Township Council Minutes
July 13, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 10:10 pm by Council President Rattner.
President Rattner: We’ve already done the Open Public Meetings Act and Roll Call, so we’ll just move into the agenda. This was advertised as a combination meeting.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Ms. Labow, Mr. Elms, Mr. Rattner, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Guenther
Absent: Mr. Greenbaum
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; William Ruggierio, Business Administrator; Michelle Masser,
Deputy Clerk; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; John Dorsey, Township Attorney
Proclamation – Sr. Citizens Day
President Rattner: Mayor, you have a proclamation? It’s on the agenda, at your request.
Mr. Dorsey: The Sr. Citizens Day, Mayor.
Mr. Ruggierio: I think we’re short a proclamation, here.
Ms. Labow: You lost it?
President Rattner: It’s okay, we’ll move on…we come to the next public portion, we’ll have one at the end and we’ll have a public portion when we discuss resolutions, and if we have a public hearing on it, ordinances. So…if you don’t have anything else on that, but you’re going to talk about something that’s on the agenda, you’ll have your opportunity to do that. Okay, seeing none, questions on the bill list. Does anybody have questions on the bill list that the Administration – give them a little bit of time to get the answer back?
Questions on Bill List?
Mr. Buell: Just a…really more of a comment. I’ve been looking at the bill list now for six months and there are an awful lot of maintenance agreements that the town has, with an awful lot of vendors and an awful lot of, and I was asked…I asked for a copy of them, and I also, I think, at some point in time, this Fall we need to look at the scope of these, the cost of these and look…see whether or not we can eliminate, or whether these things are valuable, which ones are valuable and if we can’t eliminate some dollars in that particular area. So, I would like to ask for a Workshop at some point in time in the future that there…our maintenance with various vendors be discussed.
President Rattner: I think what we did when Mr. Ruggierio came on board, that along with your cell phone, you know, some of the other issues, is we asked him to look at it, you know, it wasn’t at the top of the list, but to do it, you know, during the year to say that we were going to have a review and I would wait for him, I mean, we’re putting a lot of things on his plate and on something like that, I mean, we’ll follow up toward, you know, as we get later into the year, but right now, we didn’t give him a time limit, we said that that would be something just to look into in his first year, I believe. I have…the same things coming up over and over again on the bill list and I’m going to go…you know, what I’m questioning that this is the lateness of our…sometimes of some of our bills. On June 22nd, I asked you why we had at least three bills from the gas company that said that they were going to terminate our service unless we paid the past due balances. You wrote back that these bills are not late. I looked at each one of the bills in question, the bills are dated 6/8 by the company and they were for the period of May 7th through June 7th, 2004. They were received by Mount Olive on 6/15 and approved by the Administration on 6/16 and paid on 6/18. The notation on the bill must be an error. Well, I got the bills and it says very very plainly that they’re for past due, some have up to $10,000 that we’re past due, they show the payments, they say they go back over months. That is something that, again, I question did you really review it like the last time when you sent that back, but then in this week’s basket, which should be sitting there, we get two more gas bills and low and behold they’re signed by you on 7/2, even the purchase order says that they were for gas received on 12/8/03 to 1/8/04, received at the end of January and it should be paid and were not paid. In fact, if I take one of the bills that I questioned, that you said was not late, it was paid, and it’s amazing that they said that we are going to cut off your service unless you pay us immediately the $1,041.86 you have owed us for some time. Then in this week’s basket, two weeks later, you’re paying the same bill over again, it’s dated January. The first bill said that it was late, they’re going to shut off our gas service because we are not responding to their bills, it was very plain. You said they made a mistake and printed it on there and now we have duplicated the bills. What I asked you the last time is when I ask you a President Rattner(cont’d): question, I don’t expect that what you do is you look at it and look at it real quickly, I must be wrong, like the last time. This time it got worse because not only was I not wrong, because they were going to cut off our gas, because some of the bills went back five months, but then we ended up paying them again. You even signed them with a date saying…on the second…saying that this is from January and February of this year, this is only two weeks after you told me I didn’t read the bill right again. I don’t know, really, what you’re doing, if there is a specific question, we approved it, we didn’t want the gas cut off, the first time was just asking to segregate the finance charges so at least it wouldn’t hurt a department’s budget, but I don’t think there is any excuse for this. I don’t think there is any excuse for not reviewing, I mean, I made it very clear, it wasn’t out here. I didn’t make a big deal. In fact, I think I did it before the meeting. I asked the Clerk to send you a memo. You sent me back something that you didn’t review, with bad information again. How can we process and pay a bill twice, and this was something I commented on two weeks ago.
Mr. Ruggierio: You know, Mr. Rattner, the one thing I will say to you, and I know that you seem to be getting very insulted easily about this issue and I think it’s a matter of, I don’t know, credibility or something, I…when I was…as you can well appreciate, when these questions come in from you, I take them seriously. I don’t go and call the gas company myself, I don’t check these things myself, I rely on people, and when I get an answer back, like the one that you read, that says the gas company must be in error, I say two things, number one, in my experience in life, the gas company is not typically in error and number two, Mr. Rattner doesn’t typically ask these questions, you know, irresponsibly, just to ask us a question. I certainly will get to the bottom of this, I don’t know why these matters are being processed late, you say they go back to last year, I turn out the…I review to the extent possible and turn out these massive amounts of vouchers within two days of seeing them and if you feel that I’m, as you said before and you imply now, that I am somehow being insulting to you, I just wish you would change your thinking about that. I’m not trying to be insulting to you, I am being paid to be a manager of this town and, you know, if there’s a late charge in connection with gas charges, I’m concerned about it, I want to get to the bottom of it, but it probably is not something that, you know, you would want me to be involved in absolutely personally and I will see that the people that are checking it out, do a better job.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, I didn’t say that you were insulting me this time, I said the last time, when I asked you this, because you basically told me I should learn how to read a bill and then you gave me a bill with the finance charge on it, saying it never happened. That’s when I said that was insulting, because you didn’t even look at the material. This time, what I’m saying is I’m looking at the bill that was in the voucher, because I made a picture of it two weeks ago, and it actually said how long it’s been there, it shows the payments applied, in fact, this one that there is still $1,041, which we paid twice, they actually showed that we applied the payment on 5/25, you still owe the money, you pay us the $1,041, it’s on there, because it’s…do not receive the overdue balance, it said where it came from, you said it wasn’t on there, you said it must be an error because there was nothing. I’m just saying what you told me, you told me it was a current bill, it says very plainly it’s past due, it has some of the dates. It says when the last payment was received, and it was there, you said they must be in error, but then even more than that, because you didn’t look at it. Obviously, you asked somebody to give you information, they gave it to you and you didn’t even look it over, so we got bad information, and then we have it on there, I don’t know what we’ve done and, if that only happened two weeks ago, you’d think that gee, I just got all these gas bills last billing, why am I getting them all over again, and there is actually a duplication. This is the original bill, which is dated, it says pay by January 26th, 2004, it’s the original bill, but to say that I checked it, I looked it over and these bills are not late…I really don’t know what’s happening, especially when there is a specific…mistakes happen and they will happen…that’s why they have the different checks and everything else and something’s going to get out. Just like I told you I understand about finance charges, no matter how you do it, you’re going to, you know, something’s going to get lost in the mail, but when I ask a question, the information is very plain on there and I get something back, and then when I get something back like this, because we had so many bills all at once, and when I see that the gas company says they’re cutting off service, I’m very concerned and you didn’t spend the time to look at it, you responded. Maybe you responded the way that you wished it was done and now I am complaining. I’m complaining about the fact that you said that I usually…I look at it, all I did was want an explanation. I took your explanation the last time, well it’s just late, there’s no finance charges, I didn’t care, but when I see a duplicate bill, a couple thousand dollars that we already paid for two weeks ago, I have a real concern, especially since I addressed it to you and it wasn’t addressed here. It was by a memo, so you had time, because I also understand that if I bring it up right now, you know, trying to go through and listen at the same time, you’re not going to get everything. This was done, most questions that I have, I try bringing up ahead of time, so you have a little bit of time, because I want the answers and I take answers that it’s a mistake or we’ll fix it or we’ll do this, but this one, I don’t think there is any excuse for. It was late bills, they were going to shut off our gas and then you paid it again a second time and you signed it, and you signed a bill that was six months old, didn’t you question why it was six months…even the purchase order showed, even though it was dated July, it was dated saying we’re paying January’s bill. Okay, but I am very very disappointed and I don’t know how that happened, especially on a direct question that I asked. Anybody else have anything else?
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
March 23, 2004 Present: Mr. Elms, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins, Mr.
Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
April 13, 2004 Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Elms, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Greenbaum,
Absent: Mr. Perkins
June 15, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Buell, Mr. Elms, Mrs. Labow
Absent: Mr. Greenbaum
President Rattner: Moving right along, we have approval of minutes from previous meetings. We have the March 23rd, April 13th and June 15th closed sessions. Does somebody want to move them?
Mr. Guenther: So moved.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously except Mr. Elms abstained
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. E-mails received June 21, through Administration from Steve Baker and Tom Maiello regarding Flanders Park / Lighting.
2. E-mail received June 26, 2004, from Ken Myers regarding Rosewood Ditch.
3. Letter received June 28, 2004, from Deer Path Montessori, Inc. regarding leasing the Library.
4. E-mail received June 30, 2004, from Cheryl and Pete Goodwin regarding Ordinance 15-2004 (changes to the Code / Placement of Material for Collection)
5. Petition post cards received (approximately 275 total) July 8 & 10, 2004, from various residents opposing the proposed cuts to the Library Budget.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER MUNICIPALITIES
6. Resolution received June 16, 2004, from the Township of Hanover regarding opposition to Assembly No. 2073 and Senate No. 1558 also known as the NJ Civil Rights Act.
7. Resolution received June 21, from the Borough of Mt. Arlington regarding petitioning members of the Morris County Legislative Delegation to introduce and sponsor legislation changing the date of all Primary Elections in New Jersey, and all Fire District Commission Board and Budget Elections to the third Tuesday after the first Monday in April, to coincide with the School Budget and Board of Education Elections.
8. Ordinance received June 21, 2004, from the Township of Roxbury regarding Land Use.
9. Two Resolutions received June 24, 2004, from Borough of Lincoln Park regarding urging legislation to introduce and adopt at the State level transferring the employer share of the PFRS and PERS pension retirement system cost to the state government so that it is consistent with the Educational System Pension program and changing the date of all primary elections in New Jersey and all Fire District Commission Board and Budget elections to the Third Tuesday after the first Monday in April to coincide with the School Budget and Board of Education Elections.
10. Ordinance received June 24, 2004, from Washington Township regarding Land Use.
11. Resolution received June 28, 2004, from Township of Roxbury regarding Amendment to the Roxbury Township Maser Plan Land Use Plan Element.
12. Resolution received June 30, 2004, from the Township of Long Hill regarding changing dates of all Primary Elections in New Jersey, All Fire District Commission Board and Budget Elections to the Third Tuesday after the First Monday in April, to coincide with the School Budget and the Board of Education Elections.
13. Resolution received July 6, 2004, from Mansfield Township regarding Governor McGreevey and the State Legislature to implement a State sponsored financial aid program for Military Reservists and National Guard Members Deployed in the Global War on Terror (GWOT)
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
14. E-mail received June 12, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bill S-2 (on Campaign Finance Reform)
15. E-mail received June 16, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Legislative Alert on three issues. 1. New Caps, 2. Billboards and 3. Animal Accommodations.
16. Legislative Bulletin received June 22, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Bills that were enacted as Public Laws of 2004.
17. E-mail received June 23, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Urgent Alert on A-2073/S-1558 (NJ Civil Rights Bill)
18. E-mail received June 23, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding “Fair” Plan Advances.
19. E-mail received June 28, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Highlands Legislation, Streamlining Permits and Stormwater Regulations – Programs.
COUNTY OF MORRIS
20. E-mail received June 14, 2004, from Morris County Chamber regarding Mega Net 2004 / Networking Event.
21. E-mail received June 15, 2004, from Morris County of Chamber regarding Sales and Marketing Seminar Series.
22. E-mail received June 25, 2004, from Morris County Chamber of Commerce regarding Mega Net 2004 – Joint Business Card Exchange.
23. Letter received June 29, 2004, from the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders regarding the annual “Liberty Tour: Be FREE for Business.”
24. E-mail received July 1, 20204, from Morris County Chamber regarding “New Jobs Morris County Legislative Reception.”
25. E-mail received July 8, 2004, from Morris County Chamber regarding Young Professionals Happy Hour; making new contacts.
26. Letter received June 14, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Application for an Individual Freshwater, Wetlands Permit. Applicant Name: Rezamir Estates, Inc. Project Name: Deerfield Estates Block: 7000; Lot 64 (20 Shop Lane, Budd Lake)
27. Permit received June 14, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Freshwater Wetlands Individual Permit, Water quality Certificate, and modification to Stream Encroachment Permit for Applicant: Rezamir Estates, Inc. Block 7000, Lot 64 (20 Shop Lane, Budd Lake).
28. Letter received June 16, 2004, from NJ Transit regarding an open house (Lackawanna Cut off Project)
29. Letter received June 21, 2004, from Schoor Depalma regarding Wetlands General Permit #11 and Stream Encroachment – Ironia Road Outfall Construction Block 500; Lot 4 (Waterloo Valley Road)
30. Letter received June 22, 2004, from D.J. Egarian & Associates, Inc. regarding Individual Transition Area Waiver for Blue Atlas Nursery – Block 4500, Lot 8 (155 Flanders- Netcong Road).
31. Letter received June 28, 2004, from State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection regarding Morris County YMCA Dam, NJ DEP File No. 25-67 Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
32. Letter received June 18, 2004, from Verizon regarding Public Notice / Local Exchange Service.
33. Letter received June 30, 2004, from New Jersey Natural Gas regarding enforcing the Uniform Fire Code.
34. Fax received June 29, 2004, from Comcast regarding CableCard.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESETATIVES/COORESPONDENCE RELATING TO
35. Letter received June 12, 2004, from Legislative E-Line regarding Assembly Bill A-2324 (Prohibits Overcrowding of Animals).
36. E-mail received June 24, 2004, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding three issues. 11. Picatinny Arsenal R&D, Funding for Dickerson Mine Property in Highlands, and Free Hepatitis C Screening for Local Veterans.
37. E-mail received July 2, 2004, from Gov News regarding McGreevey Tightens Spending Controls for Local Governments and School Boards.
38. Newsletter received June 17, 2004, from Council on Affordable Housing regarding COAH working with the NJ Meadowlands Commission, Attending South Jersey Conference, and meeting dates.
39. Letter received June 15, 2004, from Municipal Joint Insurance Fund regarding Omnibus OPRA Litigation.
40. E-mail received June 23, 2004, from My New Jersey Document Library regarding DEP Stormwater Seminars 2004.
41. Urgent Legislative Alert received June 24, 2004, from Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund Re: Assembly 2073, New Jersey Civil Rights Act.
42. Letter received June 28, 2004, from American Cancer Society regarding Relay for Life News “Walk Talk.”
43. Notice received July 8, 2004, from Morris County Planning Board regarding soliciting comments from the public on the preliminary plan of the State Development and Redevelopment Plan for Cross-Acceptance.
44. Letter of Memorandum and Affidavit received July 8, 2004, from Gold, Albanese, Barletti & Velazquez Re: Howie Weiss vs. Steve Masotti, et als.
President Rattner: Okay, we have Correspondence, 44 items. Does anybody have any comments on the correspondence?
Mr. Buell: First, before….were we going to do a roll call and amend the budget 2004, 1 and 2 up at the top?
President Rattner: I’m sorry, we’ll get to that when we go in here, I was looking at the old agenda, not the….thank you very much. I had my notes on the old agenda, and I wasn’t looking at the new one.
Mr. Buell: I thought so, that’s the reason why I wanted to remind you.
President Rattner: Does anybody have any questions on the correspondence? Oh, the Clerk would like to bring something….she has a question, I mean, that’s now a first.
Mrs. Masser: I’m sorry.
President Rattner: A new person….new way of doing things.
Mrs. Masser: It’s not so much a question, I just wanted to bring to everybody’s attention, number 5 was a petition of post cards received July 8th and 10th from various residents opposing the proposed cuts to the Library budget, there were just two days…up until today, I have also received more. I’m just going to show, there is now approximately, I’m going to say, about 400. So, we already copied the one sheet, I just wanted to bring to everybody’s attention the Clerk’s office has them, if anybody wants to review them. I mean, to copy every single one, would be a lot, okay.
Mr. Buell: I would like to bring up number 2, the e-mail received from Ken Myers, who lives on the Rosewood Ditch. I have a concern…I received a response from the Administration about the Rosewood Ditch. It basically says it is difficult, to impossible, permitting problems you were informed of this information on various occasions…I wasn’t, but I am now…and that the Administrator is saying I am concerned that there is no realistic prospect of securing permits. I am reluctant to expend public funds on an unrealistic objective just because a Councilman demands that it receive such special attention. We have a fiduciary obligation to protect the public’s money. I think we, as a Council, and we as a Town, have a fiduciary relationship to protect the people of the town that we have all agreed that that Rosewood Ditch is a sewer. It’s got standing water in it almost continuously for four or five or six days after it rains. I was over there the other day and not doing something, but not trying to do something, I just....is not acceptable, and I think we’ve got to do something about that Ditch even if we are unsuccessful in gaining any of these permits, I think we’ve got to try to get the permits to do something and I think, you know, there are a lot more people on that Rosewood Ditch that feel exactly the same way as Mr. Eilertsen is back here also, she lives at 44 Knollwood Avenue and I think we’ve just got to do something, to get that Ditch fixed. Just cutting the grass down, cutting the leaves, cutting the trees down once or twice a year is not enough. That’s all I have.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else on correspondence?
Ms. Labow: I have a….there is correspondence that came in that’s not on here, from Judy Godvin.
Mrs. Masser: Okay, I would have to pull it, but do you know possibly what date that came in?
Ms. Labow: I’ll call you tomorrow, we’ll put it on the next one.
Mrs. Masser: Yes. I know that anything that comes in after Friday, when the packets go out, goes on for the next meeting.
President Rattner: Anybody else? Moving right along, we’ll go on to Ordinances for Public Hearing.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #15-2004, entitled:
Ord.#15-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the Township of Mount Olive, Section 211-15 Placement of Material for Collection.
Nelson Russell: My question is, do we need this ordinance? What problem is it attacking?
Mr. Buell: Nelson, there was a…I think this is the one for…there was a word or a couple of words that were wrong, really….oh, not this one, okay, I’m wrong.
President Rattner: I think what it was changing is somebody brought up to us the fact that the way that the existing ordinance was written, that we have garbage collection prior to the time that you’re allowed to put out President Rattner(cont’d): garbage. A couple of years ago, the Sanitation Department asked that during the summer can they start early. They used to start, I think, about 7:00 in the morning. They said because of the heat, can we start at 5:00 am, and a lot of people like me, know that they come that early. Well, our ordinance still said that if you put out a plastic bag, you can’t put it out before 6:00 am and that’s also been reiterated by the State, because of trying to control bears and stuff like that. So, what we had to do is we had to say that you can at least put out your garbage prior to the time that the Sanitation Department would get to your house. What we’re trying to do is just say that if you don’t use garbage cans, you just put out plastic bags, you can’t put out garbage the day before; that’s really all we’re changing.
Mr. Russell: So, the 6:00 pm and the 7:00 pm times…..
President Rattner: The 6:00 pm, we’ve had that…we’ve had it, if it was left off…because I know years ago, there was always a time. We don’t want people leaving out garbage. If somebody’s going away for a weekend, and it happens once in a while, nobody’s ever done it. It’s for the people who do it on a regular basis, so something can be done. We usually give out warnings and if they say well, I’m going away for the weekend, nobody’s going to have a problem, but we don’t want garbage sitting out for two or three days, because it gets knocked over, you have raccoons and everything else. I know if I put out a bag, even with my garbage can, it’s sometimes knocked over and they knock the lid off. What it is is trying to control the animals, I guess; but that’s what it is. What I think the ordinance had that you couldn’t put out the plastic bag until 6:00 am and somebody questioned the fact that we pick up garbage at 5:00 am….what do we do?
Mr. Russell: Well, the correspondence item number 4 also addressed this ordinance. I’m just wondering if it…word has read that, because I concur with their feelings.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, I do, too. I don’t know if you remember that e-mail, it addressed the fact that this is great for people who work on their own 9:00 to 5:00, but for people that work a night shift or are on different schedules, it doesn’t work.
President Rattner: But, again, there is a real good reason. The only time you have a problem, and I agree with it, is that you put out a plastic bag, the animals get in it and they’ll get in it over the night. That’s unacceptable, it causes disease, it causes a lot of different problems. If you want to put out garbage the day before, the night before, which is acceptable, you have to use a container, hopefully with one that the cap locks on. In fact, I’m now looking for a better one that they can’t knock off without putting springs on. It’s only restricting you if you’re putting out garbage in a plastic bag, and I can tell you that in most areas of town, you put out garbage in a plastic bag the night before, and it’s going to be torn up the next morning.
Mr. Russell: I question the other times that….tonight’s my garbage night, it has to go out, I can’t do it until I get home from the meeting tonight, so I’m taking garbage out at midnight.
Ms. Labow: That’s alright, as long as it’s not before 6:00 pm.
Mr. Guenther: After 6:00 pm.
Mr. Russell: Why do we have to take garbage out under the cover of darkness?
Ms. Labow: You don’t.
Mr. Russell: Well, we can’t take it out before 6:00 pm.
Ms. Labow: I think this is just to enforce if there is somebody with a problem, I mean, I put out mine out 4:00 or 5:00 pm on Sunday.
Mr. Russell: Is it being enforced? The 6:00 and 7:00 times?
President Rattner: The only time it’s enforced is if you have somebody causing a problem so we can do something, tell them to conform. We have not sent people out looking or checking times, but there have been problems that we have had in the past. The main reason why we gave up, when we used to have big item pickup quarterly, or at the end of every month, is because 5% of the people would abuse it and we had to look at a way of controlling costs. This is for people who abuse it. If you put out garbage at 4:00 pm, nobody’s going to look…it makes as much sense as if you’re doing 55 in a 50 mile an hour zone, hopefully no police officer is ever going to pull you over. It’s supposed to be a reasonableness thing. We don’t want people putting out garbage and letting it sit. If it’s a hot day, if it’s 90 degrees and humid out and somebody puts out garbage in the morning for the next day, it’s going to smell and it’s going to start causing problems, and the smell could President Rattner(cont’d): actually cause more animals to be attracted to it. We don’t want garbage cans…there are some towns, you know, some cities and things, you have to keep it in the backyard, you have to keep them in alleys, there’s all kinds of things. You live in the city, they make you sweep the sidewalk. We think this is reasonable.
Ms. Labow: Can we take into consideration in the winter time when it is dark at 5:00 pm and put 4:00 pm?
President Rattner: If nobody’s going to….we’re using reasonable…when you put out, you know that we’re limited to three containers. How many people, after a Holiday weekend, or have people, and put out four containers or something, and has anybody ever got zinged? It’s not a problem, this is just so we can enforce it for people who are problems, and you’re always given warnings ahead of time. If there’s a problem, we can talk about it, but it’s not a big issue.
Mr. Russell: You can get four containers, because when I’ve had four, I’ve come up and bought the extra $2.00 ticket.
President Rattner: Well, that’s good, that’s what you’re supposed to do, but our guys are do…a reasonable...I mean, sometimes you may put out one. What they’re looking for is, I don’t think they sit there and they’re really not thinking about you put out three or four. You know that one of the places that we get most compliments on, is our garbage collection, regardless of the one person who said about they didn’t like the way they put their garbage cans back down; but the thing that I think is on the top of the list is our Sanitation Department, you know, and I think that’s a credit to the people that work in there , people are happy with the service and they don’t think it’s, you know, over-burdening them. When we started recycling, we got the same complaints, I have to put out nine different containers, but it worked and when things were very expensive, we were able to control costs, when we were able to, we commingled them, because it was practical. I don’t know, is there anything else?
Mr. Russell: No, I’m just voicing my displeasure over the additional restrictions.
President Rattner: When do you put out yours usually?
Mr. Russell: Well, I’m doing it tonight at midnight.
President Rattner: Okay, so you’re conforming.
Mr. Russell: I am. I wish I could’ve taken it out before the meeting.
President Rattner: And you had time. Thanks. Is there anybody else from the public who would like to address this?
Mr. Buell: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #15-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any further discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #15-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of the adoption, as required by law. Now I open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #16-2004, entitled:
Ord. #16-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive to Amend and Supplement Section 185-39 Entitled Exterior Maintenance (5) Sidewalks of the Mt. Olive Township Code.
President Rattner: Anybody like to address the Council on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public
Ms. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #16-2004.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Any further discussion?
Ms. Labow: I have a question. In this sidewalk ordinance, is it saying that if the sidewalks need repair, it’s up
to the homeowner’s responsibility to repair them?
President Rattner: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Alright, now over in Cloverhill Estates, specifically, I was just walking around in there, those
sidewalks are in a state of really bad disrepair. Who fixes those?
Mr. Dorsey: They’re in the subdivision?
Ms. Labow: Yes.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, they have to get a notice from the enforcement officer, which is probably, I don’t know
who…the name of the enforcement officer, and then they’re required to proceed. If they don’t proceed, then
there is a mechanism which the Township proceeds and bills the property owner.
Ms. Labow: Well, I’m not picking on Cloverhill, I’m just saying…so, any sidewalk anywhere in Mount Olive
Township, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to repair?
Mr. Dorsey: It’s the adjoining property owner’s responsibility.
Ms. Labow: And do they have a code that they have to follow in repairing the sidewalk, certain specifications?
Mr. Guenther: I know this happens in some towns, I don’t know if it happens here. There are some sub-
divisions were very, how should I say…it wasn’t very good planning and in the strip between the curb and
the sidewalk, they planted trees, which seemed very good action at the time, but as those trees grew after
25 and 30 years, the roots pushed up the sidewalk, I think that’s where most of your damage is coming from.
Now, I know in the case of Roxbury, Roxbury says they will take care of that, as a Township. Does that
exist in the Township of Mount Olive?
Mr. Dorsey: You know, I can’t refer to a specific ordinance off the top of my head, but those trees become
part of the Township’s right of way and if you add that element to what Ms. Labow said, then it does become
the responsibility of the Municipality.
Mr. Guenther: Okay.
Mr. Elms: For the tree, who then has erupted a sidewalk, you can’t fix the sidewalk without taking the tree
Mr. Dorsey: Well, true, sometimes they just remove the root.
Mr. Elms: That’s killing the tree.
Ms. Labow: I have another question. Do we notify the entire public that this is the case, or do we just let
them find out for themselves?
Mr. Dorsey: They find it out for themselves.
Mr. Guenther: Well, the reason it comes up is because in real estate transactions that I’ve had, it has come up
because an inspector brings it up and then the people that are buying, or the people that are selling contact the
town and then find out, you know, who’s responsibility it is. That’s how it comes up.
Mr. Buell: In Cloverhill, specifically, several people have complained to me about the condition of the
sidewalk and I think there is a study ongoing at this point in time, being conducted by Mrs. Natafalusy, to
review all of the sidewalks and come back and report at some point.
President Rattner: Thank you. Any other discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Ms. Labow voted No
President Rattner: Ordinance #16-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk
to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I now open the
hearing to the public on Ordinance #17-2004, entitled:
Ord. #17-2004 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Chapter 106, Entitled “Dogs and Other Animals” Sections 106-12B, 106-5A, 106-5B and 106-11.6A1 (a) of the Mount Olive Township Code. (Increase Animal Control Fees)
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance? I close the public
Mr. Elms: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #17-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #17-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a
copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I open the hearing now to the
public on Ordinance #18-2004, entitled:
Ord. #18-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of Certain Land Known and Designated as Lot 2, Block 3504 Located on Outlook Avenue Which is No Longer Needed for Public Use By the Township.
President Rattner: Okay, this is not the one we discussed before, this is to go to bid on the 27th of July in the
Outlook section of Mount Olive; it’s the one we spent about three or four meetings this year on. Anybody here
from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance. Seeing none, I’ll close the public hearing.
Mr. Guenther: I move for adoption and the final passage of Ordinance #18-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: Yes, the surrounding property owners are going to be notified of this sale by certified mail?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, the Clerk is doing that, right?
Mrs. Masser: Yes.
President Rattner: I believe it’s three adjoining owners, right?
Mrs. Masser: Yes, there were just three. They were done certified mail a week or two weeks ago.
Ms. Labow: I just have a quick question about it. Where does the sale take place?
Mr. Dorsey: Right here.
Ms. Labow: So, the three people, if they wanted to, they come here?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, they see Ms. Presco out there, right here 7:15 pm.
President Rattner: American Funds.
Mr. Dorsey: Did you get your certified mail letter, giving you notice?
A Female From the Audience: Yes, I got it last week.
Mr. Dorsey: Okay, it’s all been done.
President Rattner: Okay, any other discussion?
Ms. Labow: Just one other question. I just want to know the procedure really quick, do they have to have cash
for it, or is it contingent on….
Mr. Dorsey: They have to bring 10% cash or check will do.
Ms. Labow: Okay, I was just curious.
President Rattner: You confused the Clerk, because you made a motion to introduce an ordinance and then
you voted no. She wanted to make sure it was still good.
Ms. Labow: Well, the reason why I decided no, was because I think people should be notified.
President Rattner: Okay, no other discussion. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Buell and Mr. Perkins voted No
President Rattner: Ordinance #18-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a
copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I open the hearing to the
public on Ordinance #20-2004, entitled:
Ord. #20-2004 Bond Ordinance Providing for Various Improvements to the Water Utility In and By the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $250,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $237,500 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address the Council on this issue? Seeing none, I’ll close
the public hearing.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #20-2004.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: I hereby declare Ordinance #20-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the
Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd Reading August 10, 2004)
President Rattner: The next item on the agenda, for first reading, is an Ordinance #21-2004, entitled:
Ord. #21-2004 Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the sale of a Portion of a Lot Known and Designated on the Tax Assessment maps as Lot 2, Block 2507. (Justine Weber)
Mr. Buell: I move that Ordinance #21-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that the
meeting be held on August 10th at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount
Olive, New Jersey for a public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said ordinance and that
the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said ordinance in accordance with the requirements of
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Mr. Perkins voted No
President Rattner: Okay, now we will come to the resolutions. Before we go to the Consent Resolution, we
Will do the two bond…the budget Resolutions that everybody has been waiting for.
1. Resolution to Amend the 2004 Budget.
President Rattner: Resolution number 1, which is the resolution to amend the 2004 budget. Mr. Perkins, would you introduce that?
Mr. Perkins: Yes, I move for adoption of Resolution #1, the Resolution to amend the 2004 Budget.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public who would like to discuss the Budget Amendment?
Jane Israel, President of the Library Board: Well, I am very happy to see that we don’t have $150,000 cut in the Mayor’s recommended budget for the Library contribution and I noted that, at the beginning of the conference meeting, Mr. Rattner, you said that there would be no….that you were able to, you know, put forth the budget so that there wouldn’t be any cuts in services and you and I had a discussion about just what was needed to keep the Library running at the present level of service for the people and it appears to be me that according to this figure, it’s a little shy and, in fact, it’s up to, of course, the Library Board just what they will….and they meet tomorrow night….to, you know, make decisions on just how we will handle that as far as what particular services might be effected, and, you know, we will vote on just how we’re going to do that. In looking at the amount and remembering our discussion, it appears to me that perhaps it’s the uncertainty of just when the new Library Building is going to opened, that is causing some difference in the amounts and, actually, that a date still is uncertain. There is a construction meeting on Thursday, which I intend to go to and maybe we will, you know, have a little bit firmer date at that time, but, you know, at the last meeting, it…they were still talking about September 1st. Well, I’m thinking more like October 1st and there will be some costs in…especially in utilities, because when the building is finished, even if we are not going to be moving in right away, we’re still going to have to take it over and pay the utilities and so on….and we would like to be able to do that and our…the budget….you know, the Library Board Budget, especially hearing tonight about how the gas bill isn’t paid, I think that we would like to make sure that we take that responsibility.
President Rattner: Jane, before you go on too much further, and this is getting frustrating, why don’t I talk to
you…after we finished the budget hearing…meeting with the Mayor, Administrator, CFO, over the weekend,
said that you were being…we found a way of paying for all of the expenses, which actually are increasing your
services. Just so the public knows, and I think this has to get out, last year this town contributed towards the
Library, $861,862, that’s what we paid, that was in the budget, that’s what was paid, and they operated. Just so
you put everything in the proper perspective, this year that number jumps to $1,205,000, because when we start
looking at that, it’s because…yes, we’re going to have a brand new building, but who do you think is paying for
it? If you really look at it, this year, and this is getting frustrating with the hate-mail that I’ve gotten and I have
and a lot of us on the Council have gotten, that we’re closing the Library with a brand new building, which
nobody ever said. I don’t know where it comes and some of the comments, I think, are completely uncalled for.
I had that conversation with you, Jane.
Mrs. Israel: Yes.
President Rattner: $1,205,000 is 10% of the entire township tax levy for this year for municipal purposes,
and then when you take out $2.5 million for reserved uncollected taxes, if you look at it that way, it’s probably
closer to 12%, if you look at the net taxes we have. No other town is putting that much of their budget in a
Library. We also said that you’d be funded, we found different things, we found that, you know, yes you had an
open position in the Library but there was not budget dollars for it, but you hired that person. It took us a lot of
work, we spent more time on that on Saturday, trying to find a way that you didn’t have to cut that position out
because of a bigger building, so that is in there. We also said that yes, we have the expenses…we went over
exactly what was necessary and when I called you, I said that we have them all, I said you worry about how
we’re paying for it, because there were certain issues with the building that can be capitalized, I told you that.
I said that all your programs, that and what we discussed, the salary increases for this year, paying fully funding
your Librarian, that extra youth Librarian, the custodian that will be needed to clean the building, the computer
set-up, these are things we discussed, the additional utilities maybe for up to four months, depending on when
you get in, and your additional communications, because your T-1 lines and everything like that, and we said
that we would go in there and it wasn’t just me and Jim, this was something that the five of us, because we
looked at it. No other department, no other organization…a lot of our departments actually took cuts this year
because we’re trying to keep the taxes low, you know, or at least keep the increase moderate. We couldn’t get
by and keep service to a zero, and we said that’s what we were going to do. We’re going to cover your utilities,
I told you that. We’re going to cover the computer set-up, because that’s definitely a capitalized cost, we said
we would put that into the cost of purchasing the computers and things like that. I told you how we would do
it, we came up….and I thought we had an agreement that that’s what you said that you absolutely needed, this
is where the costs were, you were up-front on how that other $37,000 came about and we put that in there. You
are fully funded, and I’ll tell you I think it’s frustrating…some of the other people up here have…400 postcards
is no fun, either, especially when I have friends of mine that have been here for twenty years asking me what
kind of idiot I am, spending $5 million on a building and then closing it for the last four months of the year, because that’s the way it went out, and looking at the amount of people it went out to, it really went out. I just
want to make sure…I’m not asking for an explanation now, because I don’t think there really is an explanation, but we are fully funding and I hope that the press and everybody gets it there that this year, the Library is being funded at $1.2 million, 10% of the Municipal tax levy and I think that’s what’s important. I’ll probably get now just as many people coming back saying that we’re spending too much money on the Library, but that’s what it is. You got what you wanted and I told you that it would be there, now go back and you have to sit down with your people. You got everything in there, we didn’t cut anything out of there. You’re getting… you got your President Rattner(cont’d): building, you have your Librarian, you’ll be able to do everything else. I don’t know what else I can say at this point.
Mrs. Israel: Well, maybe I’m misreading the figure. I’m sorry, I know you have a hard job and I appreciate all
the work that you’ve done, all of you.
President Rattner: I explained that some of these…when we looked over the expenses, some of the expenses
you put in there had to do with getting the building ready for operation and we said that is a legitimate
capitalized cost, not an operational expense, but, you know, it’s cost of doing business, you know, of getting it
ready. That is, in anybody’s accounting book, that is a legitimate capitalization. You’re being fully funded and
what, I just want to make sure, is that when the word gets out, that is what is said, because I don’t want to read
anymore articles like I’ve been reading, I think it was…I’ll speak for the Council, I think it was unfair…I think
it was an unfair attack, I mean, it has been one of the toughest items that we’ve had, next to the Police
Department, as anything in this budget and we thought we worked through it in a good fashion.
Mrs. Israel: Well, if I could just say that, I did want to…you know, in the public….my last sentence was going
to be, in fact, that I wanted it in the public record that you said that all of the items were going to be taken care
of that we spoke about and you’ve said it. Thank you very much.
President Rattner: Thank you and we all look forward to that building opening up, we really do.
Mrs. Israel: Well, so do we and I know you’re going to be very proud of it. I was wondering, though, on that
computer hook-up thing, that’s a main assessment…a main…is the Morris area internet something, network and
I’m not sure that, you know, it’s an assessment. I don’t know if it can be capitalized, but…
President Rattner: Don’t worry about it. I said we’ll….if we make a mistake, we’ll fix it.
Mrs. Israel: Thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else want to speak on the amended budget? Seeing none, I’ll close the public
portion. Any Council discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Guenther: Before I vote, I just wanted to say I think we should all appreciate the yeomen duty that our subcommittee, Mr. Buell and Mr. Rattner, did on this and with the cooperation, obviously, of the Administration – the extra hours they put in I think it was a job well done. I vote Yes.
President Rattner: And one other person who has to, you know, who did a lot of work, because this position
is caught in the middle, we’re saying what we want done, they have to take orders from the Administration,
because they’re part of the Administration, and what they’ve gotten, you know, in getting me the
information…when I asked for something, I got it quicker than I thought was really possible on almost
everything I asked for, and that is our CFO. In fact, today, when she sent me an e-mail on something
about…oh, she said I was right on something, but then she said they were also modifying the budget again for
something like about $6,000 or $9,000 and I go don’t do it for us, just do it later, let’s get the budget…and we
always amend these things, and she had to explain to me that the State required, since they told us we were
getting an additional few thousand dollars, we had to put it in the budget and it’s really a lot of work getting it
in between the CFO and the auditor and I just said that because she wrote back that she had to do it, and I said I
was only doing…because I didn’t want you to do the extra work because I though it was ridiculous to the level
of detail, but I do appreciate, I mean, we had….not that we had….didn’t have some disagreements, but it was
just because of the Council and the Administration going back and forth at each other, but I can say the service
she provided us…anything we asked for was there by the next day, so I do thank her for that and vote Yes.
Since you had to say that, you know, she really had to do a lot of the work .
2. Resolution to Amend 2004 Solid Waste Collection District Budget.
President Rattner: Okay, next item we have Resolution to Amend the Solid Waste Collection District Budget.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move the Resolution to Amend the 2004 Solid Waste Collection District Budget.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to discuss this one? Any Council comments? Again, we
have good news there, Sanitation tax is going down from, I think, it’s about ten and a half points to ten, which
is a 4.2 decrease. What we looked at, because of how the department is running, we look at the expenses and
President Rattner(cont’d): decided we could take safely, so that’s at least a good portion we can look at. This
is our goal, to make sure that the money wasn’t absolutely necessary to provide the services that the people
expect, we weren’t going to keep the money in. So with that, I’ll take a 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.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement (Final Site Plan Approval) Between the Township and Steve Morrison and Neil Senatore (Block 4500 Lot 3.02).
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement (Preliminary Major Subdivision Approval) Between the Township and Rezamir Estates in Connection with Block 7000, Lot 64.
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Renewing the Plenary Retail Consumption License of Burger-N- Brew, Inc., License Number 1427-33-005-008.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Prohibiting Parking on Certain Streets from 12:00 Noon on September 16, 2004 Through 12:00 AM on September 19, 2004. (St. Elizabeth Carnival)
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Complying with the Promulgation of the Local Finance Board of the State of New Jersey with Regard to the 2003 Annual Audit.
8. NJDOT Resolution, Application & Agreement for State Aid to Municipalities – Grant – Cory Road/Flanders-Netcong Road Sidewalk Improvements.
9. NJDOT Resolution, Application & Agreement for State Aid to Municipalities – Grant – Route 46 Sidewalk Improvements.
10. NJDOT Resolution, Application & Agreement for State Aid to Municipalities – Grant – Pleasant Hill Road Resurfacing & Drainage Improvements Phase II.
11. NJDOT Resolution, Application & Agreement for State Aid to Municipalities – Grant – Improvements to Naughright Road.
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Extended Interim Department of Public Works Director Appointment, Pursuant to the Mount Olive Code Section 4-8.
13. Resolution – Temporary Capital Budget in Relation to Ordinance# 20-04.
14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Amending the Temporary Budget for the 2004 Current Budget. - Revised
15. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Accepting a Corrective Action Plan as Prepared by the Chief Financial Officer for the 2003 Municipal Audit.
16. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of the Special Trust Assessment Confirmed on December 13, 1978.
17. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Governor McGreevey to Implement a State Sponsored Financial Aid Program for Military Reservists and National Guard Members Deployed in the Global War on Terror.
18. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive to Submit Question of Constructing a Capital Improvement, Namely a Department of Public Works Garage and Facility to Referendum.
19. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting an Extension of Time from the NJDOT to January 31, 2005 for the Award of Bids for the Reconstruction of Ironia Road.
20. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Magnum Painting for Painting of the Village Green Water Storage Tank.
21. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting the New Jersey Department of Transportation Conduct a Corridor Review of Route 46 from the Intersection with Route 80 in Mount Olive Township/Netcong to the Municipal Border of Hackettstown in Warren County.
22. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Assigning to Schoor DePalma the Updating and Revising of the Township’s Tax Assessment maps.
23. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Deleting Kupper Associates as a Service Provider.
24. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Approving the Settlement of Improper Tree Removal at or Adjacent to 40 St. John’s Road.
25. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Endorsing the Application of Mount Olive Park Partners as a Quasi-Entity for Purposes of Insurance Coverage.
26. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Closing of Old Wolfe Road on Saturday, September 25, 2004 for the Budd Lake Fire Department Wet Down.
President Rattner: Okay, now we have the Consent Agenda, which are the items that we don’t think are controversial, but if anybody on the Council wants something…wants one taken out and discussed separately, that is up to them and we will and we have a couple that have to be taken out, Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: 20.
President Rattner: That’s the one, okay, 20, which is the tank painting.
Mr. Dorsey: No 20 is the, oh I’m sorry….I’m looking at the old list.
President Rattner: Yes, that’s what I started out, yes the amended one.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, alright, I have the wording for that.
President Rattner: Okay, well we’re going to do that separately. I’m just…we’re looking at getting the Consent Agenda through. Okay, Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, well, 18 – we agreed, right?
President Rattner: Well, 18 is really 20.
Mr. Guenther: No, on the new one it’s 18, the question of the construction of….
President Rattner: Oh, I’m sorry, okay, we were still talking the tank.
Mr. Dorsey: The tank is 20.
Mr. Perkins: Well, 18 is off, period.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, it’s going to be off, yes, because….
Mr. Buell: Steve, on the new one, 13, is that the temporary capital budget that we talked about that we’re not going to talk about tonight? So that has to come off…
President Rattner: No, that’s the one that…okay, that’s the one…
Ms. Jenkins: That’s in relation to the water utility ordinance that has to be adopted, the one that we’ve already adopted.
President Rattner: Yes, that’s the one we agreed to keep on.
Mr. Buell: Okay, then I take that off, then.
President Rattner: No, that’s the one…that’s the one where I had to go from bullet two to three in the workshop. Okay, so we’re taking…13 is okay to stay on, right, Mr. Buell?
Mr. Buell: Yes, I just wanted to know….
President Rattner: So, what we’re doing is we’re eliminating 18, because we agreed to put that on the next workshop public meeting and we’re going to do 20 separately. So, let’s see who the lucky person is, Ms. Labow, will you move consent resolutions as we….
Ms. Labow: Can I ask one question before I do that?
President Rattner: No, you can do the question after.
Ms. Labow: Don’t tell me no.
President Rattner: Well, do it after you introduce them, unless you’re going to take it off.
Ms. Labow: I’m taking off 18 and 20, right?
President Rattner: No…20…yes, you’re not going to include 18 and 20.
Ms. Labow: Okay. I move the pass Resolution number 3 through 17, 19 and then 21 through 26.
Mr. Buell: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, anybody from the public like to discuss any of those Resolutions? Seeing none, I’ll close the public hearing on that.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any discussion from the Council? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
President Rattner: Okay now Resolution #20.
20. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Magnum Painting for Painting of the Village Green Water Storage Tank.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Dorsey: Here is the additional wording, and it will state, “subject to a thorough review of Magnum Painting’s prior experiences, projects completed and determination by the Administrator that Magnum has satisfactorily completed projects of similar magnitude.”
President Rattner: I think we said it was going to be the Administrator and Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, okay.
President Rattner: Because they asked for his help.
Mr. Dorsey: Okay, fine.
Mr. Perkins: They requested it.
President Rattner: No they asked, request/ask, yes. Is that what you were going to bring up, Mayor?
Mayor De La Roche: Yes.
President Rattner: Thank you. Somebody want to move that?
Mr. Guenther: I so move.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address this? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
1. Approval of Raffle Application #2044 & #2045 for Starlight Chapter #107, Order of Eastern Star.
President Rattner: Okay, Motions…we have raffle applications….
Ms. Labow: Wait a minute, I didn’t get to ask my question.
President Rattner: Oh, I’m sorry, go ahead. I thought you asked a questions, because we don’t have any
Ms. Labow: On the, no no – you guys blew me away. Don’t worry it will be 11:07 when I’m done. On the
workshop, I had a…we had on there a resolution for a traffic study on the new section of Old Wolfe Road and
Route 46 and that wasn’t on this part here, did we miss that, or….you skipped over it on the workshop.
President Rattner: We have a resolution #21…
Mr. Dorsey: No, no, that’s the….
Ms. Labow: No, no, I wanted a traffic study done on the intersection of Old Wolfe Road and Route 46 in front
of Lakeview Plaza, that was on the workshop.
Mr. Dorsey: Did we discuss that?
President Rattner: I don’t even remember discussing….
Ms. Labow: No we didn’t, we passed right by it, that’s why I wanted to bring it up.
President Rattner: Well, we can’t…..next workshop – we’ll put it on the next meeting.
Ms. Labow: Put it on the next one? Okay, that’s why I wanted to ask now, it was resolutions. Okay, go ahead,
you may carry on.
President Rattner: Maybe we just didn’t want to let you speak on it. Okay, raffle applications, Mr. Elms.
Mr. Elms: I move for approval of Raffle Applications #2044 and #2045 for Starlight Chapter #107.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
2. Bill List.
President Rattner: Okay, Bill List. Nothing, I just want to take off…I’m just looking to make sure I get the
right ones. Until we can resolve the issue, there is, I guess it’s check #46289, which….
Ms. Jenkins: Steve, can I just say something….that was already voided. We voided that this morning.
President Rattner: Both January bills?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes. It was voided this morning.
President Rattner: Did we get notification, so we knew to take it off? Okay, so….both of them were on one
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
President Rattner: So, Mr. Guenther, when you move it, would you have….when you move the bill list, if
there are no other problems, that check #46127 be removed.
Mr. Guenther: Okay. I hereby move the bill list whereby check #46127 will be removed.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Okay, is there any other discussion? That brings up…you said you voided the check this
Ms. Jenkins: Well, no, #46289 is the one that we voided this morning, 289.
President Rattner: How much was the amount for?
Ms. Jenkins: $5,559.10.
President Rattner: Okay, and it was two purchase orders?
Ms. Jenkins: It’s actually three purchase orders.
President Rattner: Because I have the two that I pulled out: one was for $1,041.86…
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, that’s the reason why it was voided.
President Rattner: Then there was another for $3,767.77, which also came….also the same timeframe. Okay,
that’s on there? I didn’t even catch….
Ms. Jenkins: It’s part of the same check, Steve.
President Rattner: Okay, and I didn’t catch the $749, so, I don’t know….okay. Why don’t we do the
resolution over again, to we make sure we have the right check number.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, so what am I doing here?
President Rattner: It’s check…you move the bill list with the exception of check #46289 in the amount of
Mr. Guenther: Should be…that was voided, you said?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
Mr. Guenther: And what about the other check that was…
President Rattner: No, it was three bills on one check, that’s it. The other one was an erroneous number.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, so that’s the only thing I have to say in addition to the…..okay. I will revise my motion.
I hereby move the bill list, whereby check #46289, in the amount of $5,059.10 was voided, or will be voided.
Mr. Elms: It’s $5,559.10.
President Rattner: $5,559.10.
Mr. Elms: You left out the $500.
Mr. Guenther: $5,559.10, oh, I’m sorry.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Mr. Buell, Ms. Labow – Yes
Mr. Elms: Wait, wait, wait, don’t we have any question time on the bill…..
President Rattner: We had the questions at the beginning of the meeting and there were no questions, we just
came…we asked for any questions….any questions would be at the beginning so they had time to answer them.
Mr. Elms: I have a clarification question. On pages 15 through 18…what are we doing here?....crayons,
seashell creatures, fun sticks, clothespins…..
President Rattner: Well, I think it fits.
Ms. Labow: It’s the beach.
Ms. Jenkins: No, it’s actually the playground program.
Ms. Labow: Oh, the playground.
Ms. Jenkins: They have the…you know, they do the playground program in the summer? Those are things for
the playground program.
Mr. Elms: And this is to the same vendor?
Ms. Jenkins: Yes.
Mr. Elms: And there is no totalization of four pages of this.
Ms. Jenkins: There is, it’s on page 19, it’s at the top, $3,873.24.
Mr. Elms: Okay, is this a competitive bid for this?
Ms. Jenkins: Well, they’re all different kinds of things and I don’t believe for one of those types of things that
she goes over $17,500, so….
Mr. Elms: Okay.
ROLL CALL(cont’d) Passed Unanimously
Status is on the berm for Sunset Drive
ADA grant for the paving at Turkey Brook Park
Soil Erosion at Meier’s Pond
ITC South Road Cave Ins
Status – DPW garage project.
Status – Old Municipal Building project.
Status – Reorganization of the DPW Department.
Status – Timeline for Turkey Brook Park improvements.
Status – Closing of the temporary path at Turkey Brook, the issue related to Sunset Drive and whether or not we’re going to create another path further down the road to alleviate the concerns of the residents.
Status – Rosewood Ditch – Plans, if any, beyond the maintenance project, which has been put in.
Status – Negotiations with the School Board on putting lights on school property related to the baseball issue.
Status – Negotiations with the School Board on access through the B & H tract related to the school referendum. Negotiations with Washington Township related to the Mine Hill Road issue.
Status – Clerk’s Recording/Transcription Equipment
President Rattner: We’ll move on to old business. Mr. Buell, you have a whole list…do you really want to
go through those?
Mr. Buell: Yes, some of them.
President Rattner: We’ve already done some….okay, we’ve already taken…
Mr. Buell: We’ve already done the DPW garage….
President Rattner: Well, no…let’s go in order and say which ones we can just cross off…just go in order so
we don’t lose them.
Mr. Buell: I didn’t ask all these questions, Rob Greenbaum asked some.
President Rattner: Well, it’s under your name.
Mr. Buell: I know, they snuck them in, but that’s alright.
President Rattner: Okay, which one do you want to….
Mr. Buell: I would like to have an update status on all of them.
Mr. Ruggierio: I’ll go fast.
Mr. Buell: You want to read them?
Mr. Ruggierio: Sure, I’ll read them and dispose of them and then you can come back with your questions.
Status is on the berm for Sunset Drive – that’s in design at Schoor DePalma and, I guess, within the next 20 days, we should have their design and their bid documents so that berm is included within the Turkey Brook Health, Saftety and Welfare items.
Mr. Guenther: Mr. President, no…I want to say, we’re on Sunset Drive, since I wanted to address the issue of the speed table. I did get the answer from Tim Quinn, but since I see the Police Chief in the audience, I have a serious problem with the height of that speed table. Now I understand, according to the answer that he gave, that he did a study of the way those were done in other places. Now, I was there, I witnessed minivans going over that at 30 to 35 mphs and speeding up afterwards in a hurry to get to the schools, at very unsafe speeds. Every speed table that I’ve seen, especially the ones in Stanhope, work very effectively to get the speed down to 20. If you go up to 25 or above, you’ll break something on your car. I don’t think….I think this is too low, I would like to have that checked. It’s just…people can go over it at speed above the assigned speed limit on that road.
Ms. Labow: I have one, also…I received an e-mail from a resident that’s on Sunset Drive and she said they were concerned because they have not heard yet about the plans for the berm and I didn’t respond to her yet, because I just wanted to make sure when…you’re going to address the designs with everybody on there….at a meeting…
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, I mean, I’m not being smart, but I thought Council was well aware that Gene Buczynski was preparing the design for the Health, Safety and Welfare items and that the berm was part of that. He expected to have it done within 30 days, it’s, you know, it’s probably about 20 days over schedule.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I thought it was going to be on 27th, I got an e-mail, okay, I just wanted….
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, and when we get it, of course, we’ll look at the design to the extent that we have…you know, it’s easily transmitted to…people will try to describe it, but….our next step after we receive the design is then to try to go out and bid the work.
Ms. Labow: Before we bid it, we’ll discuss it with the residents on that street.
Mr. Ruggierio: That is a good suggestion, let me write that down and…
Ms. Labow: Because that’s what she asked and, like I said, I got the e-mail yesterday, I didn’t want to respond to it until I had a chance to talk to you. I think, also, Gene is expecting it to be ready on the Turkey Brook Park meeting on the 27th, is that what he was talking about?
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I think that Gene actually thought it would be done, you know, this happens a lot in the engineering design, he thought it would be done, you know, about now, but it’s not, and I think that he’ll miss his target by about 20 days and we do have the other meeting….
Ms. Labow: I thought he said…it was…he thought…he was hoping it would be ready on the 27th, okay, thank you.
Mr. Ruggierio: I’m just writing discuss berm with residents.
Ms. Labow: I think that concern…I think they want to know the…just how it’s going to be.
President Rattner: Colleen, just let him go…I mean, we’re just asking for a status.
Ms. Labow: I’m sorry.
President Rattner: If there is something else, this is just….we’re just wanting…this was a status report that we want them to give us, unless you have something real pressing, because you can always call and we’ll put it in the right form.
Mr. Ruggierio: I don’t have anything to report on ADA grant for the paving at Turkey Brook Park -
I am going to get together with Kathy Murphy and I hope you’ll give me a few days to give you an answer on that one.
Mr. Buell: Yes, that one there is…that’s….we’ve got $200,000 of grant money for that one and we need to appropriate some money in the capital budget or our of Open Space to make sure that happens.
Mr. Ruggierio: Soil Erosion at Maier’s Pond is really the same project. We are addressing the soil erosion issues in the design documents that Gene is preparing, so it will be part of the bid for remediation and, you know, well…remediation.
Mr. Ruggierio: ITC South Road Cave Ins – I know you’ve seen a lot of things about that. My report as of yesterday, from Gene, is that the project is complete except for top course, that the matter has been inspected, I think one of the questions was were we inspecting and the answer is yes, that Gene’s office…Schoor DePalma, has had inspectors out there at that matter.
Ms. Labow: The one by McDonalds, that cave-in there?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, the sink hole, right.
Ms. Labow: Okay, so then our sewer pipes weren’t….
Mr. Ruggierio: Right. The DPW garage project – I think we covered it, unless you want more information.
Mr. Ruggierio: The Old Municipal Building project. I know you all got a copy of the document that I sent in response to Rob Greenbaum’s request about where we were in terms of the Old Municipal Building. If you give me a second, I’ll just tell you what we said there. It might seem obvious to all, abandonment of the DPW garages and trailers at the site of the Old Municipal complex along Route 46 will be accomplished when and if the New DPW garage is constructed. The approach to take with respect to the Old Municipal building is very difficult because we sense that the community is evenly divided about the matter. There are a number of factors to consider in connection with this asset. A number of more important considerations are that the Old Municipal building is presently situated on a flood plain and this fact presents enormous problems in any attempts to utilize the area for an alternate use. There is a large component of the community who believe that this is a historic building, which should be preserved, of course it is a historic building, I didn’t mean to suggest that was in doubt. The cost of putting the Old Municipal building back to meaningful purpose would be extremely costly and would seem to be unjustified given the other capital priorities of the community and the Old Municipal building does appear to be structurally sound and the rumors that it is somehow a structural
Mr. Ruggierio(cont’d): hazard are not accurate. On the other hand, there is an extremely serious mold problem throughout the building and various systems throughout the building, such as plumbing and electrical, are very dated and so what we basically concluded, without me continuing to read on on this matter, is that the public really needs to be consulted in an aggressive program of community consultation to see if we can arrive at a community consensus. I think that we will not be passive in this community consultation, we will certainly present our point of view about how to go forward with it and…that’s the Old Municipal building project.
Mr. Ruggierio: Reorganization of the DPW Department – I think we’ve agreed that come the next meeting, I will make a presentation to the Council showing at least the management structure, I don’t think you want all the positions in the department.
Mr. Ruggierio: And the next item is the Timeline for Turkey Brook Park improvements. I took that to mean the Health, Safety and Welfare improvements. After we get the bid document…the design and the bid documents and I think that the probably timeframe is 30 to 45 days to get bids and to be able to award a contract, maybe 60 days. So, we’re about ninety days out from the time we receive the documentation from…that allow us to bid. Now, if we go ahead and discuss with the residents and possibly the Council, some of these designs that’s going to slow down the process, we, of course, will take that into account, but one of our concerns would have to be weather to the extent that any of these improvements are going to be effected by weather.
Mr. Ruggierio: Closing of the temporary path at Turkey Brook, the issue related to Sunset Drive and whether or not we’re going to create another path further down the road to alleviate the concerns of the residents. The answer is that we have closed the temporary path, the closure seems to hold, the fence is still in tact and the path is apparently no longer being used. And the answer to the second question is yes we do intend to create another path further down the road to alleviate the concerns of the residents. I will be able to give you a better timeframe on the creation of that path because it is not part….don’t hold me to that…so, anyway, they’ve already created it, maybe they’ve saved us some work, but it’s on our hit parade of things to do.
Mr. Ruggierio: Rosewood Ditch – Plans, if any, beyond the maintenance project, which has been put in – Mr. Buell is absolutely correct, we believe that maintenance is the only thing that we are able to do with respect to that because of the extreme cost for permitting and any installation of concrete, flumes, or other drainage facilities. I know that’s not a satisfactory answer to some of the residents and I will be happy to do what I said I would do before and go out and talk to the residents, but I do think that that’s where we are in terms of the priorities of the use of public funds.
Mr. Ruggierio: Negotiations with the School Board on putting lights on school property related to the baseball issue – I gave Council a memo on this. It appears that the School Board would be in accord with at least our initial thinking on this matter, that putting lights on the High School property is not viable, at least in the near future. I…there are a lot of issues that argue against putting lights on the Middle School, that people informed me about when I did meet with the School Board facilities committee.
Mr. Ruggierio: Negotiations with Washington Township related to the Mine Hill Road issue. You got a long memo with some attachments on that, so I won’t bother to go over that again.
Mr. Ruggierio: Status of the Clerk’s Recording/Transcription Equipment – I think we’re going to get together with the Clerk and see if we can help with that process.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, two things – one, just so you know, one of the issues we have with the Municipal building, and this is not a reflection just on this Administration, this is the third Mayor and we’re getting the same thing, what we don’t know. We’ve had two town-wide surveys, we had a major committee that met for two years, that type of thing. I think what we’re just looking for at this point, because I was one of the them and I wanted to save it, I actually went out and got private groups, you know, gut it, because the building was just a big open space and to go forward, but it is starting to deteriorate under its own weight. You know, you got the mold, we know that the roof is gone and if the water starts infiltrating, I mean, when we abandoned the building, I wanted to do repairs on the roof. Two years ago, we were told those little repairs are now $90,000, because it has to be replaced and I think what we really have to do…not that we can necessarily go with it, but we do get a lot of comments, you know, people want to save it, but everybody has to agree that it’s an eyesore. We would have our Zoning Officer on property maintenance on anybody else’s property that looked like that in this town, and we’re supposed to set the example, so I think what we’re looking for, and we know it’s a tough decision, is that you have to look, you know, from whatever your professional…..or whatever you have inside and decide the best idea is to do this. You know, you have to take a look, look at the past records, can we actually build, can we build on the footprint, that type of thing. We’ve heard the same thing again. Again, we’ve heard it for four years with the last Mayor and we heard it from the four years or so….
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I’ve been here four months.
President Rattner: I know. No, I’m just saying that, but when you start seeing eyes rolling on that one, it’s because of…we’ve heard the same thing and it’s just a delaying thing…we know that it’s a big item and it will be controversial, but we’ve heard it all before. There is a lot out there and we’re just looking for which way we start going and start that discussion – whichever way you go, and we really want that.
Mr. Ruggierio: My experience with issues like this is that just go out and test the feeling of the community, you’re really going no where – just what you’ve described. If you go out and you have a…you get behind a proposal, even if it’s the wrong one, it turns out not to have support, at least you started the discussion in a direction where people will, you know….
President Rattner: But we’ve done a lot of that and we have that.
Mr. Guenther: Well, when I was Council President last year, we got into this in some detail and we had…there was a lot of public comment. I refute the notion that you’re saying that the…there is a strong sentiment to preserve it, or there is a fifty-fifty split, I don’t know what it is, but I seem to have more of a feeling it was more in the other direction. We got a lot of e-mails from people who complained about it being an eyesore and it’s an embarrassment to the community, but I’m not going to make a judgment about that. We got to the point of actually asking, Joe DiMaria did it on a pro-bono basis, to present a concept plan to us, and the problem with that was that he went a little bit…I believe he went a little bit overboard.
President Rattner: A little?
Mr. Guenther: He proposed something that we really did not have in mind as an alternate…
Mr. Ruggierio: The first week I was here, he brought it into my office and showed me.
Mr. Guenther: Oh okay, well then you’re….okay, and I think the mistake he made is…he was….well, give us a cost, an estimate of cost. Well, it’s too much, I mean, it’s not something we had ever envisioned, so we kind of got back to square one with that, but I think the…at that time, I believe the marching orders to him were well, go back and we’ll have to do something more modest and just do a pavilion. I mean, I….we always keep referring to Freedom Park in Randolph and, if you drive by there, you’ll notice they have an open air pavilion there, which should be fairly simple, I have no idea of cost, but that kind of thing, which could service the beach area and maybe just add a couple of bathrooms, obviously we need the bathrooms. That’s sort of where we got stuck, so I…the direction you’re suggesting is something we’ve already done. You were kind of reinventing the wheel to bring it up all over again and the point was, at that time, and part of his plan was well, at the same time that you’re demolishing the buildings for the DPW, and it was all kind of tied together, you do the some thing with the Municipal building, you create a larger parking lot are and expand the beach, in fact, and be able to expand the beach programs that you could offer the public.
Mr. Elms: Well, I think this has been talked to death. If…we’re going to have to do something sooner or later and I think what…the way it was left the last time that I heard about it was that we needed to find out if the DEP is going to…what they’ll allow us to do down there, before you start anything. I mean, if the DEP is going to say you can’t do anything with the building, because it’s in the flood plain, then what’s the sense of even discussing it any further, it’s time for a bulldozer, which I’m not in favor of, but the DEP is holding all the cards here.
President Rattner: They’ve had two meetings with the DEP, they just refuse to put anything in writing, but they’ll tell you what their thoughts were and that’s there. I’m not…I was just going…I was telling….
Mr. Elms: That’s not fair, Steve, because it’s kept us…the DEP needs to put something in writing because they have kept this building in limbo for probably five or six years.
President Rattner: They said they won’t put it in writing until we give them a definitive plan…that’s the catch 22, it’s not this Administration’s fault, I mean, this has been going on for something like….that’s why I’m just saying that we have a lot of it, just go through it and have to come up with a recommendation which way it goes. I’ll probably be on the minority side, you know, and take it down or something, because it’s costing us…. probably what’s going to be the deciding factor, but let’s just get there, really get the discussion out and then start acting with it, because it’s just going to deteriorate to get even worse. I mean, last year we had to worry about opening the beach because part of the building was collapsing…you know, that emergency fire escape
President Rattner (cont’d): was falling down. I mean, that…we can’t do and that was just ridiculous. Anyway, you did pass over one of the things we have on the list and I believe that was the School Board Access through the B&H tract.
Mr. Ruggierio: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t do it on purpose, I was going at rocket speed. Yes, well, the…you received a memo from me on the access through the B&H tract, what has been the result of negotiations with the School Board concerning the proposal for compensation to allow the diversion, I have put on the…for your agenda item of the 27th, a resolution requesting Green Acres to allow the diversion on the basis of the two items of compensation that the school board and the town have initially agreed to, I…obviously, it’s Council’s agreement that’s missing from the process at this point. The two items that are on the table for this…to facilitate this diversion are the dedication of the Flanders School fields to recreation use and also the property which is described in the memo that we were…owned by the township…which would be dedicated to Green Acres. The Mayor and I tried to persuade the Board that since time is of some concern, that they only really have, in our judgment, one shot at this matter come December of 2004, when the State House Commission will meet. After that, the next meeting is in April, I believe, so, what I tried to say to them, on behalf of the Mayor and the Administration, was that we did feel that the compensation had to be quite stunning and alluring for them…for Green Acres to approve it. We hope that this is enough compensation and I won’t say anymore so that, you know, those comments aren’t really transmitted to Green Acres, but bottom line is we tried to push for a little bit more, in terms of the compensation to recreation programs that would justify the diversion, but the school felt that given the public nature of the use that would be related to the diversion that the two items that I’ve described would be enough and so, they’re going to go with their point of view and hope that it prevails.
President Rattner: Mr. Ruggierio, the only thing I want to say is that was written on June 30th….but then we got a memo from you…it’s dated July 8th…we got it via the Daily Record, thank you very much for providing the mail service for us…for providing us with the memo that we got, I mean, talking about snail mail, but anyway, you’re giving us a slightly different…you say you don’t want to talk about it, but I actually, and I’ve had somebody else call Green Acres, they think that anything or construction or something…they’re just looking for open pace. Just so you understand, when we were going through Turkey Brook, they actually told us to scale it back, because they said the purpose of the Green Acres was not to develop the park – it was open space, per se, and they actually, in the plans, made us start cutting out things and they’re not interested and I’m going to hopefully get confirmation on that, and not with any specifics, but just talking about different stuff. All they are looking for is a multiple on the open space, they don’t like the idea of taking open space and then developing it. Even with Turkey Brook, they told us to scale, and they told us, and they cut out one-third of the different…they said no….
Mr. Ruggierio: Steve, your point would be what, I mean….
President Rattner: Is that they’re not really….when they talk about trades, I don’t know…and I’d like to see it…know the information, because we’re getting completely different information and we’ve been dealing with them for a while, including with swaps, that they’re just interested in open space, they’re not interested in construction of active recreation, especially when it’s paved, in fact, they would rather go for a field than anything that would have pavement, because they don’t want any impervious coverage, they even recommend… they actually recommend crushed gravel over pavement for parking lots, just because they want the water going in. So…
Mr. Ruggierio: So, it’s your belief that improved fields at Flanders School would not be, you know, considered valuable?
President Rattner: No, no, that’s not what I’m talking about. If you want me to tell you what I’m talking about, it’s on your number 6 of your addressing where you think that you “that the School Board is on dangerous ground if they don’t go for other improved items that you want them to construct” that’s what I think is separate from Green Acres. Green Acres wants a multiple land, if they give you an acre, they want to see five.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, see…you know, what the problem is is that we’re talking about with Green Acres, you know, you made…you’ve had somebody make a phone call to Green Acres…
President Rattner: Yes, I made one and then I had somebody else…because I wanted to get an answer.
Mr. Ruggierio: And what we’re doing with this is that now we are now going to make an application for this diversion, but we will end up in front of the State House Commission. Most people know that that is a very hard application and my use of those terms, that they’re on dangerous grounds, was really an attempt to emphasize that at this point, I don’t think that they have a second bite of the apple, now maybe they feel that Mr. Ruggierio(cont’d): they do and, you know, they’re probably smarter on these issues than I am, but I feel that our…a proposal at this point has to be compelling in order for Green Acres to approve it, and I’ll accept what you say about whoever talked to whomever at Green Acres, but this was a….we felt that, based on our information, that all of the items that the Mayor proposed would result in an approval as opposed to just two out of the three.
President Rattner: I’m not going to criticize what he negotiated for, but I’m saying what Green Acres wants, and you know how long it takes us to get on the agenda, because if we agree today, we still couldn’t get on the agenda for September, because there is a pre-meeting, and the pre-meeting is because you go down with what you have and if you have someone that’s working with you, they tell you what you need to modify it, what we want more. That’s when they go, so we do have actually two bites, they don’t let you go in not knowing what’s going on. We’ve also been, you know, you were here listening, we’ve been very successful with Green Acres when we got the BASF tract now that we’re trying to protect, but…the BASF tract…but that’s what is going here, they want that. I just don’t think that say that there, because I don’t think they care, in fact, I think that may hurt if you say well part of the trade is this, and they’re going to say what is the open space? That’s what they are and that’s what they’re really the trustees of. They allow you to do fields, they don’t like pavement and they don’t want you to cut any trees, I mean, there’s a lot of things they don’t want to do. We have something here because it is a public need, it’s a public safety, and when you have that, there are certain reasons, and then they do it, but you still have to do the trade-off, just like you’re allowed to fill in wetlands, but you have to replace it two to one, plus other compensation. They don’t want a building someplace.
Mr. Ruggierio: I accept that you believe that.
President Rattner: What?
Mr. Ruggierio: I accept that you believe that.
President Rattner: Well, how many Green Acres have you negotiated?
Mr. Ruggierio: I…listen, I, you know, at this point…..
President Rattner: I’m just saying that be careful, I’m not saying that you didn’t go and negotiate in good faith, I’m just saying that that one I don’t think…and I don’t think it helps us. They just want to see how much land you’re giving us, let’s not slow down the process, I mean, I would have hoped to make the August…
Mr. Ruggierio: No, I mean, the proof will be in the pudding for sure and you’re absolutely right, we are on the December agenda and I guess that only the School Board knows if they can suffer a delay beyond that. I don’t think they can, but, you know….
Mr. Guenther: December or September?
Mr. Ruggierio: December is where we are now.
President Rattner: They’ll be going to bid now with options, I believe…
Mr. Ruggierio: I don’t think so. I think ,what they said to us…what they told us, was that they would not do that option A, option B unless they got disappointed at Green Acres at the December meeting, so December… it’s like, and you’re point is well taken, I mean, you do get an administrative review before you ever go before the State House Commission that should give you some pretty good insight, if you have to better your proposal.
President Rattner: I can’t believe…and we’ll go down there in force if we have to and we’ve been successful before, people aren’t un….no matter how much we talk about it, they are not completely unreasonable. We’re talking about public safety is the most practical way…it’s a completely different place, I mean, even some of the alternatives that are a lot more expensive, would still bring out another road onto Corey Road or something, which makes no sense from a safety standpoint.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, that was the point that Mr. McEntee at the School Board was…kept making, it was…he kept saying “My God, this is a public need so, therefore, it should be approved” and I guess that the point that we were trying to make was that that is not exactly the way that it’s looked at.
President Rattner: Okay, all I think this Council is saying, you know, you have it, you’ve been working on it, the Mayor says for six months, now we just want to get it done. We want to come to an agreement and know what we have. If we have to, we’ll send Kathy, or whatever, down ahead of time, she has a very good President Rattner(cont’d): relationship with those people. We can use the Morris Conservatory, which has a direct line into those people, know what’s going on, if they say what makes sense, and we have a lot of resources, and let’s just get it done. We’ll know ahead of time, before we get there, whether we can get this done.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, just so you know, so a point of clarification is the fact that we based our recommendations based on what Mrs. Murphy’s told us, and, not only that, but we had somebody coming up from Green Acres to review the whole situation, and it was based on their recommendation that we made these proposals, including the donation of land that we have, you know, to help sweeten the pot.
President Rattner: I’m not going to…
Mr. Ruggierio: The Mayor is right about one thing, though, they did say that the largest amount of diversion applications they are getting are from, you know, the construction of schools, so I have, you know, I have a feeling that they’re relatively immune to the argument that Mr. McEntee was making, mainly gee this is a really public…good public purpose, you know.
President Rattner: Okay, what we’re talking about, you have to look at the small little piece…I’m not going to get in an argument over what was done, what wasn’t done, I know some of the things…I also know some of the representations that were made, and some of it was in good honest negotiation, so I don’t have a problem with that. We just have to get it done now, time is of the essence, they want to know where they’re going, they’re making plans, because if nothing else, every time their architects, we know because we had it, has to change the plans, if they think they have the road, they’re going on one, because it just depends where the staging, what fields they’re going to rip up and so even if it isn’t there’s something there, so we just have to get this done. If we have to get more people down there, let’s get it done, and this is something for the community, and we want to go forward.
Mr. Elms: Steve, the school has put themselves in a box on this road, because there is now a 300 foot buffer around the stream that may prevent them from putting that road in. They have also put truckload after truckload of fill, so they’ve created a cliff that’s going to have to be taken away to put some kind of a road in there, that a school bus can negotiate.
President Rattner: Yes, okay, Mr….I don’t care what was done before and everything else, and that’s not what we’re not here for, they need to know, if they get it turned down, the earlier they get it turned down, they can make the plans and know, so they can…construction…so they can go ahead, that’s all it is. If, after we make our best effort, we do everything they want and they still say no, well that’s what it is and we have to go from there. They know exactly what direction they’re going and that could change some of the design of the construction, there’s no doubt about it, we have to get that done, and it’s just been going on too long. This Council wants to get it done and wants to get it done very very quickly, and I think we have to get down there and understand what they’re going to accept and what they’re not. They’ll let, you know, they’ll give you a wink they can’t guarantee anything, but they know what can get approved or not, and we’re talking about 20,000 / 30,000 square out of something like probably a million and a half square feet.
Mr. Ruggierio: The resolution is on the 27th…the resolution is on the next meeting.
President Rattner: Well, we want to make sure it’s something that is really doable, not where you really don’t think it’s going to work, which is basically what you thought you gave us the opinion on. We want something that everybody thinks we can all live with.
Mr. Elms: Are you going to finish the agenda?
President Rattner: We still have one question.
Mr. Buell: One more. I would like to have the status on the lights at Flanders Park.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, I was going to give that in my Administrative report. The…I have put on for your next agenda, a request that you authorize an engineer for an amount not to exceed $5,000 to basically give us guidance concerning the design and potentially the use of volunteers, as was indicated, for the installation of the Flanders lights. He will also give us cost estimates. So, I have that on for your next agenda item. We have identified…I indicated in the memo, that we have identified an engineer in Hackettstown, who apparently is very expert in this area and has come highly recommended, so that would be the one that we would be proposing.
Ms. Labow: Are we still on old business?
President Rattner: Well, you want to give that one up?....we’re still on old business, if we’re finished late, you have something else on old business?
Ms. Labow: I’m just going to go through stuff and Mr. Ruggierio can give me the answers at another time. I’m going quick, Bernie.
President Rattner: Well, then why, if you want an answer at a different time, can’t you just give him a memo tomorrow?
Ms. Labow: Well, he might be able to answer…I have one….
President Rattner: Even if you want…you need an answer now, I mean….
Ms. Labow: The underground spring, I sent a memo on June 25th, over there on 206 in Flanders, what was the cause, what was the final thing on that? Was it a spring or was it a break…a water main break? Or what?
Mr. Ruggierio: I think it was a water main, but, you know, don’t hold me to it, I have documentation, I also remember it.
President Rattner: But we would have….but I have a memo in on the last one, why I know that was, because, you know, at the beginning, when we started asking, Marilyn was keeping up with us, but she said that’s what it was…we don’t have water lines there, and we have all that other stuff, and it went on for a while, so, let’s just say how it was found and where it was and I guess one of the things is why we didn’t know we had a water line, because I knew that’s where the water went to go to Toys R Us. But that’s all it is. Let’s just get a, you know, a chronological, you know, how they fixed it.
Ms. Labow: Can we have a thing on that?
Mr. Ruggierio: Sure.
President Rattner: Anything else? Everything else, you can just give him a memo on.
Ms. Labow: Alright, I’ll send the memos again. Thank you.
President Rattner: Any new business?
Mr. Guenther: Yes, just real quickly..on the lake, just a question. The other…Saturday morning I was…we
were out there kayaking and the…it was very still and we found everywhere, there was this like a green scum
and it was so bad, I mean, it goes fairly deep, and when we brought the boat up on shore, I mean, it looked like
pea soup, that’s how thick it was. Now, then the next day or so…people can’t swim in this and this is right next
to the swimming area, and I’m just wondering if….and the next day, I saw people swimming there. Now,
maybe the wind had picked up and it cleared it out a little bit, but there was so much of that stuff around that I
have my concerns. If you could just, you know, investigate what they do when they find that kind of thing and
do they try to clear it out of the swimming area, or how do they address it, or is it considered a health hazard or
Mr. Ruggierio: Okay, sure.
Mr. Guenther: Thank you.
President Rattner: Any other new business?
Mr. Dorsey: None.
President Rattner: Okay, Council reports. We’ll go real quick.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Tomorrow night.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Elms: Don’t have any.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: No meeting since the last meeting.
Planning Board Report
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum’s not here.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Elms: Nothing to report, I think that was…
President Rattner: We did a lot tonight…during the closed session, thank you.
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Elms: Nothing.
Price Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Nothing.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: I think we talked about the hot issue. I know that the School Board did announce an
interim Principal for the Middle School, for Mr. Wenner, other than that, they just had the status of their…of the
building, they went over a lot of Administrative issues getting ready for the new school year.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: The only thing I have there, I am waiting for a response, after we had the issue of the
damage of the bog, wanted to know what agencies…it wasn’t that we solved everything, which agencies were
involved and what is happening with the investigation, because I know a lot of them will call.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: Safety Committee meets in two weeks.
President Rattner: Public portion. Anybody from the public, at this late hour, still want to speak to us?
Paul Stefiniw, Budd Lake Heights Road: I’ll keep it short, guys, I know it’s late. Mr. Rattner, you
mentioned earlier that there were several committees formed, over the years, concerning the old Municipal
building, is that information available for the new Administration so they can review that fairly easily, fairly
accessible and easy?
President Rattner: Yes, it was Administrative…it should all be in the office, it was Administrative
committees, yes they are.
Mr. Stefiniw: Information concerning like the polls and everything that were done previously, so that you
could understand how many people are really interested in saving the….
President Rattner: There were full reports and everything else, yes.
Mr. Stefiniw: And it’s been shared with them?
President Rattner: Their staff people probably have it, I’m not saying they know where it is, that’s why I told
them it was done, I didn’t expect them, at this time, to know everything that’s out there. Yes, it’s….
Mr. Stefiniw: Okay, because they might be able to expedite some decision making, to tie that in there.
President Rattner: They were Administrative…they were Administrative….the Administrative setting it up, I,
you know, we had a number of different committees, a lot of different reports, a lot of public meetings…
Mr. Stefiniw: Great, good, this way it will streamline it a little bit, so we’re not rehashing stuff that has been
done in previous years, and such.
President Rattner: That’s why I told them to look at that and not redo some of the same stuff, yes.
Mr. Stefiniw: Maybe a question in mechanics, going back maybe…it might be for Mr. Dorsey, but, concerning
the, I guess it would be the referendum for the DPW Garage, if the Council had put through a referendum with,
let’s say, an estimated cost for a new garage and it has passed and it needed changing later. Could that be
handled in that manner?
Mr. Dorsey: Could it be handled in what manner…I mean, the usual way to put a number in is…would be to
say not to expend more than blank dollars.
Mr. Stefiniw: I’m just asking because, with the Highlands Act coming through, it puts a crunch on everybody’s requirements.
President Rattner: I know what you’re asking for. If we put…let’s say we put in a number of $1.5 million, I don’t know….
Mr. Stefiniw: The quote…but we should get a pretty close estimate…
President Rattner: No, no, but whatever. Let’s say it was a good faith…and then we find out it’s going to cost $2.5 million. If the referendum passed with $1.5 million, I guess it’s a difference whether it’s binding or non-binding.
Mr. Dorsey: If it’s non-binding, we can do anything you want.
President Rattner: Yes, we could do whatever you want, if it’s binding, then you would have to go to referendum again and ask the public again.
Mr. Stefiniw: Yes but even if it was binding and you had to go back to referendum to get the additional funds, does that give you the opening in the Highlands Act to perform the work on the DPW Garage?
Mr. Dorsey: Good question
Mr. Stefiniw: Okay, that’s it. Thank you.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public? Close the public portion and go to final Council Comments.
Mr. Ruggierio: I noticed there wasn’t an Administrative report portion listed.
President Rattner: Oh, I’m sorry.
Ms. Labow: He’s tired.
President Rattner: I’m sorry. No, if you have a report, I don’t want to jip you. Go ahead.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, it wasn’t on the list, but if you’re going to hold your powder dry, I’ll hold mine too.
President Rattner: No, it’s okay, but if you have something…
Mr. Guenther: No, it’s at the bottom of one page, Steve skipped over it, it’s after the bill list.
Mr. Ruggierio: Well, okay, I have some things to report because I, you know, I’m concerned that people are going around saying that we’re not doing anything. Of course, if anybody has listened to the agenda tonight, that’s sort of a silly comment, but….I have talked to you about the Flanders lights and the request for an engineer, so I’ll skip past that. I have talked to you about the concept of employing an engineer to do a DPW design for the next meeting and I’ll skip past that. 9:00 tomorrow morning we are going to meet with Gene Buczynski and Tim Quinn and Phil Spaldi concerning Wyndham Point sewers. You know, that matter, according to Mr. Dorsey, has not advanced because we have not received the title work and he can’t, you know, commence the title searches, so we’re going to do an analysis of what…whether that’s something that we should feel is urgent and, if so, what we should do about it. I ask you, in a separate memo, for two meetings and I know we’re on summer schedule, but two meetings: one to deal with procedure and the other to deal with substance concerning the negotiations that are coming up in connection with the Municipal employees collective bargaining agreement. I guess that you already know that Turkey Brook is under design, we have had a second capital projects meeting this week and, although I’m not completely satisfied with the spreadsheet that we have, it’s very close to being final and we have a good listing of capital projects which are both funded and un-funded, which we believe are priorities and these, of course, are not…these are not minor capital projects, but ones that we want to emphasize so you’ll…I’ll be able to present that to the Council so you’ll have a concept of what the Administration thinks is important concerning that. I have made a suggestion, I don’t know if you’ve received the memo concerning the…we’re down to 10,000 gallons per day in terms of the Flanders Cloverhill plant allocation. I made a suggestion on how we might approach allocating that capacity in such a way that we won’t be unreasonable and potentially sued because of making arbitrary decisions and so, I would like to discuss that with the Council at one of our August meetings. I have a meeting with the Lutheran Social Ministries to talk about their project, I’m on their board, I’ll be happy to give the Council a report with respect to that. I have resolved the zoning issue that came up this week, I won’t really speak about it other than to say that it was resolved with no action. I know that there is an issue of Mr. Elms’ tower that should be resolved with the, at least some direction should be indicated with respect to that at next Monday’s meeting with Mike Carroll, our Zoning Board attorney. I have received numerous comments concerning the Turkey Brook ordinance regarding the park and many suggestions that we make this generally applicable to all our parks, and I’m amalgamating those suggestions and I’m going to bring that back up on the Council agenda probably at a meeting in August. You’ve heard about Mine Hill and, of course, you know that we’ve been working with Council Committee concerning the Budget. Final item that I wanted to talk about was the bog vandalism, you know, I take this very seriously. It’s, to me, it was an intentional act that occurred with respect to that depositing of that piece of wetlands or bog, as they call it, on our beach. To make matters really bad, you know, two of our kids who work down at that beach, cut their foot on glass that was contained in that piece of dirt. It is unacceptable to me, I’ve asked Mr. Dorsey, or one member of his office, to come and meet with me, because I think that we need to bring the hammer down on the party that’s responsible for this. I think we can prove who’s responsible for it and I’ll say little more than that other than to say that sometimes, you know, you have to take something like this serious because it seems to be repetitive conduct that there have…you know, just like children, you know, there have to be consequences. In this case, I think there have to be legal consequences to the conduct of this person who did this intentional vandalism. That’s my Administrative report.
President Rattner: Yes, I thank you for that report on the bog, because I didn’t know that was coming, but the other thing that you mentioned about the labor negotiations, do you want a closed session, because that way…and I don’t want to do it…let’s say it’s a late meeting, and this late, because it’s too serious, to set it up for a closed session at the next meeting at 7:00 pm?
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, I think I asked you for the 27th for the procedural meeting and I asked Mr. Danser, our Labor Counsel, to be there and then….
President Rattner: Well, I know that, but I’m asking do you want it, you know, to start at 7:00 pm because we want it…I’m asking do you want to do this in closed, because we can’t tell, you know….
Mr. Ruggierio: Yes, that would be great.
President Rattner: Everybody agree to that?....and you could limit that to about a half hour, right?
Mr. Ruggierio: Sure.
President Rattner: Okay, anything else? Thank you very much for that report. Final comments, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: None.
Ms. Labow: I just want to say really really fast again, thank you for all the hard work that all of you did on the Budget.
Mr. Elms: None.
Mr. Guenther: I just want to…there was a letter from Fred Semrau from the attorney’s firm commending Jack Marchione for his preparation and expert testimony providing the defense of tax appeals, where apparently we were successful in all….I want to just…if you would pass that on to Jack, that – excellent job.
Mr. Perkins: Nothing.
President Rattner: And I have none. Move for adjournment.
Motion to adjourn was made and seconded and the meeting adjourned at 11:55 pm.
Steven W. Rattner, Council President
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive, do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on September 14, 2004.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk