Township Council Minutes
November 23, 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 8:30 pm by Council President Rattner, following the Workshop.
President Rattner: We’ve already done the Pledge of Allegiance. I will, for the public record, ask for another Public Meetings Act announcement and attendance after that.
OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT ANNOUNCEMENT
According to the Open Public Meetings Act, adequate notice of this meeting has been given to the Mount Olive Chronicle. Notice has been posted at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive Township, New Jersey and notices were sent to those requesting the same.
ROLL CALL Present: Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Perkins,
Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; Bob Casey, Acting Business Administrator; Sherry Jenkins, CFO;
John Dorsey, Township Attorney; Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk, and in the audience I
see our Chief of Police, Ed Katona.
Mount Olive Park Partners Presentation
President Rattner: The first item we have on the agenda, Stan you’re up, is the Mount Olive Park Partners presentation.
Stan Borowski, President, Mount Olive Park Partners: I’m here on behalf of our organization to present a letter of a $10,000 commitment towards the purchase and building of a pavilion at Turkey Brook Park. If you have any questions, here’s the letter. I don’t know the exact procedures, so basically our intent was to hold onto the money and, with a couple of restrictions….should I just read the letter?
President Rattner: How long is the letter?
Mr. Borowski: Four paragraphs.
President Rattner: Okay.
Mr. Borowski: Or should I just hand it out?
President Rattner: Just give it to the Clerk and the Clerk will make sure it gets distributed. Anything else? Do you want to tell us how you raised some of the money?
Mr. Borowski: Sure. We had a number of fund raisers, the paver program, what else…we had a comedy night, I think we had some of the members there and it was quite successful and everybody enjoyed a good time, we look to do that again in March or early April. Some of the things we’ve done is we paid for a fence around the tot lot, there was a safety issue where the kids were running into the road, so we paid for the fence around the tot lot. What else….we bought a score board for the one of the baseball fields and we paid for the concrete pad for the soccer club’s concession stand. Some of the things we’re looking to do for the future, we’re actually looking to have a Mountopoly game, where we sell ads to the game, the ads will pay for the game, then we sell the game to township residents. We’re looking at a possibility….we understand some other group might be doing it too, so we’ll look to see if they’ll do a joint effort. What else….the comedy night and…also, we’re looking for members, too. It’s a lot of work, so if anybody can help out, anybody wants to join the group…..sometimes it’s very hard work, but it’s a lot of fun, too.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: On a personal note, Stan, I had purchased pavers on behalf of the guys at basketball, for Steve, who had passed away, and I didn’t know that the pavers…were they actually put in?
Mr. Borowski: Actually the last set of pavers should have been put in….like, in the last couple of days, we just got an e-mail.
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, where are they located within the park?
Mr. Borowski: On the south side of the tot lot.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay.
Mr. Borowski: The last group, the last order went in, I think, within the last week.
Mr. Greenbaum: Can you just check for me that the one for Steve actually….
Mr. Borowski: Sure.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thanks.
Mr. Borowski: We’ll actually review and make sure we have all the pavers….there are some that the quality wasn’t very good, we had them redone and they should have been reinstalled.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: When is your next meeting?
Mr. Borowski: We meet every second Wednesday of the month, 7:30 in Conference Room C.
Ms. Labow: That’s the same night as the Library….the second Wednesday?
Mr. Borowski: The second Wednesday.
Ms. Labow: Okay and you’ll be having a December meeting?
Mr. Borowski: Yes we will.
Ms. Labow: You forgot your basketball fund raiser that you had.
Mr. Borowski: Oh yes, the Harlem Lizards.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I just wanted to bring it up, because Mr. Greenbaum was…..
Mr. Borowski: Yes, some members who played….we had even some of the High School boys from the basketball team to play, too. It was fun.
Ms. Labow: You guys are doing a great job. I want to thank you very much, because a lot of the things we have at the park right now, we wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for all of your efforts, and it’s not a huge group of people…I understand it’s only….what do you have, about…originally a dozen people?
Mr. Borowski: We were at eight, we’re now down to about six active members.
Ms. Labow: And this group has raised an exorbitant amount of money, really….you know, unbelievable amount in a very short period of time, and it has done a remarkable job and I want to thank you very very much.
Mr. Borowski: Well, thank you, and if you wish to participate, come join us.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
President Rattner: Now we come to the first public portion, for people who don’t want to stay late. When we come to the ordinances and resolutions, you’ll have time to talk on those specifically, and we also have another time at the end of the meeting, so if you think of anything during the meeting, you have an opportunity then. So, with that, I’ll open up the first public portion. Mr. Jones.
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: A question on the bill list, page 7, it’s, I think, the third invoice down, from John McDonnell, Esquire in the matter Wilpert versus De La Roche. I’m just wondering if I’m reading Mr. Jones(cont’d): this right, it says $4,944.50 for miscellaneous litigation. If I’m correct, for the same matter, James Pryor billed the Council $1,030…is that correct?
President Rattner: Wait a minute, Mr. Jones, you said page 7?
Mr. Jones: Page 7 and page 8, actually.
President Rattner: Ms. Jenkins…
Ms. Jenkins: They’re there, I mean, I can’t address the issue of the service.
Mr. Buell: They’re there.
Mr. Dorsey: Those numbers are right.
Mr. Buell: Those numbers are correct, I looked at the invoices, myself.
Mr. Jones: Can I just ask, how many hours Mr. Wilpert, I’m sorry…Mr. McDonnell put in on this litigation?
Mr. Dorsey: Divide the amount by $155.
Mr. Buell: It was thirty-some hours, I think.
Mr. Jones: Okay. I guess that’s it on that. In other matters, I have to say that I support Kathy Murphy and her request for her salary increase, because she’s worth every single penny and I believe that she saved this Township millions of dollars in future, you know, taxes. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Anybody else like to speak to the Council at this time? Yes ma’am, back row.
Mary Ann Katchen: This is the part where we can talk about anything, am I correct? Okay. I have a little situation that I’ve been going through since June of 2003. There is a house that was passed to be able to be built on Station Road, and it’s behind everybody else’s property, it was a small lot and we have a four acre zoning there. It was built on 1.6 acres and it was passed by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Through these people doing their property and whatever, we had Minutes at that Zoning Board Adjustment, which I brought papers, I mean, brought the meeting stuff. They did not go by anything they were supposed to go by and then on top of that, I went down many times to the engineer, to your Administrator of the Planning, to the Health Department, to the Building, and also…I’m trying to think, there was somebody…oh, also there was a road engineer that was in there. I guess he’s an engineer or whatever his title is, and my problem is…I’ll get to the problem instead of making a long story. My problem was the house was too far out of the ground, the property was raised up to five feet, between everybody’s property, the trees that were cut down, it was more trees than he was supposed to cut down, was bare stripped. I then complained about all of this stuff, and then I didn’t get anyplace. I was passed from one person to the next and back and forth. Finally, we had a meeting on Friday, with all those people sitting at a table with my husband and I, and at that meeting, they had the papers on the table, and when they looked at these papers that they had on the table, they said nothing matches up, nothing is right. Now, they told me that they’re going to have a meeting with their surveyor, engineer, which is Meola, I think I’m saying it right, it’s Meola, and they were supposed to get back to me, but each time they say they’ll get back to me, I have to go to the office up here to find them, to get answers, and finally, they said they didn’t have a meeting yet because they can’t get a hold of him, he hasn’t showed up in quite a few of them. Then finally they had a meeting with him today and I got a call from Mr. Buczynski, and he told me that it’s already done because there’s nothing they can do about it. I also had a problem dealing with the leach field because that is also five feet up from my property and they put a big bunch of boulders, stones, going down on the side, and the reason that was so it doesn’t leak out onto my property, hold whatever back. Now, I went to Arif about this, too, and Arif told me that it has to be corrected. He said it wasn’t right and it has to be corrected. While I was told today everything was okay, and everything they said was wrong on those papers, is okay, and I don’t understand why it was okay, and I think somebody should look into it on the Council.
President Rattner: Mayor, Mr. Casey, do you have any knowledge of Mrs. Katchem’s complaints?
Mr. Casey: No clue. We will find out from Mr. Buczynski what occurred and get a report back to the governing body so we can see what went on.
President Rattner: I think you also should get back to the residents, since they’re the ones…at least what you’re looking and what you’re finding. Mr. Greenbaum, you wanted to say something?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, no, I was willing to step up to the plate for you to find out what’s going on at my own personal risk, because the last time I made this suggestion, I…the resident didn’t ultimately like the answers that they got, but I can only pass along the information. So, if you would do me a favor and leave with the Town Clerk a very…in summary form, a synopsis of every problem that you foresee, which is not consistent with the Board of Adjustment decision. I can follow-up with Gene Buczynski, I sit on the Planning Board with him, and I’d rather leave it to the Administration, and take the Administration’s recommendation and then follow-up from there, but I’ll stay on top of it, and leave your phone number and let’s see where it goes.
Mrs. Katchen: Well, if it’s possible, I’d like an answer as soon as possible, because if not, then I would like to call in the State to look at that leach field and see if they might approve of it, I’d like to have somebody else in there to look at that and also a question about the raise of the property, because even though their house was raised six feet up, which I think is supposed to be 34, for a house to be raised, even over, and then on top of that, the ground is too high, we’re all going to have a problem up there, and this guy brought in a lot of dirt on that property, a lot of top soil, a lot of fill from some lake and I complained about it. Nothing was done, they are supposed to be okay, they can do that, that’s what I was told, and if a homeowner over there, everybody that has a house is doing something, they would get fined, whether you’re told about it, or brought up on charges or something. This guy seems to be getting away with removing a lot of trees that he wasn’t supposed to, the house was raised up, which wasn’t supposed to, and there is no plans or revised plans brought forward and there should have been.
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Casey we have a meeting…our next meeting is in two weeks. Mr. Casey, we ask that you go back and check with the different appropriate departments and also if you have a list of, you know, a list of your issues, if we look at that and at least report to us, as you said, you report to us in two weeks. I think that should give you enough time to at least say what has happened, if anything needs to be done, what can be done at this point, so we know how we’re moving forward.
Mrs. Katchen: Okay, are you telling me to make another list, is that what you’re telling me?
President Rattner: Wait, wait, wait…I’m asking that if the Business Administrator and Mayor, this is the first time they’re hearing it, I mean, all the people you mentioned basically work for them, that’s the boss.
Mayor De La Roche: Except the Board of Adjustments.
President Rattner: And so, everything stops with them. So, they’ll have to go back…go back to their people, but I think it would be advantageous, if you have specific items, what you’ve already given, just so they have a check off list so they understand what you’re talking about and then they can go back and check on it. They’re not engineers, but the engineers do report to them. That’s all I’m asking, because we can’t do…you know, we’re sitting up here, this is the first we’re really hearing of it, and we’re asking them to address it.
Mrs. Katchen: Okay. Another thing I don’t understand, just before we had that meeting on Friday, Mr. Buczynski was up to that place, with the people there, the guy that is doing the property, he’s a landscaper, he’s doing the whole property, he’s putting everything in.
President Rattner: Okay, well…..Mr. Buczynski is a paid person from the town.
Mrs. Katchen: I understand that.
President Rattner: These people will evaluate….look at what was done. You can tell us another story, there’s nothing we can do tonight. I just want to move it along.
Mrs. Katchen: Alright.
Mr. Guenther: I just have a couple of questions; I’m a little bit confused in what you presented. Let me just review the way I understand what your problem is. Number one, I think you had an issue in that you thought that what the Board of Adjustment approved was not correct, is that right?
Mrs. Katchen: Well, I have these here that were in the meeting, at the time when we had the meeting, that was supposed to be done, and that, and nothing has been followed through, this whole paper…..
Mr. Guenther: Oh, okay, so what you’re saying….I’m just trying to clarify it so that everybody understands, because I don’t understand.
Mrs. Katchen: Okay, go ahead.
Mr. Guenther: Is that, whatever the Board of Adjustment has ruled or decided, for this particular lot, it’s your feeling that that’s…some of it has not been followed, correct?
Mrs. Katchen: All of it.
Mr. Guenther: All of it, okay. Then, okay….well, that pretty well sums it up. I thought there were…..no, because I thought there were two issues. I thought you had an issue with what the Board of Adjustment decided, that you had an issue with that. Then, that’s a different story, if they haven’t followed through on what the Board of Adjustment decided, it’s the responsibility of the town employees to follow through on that, and I think….the other thing I was going to suggest, Mr. President, is that I don’t think two weeks is soon enough. From the sounds of it, this is moving along at a quickly….rather quick pace, and there are certain things that are being done that you feel are not being done correctly, in two weeks that could be all, forgive the expression, water over the dam, it could be buried, the problems could be buried, I think……
Mrs. Katchen: That’s what I was told.
Mr. Guenther: You need really…the Administration needs to act somewhat quicker and not, instead of getting back to us, is to get back to the residents up there, do an investigation to find out what….or you present the facts and maybe sit with Mr. Casey, present the specific cases where the instructions of the Board of Adjustment have not been followed, and go through those and then Mr. Casey questions the department people that are involved as to why they were not followed.
President Rattner: Mr. Guenther, that’s exactly what I said, in fact I asked….
Mr. Guenther: Yes, but not to wait for two weeks, Steve, if you wait two weeks, by that time it may be too late.
President Rattner: I’m not going to call a special meeting to discuss it. I asked Mr. Casey to talk to her, to deal with him right now. I asked him, at our next meeting, I want the report. I asked that immediately they get on it, give him some time, give him the list, so he can go back to the department, and then he’s to deal with…get her list directly. I think we agree, exactly. I just want the full report to make sure that it did get done, and that’s all…or it’s moving along. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: I just have two questions. Have they moved into the house yet?
Mrs. Katchen: No, they did not. They’re rushing it through, though, because they’re working there until late at night and being that I went to the whole Administration end, right to the very end, and had a meeting on Friday, as I was saying, Mr. Buczynski went up there and he was late for the meeting, and that’s when he said that he went up there to look at the property, because he wasn’t up there yet, to see what was done, and then all of a sudden, a whole bunch of guys came in, they’re raking, they’re back digging, they’re putting hay and grass down and everything, real quick.
Ms. Labow: That was the next thing I wanted to ask is, if this work is ongoing and there may possible be some problems, can we put a stop work order in to stop it?
Mr. Casey: If I might, the authority to do that is Mr. Buczynski’s, and if in fact there is something that is going on which, in his expert opinion, contravenes his own approvals, or is contrary to the township ordinances, that’s his responsibility to do so. So, we’ll contact Gene in order to ascertain, in his prospective, whether the fact is at that point in time.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
President Rattner: One thing you said, Mrs. Katchen, is that they work late into the night. What are you talking about late in the night, because we have ordinances that they can’t work more than nine hours in a given day.
Mrs. Katchen: Well, they’re not working with machinery, they used to work with machinery, but they’re not working with machinery now, they’re just trying to hurry up and get all the molding up, the painting up, the outside done, so they can get in real quick.
President Rattner: Okay, I think we should, you know, the construction officials should look tomorrow, or our engineering department, to make sure that they’re working within the hours that are allowed, because we don’t have people here, there is nobody watching them either.
Mrs. Katchen: I just want to repeat this one more time. Mr. Buczynski, as I said, called me today, after he had a meeting with them, which we were not allowed to go, my husband and I, and he did say to me that there is nothing they can do. The house is up six foot, they had to put in dirt to bring it out. He said the elevation wasn’t there, there is no elevation there in the beginning, because that land is flat on this side, there was elevation up the high side and where their house was, is on the flat side. The guy bulldozed the whole thing, cleared it, knocked it down, and hit some water and that’s basically why the house went up out of the ground further, and they were supposed to come back in, according to Brown and the others when they made their discussion in a little table around us, that they were supposed to go back in and put papers or revise stuff or whatever, they called it, I’m not good at it, because I don’t know…..but anyway, and that was never done and actually nothing was ever done right. They...even the trees and everything they were looking at on those papers, are not right, they were going back and forth at that meeting. Now all of a sudden, today when I got the call, everything is fine and this is how it’s going to go and they’re going to change…lower it down on one side like two feet, and eight inches up farther on the inside, and then they’re going to take away the stones where the leach field is attached to, and then they’re going to put other stones here which…to solve another problem.
President Rattner: Okay, all that doesn’t mean a lot to us.
Mrs. Katchen: I know that, but I’m just saying that’s how Buczynski says it’s…..
President Rattner: That’s fine, but that’s what Mr. Casey’s job is. You haven’t talked to Mr. Casey, you said you talked to the Administrator, I imagine it was somebody who is no longer here, who we can’t talk to. We have to give Mr. Casey a couple of days to find out exactly what’s going on, get your information, and get back to you, and see if anything is done. I’m not sure exactly the Board of Adjustment, when they allow, and they give a variance, I don’t know if they start talking about elevations and things like that, that is soil conservation, that is the Planning Department. There are certain issues that have to be done, and there are a lot of different people involved, so nobody can hide it, because there’s too many people involved.
Mrs. Katchen: Alright and Mr. Casey, who’s Mr. Casey, you’re Mr. Casey, okay, and who are you, just a Council or are you somebody with a big name?
Mr. Casey: No, I’m the new….I’m the temporary Business Administrator here, so I’m in the Mayor’s office right down the hall.
Mrs. Katchen: Oh, okay. Do you want me to come and see you like tomorrow at your office?
Mr. Casey: I have meetings pretty much all day tomorrow. I will get…if you leave your name and address with the lady down there with the red hair…
Mrs. Katchen: Mrs. Lashway.
Mr. Casey: Alzheimers….I will be in touch with Gene and we will get you early next week, but the question is whether I can get to him tomorrow or not, I’m not quite sure…..
Mrs. Katchen: Is that a promise?
Mr. Casey: That’s a promise.
Mrs. Katchen: I’ll hold your word to it. Thank you very much.
President Rattner: Thank you. Anybody else from the public like to address us at this time? Stan, you changed your mind, you’re taking the money back?
Stan Borowski: No. I just found out that the salary issue is regarding Mrs. Murphy. Again I would like to express my support for Kathy Murphy, I mean, she’s done a whole lot for the township in terms of helping to acquire lands. I mean, she was one of the biggest proponents of the land of Turkey Brook Park. That saved that land from a lot of homes being built. The B&H property, there was the 600 homes on the other side of the lake, I mean, she’s been, and a lot of her earlier things were all based on volunteer work, I mean, she’s done a lot for the town in saving the taxpayer, and bringing a lot of grant money into the town, I mean………
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Anybody else? Yes, sir.
Paul Carbon, 17 Vista Drive, Flanders: I just have a question on Ordinance 39. Should the public address that now, or should we wait until the ordinance comes up?
President Rattner: That, we’ll have a public hearing on that individual ordinance.
Mr. Carbon: Okay, I just have a general question. Has the Council determined how much it has cost the taxpayers for the lawsuits that have been occurring between the Mayor and the Council?
President Rattner: No, the CFO would have to get that, that is something we’ll be looking at.
Mr. Carbon: Has that been tallied up?
Mr. Casey: Not yet.
President Rattner: Not yet.
Mr. Carbon: Is somebody going to tally it up?
Ms. Jenkins: Right now I would say probably close to $30,000.
Mr. Carbon: $30,000, and what is the projected cost of the future litigation on the taxpayers?
Mr. Casey: Really that’s not an appropriate question for her to answer.
Mr. Carbon: Why not?
Mr. Casey: She hasn’t got the answers yet. When, in fact, all the litigation is resolved and the bills are in, we will be happy to provide a report to you. Right now, the litigation still has to be resolved and all the bills have to be totaled, we haven’t got them all in. When they’re in, you’ll get it.
Mr. Carbon: Anyone wondering about the welfare of the residents of Mount Olive during these…during the litigation?
Mayor De La Roche: I’ll answer you, right? So you understand, at least on my prospective, the only case that has cost the township any money was when I was sued. The other cases were being handled pro bono, didn’t cost the township a dime, the only one that I’ve been involved in that was sued, I was sued by Mr. Wilpert and the Council, as well as the insurance company felt it appropriate that I be defended. So, the $4,000 that you’re talking about came from the insurance, but other than that, there hasn’t been any money expended by the Mayor.
Mr. Carbon: I think it’s pretty embarrassing, when I wake up in the morning I read the now…these days…the Star Ledger, this town is coming up on and the papers are reporting the disagreement among Council, and really, it’s embarrassing for the town, it really makes it seem like a sham, and as a concerned taxpayer, as a very concerned taxpayer, and as a concerned resident of the town, I must state it simply, I hope you guys can all get along for the sake of the residents. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Mr. Guenther: For the public record, I would just like to say that the Mayor is wrong. All the expenses were not incurred by that one lawsuit, there are other expenses that we were forced to incur by suits that were issued or instigated by Mr. Ruggierio.
Mr. Buell: Let me also say that the $4,900…not the $4,000, was the Mayor’s counsel was paid directly by the township and not by the MEL or the JIF.
Mayor De La Roche: I haven’t even seen the bill, so it was never submitted to me, but there was deemed...
Mr. Buell: It was on page 7, Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: It was deemed appropriate by the Council that I be represented since the Mayor’s office was being sued. Other than that, no…the money has not been expended by the Mayor. The other things were…the Council has been represented in every one of these lawsuits and the Council is the one who has asked for lawyers to represent them, I haven’t.
Mr. Carbon: Who has represented the town in the lawsuits?
Mr. Guenther: The Council….look, the Council…
Mr. Greenbaum: The answer to that question is Bill Kearns, directly.
Mr. Carbon: At the rate of $155 an hour?
Ms. Labow: Right.
Mr. Greenbaum: And I believe that the amount of money that he’s billed us is small, isn’t it?
Mr. Dorsey: It’s very small
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s very small. The Council…what you have to understand is, the Council has not initiated any lawsuits, we have been sued, we often get sued, regardless of what actions we take, if we deny something to a developer, we get sued, that is part of the way that municipalities operate, it is a necessary evil. In this particular instance, it has gone beyond that. I agree with you wholeheartedly that it is, for lack of a better term, disgusting, it is disgusting, but by the same token, it’s….we have not initiated the litigation, we’re not out there suing, we’re trying to resolve things as we see fit. There are seven members up here, and the reason that there are seven members is because each person’s perspective has to come into the decision process, and so that’s the way that we operate. A majority of the seven of us sitting up here make the decisions on behalf of the township and to defend a lawsuit, it is a…..the Mayor, as well. When the Mayor made the determination to terminate Mr. Wilpert….
Mr. Guenther: Wrongfully, I might add.
Mayor De La Roche: That is incorrect and you know it, that’s completely incorrect.
Mr. Greenbaum: Irrespective….irrespective
Mayor De La Roche: Once you read the decision of the judge, he said I had every right to…..
President Rattner: Come on, Mayor, Mayor….you know the procedure, you wait until you’re called on. I’ve been very…..
Mayor De La Roche: Well then, tell Mr. Guenther to do the same thing.
President Rattner: Every time…..no, Mayor, you wait your turn….
Mayor De La Roche: Well, Mr. Greenbaum was speaking, as I recall.
President Rattner: If you can’t have the decency to let somebody talk……you’ll have a time to speak.
Mayor De La Roche: Mr. Greenbaum was speaking, as I recall.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum was speaking, that’s right.
Mayor De La Roche: And I was extending him that same courtesy.
President Rattner: Obviously, you don’t know protocol and how to run a meeting either.
Mayor De La Roche: I know exactly how it runs, I’m not the one who interrupted Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: Here, let me just, let me just, let me finish…..thank you, Mayor, let me….
Mr. Carbon: Look folks, I haven’t eaten tonight, I haven’t gone home yet and I do want to get home and I do want to address something else. However, I just want to know, whether after everything is done with all the litigation, is anyone going to do an audit as to what it cost Mount Olive residents…..all of the litigations, because I understand there are a couple, regardless of who it was started by.
President Rattner: Absolutely, because as we prepare the budget and know what we have to budget, we have to look at what we spent, what we spent it on, and knowing what we put away for going forward. There are certain things that we have to defend, as Mr. Greenbaum said, with developers, just the normal routine, somebody has a car accident of Route 46, they sue the State, they sue the other car, they sue us too, there’s a lot of things that we have to do.
Mr. Carbon: One other question related to that, if Mr. Dorsey represented the town, would that be part of his retainer, or would there be an additional retainer?
Mr. Dorsey: No, litigation is all paid separately from retainer.
Mr. Carbon: Okay, and would that have been at the $155 an hour, Mr. Dorsey?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes, it was thought appropriate to establish the rates for the other attorneys at the same rate as myself.
Mr. Carbon: Thank you very much.
Roy Hansel, 7 Fernwood Court: I just want to echo the comments of the previous gentleman and ask that once these monies are paid and this litigation goes on, that that money is not obviously recouped anymore, and I guess the real question is do we really need this litigation in the first place? This seems sort of a frivolous litigation and I agree with the previous gentleman, that frankly it’s an embarrassment as a resident here. I find it appalling considering the fact that my taxes rise dramatically, frankly in the neighborhood of 40% in the last two years since I’ve been here, and you guys are squabbling and I have to now pay additional funds, and additional monies that could go elsewhere, are now being used for litigation purposes. That money won’t be recouped after you pay for it, and regardless of whatever audit you find, or whatever else, I’ll never see that money again.
President Rattner: Thank you.
Mr. Greenbaum: Could I finish my thought, which I wasn’t able to finish?
President Rattner: Go ahead, Mr. Greenbaum, then the Mayor.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you. I just want to address the issues. There have been three lawsuits that have been filed, one of them related to Mr. Wilpert. Mr. Wilpert was the Director of Senior Services and Health for the township. Mr. Wilpert was fired by the Mayor, whether right or wrong, he was not reappointed, how’s that?
Mayor De La Roche: That’s different.
Mr. Greenbaum: Not reappointed.
Mayor De La Roche: Correct.
Mr. Dorsey: He was terminated.
Mr. Greenbaum: His services….whatever….however you want to put it, whether the Mayor thought he was right or wrong, that’s what happened, whether the judge thought that the Mayor was right or wrong, it doesn’t matter because the money was spent for the litigation. I agree, we are never going to see that money back, it’s a shame, but Mr. Wilpert, as an employee or as an official who is no longer going to be part of the township, we can’t control what he’s going to do once his services are terminated. He has a right, just like everybody else does, to bring a lawsuit, and once he files the lawsuit, we have to defend it, and he filed suit both against the
Mr. Greenbaum(cont’d): Mayor and he filed suit against the township, and in that particular instance, we saw things differently, both of us needed to retain counsel, neither of which could be Mr. Dorsey, because there was an obvious conflict. That litigation has been resolved. Besides that, the other two lawsuits, one was filed by Mr. Ruggierio against the township when he was terminated, and one was filed by the Mayor and Mr. Ruggierio, a similar type suit but instead of in Federal Court it was in State Court. In both of those instances, we were required to retain an attorney, and yes, I agree with you, we will never recoup those funds and it’s a shame, because that is money that could have been spent anywhere else in better form, or not spent at all. I agree with you wholeheartedly, it is a shame that there was any litigation at all.
Mayor De La Roche: I echo that in the fact that, you know, Mr. Ruggierio has had the same right that Mr. Wilpert had and he was terminated by the Council without just cause, in my opinion, and he brought the suit just as Mr. Wilpert did, except in Mr. Wilpert’s case, the judge decided that I had every right to remove Mr. Wilpert as the Director of Health and Public Services…Senior Services, whereas Mr. Ruggierio settled his case by working it out with the Council.
President Rattner: Anybody else from the public like to address the Council at this time? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion.
Questions on Bill List?
President Rattner: We’ll go to Questions on the Bill List, if you have any questions left.
Mr. Buell: Yes, check #042584, we spent $999 for weather services?
Mr. Casey: We subscribe to a service that provides very specific, site specific information to Public Works relative to temperatures and weather right in this area. It is a snow service which comes out of either Hackettstown or Pennsylvania and the reason that we do that is that this allows Public Works to know exactly when the road temperatures are changing and when they have to put their sanders out. So, it does cost us $1,000 a year, which allows us to go in there and manage the snow and ice better.
Ms. Labow: It’s like a heads-up?
Mr. Casey: Yes, they basically have monitors out in the area, they can actually go so far and, you know, they’ll tell them you have half an hour or so before your temperatures start changing, etc., etc. So, it gives Mr. Quinn a lot more detailed information on how to manage his crews.
Mr. Buell: Okay, thank you.
Ms. Labow: I just want to add to that, I believe that they use that for the beach, too, in the summer time, when a storm is coming, to get the residents out of the beach, if thunder or lightening is coming.
Mr. Casey: That’s correct. This has the radar right in the area, so they can give us a little bit more warning as to when things are changing.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I think it’s Stroudsberg that it comes out of, but yes, many times I was on the beach and they said thunder and lightening is coming, and off we went.
Mr. Guenther: Just a clarification on the two legal bills we discussed. Mr. Pryor and Mr. McDonnell…what was the difference between why….why were the two attorneys involved?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, the Mayor requested that he be represented by an attorney of his selection and the Council agreed.
Mr. Guenther: That was Mr. McDonnell, correct?
Mr. Dorsey: That was Mr. McDonnell, and then the Mayor objected to my proceeding and we had Mr. McDonnell deal with the Council’s aspect of the Wilpert’s…..Oh, Mr. Pryor, I’m sorry.
Ms. Labow: I just want to clarify that. A few minutes ago, Mayor De La Roche said that the Council said he should have his own attorney, but now I hear that it was the Mayor who requested his own attorney and we agreed to it.
Mr. Dorsey: That’s right.
Ms. Labow: That’s how it worked?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
Mayor De La Roche: I’m sorry, I didn’t hear that, could I hear that again?
Ms. Labow: You said that…before, you told us that the Council said for you to get your own attorney, but then I’m hearing from Mr. Dorsey that you requested to get your own attorney and we agreed to it.
Mayor De La Roche: Okay, what happened was the fact that Mr. Dorsey represent…..Mr. Dorsey’s firm represents the Board of Health, as well as the township, and we felt there might be a conflict there, since I was removing their Director of Health and Senior Services. So, Mr. Dorsey agreed with me that there might be a problem there, so he felt it also appropriate that I have my own counsel and so that’s why I had my own counsel on that particular junction.
Ms. Labow: It was your request.
Mayor De La Roche: And that’s the only time I had my own counsel.
President Rattner: Okay, anything else on the bill list? So, we’re going to pass the bill list.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
November 9, 2004 CS Present: President Rattner, Mr. Guenther, Mr. Buell, Mrs. Labow, Mr. Mund, Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Perkins
President Rattner: Going on…okay, next we have approval of Minutes from the November 9th Executive Session. Mr. Buell, would you move that?
Mr. Buell: I move the Closed Session Minutes of November 9th.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS / ORGANIZATIONS
1. E-mail received November 9, 2004, from Dan Swayze regarding DPW Referendum.
2. E-mail received November 17, 2004, from Gerald Sims regarding Lutheran Social Ministries regarding Housing Unit.
3. Letter received November 19, 21004, from F. William LaVigne regarding 5 Hudson Street Budd Lake, Block 2301 Lot 5.
4. Letter received November 19, 2004, from The Village Green acknowledging Phil Spaldi, and Frank McGlynn.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
5. Letter received November 18, 2004, from Township of Roxbury regarding Troop Drive for the Holidays.
6. Resolution received November 18, 2004, from Township of Randolph regarding requiring the State to reimburse municipalities for the reimbursement and payment of property taxes that disabled veterans are exempt from payment.
7. Resolution received November 19, 2004, from The Town of Morristown regarding the support of adoption of S1990 and A2432 authorizing the imposition of additional fines for overcrowding in dwellings containing four or fewer units.
8. Letter received November 19, 2004, from Gary Whyte of Mountainside regarding consideration to adopt Proclamation or Resolution for F.O.P. Awareness.
DOT / DEP / LOI
9. Letter received November 5, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Solid and Hazardous Waste Facility Renewal Application ONYX ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, LLC Mount Olive Township.
10. Letter received November 15, 2004, from New Jersey Transit regarding 2005 FTA Section 5310 Grant Notification.
11. Letter of Interpretation received November 19, 2004, from Brian P. Cramer regarding LOI Application Block 17, Lots 8 and 9, Washington Township – Block 6600, Lot 10.01 and portions of 8 & 10, Mount Olive Township (2 Tr. 206, 1 Four Bridges Road, Old Bartley Road).
12. Letter received November 18, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Highlands Jurisdictional Notification Block 4500, Lot 8 (155 Flanders-Netcong Road).
13. Letter received November 19, 2004, from Matrix Environmental & Geotechnical Services regarding Freshwater Wetlands Letter of Interpretation. Application submitted by: West Morris Regional High School (155 Flanders Netcong Road)
14. Letter received November 15, 2004, from Morrisland Conservancy regarding Preserving Land in the Raritan Basin “A Landowner Workshop.”
15. Newsletter received November 15, 2004, from Center for Government Services regarding Property Tax reform, Spotlight on William Homa, GFOA: Friends of the center and News Notes.
16. Notice of Tort Claim received November 15, 2004 regarding Vollers Excavating & Construction Inc. v. Township of Mount Olive, et als. Civil Action number: 02-4313 (JAP)
17. Letter received November 16, 2004, from Morris Land Conservancy regarding Membership.
18. Letter received November 19, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs regarding transfer of development rights.
19. Public Notice received November 12, 2004, from Raymond Tomczak regarding Waterloo Road Bridge Project.
20. Abstract of Ratables received November 12, 2004 regarding the year 2004.
21. Fax received November 16, 2004, from Christopher Donnelly regarding mental health risk taskforce.
22. Fax received November 18, 2004, from Christopher Donnelly regarding “Special Counsel for Ethics Reform.”
President Rattner: Okay, next we have our correspondence. We have 22 items of correspondence. Anybody….Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: Item number 3. I wish to bring it up because we are now facing situations that I was afraid of when this occurred with the Presco Thompsons…..that particular lot. We set a bad precedent in letting a piece of public land be acquired by somebody private for their own private use and not only use, but an ability to make it a profit or possibly even build a much larger home than it could otherwise build, number one. So, we’re seeing happen exactly what I foresaw and more people coming in requesting the purchase of township owned property. I don’t think that’s what we want to do. Number two, in this particular case, this is the County Club area which has had serious drainage problems. I am vehemently opposed to even letting one square inch of township property go to any private individual up there. There’s too much housing as it is, up there, we have never been able to find the funds to create proper drainage. Until we do that, we should not let any public land go. We need that land to serve as buffers, to serve as drainage areas, while we are able to raise funds to do the proper storm drains that belong up there, which I don’t foresee in the next five to ten years.
President Rattner: Anybody else on correspondence? Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, in the referendum that we passed in terms of the DPW garage, is the Administration going to use….and I’m referring to number 1 where Dan Swayze volunteered his assistance, so did Mr. DiFrancisco and also Mr. DiMaria, all three of those knowledgeable individuals, are we planning to use their expertise in any way in this process?
Ms. Labow: DiFranzo.
Mr. Casey: Our goal is to start with Suburban to develop the overall site plan and the large overall planning of the development. Then once that comes back to the governing body and there is a decision as to the particulars, then we could very well reach out…because I think most of those individuals spoke specifically on individual structures and, as I indicated to you, my primary goal at this point is the big picture, storm drainage on site, those environmental issues and then bring to you a report as to where we go and then in terms of their knowledge, like especially Ralph’s knowledge on, you know, public works garage and stuff, yes, we’ll reach out to them, but that’s like in step two, once we get through the big picture.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I received a…and I don’t see it listed here on the correspondence, it’s titled November 17th from the…it’s to us….from the Dockrell Beach & Yacht club.
Mr. Mund: 14 November.
Mr. Buell: Yes, 14 November and I don’t see it on the letters.
Mrs. Lashway: Am I copied on it, is it an e-mail?
Mr. Buell: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Yes, you checked it in, Lisa.
Mr. Buell: Could I just ask that that be listed in the next meeting so that we can go through that? I would like to know what that’s all about.
Mr. Guenther: Well, Mr. President, could we just request, since it’s been brought up, that possibly Mr. Casey could look into this? What, you know, that she’s got some specific complaints there against our tax department.
Mr. Casey: Oh yes, definitely.
Mr. Guenther: Okay, and maybe come back with an answer next time.
Mr. Casey: We’ll be happy to…I already have a response from Jack on that, you know who the parties are who wrote this letter.
Mr. Guenther: I know, we know, but they’re still owed a response.
Mr. Greenbaum: Number 16, notice of tort claim receipt from Vollers versus the Township of Mount Olive. I would like to get some summary from John as to what the notice of claim there involves.
Mr. Dorsey: We have been in….we have been a party in litigation involving Vollers and AIG Baker for at least the last two years. They have now, apparently, filed….
Someone from the audience: Could you speak up please.
Mr. Dorsey: The township has been a party to the litigation between Vollers and AIG Baker for a considerable period of time. AIG Baker, under its developer’s agreement, was required to hold us harmless and indemnify us, so that we have not been terribly active in that litigation. Now, Vollers…and this is a case that has been in mediation for nearly two years, Vollers apparently now claims that certain cash bonds or performance guarantees were improperly released. I don’t believe that to be the case, but it’s a claim that they’ve only just recently raised.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: For number 7, oh wait, we’re on the correspondence still?
President Rattner: Yes.
Ms. Labow: Okay, so we’re not on the….I’ll talk about it….
Mr. Buell: No, it’s resolutions…
Ms. Labow: Are we still….okay.
President Rattner: We’re on correspondence.
Ms. Labow: Oh, I’m sorry. I was looking at the Resolution part. Number 7, for the correspondence we got from the Township of Morristown….
Mr. Mund: The resolution.
Ms. Labow: The resolution that they passed.
President Rattner: Yes, the stacking….the stacking resolution?
Ms. Labow: Snacking?
President Rattner: Stacking.
Ms. Labow: Stacking, yes…well, speak up. Yes, the stacking. This has been a concern of mine for quite some time. With all the apartment complexes that we have in town and I do have two children, one child is graduated from the school system, another child that’s in the school system currently, and many many times you hear of instances where, in the apartments, the different children will come into our community Monday through Friday, go home on the weekends, and…I don’t know if this is something we’d like to try and tighten up for our community because we’re paying an exorbitant amount of money in school taxes to educate children that don’t necessarily really live in our township. I wonder if we could put this on workshop and address possibly passing something like this, a little stronger enforcing limits as to the dwellings in the apartments?
President Rattner: Mr. Dorsey, could we actually start setting, you know, other than just saying overcrowding, but if somebody has a two bedroom or a one bedroom with a studio, can we say can only have two people?
Mr. Dorsey: I don’t believe you can.
Ms. Labow: I think in Netcong, is it Netcong? A neighboring township has a limit as to how many people can….even with the apartments, if there is a one bedroom apartment, can we say that…..
Mr. Dorsey: I think you should consult with Mr. Wilpert, because that falls under the auspices of Health, as to whether or not there’s overcrowding in those apartments.
President Rattner: You know there’s State guidelines for multiple families, and that we could go by. You know, if we start doing anything else….
Ms. Labow: Even with the apartments that we have. We have….
President Rattner: That’s multiple families. There are statutes on multiple family dwellings.
Ms. Labow: Oh, I’m sorry, I was thinking in terms of two family houses, I was thinking separate dwellings. So what direction do you recommend, Mr. Dorsey?
President Rattner: Do we have a problem? The School Board, I know, in the past has actually investigated, and I think they found that it wasn’t as big a problem as everybody made it out to be.
Ms. Labow: That’s not what they told me when I checked it out. They told me that….
President Rattner: Mr. Mund, you were part of it, what…..
Mr. Mund: Yes, it wasn’t that big of a problem.
Ms. Labow: They said it wasn’t, really, because….
President Rattner: They had investigators and everything else go and try to trace the people down.
Ms. Labow: Because when I asked about it last year, what I was told is they didn’t have the people on staff to investigate it and it was more of a truancy officer situation, where they actually have to go and check how many people live in each house.
Mr. Mund: Truancy is if the student is not attending the school.
Ms. Labow: That’s what I thought.
Mr. Mund: No…they monitor the…if they find where they get a question about a student, they then go and check it out, and we have not had that many in the High School or in the school system. A lot of them had to furnish papers saying they were the legal guardian of the person, and if, like the boy’s parents, they share custody, they do go to other places on weekends.
Ms. Labow: Right, so we don’t feel….
Mr. Guenther: Mr. President, can I make a suggestion? Can we, at a workshop, put it on the agenda, invite Mr. Wilpert in, and let him explain, because I brought this up at a Board of Health meeting. Let him explain what the procedures are that they use to monitor the situation.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else?
Mr. Buell: Number 13, I’m just looking at this and I read this, you did say West Morris Regional High School at 155 Flanders Netcong Road. Is this our High School? I have no idea why they would be….
President Rattner: Because it used to be West Morris, it used to be West Morris Mount Olive.
Mr. Buell: Is that maybe the problem with….we’re having with….
President Rattner: No. Okay, I have two…and actually just setting the tone a little bit different. These are compliments or good-news stories. One is number 4, we had a letter from the Village Green stating how impressed they were with the work being done on the repainting of the Village Green water tower. They said they were concerned, so I think people that were here knew we had concerns, too. It was a very big project, something that we really hadn’t attempted before, there weren’t many firms that do it. That was under, I guess the auspices of Mr. McGlynn in our Engineering Department who really coordinated it, and for the Village Green to give us a compliment, that’s in itself an accomplishment. So, we have a good-news story there and the President Rattner(cont’d): e-mail that we got from Sims, remember he was here on the Lutheran Social Ministries saying what he wanted to do, asking for some commitments from us for their senior housing, and they got the funding. They put it on the fast track, we did what we could to assist them, and they got it. I did send a letter, from the Council, immediately back to them stating how happy we were, congratulations on their success, and we look forward to working with them in the future.
Ms. Labow: I just want to ask one question for Mr. Casey, for the water tower. I think when we talked about having that water tower at Village Green repainted, it was also something set up that we were going to start doing the water towers throughout the community. Do you have the time schedule for that, or?
Mr. Casey: You have funded the engineering for the next tank, I believe it’s Camelot. I have proposals that have been submitted on that….I have proposals that will be probably before the governing body at their next meeting authorizing engineering contract for that second phase. So, the goal would be to have the engineering done and bid out so the tank can be painted probably mid year.
Ms. Labow: I have one other question. The firm that we used for the painting of the Village Green tank, I know there was a lot of discussion, I wasn’t on the Council at the time, but I was in the audience, and there was some concern that they came in so much lower than everybody else, but apparently they have done an extremely good job. Now, is this something that we…I know it’s going to sound like a silly question, but do we have to bid out each time for each tower, or could we keep one…..
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
President Rattner: It’s over the threshold, way over the threshold.
Ms. Labow: Yes, okay. So, we couldn’t put…..yes, I mean, we couldn’t retain them for a whole project.
President Rattner: That was the concern, I believe this is only the second large tank this one did, that was our major concern, they don’t have a lot of experience, they had one reference, I believe.
Ms. Labow: And they did really well.
President Rattner: Well, so far. As Mr. Casey said, because I asked him before the meeting, he said he needs the final engineering report, you know, until it’s done and completed and signed off on, you know, we’re hoping. So far everything has been going good.
Mr. Casey: Yes, I mean, the bottom line is the final report actually measures the millage on the tank, etc., and that’s really what I want to see, to make sure that they got millage and it’s even. From what I understand, everything is fine, but the final report will actually tell us that.
President Rattner: I asked Mr. Casey, he was non-committal. I told him I wanted to tell it because it was a good-news story, let’s at least publicize that.
Ms. Labow: Yes, no, no, I didn’t, I just wanted to know, so it starts all over for each one. Thank you.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: Now we come to our Ordinances for Public Hearing. I now open to the public on Ordinance #38-2004, entitled:
Ord. #38-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Revision to the Code of the
Township of Mount Olive, Part II General Legislation Chapter 76, Alarm Systems § 76
President Rattner: Would anybody from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance, at this time? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Guenther to move it.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #38-2004.
Mr. Buell: Second.
President Rattner: Is there any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #38-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. I now open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #39-2004, entitled:
Ord. #39-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing the Quarterly Sewer Usage
Fee for the Wyndham Pointe Sanitary Sewer System.
President Rattner: So this is the time, if somebody is here that would like to speak, come up and give your name and address again, for the record.
Paul Carbon, 17 Vista Drive, Flanders: This proposed ordinance, as I understand it, is for the sewage fee to be charged to the Wyndham Pointe community, is that correct?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Carbon: How did Council come up with the fee of approximately, I forget what it is….
Mr. Dorsey: Okay, it’s $164…..the answer to that is the township, as perhaps you know, operates two other sanitary sewer systems and has a Sanitary Sewer Department. The township, in the process of taking this system over, required Applied Wastewater that had been operating the system under some arrangement with Toll Brothers, but which was, as I understand it, free to you, provided to the township a series of its costs, such as the costs for chemicals, etc. used in the system. The CFO made a calculation as to the approximate amount of time that it would take, with township personnel, to operate the system. The system here in Wyndham Pointe is different than any other system within the township. The most distinctive part of this system that is different, is that every house has its own septic tank and those tanks have to be pumped out every three years. The range of costs, based upon the calculations which were made, i.e. cost experienced by Applied Wastewater, an allocation of costs of personnel from the township, which I think worked out to like one-half day a week, or half a week of a sewer operator, plus the cost for pumping these tanks out periodically, ranged up to $225 per house per quarter. The decision was made that we would apply here a much lower cost, the cost that is utilized on a quarterly basis for the Budd Lake Sanitary Sewer System. Now, in this township these utilities, water and sewer, are all self-liquidating utilities and they are tracked every year by…particularly by the Township Council, but they are tracked by the Township Council and the Administration to ascertain whether or not these systems are operating at below what it cost to operate them, or above the cost; and, from time to time, and on an annual basis, if appropriate, the township adjusts the rate. So, essentially the rate of $164, which is the rate in the ordinance, is at the very low range of projected costs, and the township will simply review that on an annual basis to see that this charge is an appropriate charge and neither too much or too little.
Mr. Greenbaum: I know nothing about sewers. I have to rely upon the information which is given to me and this is the way that I understood it. We base the charges upon what it costs to operate the system. You take the cost of the operation of the system, you divide by the number of users who are on the system, whether it’s in the Cloverhill treatment plant or the Budd Lake sewer plant or your plant. The way I understood it was that the true cost of what it’s going to take to operate that system is an undefined number at this point, although the estimates are higher than that which is proposed to be charged to the residents who are going to be using that system. That was my understanding of the information which was provided to me by both the CFO and the DPW Director.
Mr. Carbon: Who gave the estimates?
Mr. Dorsey: The CFO developed the primary estimate. She did that in conjunction with the Director of DPW, who interfaced with the people at Applied Wastewater that are currently operating your system.
Mr. Carbon: By my information, in addition to Wyndham Pointe, there is a Budd Lake and a Cloverhill.
Mr. Dorsey: That’s right, that’s what I said.
Mr. Carbon: The Budd Lake system costs approximately $656 a year for residents, and the Cloverhill approximately $436 per resident per year. You’re proposing that Wyndham Pointe pay $656, which would be the same thing as the Budd Lake, for the same expenses of the Budd Lake system, is that right?
Mr. Dorsey: It is true that the ordinance provides for the rate that is similar to Budd Lake, but the calculations as to the cost per house in Wyndham Point perhaps, because you’re only dealing with 89 homes, rather than 2,400 homes….
Mr. Carbon: We’re dealing 98 homes.
Mr. Dorsey: 98 homes, I’m sorry. Would actually produce, based upon our calculations, a higher rate than the Budd Lake system, but it was decided to take the Budd Lake rate, not because the costs are the same, but to have essentially two systems at the same level and, for the first year, to see how it works out in terms of cost.
Mr. Carbon: Did the town pay for the construction of the Budd Lake system?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes it did.
Mr. Carbon: And as part of the….
Mr. Dorsey: But wait a minute…let me guess ahead, that has nothing to do with the user charge in the Budd Lake system.
Mr. Carbon: The capital expense recoupment part of the fee to Budd Lake….
President Rattner: That’s an additional $750 that we pay per year, Budd Lake users pay, so they pay over….
Ms. Labow: Over $1,500 a year.
Mr. Dorsey: So the answer is the capital costs to construct the system for Budd Lake have nothing to do with the user charges that are charged on a quarterly basis.
Mr. Carbon: Okay. I just had my tanks cleaned out.
Mr. Dorsey: Good.
Mr. Carbon: Not too long ago, and it cost me $233.20.
Mr. Dorsey: You did that?
Mr. Carbon: I did and I paid for it and, by my calculation, they don’t have to do it again for three years, so that would mean that I spent approximately about $7 or $8 per month to clean out these tanks, so I want to know where the rest of this $656 is coming from?
Mr. Casey: If I might, let me give you some of the ideas of the cost, because I don’t think you understand your system.
Mr. Carbon: No, I understand the system, I know that there are other costs with the whatever…..
Mr. Casey: The plant.
Mr. Carbon: The plants are called, right.
Mr. Casey: What you have on your property is a primary settling tank, which basically…you know, you discharge your house effluent into it, the primary….all settle out, the effluent basically is pumped up to the system where there is a filter mechanism. The electrical costs that we have to operate that Applied Wastewater has is $21,000 a year for all the pumping. So there is $21,000 right off, just for the electrical cost. The cost of handling the sludge that comes out of the filters, not your sludge in your tank, but the sludge that comes off of the media filter, they’re showing right now that their sludge hauling cost is about $9,600 a year, one tank truck per month, which is like $800 per tank truck to remove that sludge out, take it to an incinerator to have it
Mr. Casey(cont’d): incinerated. They also show, for materials, belts, filters, all that other sort of stuff at the treatment plant, $5,000 to $6,000 a year. The area that we don’t know is true is that we are projecting that on all sewer plants you have to have a man seven days a week, to go there every day to make sure that, in fact, not your household system, but the treatment plant system, the pumps, the filter media, everything else is operating properly. That cost, we’ve estimated ten hours per week, you know, overall, because the guy has to travel around and we have a couple of guys who do nothing more than travel to our various pump stations. We probably have half a dozen pump stations in the Budd Lake system and three or four in the other one, and there is nothing more than a crew that travels from station to station. So, we factored that into this. So, the bottom line, as John has indicated, based upon the information that we got from Applied Wastewater, based upon their actual costs for running that system that they bill to the owner, we estimated a cost of about $72,000 a year, or close to $850 per household, that was a high side guess. The Council backed off from that and said no, let’s use the Budd Lake numbers to get a couple of years experience. In that estimate, we had assumed that a third of all….in other words, your tank…I’m glad you said that, we assumed every tank had to be pumped every three years, so we budgeted every year one third of the tanks being pumped….
Mr. Carbon: So the fee,
Mr. Casey: So the cost is a third, a third, a third.
Mr. Carbon: So the fee that the ordinance is proposing, includes the cleanout of the individual owner’s tanks?
Mr. Casey: Yes it does.
Mr. Dorsey: Going forward, going forward.
Mr. Carbon: So do I get my $233.20 back from the town?
Mr. Dorsey: I think that’s very interesting, because I think you might want to see Toll Brothers about that. The town….
Mr. Carbon: Why is that?
Mr. Dorsey: Why is that…because, from my perspective, I would have thought that Applied Wastewater would have taken care of that for you since they have been required to operate the system, as I understand it, without charge to you for the last three years. The township made a demand on Toll Brothers to pump out any tank for which a CO had been installed…for which a CO had been issued over three years ago, and our position was that you were going to pump those out so that you have fulfilled your maintenance obligations under your various bonds. Apparently, they’ve turned around and had you pump them out at your cost, but….
Mr. Carbon: Actually, the letter we got was from Applied Wastewater.
Mr. Dorsey: I think Applied Wastewater, frankly, has passed off to you an obligation that they should have assumed and taken care of.
Mr. Carbon: Okay.
Mr. Guenther: Well, the only thing I wanted to add, when the Budd Lake system came in, and I remember this distinctly, there was a gross underestimation of the monthly…of the quarterly charges, the maintenance charges, not the assessment. I mean, I pay $1,200/$1,300 a year between assessment and the usage charges, and we had a heck of a battle, here at the Council level, with the budget, when all of a sudden the numbers came in, we realized that the costs, because as Mr. Dorsey said, it has to be self liquidating, that we realized that the costs were so much higher and we had to increase them and, obviously, there was a human cry from the residents in Budd Lake about this.....I mean, it was approximately a 30% to 40% increase in one year, and in fact we went a little bit over because we figured, look, we don’t want to increase this for another three or four years, and we have so far been able to hold it at that level. So, we had some history to go by. I think the problem, as Mr. Dorsey pointed out and Mr. Casey pointed out, in this case we don’t have….the history we have is what Applied Wastewater Management gave us, and based on those estimates, you should be getting charged more. We’re now faced with the possibility that, by charging you possibly too little, that next year, we’re all of a sudden going to have to give you a large increase. There is a distinct possibility of that.
Mr. Carbon: That leads to my next question. How…on what basis will the town review the costs and whether it needs to be increased?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, it’s very simply, because annually the CFO and the township auditors, essentially the Township Accountant, review those numbers to determine whether or not each of these utilities is on a self-
liquidating basis. So, annually it will be checked.
Mr. Greenbaum: None of us up here want to charge any more than needs to be charged, in fact, you know, with what’s going on in Wyndham Pointe, we can’t…number one, and what’s going on in Wyndham Pointe right now is just an abomination, you know, with taxes.
Mr. Carbon: Oh, I was going to ask you whether you know something I don’t and I live there.
Mr. Greenbaum: No, we all recognize the situation that’s going on, you know, I’ve spoken to many of the residents in Wyndham Pointe and the unfortunate thing is that with the state of where commercial real estate is now in Morris County, there is nothing that can be done which is going to benefit the residents of Wyndham Pointe from that perspective. There is nothing that can be done, because a reevaluation at this point in time would not be beneficial to anybody but commercial property owners in town and it’s a very complicated thing which all of us would be happy to discuss with you and it takes much more time than I can devote here in three seconds, but believe me we are all very aware of the terrible situation up there and what people are paying in taxes. Now, from the standpoint of what is it going to cost to run the system? You know what, you obviously have taken your time to come here and to discuss this issue and I believe that it is in your best interest and the Administration’s best interest to sit down with Sherry and Tim Quinn, have one resident to understand the nuts and bolts of this all, where are costs coming from, how is it being attributed, how is it going to be looked at next year and I think that there should be some little sub-committee of both our CFO, our DPW Director who’s charged with actually running the system, and a resident of Wyndham Pointe who can actually understand the numbers, because only if you understand the numbers can you understand whether or not the true allocations are correct, whether or not you’re being over charged or under charged, and in fact if you are being over charged, I…you know, I would support a refund. You know, in other cases we haven’t supported a refund because we’ve used additional monies that have been collected to support capital projects related to those systems, and in eventuality what happens is that if we collected too much from a particular user in the Cloverhill section, we’ve now used that money rather than bonding to do the necessary improvements on that plant, we pay on a going forward basis, which actually saves the residents money by not having to incur interest cost. So, we always….each system is looked at individually in terms of how much does it cost to operate, how much are we collecting, are we collecting too much. Just recently we lowered rates, either on water or sewer…on both, because our analysis showed that the facts which we relied upon actually generated a lower number and we reduced it. We didn’t reduce it to the actual number, because we made the determination that rather than incur interest costs on needed capital improvements, we were going to do it on a going forward basis. So, we made the decision on behalf of the residents, as we have to all too often, because that’s what our charge is, to go that route and, you know, we could have probably reduced sewer charges by another couple dollars per month, but we decided that the upcoming improvements, which had to be done, were going to be done in a particular manner.
Mr. Dorsey: Now let me just say it’s going to be very easy to determine whether or not the rate that is set tonight will make the Wyndham Pointe Sanitary Sewer System self-liquidating because in the various charges, there is only one allocation and that’s the allocation of the sewer operator, his time at the plant, all of the other charges will be able to be traced and tracked directly to the operation of that system. As Mr. Casey has pointed out, there’s an electric bill that’s generated by the treatment system, there are the chemicals and those chemicals are used only at, or I guess most of them are used, only at Wyndham Pointe. So a year from now, I think it will be very easy to calculate whether this rate makes the system self-liquidating or not.
Mr. Carbon: So we have to make sure that the plant operator comes once a week and is actually operating the plant as opposed to…..
Ms. Labow: Every day, once a day.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, I mean the plant operator….I said to you….you don’t have to worry about that, it will be done by the Administration. I simply said that of all the costs that are involved, that go into this overall rate, there is only one that is perhaps, discretionary, or because it’s an allocation of time of an operator, the rest of them are charges that go directly to the system.
Mr. Carbon: Now, on an annual basis, determining whether the rate gets increased or lowered, does the town or does the Administration consider the costs of the other two systems in determining…..
Mr. Dorsey: No, they calculate those systems separately and independently of the Wyndham Pointe system. There are three distinct systems and there are significant differences in each of the systems, and they are
calculated based upon the cost involved in each system.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. Paul, being the proponent that’s pushed for the acquisition of the sewer systems, and my colleagues have all supported me on this over the past two years. Coming from the private sector, where I worked in water and sewer, if we’re looking at your rate, one of the things that the Council here has been proactive on doing is one of the largest major investors of water and sewer utilities in actually the world right now, RWE, who’s acquired Applied Wastewater Management who was running the system for you up there, tried to impose a rate increase to the residents of Mount Olive Township for something that the residents of Mount Olive Township had absolutely no benefit in, and I believe that was in Aberdeen where they had to pay for a sewer connection fee with the township of Aberdeen. So, an investor owned utility will turn around and will pass rate increase charges on to the entire users throughout the State, because they are under a master tariff. Here in the township, the Council has gotten together along with the Administration and looked at what the costs were. We got the plant for a nominal fee of a dollar, I believe it is, to transfer it over. We have to look at, as Mr. Casey said, the operation of the plant, the chemicals, the electric, the filters, when those need to be done. The rate, more than likely, will be higher, I can’t guarantee you that. Give me a second here. I can’t guarantee you that the rate is going to be higher, you won’t know that until you’ve run the plant for a year. I can guarantee you this, that had we taken the option of allowing Applied Wastewater to take this plant over, your rate would be going up next year, I guarantee you that.
Mr. Dorsey: And then they would be entitled to a rate of return, too.
Mr. Perkins: Well they are, under statute, entitled to a rate of return on their investment, so the Board of Public Utilities, the rate advocate’s office, would have granted them a rate increase to gain a profit on your system next year.
Mr. Carbon: Did the town do any inspection of the facilities before….by the way, has the town taken over this….
Mr. Dorsey: The answer to that….
Mr. Carbon: Hold on Mr. Dorsey. Has the town, in fact, taken over the operation of the system?
Mr. Dorsey: No, that’s supposed to have occurred December 1st, unless Mr. Casey has already taken it over.
Mr. Casey: We have not.
Mr. Dorsey: But this ordinance….the answer to it is that all aspects of the installation of that system was inspected and reviewed by the township engineer. It started under the developer’s agreement, Toll Brothers had to pay for his inspections, his inspections were necessary, and he had to be satisfied before the first CO would be issued. So, every aspect of the system, the plant, the lines, and the tanks themselves have been inspected as they have been installed.
Mr. Perkins: Also John, that we did a walk through on that plant this past year, so…that was physically inspected by the DPW Director, the Engineer, as well as, I believe, the Foreman for the Water and Sewer Department.
Mr. Carbon: Any inspection of the individual homeowner tanks?
Mr. Perkins: No, you normally would not inspect an individual tank, you may inspect a lateral while you’re there, but no one would be normally opening up the lid to take a look inside your tank.
Ms. Labow: Yes, I just want to ask two questions. Number one, I’m sorry, I forgot your last name.
Mr. Carbon: Carbon, Mr. Carbon.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Carbon. I wanted to know when you purchased your home, were you informed that this would occur at one point?
Mr. Carbon: We were.
Ms. Labow: You were, okay, that was my one question. The next question I had for Mr. Casey, when we take over the plant, will all the homes that closed three years prior, will we have certification that all the tanks have been emptied?
Mr. Casey: That’s a requirement that Mr. Dorsey has put in for the takeover is that we get certification from Applied Wastewater and Toll Brothers that, in fact, those tanks have been emptied.
Ms. Labow: So somebody like Mr. Carbon did it on his own, so they won’t have certification, so….
Mr. Casey: They’re going to have to some how give us the information that we need in order to insure that in fact that requirement has been met, whether it’s his statement or some other statement, they have to give us something.
Ms. Labow: Or they might have to pay him for that receipt, yes.
Mr. Carbon: How about the statement at the public hearing on the record.
Ms. Labow: No, make them pay you for the receipt. Thank you, that’s all I wanted to know.
Mr. Perkins: Colleen, just to echo for you, the Board of Health should have the record of whoever pumped out his tank.
Mr. Carbon: So, if some homeowners have not pumped out the tank and the town takes over, what happens then?
President Rattner: I think, basically, I know what the agreement is that if you moved into your house more than three years ago, or the CO was issued more than three years ago, the developer has to pump that tank before they turn it over to us. If it is less than three years, then it will be turned over and it will be the responsibility of our Water and Sewer Department to arrange that, that was the schedule you heard about one-third every year. The other thing I just want to reiterate, just so you know, there is a big variance in sewer charges, you can go from town to town. A few of us up here, I know four of us have them…Budd Lake sewer system, and we do. This year, it has been going down because of the interest, we had an additional assessment of $8,000 paid over 15 years, that was the capital cost, roughly $500 plus the interest this year, which is due December 1st, is in the area of $700, and then we have the six hundred and so dollars on top of that. Plus, obviously, we had to pay to seal our old septic, based on the town requirements, and put in the lateral, but we do pay. So, just if you’re looking at what we’re actually paying, because we had to pay the capital cost, which you are not, it was in the cost of your house, we are paying, no matter who’s house…it could be an $80,000 house, we’re paying about $1,300 and some change.
Mr. Carbon: Okay, thank you.
Ms. Labow: Great questions.
President Rattner: Yes sir, just come on up, give your name and address, it’s just for the record.
Sudhi Mukherjee, 33 Vista Drive: My questions are primarily directed towards Mr. Casey. I’m a wastewater engineer by profession, I do this for a living on a day to day basis. I think the system that we have in there is a passive treatment system that really wouldn’t need eight whole hours a week of an operator to come in there, that’s the first point. The second point is that you mentioned that the sludge goes to an incinerator, so where is the filter press and the belts coming in for maintenance and stuff like that? The third point is you based your estimates, or someone based their estimates on costs that were provided by a consultant who was running or a…..firm that was running our treatment system here, and why should we accept their numbers? They were working towards a profit, if they told you that they needed X pounds of certain chemicals in there, why would you think that they were being accurate in that estimation? I audit some of these systems and I often times find that their estimates are quite different from what, in reality, they might be using. Since the DPW has qualified engineers and we know the number of houses that are there and even the number of residents, it should be fairly easy for the DPW to come up with an accurate estimate of how much it should cost, and then maybe, in future years, adjust it if that estimate is wrong, but to start with to take an estimate from a consulting firm that’s for profit, I think is a wrong basis to start with.
President Rattner: Okay, sir, just so you know, I have experience too, I’ve been the past Chairman and current Vice Chairman of Musconetcong Sewage Authority, which is the regional sewage authority down by the Trade Zone. Your question, the sludge probably goes to either Parsippany or Passaic Valley, those are the two big ones in the area, but we didn’t take their numbers, and one of the things, and part of it was for our ease, and we did get some of our current Budd Lake sewer residents upset saying how come you’re giving them a discount, because we’re probably going to end up paying for it. That, we don’t think is going to happen. The Applied Wastewater, which is running, and they were doing it on a reimbursement or whatever, they built it, whatever, they wanted it, and they wanted it so they could charge it, and they had much higher rates. We came up with numbers that averaged in the middle $800’s per year, which is over $200 per quarter. When we looked at it, we said for the difference in amount, and we really didn’t know, it would make it a lot simpler, there’s economies to scale, if we only have two rates, rather than go to three, our code requires….if you look in our township code, which you can look on line, it states that the review has to be completed by November 1st of every year. That is completed by that date, and it was completed at the end of October what we had for our two systems, so that we can adjust the rates when we do the budgets for the next year, because we have to do it a year in advance. So, what we felt….it was a fair rate, we also know what other towns are. It could be a little bit higher, it could be a little bit lower. The odds are it’s going to be higher, we really don’t know. You also know that the requirement by the DEP and the permitting agencies, are that each facility has to be inspected each day. Now, how long does a person have to be in the pump station, it could be 15 minutes, it could be 20 minutes, it could be longer, if there’s a problem. They still have to drive there. If you have one person driving around and he can inspect eight pump stations in a day, that’s an average of an hour a day, because he has to go to one, he has to do the reports, you know the reports, the things have to be logged, the different chemicals, the numbers that come off the gauges have to be recorded, because if you miss a couple of those, or misinterpret a couple of numbers, you end up with fine. So, that’s where it is, and 10 hours a week, and again we said that’s the allocation. The other thing is a direct cost. Ten hours a week is not the major cost when we’re talking $80,000. We heard that the electricity is $21,000 alone. Electricity, you know, electrical power is probably not going to go down, chemicals have continued to go up in price, I know because I’m opening bids at the sewer plant on a regular basis, and so we’re just looking. We think it’s a reasonable rate. If anything we erred on the low side, and that’s what we’re wrestling with, because if we have to come back to you next year…nobody likes changes. If we say hey listen, it was $800, we’re raising it another $50 a quarter, you’re going to be right back here again saying how did we get so….how were we off so much.
Mr. Mukherjee: So, if an engineer were to do an engineer’s report on the O&M cost for the system, you would still come up $656 or, you know, $650 or whatever?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, we think we have erred on the low side, having spent some time studying what these costs are, but the beauty of this system is it’s a self-contained system serving 98 homes, a year from now we’re going to know exactly what it costs.
Mr. Mukherjee: Yes, I certainly hope so.
President Rattner: Just so you know, one other thing, we’ve put off, because of the negotiations…I guess we’ll call it negotiations with the developers, they wanted us to take it over two years ago. In fact, Mr. Perkins first proposed the ordinance, what, about a year and a half, two years ago. So, by us not taking it until we were sure we had all the I’s dotted, the T’s crossed, to make sure we knew what we were getting into, that our people are actually trained, we actually put off probably about two years of you paying for your sewer usage. That’s a fact. Where we could have taken it over two years ago and we just kept refusing, and one of the reasons is that we didn’t want to get involved in it right away.
Mr. Mukherjee: Okay, I guess that’s all I have. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you. Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, 50 Budd Lake Heights Road, Budd Lake: I have heard this evening that it is the general belief of quite a few of the people on this committee, that the expected costs to operate this system over the next year will be approximately $850 per resident, is that correct?
Mr. Dorsey: No, that’s not a fair statement.
Mr. Bonte: Well, Mr. Rattner said the mid $800’s, I believe Mr. Casey said $856 and that we lowered the rate to $656. Weren’t those words just spoken here?
President Rattner: Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: You know what, Rich, they’re based upon estimates, tank cleaning. Tank cleaning may not happen, we don’t know the number.
Mr. Bonte: My question is, because I believe I already know the answer, but I want everybody in this room to hear the answer. What happens if it costs more money to operate this system, than you charge for it, under the self-liquidation law?
Mr. Dorsey: It will all have to be adjusted after the one year of operation.
Mr. Bonte: What happens in calendar year 2005, where does the money come from to pay for the system?
Mr. Dorsey: It will eventually have to come from this system.
Mr. Bonte: Mr. Dorsey, is it not correct that if the system operates at a deficit in calendar year 2005, that the monies to pay for the operation of the system come from the general budget?
Mr. Dorsey: Well, that’s not true….
Mr. Casey: If I might, the sewer utility operates as a single entity, so all three plants are in the same sewer utility. If, in fact, this estimate should prove to be off slightly, that money will still come out of the general sewer utility, it will not come from the general fund. So basically, even though we internally account for each of the systems separately, from a financial accounting standpoint, it will all be included within the sewer utility and we operate off of that one large funding pot.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, so, in the event that this costs more than $650 a year, possibly users of the Flanders or Budd Lake facility could be subsidizing this facility.
President Rattner: Absolutely, but not for long.
Mr. Bonte: Okay. That’s a correct statement. Now, my next statement is….now my next question is, if all the systems operate at a deficit and the utility operates at a deficit, where does that money come from, Mr. Casey?
Mr. Casey: If, in fact, we operate as a deficit, we must, by law, use general fund money which has not happened in the last five years, that I’m aware of.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, so at the risk of being shot by the people in this room, the point I want to make is that if this rate is too low, those of us, who don’t even have water and sewer, are going to be paying for this water and sewer utility. So I believe that the Council is giving the users of this system a bargain at this point in time, and that’s the point I want to make…..
Several people of the audience: Inaudible.
President Rattner: Okay, come on, come on, come on we don’t allow conversation from the audience. If you want to say something, you can get up there at the public portion and speak.
Mr. Bonte: The point I am….the point I am trying to make is that I believe that the users of this system are getting a good deal, nobody comes…..the township does not come to my house when I need my septic system pumped out, I absorb that bill myself. So, the fact that I might possibly be subsidizing these systems, concerns me, but I’m willing to along with it for a year, but I do believe that this rate, from everything that I’ve heard tonight, is probably lower than it will cost to operate this system for the first year and you that you should go forward with this rate and everybody in this room should be happy with that. Thank you.
President Rattner: Just to also add a comment to Mr. Bonte. Since we set up the utility, we have been running at a surplus, we have a fund balance in there to cover any unexpected items. That’s why, when the surplus…..when we started seeing it was getting too high, we lowered rates. I believe the sewer rates were lowered 10%, the water rates something lower than that. We also, we look at each year, when we have to make improvements or major repairs or upgrades, when we can, we use the surplus rather than borrowing money and continue forward to make it a lot more flexible. The study we have just done shows the course that we are on is that, hopefully, we will not have to raise rates for at least another two or three years, and that’s a conservative President Rattner(cont’d): figure, because we don’t have increasing revenues in there. So, it is there and yes, if one year one runs a little high and one runs a little bit low, but we still have allocations in there, so there’s a little bit in there that’s really nebulous, but we don’t see any problem. We’re talking about a relatively small operations, we’re talking about $80,000 / $90,000 in a sewer utility that’s probably up around $4 million, so it’s really a very very small part. We also have to do what’s practical and whether certain things are average, we’ll be looking at the allocation, we’ll be looking at the costs, and we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen mainly with the energy and the chemical costs, and there could be upgrades. The DEP sets down new parameters, one of the big ones is how much phosphate you could have in any outflow, and to clean that up is, I think, is what’s scaring most sewer operates. The engineer probably knows about that. The phosphate regulations mean a water treatment plant may have to go back onto a sewer plant. There’s not much we could do, the State is putting that down, and the final thing is we all agree, the property tax situation, funding everything on property taxes, which has no real bearing on the ability to pay, is not a good idea and is raising havoc through the entire State and, hopefully, with the constitutional convention that they’re putting together that’s some sort of relief, I don’t have much hope, will come out of that. I still remember Brendan Byrne, when he was Governor, where he shut down the schools and he said that we’re going to have an income tax and eliminate the property taxes, and we got both. Okay, anybody else on this ordinance? Yes sir.
Victor Jara, 15 Vista Drive: I’ll make this quick. A couple of points here I would like to make. The first point being a follow up. One of the Council members mentioned a proposal or the possibility of creating a committee, having one of the residents participate actively in understanding the nuts and bolts of what’s going on, and actually being an advocate back to the community to communicate the bottom line number. I personally appreciate that idea, I hope the Council will seriously consider it and put it up for consideration, and we, as the neighborhood residents, will definitely elect one of our representatives to participate.
Mr. Greenbaum: Any time that someone wants to know the numbers, I will facilitate, through the Mayor’s office, a meeting with….I’m sure the Mayor would be more than happy to do the same, to facilitate a meeting with the DPW Director and Sherry to go through the numbers. I’m sure….just give a call…give a call to the Mayor’s office, I’m sure he would be happy to set it up, or to me if you have a problem getting it done through the Mayor’s office. It will get done and I think it’s a good idea.
Mr. Jara: Absolutely, I think it will put a lot of people at ease as well as our residents in Budd Lake with their concerns that they would be subsidizing, because that’s also our concern is that the fees that we generate, if that creates a surplus, will that be used to subsidize another services, and self-sustaining is probably in the best interest of everybody. That’s the first point. The second point is the fee has been briefly discussed here and it’s been talked about what will be covered, the pumping situation and what was expected of Toll Brothers, is there any way the residents can get a comprehensive schedule of what we can expect for the money we’re paying? For example, definitively laying out that the pumping will be covered as part of this service, as well as some of our residents that live in a lower lying section, they actually have a mechanism called an ejector pump, which is part of their holding tank, will that be covered, will that not, it’s unclear. There’s a lot of unknowns with regard to what the resident’s responsibility will be versus what the township will be providing, and we would like some answers on that.
Ms. Labow: That’s a good idea.
President Rattner: Mr. Casey, did you know about that…about the grinder, we call them grinder pumps?
Mr. Casey: I would assume that John, well he’s gone, is covering this in the developer’s agreement. We are assuming, in our cost, that we will pick up the grinder pumps. The reason for that is we’ve capitalized replacing a couple of those every year, you know, again, in our cost out estimate, because we know those have a shelf life, so right now, the way this is written, I think the town is assuming responsibility at the point that your sewage discharges into the tank.
Mr. Jara: Very good. Can we get a definitive answer on that, though, I mean other than the record here, which we could always refer to, obviously I know there’s a lot of my fellow residents who were not able to make it here today, that would be put at ease by understanding where they stand on the situation.
Ms. Labow: I agree with what you’re saying, I think that the Administration should send out a mailing to every single resident stating what’s going on and clear….and invite everyone to, you know, to call for questions, because otherwise it’s just word of mouth and one person’s interpretation, but if you have a hard copy document, you have something to refer to.
Mr. Jara: Exactly, that’s what we’re looking for.
Ms. Labow: That’s an excellent idea. Mr. Casey, we can…..
Mr. Casey: We will send that statement out probably at the same time we send out the first bill, because then we’ll have an accurate list of everybody. So, when we get our….Sherry, when we go to mail out that first invoice, we’ll put a cover statement in it.
Ms. Jenkins: That was actually going to be one of my questions. I need to know when the billing is going to start and what timeframe that’s going to cover.
President Rattner: When do we bill now?
Ms. Jenkins: We normally bill February, May, August, November.
Mr. Dorsey: We’re not….wait a minute, we’re not going to bill until we get the deeds and the title policy from Toll Brothers, and we’re not going to bill….we’re not going to fully take over until we are satisfied that either they have pumped all the tanks for which CO’s were issued in the last three years, or we have deducted from their escrows or their security deposits, sums to reimburse us for that.
Ms. Jenkins: So, will you let me know, Mr. Dorsey, when we’re ready to go?
Mr. Dorsey: I will advise you, I will keep you in touch.
Mr. Casey: The bottom line is, when we mail out that bill, if we don’t do it beforehand, but at that point, we will have a definitive list of all the properties, we will also provide a statement as to exactly what services are covered under that bill…that sewer system.
Mr. Jara: Okay, well….
President Rattner: Especially a telephone number when the grinder pump breaks.
Mr. Jara: Right. Let me tell you this, my payment will be contingent on that schedule, how’s that? The last point, and probably the most importantly for the township as well as all the residents, is you may not be aware, or you may be aware of the historical problems that this system has incurred, to some extent, with the Toll Brothers and the builders. You mentioned you did a walk through, or you mentioned you did some basically kicking the tires of the system, I highly recommend a much more thorough analysis before you accept those deeds. Two situations which I’ll clearly point out to you…one, a resident has repeatedly had problems with his ejector pump, whether or not it’s a problem with how it was installed or how it has been maintained…..
Mr. Dorsey: Do we have the address?
Mr. Jara: Eleven….
President Rattner: Don’t do it publicly.
Mr. Jara: Okay. Yes, I will give you that address.
President Rattner: If you would provide the information to the Clerk, I would rather do it that way.
Mr. Jara: I sure will. Another situation, which you should definitely be aware of and perhaps it’s unfortunate the Health guy that….with all the problems…isn’t here, I know of one situation where a holding tank was not unplugged to feed into the leach field and into the pump….
President Rattner: And usually you find out fairly quickly.
Mr. Jara: Yes, well, unfortunately they passed the initial cost, which they stipulated was only due to a lack of pumping, to the homeowner, as a pumping charge. The second time it happened, she called in her own company and they went in there, in biohazard suits, and took pictures of a….the escape being plugged in, and actually the way she noticed is she did have a biological hazard, really, overflow on her front lawn. So, things like that, the township needs to really address before you accept to inherit these headaches.
President Rattner: I would just ask that if you have, or any of the residents, have a specific problem, you know, and can point us to a specific area, we definitely want to know that, because that’s why it’s taking so long, we want to make sure that everything is in proper shape before we take it over.
Mr. Dorsey: We’re working towards December 1st.
Mr. Jara: Yes, that’s pretty tight. Well, as I said, I mean, unfortunately, I don’t know where all the bodies lie, but I know enough to tell you that you need to take a hard look, because the cost is going to be passed back to us and I don’t really want to absorb that.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Rattner,
Mr. Jara: I’m sorry….I have one of my neighbors that had to leave, ask me for a couple of questions here. With regard to access roads to the pumping stations, that is township property, I believe?
Mr. Dorsey: It will be, the sewer plant is going to be on a track of land being deeded to the township.
Mr. Jara: Okay, and the maintenance of that will fall within the sewer subsidy or the….
President Rattner: Water and Sewer Department.
Mr. Jara: It will, so is it…..
President Rattner: Another couple of hours a week.
Mr. Jara: Now, right…well, perhaps maybe you take over, you might want to take a look at that, because there’s a lot of soil erosion, the roads are dirt at this point and they’re not holding up, the landscaping is deteriorating around the pumping stations.
President Rattner: I see Mr. Casey taking furious notes.
Mr. Jara: Well, because, you know, we paid enough for these houses, I’d like Toll to pick that up before we have to pick it up in our taxes. Thank you.
President Rattner: We agree with you. Thank you very much.
Ms. Labow: The things that this gentleman has told us, I don’t know, maybe it would be prudent for the township, instead of just waiting to see which residents will come forward if we have the staff call each resident and ask if their satisfied and if they have any problems. I know John’s having a fit here, but that would be something I think you should do, that’s what I’d want to have done. I’ll make the calls.
Mr. Casey: This system has been in operation long enough that other than the erosion problems, most of those things will have already sorted out.
President Rattner: Okay, we’ve got a volunteer to make the calls.
Ms. Labow: I’ll make the calls.
Mr. Jara: Well, obviously, they haven’t had it all sorted out because the situation with the plugged…escape tank was just diagnosed a week and a half ago, and that’s after she paid to have it pumped out, which is how Toll Brothers diagnosed her problem initially, and actually blamed her, so they charged her for it.
Ms. Labow: See, this is the kind of thing that, you know, like when I was on the other side of the dais, the thing that would really annoy me is when something like this was happening, that the town just doesn’t ask the residents. Who better knows than the residents who are there, and I think that it’s only prudent, whether anybody agrees or disagrees with me, I think we should ask each individual resident how the system is operating with them. That’s my opinion.
Mr. Casey: If I might, the real problem with this system has nothing to do with these residents, it has to do
Mr. Casey(cont’d): with the fact that it’s a membrane system, and the real problem is at the other end. Every one of the problems they’re eluding to are minor compared to the issues and the concerns we have relative to the filter membranes on the other end and I would never have approved the membrane system up there, but that’s something the town did years ago, period. It’s going to be a monster system to maintain over the years.
President Rattner: Thank you. Anybody else like to comment on this? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Perkins to move it, since he wanted it.
Mr. Perkins: I will never deny that I think the township needs to own and maintain a substantially lower rate than an investor owned utility would be. Thank you, Mr. President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #39-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #39-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish a notice of adoption as required by law. The next item on the agenda, I open to the public hearing is Ordinance #40-2004, entitled:
Ord. #40-2004 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement Chapter 400 Entitled “Land Use”, Section 99.1 Entitled “Docks, Piers and Boathouses” [Ordinance No. 5-98]
President Rattner: Is there anybody here to speak on this ordinance? Yes sir.
Ms. Labow: Thank you for coming everyone.
President Rattner: We’ll just wait about thirty seconds, this way we can all hear you.
Rick Tritt, 48 Madison Avenue: In regards to the new safety regulations that are being added to piers and docks and boathouses, which I guess are being added to the April 20th, 1993…..revision, or whatever?
Mr. Dorsey: Yes.
Mr. Tritt: What kind of timeframe do we have in order to implement the new safety regulations?
Ms. Labow: Are they in there?
President Rattner: Well, I think the ordinance says that we expect docks out, you know, December 1st. The first year as we implement it, we’re going to have to give more time. What we want to do is make sure that the docks that should be taken out of the water, taken out before the ice, because you know how much broken up stuff is around. I assist with the cleanup twice a year, taking out the pieces of wood, but one of the big things that we do want to see done before the lake freezes is the markers, because when we have snow on the lake, and we have more and more people using the lake, if the docks are still in the water, sometimes you really can’t see them. So, we’re asking, especially the first year, I don’t there’s going to be any strict enforcement. If we find there’s a problem, you will probably get a letter, based on the owner of record, the address, saying this is the ordinance. We’re asking that once this gets passed that anybody, based on the tax map, will get a copy of the ordinance so at least they’re aware of it. We’ll have to give them a reasonable amount of time from the receipt of that. Why, how much time do you think is required?
Mr. Tritt: I’m not quite sure. I’m curious, who’s going to make a determination as to who has to pull their docks and who doesn’t have to pull their docks, and what could be left in and what can’t be left it?
President Rattner: Well, I think the ordinance there is that, because that’s very difficult, it’s not really determining it, because, you know, to try to say what’s permanent and what isn’t, it’s just that if it’s in there we want it marked so if it breaks apart, it can be identified, at least the main sections, and if it’s in the water when it freezes and it’s used for winter recreation, that it is marked appropriately, so we don’t have people either on ice boats, ice skating, or ATV’s that run into it.
Mr. Tritt: Okay.
President Rattner: I would imagine, and Mayor I’m sure your department, you know, your Zoning Department is not going to go after anybody. It’s going to be an education process for the first year.
Mr. Tritt: Yes, see, I have no problem marking docks, I think it’s a good idea, just wasn’t quite sure what kind of timeframe we have or when we have to have it done.
President Rattner: Well, the ordinance I think says December 1st, this year it’s not going to happen, because even if it gets passed tonight, there’s still the 20 days it has to be advertised, and everybody has to be notified. We’re not going to expect anybody to know what’s going on. If we can start making some progress toward it, and at least then we’ll have it. Nobody is going to get zinged this winter, as long as they make good effort, if they’re asked to do something.
Ms. Labow: The answer to the question is April 1st to put anything back in, they should have them all marked and ready to go. So, the answer to his question, by April 1st realistically, because that’s four months from now.
President Rattner: Yes, but the real reason for the ordinance was really the winter.
Ms. Labow: Right.
President Rattner: That was the real purpose.
Mr. Tritt: Mainly for just winter and that’s it?
President Rattner: What?
Mr. Tritt: Mainly just for the winter period?
President Rattner: Well, it was because the ice breaks up the docks, which causes problems, and the fact of the markings, I mean, it’s a good idea to have the markings, because we have people do boating without a lot of lights, so if there is a little bit of reflector or something, that’s why we have summer reflector, you know, reflector in the winter.
Mr. Tritt: Alright, thank you.
President Rattner: Sure. Anybody else from the public here to speak on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Greenbaum to move it.
Mr. Greenbaum: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #40-2004.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #40-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of the adoption as required by law. Now I’ll open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #41-2004, entitled:
Ord. #41-2004 An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement an Ordinance Entitled “An Ordinance to Amend and Supplement an Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Implementing the Emergency Services Volunteer Length of Service Award Program” (Ord #27-2001).
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public here to address this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Buell to move it.
Mr. Buell: I move Ordinance #41-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #41-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I now open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #42-2004, entitled:
Ord. #42-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive for Public Contracting (“Pay-to-Play”) Reform.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public want to discuss this ordinance at this time?
Mr. Bonte: This ordinance, I believe, only applies to professional business entities, is that correct?
Mr. Casey: Correct.
Mr. Bonte: Is there a reason why we limited it to professional business entities, and not all business entities that conduct business with the township?
President Rattner: I actually questioned the same thing, I also said about a lot of the union money that has flowed in, especially if we have two union contracts up this year, but this is what has been proposed at this point. I believe that if we’re talking about the money, it should be all the different sources that could have any type of influence. That would be all business entities, that would be unions, because union money which has, in past years, has flowed in very heavily, and I think most of the Council is in support of that. Mr. Buell and Ms. Labow want to just go forward and I’ll let them speak with this.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I’m very much in support of what Steve is saying, but the question is enforceability. How do you enforce…..this really is enforced by saying a professional cannot practice in the town…not do work for the town, how do you stop a business from doing business in the town? We have no control over that and so you’ve got to look at it from that standpoint.
Mr. Bonte: Any business that does business with the township, that shouldn’t be too difficult to determine whether or not they’ve made contributions to anybody that’s running for office, whether the business is a lawyer, or a bank, or an insurance broker, or a supplier of road salt, or anything else, it should be very….we know who our vendors are and we can go to the candidates documents that they have to file and determine whether or not contributions have been made by people who do business with the town. I don’t think this goes far enough. I don’t believe that anybody should be conducting any….anybody that conducts business with the township should be donating any money to anybody that runs for township office, or is engaged as part of the township, whether he be an employee, an officer, an administrator, it’s all a conflict of interest. There’s only one reason why people do this, only one reason. We all know what that reason is. So, I don’t think you should pass this ordinance this evening and it’s not because I’m not in favor of what you want to accomplish, I don’t think this goes far enough, and I don’t like the language for example on page 2 that states “or otherwise contractor procured services including banking services/relationships or insurance coverage services. It’s either everybody or it’s a few people. Once you start saying including, you make special cases out of this. You know, adding a clause that says “but not limited to”, would accomplish it, but you know….if we’re talking about everybody, you don’t need to single out specifics, it’s everyone. So…and I strongly disagree with the dollar amounts also. It shouldn’t be allowed, it’s as simple as that. If you do business with this town, you have no business donating to anybody that’s running for office, whether they’re incumbent or new, because there’s only one reason why you’re doing that, and there’s an implied reason for the donation, then it shouldn’t be allowed and I think we should take the lead in this state to move forward and stop it. So, my recommendation would be take this back to the committee and tighten it up. Thank you.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Bonte, please stay right there, because I’m going to probably ask you a question. First I want to ask Mr. Dorsey, by law can we restrict how much money somebody is going to give, like tell them no money whatsoever?
Mr. Dorsey: I mean, I think that involves very heavy duty questions involving freedom of speech, the first amendment, and this ordinance is simply patterned after ordinances or statutes that have been developed at the State level, thereby, making the assumption that you must permit a certain amount of political contributions to Mr. Dorsey(cont’d): be made, but restricting the extent of those contributions.
Ms. Labow: Okay, that’s what I thought, and the next thing I want to say to Mr. Bonte is the State does have a “pay-to-play” statute in the works that they’ve sort of tabled for right now. The reason why we wanted to go forward with it, is to make a statement and also to see what the State is going to come up with, because we may have….ours might be stronger than theirs or ours might be weaker, so this might….we might have to adhere to what they come up with, but I do agree with you, there should be….there’s a few areas that might be tightened up. The other thing that we wanted to say to you is that when I was at a debate situation with the Daily Record, in the Freeholder campaign, the question came up about “pay-to-play” and Colleen, I forget what her last name is, she was a reporter, she had told us how she had been doing a study, and what they found on a County level that organizations who gave campaign contributions to candidates, that were in a bidding situation where they had to go out to bid, only 10% of them actually got the job, but on the other hand, professional services, who contribute heavily to the campaigns, over 50% of those professional services did get jobs with the County. So, there’s a huge gap there, so you have a little bit of control in there when you have the companies going out to bid, but the question I wanted to ask you, you talk about like, for instance, if you had somebody who owned a luncheonette, you don’t feel that they should be able to contribute at all the a campaign?
Mr. Bonte: I don’t believe that their business should be permitted, if their business did business with the township of Mount Olive. In other words, you can’t stop anybody that’s in business from making donations to campaigns if they’re not involved with the business of this town. I’m not proposing that, but I do believe that if you are engaged in conducting business with the township on an official basis, you have no right, or should have no right, to donate to the campaigns of people who will ultimately make…..be influential in making certain decisions.
Ms. Labow: So, if you….for instance, I don’t want to pick anybody out, I’m just going to do an XYZ kind of thing. If you have a pizzeria number A and they have a contract with the town, whatever you call it, where the road crew, or whatever, eats and they bill the town directly, that’s somebody…then you’re saying that they should not make a campaign contribution.
Mr. Bonte: I would agree, yes. If the township is paying, out of township funds, for something from pizzeria A, you know, ABC, yes I agree that pizzeria ABC should be forbidden from donating to any campaigns in the township, it’s very clear. You know, this is very easy to do, when you don’t start drawing rules and limits, it’s either you can or you can’t.
Ms. Labow: To be honest with you, I agree with you and I had not thought of that, and I want to come back to a point I believe you had made it several times, is that when we have the first reading of an ordinance, nobody can come up and talk about it, and now…..
Mr. Bonte: Because we can’t talk at a first reading….
Ms. Labow: I know, and I think we should be able to.
Mr. Bonte: And you know, we really should…..I believe that we should encourage public participation at the first reading, so that before it gets to the second reading, the comments can be in, because what happens is…oh, it’s going to cost too much to advertise, well let’s go ahead with this now and we’ll correct later….that’s not the right way to do the laws. It should be a comment period at the first reading.
Ms. Labow: Well, I would like to….can we change this? Why can’t we change that?
President Rattner: No. Substantive change…you can’t, you have to start all over again, you know that.
Ms. Labow: No, no, no, I mean why can’t the public make comments on the first reading instead of waiting until the second reading, and now we’re at the…..
Mr. Dorsey: Well, they usually do.
President Rattner: The first reading is to advertise it and that’s how you get it posted, so you say you’re having a public hearing. How is he going to let the people know?
Ms. Labow: But if someone is here and they want to make a comment on it…..
Mr. Greenbaum: We have a public portion period.
Mr. Guenther: There’s a public portion where they can comment.
Ms. Labow: Alright, so during the public portion period, they can come up and talk.
President Rattner: They can speak any subject…..
Mr. Guenther: And they’ve done it. Rich, you’ve done it many times.
Mr. Bonte: I’ve done it, yes, but I didn’t think it would be appropriate at the time….but that’s an issue for another day. You know, I want to stay focused on this. I personally believe that this ordinance is flawed, it doesn’t go far enough and we need to…..and you know what, I abhor all the lawsuits that have gone on in this town, but if Mount Olive was sued by somebody who wanted to donate, as a result of our very strict ordinance, I would welcome that suit. I’d want to see that suit in the papers, because I’ll guarantee you, we would probably win and we might set a standard for this State, because the State obviously can’t clean this up, even with it being in the headlines every day and all the talk of revising “pay-to-play” they’re doing nothing. So, let’s take it upon ourselves. A lot of things don’t happen in this State, unless they happen at the bottom level and work their way up.
Mr. Greenbaum: Don’t go anywhere. You know, you yourself have created an artificial line that you have spoken so eloquently against. There is nothing in your version or, you know, that you’ve put on the table which prohibits somebody who doesn’t do business with the town, such as an engineering firm who’s looking to get business with the town but currently doesn’t do business, from now contributing. The bottom line is that there are a lot of issues involved here, because contributions – direct, indirect, so on and so forth, it just is not possible to draft the ordinance that fits every situation which will, for lack of a better term, resolve all of the issues that are attendant to campaign contributions, there just is no way. For instance, if somebody wanted to make a contribution to the Democratic or Republican party, they’re entitled to do that in Morris County. Morris County is entitled……the Democratic and Republican committees are then entitled to make contributions back. Again, Mr. Dorsey got into free speech issues. When you start eliminating someone’s right to make contributions, whether or not it’s the principal of engineering firm Y who does no business with the township, but would like to do business, he’s entitled to make a contribution consistent with the laws of the State of New Jersey. There are a lot more issues here than one could deal with in a statute or an ordinance like this. Really, I think I applaud Jim and Colleen’s effort to get something on the table. It brings us one step further in terms of the direct contributions. You’re never going to resolve it, there is no perfect ordinance, there is no ordinance which is ultimate……and I think they struggle with this at the State level, you know, because all of these issues are debated back and forth. So, I’m not sure you ever get there, Rich.
Mr. Bonte: Well, the only proposal that I would ever see that could work is that no money can come from anywhere out of the jurisdiction you live in. In other words, only residents of the town can donate to Mount Olive campaigns, only residents of the County can donate to County campaigns, only residents of the State can……because anything from the outside means somebody’s looking for influence, that they’re really not entitled to.
Mr. Greenbaum: What you’re telling me is that my parents can’t contribute to my campaign.
Mr. Bonte: That, I would think, would be wonderful.
Mr. Guenther: Yes, but then they’re from out of town.
Ms. Labow: But they don’t live in town.
Mr. Bonte: That’s what I’m saying, they couldn’t contribute, because they’re from out of town. In other words, unless you are part of that jurisdiction, you can’t donate to that campaign. I would think that would clean up a lot of the problems.
President Rattner: Okay, Mr. Guenther, then the Mayor wanted to say something.
Mr. Bonte: But that’s another issue. I just would like to see this expanded.
Mr. Guenther: I agree….there’s one thing that I agree with Rich on here is that…I don’t understand…..I can understand you’re trying to draw the line of a professional….you’re calling a professional, in other words, a
Mr. Guenther(cont’d): professional that you’re hiring for a service, but I don’t see how you’re putting banking and insurance in there and no other businesses. Banking and insurance is a business, just as the luncheonette is, just as Tilcon that does a lot of work for us, County Concrete that does….you know, these are corporations that do a lot of work for the township…..
Mr. Bonte: This is my point, Mr. Guenther.
Mr. Guenther: You’re not prohibiting them from contributing. Why should these particular entities be singled out versus those corporations who do a heck of a lot of business with this town?
Mr. Bonte: I couldn’t agree with you more, Mr. Guenther. That’s why I said I think it should cover every business entity that does business with this township.
Mr. Guenther: And if you can’t enforce it, tough luck.
Mr. Bonte: Whether it be the pizza place, the gas station, Tilcon, Mr. Dorsey, anyone.
Mayor De La Roche: Well, I just want to say I agree with you, Mr. Bonte, and I also think the ordinance doesn’t go far enough, but I just want to interject here that I have already stated I consider the Democratic Party and the Republican Party to be special interest also, since they have the same reason for wanting to put people in office.
Mr. Bonte: Can I sit down now? This is a first.
Ms. Labow: Oh, he’s asking to sit down, uh oh.
President Rattner: Yes, you can sit down. I just want to tell you that when this did come up, the first thing I did ask, and I just went back through everybody’s papers and said at least start off with everybody who had contributions from anybody and I asked that that be put in, and it came up in a draft, and it wasn’t….it was just on this in a model. It was also interesting that the model they used, which came from the town from Mine Hill, has decided to postpone it. They postponed at least the public hearing that they did have, I believe, last week or early this week……
Ms. Labow: A couple weeks ago.
President Rattner: And they’re putting it off, because they wanted to review what the new Governor has just stated and the report forward. I think it’s very very important and how can you differentiate, you know, if you say a business, you know, an engineer individually or an engineering company, you have to look there. I mean, obviously, unions are special interests and I’m not going to say that the Democratic Party or the Republican Party had, you know, has a corner on special interest, it’s just that certain special interests, tend, at least historically, to be on different sides, and just to pick one side, especially in Morris County, to me seems like it was done on, you know, for a specific purpose, but that said, this is at least something. I mean, if you have a problem and you have four holes that you’re trying to plug, and at least you plug one of them, you slowed it down, and then you start working on the next. So, I wouldn’t, plus I think….I just couldn’t say, is it wrong that professionals give large amounts of money - you better believe it; business – you better believe it; unions – you better believe it, but I’m not going to vote no on one, because the other two….and I said then we’ll just get that other one in, I think it should have been in there from the beginning, since it was brought up, that it should have been put in, it wasn’t, we also don’t…..
Ms. Labow: I thought that it was going to be added in.
President Rattner: What?
Ms. Labow: I thought that it was going to be added in, when you mentioned it.
President Rattner: Well, who presented the ordinance and who had it changed? Who’s ordinance was it?
Ms. Labow: It was ours, but I thought we mentioned it that night that it was going to be changed.
President Rattner: We’re asking just to come in to try to get everything, but whatever, it’s not there. I think this is at least one, it happens to hit one side more than the other, because of a special, you know, the interest that may have come, but going back, I couldn’t find any of those large…at least anybody sitting up here, large President Rattner(cont’d): contributions for years and it shouldn’t be. So, with that, is there anybody else from the public?
Dave Jones, Route 46, Budd Lake: I’m unclear on this. I hope you can clear it up. Does this…as far as….it just includes professionals and it doesn’t include businesses, making contributions?
Mr. Casey: If I might, it’s written to basically include those contracts which are no-bid contracts. No-bid contracts are professional services, insurance, certain banking services, under State law, are not biddable. They are awarded based upon expertise and quality. So, this basically goes to the question of no-bid contracts.
Mr. Jones: What about employees of said professionals, like how about John Dorsey’s secretary, just out of curiosity, does that preclude her from giving donations?
Mr. Buell: No, that’s in here.
Mr. Jones: That’s in here, okay, alright. I just wanted to be clear on it. Okay, thank you very much.
President Rattner: Thank you. Anybody else from the audience? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Ms. Labow to move it.
Ms. Labow: Can I ask just one question first, before I move it….quick question. After we review this, if we pass this this evening, we want to make….we can always amend the ordinance by going through…..
President Rattner: We just basically add onto it, we put in a couple more sections.
Ms. Labow: Right. So, this is basically just to get it rolling and then after that, we can make changes to it as we go along, and after we see what the State does.
President Rattner: Sure, that’s why it was designed, right…because who would vote against the fact of not taking money from professionals?
Ms. Labow: Exactly. I just wanted to….
President Rattner: That’s the way it would come out, I mean, let’s be perfectly honest.
Ms. Labow: I just want to clarify that to Mr. Bonte and, as we review it, and things and situations come up, we can always make changes to this, this is not engraved in stone.
President Rattner: We expect to see that, well, in the next couple of weeks, yes.
Ms. Labow: Very good. I would like to move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #42-2004.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Rattner: Any further discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimouly, except Mr. Guenther and Mr. Perkins voted No
President Rattner: Ordinance #42-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I now open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #43-2004, entitled:
Ord. #43-2004 Bond Ordinance Providing for the Purchase of Breathing Apparatus for the Budd Lake Fire Department in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $40,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $38,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof.
President Rattner: Is there anybody from the public who would like to address the Council on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close the public portion and ask Mr. Mund to move it.
Mr. Mund: I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #43-2004.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #43-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law. I now open the hearing to the public on Ordinance #44-2004, entitled:
Ord. #44-2004 Ordinance Appropriating $376,530 for Turkey Brook Phase II Improvements in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public like to address the Council on this ordinance? Yes, Mr. Bonte.
Mr. Bonte: Can I ask what the $332,000 that’s coming from the tree bank trust fund is going to be used for?
Ms. Labow: No, it’s $14,530 being….from the tree bank trust fund.
Mr. Greenbaum: Rich, my understanding was that a portion of the, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Casey, a portion of the Phase II improvements related to the portion along Sunset Drive and the trees that are going to be put in there for the berm.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, so the $14,000 is….
Ms. Labow: Is from the tree….
Mr. Bonte: And is going to be used for trees.
Ms. Labow: Trees, yes, exactly.
Mr. Greenbaum: A portion of the project is going to involve planting trees, which will exceed the amount of the tree fund. The trees funds are actually…..it’s an intermingled fund. So, to answer your question, technically, I don’t know. To answer your question in the real world, yes.
Mr. Bonte: Thank you.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. Any other individuals from the public who want to speak on this issue? Seeing none, I’ll close it to the public and ask Mr. Guenther to move Ordinance #44-2004.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #44-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, is there any Council discussion on this issue? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Greenbaum: I hereby declare Ordinance #44-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish the notice of adoption as required by law. The next ordinance for public hearing is Ordinance #45-2004, entitled:
Ord. #45-2004 Ordinance Appropriating $100,000 for Roofing Work at the Baptist Church in and by the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey.
Mr. Greenbaum: I open to the public on this particular ordinance. Seeing none, I close the public hearing and ask Mr. Perkins to move Ordinance #45-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. Vice President. I move for adoption and final passage of Ordinance #45-2004.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
Mr. Greenbaum: Any Council discussion? Mr. Perkins.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Yes, I have a question, Ms. Murphy, are you still in the audience? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I see that we just lost some…a portion of some grant money for the Baptist Church?
Ms. Labow: No.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you to all of you Miss Murphy’s.
Mrs. Murphy: This refers to the County grant, so we have the $80,000 that the County gave us plus our $20,000 match and that’s the $100,000 for this ordinance. We also applied to the State to see if we could get money towards the steeple, but that was not funded this year. So, that’s probably what you’re thinking of.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Kathy.
President Rattner: Any other comments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Ordinance #45-2004 is passed on second reading and I hereby direct the Clerk to forward a copy of the same to the Mayor and publish notice of adoption as required by law.
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd Reading December 28, 2004)
President Rattner: We now have ordinances for first reading and that is Ordinance #46-2004, entitled:
Ord. #46-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Salaries of the Department Heads, Supervisory and Non- Union Personnel. (K. Murphy)
President Rattner: Mr. Mund, would you move that ordinance?
Mr. Mund: I move that Ordinance #46-2004 be introduced by title, passed on first reading, and that a meeting be held on December 28th, 2004 at 7:30 pm at the Municipal Building, 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Mount Olive, New Jersey for a public hearing, consideration of second reading and passage of said Ordinance, and that the Clerk be directed to publish, post and make available said Ordinance in accordance with the requirements of law.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I would like to make a motion, but don’t you have to ask the public first?
Ms. Labow: No, this is first reading.
Mr. Buell: I would like to make a motion to amend the ordinance. I would like to amend the amount of the range from $37,615.45 to $52,000 instead of the $46,912. Can I do that?
Mr. Guenther: Second.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. Buell has made a motion to amend the ordinance, it’s been seconded, it would be appropriate to take a vote on the amendment.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: This does not set the salary, this just sets the range.
Mr. Dorsey: That’s exactly right. It gives the Mayor even more discretion than he previously requested.
Mr. Buell: Absolutely, which is why I made the motion.
Ms. Labow: So, okay. So, just to make it clear, we’re not setting the salary. Thank you.
Mr. Perkins: No, we can’t set the salary.
Ms. Labow: I know, I know….I’m just making a point of it.
Mr. Perkins: And you could lower it.
President Rattner: Okay, we’ll take a Roll Call on the amendment.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Mr. Dorsey: Now, somebody has to move the Ordinance as amended.
Mr. Mund: I move the ordinance as amended.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Who’s going to change the numbers to make sure that we have it right at the next meeting?
Mr. Perkins: Well, who wrote it?
President Rattner: No, I mean it’s on here.
Mrs. Lashway: $52,000.
President Rattner: Yes, okay. I just want to make sure that we have it right. Okay, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
CONSENT RESOLUTIONS AGENDA:
Resolutions on the Consent Agenda List are considered to be routine and non-controversial by the Township Council and will be approved by one motion (one vote). There will be no separate discussion or debate on each of these resolutions except for the possibility of brief clarifying statements that may be offered. If one or more Council member requests, any individual resolution on the Consent Agenda may be removed from the Consent Agenda List and acted on separately.
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Withdrawal or Abandonment of the Condemnation Proceedings Entitled Township of Mount Olive V. Interverse Enterprises, et al.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Issuance of a Quarrying License to Tilcon New Jersey in Connection with Lot 1, Block 600 Pursuant to the Township Code, Section 500-61.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Execution of a Developer’s Agreement (Preliminary & Final Site Plan Approval with Associated Design Waivers and Variances) Between the Township and Thomas Maisano in Connection with Block 3300, Lot 19.
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Supporting the Passage of Senate Bill S-1023 and Assembly Bill A-1833
5. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Providing for the Transfer of 2004 Budget Appropriations for the Current Fund Budget.
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Timmerman Equipment Company for the Purchase of (1) Broom Street Sweeper w/Belt Conveyor for DPW.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Storr Tractor Company for the Purchase of (1) 4-Wheel Drive Diesel Tractor with Accessories for the Buildings & Grounds Department. (amended)
8. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Contract with Suburban Consulting Engineers, Inc., for Phase I Relative to the Department of Public Works Garage.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing an Interlocal Health Services Agreement Between the Board of Health of Mount Olive and the Borough of Netcong Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:3a-2 et seq.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Jesco Inc. for the Purchase of (1) High Lift Wheel Loader for DPW.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Manpower and a Quality Temp for the Year 2004-2005 for Temporary Services for Mount Olive Township
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Quasi-Entity Application to the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund for the Mount Olive Volleyball Association.
13. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Lease Extension with the County of Morris for the Rental Space Known as the Nutrition Site at the Mount Olive Senior Center.
14. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: Acquisition of Block 3700, Lots 5 & 42. (JMI)
15. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: Acquisition of Block 3700, Lots 42.01 and 20. (Bruun)
16. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: Change Orders – Mount Olive Library.
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the resolutions. We have 16 items on the Consent Resolution. See, we’re not even going to talk about the Library separately. Would anybody like anything removed and talked about separately?
Mr. Greenbaum: Number 4, Steve, just clarification….what are those two bills? I didn’t see that…I’m sure it’s in here, but I didn’t see it.
Mr. Dorsey: Did it have to do with the stacking in Mount Olive?
President Rattner: It was something, I believe, proposed by the Administration, let’s see if we can find it real quick. Okay, introduced….requiring the State to reimburse municipalities for the reimbursement of property tax….that disabled veterans are exempt from payment of.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, no problem there.
President Rattner: Basically a State mandate, they pay.
Mr. Greenbaum: Fine.
President Rattner: So, could we keep it on the consent agenda, then?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes.
President Rattner: Anybody else want anything taken off? Seeing none, Ms. Labow, would you move resolutions 1 through 16? There is one correction, the resolution is right on the agenda, it’s wrong is number 2, it’s not 500-61, it’s 400-61.
Ms. Labow: So, we’re not taking any of them off?
President Rattner: No, I’m just mentioning that there was a typo. Move it.
Ms. Labow: I would like to move consent….
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Wait, wait, wait….is there anyone from the public who would like to address the Council? Mr. Bonte.
Richard Bonte, Budd Lake: I actually don’t want to address the Council, I would just like to clarify in my own mind…I can’t understand Resolution #1. I figured Mr. Dorsey could probably explain it.
Mr. Dorsey: We are abandoning the condemnation action involving the Interverse tract….the Smith Farm tract.
Mr. Bonte: Does that mean we’re not going to be taking title to it?
Mr. Dorsey: That’s right.
Mr. Greenbaum: Rich, there was the subject of a very lengthy discussion in an Executive Session related to litigation strategy, related to that particular tract, and the facts specific to that particular tract.
Mr. Bonte: Okay, alright, I just wanted to clarify it, because I thought that’s what I got out of it, but I wasn’t sure whether we were dropping the condemnation because something else had happened. So, what you basically say is that we’re not going to be taking title to the land.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, what else has happened, has been the Highlands Legislation and I think you can fill in the blanks.
Mr. Bonte: Yes, I can. Thank you.
Kathy Murphy: On number 14 for the JMI piece, we discussed the acquisition and we had basically talked about the approximate cost of the liens, we set a price here of exactly $40,000, I’m not sure…it should come in in that neighborhood, but should that run over just a little bit on the cost of the lien, are we telling the owner he’s going to have to pay and then still donate, or are we going to cover that if there’s any discrepancy?
President Rattner: We’ll have to pass another resolution when we know how much it’s over, we just….
Mrs. Murphy: Well, I was just wondering, is there a way we can word it to just say that we’ll cover the liens and give it a little bit of leeway.
Mr. Dorsey: This Council generally doesn’t give that kind of discretion.
Mrs. Murphy: Well, is there a way that we can just…
Mr. Dorsey: No, you’re going to have to have a separate resolution, I mean, I don’t think anybody would be opposed to it, if it runs over a couple hundred dollars, but…they don’t…..no, Kathy.
Mrs. Murphy: Okay.
President Rattner: If it comes out at sixty, you know $162,000, we don’t want it.
Mrs. Murphy: No, he…no…I’m just saying….the liens, when we calculated them, were just……
President Rattner: The next public meeting, in two weeks, we’ll come up with the rest of the money, if it’s President Rattner(cont’d): close and we decide to go with it.
Mrs. Murphy: Okay, alright. I just wanted to get him…the owner in touch with Mr. Dorsey’s firm so they can finish on that, okay.
President Rattner: Okay, anybody else from the public? Ms. Labow, want to move the resolutions.
Ms. Labow: I would like to move for adoption of Consent Resolutions 1 through 16.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
17. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: De La Roche v. Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive.
Mr. Dorsey: Mr. President, resolution 17 is no longer necessary, as the Mayor advised me this evening that he is prepared to sign a stipulation of dismissal as to his part of that suit, and I will prepare that for him.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. What that means is that we don’t have to hire another attorney.
Ms. Labow: Thank God.
18. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: Lot 2, Block 3504 (Thompson & Presco)
President Rattner: Number 18, Mr. Buell, would you move that?
Mr. Buell: I move resolution #18.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Anybody from the public? This was the property that was divided in half. Seeing nobody, I’ll close the public portion.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: And ask for any Council comments. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
Status of New Library
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to, I guess, reports. The next thing we have on the agenda is the Status of the New Library. They let you do all the hard work tonight?
Jane Israel, President of the Library Board: Well, the Library is closed at the present time. I did send you a letter and I didn’t see it listed, I want to make sure that the members got it.
Ms. Labow: Yes, we got it in our other packet.
Mrs. Israel: Okay. The staff is busy packing up all the items, except the books, that are going to be placed on Mrs. Israel(cont’d): the shelves at the new facility, because that’s going to be done by the moving company. The moving company is scheduled for December 8th, 9th and 10th, but there is a lot of sorting out and other material that has to be taken care of and that’s being done by our staff. We have a holiday week….a shortened week, so…next week they’ll be finished with that. The carpeting is all in, the shelving is being installed right now, and, as I understand it, the TCO was supposed to be issued today. I’m not absolutely sure if it was, but it was supposed to be, and we are not…we don’t know how long it will take until we can open because once the moving is finished and it probably will take at least a week to have all the staff then settle it out and do everything they have to at the new location. So, we haven’t set the date for the grand opening. Of course, the Library Board may decide to open and have the grand opening after the opening. So, you know, that’s not up to me and I can’t tell you, you know, what’s going to be done, but that might be what will happen. We’re certainly going to open as soon as we can, because we don’t want to inconvenience the people any more than they have been. Of course, they can still order books online and they can go to any Library in the County, you know, the County Library and any other Library that’s in the consortion and they can get books there, but we don’t want to inconvenience them anymore than is possible. I think that’s really all that I have on the new Library, except that I wanted to say that we had a very nice affair the other day and I think everybody who came to the gala that we had at the Wyndham on Friday night, had a really good time. I don’t know the numbers yet, we have a bookkeeper who will tell us about that once everything is calculated, you know, as far as how much money we made, but I know that everybody there had a good time and we appreciate the support that the township and people and the governing body and the Municipal Building gave to us. I would like Jerry Sheard to come up for a minute just to give you an idea of what we would like in the way of the security system for the new building.
President Rattner: Jane, before we go there, just one question and that relates to…..your festivities, your fund raiser Friday night and this is a very important question. In the silent auction, what was the item that you felt was probably the most valuable thing there?
Mrs. Israel: Oh, Rob’s painting.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mrs. Israel: Of course, I mean, not painting….it was a photo actually, but it was a beautifully done.
Mr. Greenbaum: I didn’t put them up to that.
President Rattner: No, but you talked about it all night…how do you think it’s going….people want it…..
Mrs. Labow: I would like to say it cost me $40 and I didn’t win and I think Mr. Greenbaum should…..
President Rattner: And she did, she put in $40.
Ms. Labow: $40 to win that thing and I didn’t win it.
Mr. Greenbaum: I’d make you one, but it might be considered a campaign contribution….
Ms. Labow: Oh, yes, there you go.
Jerry Sheard: Mr. President, on that same tone, I kind of questioned it. I was stupid enough to go up to a grand opening up in Chester, of his art gallery, Saturday night in the rain to see what his other paintings look like and they’re pretty good.
President Rattner: And you want to talk about a security system. How many votes do you need?
Mr. Sheard: No, it was a good….nice grand opening, Rob. The security system, I got with Bobby Scholtz, with the Police Department, to see what we could do to provide security and to reduce the amount of traffic the Police would have to do, going around the buildings and things, and we came up with an interior security system so that we can block off the meeting room, maintain security of all the windows, in case somebody broke into it, as a local system, and then outside putting in cameras to govern the parking lot and the back of the building where the fire lane goes back to the back of the building. Looking at that, then we see who is going to monitor it and I met with the ADT and the Police console is too small, therefore, we put in a grant to the State to upgrade that console as part of our security system, to bring in a newer and larger console for the Police Dispatch, which will enhance that, because of the Police Station. The emergency generator, which was not put into the original contract, we also added for…in the grant that we put into the State, hopefully we will get it, so we put in for a total of $93,260 for a grant, which is for Libraries only, to upgrade and we’ll see where we go on that. In the Mr. Sheard(cont’d): meantime, we’re looking at around $11,000 to put in the original portion of this security system for the Library, in order to maintain the doors, etc.
President Rattner: What would the initial system be?
Mr. Sheard: The initial system will be a card access, it will be door contacts, will be photo-electric cells…motion detectors, I should say, in certain areas of the Library where somebody could come in through a window, and also the door contacts so that the meeting room could be separated from the Library; people could have meetings there…the public or any other group, and not interfere with the Library, and it’s going through the same system that the town has, so we don’t have any problems with jurisdictions on it or anything.
President Rattner: Does anybody have any questions for Mr. Sheard?
Mr. Guenther: What’s the cost of that going to be?
Mr. Sheard: The initial cost of $11,865, the cost of the cameras is $38,924, because we also have to bring cable from there over to here, but that also includes a new console for the Police Department, you know to upgrade their….
Mr. Guenther: And the monthly fee?
Mr. Sheard: The monthly fee is to be….the annual fee….
Mr. Guenther: Oh, okay.
Mr. Sheard: $4,400, which is cheaper than….by $300 a month cheaper than what the security system that the contractor is putting in, for their annual fee to just follow the fire alarm system, so…
Mr. Buell: Yes, I go back to the night when we talked about the capital budget very briefly and I remember the $70,000 for the security system that Mr. Katona was talking about and I’m wondering how this meshes with what you were talking about from that point on since we disapproved that $70,000, because I’ve got the same concerns about the…back into this facility, that you have for the Library, that it’s totally unprotected in the evening and night and I still don’t think that we, as a Council, or the Administration is thoroughly ready to discuss that whole issue, that I think needs to be discussed.
President Rattner: Well, I think one of the things that I just heard, and maybe the Chief can comment on it, is that they want to upgrade because they say that our current system is no longer serving its purpose. I just want to make sure that what Mr. Sheard has just said is they’re getting one that’s consistent with what we have. Is it consistent with what we have today that we’ve already, based on what the Police Chief, if I heard you right….
Mr. Sheard: Right.
President Rattner: I do listen to you, Chief, I may not agree…that it was basically obsolete, or outlived its usefulness, I guess that’s the best way, because technology changed that quickly, so if the Chief gets up…make sure you’re talking the same thing, because if you’re talking two different systems, then we can stop the discussion right now and rethink it.
Mr. Sheard: No, it’s the same system, it’s just adding additional spots for the cameras.
President Rattner: Are you real happy Ms. Jenkins?
Ms. Jenkins: No, it’s just I have a little wrinkle in this…I was just telling Bob I have a wrinkle in this.
President Rattner: A wrinkle in the security system, or the money?
Mr. Sheard: In the money….
Ms. Jenkins: Well, no, what it is is that we’ve already spent $15,462 on ADT this year, and we actually went out and got quotes for that service. So, if we’re going to be spending a potential of another $11,000, that would take us over the bid threshold of $17,500. Okay, so I just want everybody to keep that in mind.
President Rattner: Did we take any contributions from that …?
Ms. Jenkins: Sure….
Mr. Sheard: Yes, but is that for you, or is that for the Library?
Ms. Jenkins: Well, if we’re paying for it, then, you know, that’s where we are. We can’t go over $17,500.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, I know you can’t, we can’t either.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, and right now, we’ve spent $15,462.
President Rattner: Well, Ms. Jenkins, let’s look at where we are right now. We don’t want to start…..we can go out and bid and hopefully we’ll get the same one.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, we’ll have to talk about that, because this is the first time I’ve heard about that one.
President Rattner: We’re already talking in….we’re in the middle of November, I mean, for all practical purposes. Would it be unreasonable to install it in January/February? I mean, if it’s a problem, I mean, fixing the problem is…..
Mr. Sheard: I would like to have it as soon as….
President Rattner: Because if we have to go to bid, it’s going to be longer.
Ms. Jenkins: I don’t want to….I don’t want to violate anything here, I’m not trying to cause a problem. I’m just letting you know that, you know…..
Mr. Greenbaum: Oh, come on now, Sherry, be a little more creative.
President Rattner: Stop while you’re behind, Rob.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, this will be coming out of the…..coming out of the bond, so….but I can understand her point, I’ll have to look at that.
President Rattner: We understand that….
Mr. Sheard: Or we can do without doing that, because I wasn’t aware of that $14,000.
President Rattner: And I think also, what would be comfortable is to make sure no other charges….since the building is winding down. In another month or two, we’re also going to know whether there’s any other change orders still hanging out there, so we really no how much money in total we have left over, how much we have the ability to spend, and any other minor things. Even when you move into a new house, you find different things that happen, you’re going to move in and find something, too.
Ms. Labow: I have a question for Sherry. Sherry, the $15,000 that’s been spent this year for ADT…..is that an annual cost every year we spend that, or is that….
Ms. Jenkins: No, that was a one time cost.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
Ms. Jenkins: We do have a maintenance cost that we’re going to incur next year, but the $15,400 was on the actual product.
Ms. Labow: And what was that for?
Ms. Jenkins: That was….what was it, I’m sorry….hardware and software.
Ms. Labow: Alright, I just wanted to know, because I was going to say if it’s….if you pay $15,000 every year, I mean, we’re going to run into a problem in January anyway, but that’s not the case.
Ms. Jenkins: No, I think the maintenance on it is like $2,000 to $3,000 a year, Scott said.
Ms. Labow: So, it’s under the bid line, okay, thank you.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, I made sure that the annual would not be over the thing, because….but I wasn’t aware of the….
Ms. Labow: That we already had an expense.
Ms. Jenkins: We just spent it, not maybe a month ago, I want to say.
Mr. Sheard: Okay, so we’ll have to talk about that….
Someone from the audience: Right, we could always bid it.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, well, we might have to, but I’d rather not, because I’d like to stay with ADT, since it’s part of the system.
Ms. Labow: Is ADT a State….is that one of the…..
Ms. Jenkins: No, I wish they were. We went out and got quotes for that because we were under the bid threshold. So, they’re not under State contract, so….
Ms. Labow: So we have to go out to bid.
Ms. Jenkins: Yes, before we go over that, we have to bid it.
President Rattner: And, Chief, you can just nod, when you….with the systems that you’re look at is ADT also, so it would be consistent with what he’s talking about?
President Rattner: Okay.
Mr. Buell: How do you integrate into this system?
Chief Katona: While we’re talking about it, we have a security system for this building. It includes some cameras and some electronic controls for doors and door strikes and window strikes and those types of things. Jerry is talking about increasing our ability to add additional offsite monitoring, which would include the Library. There would be no charge for monitoring, because we would be doing that here at our Dispatch. So, we’d have to get a different…I forget the name of the device, it’s like a duplex that allows you to watch 14 TV channels at once, so you can watch those monitors and then to receive the inputs from the doors and even to control the doors remotely from here.
Ms. Labow: That’s an upgrade from what you have now, right?
Chief Katona: Yes, as the system that we have now controls what we have in this building, it has room for expansion within this building itself. We don’t have the capacity to go offsite. The upgrades that Jerry is talking about will allow us to do that.
Ms. Labow: Okay.
Mr. Sheard: I also believe we don’t do the Senior Citizens right now, do we?
Chief Katona: No, we do not.
Mr. Sheard: And this would, by bringing from the Library over to here, we can also pick up the Senior Citizens building as part of our telephone line, or our communications line.
Mr. Mund: You’re talking about a cable linkage. Did you look at the capability for radio communication?
Mr. Sheard: We did and we’ve talked about it, but….
Mr. Mund: Because with the cable, you’re going to have a single point failure, you know.
Mr. Sheard: Yes, but….it’s monitored….the cable will be monitored coming in, so….but we did…we have looked at that, it’s a little bit more expensive, though.
President Rattner: Thank you very much and that’s encouraging.
President Rattner: Okay, Motions – Bill List, Mr. Guenther.
1. Bill List.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for approval of the Bill List.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except Ms. Labow voted No.
President Rattner: Mr. Perkins, would you do the Raffle Applications?
2. Approval of Bingo Application #2058 and Raffle Application #2059 for the Budd Lake Volunteer Fire Co.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, Mr. President. I move for approval of Bingo Application #2058 and Raffle Application #2059 for the Budd Lake Volunteer Fire Company.
Mr. Mund: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to Administrative Matters. Does the Mayor or the Business Administrator have anything they’d like to bring up at this time?
Mr. Casey: No, we do not.
President Rattner: Thank you very much.
Status of MOCCLC Negotiations
President Rattner: Old Business – the first item we have is the Status of the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center Negotiations.
Mr. Casey: I have met with the President of the Board, we discussed proposals similar to what I believe was discussed with the governing body, and I’m waiting for a response.
Mr. Greenbaum: What’s your time frame, Bob?
Mr. Casey: It’s up to them.
Mr. Greenbaum: How was it left with them?
Mr. Casey: Get back to me.
Mr. Greenbaum: What…the specific proposal was given to them in terms of what had been discussed in your sub-committee?
Mr. Casey: Correct.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay. Lisa, I would ask that you keep this on Old Business for our next Public Meeting.
Mrs. Lashway: Okay.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you. Any questions from Council?
Ms. Labow: I did speak with Barbara Melveger Friday night and she said they are meeting this week.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, good.
Ms. Labow: Yes, early this week, or early next week, so it should be next meeting.
Mr. Greenbaum: Good. Any other questions or comments on this issue from Council?
Status of Lights at Flanders Park – J. Buell
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay, the other item of Old Business is the Status of Lights at Flanders Park, Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Yes, we…I think, sometime this summer, bid out a lighting contract with a contractor for Flanders Park to do engineering studies for the lights. I just wondered where this thing is, or have you had a chance to look at it? I don’t need an answer tonight.
Mr. Casey: I’ve had no chance to look at it. I’m a little surprised because those lights were fully designed, etc., approved by the Planning Board, etc. etc. in 1999 and it’s half installed. When we did Flanders Park, we sized the generator, we still have the conduits, we have the phasing in place for those lights. I looked at this on the agenda, I’m saying hey, this is deja vu all over again, as Yogi would say. This is the same discussion 1999/2000. So, I don’t know what’s going on.
Mr. Buell: Well, I was asked by a constituent specifically about what was happening.
Ms. Labow: I….
Mr. Casey: You’re talking about Flanders….which, are you talking about….all three field were designed…..
Ms. Labow: Russ Nagel Field, we’re talking about.
Mr. Casey: All three fields were designed by Musko…..
President Rattner: We’re talking about the Yankee Stadium lights, yes.
Mr. Casey: You used the same lights that you used in Roxbury. I think, if I remember right, that the Planning Board went over to Roxbury at night and looked at those lights and said that’s what we want, etc., they’re all designed.
Mr. Buell: Well, then what’s the….as I said, I know that we let out a contract….
Mr. Casey: The decision….I know nothing about that contract. All I can say is that work was all done in 1999 and the decision of the governing body in 2001 was, for financial reasons, you didn’t have that money implemented, so it was basically phase one was put in, but the electrical generator, excuse me, the transformer on site and the conduits were installed for future use. So there’s power on site and the panels are there for that developer. I don’t know.
Ms. Labow: I have a question, Mr. Casey. When you….with the proposal we have, which I know you don’t know anything about, came up with four stanchions and we were under the impression that we needed six
Ms. Labow(cont’d): stanchions. Now, when you’re talking about everything is in place, are you talking about where the stanchions are going to go on the field, the underground wiring is in place where they just have to be installed? How far do you mean that everything is in place?
Mr. Casey: There was a detailed plan developed for a certain level of recreation use of that, because lighting varies according to the field….
Ms. Labow: Right.
Mr. Casey: With whatever that level was, I can’t remember, we…when the park was completed in 2001, conduit was placed underground, across the parking lot……..I believe the two locations, which the….the two takeoff points for the wires, which would then go around the ball fields.
Ms. Labow: And the wires are in?
Mr. Casey: No, the conduits are in, but they didn’t go beyond that. We did not put any of the bases around there, but, I mean, it was all designed and laid out. So, that is in place according to that 1999 or 2000 plan.
Ms. Labow: That’s very interesting.
Mr. Buell: Could you find out what….as I said, we hired an engineer for $5,000…at least we approved it…approved a $5,000 study for the lights this summer, I….
President Rattner: Yes, that was a thing that was needed, to size it. Mr. Greenbaum, you wanted to say something?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes. Mr. Casey, I do recall the issue coming before Planning Board and it was, I believe the lighting company was Musko or Moosko, at the time, and the level of lighting which was shielding and direction, that was all…it was a very detailed plan, and I do remember it coming to Planning Board or at least the Planning Board going out to Roxbury to see the lighting. I, in fact, trampled through a field, I believe it was snow covered at the time, to see the lighting and the effect on the other houses, but that was a long time ago, and there were some additional issues which need to be addressed and I think that’s what the $5,000 approval related to, was to either get an update to figure out how many stanchions were need at this point, in light of whatever improvements had previously been done and I guess, at this point, all Mr. Buell would like is to find out if we don’t need to spend that $5,000 and you can give us the cost and the amount of poles and lights which are needed and what Musko is going to…you know, what it’s going to cost to put them in. I think those are the questions that the $5,000 were to address. If we don’t need to spend it, let’s not, and if we do need to spend it, then Mr. Buell would like an update on that project moving forward.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Casey, the reason why we revisited this was because the $50,000 that was in the fund for the lights, wasn’t enough to pay for them.
Mr. Casey: Correct, the lights for that ball field went over $100,000, which was about what normally runs baseball fields……level.
Ms. Labow: Right, and so what happened was the organization had come to us and had asked if they raised the funds would we approve it and that’s….and they’re still waiting to find out and they’ve missed months of fund raising because we haven’t gotten the answer on how much it’s going to cost, so that’s why we’ve revisited this and that’s why we need to know so that if they’re going to do fund raising, they’re just looking for an approval from us that we’ll agree to have them put in if they raise the funds for it. I just wanted you updated on that. Was I right?
President Rattner: That was…we were supposed to get a memorandum about standing…we spent the money for the spillover to satisfy the residents and we were just waiting for the agreement, (11:13:00) but anyway… Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Second issue….
President Rattner: Old Business?
Mr. Buell: Yes….I’m not sure if it’s old or new, but it’s….I think it’s old to me. I think, at this point in time, we need to look at accounting controls in two ways. We have, in several instances, as a Council, objected to the Mr. Buell(cont’d): bill list about amounts of money of less than $2,500, which is the ordinance level, specifically mention ….indicate three examples or four examples I’m aware of that have come up this year, the marriage fees for $100, the Mayor’s trophy for the band…trophy, the Elm’s tower, which I now understand has now….was now paid, even though we objected to the $450 for the engineering study until a report was provided to this Council on the Elm’s cell tower in terms of whether or not there was business going on on that. So, I think we need to look at, since we can’t seem to control some of these expenses that we object to, and I don’t think any of those ones were appropriate. I think we need to begin to think about lowering the bill limit or bill list, by ordinance, to $99 and I would like that put on the agenda for the next workshop. Secondary, I think we need to look at, at the same workshop, is the whole area of accounting controls. You know, I understand….I think I understand the memo I received today from….it’s copied to Bob Casey from Sherry Jenkins, is that we actually did not approve bills that were paid two weeks ago, seven of which were $2,500, and, you know, so obviously, we need to look at that. I also am referring to the whole issue of, you know, we went on for year after year with our telephonic bills paying taxes, so I think we need to look at that whole area of accounting control and how we’re controlling the dollars and how we’re reviewing invoices and how the whole organization is controlling the dollars and I would like that put on the agenda.
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, where is that memo that you’re talking about, because I don’t remember seeing it?
Mr. Buell: From Sherry Jenkins…please find the attached supplemental check register that I’m requesting be included…..
President Rattner: Oh okay, so it was with the extra….
Ms. Labow: Yes, it was in our packets, the extra….
Mr. Dorsey: Supplemental bill list.
Ms. Labow: Right here.
Mr. Buell: Supplemental bill list.
President Rattner: Oh, that’s because we had two page sevens, that’s why I got confused before. We’ll put that on and have time for the Administration to explain what they’re doing, I mean, mistakes do happen, they have to be able to provide an explanation of what process is going in so it won’t happen again. I think that it’s not all that critical that it can’t wait until workshop so we can discuss it in detail.
Mr. Buell: Yes, I think it’s something that’s going to take some time.
Mr. Greenbaum: Two issues. Number one…for some time now, I’ve been asking for a finance committee to be established and to operate and I think that many of Mr. Buell’s concerns can be raised in that format to put the procedures, at least for discussion and then put in place by Council. So, I think that’s the appropriate mechanism for getting that done.
President Rattner: I’ll ask the Clerk to check with the Administration and for next week, after Thanksgiving, to find a common time to at least have the first one, to decide what it’s going to be.
Mr. Greenbaum: That’s fine. Secondly, I would like from Sherry, in some format, Mr. Casey – she’s not here right now. Just….I feel a little in the dark and perhaps it’s my fault as to what we are budgetary-wise in terms of, you know, additional funds which we have left…transfers which may happen in the next couple of meetings related to this year. I know things were tight. I’d like to see the numbers in a format that a simpleton like myself could understand, because oftentimes I have trouble understanding the documents that come out of the Finance office, without further explanation. If that could be accomplished, I would appreciate it.
President Rattner: Any other old business? Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Just a little….to reiterate, on some of the items, this…one time Sherry had mentioned that her job is to verify that we have the funds, before the bills are paid, and Mr. Rattner brought up the point: Well, who’s actually making sure the bills are the right bills to be paid, and we had a situation where…what was it, the dental insurance, was being paid every month and a resolution wasn’t passed. We had a situation where we had specifically voted and expressed that the bill for the Elm’s tower review would not be paid until we got a report, Ms. Labow(cont’d): we didn’t get that. How come that was paid? So, there are some things that are going on that we don’t seem to have the controls and I want to know who is responsible for those controls? Why is this money going out without it being checked, and I guess that can be covered with the finance committee?
President Rattner: Well, we’ll discuss that, you know, we’ll bring that up. I think, you know, if we’re going to set up the finance committee….I mean, I think we’re saying the same thing.
Ms. Labow: We are, I just…..
President Rattner: I mean, you’re just picking out, you know, individual situations. So, we’ll do that rather than discuss anything else here. It would be unfair without Ms. Jenkins here anyway. I do have one thing on Old Business. There’s a couple….other Council members mentioned to me, and it’s getting frustrating, those Van Hauten store closing….Van Huesen store closing mean anything. We’ve been fighting those signs for the last couple of years and we cleaned it up, we contacted all the different companies, you know, that provide the signs, how they’re going to be, you know, how we’re going to fine them. We have an ordinance against putting out the signs. We actually, for a while, were pretty good where it would either be the Police Department or when somebody on the Township payroll was driving and would see it, they’d make sure that they were contacted and told to get them down, otherwise repercussions would happen. I guess Suburban Furniture is one that understands, now they actually pay people to hold the sign. It’s been four weeks, obviously as soon as the sun goes down on Friday, they put up the signs and they take them down when the sun goes down on Sunday because they know nothing is going to be done, it’s four weeks and I don’t want to see them again. I mean, it’s just a ridiculous thing. I mean, this time it’s only maybe 50 to 70 that are on there. In past years, it’s gotten up to be where there were hundreds on the road, and everybody just putting them because they think they can get away with anything and they know that if they put them up after 4:30 on Friday, they got a free ride, and four weeks is much too long that nothing has been done, so I ask that the Administration makes sure that if they do go up this Friday night, that the people are contacted. I believe most of the signs have telephone numbers from the service, because that’s what we’ve done before and that they get taken back down. There’s no excuse for it and it’s starting to look ratty again. Ms. Labow.
Ms. Labow: Is there a fine per sign?
President Rattner: I believe we put one in there.
Ms. Labow: The other thing I wanted to ask you, well, ask anybody, when you talk about the one where they hire
the people to stand there and hold the signs, now the idea behind not having the signs up is it a two-fold, like
is it distractions to drivers, or just that it’s littering?
President Rattner: It’s more probably littering, as long as they’re not in the middle of the road, I mean, at some
point, if they’re willing to pay somebody $7.00 / $8.00 and hour and let them freeze out there for nine hours, which
Ms. Labow: And it gets very distracting, because it’s…..
President Rattner: And our ordinance doesn’t prohibit that either.
Ms. Labow: I know, it’s strange, because they’re on the corner, it’s cold out and they’re jumping up and down and waving the signs.
President Rattner: And we do, there are laws about putting signs on right of ways, so there’s violation of State law. How many campaign signs did we lose because the DOT had no problem taking ours down.
Ms. Labow: Yes, but they never take them after election.
President Rattner: But anyway, it did come up one time in April and that time I did call Mr. Ruggierio and they were down within a couple of hours. When I saw it this time, I did not decide to try to find, because I may have the……if Mr. Casey still has his old cell number, I have it, but since he’s only part time per hour, it I called him, you know, it would probably be $100, we can’t afford it.
Mr. Casey: I have incoming, you know, digital, if I see it’s you, I can just put it on vibrate, Steve.
President Rattner: That’s understandable, and I agree, I’d do the same thing if I saw my number coming in. Anyway, we just ask that you look at that. I meant to mention it last week, and I didn’t, but it is…and when you President Rattner(cont’d): yell at them, they do do something.
President Rattner: Now we come to New Business. Any new business? You have new business, too?
Ms. Labow: He’s a busy beaver.
Mr. Buell: I went to the League of Municipalities COAH seminar and they’re coming out with, obviously, new….
President Rattner: It was published.
Mr. Buell: Yes.
President Rattner: Yesterday.
Mr. Buell: Who is responsible for reviewing that for the town?
Mr. Dorsey: Chuck McGroarty.
Mr. Buell: Planning Board?
President Rattner: Planning Department, that’s why we have a Planning Department. Those are the issues that come up that we need to address, because if you read that, I imagine that you had the seminar, it was on there. It’s not just units that are built, it’s also non-construction something jobs and there’s a lot of different ratios, you can’t spill some off, you can’t use them all up on senior housing anymore, you know, stuff like that. They didn’t even mention the…..
Mr. Guenther: Well, wait a minute, maybe we should get a reduction, since we lost BASF, right?
Mr. Greenbaum: No, because we…..
President Rattner: I know a double wammy. Okay, any other new business? Mayor.
Mayor De La Roche: It’s just that there’s nowhere on here for the Mayor to comment regarding other things.
President Rattner: Yes there was. I asked you on Administrative Matters.
Mayor De La Roche: No, no, I understand that. Why I’m asking….I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, you know, the staff as well as the people in Mount Olive.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mayor.
Mr. Greenbaum: You too.
Mayor De La Roche: Thank you.
Ms. Labow: Yes, you too.
Mr. Greenbaum: A safe and happy holiday too.
President Rattner: Okay, now let’s go down – any other Legal matters, Mr. Dorsey?
Mr. Dorsey: Just to, again, advise the Council. We had the Federal suit brought by the Toll Brothers dismissed in the Federal Court for lack of jurisdiction. We believe that suit will come back and, Steve, you and I have had some discussions of about how we’re going to have to approach that, we’re going to have to come, I think, with a system, and maybe the system we have that can be sustained.
President Rattner: So we still need the expert or whatever?
Mr. Dorsey: I think we are.
President Rattner: Okay, I’ll follow up on that.
Mr. Guenther: Excuse me, John, this is the suit on Morris Chase?
Mr. Dorsey: No. The suit on the Laundromat.
Mr. Greenbaum: No, Dattolo.
Mr. Dorsey: Oh, Dattolo, I’m sorry, I misunderstood. I thought you said……
Mr. Greenbaum: It was dismissed.
President Rattner: Thank you very much, Mr. Dorsey.
Mr. Dorsey: Everybody have a Happy Thanksgiving, too.
President Rattner: Okay, Council Reports. Ms. Labow, do you have anything to add on the Library.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: No, they covered it all, other than the Pillars of the Community was an absolutely gorgeous affair Friday night and kudos to them for all the hard work that they did and I hope that they’ll be doing it again next year.
President Rattner: As long as the money keeps coming in.
Recreation Liaison Report
Mr. Mund: I’m going to defer to Jim Buell, who attended for me.
Mr. Buell: It was a very busy Recreation Advisory Committee Meeting. Basically, some of the major points are that the beach, in the summertime, is maxed out in terms of capacity. There’s nothing more we can do down there, parking and otherwise. They’re talking about a joint scheduling venture with the school system that is supposed to cost $1,000, that they think is a great deal. They would like to hire a Youth Sports Administrator, that was last year also a request, and they would like to move the….they made a recommendation that we move the equipment from Tulip Park to Turkey Brook Park and also we need to control the ATV’s in the area of around Tulip Park. Those are the major areas where they talked about.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Buell.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: There was no meeting since the last time I reported, and the Board of Health meeting, due to lack of quorum, has been cancelled for next week.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Routine matters, Mr. President, other than the Mr. Hashemi for the Boat House, his application to convert that over to residential, was denied.
Mr. Guenther: In that conjunction, somebody commented to me, across the street in that parking lot, they’re building a house.
Mr. Perkins: Yes, he is.
Ms. Labow: Yes, what are they doing there? Is he allowed to do that?
Mr. Guenther: How is….that’s a substandard lot, isn’t it?
Mr. Perkins: No, it meets all the requirements.
President Rattner: He makes the frontage on the side, because you know the frontage is on two roads.
Mr. Perkins: It meets all the setback.
Mr. Guenther: That’s amazing.
Ms. Labow: That’s amazing, absolutely amazing.
Open Space Committee Report
Mr. Guenther: No meeting since the last time.
Mr. Greenbaum: You skipped Planning Board.
President Rattner: That’s okay.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: No report.
President Rattner: Could you repeat that, for anybody who didn’t hear it?
Legislative Committee Report
Mr. Mund: I touched based with Congressman Guy Gregg….
President Rattner: Assemblyman.
Mr. Mund: Assemblyman Gregg, and I also spoke to the Vice President for the Economic Development down in Trenton, and put our name on a list to get information from them on Verizon looking for a new location.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: No report.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: Me and Mr. Buell.
Mr. Buell: Just basically routine business, they’re moving along with the High School renovation. It looks like they’re on budget on time, ready to bid the thing out with the one problem that they had with the DEP…..
President Rattner: To redesign the building…..
Mr. Buell: To redesign the whole building, yes…..
President Rattner: Yes, they just had it was, as you said, routine. They were hiring teachers, you know, teachers were leaving. The biggest problem they probably had is they had a problem…they have some trailers that they want to move around that they want to use either as offices or classrooms at some of the elementary schools.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: The Lake Committee had its cleanup two weeks ago, pulled out a lot of garbage out of the lake. Again, we thank the Sanitation Department, who provided a dumpster on the beach that we loaded up our trucks and put it in there. One thing that actually happened is, and we really…..Chief, you were away last week when I called you, Mr. Tomb, from our organization, was pulled over by two of your finest because they got reports of illegal dumping on a municipal building grounds. Now, yes, we can laugh about it, but whoever did it, I would imagine it was probably town employees, we had sanders out that day, and if that’s what happened, I would like to know who did it, because that’s what we want, the eyes and the ears, because it was….I mean, if you see somebody with a pickup truck, unloading a whole pickup truck of garbage into a dumpster on Township property, it should be reported. So, I do compliment either the employee, or the resident, or the motorist who reported it, and we would like to…I would like to thank him, and your officers who felt it was important enough to do something. So, thank you.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: No meeting since the last time.
President Rattner: Anybody from the public, now that it’s 11:30 and not tired, who would like to address the Council on any issue that you may have? We probably discussed everything that could be discussed. Seeing none, we’ll close the Public Portion.
President Rattner: Go for final Council comments and maybe we’ll have the same amount, other than to tell everybody to have a Happy Holiday.
Mr. Buell: Have a Happy Holiday.
Ms. Labow: I hope everybody has a Happy, Health, Safe, Thanksgiving.
Mr. Mund: A Happy and a Healthy Thanksgiving and I would like to commend Kathy Murphy, the Open Space Protection Preservation Honorable Mention came to the Township down at the League of Municipalities. Well done, Kathy. Clapping….
Mr. Guenther: Happy Thanksgiving.
Mr. Perkins: Have a nice Thanksgiving.
President Rattner: You’re going to be spending it in Budd Lake, right?
Mr. Perkins: No.
President Rattner: No, I’m sorry.
Mr. Perkins: No, I’ll be here.
Mr. Greenbaum: No comment.
President Rattner: And everybody have a festive time.
A motion was made and seconded and the meeting was adjourned at 11:30 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 January 25, 2005.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk