately agree that there should not be duplicative efforts. It doesn’t benefit anybody and the courts do not want to hear duplicative efforts they want to hear what any one has to say to advance an additional argument.
Mr. Kamin: And I am sure that Mr. Ruggierio did not solicit the support of the Mayor for paragraph eleven of the complaint.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I am closing to the public. Is there anyone else on Council?
Mayor De La Roche: Can I just recall to you that Mr. Ruggierio and I had been involved on a lawsuit before and our opinions and our decisions as the case unfolded became completely diverse. Mr. Ruggierio settled with you and he withdrew some other case that had been started which I did not. I withdrew it without prejudice. He withdrew his with prejudice. So, even though things start out with the same concept does not mean that they are fully supported of each other. That makes your point. I don’t know where it is going. I don’t know why I was sued, but I was.
President Greenbaum: Okay, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Just a comment, as I remember the last time we were sued we had an attorney, unfortunately, the Mayor had an attorney who he picked. His attorney cost us I think five times as much as our attorney.
Mayor De La Roche: I don’t think that is correct.
Mrs. Labow: Yes it is.
Mr. Buell: In terms of duplicative effort, we all could have written the first result that Judge Bozonelis wrote for the case.
President Greenbaum: I told Mr. Bonte that we will recover our litigation cost in this by recouping the severance pay that we paid to Mr. Ruggierio by bringing this lawsuit and that certainly will be a counterclaim which I will push Council members as a litigious effort to recoup. Is there any further discussion?
Mrs. Labow: I just want to give a little bit of history on the attorney that the Mayor would like to have, Joe O’Neill. He was going to be our, if he had been successful two year’s ago, would have been the Municipal Attorney. He was with the firm Bob Garafalo and Joe was going to sit in as Municipal Attorney and that was how we came to meet Bill Ruggierio. Joe O’Neill worked for Bill Ruggierio down in Old Bridge and I just want to put it on the record. I think this is all very strange how this is all tying in together again.
President Greenbaum: It is not strange at all. Mayor I will respond to that. It is not strange at all. When you go to hire an attorney, you hire somebody that you worked with or had some relationship with or know to be of the same thought of mind as....
Mrs. Labow: It is another failed appointment.
President Greenbaum: It has nothing to do with that. Obliviously, the Mayor has gained respect for Mr. O’Neill in terms of his abilities and had decided from his perspective that that is the right person to represent him and I don’t think that whether or not he is attached to anything which has happened in the past is in any way relevant to the discussion. The Mayor has decided that that is the right attorney, the fees are in line with what we had discussed as being reasonable, and the Mayor has the right to choose whoever he wants. Mayor I would rather have you not ....
Mayor De La Roche: I just want to comment on it because you might recall that you voted Mr. Dorsey’s former partner to represent him in yours so I am sure that as you have indicated one never knows where these things go. Lawyers are independent.
President Greenbaum: It is irrelevant.
Mayor De La Roche: Yes it was.
President Greenbaum: At this point, if there is no further discussion I would like to bring it to a vote. Mr. Perkins, did you have something or do you just have a headache from the discussion?
Mr. Perkins: I do have a headache from the discussion. Quite frankly I think it’s ludicrous that we are even entertaining this, although legally we must, when I have to question my DPW Director and the Administration on a contract award to try to save money in a time of budgetary crises and I am going to be asked to approve appointing an attorney to represent my Mayor who for all intents and purposes appears to have been the instigator that would have caused the lawsuit in the beginning.
Mayor De La Roche: I take exception to that remark.
Mr. Perkins: You can take exception. Duly noted, Mr. Mayor thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any further discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Perkins voted no.
President Greenbaum: The motion passes on the second go around. Any further Administrative matters?
Mr. Prill: One, just a quick update. The Old Municipal Building has been demolished. The contractor is now working on removing the flooring and the footings and the foundation of the building. He should have concrete grinder/crusher on site hopefully tomorrow and we will be moving forward with crushing the concrete and then that product will be brought up to the DPW facility. So hopefully by next week that project should be completed.
Mr. Buell: In terms of that, at the Board of Education meeting last night, they indicated as a result of the construction they have dirt. It is good for landscaping and they asked me if we were interested in that. I said we might be in terms of the DPW garage, they asked me who to contact. I told them, either you or Tim Quinn.
Mr. Prill: Actually Mr. Quinn has been in touch with them and we probably will be taking advantage of some of that soil.
Mayor De La Roche: I think we agreed to that about a month ago.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Any other Administrative Matters?
Mr. Prill: I have nothing further, thank you.
Speed Bumps on Sunset Drive
President Greenbaum: Old Business Speed Bumps on Sunset Drive, Mr. Buell do you want to give us an update on that.
Mr. Buell: Well, didn’t want an update. I heard from a resident that lives on Sunset Drive we had put a speed bump on Sunset Drive before I guess the reconstruction. We removed it during the reconstruction. I thought the understanding was as soon as the Sunset Drive was repaved and the construction was finished that the speed bump would be put back in and that was the understanding of the resident. In addition, most of us are familiar with Sunset Drive, huge volume of traffic, buses daily. Probably if there is going to be a speed bump any where in this Township that is the place where we should have speed bumps or some kind of traffic control or traffic impediments. I was told that in contacting Mr. Prill that there was no prevision for putting that speed bump back on Sunset Drive and would like to request that that decision be reviewed and that we do put speed bumps on Sunset Drive.
President Greenbaum: I am sorry I was getting legal counsel. What was your request?
Mr. Buell: I would like us to put a speed bump on, several speed bumps and look at the traffic control on that street.
President Greenbaum: Is there any thought to putting the speed bump back on Sunset Drive?
Mr. Prill: I have discussed this with Mr. Quinn as well as Chief Katona. I think that both are in agreement that given the fact that, and I guess the correct terminology for these according to Chief is speed tables as opposed to speed bumps or speed humps but given the fact that Sunset Drive was used as I guess a test case for these traffic control devices prior to the road being reconstructed. That both the Chief and Mr. Quinn had indicated or had an understanding that they thought that post reconstruction that the speed tables would be reinstalled. However, unfortunately, I guess there was insufficient funding when the bid was awarded and this particular item had to be deleted for cost reasons, but I believe the intent was that they would be reinstalled. The question is now, and this is not a cost item that Mr. Quinn had anticipated in his budget. He has worked up a number at least an estimate of approximately $1,300 to $1,400 per speed table and I think there were three or four on the roadway prior to reconstruction. There is a cost item that Council needs to be...
Mrs. Labow: No.
Mr. Prill: Was there just one? Okay, so there is a cost item if it is only one or two.
Mrs. Labow: Two.
Mr. Prill: Okay, so we are dealing with two. We are talking less than $3,000 but just as long Council is aware that it will be a cost item this year.
Mr. Buell: Is this a capital expense or would this be an operating expense because I am working on the Budget as part of the Finance Committee and I am about ready to submit my changes or recommended changes. Where would I put that?
Mr. Prill: It would not qualify as a capital so it would be operational.
Mr. Buell: Operating.
Mr. Prill: Yes.
Mr. Buell: I will put that in and submit it to you with my changes.
President Greenbaum: Any other Old Business?
Mr. Buell: Yes, I would like an update on the Pavilion at Turkey Brook Park.
President Greenbaum: I saw a memo that Mr. Buczynski has asked the contractor to order the octagonal pavilion.
Mr. Buell: Has it been ordered and when is this construction scheduled?
Mr. Prill: Well, the letter indicated or advised based on Council’s previous decision, Mr. Buczynski’s letter to the contractor was directing him to place the order. In terms of a timeframe, we are looking at spring. I don’t have a....spring time for work to recommence and sometime later in the year then the pavilion would be a part of that project finishing up.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I mistakenly sent an email to another Councilmember using his or her Township email address and I found it bounced back to me. I now understand through Lisa Lashway she inquired with Scott Gaskill that all of our emails or Township emails for all of the Council people, at the orders of Mr. Casey the Mayor, had been eliminated? Can I ask why, and is that true, and what is the purpose of that? I thought the process of communicating to the people in the Township should be wide open? I mean I think we should encourage people to email Council members with complaints and issues at the Township rather than have to look at my email or call me on the telephone. Can you tell me what is happening here?
Mr. Prill: This is the first I am hearing of this. I honestly cannot respond to that.
Mr. Buell: Well, can you get me a response to that? I would like to know who ordered this. I have it on good word that that’s what happened and I would like to know why the Mayor has or Mr. Casey has eliminated our email. I mean how much does this cost the Township? Especially since we had all our emails set up and wired into our own systems.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, would you get back to us on that please?
Mr. Prill: I will look into it.
President Greenbaum: I would like to have that reestablished.
Mr. Buell: I would also like to know if the Mayor’s email has been eliminated.
President Greenbaum: Do you know the answer to that question Mr. Prill?
Mr. Prill: No, I do not have an answer for that either.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, do you know if your email address is still valid to the Township?
Mayor De La Roche: I have no idea.
President Greenbaum: Okay, thank you. Well, we will find out.
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Greenbaum: Any other Old Business, any New Business?
DCA – WRAP (Workable Relocation Assistance Program)
Mrs. Labow: Mr. Prill, for the WRAP program. Are you familiar with that?
Mr. Prill: Only to the extent that we have exchanged some correspondence and Mr. Wilpert is reviewing that matter and has requested further information from the State so we can better understand what our obligations are in terms who would be the most appropriate person to be named as the coordinator for that program.
Mrs. Labow: What I understand is that, I think it is going to be, if we can make a determination tonight, I think it is going to be an administrative matter to appoint a person and as far as any funding for it, we can’t get any grants or funding for this program until a person is appointed to that position. So, I don’t know if you want to look into that and decide if it is going to be the Health Officer or somebody from the DPW or whichever code official. I know Kathy Murphy was looking into it as well because I got confirmation on it from the Health Department.
President Greenbaum: I would like to put this back on for Workshop meeting on the 7th, if that is okay with you Mr. Prill?
Mr. Prill: Sure.
President Greenbaum: List it for the 7th for further discussion under Old Business.
Mrs. Labow: I have another item but I don’t know if I should bring it up during Board of Health Report or if I should bring it up now?
President Greenbaum: Bring it up now.
Mrs. Labow: All right, I will bring it up now. I believe you all received a letter from Peter King, the Attorney for the Board of Health. Did everyone have a chance to review that? Mr. Prill.
Mr. Prill: I have read it.
Mrs. Labow: The Board of Health, we met Thursday night and we are very concerned about the fact that we have one of our employees has left on maternity leave. She is scheduled to possibly come back in May and in the budget, the Administration has chosen to eliminate a section of that salary while this inspector is not going to be there. Those inspections that that inspector would have normally done during this next coming four months still need to be done and if was the hope of the Health Officer that he was going to be able to hire someone for the interim to do those inspections. In an analysis that he did showing the amount of inspections we had last year and you figure out how many manhours or person hours it takes to do those Mrs. Labow (Cont’d): inspections, three inspectors were able to do what per the State guidelines would have taken four and a half inspectors to do and now the Administration has essentially crippled their ability to do these inspections. The problem with that means they are going to have to simply pay fines for inspections they can’t get done, although the inspections are with the apartments and the apartments have a turnover and if the inspector can’t get out there to do the certification, I just want to know what is your reasoning behind this and you will please put that salary back in so we can hire a temp for the coming three to four months.
President Greenbaum: At this point, the decision to put the salary back in would be a Council decision. The decision to spend the money is an Administrative decision and/or is a decision of the Board of Health. The Board of Health may take the position that it falls under their jurisdiction rather then under the general budget as they are an independent authority. However, I am not sure that they are going to be able to move the Administration in the right direction. I assume based upon what the Board of Health is saying that the Council will likely put the money back in the Budget by super majority, to fund that position if, in fact, the Council believes that it is required and that the information provided by the Board of Health is accurate, Mr. Rattner then Mr. Buell.
Mr. Rattner: If I understand how we do the temporary budget and I don’t have it in front of me, I believe at this point in time it is still funded through the first quarter because I believe what we did is either took last year, one quarter of last year’s budget, before any cuts or last year’s budget cuts 2% which is I think is allowed by Statute. As far as I understand, I don’t have it in front of me, the money was not removed from the budget at this point. The budget we are operating is under our temporary budget which it was set by the statutes. The money is there today.
Mrs. Labow: Because what is happening now, everyday that is going by....
Mr. Rattner: It is a separate issue, the money is there, but we don’t have any authority to spend money that is 100% in the Administration.
President Greenbaum: Accept to the extent it may fall under the Board of Health prerogative. That is an issue that the Board of Health is going to need legal advice on and to deal with it appropriately. It is a shame that the Board of Health feels that the health and safety of the community is being compromised and the Administration is taking an adverse position to that we are put in the middle of the decision which ultimately we have no ability to protect the health and safety of the residents of Mount Olive.
Mr. Buell: Yes. In reading the letter, it is basically obvious that the State can order us to hire the inspector as a Township, so if that is the case we don’t even have control of it.
Mrs. Labow: There is one other issue as well, is that by the Administration choosing to remove a portion this salary, if this inspector happens to have her baby today and she comes back two months early, that salary is not going to be there for her and I don’t know if we are even allowed to do that.
President Greenbaum: No, the Administration has the ability to propose cuts, it is the Council that has the ability to put the money back in, so to the extent it is an important issue it will be dealt with at the budget time. As Mr. Rattner said, it is a separate issue in terms of spending the money and that may end up being a dispute between the Board of Health and the Administration in terms of whether or not it is required and who has the authority to actually spend such money. At present time, Council doesn’t have authority to require anybody to spend money.
Mrs. Labow: I want to ask the Administration a question then. Mr. Prill is it your position that the Administration is okay with the Health Department having fines from the State for not getting inspections done?
President Greenbaum: That is an unfair question, Colleen. Mr. Prill, I do not believe that you need to answer that unless you want to.
Mr. Prill: Well, I am not aware that we are in a position to be bound by the State. What was referred to by Mr. King, are guidelines set up by the State. They are not standards they are simply guidelines and it is a determination that has to be made as to whether or not the Health Department under the direction of Mr. Wilpert, can infact continue providing all necessary services to the community during this interim period that the Sanitary Inspector is out on maternity leave or family medical leave.
Mrs. Labow: In Netcong too.
Mr. Prill: Including Netcong, because we have it contracted.
President Greenbaum: Again, I believe this issue has been addressed. I don’t think there is anything further to be gained by any further discussion on this issue. Is there any other New Business?
Mr. Rattner: I have a concern, I am sure that the Mayor or at least the Planning Board probably is aware of this. The lame duck legislature passed a lot of very useful things. One of them is S2696. I also have the assembly number and it was signed into law by Governor Codey that requires new affordable housing units constructed be accessible for use by elderly and disabled persons. I think we need to look at what that means for any affordable housing that we have to provide because I believe what that means is that now any apartments, any housing, any condos you have to put them on the ground floor. They probably have to be made wider if there is a second floor. You may have to provide an elevator. This is something I am not sure but I am just looking at it and on the surface, it looks like it could make making the affordable a lot more difficult and looking at that. The other one in even more serious, believe it or not, and that is S2006, allows commercial non- agricultural activities to occur and personal wireless service facilities to be erected on preserved farmland. They actually put in there you can put a service station if they work on as a commercial business, farm vehicles. It allows any preserved farm that already doesn’t have a separate commercial business, to set one up, using an existing building adding 500 feet onto an existing building or build something free standing. Criteria conditions includes that small enterprises such as bed and breakfasts, tractor repair shops, this is exactly from the bill, antique shops and leasing space to store equipment stuff like that could be put onto preserved farms. I am concerned because I know the first preserved farm we have in Morris County is on Route 46. Ionia Farms was the first farm that entered the farm preservation. What is even more concerning is that I am not sure if we have any say in it. The issuance of these permits would either be at the sole discretion of the State Agricultural Development Committee (SACDC) or in some cases when it is owned by the County Agriculture or something else, it is a different item. I am concerned and I am sure that we are going to have to look at this, what it means and if there is anything that we can defend against. I don’t know what the thinking was. I don’t know why but it just defeats the whole purpose of preserving a farm in open space and this does effect us because both these things we are dealing with now and I think we have to get right on it and find out what is going on. You know, ask the Planning Board Attorney and ask how it effects us because obviously with all the whereas and therefores and all the other things, maybe we have an out but I couldn’t find it in there.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. I will ask that that gets referred over to the Planning Board if you give that to the Town Clerk.
Mr. Buell: Steve, did you read today’s editorial in the Star Ledger, Mulshine he indicated Green Space that the State has passed a law that allows housing to be constructed on park land, preserved park land as long as they build one affordable housing for every four units.
Mr. Rattner: I didn’t see that but I know affordable housing is an exemption for somebody coming in when you talk about the Highlands.
Mr. Buell: If you could look...like I said.
Mr. Rattner: I don’t know, there has been so many editorials. You know one of the other issues we have is with the Highlands and decreased value. I think by now everybody knows Best Farms in Hackettstown, he had his farm his business, his house; he is selling to Centenary College for a million and a half. The Highlands went in, they told him it was pulled because the value went down to $250,000 because of the Highlands, and he has already lost his business property because he couldn’t pay for it.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Thank you. Any other New Business?
Mr. Dorsey: None.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Biondi: I would like to ask Colleen to make that report as she sat at that meeting for me I was unavailable to make that meeting.
Mrs. Labow: Thank you. It was a wonderful meeting as usual. The Recreation Board is always a nice meeting to attend. Mr. Cartwright who was just confirmed tonight was there. He was very delighted and very excited about the fact that the reps are senior citizens. He is president of the Senior Citizens Club over there across the street and the seniors are really looking forward into being more involved in town activities. Lisa Pignataro was also there our new appointee. Most of the talks centered on the Winter Festival which is planned for February 4th from 1:00-6:00 p.m. they passed around a map, I can pass around to show everybody where everything is going to be laid out. They are going to have several vendors participating. There is going to be heated tents as well as unheated tents, snow making machines will be on site. There will be snowman building competitions, snowball building contests, snowball throwing contests, and they are looking for people who would like to come and take pictures and join in. Also the Recreation Department is concerned with the beach renovation plans and I brought this up last week about the top soil. I don’t know Mr. Prill were you able to check into to the sand instead of the topsoil, on the beach?
Mr. Prill: At this point in time Mr. Quinn’s recommendation is that we just allow the contractor to complete his contract as stated and then in the spring time the DPW will take a look at that inhouse about possibly expanding the beach a little bit more and then adding some additional parking where the old building footprint used to be.
Mrs. Labow: With the beach, they are saying it is a lot more money to put in the soil and the grass verses putting in the sand. It is a considerable savings on the bid. So I don’t know if maybe you can talk to Mr. Quinn again?
Mr. Prill: Again, I haven’t seen any numbers discussed so I don’t know how much of a savings if at all there would be.
Mrs. Labow: It’s a huge savings. For one ton of sand was $23.75 per ton, so that is considerably less than top soil, and grass and fertilizer. So maybe we can do a cost analysis and rethink that because there very much opposed to having soil and grass put in because the geese are just going to flock to it and we want to have fewer geese there, not more.
President Greenbaum: Please take that up with Mr. Quinn and get back to us. Thank you. Any other items?
Mrs. Labow: The next thing they talked about was patrons had gathered a list of things they would like for the beach and they also wanted to consider possibly offering the beach for neighboring towns like Netcong for a fee. They also wanted to know if there was going to be any money left over from the bond taking down the Municipal Building if they could use some of it for some more improvements around the beach area. They also discussed the sign ordinance and possibly having us where vendors could put up signs around the ball fields which we have that scheduled for February 21st Workshop. We are getting input from all the sporting groups. They also announced a meeting schedule which is the first Wedsday of every month except for July, it is July 12th and the other thing that they had was their successes. They talked about the Winter Festival and hope it is going to be a huge success. Phantom is sold out. That bus leaves on February 22nd. New Jersey Devils vs. the Flyers on March 1st, there are still tickets available. Ringling Bros. and Barnenum and Bailey Circus, March 11th bus leaves at 12:00 p.m. from the Municipal Building, returns around 6:00, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is March 18th, Nets vs. Miami is April 1st, tickets are still available. Jersey Bulls on Broadway on April 22nd tickets still available.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Board of Health Report
Mrs. Labow: Basically I covered everything that we wanted to talk about before. We had our first meeting of the year and we voted in all our officers and so forth, it was a very pleasant meeting and we are just very concerned over the shortage in the department that the Health Department is not going to be able to fulfill their obligations.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Tepper: Planning Board has met twice since our last public meeting. First was the Reorganization where Mr. Smith was named Chairman, our elected chairman. Paul Stefiniw was elected Vice Chairman. The Planning Board then appointed Maser Consulting as Environmental Consultant for 2006 replacing Dr. Keller of Habitat by Design.
Mr. Tepper (Cont’d): There were three topics discussed, the final extension for Route 46 Office Associates. There was a discussion on the completeness of Hovnanian application. It was deemed subsequently complete and there was extensive discussion on the DPW Building. it was presented by Mr. Casey and Dave Hanson of Suburban. During that discussion we became aware that the height of the new building proposed was changed from 32 to 35 feet which would have meant that a variance would be required. However, a subsequent memo from Mr. Prill has addressed this issue by stating that the building’s positions would be moved to eliminate the need for a variance. One thing of note there were no environmental reviews by either Dr. Keller or Maser on the proposal and given the Township’s past history of noncompliance with State and environmental requirements you might want to recommend we have the appropriate reviews before any site work or construction is preformed.
President Greenbaum: I heard that prior to the appointment of Maser Engineering that there was some level of discomfort both in terms of the services and the fees that were being charged by that firm. Was there any discussion of that at the Planning Board prior to their... not only reappointment but also their expanded roll with the Planning Board.
Mr. Tepper: During Executive Session there was some discussion by members of the Board as to the quality of work provided by Dr. Keller and that was the basis for the recommendation for the change.
President Greenbaum: Okay. Thank you.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. The meeting was held last night. They approved Minutes as well as all their resolutions. They had one extension request which was granted for a single family home to be constructed on a substandard lot, approved two applications, one for a front deck within a front yard and one for preliminary site plan to construct a self storage for Paramount Self Storage down on Route 206. We still need the Highlands approval that is still pending, so nothing will move forward with that until they get the Highlands and they carried one appeal with the Zoning Officer’s determination for Callaremi. That was it.
Open Space Committee Report
Mrs. Labow: That was another delightful meeting and they just...I think there officers are a little bit concerned or confused because the Mayor had appointed Lew Candura as the Chair and it’s not a position that the Mayor can appoint and it is actually just to be on the board and they discussed that and decided to vote...and decided to make Lew Candura the Chair after all and that was about all that was discussed other than a few other programs or properties that we are going to be looking for coming up this year and as always the Open Space Committee just does a fabulous job of keeping tabs on everything in town with the property.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Biondi: Yes, made contact again with Guy Gregg and the traffic issue on 206 and 46.
President Greenbaum: Did you have trouble reaching his office?
Mr. Biondi: No, I did not. It has now been forwarded to the Department of Transportation and we are waiting for a response from them so we can go forward.
President Greenbaum: Thank you. Anything further?
Mr. Biondi: Nope, that’s it.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. The Pride Committee’s last meeting was generic as usual. The new billboard is up down of Route 206 for the Winter Festival. I think it is comical it is cute and I like it. Obviously they did, that is why it is up there. The update on the house on Route 46 by the 7-11 the dilapidated house, Mr. Grueber, the owner, he had signed an agreement to allow the municipal government to demolish the structure. My understanding is that the Zoning Officer, Jay, and Liz had met with Bob Casey a few weeks ago, at that point, they were going to talk to Sherry regarding funding for the demolition and they are waiting on some sort of response to see how it is going to move forward. It would be nice to see that brown building finally down.
Mr. Perkins (Cont’d): I think a good wind pretty soon will take it down. Looking at a few other items around Town as far as sprucing up the upcoming billboard maybe to honor the veteran’s different branches of service, Memorial Day essay contest will be up in full swing again this year. Depending on how much money they are allocated in the budget they would like to donate some to the fireworks for the Mount Olive Day in the summer. That is it, Mr. President.
Board of Education Liaison Report
Mr. Buell: Yes. They met last night. Some very good news. They expect to have the classrooms occupied by the beginning of the school year in September, the science room sometime in October and the renovations to the existing school done also in September. They don’t expect to finish the auditorium until the end or sometime in 2007. The Flanders School is now owned by our ....that bid has been accepted and basically the only other issue that really relates to the Township was that they voted last night to put the electrical lines underground instead of on poles which is what the Planning Board had originally requested at a cost of an additional $74,000.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
Mr. Rattner: Thank you, Mr. President. I don’t have any report but at the last meeting the Business Administrator was going to get a status on the beaver hunt, you know from the channel, you know the bit that was controlling the height of the lake and the flooding.
Mr. Prill: Didn’t I provide Council with an update memo on that? I think they have trapped......
Mr. Biondi: Trapped and removed right?
Mr. Prill: They have dismantled two of the dams and they feel that has allowed them to bring the level of the lake down a little bit.
Mr. Rattner: Okay, because the storm we had last week, we had the worst flooding ever, you know, where it was the deepest. In fact this time the DPW Department actually set up flags, actually had a sign made up to put on the road that said flooded road. The road’s low, and I don’t think it is the road because all the adjoining properties were flooded too, so the lake level is still higher, so we have to get down to the cause of it. We can’t have ....especially with the ice, you know, the road under water.
President Greenbaum: Take a look at that issue Mr. Prill. Please get back to us after speaking to Tim. We will put it on for Old Business.
Mr. Rattner: I did mention to the new County Engineer, asking if they could look at the bridge because I told them that most bridges that I am aware of, the water goes under the bridge not over it.
President Greenbaum: Okay, that was pretty funny.
Mr. Rattner: No, but it is fact.
President Greenbaum: Okay, does that conclude your report?
Mr. Rattner: Yes.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Perkins: No meeting.
Finance Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: Yes, Mr. President. The Finance Committee, the new reconstituted one that you set up, met last Saturday. We were provided with budget books for every member by the CFO. Additionally, we requested last Tuesday that they put the information on disc. They did even better, they sent it in excel email so every member had it prior to the meeting. The first meeting was basically just get acquainted with the document, get acquainted with each other.
Mr. Rattner (Cont’d): I can say the people you picked, I would have to say are the best and brightest of Mount Olive, all high powered people in all different areas of financing, accounting, and project management. So I think it is going to be an interesting committee and probably go into areas and evaluate things that we haven’t before. I have contacted the Administration and suggested that at our next meeting, even though it is just going to be going through the documentation that they are welcome to attend. Anybody who happens to be around... so at least the town professionals can meet the members of the committee. Additionally the committee is putting together all their questions as they review all the documentation and going to forward them to Jim and I so we can consolidate and give one list and a neat package to the Administration so they are not chasing after the same question four different ways. I would ask that the Council, we have had the book for a week, that any questions to please go through it anything you see, things you want to ask information that you want explained or if you have any recommendations again, email it if, we have an email account, to Jim and I and we will put them also with the committee’s questions and then sit down with the Administration and come up with one list so that they understand what they are doing. Thank you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you.
Economic Development Committee Report
Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.
Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report
Mr. Tepper: Nothing to report.
Commercial/Recreational Vehicle Subcommittee Report
President Greenbaum: Commercial/Recreational Vehicle Subcommittee Report, has that met yet?
Mr. Buell: No, we have not met. That is really the reason why I asked this to be put on. We plan to meet on Wednesday, February the 22nd, at some time in the evening. That has not yet been established. I am getting together, hopefully, a definitive document of all of the interlocking ordinances that relate to this thing because it is very complicated. My only thought at this point in time is we are going to have to approach this thing incrementally a little bit at a time, rather than trying to make sweeping changes.
President Greenbaum: Are you going to hold that meeting here in the Public Meeting Room?
Mr. Buell: I hope to hold it here in this meeting...Township Hall Meeting.
President Greenbaum: At this point in time I will open it up to the public. Yes sir, you in the back from Independence, please state your name and address for the record.
Harry Brown, Hackettstown, New Jersey: Vice President of the Soccer Club. You have read the first reading tonight of the Ordinance regarding the criminal background checks. We have a number of questions; let me start by stating we are 100% in support of a program protecting the kids within Mount Olive Township’s sports programs and recreation programs. In reviewing this, the opening title is record checks of volunteers involved with Township of Mount Olive programs or services. The first paragraph says recreational and other programs, is that correct? Because if you are saying volunteers would this not apply to the Fire Department, Boy Scouts because it goes on further to say that you are required to have this done if you are using Township facilities. Well, the Boy Scouts do but the way this is written it is really targeting the sports clubs and anything that comes through the Recreation Department and I will further this by another step. The Township puts its name on the Ski Shawnee trip. This would mean all those parents and volunteers that ride the bus and chaperone the kids would be required under this ordinance to have a criminal background check. The Township would essentially destroy the program for the kids of Mount Olive. How are you going to drag mom and dad....what they simply do is get on the bus make sure the kids behave and have a good time, okay? They are not necessarily coaches, they are chaperones. So the Township needs to go back to the Recreation Advisory Committee. We will sit down with the Chief, again, and look at this because there are a number of things that are coming out on this that just aren’t right.
Harry Brown (Cont’d): Colleen, Councilman Labow, brings up the Winter Festival, okay? Let’s leave that project alone, let’s go to the summer one. We got an email for volunteers from the Recreation Department, under this clarification you can not solicit volunteers unless they have a criminal background check because it is a Town sponsored program.
Mrs. Labow: I have a question for Harry.
President Greenbaum: Let him finish and then you can ask your question.
Mr. Brown: I will go on to stating in reviewing this, when we were originally approached regarding this we were given a choice of A or B. (A) being that the organization is being paid for, (B) being that we charge every registration $5.00 and we soon discovered that was going to generate an inordinate amount of money, so we chose (A). If the Township is proceeding forward with this, then why are the organizations paying for it. You are demanding it, but we are paying for it. The reason being the two largest organizations, the Football Club and the Soccer Club within this Township probably have 50% of the coaches, the other half are Basketball etc., but there are a lot of crossover sports. If the Football Club decides to pay for their registrations or even the Soccer Club, we are essentially funding all of the Volunteers for the majority of all the other quasi sports entities. Now is that exactly fair? Especially since my funding is supposed cut in half if not eliminated this year due to budget restraints, which is fine but at the very end of the document, the penalty clause is item (A) Any Non Profit Youth serving Organization which does not follow the rules in obtaining a criminal history check shall lose the funding in whole or part. Well if you are not going to give me any money, what are you going to holdover my head? Now I am being told by Ordinance, told by that I have to do it anyway, so now I have to go raise fees or find other sources of income to pay for your Ordinance. Now I am not disagreeing that it should be done. I also have a problem and I discussed it with the Chief just prior to this, in section six item (C) under the appeal process the person shall have 30 days from receipt, that notice to petition the Recreation Supervisor for a review and cite reasons substantiating the review. That is in direct violation of the VRO program. The Police Chief is the person being entrusted with the information. It is a private matter between that individual and somebody that....in discussions that we had prior, was qualified to handle the sensitive information, okay. So here this poor volunteer, something that they may have done stupidly in college, which initially rejected this, they now have to go talk to the Recreation Supervisor to cite reasons why, well, they’re just not going to volunteer. Why bother it’s just not worth the hassle. The Ordinance then goes on to state, all the different New Jersey statutes regarding crimes etc. I would like to see this and I showed it to the Chief, East Hanover adopted one similar....recently and they list the top eight ordinances described, homicide, assault, endangering threats, etc. so at least the volunteer knows that look if I hit anyone of these eight’s in my past, I am not even going to bother. That’s fine, but at least they know. So it needs to spell it out in the Ordinance similar to what they have done in East Hanover. East Hanover, by the way, is paying for all the background checks for their Coaches and still giving the sports clubs minor funding, so maybe we should call them and find out how they did it? I think that about covers it, other than who would be supervising the supervisor on this.
Mrs. Labow: Harry, I was covering for Lee Mund at the Recreation Meeting the one time you had your laptop and we had some concerns that night, were these similar concerns?
Mr. Brown: Well yes, some of them were, they were addressed we had a scratch back on the main meeting that we sat in on it and now it appears again about why the Rec. department supervisor...where the person would have to come in and cite their reasons because I felt that was....it should have been done directly with the Police Chief. If the Police Chief is going to be the person hearing the appeal, he should be granting the appointment. I also discovered today in discussing it with East Hanover Recreation Department, that they also contracted at the same time with a company called “Kid Safe”, for an additional $12.00 on top of the program, the program as outlined in this Ordinance would run $36.00 per background check, for an additional $12.00 they come into the Township handle the entire paperwork process because I personally don’t feel our Recreation Department could handle 200-300 coaches just from the quasi sports groups. The Police Chief is understaffed to begin with, they would need a couple officers just to roll the fingerprints, okay, and you would have to set up nights. We run a club of a hundred coaches we would need a good lead time because the State could only handle..... Ed, the State can only handle sixty background checks at a time?
Chief Katona: Will only accept sixty per month.
Mr. Brown: Okay, per month. So we are talking about a five, to six month process to get everybody in Town hooked up. East Hanover brings in this group “Kid Safe”. They handle the paperwork, they compile the list, they take a photograph of the applicant and becomes a photo ID for that coach. Additionally, they post on their website a list of all the names alphabetically the Township and the sport that that person has been approved. So any parent that wants to check it one step further just goes to the website and takes a look at it and I thought for the $12.00 and the administrative part I thought that had some legs and worth looking at. I would just hate to see the sports clubs and the organizations burdened and the Township and their departments getting buried under this program. We definitely believe something needs to get done but we requested almost a year ago and brought forward to this Council and to the departments an advisory brochure that we give out to parents at registration, about how to keep kids safe. The Township to this date still does not issue this, even a simple pamphlet, so before you start saying the worlds on fire, take the first step and give the parents a little brochure, copy it, hook them up. It is an easy brochure. Each of the sports programs has policies in place to keep an eye on the kids. The soccer program has it, the football program has six coaches on the field at anytime with the kids, what’s going to happen? There is more risk of a child using the restroom at Turkey Brook alone, then there is with a Coach on the field, in our opinion.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown: Thank you.
President Greenbaum: I think you brought up some very valid points. I was under the understanding, based upon representations that were made, that all the sports groups had already signed onto this Ordinance but I think that certainly some of the points which you brought up in terms the way things have been defined, need further clarification and I personally would not be in favor of this Ordinance at this time the way that it is moving forward. I don’t know, do we need any further discussion on this at this time? It’s going to come up for second vote.
Mr. Rattner: Yes, I want to agree, that is what I wanted to bring up because remember I brought that up because when I first got the first draft I was concerned. Some of my concerns were addressed when we got it at the last Workshop. I asked specifically because I had some things because I have been involved in different things. I mean I went on overnight trips so you can imagine and I passed but any way it probably wasn’t as strict but I asked, specifically, so we didn’t have this same issue because we did the same thing last year and now it has been a year and a half and we are still talking about it. Yes, the Administration checked or the Recreation Supervisor, we better get a checkoff list or something where somebody initials off because by the time we bring it up here, if it is not ready for primetime. I don’t want to have like we had last time where we have 100 people come in and just yell at us and say we didn’t consider everything. Thank you, Mr. President.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, any other comments? Yes sir. Please state your name and address for the record.
Ronald De La Roche, Wynnewood Road: I have two questions for the Council and two for the Administration. Question number one for the Council is, are you guys going to appoint a Library Liaison this year or not?
President Greenbaum: That was already decided.
Mr. De La Roche: I just ask because I don’t see it listed here.
President Greenbaum: We do not have a Library Liaison.
Mr. De La Roche: Okay. Thank you, and that is for reasons why?
President Greenbaum: The decision was made not to have a Library Liaison, that the Mayor, it is the Mayor’s Board, can give us an update on what happens at the Library.
Mr. De La Roche: So you will have the Mayor every Council Meeting reading Minutes too. Is that right?
President Greenbaum: If that is what he chooses to do to give a report, then that is what will happen. Next issue.
Mr. De La Roche: Second question second issue, Mrs. Labow is the newly appointed Chair to the Board of Health. Is that correct?
President Greenbaum: That is correct.
Mr. De La Roche: Okay, and Mr. Greenbaum you stated that they were a separate legal entity. Is that also correct?
President Greenbaum: That is my understanding.
Mr. De La Roche: So does the Health Officer and the sanitary inspectors in the Health Department fall under the jurisdiction of the Board of Health, Mr. Greenbaum?
President Greenbaum: I believe that they do.
Mr. De La Roche: Do they have an operations budget? Has the Council approved funds for them to pay their salaries and their benefits?
President Greenbaum: I am not sure of that but that is the way that it was recommended. My impression is that is the way it was recommended and if it has not been done that way perhaps this year it needs to be done that way.
Mr. De La Roche: Okay, thank you and my two questions for the Administration. Mayor, when you were Director of Personnel down in Union City, how many licensed sanitary inspectors were there for a population of over 90,000 people?
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I believe the population of Union City, the town you are speaking of, was 60 something thousand and there was one sanitary inspector.
Mr. De La Roche: Thank you, Mayor.
President Greenbaum: What year was that Mayor? That you were Director of Personnel?
Mayor De La Roche: 1999, I believe.
President Greenbaum: 1999. You held that position for one year?
Mayor De La Roche: I am not really sure; I held that for a few years, I believe.
President Greenbaum: So it was from 1999 going forward?
Mayor De La Roche: No, the last year was 1999.
President Greenbaum: Okay, so it was some time prior to 1999.
Mr. De La Roche: What does this have to do with anything, Councilman?
President Greenbaum: I just wondered. That’s all.
Mayor De La Roche: What is it that you want to know?
President Greenbaum: What years you held the position of Director of Personnel in Union City? The issue was raised and I just had some questions.
Mayor De La Roche: I am not sure how many years I held it. I had many jobs.
President Greenbaum: I understand that.
Mayor De La Roche: I will look at my resume’. If you would like a copy of it, we could trade resumes’. That would be interesting.
President Greenbaum: I would love to have a copy of your resume’, thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: And I would love to have a copy of yours.
President Greenbaum: I will send it to you.
Mayor De La Roche: Thank you.
Mr. De La Roche: So Mayor, because Mr. Greenbaum and Mrs. Labow have so eloquently stated that you don’t care about the safety or well being of the citizens of Mount Olive or our neighbors or our Netcong residents, do you feel that with our Health Department that has a Health Officer which is licensed to do inspections, he can do inspections and you have Robert Stahlhut also a licensed sanitary inspector and you also have Arif who is another licensed sanitary inspector, do you feel that when Jennifer (Heidi) goes to have her child and in her absence do you feel that three licensed people can do the inspections for a population of 25,000? Yes or no, Mayor?
Mayor De La Roche: I think that is being disrespectful to the public....
President Greenbaum: You know what. Yes or no Mayor, is this a cross examination?
Mr. De La Roche: No.
Mayor De La Roche: He is asking a question.
President Greenbaum: First of all, it is a legal matter Mr. De La Roche and it is improper legally to cross examine your own witness.
Mr. De La Roche: Well, I am not cross examining.
President Greenbaum: Well, that also....
Mr. De La Roche: I am a citizen asking my Mayor a question.
President Greenbaum: If you want to be a lawyer Mayor....Mr. Mayor Junior, if you want to be the Mayor or a Councilman, then I suggest you run for office and then you can sit up here. Otherwise, I think....
Mayor De La Roche: Hold up, I thought I had the floor?
President Greenbaum: No, you don’t have the floor Mayor...
Mayor De La Roche: I thought I did, I was answering a question.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, excuse me.
Mayor De La Roche: I realize I am a guest here.
President Greenbaum: Mayor, excuse me, I have the floor at any point that I decide to take the floor because I am running the meeting. So you do not have the floor and Mr. De La Roche Junior, you do not have the floor.
Mr. De La Roche: Well, it is not junior; my name is Ronald, so in order for me to be junior it would have to be Richard, Rob.
President Greenbaum: Yes, you are right, Mr. De La Roche Junior.
Mr. De La Roche: Once again, it would have to be Richard, Rob.
President Greenbaum: Yes, you are right, Mr. De La Roche Junior.
Mr. De La Roche: Right and I would like the answer now that you are done with your...
President Greenbaum: Please, Mayor, please answer his question because I have fifteen follow-ups after that, so please answer him and then I will ask you the following questions related to the Board of Health,
Mr. De La Roche: Well, because Mr. Greenbaum stated that you don’t care about safety or welfare of the citizens of Mount Olive, so I am asking him a question.
Mayor De La Roche: Let me answer the question. Are you going to let me answer the question?
President Greenbaum: Excuse me, the Board of Health which is the appointed Board of the Township...
Mayor De La Roche: Ron...Ronald, I will answer your question, alright?
Mr. De La Roche: Thank you.
Mayor De La Roche: The question was do I think we have adequate help at this juncture obviously or else it will be provided. These thumb rules as I understand it from the State is that there should be one sanitary inspector for every 15,000 of population. The last census indicated we have 25,000 people approximately 24,000 plus Netcong so that would seem to indicate that we would need two with a possible...actually less. We have at this juncture we have four people qualified to do inspections but since Heidi is going off on maternity leave that leaves us with three people qualified to do the inspections which would indicate a population of 45,000 so I think that we probably have proper inspections, properly qualified people but that remains to be seen. The Council asked us to cut as much as possible which is why these changes were instituted but that does not mean that there is not adequate public safety and health concerns being considered at the same time. Thank you.
Mr. De La Roche: Thank you Mayor, and Mr. Greenbaum I will expect an answer to my question with regards to the appropriation of funds for the Board of Health at the next Council Meeting.
President Greenbaum: You can expect anything.....
Mr. De La Roche: Thank you, thank you Councilor.
President Greenbaum: You can expect anything you like Mr. De La Roche Junior.
Mr. De La Roche: Once again, that would have to be Richard, Rob.
President Greenbaum: It’s Richard?
Mr. De La Roche: No, it would have to be Richard in order for me to be junior.
President Greenbaum: Well, Okay. Mr. Bonte name and address for the record please.
Mayor De La Roche: I think that was highly disrespectful to the public, just because he happens to be my son doesn’t mean he is not entitled to the public right, certain courtesy should be extended to everyone.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: Right. Well, your welcome.
President Greenbaum: I would agree with you that courtesy is something which has to be extended from everyone to everyone and I apologize to you Mr. De La Roche.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: A couple of issues. First of all speed bumps, I personally think speed bumps, speed humps, speed tables whatever you want to call them, anything that makes a road not be as well made as it should be made declared illegal in the State of New Jersey. Most of the speed bumps, humps, tables, etc. do not allow the driver to drive his vehicle at the speed limit without causing either damage to his vehicle or disruption to the contents within his vehicle and that is why I believe these devices should be made illegal. If the speed limit on the street is, 25, one should be able to do 25 without anything impeding that flow. We don’t put potholes in the road and, in fact many times the towns are found liable if potholes exist in the road, so I don’t think we should do anything that impedes the flow of traffic. If there is a problem on a street with the speed being excessive or not being enforced we have laws and we have personnel that can take care of that, but to cause the traffic to slow down to 15 or 20 when the speed limit is 25 is disruptive and not in the interest of moving traffic. Mr. Dorsey, I know that the debate that is going on regarding you and your firm, so I just wanted to make sure that all of these resolutions and ordinances that we receive from your office are typed by you, is that correct... because I certainly wouldn’t want to be found that somebody else in your office is typing them and then you don’t get paid for it. I heard through another source that I missed something of total ridiculousness earlier in the meeting, regarding whether this is the Council Chambers or Public Meeting Room. Is this where we are going and what it has become?
President Greenbaum: You would have to ask the Mayor or his son to answer that question.
Mr. Bonte: I won’t belabor everybody else.
Mayor De La Roche: What happened to that courtesy you just apologized for. You have such a short memory it is incredible.
Mr. Bonte: Excuse me, Mr. Mayor, but I have the floor.
Mayor De La Roche: He has the floor at all times and he just interrupted you.
President Greenbaum: Mr. Bonte, you have the floor.
Mr. Bonte: I was afforded the right to speak.
Mayor De La Roche: Yup, you got it back.
Mr. Bonte: Finally, although I don’t know the details and maybe somebody can enlighten me regarding the changing of the environmental consultant for the Planning Board. Can anybody enlighten me as to why that took place?
Mr. Tepper: The members of the Planning Board nominated two firms and Maser was selected by the majority. It was not a unanimous vote but there was a vote and the majority selected Maser as being the firm that would best serve the purposes of the Planning Board.
Mr. Bonte: I know you weren’t on the Planning Board last year and I assume probably a lot of the other members were not either.
Mrs. Labow: I was.
Mr. Bonte: Were there reasons to discharge Mr. Keller’s firm or not rehire him?
Mr. Tepper: The reasons expressed, Mr. Bonte, were that there were certain pieces of work that were done that were not to the level that certain members of the Board wanted. It is a personal decision by the Board. Credentials for both parties were presented. They were both deemed to be professionally competent credentials, properly credentialed and had the resources to do so it was a decision of the majority that Maser had more resources and would be better able to serve the Board.
Mr. Bonte: Okay. Well, obviously, I have to respect a decision that was made although I know Mr. Keller and his firm was very well received. We had an opportunity to work with them for a number of year’s and....
Mr. Tepper: His work was very good.
Mr. Bonte: I had never quite run into anybody that had offered a lot of sound advice for the Township and I think that is going to be something that we are going to miss. That’s all.
President Greenbaum: Thank you, Mr. Bonte. Anyone else from the public? Yes sir, please state your name and address for the record.
Ed Katona, Chief of Police: Just to address a couple issues that arose in the past couple minutes. Speed tables are designed to enhance the safety of the roads and they are designed to accommodate the speeds of the roads. A properly installed speed table will make the roadway just as safe as it was without.....actually safer than it was without the speed table there. We have shown or it has been shown here in this community that the speed tables reduce our need deploy officers to enforce the speed limits and, in fact, they are more effective because they are there 24 hours a day. We have resisted in the past speed bumps and speed humps indifference to the newer designed speed tables because it does exactly what you are indicating, makes it safer and your car does not launch into the air unless you are doing about 60 in a 25. With regard to the Ordinance for fingerprinting the volunteers, I think that if we work together we can work out some of the wording issues that are in the Ordinance and as far as taking the prints, we would not take prints...60 prints per month to submit them. We would arrange and take the prints of everybody hold them and submit them as the State would require. As far as the comment that Harry made with six coaches on the field, the concern it not necessarily for what would happen on the field. Our coaches develop a special relationship with our children and it is that relationship that we are looking to protect. The unscrupulous pedophile will use that position to gain the respect and trust of the child so even though we do have six soccer coaches on the field and we do have four or five baseball coaches and football coaches and parents are all around, it is the time the coaches meet the children outside of the situation where they have already developed a relationship so that is why it is also so important. Some of the other issues that Harry raised are I believe are workable and I think we can work those issues out. The funding issue I have no control over, so I will leave that with you.
President Greenbaum: Thank you very much, anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Any final comments, Mayor?
Mayor De La Roche: I am still not aware of why Mr. Fleischner who’s resume’ you have had for at least close to ten days, he is a Republican and not that that matters to you I am sure but he is also a pharmacist, well educated and has lived in the town over 30 year’s. He would seem to be an ideal candidate for the Library Board. I am just curious as to why it is taking so long to review... I think he limited it to a one page resume’ so I would hope that you would reconsider him, since he seems to be more than adequately qualified.
President Greenbaum: Thank you very much. Mr. Prill anything?
Mr. Prill: No nothing further.
Mr. Tepper: No, I think we have had enough discussions on different topics, thank you.
Mr. Buell: No, not tonight.
Mr. Biondi: Nothing more.
Mrs. Labow: I just wanted to say really quickly, I did reach out to Mr. Fleischner and had a delightful conversation with him and so that is it.
Mr. Perkins: Nothing.
Mr. Rattner: No comment.
President Greenbaum: I will save my final comment to apologize to Mr. De La Roche and the audience, everybody does deserve respect. I have a problem when the audience portion, in my opinion is used for the wrong reason, and that is what I interpret Mr. De La Roche’s purpose of being up there was for, but that is my opinion.
Mr. De La Roche: I accept your apology Rob; I also feel the same way about the Council using it for their political....
President Greenbaum: I appreciate that, nonetheless, I am an elected official. You are not.
Mayor De La Roche: He is an appointed official.
President Greenbaum: It is irrespective, Mayor, irrespective.
Mayor De La Roche: He is still entitled to courtesy as you are always shown.
President Greenbaum: I agree he is entitled to courtesy. I have apologized and he has accepted the apology, so end of story. With that we are going to move into Executive Session, a very brief Executive Session with regard to the MOPEA Negotiations at which time we will come out of Execution Session simply to Adjourn no further public business or decisions. We will take a two minute recess before we go into Executive Session.
Executive Session - MOPEA Negotiations
Adjourn to Executive session: Motion to go in to the Executive Session made and seconded. All were in favor, the Executive Session started at 10:05 p.m. and ended at 10:10 p.m. The meeting reconvened and was adjourned at 10:11 p.m.
Robert J. Greenbaum
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes are a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on February 14, 2006
Lisa M. Lashway