Mt. Olive Township Council Minutes
March 28 , 2006

The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Greenbaum with the Pledge of Allegiance.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE & MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women fighting terrorism and those who have lost their lives defending the freedom we all enjoy

OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT

According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.

ROLL CALL: Present: Mr. Tepper, Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner
Mr. Greenbaum, Mrs. Labow
Absent: None

Also Present: Mayor De La Roche, Rick Prill, Business Administrator; John Dorsey,
Township Attorney; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Michelle Masser, Deputy Clerk

Morris County MUA Water Diversion Request Explanation – B. Guenther

DPC Resolution – Mount Olive Robotics Program

President Greenbaum: Let the record reflect Mrs. Labow is running about 30 minutes late and is on her way here. The first item of business tonight is the Resolution for DPC regarding the Mount Olive Robotics Program. Bernie, did you want to give the demonstration first, or would you rather....why don’t I do the presentation? Thank you for bearing with me. As you all know, one of the best things that Mount Olive has to offer for our youth is the Robotics Program at the High School like athletic programs at other schools which draw kids. The Robotics program in Mount Olive is actually something which brings the kids of Mount Olive back into our school system. Something that we at Council level and Administration, the School Board and the Township itself are very proud of, in particular, this evening. We are honored tonight to have two representatives here from DPC, Mr. Olson, President and Mrs. Scribner, HR Director. On behalf of the Township Council, for your efforts, we are going to be adopting a resolution this evening and I want to read the Resolution.

RESOLUTION OF THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE
TOWNSHIP OF MOUNT OLIVE EXPRESSING APPRECIATION
TO DPC FOR ITS SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY

WHEREAS, the Township through its school system has sponsored for some period of time a Robotics Program (MORT) which involves some of the most gifted students in the fields of science and physics; and

WHEREAS, this program has been enormously successful in terms of the number of students involved and their success in interscholastic competitions; and

WHEREAS, the funds for this program have been raised primarily from private sources and the principal and most generous contributor has been DPC Instrument Systems Division (DPC), of 62 Flanders-Bartley Road, Flanders, NJ 07836; and

WHEREAS, DPC is a worldwide provider of immunodiagnostic systems and reagents and is providing the most advanced types of products and services in the fields of medicine and veterinary medicine; and

WHEREAS, without the contributions of DPC as well as others, the Robotics Program of which the Township is very proud, particularly since it provides an enrichment program for some of the Township’s most gifted students could not continue; and

WHEREAS, the Township has limited resources and, therefore, is dependent upon the generosity of contributors such as DPC.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of
Mount Olive that it does hereby wish to express its deepest appreciation to DPC and its officers and employees for their generosity for their contributions, enabling the Robotics Program to continue on behalf of the Township of Mount Olive, Rob Greenbaum, Mount Olive Township President. I would ask one of the Councilmember’s to please, move this resolution at this time.

Mr. Biondi: So moved.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Roll Call please.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: At this point in time, it would be a great honor to actually present this to you Mr. Olson and to you Ms. Scribner on behalf of the Township of Mount Olive. I know that the School Board wanted to be here as well this evening and I know that they are as appreciative and it really does go a long way to making DPC a firm member of our community. We do appreciate this, thank you. I don’t know if you wanted to say a few words? I will leave this here for you.

Mr. Olson: Okay, thank you very much. It is what, five years ago, I stood before this Council talking about building a building here, and I am very, very pleased to be back here for this particular event. We truly do feel like we have become part of the Community here and in particular we are extremely proud and pleased to be a part of the Robotics effort in Mount Olive Township. We think it is just the most fabulous educational tool that I have ever seen in a school system. It is marvelous to see the excitement on these kids faces and it sounds like you guys do nothing but get better and better and I am really very very impressed. We wish you well, also, in school. I understand all three of you are seniors and have your places in school and please send our regards to the rest of the team and I understand again, Ray, that you have to get up at 5:30 in the morning tomorrow? Please give them our best and thank you so much for the Resolution, we truly appreciate it.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Ernie you have a presentation of the machinery?

Ernie DiCiccio: Yes, over there so I can....

President Greenbaum: Yes, please.

Mr. Rattner: If the robot speaks, you have to bring that over there too.

Ernie DiCiccio, Mt. Olive Robotics Program: A number of you were up at the high school what, four weeks ago when we actually rolled it out. This robot doesn’t quite look like it because this isn’t the actual robot. The robot that we actually built is in a crate down in the University of South Carolina but we just wanted.....for the rest of the people that couldn’t make it we just want to give you a brief demonstration of what the robot does this year and some of the quite involved programming and engineering design work that goes into it. Basically, really quickly the robot competes with five other robots on the field that is 26 by 52 at each end of the field. There are three goals, two goals that are at the very bottom corner of the field that are a foot high by four feet wide. In the center is a goal that is a 30 inch circle that is 8 feet off the ground. There are 80 of these nerf balls out on the field at any point in time. The robot’s job is to go around and gather the balls and shoot them through the goals to score points. The one that scores the most points wins that particular round. There is a day and a half of qualification rounds where you randomly pick other teams. So you have to learn how to work with people because you may be against them in one match and ten minutes later you may be joined with them. Some of the advanced features that we have to put into the robot is the robot can line itself up and try to shoot or shoot electronically. There is a green sign. Above the center goal is this green sign. On board the robot is a camera that is used to focus on to that sign and line itself up. They will demonstrate to you exactly what happens when the camera acquires the signal. It can track where that signal is and adjust the pan and the tilt on that mechanism to adjust to shoot the balls. So it was all programmed in. The robot drives around and it can autonomously seek the goal and then it can shoot the balls. Once the system has acquired a signal, there are two drivers, one that is actually driving the robot around and the second driver who is controlling what we call pot boxes. His job is to fine tune the adjustments on that shooting mechanism. We are missing a battery so once we line it up we will turn that off and re-connect it and show you what happens, the way the shooter runs. Just a couple things like we said about the team, you have approximately 80 kids on the team this year.

Mr. DiCiccio (Cont’d): In order to keep 80 kids busy we are divided up into seven different groups. We have the group that does the drive train. We have a group that does the mechanism there and we have a group that does the programming. We have a group that does the electrical work and we have group that.....what am I missing guys? R&B three studio max, we have group that does the animation. We have a group that does all of our picture taking and we have another group that does all of our field maintenance, builds the crates and everything that we have to shoot, everything that.... The robot ordinarily goes around and can suck these balls up and take in approximately 15 or 18 of these balls into its housing. What you see there, that whole mechanism was designed, fabricated, constructed, tested, re-designed, remanufactured and tested again by the kids that you are looking at. None of this was done at an outside organization. The kids did all that at the shops up at the high school and what you’re seeing is the second generation of that shooter. The first generation wasn’t quite as stable and the balls weren’t coming out as straight as we wanted them to so we made a slight adjustment. This is our backup system. Like I said, we will be leaving at 5:30 tomorrow morning to be driving down to South Carolina. We are competing in the South Carolina Regional on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and then after that we will come back and then we will be competing in the national competition, which is going to be held the last week in April. It will be down in Atlanta Georgia in the Atlanta Dome. There are 325 teams from around the world that will be competing in the event. We competed, roughly about a month ago, at the New Jersey Regional. There were 63 teams that competed. There was a day and a half of qualification rounds. We finished 18 out of 63 teams that were selected into an alliance and we ended up finishing fifth. We lost to the team that eventually ended up winning it. We have been extremely competitive over the last couple of years. One other thing that we have done beside the actual competition, there is an award that FIRST gives out. FIRST is the acronym for the organization that this competition is run under. It is called the Chairman’s Award. The Chairman’s Award is given to the team that best signifies the growth of this program throughout this entire school system. There is a robotic group that is for elementary schools kids. We have a couple of teams in town that have competed. We have a middle school competition that we are involved in, which is called FIRST Lego League and onto the high school team. The kids in the team have gone around and started up a number of teams in the area and have worked as mentors for these teams over the last ten years that we have been involved in it and a lot of our kids go on after they have gone off to college, and are involved in college teams and helping out with that. We probably have three or four kids that are helping out with Northeastern and a number of other schools around. We are probably helping out with six or seven teams this year. Then as our kids have gone on and graduated, I have a son who graduated this past year with his Masters and is working with a team out in Los Angeles and he is the engineer for that team. The scope and breadth of where this program has taken our kids is incredible. We have another youngster who graduated from the high school who is now working in robotic design of surgery, he is involved in robotic surgery. There are $8 million that are given out in scholarships every year through this organization and we have been extremely lucky in the last couple of years. We started about three or four years ago getting into this. Last year we probably had about $200,000 worth of scholarships that we were giving out to the kids on the team. We had one boy who is now at Northeastern on a full four year scholarship worth $160,000. So far this year I think at the last count the students have pulled in at least over $250, $300,000 worth of scholarships. Danny, how many have you gotten....three or four so far? Two FIRST scholarships and these are not $1,000. He is looking at about $70,000 worth of scholarships. Kevin in the middle is going to Cornell and he has won scholarship offers from there and we have a number of other students that are involved in it. So the kids have a tremendous potential in their college careers. This is possible, Mr. Olson, I would like to thank you on behalf of Mr. McGowan, who is over at the high school with all the parents, we really appreciate it. If it wasn’t for your assistance, we would never be able to do it. Thank you.

Mr. Olson: We have formed an education association called the Mount Olive Robotics Education Association. It is a 501 C 3 organization. Anyone that is interested in helping us out, our budget for the year is probably around $60,000 or $70,000 between the construction and everything. I would personally like to thank you on the record for all of the assistance that you have given us, Rob. We thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you, it was my pleasure. Okay. At this point in time, the next item on the Agenda we are going to skip over a couple of items and we are going to go into a brief Executive Session concerning tax appeals. At which time we will come out and run through the remainder of our Agenda. Mr. Perkins, could you please move us into Executive Session.

Executive Session – Tax Appeal

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President. According to Section 7&8 of the Open Public Meeting Act, I make a motion to move into Executive Session for the reason of Tax Appeal discussion.

 

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Biondi: Second.

President Greenbaum: All in favor.

AYE

President Greenbaum: We are in Executive Session. (7:50 pm) We will take it into the Council Conference room.

Mr. Perkins: Return from Executive Session. (8:04 pm)

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: All in favor?

AYE

Questions on Bill List?

President Greenbaum: Back from Executive Session. At this point in time we are up to questions on the Bill List. Does anyone have any questions on the Bill List for the Administration?

Mr. Buell: Yes, I thought two weeks ago we were talking about the Library contribution. We were going to withhold $100,000 from that for the State Grant.

President Greenbaum: It turns out that the next Library Board meeting, I think is April 12, 2006, so they haven’t had a chance to act on the request made by Mr. Prill. I think it would be prudent to wait and see what action the Library Board takes. This is not the last quarterly payment for the year, in terms of dollars. Whatever action that we might ultimately have to, we can do it at some later point but the prudent thing, I think at this point, is to continue on with business as normal and let the Library Board deal with Mr. Prill’s request in due course and let’s see how they deal with it? Are there any other questions? Seeing none, we are going to move on to Approval of Minutes. March 14, 2006 closed session minutes........

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS

March 14, 2006 CS

Present: President Greenbaum, Mr. Tepper, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Perkins
Absent: Mr. Rattner, Mr. Biondi

Mr. Rattner: So moved.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussions, comments, deletions? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously with the exception, Mr. Biondi abstained.

CORRESPONDENCE

LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS / COMMITTEES

1. E-mail received March 9, 2006, from Robb Pearson regarding opposition of NJ Assembly Bill 1327.

2. E-mail received March 12, 2006, Chris Kenny regarding Irish Fish and Chips Dinner for Cancer Research.

 

3. Information received March 13, 2006, from Noreen Risko regarding “Community Call to Action.”

4. Letter received March 16, 2006, from Morris County Mosquito Extermination Commission regarding
Updated Public Information and Fact sheet.

5. Press Release received March 22, 2006, from Morris County Citizens against Aircraft Noise.

6. Letter received March 24, 2006, from Mark Wisnewski regarding money being earmarked for Lights at Russ Nagle Field.

7. Letter received March 24, 2006, from Anne Wisnewski regarding lights at Russ Nagle Field.

RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS

8.. Two Ordinances received March 10, 2006, from Borough of Stanhope regarding Land Use.

9. E-mail received March 11, 2006, from Elaine Kennedy, President of the Municipal Clerks Association of New Jersey, Inc. regarding Senate Bill 1219 (government records)

10. Ordinance received March 13, 2006, from Allamuchy Township regarding Land Use.

11. Resolution received March 13, 2006, from Township of Chester regarding reintroduction of legislation to exempt Municipal Clerks from Penalties for Open Public Records Act violations under certain circumstances.

12. Resolution received March 13, 2006, from Township of Morris regarding Support of Assembly Bill No. 2064 – Permitting Photo Radar Devices for Traffic Enforcement.

13. Ordinance received March 16, 2006, from Borough of Netcong regarding Land Use.

14. Resolution received March 22, 2006, from Township of Chester regarding certain amendments to the Open Public Records Act.

15. Ordinance received March 22, 2006, from Allamuchy Township regarding Land Use.

16. Resolution received March 22, 2006, from Town of Secaucus regarding legislation to preclude the turn over of port operations to a foreign controlled entity.

17. Ordinance received March 23, 2006, from the Township of Byram regarding Land Use.

18. Ordinance received March 24, 2006, from Washington Township regarding Land Use.

MUA / MSA

19. Notice received March 20, 2006, from Hackettstown MUA regarding Public Hearing to consider the adoption of adjusted water and sewer charges.

DOT / DEP

20. Letter received March 10, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Pre-cancellation Letter for Freshwater Wetlands Letter of Interpretation – Line Verification Application. Applicant: Carson and Roberts, Block 403, Lot 2 (198-1 Waterloo Valley Road)

21. Copy of Letter sent to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection received March 13, 2006, from Rick Prill regarding Mount Olive Township Public Works Facility Block 7900, Lots 18 and 3.01.

22. Notice of Application received March 13, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Morris County MUA, Application No. 5058 to divert water from 8 existing wells.

 

 

23. Letter received March 15, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection
regarding Recording of 10/12/04, 9/7/05 and 12/16/05 Field Notice Violation for Deerfield Estates c/o Anthony Mortezai. Block 7000, Lot 64 (20 Shop Lane)

24. Agency Determination received March 15, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Subaru of Mount Olive Site Plan, Block 8200, Lot 6 (364 Route 46) Highlands Act – Exempt Water Quality Management Plan – Consistent.

25. Letter received March 20, 2006, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Former Kartar Corporation – Former Sonoco Station, 341 Route 46.

MORRIS COUNTY

26. E-mail received March 21, 2006, from Florence Block regarding Morris County Chamber of Commerce and its Government Affairs Committee Present – Legislative Breakfast.

MISCELLANEOUS

27. Letter received March 16, 2006, from Coldwell Baker regarding the “Auction” division of Caldwell Banker.

LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES

28. League Legislative Alert received March 9, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Anti-Gang Initiative.

29. League Legislative Alert received March 9, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Transportation Trust Fund.

30. Information received March 10, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Labor Relations Seminar on “Legal – Update – 2005 Survey of Significant Decisions.”

31. Information received March 10, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar on Local Sustainable Development Strategies for the 21st Century.

32. E-mail received March 10, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding Transportation Trust Fund.

33. Information received March 15, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar on How to handle a defeated School Budget.

34. Information received March 15, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding League Seminar on How Managers Can Create an Effective Customer Service Environment.

35. E-mail received March 23, 2006, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding House Action on Local Franchising Authority.

36. Letter received March 24, 2006, from Morris County League of Municipalities regarding Reservation information for “Morris County Parks – 50th Anniversary.”

TORT

37. Notice of Tort Claim received March 10, 2006, from William S. Ruggierio regarding Ruggierio v. Lashway.

38. Copy of Summons received March 16, 2006, from United States District Court of New Jersey regarding Michael Foote v. Budd Lake Volunteer Fire Department Co#1.

 

 

HIGHLANDS

39. Letter received March 16, 2006, from Shrinath Kotdawala regarding Revisions to Highlands
Exemption application to build a dwelling on Block 7000, Lot 87 (1 River Road- Princeton Alliance Church)

UTILITIES

40. Letter received March 20, 2006, from Cablevision regarding new channel allocation charts.

41. Fax received March 21, 2006, from Comcast regarding indeplex and retroplex channel additions.

LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES

42. E-mail received March 10, 2006, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding House Appropriations Committee Overwhelmingly Approve Amendment to Halt Port Deal and Approval of Patriot Act.

43. E-mail received March 13, 2006, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding Protecting our Security.

44. E-mail received March 17, 2006, from Congressman Frelinghuysen regarding House fulfills obligation to troops, Hurricane Recovery & Port Security, Introduction of Risk based Port Security Legislation, Sussex County officials Announce Funding to Strengthen Police Communications Interoperability, and Math and Science Key to America’s Leadership in the Global Economy.

DCA

45. Information received March 21, 2006, from Department of Community Affairs regarding 2006 NJ
Brownfield Data Day Event.

President Greenbaum: There are 45 pieces of Correspondence on the Amended Agenda. Does anyone wish to discuss any particular piece of Correspondence? Seeing none, we will move on to Ordinances for public hearing.

ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING

Ord. # 1-2006 An Ordinance Providing for the Selection of a Municipal Prosecutor.

President Greenbaum: At this point in time I would open it up to.....actually this is a continuation of the public portion of this ordinance. Does anyone from the public wish to be heard on this? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Mr. Buell, do want to move this for approval please?

Mr. Buell: I move Ordinance #1-2006 for adoption.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second.

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: Discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #1-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ordinance #5-2006 entitled:

Ord. #5-2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Amending and Supplementing the Grievance Procedure for Employees of the Township of Mount Olive.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Mr. Biondi, do you want to move this?

 

Mr. Biondi: I move Ordinance #5-2006 for approval.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mrs. Labow: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded any discussion?

Mr. Buell: Yes, this same ordinance actually is contained in the personnel policies that we will also be adopting tonight after we pass the ordinance allowing us to set personnel policies by policy. So I would recommend we defeat this ordinance and pass it by resolution later.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Buell, who is a proponent of this ordinance, has indicated a desire to defeat it. A vote of no would accomplish that fact. Is there any other discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Defeated with the exception, Mr. Greenbaum voted yes.

President Greenbaum: The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #7-2006 entitled:

Ord. #7-2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Dealing with Illicit Connections to the Stormwater System.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public and would ask Mrs. Labow, please move this for adoption.

Mrs. Labow: I move Ordinance #7-2006 for adoption of final passage.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second.

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded, any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #7-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #8-2005 entitled:

Ord. #8-2006 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Section 76-10 Entitled False Alarms of the Mount Olive Township Code.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who would like to be heard on this? Yes, you in the white sweater. Please state your name and address for the record.

Howie Weiss, Hogan Court: I spoke about this on the first reading. It is really minor but I think it is very confusing as I mentioned last time. Section #8 talks about what’s going to happen if this and then you go to number five and then number five is the first time we talk about single family. It is just that it is very confusing, that it doesn’t state that the first section A in the one before it is commercial. I noticed that last time and I see it wasn’t changed. I don’t know if it makes a difference. I think it still puts an owner with a single family residence with an alarm at risk to pay the fine based upon what appears to be commercial.

President Greenbaum: I have a question for Mr. Dorsey, can we make a change of non-substance to the ordinance simply indicating.....

Mr. Dorsey: Wait a minute are we (inaudible).

President Greenbaum: Yes.

Mr. Dorsey: He is not seeking to change the ordinance.

 

President Greenbaum: No. He is not. Just to simply indicate that section.....

Mr. Rattner: Clarification.

President Greenbaum: Clarification.

Mr. Dorsey: Under what....section A...what are you looking at?

Mr. Weiss: I am looking at section five.

Mr. Dorsey: Oh, you mean in the case of a single family resident?

Mr. Weiss: That is the first time that a single family residence is noted. We can assume that the penalties listed in one through four could be for a single family residence. I hate to have any assumption.....

Mr. Tepper: Can we just put in for commercial properties?

Mr. Weiss: If you note, there is no reference for commercial properties.

Mr. Tepper: Right, one through four for the first alarm in any given calendar year for commercial properties.

Mr. Weiss: I wouldn’t talk about that but there is an assumption.

Mr. Dorsey: When are you going to put this in.....one through four?

President Greenbaum: No. Actually, it is two, three and four which deal with commercial building.

Mr. Dorsey: Why don’t we say, for the second false alarm in a commercial building for the third false alarm in a commercial....? Okay.

President Greenbaum: That’s just a clarification.

Mr. Dorsey: Yes.

President Greenbaum: Okay, so no further.....

Mr. Dorsey: It has to be published now, with this change.

Mr. Rattner: Do I make a motion to amend?

President Greenbaum: Yes.

Mr. Rattner: I make a motion to amend as just described.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Anyone else from the public?

Mr. Dorsey: Why don’t we say non residential?

President Greenbaum: Non residential, on the motion to amend, all in favor?

AYE

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I close it to the public, any further discussion from Council, seeing none. Roll Call.

Mr. Tepper: As amended yes.

Mrs. Labow: Yes, as amended.

 

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #8-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #9-2006 entitled:

Ord. #9-2006 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Section 126-8 Entitled Additional Inspections and Fees of the Mount Olive Township Code.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Seeing none, I close it to the public and I would ask Mr. Rattner to please move, Ord. #9-2006 for adoption.

Mr. Rattner: Thank you, Mr. President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #9-2006.

Mr. Buell: Second.

President Greenbaum: Is there any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #9-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #10-2006 entitled:

Ord. #10-2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Fees or Rates for Off-Duty Police Officers.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this ordinance? Mr. McDonald, if you would be so kind to step up to the podium and state your name and address for the record.

Ned McDonald, Budd Lake: Is this simply just an ordinance to update the hourly range? There is another ordinance in effect that governs who gets this money and who is it paid to and what percentage of that goes to the town and what percentage goes to the police.

Mr. Dorsey: Yes.

Mr. McDonald: So this is just an update of rates?

Mr. Dorsey: Right.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the public? Seeing none, I would ask Mr. Tepper, to please, move Ord. #10-2006.

Mr. Tepper: Thank you, Mr. President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ord. #10-2006.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #10-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public discussion is Ord. #11-2006 entitled:

Ord. #11-2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Dealing with the Disposal of Waste.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Mr. Buell, please move Ord. #11-2006 for adoption.


Mr. Buell: I move for adoption Ord. #11-2006.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #11-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #12-2006 entitled:

Ord. #12-2006 Bond Ordinance Providing for Various Water Capital Improvements in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $735,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $698,250 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.

President Greenbaum: As this is a Bond Ordinance, it requires a super majority or five positive votes in order to pass. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I will close it to the public and I would ask Mr. Biondi to move Ord. #12-2006 for adoption.

Mr. Biondi: Mr. President, I would like to move Ord. #12-2006 for adoption and final passage.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #12-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ord. #13-2006 entitled:

Ord. #13-2006 An Ordinance Establishing Procedures to Adopt Personnel Practices and Authorizing the Township Administrator to Implement Said Practices with all Officials, Appointees, Employees, Prospective Employees, Volunteers, and Independent Contractors of the Township.

President Greenbaum: Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I will close it to the public and ask Mrs. Labow to please, move Ord. #13-2006 for adoption.

Mrs. Labow: I move for adoption and final passage Ord. #13-2006.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion. Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: Ordinance #13-2006 has passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law.

ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd reading 4/25/06)

President Greenbaum: We have one ordinance this evening Ord. #15-2006 entitled:

Ord. #15- 2006 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Fixing Rates of Compensation for Elected Officials.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Perkins, could you please move that on first hearing.

Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President. I move that Ordinance # 15-2006 be introduced by title, and passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on April 25, 2006 at 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey, for public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of the law.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mrs. Labow: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded. Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

President Greenbaum: We are up to the Consent Resolutions Agenda.

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.

CONSENT RESOLUTIONS

1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Adopting Personnel Policies and Procedures. (amended)*

2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Sale of Lot 4, Block 4101, to Route 46, LLC.

3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Award of a Professional Services Contract to Schoor DePalma for the Turkey Brook Park Well #2 Project.

4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Confirming the
Township’s Endorsement of a Request for Additional State Funding for Budd Lake 319h Project.

5. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, Urging Re-Introduction of Legislation to Exempt Municipal Clerks from Penalties for Open Public Records Act Violations Under Certain Circumstances.

6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Expressing Appreciation to DPC for It’s Service to the Community.

7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Endorsing the Filing of a Grant Application to ANJEC and Committing Matching Funds.

8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Regarding $50,000 for Lighting Russ Nagle Baseball Field. (amended)*

9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Grant Application to the Morris County Historic Trust for 2006. (school house)

10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Grant Application to the Morris County Historic Trust for 2006. (Seward Mansion) (amended)*

11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Providing for the Transfer of 2005 Budget Appropriations for the Current Fund Budget.

12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Cancellation of Various General Capital Ordinance Balances.

13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Service Contract with Aristrocrat Limousine & Bus Company for Coach Bus Transportation Services for Recreation Trips and Programs for 2006.

14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Application for and Authorizing the Mayor to Execute a “Click0It or Ticket” Grant for 2006.

President Greenbaum: There are 14 resolutions on the Consent Resolutions Agenda. Are there any resolutions which Council wishes to be removed to the Non-Consent Agenda?

Mr. Rattner: I believe we already did six?

President Greenbaum: Yes, number six is already done. Thank you, are there any others?

Mrs. Labow: Number eight.

President Greenbaum: You want to move number eight?

Mrs. Labow: Yes.

President Greenbaum: Okay, number eight is going to be moved to the Non-Consent Resolutions Agenda. Any others?

Mr. Rattner: Seven.

President Greenbaum: Seven. Okay, seven is going to be moved to the Non-Consent Resolutions Agenda. Any others? At this point, we are looking to move consent resolutions one through five, nine through fourteen. I would ask Mr. Rattner to please, move those.

Mr. Rattner: I move for Resolutions one through five, nine through fourteen.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

President Greenbaum: Moved and seconded, is there anyone who wishes to be heard on any of the resolutions on the Consent Resolutions Agenda? Seeing none, I close it to the public. Is there any Council comments, brief comments?

Mr. Buell: Very briefly, resolution number one, first up, the policy manual actually has three parts in it. As I explained earlier, Ord. #13-2006 allows us to adopt our personnel policies by resolution that is what we are doing tonight. Page one through fifty of this personnel manual are the personnel policies as recommended to us by our insurance carrier. As modified, just to modify it to indicate that, we are the town that they are talking about. The second part, additional personnel policies and procedures are the existing policies and procedures that we have for such things as paid vacation, holiday, personal leave, etc. The third portion of it are two policies that have been needed, that are needed or have been modified, one is a management rights policy and the other one is a grievance procedure ending in binding arbitration for the non union employees of the Township.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there any further discussion on any of the items on the Consent Resolutions Agenda? Seeing none, Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT

7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Endorsing the Filing of a Grant Application to ANJEC and Committing Matching Funds.

President Greenbaum: Mr. Rattner, would you move that please?

Mr. Rattner: I move resolution number seven.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Biondi: Second.

President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. Is there anyone from the public who wishes to be heard on this particular resolution?

Kathy Murphy: I will tell you what the Committee is doing. We are trying to file a grant through ANJEC that would include the cost of Plan Endorsement. Last week when I discussed it with you, I said I would come up with a figure and I have come back with a figure that you can discuss this evening. If we move ahead with this issue, I sent you a memo on what Chuck had said about the need for plan endorsement, he is proposing a total cost for four major tasks that would come up at $30,000. If we could get a portion of that from ANJEC, we feel we could bring the cost to Mount Olive for a maximum of $13,375 and possibly reduce that further with additional in-kind services. We are still trying to work that out. That would be the maximum if they are unwilling to fund the full portion and they are willing to fund a smaller portion of the overall project, then the cost will be reduced commensurately.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard? Is there anyone on Council who wishes to be heard? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

Swearing in of Sergeant Scott VanNess – Mayor De La Roche

President Greenbaum: We are going to deviate from the schedule. I see that the police are ready for their presentation. At this point in time, I would like to call up Chief Katona.

Chief Katona: Thank you. Tonight it gives me great pleasure to present to Council and the public our newest Sergeant, would officer.....Sergeant VanNess please step forward. I would ask the Mayor to swear him in for us please.

Sergeant Scott VanNess: I, Scott VanNess, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New Jersey; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and to the Governments established in the United States and in this State, under the Authority of the people; and that I will faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of the office of Sergeant of the Mount Olive Township Police Department. According to the best of my ability, (So help me God.)

Clapping.......

Chief Katona: We are not quite finished yet. In addition to the Oath to Office, we have the presentation of the Sergeant’s badge. John happens to be Scott’s brother. He works in a foreign police department. There is one other badge. We all must wear a hat. I have worn enough that my hair has worn off. There is a badge that goes on the hat and this is the Sergeant’s badge from Sergeant Galop whose position that Scott is taking and he is going to carry on in fine order.

Mr. VanNess: Thank you, Chief.

President Greenbaum: Thank you, congratulations. Okay. Moving back to the Agenda, the next item for discussion on the Non-Consent Resolution Agenda is:

8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Regarding $50,000 for Lighting Russ Nagle Baseball Field. (amended)*

President Greenbaum: Is there a motion to approve Resolution #8?

Mr. Tepper: So moved.

Mr. Perkins: Second.

 

 

President Greenbaum: It has been moved and seconded. At this point in time I am going to, as I have in the past because my un-bias decision making has been questioned, I will step down and I will speak as a resident in the audience without voting on this issue.

Mr. Rattner: Thank you. Is there anybody from the audience that would like to speak on this resolution at this time?

Rob Greenbaum, 104 Crenshaw Drive, Flanders, New Jersey: You aren’t going to be able to close it off that quickly. I am sure that there will be a number of people who will speak after me. I live in Flanders Crossing which is directly across from Russ Nagle Field. While my house is not directly impacted by additional usage of the park, I do serve as the law committee for Flanders Crossing and therefore, when questioned in terms of being able to make an unbiased decision, I stepped down off the issue and I speak tonight not as Council President but simply as a resident of the Township of Mount Olive. Let me first start by saying that I wholeheartedly support the baseball program in the Township as I am sure that everybody who sits up on this dias does and everybody who is in this room today. It is not a question of anybodies non-commitment to the baseball program. It simply has to do with the quality of life issue as certain people see it and if, in fact, on both sides of the issue, whether or not you are in favor of the lights or opposed to the lights, one point that I want to make this evening is that if you decide to light Russ Nagle Field, in essence you are making a policy decision that when a group comes and expresses a need to light a field in the Township, whether it be at Turkey Brook Park, whether it be at Lou Nelson Park, whether it be at any park within the Township, you now have set a precedent that we are going to move forward with the lighting. I don’t say that that is a bad thing. I only simply point to the fact that this field is as close to houses as any other field in the Township. So, in essence, you are making a policy decision and again I don’t say that is a good thing or a bad thing only something to keep in mind in terms of the way that the lighting is going to effect individual homeowners or as they perceive it is going to effect individual homeowners. I will let the people speak for themselves. You know what my position is, that I was not in favor of lighting these fields. I am not opposed to lighting fields but I am opposed to lighting fields which are so close to homes which have really no protection in terms of a buffer. Therefore, I understand the needs of the baseball program. I understand the needs in terms of being able to use the field at certain times during the day. I myself travel from work to be able to participate in soccer programs with my kids and I understand there are limited timeframes during the week that you can actually get home and use the fields. I think that that takes alot away from the arguments that were expressed up here by certain residents that the fields are used during certain time periods and I think that what we are looking at here are certain hours during the weekday hours, not necessarily the weekend hours. I know it is difficult to get home at 3:00 in the afternoon and to be able to get your games in, your practices in and to get teams from other areas who may be playing against the Mount Olive team to use the fields. I understand those arguments. I think all of the arguments have been expressed here numerous times and it is my hope this evening that the people from the audience can be succinct to limit it so that it is not repetitive because we have all heard all of the arguments both pro and con and I hope that the Council ultimately makes the right decision, whatever that decision might be. Thank you.

Mr. Rattner: Thank you. I think I saw a left hand was up, a woman in the back row?

Anne Wisnewski, Watson Way: I spoke to you last week so I won’t really repeat what I said last week other than to say, as you know I felt that possibly people’s minds are made up on this issue based on conversations outside of Council Chambers and only one side of the issue and on the side of baseball organization. All I really ask is that you really listen tonight to the people who are really affected by your decision and to really hear us and consider that in your decision that you process. I have a few questions that I would like to ask of you. Last year we had a meeting with residents near several of the parks in town. They expressed their feelings about lighting fields close to residences. I thought we were moving towards maybe discussing a township lighting policy. We don’t have anything like that right now as Mr. Greenbaum referred to. If you do this, you are making a precedent so it will be more difficult to tell anyone now and, in fact, in giving them some money towards this, you are also setting a precedent of helping to fund every time someone wants lights. So my question is will we be discussing the township lights, sports lighting policy?

Mr. Rattner: I think at some point, I think part of what the Recreation Master Plan, we just got some documentation on that tonight, so I believe it will be included in there. We haven’t had time to look at it. We just got a draft in the last day or so.

 

 

Mrs. Wisnewski: So isn’t making this decision tonight just a little bit premature to make any kind of policy decision?

Mr. Rattner: Well, if we make a decision tonight, you can call it a policy decision for that park, yes.

Mrs. Wisnewski: The wording of the ordinance, I know you have heard from me many times on the same issue but I have a problem with the fact that it is portraying this response as a donation, is perpetuating that myth.

Mrs. Labow: Anne, we changed that.

Mrs. Wisnewski: Then it said we derived from a sale of the property for land development for lighting purposes. I guess it is implying that a developer has a desire for this to happen? I don’t think he had any say in what this money was going to go to. So, it is still implying that the developer wanted this.....

Mr. Rattner: The resolution, I believe, was revised and that was taken out. The revised one should be on the table on the side.

Mr. Dorsey: It simply says there is $50,000 in the Town capital fund. It does not say where it came from.

Mrs. Wisnewski: I have the revised one here. It does say, “derived from the sale of Township property to a land developer but be added for lighting purposes, the land.......”

Mr. Dorsey: You don’t have the most up-to-date one because the one in front of Council was revised as of 3/20.......

Mr. Rattner: No, it says so right here.

Mr. Dorsey: Oh, I am sorry.

Mrs. Wisnewski: I just take issue with the fact that it was sold for the purposes and it wasn’t discussed in a public forum and the sale of the land, that ordinance did not have anything to do with lighting. That was just kind of slid in there and has become this set in stone thing that we have been struggling with. Moving on, I have another question. The Town has a code book which we all have to abide by and make sure we maintain a certain level of appearance throughout the Town for aesthetic reasons so that maybe we don’t tell our neighbors things that disrupt them. If a residence or a business wants to work something outside of the ordinance, they need to come and go through a process to get a variance for that. Shoprite, half a mile down from where we are talking about here, applied for a variance to install a sign over 30 feet tall and that was denied because it would not be aesthetically pleasing to the community. My question is, why aren’t you going through that same process where we are erecting 90 foot light poles near residences? Why they do not have to do a variance and why is it okay to do that when it is not okay for Shoprite to do the same thing half a mile down the road?

Mr. Rattner: I just don’t want to answer that because I just saw some correspondence from you on that subject.

Mr. Tepper: Actually, your information is incorrect in that this did go before the Planning Board.
They ruled that the lights would be 80 feet tall for baseball. It was heard and approved on the 16th day of March in 2000 by a 7-0 vote of the Planning Board. So there was a public meeting, a public hearing discussing this in specifics. It talked about the amount of light that could be shown. They had an engineer present and it was approved by the Planning Board in Town in 2000.

Mrs. Wisnewski: Well, maybe I am incorrect. Is that a variance because I did not think that was variance?

Mr. Tepper: It is not a variance. That was done before that in terms of planning for the park and it was brought as part of site plan approval. A variance is done after something is already built and you come back and ask for the change. This was included in the original and the fact that they had not yet been installed, doesn’t say that they are not entitled to install what was originally approved.

Mrs. Wisnewski: So, Planning Board approval means permission to ignore the Ordinances and....

 

Mr. Tepper: The Ordinance that is in Town right now doesn’t even address recreation. It addresses everything but recreation. If you read the Ordinance it does not address recreation but the specific issue here is, this particular park and there was an Ordinance that was passed in 2000 that identifies the lighting for the park. There was notice made in the Chronicle. There was notice made to people living within 200 ft. at that time.

Mrs. Wisnewski: I was involved in the process. My recollection of the Ordinance was not that it specified the type and that they would be allowed put something that up high. To me this is the same thing, it is really something that is not.......

Mr. Tepper: Whereas, the lights proposed for Flanders Park are equivalent to level 8. Approximately 110 lights are proposed for this project. Soccer lights are proposed at 70 feet, baseball lights at 80 feet, basketball lights at 60 feet and it goes on to talk about a switch to turn it off at the prescribed time and that no public address system is proposed for Flanders Park at this time. That was approved by Resolution.

Mrs. Wisnewski: I do have one more thing I wanted to say. You know you have heard from me that the field usage is low on the end and I think there is some room to increase scheduling. I understand the desire to have lights. That is what people want. My question to you is, is this the only way they can have lights? I know we have the middle school field which they claim is not usable. The Recreation Department claims it has filtered this age group so that is the dilemma to me, why that field is not going to be used, why that is not an option for lighting and if they are not going to use it, who is going to use the rest of it? So that is something to think about. I would hope that you could find another place to put lights, if you do decide that lights are necessary that would be more constructive. If we were here tonight discussing a proposal for Dan Jordan Field, you know, how would you feel about that? Think about that when you think about us in Flanders Crossing. We are all residents. We all get affected by things in the same way. I know a few of the other people would like to talk and I really just ask that you would hear them. Thank you.

Mr. Rattner: Thank you very much.

Marie Brown, Mulligan Drive, Flanders Crossing: Looking at the resolution here it does say the lights shouldn’t be on any later than 10 P.M. I am hoping that would be something that would really be stuck to. Back when we were talking about this, which I can’t believe it has been going for seven years since we have been talking about this, when they put up the basketball light over there, we were told they would not be on later than 10:00. We said okay, I have called the Township. I have called the police. They have been on at 11:00 at night and those kids are over there playing basketball and I get, oh well. My husband gets up at 3:30 everyday to go to work. If we are going to have people up there playing baseball, the traffic, and the cars, they beep their horns, and they make a lot of noise. To me 10:00 is late. If you want to put these lights up because it gets darker in the fall, in the spring and in the fall, they can’t get their games in. In the summer time, and most times I’ve watched, I kept track of the fields too. They get most of their games in, in the summer time. There is no reason that they don’t. In the fall and in the spring they might not get one inning in because it gets dark. I don’t see a reason to turn on those lights and us as taxpayers are paying for those lights to be on for one hour at a time. If they stay on, what’s going to happen is, they are going to want to play another game and then a game is going to start at 7:00 and then it is going to be later. You know, put in here 10:00. I would like to have something that really guarantees it, that if I call the police the next time and say, hey look the Ordinance says they are off at 10:00 and that noise, those kids shouldn’t be over there at 10:00, I want something done because it wasn’t done for me before.

Mr. Rattner: Mr. Prill, you have heard this come up a couple of times recently that the lights have been on later and they are playing later. Have you looked into why that happens because if we make a guarantee to the people, we have to stick by the guarantee and if there is an issue, it should be fairly easy from an administrative point to be able to enforce what that is. We can probably put a timer on it that won’t allow it to go on after 10:00.

Mr. Prill: My understanding at this point is that we do have a 10:00 time limit as to when the lights are supposed to be off. I am not aware whether or not there is a timer in place? I have to look into that.

Mr. Rattner: I am just saying it could be something because this is not the first time this has come up recently so we have a little bit of time to find out. One, is it in fact happening, I don’t doubt it? I haven’t seen it myself and number two, if it is, what did we do to fix it? It seems like it should be something fairly simple to be able to enforce or just tell the league that we will shut them off altogether if they can’t obey the rules if we don’t have a timed delay switch.

 

Mr. Buell: It is my understanding that what is happening is, that the people that are over there playing basketball either know the combination, have a key to the building that is over there and know how to fix the timer so they can keep the lights on longer at night.

Mr. Prill: We can change that.

Mr. Rattner: I think we like to....this is a side thing, a proposal from the administration, even if we have to actually put a statute in saying, you can be summoned if you pass a certain time or override the switch or whatever we have in there. Ten o’clock is late enough. It is also far removed from the road so you have a security issue about going in and out late at night. We don’t want it, there are trees, and there is a ditch not too far from there. Okay, that is just one I wanted to address because I agree with you that it could be done.

Mrs. Brown: It is not just baseball. I have lived behind a baseball field most of my life. It’s just when it gets too late, it gets too late. I don’t mind when they start playing 8:00 in the morning on the weekends that’s fine but at night time that gets to be a little much.

Howie Weiss, Hogan Court: Now, I don’t think I missed one of these meetings when you were talking about the lights. Never once have I ever come up here and spoken. I have an interesting position where I am a neighbor. You know these folks whose quality of life issue is important are my neighbors. At the same time I have children that belong to the program. So to me it is sort of mixed feelings. I can’t say I have a problem with lights but I can’t say I support them either. I come up here to speak a little bit about the process. That is what really bothers me. I think this process is absurd. You know I heard seven years. I thought it was more like four or five years but year after year you get one side parading up their people, the other side parading up their people and it seems like whoever puts the most people in this room or who gets the last word, is how it ends and here we are. These guys want to move forward with the program. My neighbors want to resolve a quality of life issue and it doesn’t happen. So what I did, I put some things together to talk about. What are the real problems? What are we doing? This is not an issue that is a little thing that you like it and I don’t like it. This is a big issue. So I made some notes to identify what the problems are in this whole process. Number one, neither side trusts each other. You have two groups both out for the best interest for themselves and their groups. Neither side trusts each other. At the same time the Council hasn’t shown any kind of responsibility to try to negotiate this process and again we are going on.... I think five years. On one hand baseball has been asked many years, year after year, to give schedules, to give registration numbers, to give field usage to show who is playing and my neighbors never get it. So that puts the neighbors at a disadvantage and puts them on the defensive. I sit here and I hear baseball talking about the safety about how you have to have lights to finish the game. I hear that lights are needed to finish these games but when I read an ordinance that says a field is going to go until 10:00, don’t tell me or tell my neighbors that those lights are for finishing games. I don’t think a person in this room thinks that the lights are out there to finish a game. They are just starting night games and I think that is what baseball wants and that is what baseball should say. If it is simply to finish a game and lights out at 7:30, 8:00 should be sufficient. Now I am not saying that lights should go out at 8:00. I am saying we need to be honest with each other. I think there are more fears than what my neighbors are saying. It is not a one sided thing, I think.....I am hearing the lights are no good and it’s a problem but there are other safety issues and we need to identify these issues. I know I am there every day during baseball season and see children running across the road after foul balls. I see fouls balls flying and possibly hitting cars, god forbid, but we haven’t had any serious accidents but there is one coming. I have a problem with that part and no one is identifying that. Everyone is sort of hiding behind the fear of the lights and maybe the lights aren’t the biggest problem? Maybe we need a plan. I have heard baseball talk about the need for lights for tournaments. Well, has anybody thought where the cars are going? I can tell you right now my neighbors are concerned that people for this tournament will continue to park on their common property and on Crossing Drive which is the main entrance to our community. I don’t say that because it is hypothetical. On a crowded afternoon when there is volleyball, basketball, people using the park, people park anywhere. So this is a problem. Now you want to bring in tournament play and have it at night. Where are you going to put the cars? These are things that need to be discussed. There is way too much bad information. Just today I received an email from the baseball organization trying to recruit people to come today, which I commend them for that but it is bad information. They are basically telling their members that there is only one field in town. Now for a person that doesn’t know better, well that is pretty serious but there is not. There are more than that. I am not making any commentary to which fields are good or bad. I am saying it is bad information. Year after year, bad information. It is two sides going against each other and that’s not the way to resolve an issue like this. At the same time I don’t want to pick on baseball but baseball with a letter like that I feel is preying on the ignorance of people that just love baseball. They have a passion. On the other hand my neighbors are sort of preying on the fear of the lights shining in their baby’s eyes in their baby’s beds. That is a legitimate fear. So we have two issues. So the question is, how do we resolve it?

Mr. Weiss (Cont’d): How do we resolve this? Do we put together a resolution on one Tuesday and seven days later pass it and it goes forward on an issue this important? No, the shame of it is it should have been done years ago but it wasn’t. So how do we go forward? Number one, I think we need a committee and I am not saying I have an interest on being on a committee but you need representatives of people in my neighborhood who feel their lives and their quality of life have been jeopardized and at the same time they need folks from baseball who can talk seriously, real facts about what the facts are. Number one, the people in my community, my neighbors need to talk about their fears. What are their fears? Are they the light towers? Is it the impact on their property value? Is it foul balls and is it safe crossing or even developing an attractive nuisance which will cause people and other children from Flanders Crossing to cross the road at night. It is a terribly unsafe situation now. Make some kind of an attraction, it can only get worse. I would love to see baseball discuss their plan and show my neighbors what the lights would look like, show them what an 80 foot tower would look like and perhaps they can sit down and work together on something. What kind of lights are there going to be? No one up here has any idea what kind of lights there are going be? You might think you know but then again it may change. I have heard no dialogue on what is going on. We need to have a plan in place about what time the lights are going to go out. Who is going to be in charge and what is going to happen when those lights don’t go out? I can tell you right now, I know for a fact that my neighbors have called the police as we heard from Mrs. Brown and they say, what do you want me to do? You know that is a fear of these people that must be addressed before you just randomly approve a resolution. You need to come up with a baseball ... come up with a list of positives. How is it going to help the community? What it is going to do and the people from my community need to sit there and talk about what is really on their mind. Mr. Greenbaum mentioned it briefly, a lighting plan for all of Mount Olive. It has to be addressed because there are a couple of examples I can give but I know these guys are going to cringe but what happens if lacrosse comes in next and wants to take some of that open space on the corner of Kevin Drive and Tinc Road? Won’t this impact the people from Bennington? You can’t say no at that point and maybe football has some open space on Goldmine Road that they would love to develop and put some lights on and I don’t know what soccer is doing but maybe they have plans to light up space on Natures Court and maybe even by Fern Avenue? How can you say no to that? So the point is, the point is we need a plan. Don’t drop the ball on this for baseball. They need what they need and I am not in the position to tell you what they need or to tell them what they need but you need to explore every opportunity, every issue that is out there. Everyone has to understand the fact that one single field is the best place and the only option that it be Russ Nagel Field but if not, then find a field that makes sense like that field and do it right now. Otherwise, we are going to be doing this again next year. Thanks very much.

Dennis Mok, 9 Warwick Road, Flanders: I am the MOJBSA player agent so I am responsible for 820 plus kids that are in the program right now. I am responsible for that email that went out. If I was misinforming people, I wasn’t preying on anyone. I am trying to do something that at least informs people, gets them out and sees the process as it is today. If I misinformed, it wasn’t intentional. I live next to the high school and I actually see all the games that go on. I hear all the announcements. I have the JCC up next to me. I think it is a good thing because I think having the kids having activities other than having nothing to do is a lot better than having time to play those games. I find myself getting out of work 3:30, 4:00 trying to get in games at the younger levels. I can just see at the Babe Ruth level there are issues with people trying to get out of work, trying to volunteer their time. I am spending about 40 hours of my time per week now just trying to get the whole league together. It is not an easy job and it is not easy to find volunteers. When coaches hear issues around field availability, right now we are having issues around practices because of the high school construction. The high school has priorities on these fields. We got people kicked off these fields no matter what. We don’t have a say in it. Once they ask for those fields, they have it. Lacrosse has those fields. So now we have people stuck and they don’t get to practice. For the spring time this is a big deal. I mean this is our season. We do play sometimes in the summer but spring is the big deal. I think if we have recreational facilities, we claim this town is more for families and I think the kids are an important part of it. I know you have probably heard it before but I think it is an important thing that we as a town look at how we best serve our growing community and our youth in this Township and that is all I really have to say. I think that is what this really comes down to. I understand where the opposition is saying that high quality of life and I think you know it should be a quality of life. If we don’t police things, if we don’t shut the light off by 10:00, if we are really looking to improve this Township and really give back something to the community or what we are paying in taxes that is what we hear. What are we getting? Eight hundred kids in the program anywhere from 6 all the way up to 12 years old and there is another 170 kids in the Babe Ruth program. This is a significant amount of kids if you think about it. Okay, it is a major part, I know soccer has a lot of kids, I know lacrosse is a growing program as well. So I think it is important that we look at this as how does this benefit the community. I don’t want to.....I live next to the high school and JCC as I said and yes, there are times that, yeah, I put up with it but I know at least I know there are positive things going on at these football games, at these marching band games, at least JCC activities are taking place and that a lot of people are having fun. I just look at that as a benefit to the community. Thank you.

Mitch Weintraub, Flanders Crossing: I just wanted to come up and say I am opposed to the lights at Russ Nagel Field for a couple of reasons. One is fiscal responsibility. Given the financial state that the Township is in, is it wise right now to spend money right now on a ball field, money that could be spent for jobs that might be eliminated or for road repair. Also does it make sense to spend money on a field that is perfectly useful right now while the Township is neglecting other areas like powerline tennis courts. Those last year were not useable at all so why are we spending money on a perfectly useable field? Now, if the Council decides that the lights are needed, that’s fine. The question I would have is, why at Russ Nagel? I have heard lots of arguments as to why lights are needed and I understand those but I don’t understand why do they have to be at Russ Nagel? I feel a perfect solution would be Turkey Brook. You know on the website, I think that is a solution that would benefit the most people and something that would probably please both sides. The baseball field would get their lights and I think it would be less disruptive to the community. On the website, Turkey Brook, is described as a premier recreational facility and a community focal point. I mean if that is really true, let’s do it right. Let’s put a baseball field there. Let’s truly make it premier and put lights there. If you are going to do it, do it right and if we are going to put lights there, then I don’t feel that there would be a need to have lights at Russ Nagel. Turkey Brook, to me, seems to be a good alternative. It’s less disruptive to the residents. It’s set back and not on a busy road. I think the lights could be more productive there. There is a lot more going on there and if you do the lights correctly, you can benefit a lot of areas for different fields within Turkey Brook and once again, it would support that premier status that the Township is trying to get for Turkey Brook. So I think, once again, if we are going to do lights, let’s not be shortsighted. Let’s do it correctly and let’s do for what’s in the best interest for the community as a whole. Thank you.

Greg Beck, Crenshaw Drive: I will try to take Mr. Greenbaum’s advice there and not be repetitive because I have spoken in front of the Council before. The thing that catches my attention is, I read in numerous emails and articles in the Chronicle and what not, there it is mentioned that these lights are for the kids. I think about that and I say, how are the lights for the kids? The kids can start baseball at 5:30 and get done before it gets dark. It is the parents that can’t seem to make the 5:30 games so the lights are for the parents. Since the lights are for the parents, they should be the ones paying for these lights, not the Township. This is not the Township’s problem with the lights. As I look at the resolution and it says and I quote, “The lighting to be erected shall be designed in such a fashion that lessens to the greatest extent possible any glare or effect on adjoining residents.” Have we done that? Do we know that is the best lighting out there, that it is not going to impose any glare and affect some residents? So we talked about Musco lighting. Well, maybe it is not the best out there, you know soft light. The company is out in California. Have you looked at them? Maybe not because they cost a lot more money. Well, as it was just mentioned, let’s do it right. If you are going to light a field, let’s pick the right field and let’s do it properly to minimize the effect on everybody, whether they are 200 feet away or 500 feet away. More importantly, why can’t Jack Kroft Babe Ruth League fund everything, purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of the lighting? Why is the Township taking on that, setting a precedent and now when other fields come about if they want to have the lights, fine put them on a field but they pay for them. I don’t think they truly really researched well enough the cost of operating lights, maintaining them, replacing the bulbs on those lights when they go out. It was also mentioned that if Russ Nagel field was chosen, the parking issues. You’re going to put up a sign that says no parking on the grass. You think it stops? No, and it also mentions we also have a resolution that says the lights are going to go off at 10:00. I think it is a great idea. If they don’t have them off at 10:00 and they are right in the middle and want to get that seventh inning and they want to get that game done, they pay a fine and if it happens a couple of times they lose privileges to operate those lights. So hold them responsible and tell them. That, I think, is something you need to think about here with our financial dire straights here in the Township. We are not setting a precedent. If they want the lights, then they need to take care of all of the funding of it. If they want to have other teams, other organizations utilize those fields, they can charge for it to offset the cost. We, the Township, should not take on those costs and I don’t think anyone has really researched exactly how much it is really going to cost to maintain these lights and operate the field. Thank you.

Buddy Shakespeare, Pershing Ave: Everybody speaks well in here on what the positives and the negatives are and I don’t disagree with anybody. What I would like to point out is the resolution is here for approval or disapproval. There is an ordinance, like Mr. Tepper said, the resolution that was passed by the Planning Board which already approves the lights, it spells out some of the specs for the lights as far as the capacity of the overhang light, exposure, height for the light. That is already set there. Russ Nagel is the only field that currently has the ability to put in lights. The Babe Ruth League has increased this year. It is up to 12 teams. There are 40 teams in a league. Twelve teams, seven days during the week, weekends you can play all day long. Week nights you can’t. So if the lights are not approved in that area, the travel time and number of games the kids can play at home during the week is limited. You can’t start at 5:30 and expect it to get done. Coaches have to work too and so they have to get there. You know 12 teams is 5 nights during the week that they can play.

Mr. Shakespeare (Cont’d): So there are 7 teams that aren’t playing during the week unless they do get an opportunity to go to a field outside of town that has lights and then you have weekends and with 12 teams divided into this various time slot, you get two, two and half hours a game. There is not much room to get a lot of games in on the weekends. I would just like to say that the planning has been there. The Board approved it 7-0, and the zoning is approved already. I would like to see that the resolution go forward and get passed and the $50,000 was put in there and it has been in there for years, basically dedicated towards the lights. The only thing with the resolution itself, I don’t know if it can be amended or if it should be? The second paragraph says, “specifically at this point in time.” I don’t think that is necessary to dedicate the money towards the lights at Russ Nagel. So it is dedicated towards there now, not specifically at this point in time. It is there to get approved for finalization.

Mr. Rattner: What I am going to do after this, I am just going to go to everybody and let you have a chance to speak so we don’t have to end up with the bartering back and forth.

Mrs. Labow: I wanted to know if they started raising funds yet.

Mr. Shakespeare: I can’t raise money and go out to people and businesses without having something to go back and say, we have approval for the lights so now we can we raise the money.

Mr. Dorsey: Let me answer the question.....

Mr. Rattner: The answer is no, just like they said at the last two meetings.

Mr. Shakespeare: You can’t just go out to organizations if there is no direction.

Mrs. Labow: So how long..........

Mr. Rattner: That really doesn’t matter, they probably don’t know, they are hoping to start....

Mr. Buell: It may though. I would like to have that question answered.

Mr. Rattner: Does that make a difference on how fast they raise money whether you are going to put the lights up...

Mr. Buell: Yes, because the first thing I am going to do when this thing comes back to Council, I am going to ask to amend this resolution, significantly.

Mr. Rattner: If we are going to change this significantly, it doesn’t make any sense, then vote it down and let’s start from scratch but to sit here and in couple minutes we are going to try to get an agreement on major amendments is not what we should do here. We have something on the table. If you think it is that bad, then vote your conscience. State why when we go through it but I am not going to make major adjustments.

Mr. Buell: I think this whole resolution Steve, is poorly thought out, I agree with Mr. Weiss. This thing needs a great deal more thought and planning........

Mr. Rattner: Okay, this is the public portion not the part that you....are you done Mr. Shakespeare, anyone else?

Tom Verrastro, Crenshaw Drive, Flanders: I was one of the homeowners that received letters because of the impact several times in the past. I’m within 200 feet of the fields. First of all, I would like to say I feel very badly about speaking about anything against baseball and youth because people like the coaches here are the ones that helped my son actually getting as far as playing freshman ball in college. I was the person that was out working all of the time late at night and if it wasn’t for those people, he wouldn’t have had the enjoyment that he did. So I don’t feel very good about saying what I am going to say. I do believe that if this money was put into a fund for baseball that it should be kept in there because recreation is sometimes a stepchild in most towns. What I do believe is rather than backing yourselves in a corner and saying it ought a be in one field that you ought a make this as a general resolution that you will.....that you should amend this at another date that would include this but that the field should be determined as well. One thing, I have a question on. Nobody told us what the cost is that these people have to raise. In other words are they going to say I have $100,000 more and I am fine or is the Council going to say no, that doesn’t meet the specs or....that is just one question for the town. Is there an amount that they have to raise?

Mr. Rattner: Okay, without getting into specifics because we don’t have that here, we have been given, over the last couple years, from the manufacturer and from the recreational engineer what it would cost based on this number and the type because the Musco lights, I think, are the ones they are still talking about have been constantly being revised to reduce spillover that type of thing. So they have gotten it, the last number is probably in the $150,000 - $160,000 range. I have heard it was less. If they are able to get volunteers to do a certain amount of... a certain amount of volunteers you know electricians, something like that but that isn’t really the issue. I think what the issue right now is whether we are going to put up lights.
Now let’s get back to what the issue is. Is it going to be lights, and you know it is going to be determined by the six people up here, in maybe a couple of minutes. Are there going to be lights on the field or not? One of the things I can tell you that is going to happen is, they think they can raise $100,000 or whatever it is from different sponsors. If they don’t get it, the lights aren’t going to go in because at this point, the Town has no desire, nor does it have the capacity to contribute any other money to it. Even though there have been some individuals who say we can take it out of different funds that we have available, I don’t think the votes are there for that, not with this Council.

Mr. Verrastro: So what I was saying then basically without being redundant is that this resolution should be defeated but it should be resubmitted at a later date when the monies are there for lights but there is not a specific field chosen. The field to be chosen in the future based on the least interference on the quality of life of the people where the next field is. That is all I wanted to say. Thank you very much.

COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS

Mr. Rattner: Thank you very much. Anybody else? I close the public portion and now, we are going to go...

Mr. Dorsey: We have somebody to move this motion right?

Mr. Rattner: Yes, but first I want to get comments.

Mr. Dorsey: Alright.

Mr. Rattner: Let’s just get the comments in and then anybody can make any motion they want.

Mr. Buell: I think I would like to amend it and then comment.

Mr. Tepper: It has been moved and seconded.

Mr. Rattner: Who seconded the amendment?

Mr. Tepper: Ray.

Mr. Rattner: Do we know what the amendment is?

Mr. Tepper: Not the amendment, the motion.

Mr. Rattner: The motion has been moved and seconded. We are talking about, when, if Mr. Buell wants to put it on our amendment, do we want to hear our comments first or does Mr. Buell just get to put his amendment on before we start discussing the merits of the resolution that is on the table?

Mr. Dorsey: The only way he can do that is if he makes a motion and there is a second to the motion to amend the resolution.

Mr. Rattner: He has to be specific as to what he wants to amend.

Mr. Dorsey: Yes.

Mrs. Labow: Why can’t we have discussion first, and then find out.....

Mr. Rattner: That is what I was asking.

Mrs. Labow: I think discussion first makes more sense.

 

Mr. Rattner: I am just going to down in order and no bartering back and forth and then if there is any motions we can talk about it.

Mr. Tepper: I disagree with Mr. Greenbaum that this sets precedents. I mean there was a Planning Board hearing, it was specific to this. I think it has gone on for at least five years? I think given five years it is easy to find a better place and I wouldn’t dispute that. However, we also made an issue about financials and I have asked several people what the cost of building a field would be, having the township build the field at Turkey Brook. I have been told by Mr. Lynch and others the minimum cost is approximately $275,000, having spoken to Randolph and others. I have gotten quotes from scratch not knowing the engineering but $375,000 to $425,000 and I think unless the township is prepared to utilize open space funds which the residents have paid for, which can be utilized for recreation and to commit to doing that at this point in time, that we should empower baseball to go out and raise the monies and I think we were to come back to baseball and offer the fact that open space funds would build a field at Turkey Brook would they consider now moving the money to that, that would they agree. I don’t believe that we should not give them the position or the ability to go out and start raising the balance of the funds.

Mr. Buell: I believe we should pass a resolution offering funds from the open space fund. The $52,000 that we are talking about here is in the general capital fund at the present time and could be used and may need to be used this year for other purposes like paying off the BASF tax appeal potentially. So I think the first change that we need to consider in terms of this resolution is if we are going to commit $50,000 or $52,000, we should do it from the open space fund. The open space fund was designed to both build and buy open space and I think if that is where we are going to dedicate dollars from, that is where we need to dedicate it from. Second problem, this is very short term thinking. We already know from the School Board’s demographic study, that within 5 to 7 years we are going to have 800 more kids in our program. The schools have another 125 kids in them this year, 136 last year, more, probably another 150 next year. We are going to have to start building fields soon and more facilities, sooner rather than later. We put the lights on this particular field we are talking about lighting one field and spending $50,000 or $100,000 or $200,000 to light a single field and it is the wrong field to light. If we build a field, I would be supportive and have been supportive of building a major league baseball field up at Turkey Brook Park and I understand we have the water up at Turkey Brook Park from the DEP allocation, to build one more field north of the current baseball complex and that is where it would have to be, that is what we should do because using that in purchasing a generator then we can then electrify the entire baseball complex, the football complex and also the loop road area which will also have basketball, tennis, and the pavilion. I think that is what we should begin to think about doing. With that one step, if then we did electrify all the baseball fields and softball fields at Turkey Brook Park, we probably would meet our needs for at least the next seven or eight years for all of the kids to play at night. Parking, we all know once these lights go in at Flanders Park, those fields are going to be used seven days a week until those lights go off at 9:30 or 10:00 at night. That is huge burden I think to put on this group of people at Flanders Crossing because that will be the only place that there will be lights. The School Board it not going to be able to electrify any of their fields in the near future because of their budgetary problems. We can do it now. Parking, there is no parking up at Flanders Park. You have four basketball fields, you have people using that exercise area, you have kids using the recreational area, those play areas. You are going to have two baseball teams with two cars per parent coming in there every night for seven days a week and you only have 48 parking places. Where are we going to park the cars at Flanders Park? Turkey Brook Park at the evening is unused at this point in time. We have over 400 parking spaces at Turkey Brook Park, have your tournaments there. It also gives us the ability to electrify the pavilion area and use it for a variety of other reasons. We would also be able to electrify the tennis and the basketball, so my feeling is, is that long term, what we need to do is, we need to build a park or build a field. $375,000 taken from the open space fund. We have a $ 1.5 million in the open space fund right now. We are going to collect another $750,000 this year into that open space fund. We are going to get another $1 million and change back from the farm over here on Smithtown Road once we have sold it. So we have money in the open space fund to do this now and we should do it now. The site plans exist for this field. They have existed for four years. I have seen them. The estimates in terms of what it is going to cost, what is needed to be done up there, the engineering has already been done on much of that in terms of this baseball field. Let’s do it at Turkey Brook Park. Let’s change this, let’s allow the Russ Nagel group to collect...to begin raising funds for a field, a major league field somewhere and lets change it also to recognize that we need to take this $50,000 or $52,000 from the open space fund and we need to know, begin to think long term.

 

 

 

Mr. Biondi: Thank you. I don’t know how I can add anything to what Mr. Buell said. I will try. Initially last week I voted yes on this and it was basically a vote from the heart. I have been involved in recreation for 20-25 years in this town and I was involved with Jack Kroft Babe Ruth but then I started to do a little bit of investigating on my own. Certain things I read were a little ambiguous. The original Planning Board session, this was very ambiguous, and that got me thinking. Then I heard from some residents and I spoke to other people that I sought out. Based on that, based on my investigation and based on the Administration now coming up with a plan to do a Master Plan for recreation, I am going to reverse my position. I am going to say no to this ordinance. We will keep the money. We will use it at some point in this Township but right now I cannot support this.

Mrs. Labow: Thank you. Just about anything I would say would just be a repeat of everything that has been said but I do want to reiterate what Mr. Weiss had said about doing the proper procedure and he is absolutely right in that this whole thing has been handled very poorly for the two years that I have been up here. One thing that I will say, that I thought was kind of not very nice to some of the residents, you get emails saying you know we’re tax paying voting residents. Well, everybody in this town are voting residents and we have to look to do what is right for everybody in this town. Kathy Murphy has been working on a Master Plan for our field usage throughout the Township and I think we need to really solidify those plans and see where we are going before we start throwing money in all different directions to satisfy immediate needs. I do agree that Turkey Brook Park is supposed to be our main sports complex. That’s where this 90 foot diamond that’s lit should go and I think we need to start to make the plans and move forward, find our goals and find out how we are going to work towards making it happen and not do it two years from now. Do it now. Set it up a month from now and have it underway, three months from now. Let’s get it finished and everybody knows where we are going before the summer starts so we know what we are working towards.

Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you everybody for coming out and voicing your concerns and opinions. I do take everything in and I try to rationalize and, of course, I will be making a vote one way or the other. One thing, anybody who does know me, regardless of whether you believe it or not, I am a man of my word. I believe I am a very bureaucratic person. When something is put in writing and it is in the form of a resolution or a Township ordinance, that that’s the law and that’s what was handed to us. We had our time to comment as individual citizens. We came before the governing body we voiced our concerns and a decision was made on what was going to transpire from there. I, too, read the Minutes of the Township Council meeting from back in 1998 and 1999 and it is a little ambiguous. Although it is stated on more than one occasion that the monies from the A&P would be used for the lighting of the Russ Nagel field, could they be used for something else? Sure, they could but that was part of the negotiation and it appears to be quite evident from the Minutes. However, I also look, as Mr. Tepper brought to our attention this evening, the resolution 2002 from the Township Planning Board and a lot of the concerns that everybody is looking at, this is back from the year 2000. As a matter of fact, it was March 16th just a little over a couple of years ago, almost to the date and a lot of the concerns are here. All the lights proposed to be installed, the parks should be equivalent to level eight, such that offside glare is minimized. Something we all need to talk about, that offsite glare directed downward onto the field. Lights shall be turned off no later than 10:00 pm. It is already in the resolution from the Planning Board. “Shall be both an automatic timer and a mechanism for manual shut off, such as a key system and further it is a recommendation of the Planning Board, the landscaping details be added to the park plan in order to provide a visual buffer for the adjacent residential properties.” Everybody was considered. All the concerns of the residents were already brought before the Planning Board that had jurisdiction over that park. That park was part of the Flanders Crossing development. Lights on the soccer field, lights on the basketball, lights on the baseball that is where the lights were supposed to be. Having said that, I look now, this was pre-Turkey Brook, obviously, and the Township has spent an awful lot of money on Turkey Brook. My memory, for as bad as it is, I seem to remember two years ago when we started talking about this and selling the baseball magnets for the backs of the cars as part of the fundraisers to try to come up with some small amount of money to get this bringing the money fund together. That it was approximately one year later when it was brought back to the Council and at that time the Council President suggested that we look at doing a town wide investigation on providing lighting. That, of course, turned up that there wasn’t a single resident in any one of the areas from Sunset Park over to Pershing Estates and Goldmine Estates or any other place that had any field or any place close by that was in favor of lights, not a single place. Turkey Brook, we have heard many times we have discussed it here at the Council before where people wanted to go out and star gaze at Turkey Brook, they wanted to be there at night. We had talked about the hours at night, it would be kind of illegal and the Chief remembers that discussion, for the people to be out there “star gazing” late at night. Township ordinances under parks says, any fields that does have lights and we really don’t have any other than down there, need to be off at 10:00. That is already a Township ordinance. So that is an enforcement issue. If they are not off at 10:00 and if the police department was giving you that answer, then by all means you need to bring that further and get it through the Administration and through the Mayor’s office to have it enforced.

Mr. Perkins (Cont’d): Can we put lights on Turkey Brook? Personally, I would like to see it at Turkey Brook. I think that is our jewel. I think we have all looked at that park and said that is where recreation needs to be. We have a beautiful football field. We have had some problems in the beginning thank goodness though. It’s an excellent place. I was out there last year when we threw out the footballs and everybody that was involved with that, what a gorgeous field it is but when you leave here tonight and go down Smithtown Road and just when you get past Vasa Park look hard to the left and look at all of the lights off of all of the car lots up there and multiply that by about 50 and that is what Turkey Brook is going to look like. If there is any quality of life issues that anybody’s going suffer, it will be the people immediately surrounding Turkey Brook. Having said all that, I believe that the Township has an obligation after having discussed via Council and the recommendation of the Planning Board through their resolution which states at the top of this resolution, “Shall be provided to the Mount Olive Township governing body recommending the installation of lighting at Flanders Park as proposed and with the set conditions set forth. I will vote that we fund somehow. I would prefer it not to be at Russ Nagel but right now Russ Nagel is the field unless somebody can tell me on this Council or otherwise how we are going to come up and fund $250,000 worth of a brand new baseball field up at Turkey Brook and have it up and running in the next year. Thank you, Mr. Vice President.

Mr. Rattner: Talk about the process, the process has broken. I guess we have just been doing this for so many years. Couple of different issues. One, as I said in the last couple of meetings, the $50,000, the $52,000, no it’s not a lure. It was basically a moral commitment. It was discussed a lot. It was put in a recreation trust fund but it was the desire of the majority of the Council members at that time and also the Mayor. Also around that time we were actually building, we were actually in the final stages of completing Flanders Park. Flanders Park originally started out to be something that we were going to spend less than $100,000 on or with internal labor and with the help of the developer because he was still working on the development and it was just going to be the grass, it was going to be like all purpose fields. It was mainly the residents of the Flanders Crossing Homeowners Association that wanted more development of the park and it grew. It ended up costing us about $750,000 for what we got there with the plan from the recreational engineer included the lighting. In fact, the infrastructure is in, the infrastructure is not in at Turkey Brook. The power going to the site was there and Mr. Shakespeare, remember the main reason why the lights aren’t up now and weren’t put in five or six years ago is because I made enough of a stink and you have heard about super majorities on capital saying we already spent too much money on that field. I wasn’t going to put in what I figured at the time a minimum of $250,000 and then the talk became well, if they did their own fundraising. So it really hasn’t changed. It went through all the approvals. It was designed. I remember during the winter, when there was snow cover, going to Roxbury who has the Musco lights, probably two additions removed because they have gotten better. The spillover has been improved. They are doing more with the different shielding and everything else the way that it is directing and this was with snow covered and Roxbury agreed to turn the lights on at night so we could go up there to see what it would be. We even had residents even closer because right across the road and the road is directly adjacent to the field there also but then the houses are within 40 feet and those people said it really didn’t bother them. I don’t remember what we talked about at that time about whether it went off at 10:00 but I know going past sometimes at night I see them on, on the lake. So this has always been designed and it was just a funding issue why it wasn’t built to the chagrin of the majority of people who were at least coming to the Council, people on the Council and the Recreation Department who was looking for more field usage. The other idea about Turkey Brook that actually played in when they were designing Flanders Park, saying Turkey Brook was going to be a long way off. I don’t believe we are going to have a field, to start a field within a couple of months. With the new regulations from soil conservation to stormwater rules, I am not even sure if the Highlands even have anything to do with it. You are talking a couple years, of just getting your permits, and that is if you are allowed to do it. I am not even sure that you would be able to and then what I have been hearing is, when you talk about lights on the field it is based on the number of lights you put in. You have the infrastructure which is still going to have to be put up there. If you light two fields, it is going to cost you twice as much because the lights are made for a certain field. You don’t have the north field being able to light the south field because you have it around the perimeter and they are designed a certain way to reduce shadows and then the last thing I get scared about is let’s light up the entire Turkey Brook. Now we are talking about, instead of maybe, and if we are looking at recreation and providing something for our friends, do we have any set of residents that have to bear all the inconvenience? We are talking about what, we have all these fields. We can get 400 or 500 cars into Turkey Brook on every night. Well, what am I going to tell the people on Sunset who are there in the mornings, Saturday and Sunday mornings, three seasons a year. They are already unconvinced. The people on Flanders Road and the traffic. So having different locations isn’t necessarily wrong but I don’t think we are going to get a baseball field put in that quickly. If anybody has ever done fundraising, you know that you have to give the people that you’re asking large donations from, if you’re going to raise that kind of money, it is not going to be on the decals and the magnets on the back of the car.

Mr. Rattner (Cont’d): You have to show them what the plan is, what they are actually going to buy, where it is going to go, otherwise no corporation is going to come up with a large amount of money. What Mr. Tepper said, I actually like the idea and I thought about it, I didn’t put it into the format that he did. Right now, I figure it is going to take awhile to raise this kind of funds and the engineering to go with Russ Nagel Field. I am still in favor of it. I was in favor of the lights. I was just not in favor of spending the money years ago, just like I do on a lot of capital items now. However, in the process of them doing the fundraising I am sure that if we are able to get a plan together and let’s say in two years we can build it. I am not saying one year now, at least two years which I don’t know if it is doable? That we build a new field on Turkey Brook, wherever the funds may come from and I am not sure that we have as much, or the money we are already committing different pieces of money from the open space fund. We already said we are going to start using more and more for historic preservation. We don’t know what the Seward House is going to cost and everything is going to be matching grants but if we start going, I am sure a year or so from now, if we show a plan saying we are ready to go to the baseball organization, we can build you a better field here and could you talk to your supporters and see about putting the lights here. They would be silly if they were getting a better field or a second field or field with training areas, you know the nets, whatever you call that, that type of thing. From listening to it, I don’t think the votes are here. From what I gather I think it is three, three. Just so you know, a tie means it doesn’t go through. You need a majority. So a tie goes to, I guess it is the opposition. I don’t know what you call it but it fails. I do think it is a good idea. I think it builds community spirit in the fact that when you fundraise and take pride in what you are doing and we have to encourage public / private partnerships. They are our fields. A private organization, for the good of our children, say we will raise the money to improve the fields. With that, I would like to take a vote on this ordinance however, we did have a motion. I heard a request from a Council member to make an amendment to modify this. Do you have what your amendment is?

Mr. Buell: Yes, I would like to change the name of the resolution to a Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Regarding $50,000 for Lights at a Major League Baseball Field.

Mrs. Rattner: Is there a second?

Mrs. Labow: He has other changes.

Mr. Buell: Wait a minute I am working on two different whereas’s. Whereas the Township Council wishes to confirm $50,000 from the open space fund are dedicated solely for the purpose of lighting a major league baseball field, specifically at this point in time, for the purpose of assisting the baseball organization and raising additional funds and to offset the total cost of the lighting project. Now therefore, be it resolved that the Township Council of Mount Olive, County of Morris, State of New Jersey as follows; one, the sum of $50,000 from the Open Space Fund is hereby dedicated, committed solely for the purpose of providing lighting at a major baseball field. Two, the lighting shall be expected to be designed and then leave rest of that number two as saying as it is now written.

Mr. Rattner: That’s it?

Mr. Buell: That’s it.

Mr. Rattner: That sounded more like an amendment that is a whole new motion. That was as many words as the original. As I was saying that you are better off voting it down and just thinking it out straight but anyway, is there a second?

Mrs. Labow: Second.

Mr. Rattner: There is no discussion on an amendment so we will just take a vote, right Mr. Dorsey is that the way it happens on the amendment?

Mrs. Labow: I just want to throw a little amendment in his amendment.

Mr. Rattner: How do you amend and amendment?

Mrs. Labow: I just want to add the time limits. Sunday through Thursday should be 9:00.

Mr. Dorsey: That it not....Buell, that is not an amendment.

Mr. Rattner: That is a whole new one.

Mr. Dorsey: That is a whole new motion.

Mr. Biondi: Shouldn’t we just, if we are going to defeat it, let’s just defeat it.

Mr. Rattner: Wait, we have the amendment down, I don’t want to start splitting hairs on whether it is a whole new one. The motion is seconded, I am accepting it. Roll call. This is on the amendment.

ROLL CALL: Defeated Mr. Tepper, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner, voted no.
Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, voted yes.

Mr. Rattner: The amendment fails. Now we are taking a roll call on the resolution as prepared.

Mr. Tepper: Because I think that nothing is going to get done for fundraising, and this has gone on for five years and we will continue to talk for the next five years before we decide, I am still voting yes.

ROLL CALL: Defeated Mr. Tepper, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Rattner, voted yes.
Mr. Buell, Mr. Biondi, Mrs. Labow, voted no.

Mr. Rattner: Failed due to a majority.

Mrs. Labow: I think this question has gone on way too long. They just want permission to start raising funds.

Mr. Dorsey: It’s over.

Mr. Rattner: It’s over. No, they have to say specifically, they can’t raise funds if they don’t say where it is going.

MOTIONS

President Greenbaum: Okay moving on with the Agenda.

1. Approval of Raffle Application #2135 for the Scandinavian American Heritage Society.

Mr. Tepper: Pardon me?

President Greenbaum: Approval of Raffle Applications.

Mr. Rattner: This should be an easy one after that one.

Mr. Tepper: I move that we approve the Raffle Application #2135 for the Scandinavian American Heritage Society.

President Greenbaum: Is there a second?

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: Do we need a roll call on that?

Mrs. Masser: Yes.

President Greenbaum: Passes unanimously, everyone votes in favor.

Mrs. Masser: Beautiful.

2. Bill List.

President Greenbaum: Bill List, Mr. Buell do you want to move that?

Mr. Buell: I move the Bill List.

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: Any discussion? Roll Call.

ROLL CALL: Passed Unanimously

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

Library Board Report

President Greenbaum: Mr. Prill, do you have anything from the Mayor from the Mayor on the Library Board? There is no meeting until April 12th.

Mr. Prill: After the next meeting, we will have a report.

President Greenbaum: Okay, are there any other Administrative matters?

Mr. Prill: Nothing at this point. Thank you.

OLD BUSINESS

President Greenbaum: Colleen, any Old Business?

NEW BUSINESS

President Greenbaum: Any new business?

LEGAL MATTERS

Mr. Dorsey: None.

COUNCIL REPORTS

Recreation Liaison Report

Mr. Biondi: Meeting is next week.

Board of Health Report

Mrs. Labow: We didn’t have a meeting last month but we will in two weeks.

Planning Board Report

Mr. Tepper: No meeting.

Board of Adjustment Liaison Report

Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. During the meeting, all applications were approved with exception of one, which is to construct a single family on a substandard lot up at Country Club Estates where we have all had the drainage problems. That was summarily denied and they carried forward Callaremi, Pontiac and Buick on issues that are being handled by the Zoning Officer.

Open Space Committee Report

Mrs. Labow: The meeting was cancelled. It is a week from Monday.

Legislative Committee Report

Mr. Biondi: No report.

Pride Committee Liaison Report

Mr. Perkins: Nothing to report.

 

Board of Education Liaison Report

Mr. Buell: Yes, they met last night. They had a discussion of the budget which was the major topic.
Basically, they went through the elaborate process of describing their budgetary process. The bottom
line is, they cut or let 12 full time staff positions, including teacher’s aids and other staff and one part time net cut in the total budget. The increase is 5%. The impact of the peoples taxes are or where, a house that is valued at $200,000 is $266.00 for the general fund and $46.00 for the debt service fund so that our taxes for a person whose house is $200,000 will go up $312.00 a year. The School Board Election will be on April 18th from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm at Mountain View, Chester M. Stephens, and Sandshore School. That was the one major issue. The second issue that they discussed last night was the summer reading program. Unfortunately it ran until after 11:30. I don’t know what the outcome was but there was a lot of opposition and quite a lot of support for a summer reading program as modified under the new program. That is basically what happened last night.

Lake/Environment Issues Committee

Mr. Rattner: The only thing that I have to report is that the Lake Committee will be requesting
time on a future workshop to discuss how the dock ordinance is working and suggested modifications.

Safety Committee Liaison

Mr. Perkins: No meeting.

Finance Committee Report

Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.

Economic Development Committee Report

Mr. Rattner: Nothing to report.

Solid Waste Advisory Committee Report

Mr. Tepper: Nothing.

PUBLIC PORTION

President Greenbaum: At this point, I will open it up to the public to anyone that wishes to speak on any particular issue. Yes sir, in the red shirt. Please state your name and address for the record.

Al Weiner, Palmer Place, Flanders Crossing: I am sorry that everybody left. What I have to say is, so what do we do now? Let’s just get the ball rolling. What do you guys have to do or what does baseball have to do to get things rolling to look for the right field and get the vises and everything going for the lights and so we are not here in another, March 15th, they come marching in here again, you got this money sitting. What are we doing? You said we can start this within a month, look for a better place, and let’s get it going.

Mr. Tepper: There is only one site that is actually available in Turkey Brook, Al, pursuant to the people in recreation and in the Buildings Department. So the site is identified. The issue is a commitment of this Board to do something.

Mr. Buell: In the site plan, actually the drawings for the site plan or the concept for the site plan are already available. A lot of the engineering work has already been done.

Mr. Tepper: It has already been done.

Mr. Weiner: The next session, what is it? Do you guys have to go up for resolution to get the ball rolling?

Mr. Rattner: No, the Administration has to come with a recommendation on the next steps. All we do can do, we can’t do anything. What we can do is provide either the funds or codify what they want to do. We don’t have any ability to get anything done. They have to come up with a plan.....

 

Mr. Weiner: They left so early, they should be up here saying okay, this is what we wanted you to do....

President Greenbaum: It needs to come through Administration. Administration presents a proposal to the Council and the Council decides whether or not to fund the proposal. That is the way the government works.

Mr. Weiner: Okay, so now my question goes to a quirk and on the way down. So now what do you need, you need baseball to come to you, and say, this is what we want? What do we need to do?

President Greenbaum: Let me just interject here and I don’t know whether or not it was brought up, we have a memo from Mr. Prill. The Administration has been working on this issue.

Mr. Biondi: I did bring that up.

President Greenbaum: Okay. There is a Master Plan review in terms of additional recreational needs throughout the Township with our open space properties. So in conjunction with that, I expect that Mr. Prill will give us a report? Mr. Prill when are we going to have a report from you with respect to this Master Plan, Recreational Master Plan?

Mr. Prill: We are hoping to have it out to everybody for review in the April, May timeframe.

President Greenbaum: Okay. I would like to have it as early as possible, hopefully in the April timeframe and I would like to have it consistent with a recommendation for 90 foot lit baseball field someplace within the Township. If that is what is consistent with the Master Plan, so we can begin moving on that. I will list it for, what are the meetings we have in April.

Mr. Tepper: The 25th.

President Greenbaum: No, before that.

Mrs. Masser: Workshop on the 4th, Public Meeting on the 11th, no meeting on the 18th, and .........

President Greenbaum: April 25th, I am going to list the Recreation Master Plan with specific discussion of a 90 foot lit baseball field within the Township. So the baseball people should be so notified that it is coming up as part of the discussion on the 25th.

Mr. Buell: Can I also ask, Rick, that you contact the Turkey Brook Development Committee and ask them to.....

President Greenbaum: I’m sure that will be part of the Master Plan review on April the 25th. Thank you, Al. Thank you very much. Yes sir, you in the white sweater again.

Mr. Biondi: Is he allowed to go up three times in one night?

Mr. Rattner: Separate section.

Mr. Weiss: I checked there is an ordinance that allows it.

Mr. Biondi: There is an ordinance that allows.........

President Greenbaum: Please state your name and address for the record.

Howie Weiss: Just a quick thing. Mr. Buell, I would like to see that maybe you will extend an invitation to the superintendent as you have in the past to come and present that budget. Maybe, together with our President we can schedule a public hearing....

President Greenbaum: Discussed it last night with Larry McEntee and that will be scheduled. I don’t know the date right now but Larry was going to arrange for the Administration to present that to the Township Council.

 

 

Mr. Weiss: Good, I think that’s important. Just a follow up on what the last gentleman in the red said. I think when we put together this conversation, not only do we need to invite baseball, I think you should reach out and take this, like I talked about earlier, position of responsibility and get people from the neighborhood and find a representative from the Turkey Brook area. Get people from Flanders Crossing and all sit in a room and figure it out. If this is what we have to do, if we have until the end of April as the timeframe, let’s get it going. Let’s get everyone supporting this. Let’s just do it.

Mrs. Labow: Absolutely.

President Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else from the public? Yes sir, black sweatshirt. Please state your name and address for the record.

David Scapicchio, Mount Olive Township: Mr. Buell, last year the School Board based that projected increase on a growth in ratables, which turned out to be not true. The question I have and maybe you don’t have the answer to this, has this projected tax increase taken into consideration the loss of ratables for this coming year?

Mr. Buell: The ratables they are working on have been provided to them by our tax assessor and they show a 1% decrease or increase but basically level.

President Greenbaum: They are working with the correct numbers.

Mr. Buell: Yes.

Mr. Scapicchio: Thank you.

President Greenbaum: I think it was as of January the.....Sherry, when did we actually put in place our ratables? The middle of January.... January 10th? January 10th we had an obligation to set forth our ratables that we would be working off of this year and for the extent that any of them changed during the year either by way of tax appeal or otherwise, obviously the repayment at that point after January 10th comes out of the Municipal coiffures. So they are working off of the correct numbers. Stan, did you have something? Please state your name and address.

Stanley Borowski, Woodbine Ave: You guys cleared the room. I wanted to push for our Last Lasagna Comedy night, April 8th, 7:00 to 10:00 at Vasa Park Hall. I would like to see as many people attending. The first year we sold out. Last year we had 200. We’re looking to have another good night. So come on out and support us. If you need to purchase tickets, come see me. If you need any other information or need help about raising money, finding money for parks or things of that nature, we have done that. We have donated $10,000 for the pavilion, bought a score board for baseball. So if you want to see someone to do fundraising for any of the parks, come see us at our fundraiser. It’s called the Laughs and Lasagna, April 8th, Vasa Park Hall, at 7 pm. Thank you.

President Greenbaum: Thank you, anyone else from the public? Yes, sir.

Dennis Mok, Flanders: I think it was great as far as the ideas that we are thrown around. You know, lighting up the field at Turkey Brook. I just think it is always going to be a not in my back yard type of issues that we are going to hit and it is really going to be a commitment that this Council is going to have to make. What really are the issues? Are the issues the residents? The issues of the Township as a whole. Now, there is always going to be residents effected that are in the primary positions of these fields. There is a quality of life that these people do benefit from these fields being by their house too. I see a lot of people around that area being able to use those parks facilities so they are getting a benefit from them. I think if we put a plan in place, there is a Master Recreation Plan that we will review at the end of next month, then so be it. I think if we are going to make a commitment to light a field, I think our decision should be based on, okay, well, everyone is going to have issues wherever you put these lighted fields and you know what, sometimes you have to make the hard decisions and you know that it is going to be to the benefit of the Township. You are always going to hear from 20 or so effected residents in specific areas how I am all for planning. I am all for a long term plan for this town. I would hope that we are not sitting here five years from now talking about this same issue. I have young kids, and I would like to see even my older kids be able to benefit from improved recreational facilities here. When you address the Master Plan, I would say lights aren’t the only issue. You should be looking at safety issues to how you would you manage it, foul balls or whatever? There are ways that Turkey Brook was designed. It wasn’t designed for safety, especially foul balls. My daughter at two years old got hit by a stray ball foul ball and thank god, she was fine. She was shaken up, she was thrown down to the ground, but it was fine.

Mr. Mok (Cont’d): I have toured the facilities. You see three fields together and you are inviting trouble right there. You see a straight line drive come back, everyone yells heads up, and your first reaction is to look in the direction that it came from. Besides just the Master Plan of just calling the lights at a major league field, you should also be looking at the aspects of safety at these fields as well. Drainage, everything because these fields, as you know, they built with a lot of money. We spent millions of dollars at Turkey Brook. Now we still don’t have proper drainage right now, like after a rainstorm, we are always forced to go up to Budd Lake, it is one of our oldest fields because that one drains properly. So I think as part of the Master Plan we should be looking at the problems that we do find at Turkey Brook being our jewel of the Township and make these fields the way they should be, for safety, for playability and overall benefit of the Township. Thank you.

COUNCIL COMMENTS

President Greenbaum: Thank you, is there anyone else from the public who wishes to be heard? Seeing none, I close it to the public. We are up to final comments. Mr. Prill, do you have anything on behalf of the Administration?

Mr. Prill: Nothing.

Mr. Tepper: No, I think enough was discussed tonight, thank you.

Mr. Buell: None whatsoever.

Mr. Biondi: No sir.

Mrs. Labow: I have a stack of papers here I have to go home and read. I have no comments.

Mr. Perkins: No comment.

President Greenbaum: I motion to Adjourn

Mr. Perkins: So moved.

Mr. Rattner: Second.

President Greenbaum: All in favor?

AYE

Motion was made and seconded. All in favor and none opposed, the meeting was adjourned at 9:54 pm.

 

__________________________
Robert J. Greenbaum
Council President

 

I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on June 13, 2006.



___________________________
Lisa Lashway
Township Clerk

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