Township Council Minutes
Septmeber 28 , 2004
The Regular Public Meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council was called to Order at 7:30 pm by Council President Rattner with the Pledge of Allegiance.
MOMENT OF REFLECTION in recognition of the men and women serving around the world protecting us.
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. Guenther, Mr. Perkins (7:50),
Mr. Greenbaum, Mr. Rattner
Absent: Mr. Elms (Resigned)
President Rattner: I heard from Mr. Perkins at approximately 5:45, he was still trying to get out of the city, so he should be here very soon.
ALSO PRESENT: Mayor De La Roche; Sherry Jenkins, CFO; Ed Katona, Acting Business Administrator;
Lisa Lashway, Township Clerk; John Dorsey, Township Attorney.
President Rattner: The first item we have on the agenda is a presentation from our Robotics Team from the Mount Olive High School and Ernie, it’s all yours.
Ernie DiCicco: I got involved in this nine years ago. One night I got a phone call 11:00 at night from Mr. McGowan and my son happens to be there. My wife says go find out where our son is - it’s 11:00 at night. I went there and ended up getting coffee and donuts and haven’t left since and that was nine years ago. So, that was my introduction to FIRST. We started it in 1997 and we’ve had a team ever since then and we’ve been pretty successful ever since, but last year was the culmination of our…everything we did. We participated in three events last year, the New Jersey Regional, we finished third. We went down to Chesapeake, we finished third and two weeks after that, we went down to Palmetto in South Carolina and we won. As a winning team…all the winning teams would get trophies and everything else, but the biggest thing that they give out are banners indicating the Regionals that you win. These things are coveted, so we finally ended up getting one, so that’s… that gets the culmination of all the years of hard work and everything that was there. What I’d like to do is we have a couple…just to kind of show you some of the videos of….we have a video of the championship event that we did, where we participated down in South Carolina and I want to show you a little video that the kids put together, which is a culmination of all the whole year, which I think is pretty interesting. (Video presentation) We were the number two alliance. What I’m going to do is just….there were three matches, this was the first match. I’ll show you the final, which is the last match. Okay, this is the final match, this match goes for two minutes and you’ll see what an actual match looks like, all the excitement, everybody yelling and screaming and everything. I’ll try to briefly explain to you how the game goes, as we go along. In the middle of this field are two goals and at the end of the field, there are thirteen inch balls, you see them suspended above the end of the field. When those balls go out onto the field, it’s the human player’s job to get the balls into those goals, they’re called. The giant balls that they have on the field, if those are put on top of a goal, all the balls in that goal will get multiplied, they get doubled, and the final piece is in the middle of the field you’ll see there’s a bar, if your robot manages to hang from that bar, you get 50 points. This was our partner trying to get that ball and cap it on top of the goal and watch what happens. At the top is the score, 90 to 35 at the present time. I guess you can see the guys in the back there yelling and jumping around and screaming, that was our team. We went down there with 80 people, between kids and adults and parents, but it’s like a circus and, you know, any basketball game, any competition that you’re involved in, it’s the same – everybody yelling and screaming and jumping around. So, it’s incredibly interesting. The robot….I still hear that song and I guess everybody on the team is the same way, you keep hearing that and you get…it gives you goose bumps, having gone through it, but the robot….what happens is, at the beginning of the year, we are given a task. We are given….we’re shown the game and we have six weeks to try to build a robot, and this is what we came up with for this year to solve…play the game. You guys want to hook that up please. As they’re hooking that up, I just want to show you a little…nope, wrong one….this is a little video we put together that the kids did that was a culmination of…kind of gives you an idea of what happens over the six weeks. We divided up into six different teams, one group actually built the drive train, one group was responsible for building the end defectors and the mechanisms and everything that goes together with that. We’re given a kit of parts that contains motors and gears and the pistons and pneumatics and everything and it’s our job to put it together to build a robot to play the game and to play it effectively. We have to come up with a strategy of what’s going to basically best place
Mr. DiCicco(cont’d): in our….to play the game to the best of our ability. If you win one of the Regionals, you are allowed, you qualify for the Nationals. Each year there’s a National competition which is held, it used to be held down in Fort Lauder….in Epcot. Last year it was at the Reliance Stadium, this year it was down at the Georgia Dome, down in Atlanta. There’s 300 teams from around the world that are invited to go down, so we managed to go down this year, but that’s just a brief overview of something that the kids have put together. The…what should I say….the things that come out of this are tremendous potential for the kids that are going on to engineering schools, and that, and we’ve been tremendously lucky with kids in the past that have gone through the program and have gone on to some major schools out there. We’ve had kids go to Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, MIT, University of Rochester, down at Rutgers, and a number of other schools that are out there, Rensselaer, and there is…FIRST gives out almost $4 million worth of scholarships around the country and around the world. We’ve been pretty lucky, last year, I think, we got about $60,000 worth of scholarships. We had one fellow who won a scholarship to Drexel in Philadelphia, and a couple of others around the place, but this is basically….the drive train is driven by four motors. There’s two motors on each side that drive those wheels. This is probably, where did we have this tested, Brandon, was it Palmetto or down at the Nationals? Down at the Nationals, there was a team that had a dynamometer and it turns out that we had the highest tork of any robot in the Nationals last year. We have pictures of this thing pushing a 250 pound adult across the floor, that’s how much power it has to push around. What we came up with was a way to get up and hang on the bar, and we tried to come up with something that would be reliable and quick and would go…good, you can go all the way up. No, maybe you ought to come down a little and push a tile out. So what we do is we can extend that bar and when this thing is all the way up, it’s over 10 feet off the ground and when we retract that, it pulls the whole robot immediately right off the ground. You saw in the video where it actually pulls it right up. So, we had some….and it does it effectively. We were able to get from starting point up to the bar, within 20 seconds and there were some robots that were taking upwards of a minute to do that. So, it was very reliable to do that. So, it’s been a tremendous program over the years. We’ve got a couple of the kids on the team this year, we have three of our seniors, Brandon Holly, who’s relaxing there, Kevin Bore, Jessie Dennis, and Matt Furman, who’s a junior this year, on the team. These are some of our, what we call, our student core adult team, they handle all the aspects and put it all together. So, that’s the big robot, that’s what we do on there. I’ve given out to everyone a couple of pieces of paper, which are…besides having participated in this, there is another program. This is a High School program, which is basically for the kids in the High School. FIRST has come up with another program, which is called FIRST Legos League, which is for the Middle School kids, it’s nine to fourteen year olds. We have been selected as the official New Jersey State Tournament for this event, and we have a number of….this year we’re potentially going to have forty teams come into the High School to participate in this. What they do, is they take a game, where the kids have to play the game, but it’s on a four by eight foot board and they have to pre-program, in an autonomous mode, solve nine different missions that has to go out and it’s done all with Legos, it’s all programmed and it’s all autonomous mode. So, we’ve been hosting…this is the third year, we’re going to host, we’ll still be the official State Tournament for this. So, it’s going to be December 11th up at the High School and one other thing, FIRST is expanding, we’ve been chosen as a pilot program for something called Junior FLL, which is for six to nine year olds, so we’re going to…we’ve been given a number of…some stuff from Legos to kick off this event. So, that’s going to be held the same day, which is from six to nine. This year the topic is called “No Limits” where they’re using…trying to explain how robotics helps in handicap accessibility, so all the tasks that are done are examples of where robotics can help people that are handicapped and we’re going to have some surprise guests and people there that they….to demonstrate all the different things that are done within robotics and how engineering is used to help the people that are handicapped and that, so…it’s been a tremendous program, we’ve gotten quite a bit out of it and, I guess, pride and everything else, it…we’ve gone around and everybody…we’re quite well-known around the country as one of the teams that, even though we haven’t….this is the first time we’ve actually won a Regional, we’ve been participating and always been up there within the top people, so it’s very interesting. So, we want to thank you for inviting us tonight and we hope this gives you a little bit of a…hang on a second…
Bill McGowan: I just want to thank the Council for having…I’m Bill McGowan, I’m the Robotics Teacher at the High School. Just two real quick questions, we have something called Mort University, where we have each student in our school has to go get six hours of preparation and we have all the adults in the town, if anybody has an engineering background and wants to come and just help us out to teach kids some engineering fundamentals and engineering in pneumatics and electrical, in a 3-D studio max animation, please contact us; and the last thing for me is Mount Olive has the best team in New Jersey, one of the best in the country, Delbarton doesn’t have it, Pope John doesn’t have it, Morris Catholic doesn’t have it, so we’re very proud of this program in Mount Olive and the growth of the town…this program has really grown in leaps and bounds and thank you very much.
Mr. DiCicco: Just to give you an idea, this year we have 95 kids signed up for the program at the High School. There are 18 kids at the Middle School plus an after school program that has potentially up to 50 kids signed up for it, so it’s really growing and we want to…hopefully, you will all come to the event and actually see one of these events in person. There is an event…there’s a local event being held down at North Brunswick that we’re Mr. DiCicco(cont’d): going to on October 30th, if anybody is interested, we’ll come up, pick you up and take you down there. You’re in for the surprise of your life, if you’ve never seen one of these competitions. They are unbelievable. So, I want to thank you all for giving us this opportunity.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Clapping…. You have an extraordinary team of young adults and you keep getting them and it keeps growing because of the enthusiasm that you and the other adult advisors are putting in, I mean, we can see that here, after nine years, with all the trials and tribulations and sleepless nights, yes, and your kids are gone, that you still get excited over it and it’s really a credit to our community that we have people like you and the youth that follow you. So, with that, again, congratulations and thank you very much. Okay, next item we have on the agenda, we’re going to have a discussion about drainage problems on Route 46 related to the Woodfield Development. I guess it’s appropriate to have it today as there was another drainage problem today, so we can actually talk about current events. Mr. Buczynski, I saw you here. Just explain what the situation is. We do have pictures…all the Council members have pictures of the drainage problem and the run-off today.
Gene Buczynski: Right, we sent you the pictures. Yes, I got a couple of calls this afternoon and, I guess, late morning/early afternoon, and my inspector is on the site. It basically failed in different areas than it did in previous times and there was a good amount of rock and debris that came down, as you can see, almost like a river on site. I had talked to Morris County Soil Conservation District and Sheila Hollis at the site, and I received a call from her at 4:00 on my voice mail and just so her exact words were “she’s at the site, she saw what happened, and she thought it was a very fairly minor erosion problem that occurred on site.” That was the exact words she used, and she spoke to the contractor, and they were going to reinforce the area with another row of silt fence and hay bales at several locations and to help increase the diversions, so they don’t get all the overflow at one location. I just drove up there before the meeting tonight and it seems to be under control. There’s no soil or debris going onto the roadway, there’s a lot of hay bales that are present along 46 and I know there’s also some on the site. Mr. Kaplan, I know, is here tonight, you know, at your request, if you want to discuss that with him further, but to be honest with you, I was kind of shocked that what Soil Conservation District, with the comment I received on the phone, because I was out there on my way back from Pennsylvania, this afternoon around 2:00 and it was a mess.
President Rattner: Mr. Buczynski, I think what the real issue why we have a concern is that two weeks ago, when we had the rain from Hurricane Ivan, it was even a bigger mess, because the amount of rock that was on the road, and I saw some damaged cars….
Mr. Buczynski: There were some rocks this time, too.
President Rattner: Okay, but, you know, there was a long…more than what the pictures look like, but this…the way I calculate, it’s the fourth time in three months that we’ve had this situation and I think what this Town and this Council think is it’s unacceptable in that there has to be, I mean, if somebody takes on a project of this….that they should have the scale and the proper contractors to avoid it. An accident can happen. A lot of these rains have been predicted, it wasn’t that it was, you know, a two inch rain that nobody knew about and it was before they could get something in place. This was predicted at least five / six days ago. The hurricane was predicted over, you know, Ivan was over a week, and it’s constantly going and I guess why we have…why we asked Mr. Kaplan here, is what are they doing so that it doesn’t happen again? We’ve seen the side of the mountain clear-cut, that area is not just for a retention basin, what it appears from a layman’s standpoint is too many trees and too much land disturbance, you know, on that kind of slope to control, and we want to hear what is being done, so it won’t be done again.
Mr. Buczynski: Well, I suggest to have Mr. Kaplan come forward.
President Rattner: And then we’ll take any questions and comments from the Council members. The first thing you have to do is give us your name and your affiliation.
Morris Kaplan, President of Kaplan Companies: Basically, since I’ve been talking to Gene, I guess, over the last couple of weeks, as we’ve beefed up our contractors who pretty much simultaneously started the work for the detention basin there, probably about the same time or a little after the blow-out occurred, you know, we’ve had to blast the detention basin in order to try to get it prepared, unfortunately, and we’ve tried to put in various dikes and build up some berms, but the rains have been much stronger than what we were able to put up over the last couple of weeks, really. What we’re looking to do is we have silt fencing up, we’re going to be putting in additional hay bales along the silt fencing. I had recommended to Gene that we would get down along Route 46 also and put additional silt fencing and hay bales to help try to catch, if anything gets through the upper layer, at least that it will help prevent some of the stones or rocks that are getting out, or that had gotten out into the Mr. Kaplan(cont’d): street, and I think what happens and what has happened in the past, fortunately we haven’t had, I mean, in the last few weeks, we’ve had probably more of these occurrences than I think we’ve had over the last few years. The last one I remember, I think was on Drakestown Road a few years ago, but generally we haven’t, given over the time period, we haven’t had a lot, but what we find is that as you have a storm and you try to, you know, block it up or you try to put in silt fencing or diversion, sometimes we ended up putting silt fencing and some dikes where we’ll dig a hole out to try to help it catch some of the rocks that come down. If it gets filled up, then we end up having to try to do something else, I mean, it’s not like a text-book solution where we could come in there, but I think the basics right now, as I said, we’re bringing in about 400 bales of hay tomorrow that we’re going to be lining up along the kind of the bottom of the detention basin and I was out there today, most of the afternoon, and even up until about 7:15 before I came here, just to see what was happening and there was one area that had, again, gotten through. That’s why I told my guys to also put additional silt fencing and hay bales down at the bottom and then, if there’s some additional areas up at the top that after today, that we see didn’t hold, we’ll probably end up putting, you know, more of that…and when we did that last time, on the Drakestown Road problem where we had on the other detention basin, or it wasn’t really in the detention basin, it was in a section – part of 2A, we found that that helped tremendously and avoided the mud to go down Drakestown Road. I don’t know if you do recall that, and we found that to be pretty successful to prevent the majority of the….at that time, it was more silt, I don’t think we had the type of problems we’ve had with the rocks and even today, from what I understand, late this morning/this afternoon, there weren’t any boulders there, because most of the builders had either gone down, you know, about a week and a half ago, some smaller rocks, but that’s why I thought that putting up the fencing and hay bales down closer to the curb on 46, kind of be like a secondary net, so to speak, to help if anything go by what we’re putting up tomorrow, and that’s really what we have proposed for right now. We have built, if you’ve been out there, Gene, or your guy Mark, I mean, we’ve built…they’ve built up some dirt dikes up there and I think they ended up…we have like a big hole there also where they’re trying to pick up the water from the cleared section, in section 3B. So what we’re trying to do is reduce the amount of water…the amount of water that just gushes out onto 46 as best as we can and, you know, if, like I said before, if all we’re doing tomorrow and between now and the end of the week, you know, you unfortunately don’t know until it gets down there, but, you know, it ends up becoming almost a sea of hay bales and silt fencing and that’s really, at this junction, what we’re contemplating on doing.
President Rattner: Does anybody from the Council have any questions?
Mr. Kaplan: Well, we can get with Gene or Mark if necessary, just to review that, you know, just to make sure that, you know, if they see that we need to put in more, then, you know, we’ll put in more.
Mr. Guenther: I guess maybe this question is more for Gene. Is the original clear-cutting, I’ll call it clear-cutting for lack of a better term, took place up there, was that in conformance with the approvals by the Planning Board?
Mr. Buczynski: Yes it was and with the sequence of construction with Soil Conservation and we….they had received a separate developer’s agreement for the cutting of that area. I think we briefly discussed it last week that, with the density on that site, between the proposed home area with the slope, we’ve got a lot of grading, so all the trees get removed, and then with the detention basins and roads, unfortunately, it ends up being a massive cleared area. You know, we talked about could they piece meal it and I’m sure the contractor can speak for that, too. You can’t build a detention basin and blast by just taking little sections out. It just…feasibly it doesn’t work that way. You have to really get in there and first clear it and then do your blasting and then get that detention basin in, otherwise you’d be there for ages. That’s the best I could tell you.
Mr. Kaplan: We have, I think, one more blast scheduled this week and that should finish that up and then, you know, if the weather holds out, we’ve started the wall, and again, I don’t know…if you’re not familiar, we have to put a big retaining wall within the basin, too, which we started yesterday, and we’re hoping, by next week, to start taking the water out of the basin. I think once we start forming out the basin, that clearly will help, you know, pick up and reduce a lot of the water that’s running out there, because then we’ll have like a bowl that will slow that down and so I think that, by next week, between the combination of us doing the interim silt fencing and hay bales this week and starting the basins next week, those things start falling into place. Gene is correct, I mean, the amount of dirt that’s coming out of there, needs to be moved around. A lot of the materials are used for the retaining wall, it’s used for grading out the rest of the site and it’s difficult to be able to just isolate, you know, one area and say I’m going to do this because then you have no place to take the dirt, you end up just…you just pile it up, you know, so….you know, it’s work. We haven’t, as I said before, generally in the past we’ve had very minor problems, I guess we’ve had a couple of instances where, you know, after some heavy rain storms, we did have some problems, but again, all in all, given the difficulty of the site and the steepness of the slopes there and, again, you know, this last couple of rain storms, like the one that we had last week and a half ago, you know, it’s difficult to design and prepare for something like that as best as you can, Mr. Kaplan(cont’d): and you try to do as much as you can, and you try to do as much as you can, but it would be almost impossible….not almost, it would be impossible to just to take a small area and say okay I’m going to work on that and go to the other area, because there’s just too much earth work that has to be done on that to dig that basin.
Mr. Guenther: So, there wasn’t any way to dig at least a partial portion of the basin to absorb some of that runoff faster and do it in a more accelerated fashion, because you started that clear-cutting, what, it’s been maybe two months ago?
Mr. Kaplan: Three months ago.
Mr. Guenther: Why is it taking that long to put at least a partial basin in, or something to retain some of the water?
Mr. Kaplan: Well, I can’t tell you, you know, we really had to go in there and by the time we really grubbed and cleared it, we may have cleared about two / three months ago, but the actual…by the time….because generally what we’ve done in the past, and we’re relatively successful, in each of the sections, is that we used to just cut the trees off and leave the stumps in and wouldn’t touch the natural vegetation, this way you wouldn’t have a so-called naked piece of ground, and we started that the last few years and that, again, because of an occurrence that may have happened for some years ago, so that was the process. So, what you saw maybe two or three months ago was the clearing, but until we’re getting ourselves ready to get everybody lined up, we wouldn’t pull the stumps and the….clear and strip the topsoil and move that, until maybe, lets say, it could have been three weeks ago or a month that that process started occurring to start opening up the whole site and getting it prepared so that we can bring in the contractors to start doing the blasting. So, from a timing standpoint, it may look like we’ve been out there for a while, but from a, you know, from a procedural standpoint of how we did it, it really didn’t start, I’d say, almost about three or four weeks ago that we could get out there and the contractor started off a little slower than what we anticipated, you know, we were hoping that he would be in there with a few more trucks and what-not and, unfortunately, with the weather the way it’s been, sometimes they get a little delayed and then, you know, Gene had called me up a few weeks ago and said, hey, you know, what’s going on here, you know, you give the schedule and we have to get moving, so we, I think within the two days after you and I talked, they brought in…they started gearing themselves up about two weeks ago and if you go out there, you’ll see, you know, three or four, you know, drill rigs out there, the back hoes and everybody else. So, you know, I don’t think we could get in there any sooner to do a small little area, because of the blasting. You know, you can’t just like dig an area and then blast, because there were different areas. We really have to do it cohesively to get the job done properly, it’s…unfortunately, it’s, you know, I’d like to say, yes I could just do that – it’s a small basin and then you pick a little area, but the guys really…. there’s a methodology between that and if he…the amount of walls that have to go up there is really incredible, I mean, we have a lot of walls on the job, probably on this one basin, it’s almost going to be the equivalent of what I think we’ve put throughout most of Woodfield and there’s just….the coordination is very critical on here.
Mr. Greenbaum: Mr. Kaplan, imagine sitting up here and having to deal with this as a Council person or as a resident of Mount Olive, you know, this situation is simply unacceptable, in my mind. I find it particularly egregious that this issue was raised two weeks ago and that was probably the third or fourth time that this problem had occurred and that we’re back here today with the same problem and I think measures should have been in place before two weeks ago, but certainly two weeks ago, with respect to making sure that this wasn’t going to happen again and, although I took a ride up there today, this evening, on my way to the meeting, and it looked like whatever containment measures you put in place today were successful, I don’t understand why that wasn’t done prior to today, and I’d like to know that…I’d like to feel confident that all measures that are possible to prevent this from happening again in the future, are being taken. Is there somebody who is responsible, at the site, on days where it’s known that there is going to be a significant rainfall, with regard to making sure that a containment of the soil and the runoff from the site, is being accomplished? Sort of an emergency action team, who is up there to put in whatever fencing, whatever hay bales are needed to stop this type of problem from happening in the future and, you know, I just don’t have any level of confidence that this is not going to happen again, so I would like you to tell me what your plans are for the future, in terms of making sure that this isn’t going to happen.
Mr. Kaplan: Well, I can tell you my guys were there probably until about 6:00 / 6:30 going out there and trying to put some hay bales and fixing that up and doing the best they can, you know, without getting themselves in trouble on a dark road and, you know, it’s a little bit of a liability with that. I can, given the past problems that we’ve had, again, unfortunately, it hasn’t been, you know, a lot, but the ones that were extreme, we’ve responded very quickly. Today, when this occurrence…..when this occurred today, my guys were out there immediately, you know, with bobcats and they had that road cleaned up, I’d say within an hour. They did Mr. Kaplan(cont’d): respond on it and they’ll do whatever they have to do to get it done so my onsite guys are there, but I can tell you, between now and in the next couple of days, we want to take as much preventative measures that we can right now, to minimize, you know, again, if we have a….you’ll see, we’re going to do everything between this week to get as many…as much up as we can to try to prevent all the different areas that have been exposed. Unfortunately, again, if you have like an Ivan or something that just….you know, sometimes, as you know, it’s like a leak in a house, you can find it here, but it will find some other way and it will end up down in here and that’s….like if I went out there today, the measure they took a couple of weeks ago, they worked okay, but now I saw another hole that, if you go by there, right about maybe about 40 feet east of the basin, I saw water coming down. I don’t know if you saw that, it was just coming down there, and that didn’t come there before, because it just found its way, but we take this very seriously. We know, you know, there’s liability issue on our part and the safety of the people that drive on that road, so we’re going to take every measure that we can this week. We hope that, as I said before, you know, with Gene’s oversight or review, that if he sees something that we’re not doing that he would like added, we’ll add it, I mean this is not…you know, silt fencing and hay bales and diversion dikes are not costly as compared to what could happen. So, my guys are up there, you know, they’re there from 7:00 am until 6:00 at night. I mean, I don’t have guys there late in the middle of the night, but I know on Saturday, when the storm happened a week and a half ago, my guys were out there…they came out and they’re available. The township has their numbers, God forbid, in case of an emergency, they’ll come out there. We have SJP’s numbers if, you know, if we had to…from that standpoint, if it got really severe, but what we want to do this week is to try to accomplish as much of the preventative things to really narrow it down. Am I going to sit here and tell you I can guarantee you that something may…you know, I could make 100% prevent from something going on out there, I would be…it would be foolish for me to say that, but I think can I improve it, you know, 70%, 80%, 85%, 90%, yes…it’s my obligation to do that and I want to do that. We’re not…we don’t want to run away from it, it’s important, you know, for us and it’s very important for you, I know, and for the township and people just drive through there, so we’re hoping that this week we can accomplish that.
Mr. Greenbaum: I can appreciate the analogy to a leak in a house where you stop it in one spot and it comes in another. The problem I have with what you’re telling me is that there are additional measures which you are going to take this week. I feel that those measures should have been taken weeks ago, and the fact that you’re taking them now, I applaud those efforts, but the fact that we’re back here for a fifth time, leads me to, again, leads me to the lack of confidence that this is the last time that we’re going to see you before us, on this issue.
Mr. Kaplan: I can only respond that, you know, where we’ve had this situation in the past, I think we’ve reacted very quickly. You know, typically, they’ll go ahead and they’ll do certain processes based on the plans, maybe they didn’t, you know, go beyond the cause because, you know, you figure you design the soil erosion measures based on the plans, that’s where they go out there. They knew the storm was coming, they did some work, but clearly it wasn’t enough to handle the volume of what came down. So, there wasn’t….we fell short of that, I’m not going to make excuses for that. I hear you and, as I said, we recognize that we have to try to better prepare ourselves for heavier storms than just a normal rain storm, because it’s going to, you know, we’re going to be there and we need to do more measures, because, as I said, I remember when we went into Drakestown Road, we had to do quite a bit to prevent the problems from the mud slides that occurred down Drakestown to 46, if you recall, and it worked and I feel that we can do the same thing here. You know, I’m sorry that, you know, you may feel the way you feel, but I am very confident that we’ll be able to handle that and I’m not looking forward to coming back in here and, you know, maybe I can hire one of these robots over here to be available to clean the roads at the end of the day, but we’re still behind everything there and we, once in a while, do fall short or underestimate the volume of what comes off of those hills and we’ll try not to do that again.
Mr. Buell: Just one question. When did your staff respond to the run-off from the hill today?
Mr. Kaplan: It was sometime…it may have been early afternoon. I can’t…I don’t want to tell you the exact time. I know they got out there and they were out there for about an hour to clean that up. DOT couldn’t get out there, they stopped by and they said, you know, it’s a good thing that you cleaned it up, there was a policeman out there and they were with the bobcat, and they, you know, cleaned everything up on 46 and there was a little, I think that went across by the turnaround by DOT yard there, they went around. So, they were out there, I’m going to guess, early afternoon. I got up here, it was about 3:00, it was already clean by the time I got here.
Mr. Buell: Well, it would seem to me, you knew it was going to rain, did you have someone monitoring the situation this morning when it began to rain, or did you wait until, I guess, Gene and somebody called and said….
Mr. Kaplan: No, from what I understand, that they, you know, had just….the volume this morning was so great that, you know, they just couldn’t control it, you know. You know when you monitor….I mean, it’s….I mean, you know it’s coming and you’ve prepared…again, it’s unfortunate, I wish I had pictures to show you. They had dikes and they dug a troth and everything and they did some things and….helping, again, to try to reduce what had happened from a week and a half ago, and they….it was just, you know, it wasn’t enough, apparently, and that’s why they ended up deciding to bring in the, you know, hay bales and that’s why I told them, also, you know, I think you need to put in additional hay bales and silt fencing down there, because you know what, if that doesn’t work, you’re laying naked out there and you’ve got a little silt fence down there, it’s just not enough down there, and they were, I mean, they were standing there, but, you know, when that water’s gushing down there, I guess they just, you know, they just couldn’t do anything, except to go out there and clean it up. You know, again, we’ve been trying to deal with it and I’m not going to make excuses that….I mean, they know the rain’s coming and, you know, as I said, you know, they did the best they can from what they saw last time, but if, like I said, it found itself another hole and today whatever they fixed last time worked well, now this evening there’s like another….we see it broke through someplace else. That’s why I said, if you would have had a fence down there, then….and unfortunately, so far it’s not…you know, it’s water coming down there, but at least if I had that fence and the hay down there, it would hold back some of the stones or anything else that I saw come through there and that’s why I said….we just, as a company, we just need to look at it and take it that, you know, we have to anticipate heavy storms and it could be, you know, it’s going to be another almost thirty-some days before that basin’s in and, you know, either completed in sufficient shape that it’s really going to detain the thing. So, we just really need to step up some of the things that we have to do this week to try to reduce that…those things and better anticipate it.
Mr. Buell: You know, I would think the one very simple thing you could do is when a rain like this is predicted, have somebody on the site at the beginning, to monitor it from the beginning of the rain and then you could be onto it before it becomes what it turned into be again.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. Mr. Kaplan, the…a couple of things….I’m not unfamiliar with construction sites, having spent enough time on there and digging through the soil and I understand soil erosion, although I’m not an engineer, nor am I an expert in that field. I will tell you, however, that in the years that I’ve lived here in the township, your development, personally, and this is my personal opinion, has been the least maintained, the most troublesome to the adjacent neighborhood of any other development I have, quite frankly, ever witnessed, and I covered 32 municipalities in one of my previous jobs, and put up a lot of developments. You knew this storm was coming, you had the one last week, you had one at least a year or so ago where you had a big wash-out down there. To turn around now and tell me that okay, I see the hay bales and it was your idea to put the extra hay bales, that’s admirable, it’s a little….it’s the cart after the horse, but it’s admirable. This was coming, you knew it, we all knew it, all of us have taken appropriate actions. I pumped out my basement last weekend, I brought in some extra sandbags, I knew this storm was coming. Today, knock on wood, I hope it’s okay when I get home. So, everybody knew, so please don’t stand here and tell me that all of these things are going to be magically now taken care of although you won’t guarantee us 100% that it won’t ever happen again because, quite frankly, you’re right, water seeks the least path of resistance, it will find itself somewhere through, until that detention basin is done. You made the statement about steep slopes, you knew you had steep slopes, very steep slopes, so much so that average soil conservation measures probably would not have been sufficient. Do you not agree with that?
Mr. Kaplan: Well, I would have to say that, yes, average on the very very excessive situations, it probably would not hold up.
Mr. Perkins: Right, and that’s exactly what we’ve witnessed on at least three different occasions.
Mr. Kaplan: We have done additional work there over and above what was there, I mean, I do want to correct that.
Mr. Perkins: You’ve done additional work, but your additional remediation and preventative maintenance measures have been severely lacking and have not been adequate, quite frankly. I’m highly disappointed, as I think most of my colleagues here, and I’m sure most of the public that have to traverse the area and lives adjacent to that property up there. I would strongly suggest that you work with our Township Engineer and all of our experts and administrators here and get this resolved to the best of your ability in the most timely of fashions and get on with this.
Mr. Kaplan: I agree, we do want to….I agree with you 100%. I’m not here to defend the situation, per se, you know….
Mr. Perkins: Mr. Kaplan, it really doesn’t need an answer, it doesn’t need words, it needs action, alright.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Kaplan, all of the cars that were damaged, or had damage to them, I was driving by there on the 18th and a car had blown a tire and they were putting it up on the tow truck. Are you going to compensate all the drivers who had damage to their vehicles and inconvenienced?
Mr. Kaplan: Well, we haven’t heard anything from anybody, but if we get, you know, what do you call it, claims, that we’ll have to deal with it.
Ms. Labow: Most people wouldn’t know to even contact you, though, just grumble and complain. Maybe perhaps, as a good will measure, you could contact the police department and see who had inj….you know, damage, because there were a lot of police officers there, and maybe contact the people. I think that would be a nice thing since you created this hardship. I know if it was me and I had to take a couple of hours out of my day to have my car towed, and I even have towing, and I’d have to have that expense coming out, fixing my tire, I’d be pretty upset and I think it would be a nice thing for you to do.
Mayor De La Roche: Mr. Kaplan, I’m not one to pile on, but I’m….to me, this is unbelievable. You don’t have to be an engineer or anything else, I mean, I rode past there about a month or so ago, I mentioned it to members of the Planning Board, when we were sitting that…you could be just a casual observer and say this is not going to work if there’s rain. I mean, that slope, and you see a little silt netting that’s going to stop that, I mean, it’s just disingenuous to try and argue that that was some step was taken to prevent that. I mean, anybody who rode past there and saw that clear cutting knew this was going to happen if we had a heavy rain and you don’t have to be an engineer to see that. I mean, I rode past and I said this is outrageous, I mean, I discussed it with the Planning Board members and I said this is going to happen and that was a month ago, so….I think steps could have been taken more than….about maybe a month or more ago, about putting up bales of hay or whatever else had to be done, but there was no way that that silt fencing could hold any of that. The slope was just too great, I mean, anybody rides up Route 46 out of Hackettstown had to see it, it wasn’t like it was hidden, I mean, bad enough the clear cutting that we got all the complaints about and rightly so, in my opinion, but to say that you didn’t think there…..we….maybe….I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, you didn’t think it was going to happen or that you just thought you’d be able to stop it before it happened, but I think that it’s just disingenuous for you to argue that, you know, that it couldn’t have been prevented to the degree that it did occur.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mayor. Gene, this question is really directed to you. Obviously, that’s extremely steep slopes and this is a problem with steep slopes. That’s why we have ordinances against building on steep slopes and today you couldn’t build on those steep slopes on that, because we have, you know, the concentration steep slopes, that wouldn’t be allowed under our zoning.
Mr. Buczynski: Well, even with the Highlands, now, too, of course, it’s another reason, but even with the Highlands, Steve.
President Rattner: Before the Highlands. The Highlands even more….it got more strict. What I want now is Mr. Dorsey to explain why that project is there, because it doesn’t meet our standards. It didn’t meet our standards from the beginning, we felt it shouldn’t have been built, and Mr. Dorsey, why don’t you explain more briefly exactly why that project is there.
Mr. Dorsey: Well, the history of the project is that about 22 years ago, there was a Mount Laurel action brought against the Township. Interestingly enough, it was brought by an attorney by the name of Carl Biscair, who had been in the public advocate’s office that had brought the Morris 27 Mount Laurel litigation against 27 Morris communities. He left the office and took up private practice to bring this particular action, so the fact that this site was selected to be developed, and the fact that it was designed for a rather dense development, was nothing that Mount Olive Planning Board or Mount Olive had anything to do with it. It was indeed forced upon the municipality and I think the extent to which this is less than a great site for development, is witnessed by the fact that originally….the original development, I think, provided for something in the neighborhood of 750 units. I think the Kaplan Organization is the third or the fourth developer that has been involved. In over ten years….about ten years ago, the developer that was then involved apparently recognized the over intensity of the original development that was forced upon the Township by way of the Mount Laurel action, and reduced the number of units by 40%, Gene?
Mr. Buczynski: About that.
Mr. Dorsey: By about 40%, so this is….the fact that this mountain is being developed, is just a historical accident in many senses, forced upon the Township as a result of the situation in which Mount Laurel housing was being forced upon the municipality by way of litigation and not through the COAH process.
President Rattner: And if we wanted to explain that so you could understand what was there, I mean, it wasn’t just this Planning Board, this Council, but it goes back and there was a long history and it was really part of the wisdom of the State Courts and Social Engineering, and that’s why we have that project. Anybody else have any other comments? Okay, thank you very much, Gene, thank you very much, Mr. Kaplan. We’re going to take you at your word, obviously, I know it was uncomfortable here. Hopefully, you won’t have to come back because we do what is necessary and hopefully you’ll go a little bit further because we know that, just because it’s rain, they’re talking about a couple more hurricanes in Florida, I mean, at least we’re bearing better than the people down there, but the water comes up here, and we’ll have it again. So, we know what we’re facing. Thank you very much. The next item we have on the agenda is a presentation on Turkey Brook Park and we have Mr. Heymann for a return appearance.
Ron Heymann: Thank you very much for the opportunity to come before you again. I was here a couple of months ago and, at that time, we were discussing several issues with regard to Turkey Brook. I put the map in front of you, disregard the baseball field, but I just wanted you to see what we were going to come here and talk about today. Personally, I’m going to mention something at the end because I see you have some resolutions and ordinances on here for something that I thought had been approved several months ago. So, hopefully, that’s going to go through. The Turkey Brook Advisory Committee has met almost monthly for several years now and our real goal is to finish up what is left in this portion of the park, basically it’s the loop. We have felt that we have now provided, we think there’s more fields needed, but at this point we have provided for the up to fourteen year old age group of soccer, football and baseball fields, not for the baseball up to 14, that’s really only for the Little League kids, but it’s now time to develop this project and park for adults, and for that we want to put in basketball courts, tennis courts and sand volleyball pits. We’ve had some estimates from Gene, through working with our committee and he’s been a member of that at least, you know, coming to our committee meetings and helping us, approximately $250,000. The last time we met, Mr. Elms is no longer here, he requested that we meet with the Recreation Advisory Committee and so we had a joint meeting in here I’d say within the last month, early September, it was the 8th of September. At that time, we went over this presentation and the entire Recreation Advisory Committee was all in favor of the proposal that is before you today. As a matter of fact, they had statistics which indicated that we don’t have enough of these….the tennis courts were woefully inadequate, we need more sand volleyball pits, and basketball – we’re about on par, but it won’t hurt to put them in there. So, what we are asking for, of course, is your approval for us to proceed and to finish this. I already covered what it is and now I’m going to talk a little bit about how it should be funded. Take the money from the Open Space Fund. That’s my money, it’s your money, it’s every resident’s money and when I sat up there with you, many years ago, we amended the ordinance to raise the increase in the taxes to not only purchase open space, but to develop open space land. Since that time, we’ve developed little of open space land with those monies. There’s no reason to keep that money there, it continues to grow, and with the preservation Highlands Act that’s out there, who knows where development is going to go. We recommend strongly that instead of bonding, instead of raising taxes, two things that nobody has any interest in doing, you take those monies from there and let’s finish this project up. It’s time, it’s done, it’s needed in the community. Our tennis courts, the only tennis courts you really have available are the ones behind the Middle School right now. The Recreation Advisory Committee has told us that it’s their suggestion that the tennis courts down in Flanders, on 206, that park be made into the skateboard park. That’s their recommendation, and one that we find no fault with, to be quite candid, we don’t think that the appropriate place for the skateboard park is Turkey Brook. So, we ask for you to do that. I told you why….a couple of whys…let me go on. I’ve given you the cost, we think it’s about $250,000, it may be a little more. I don’t know what Mr. Buczynski’s fees will be, but whatever it is, it’s well worth us spending that money. When should this be done? Now. There is no reason for delaying it any longer. If any project has been delayed for a longer period of time than what anybody could ever anticipate or imagine, it’s been Turkey Brook. Sometimes for the wrong reasons, sometimes because certain people think that the public doesn’t want this to be done, they’re wrong. The public wants Turkey Brook to be finished and this will finish Turkey Brook for quite some time. We cannot develop the remainder of Turkey Brook until we receive certain guarantees or I mean permits and approvals from the State of New Jersey. We made those applications, but there’s going to be….when we first made the application, we were told at least two years. My experience with anything with DEP is you can multiply that by two. So, you can see where you’re going to head as far as this point in time trying to get that done. I’d like to be able to come before this committee in two weeks and your Council and know that there will be a resolution on, at that time, allowing us to proceed, allowing Mr. Buczynski to prepare the necessary bid specs so that we can go out to a bid and to get this done so it’s done by the springtime. Again, I see absolutely no reason why that cannot be accomplished, none whatsoever. What I’m going to ask, and what I don’t need to see is, I don’t need to see this in a referendum, that’s why you were elected, I don’t need to see anymore delays because God only knows you delayed it, I don’t need to hear any Council people asking the Administration what they think, vote on your own, Mr. Heymann(cont’d): you all know what we can do. When I sat up there, we didn’t have to ask the Administration every time what they think, we don’t need to do that. We need to present this project so that it’s complete. There’s basically no reason that I can think of, when multiple committees have worked tirelessly on behalf of everybody in this town, to do what’s best, as far as what we think, with the recreation. We’re not asking you tax anybody, the money is there, the money will continue to grow, because the taxes keep coming in, so I’m asking for your support, everybody in our committee is asking for your support, and even at the request of one of the Councilmen, who thought it would be best to meet with the Recreation Advisory Committee, they thought it should happen. Now, lastly, because what I had thought had been done, when I was here last time, may not be done and I hope it is tonight, we need you to proceed with regard to what we were initially calling Phase I of this project, putting in the bollards so that people stop parking up in the grass area that we wanted finished, paving the parking lots, making it ADA accessible. Again, whether you’re going to bond for it which, the Lord only knows, I don’t know why, instead of using the open space fund money to finish that part of the project up, I don’t know, but that needs to happen first, there’s no question about that. We need more parking, the parking behind the football field is required, it’s just too crowded down there when everything is going on. These are things that we’ve already looked at and that’s why those recommendations were made. So, on behalf of our committee, I am urging you to go forward with this project, so that when I read my Daily Record in two days, for the first time in nine months, I actually see something positive in this municipality. This is an opportunity for us to move in that direction and I am once again urging you, unless you have a reason that makes some sense to me, tell me why we cannot proceed. Thank you. I’ll take any questions you want.
President Rattner: Anybody have any questions or comments?
Mr. Guenther: I’ll make it very short. I wholeheartedly agree with Ron Heymann. I think that I’ve always stood on the fact that we did not develop enough recreation facilities on there for non-organized sports activities, I’ve wanted this to be a part of what we’re going to consider tonight, originally, and the money wasn’t there. I think this is a good solution. This is a service to many of the citizens in town who are not being serviced now by the organized sports fields that are there, and it is mostly the organized sports that use them, even though, I guess, you can have a pickup baseball game, or a pickup soccer game if you want.
Mr. Greenbaum: I also agree with Mr. Heymann in terms of moving forward with the open space funds, I made my position clear by way of letter to the community. The one thing that I think is required, Ron, just like your committee got together with the Recreation Committee, we have an Open Space Committee and they need to be consulted as well in terms of the use of the funding and I think a balance has to be struck, in terms of making sure that we have sufficient funds to accomplish all the goals, and I believe that there are sufficient funds to complete the project in the terms that you discussed here tonight, but I think that in terms of having it in two weeks, I think that it needs to go to the Open Space Committee first, so that there is a balanced presentation with regard….I’m not saying that we necessarily have to follow….
Mr. Heymann: It already has been there, Mr. Greenbaum. The Open Space Committee has written you a letter back when we were here before, saying they do not support that. The Open Space Committee is made up of four people and they’ve said no.
Mr. Greenbaum: I think I’d like to send it back there. I tell you that I am personally in favor of moving forward with this project, but I would like to personally address the Open Space Committee to find out if there is some compromise to their position, so that we can move forward with a number of projects that take on both interests, and to do it in an expedited fashion, not to wait around.
Mr. Heymann: Well, good, because you just covered my second point of delay, which is what that does.
Mr. Greenbaum: I understand, I would like to get this on as soon as possible. I’d like to convene the meeting of the Open Space Committee, get it done at their next meeting, come back and pass the resolution, if appropriate.
Mr. Heymann: And I want to make one other point, when I was here last time, Mr. Rattner, who we know is a qualified accountant, did some quick numbers and came up with a fairly significant amount of money that would be in the Open Space Fund so, you can do it again, I believe the number was about $1.5 million in a future date, maybe he was including Charter Farms, or whatever that is that was going to go in there, but I’ll leave that to you. I just continue to urge you not….we know what the Open Space Committee is going to say, we’ve been there. To me, I say who cares, I mean, I hate to be as blunt as I used to be, but, you know, I don’t really care that they don’t want to be involved in this, they have their own motives and so do I.
Mr. Greenbaum: Things have changed and I’m not sure that their positions will not have changed slightly. So, you know what, what I suggest we do, Ron, with the indulgence of the chair, is to schedule this for a particular meeting in terms of discussion at a workshop and resolution two weeks thereafter, so that there is… it’s not a delaying tactic, it’s on the radar, it’s to be discussed at a workshop, it’s to be decided at the next public session.
Mr. Heymann: Alright.
Ms. Labow: Hi Ron. I agree with Rob and the one thing I want to say is I think the last time we went to the Open Space Committee, you were asking for a larger amount of money and the Highlands Act wasn’t passed at that time, so their opinion just might change, but the other things, and this is not a delay tactic, just in being up at Turkey Brook quite a bit and also going over to Freedom Park, in Randolph, where…I’m sure you’ve been there, and they have all of their parking in the center and my concern, and I would like to see, if we could possibly have our traffic officer review the situation, is that if we have all that activity going on in the center loop, I’m afraid it’s going to be distracting to the drivers and my concern is that you might have a child crossing from the right-hand side, somebody is looking to the left as they’re coming in, because they see a tennis ball going back, or a basketball going back, and it may create a potential hazard for our children. So, I would like to have the traffic officer’s professional opinion on that if it does cause a possible distraction to drivers.
Mr. Heymann: That’s easy enough.
President Rattner: Ron, one thing I didn’t hear, and I know it was originally planned, and that was some sort of pavilion or covered or shaded area in the center. Is this in your plan right now?
Mr. Heymann: Right. It’s not in the plan now, but it’s something that the committee has looked at. We’re going to get some more information from Gene, we were looking at maybe getting a pre-structured or pre-fabbed building up there. We are looking at that.
President Rattner: Well, okay, it doesn’t have to be real big and why I bring that up, especially when you talk about some of our senior citizens, some of the, you know, parents, you know, older generation that we’re quickly approaching, that go to see their kids or grand kids play, they really need a shaded area and we’re not talking something real big, it can be something like what’s behind the firehouse.
Mr. Heymann: We have some ideas on that, actually, when we come back, my suggestion would be is to permit our committee to continue to explore that and that we will come back as a possibility.
President Rattner: I think that really should be in there because I support your plans right now, I mean, there’s no doubt that I was a critic when a lot of Turkey Brook was being done, the amount of money being spent, but Turkey Brook is there, it’s functioning, it’s functioning over all very well. The kids and the people who are using it are very happy with it. Now, what we’re talking about is really doing the refinements. We’re talking about now, increasing the use to other people for a relatively, I mean it’s still a lot of money, but it’s a relatively small amount for that much more usage. We’ve already spent $8 million or $9 million on the park, and that doesn’t include the cost of the land. Now, we’re talking about to provide a lot more services or programs for a relatively little amount of money. The Open Space does have a good sum of money in it, the idea of the open space tax, that our citizens voted for three separate times, was to purchase and develop open space and recreation. It was also meant to pay for things. One thing we’ve been doing in the past and it was appropriate, with the open space, was using it for leverage so we could save the land before it was taken, you know, it was developed, so we were using the money only for down payment and finding other ways to pay back the loans. Now, we have to start looking and using some of the money, and we raised quite a bit, it’s probably over $600,000 to $700,000 a year, and start paying as you go. I think that’s what you’re proposing, that’s something I’ve always pulled on any capital project. You’re talking around $250,000, with the amounts of money that I believe is in there, it wouldn’t really cause us any problems with any plans for future acquisitions, and still allow us to do some other things, pay as we go. So, I would….I don’t know if we need a formal meeting with the Open Space Committee, we can maybe make contact informally, so we could get it moving ahead, at least for the planning, because all we’re doing in a couple weeks is just allocating the money, stating that we’re going to go ahead with this and just spending the money for the engineering and the design, because until we do that, we don’t know the amount of money and coming up with the bid specs, but we get it moving. If we start moving like this, we can get everything done this fall, maybe we can be ready in the spring, when the thaw comes, and start working, so by the fall it’s really useful and I think that would be one heck of an accomplishment, especially the way we’ve done some projects in the past.
Mr. Buell: Ron, being on your committee, and I agree with you, and I also agree with Steve, that we need to go on a pay as you go basis, at this point in time. We need to allocate a certain amount of this money and develop. My question, as you know, is that I have, you know, some other priorities that I think are higher than the tennis courts or the basketball courts, such as the parking lot near the retention basin, so we can use that for ice skating instead of since we can no longer realistically use Budd Lake. I’d also like to see us pave the parking lot up between the football…or up above the football field near the trails, because I think that’s got to be an important part of this, but, you know, and also I would like us to take a look at building a much better child play area, because that actually is a disgrace in terms of I’ve heard many, many comments that we need something that looks, you know, super. I mean, every time I go over to Horseshoe Lake and see that complex over there for the kids, it just makes me ashamed to go up to Turkey Brook Park. What I’d like to do is have you come back with some priorities and discuss it at the next Turkey Brook Development Committee and possibly the Recreation Committee in terms of priorities of these other things that we’re just beginning to mention other than the basketball and the tennis courts.
Mr. Heymann: I don’t have any problem disputing or arguing a little bit, I don’t think those are the priorities now, Councilman, to be honest with you, I don’t have any problem with the Park Committee continuing to move forward and to develop other areas of it, but I think this is the plan that, before I came, people worked on and then this is, I think, what is still required now. I think that that area around the loop road must be finished in order to show some sense of design and completeness to the project, and then I think the pavilion is an issue and I think looking at the area for skating, for parking and the other….the committee is not going away until you disband us, sometimes I don’t know if it’s not a bad idea, but…..
President Rattner: Well, the pavilion was something that was a plan, that’s probably the largest single thing, but I think what Mr. Heymann has done is he’s gone to the different appropriate committees, the Recreation, he’s going to talk to the Open Space, they have their own committee, and they’ve come up with their priorities and I’m sure that, if you talk to the six people on there, even Mr. Heymann probably, this isn’t all his priorities. He may have done something a little bit different, but this is what they’ve come up with as a group, and if they come to this type of agreement, I think, you know, it’s not a real intensive project, it’s things that I don’t think anybody can dispute will be used. We can always put those other things in, but at least we get this. If we want to do the next part, we’re not talking the same size or magnitude, this will finish up that center loop, and I agree with Mr. Heymann at this point on these things, because we’ve heard him for the last couple of years that we should go ahead.
Mr. Heymann: The Recreation Advisory Committee actually had the statistics and the statistics were how many tennis courts in a municipality of 25,000 people, we were woefully inadequate, so if we follow what the Advisory Committee states, then what we’ve been saying independent of them, of putting these in, conforms, but I don’t want to go away. I think there’s lots more that we can still develop, but we will be happy on the Committee anyway, to look at it, but what I don’t want to do is take two steps back and look at that while this, again, sits to be, you know, a parking lot facility. We want to develop this and then continue to move forward. There’s no reason why we can’t do both, rather than delaying it, and that’s our position.
Mr. Greenbaum: Can we set this down, not next week’s workshop, but the workshop after that. Ron, you can come back at that time, that will give a time to develop the cost for engineering and whatever else is going to be involved in the pre…..whatever that date is, so that that will give the Open Space Committee ample time to convene and to discuss the issues and, at that workshop, we can discuss moving forward with….
Mr. Heymann: What is that date? That will be fine for us.
Mrs. Lashway: October 19th.
Mr. Greenbaum: Does that work, Ron?
Mr. Heymann: That works for us and Gene just told me he can do what he needs, he just said that, yes. Thank you everybody.
President Rattner: Thank you.
President Rattner: Okay, now we come to the first optional public portion of the meeting. You will have time to speak, if you’re going to speak on any of the ordinances or the resolutions and you also have another chance President Rattner(cont’d): to speak at the end of the meeting, if you feel that you want to wait that long. Is there anybody from the public that would like to address the Council at this time?
Linda Kowalski: Are you asking if we want to make a comment about these ordinances, is that…..
President Rattner: No, I said you’ll have a chance, specifically the ordinances….we have a
Ms. Kowalski: At this time?
President Rattner: Unless it’s a…..an introduction. Introduction just means we’re getting it posted and advertising it. Which ordinance did you want to speak on?
Ms. Kowalski: Ordinance #25-2004.
President Rattner: Yes we have a public hearing…a separate….a public hearing just for that one ordinance scheduled and that should come up within about two or three minutes, if we don’t have too many other people come up. So, if you just want to sit in a chair right there in the front row. Mr. Buczynski’s a nice man. Anybody else from the public like to address the Council at this time? Seeing none, I will close this public portion. You will have another opportunity for any questions at the end of the meeting.
Questions on Bill List?
President Rattner: Any questions on the Bill List? Seeing none, we’ll move right along.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETINGS
July 27, 2004 All Present
President Rattner: Approval of Minutes from previous meetings, we have the Minutes from July 27th, will somebody make a motion to accept those minutes?
Mr. Buell: I move.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Okay. Any corrections, adjustments? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
LETTERS FROM RESIDENTS
1. E-mail received September 20, 2004, from Dan Serebrakian regarding Stephens Mill Road – water run off.
2. Letter received September 21, 2004, from Laura Jacobus, Budd Lake regarding Traffic and Transportation.
RESOLUTIONS, ORDINANCES, CORRESPONDENCE FROM OTHER TOWNS
3. Resolution received September 13, 2004, from the Township of Long Hill regarding Petitioning members to the Morris County Legislative Delegation to Introduce and Sponsor Legislation Transferring the Local Government Employer’s Share of the PFRS and PERS Pension Retirement System Costs to the State Government.
4. Resolution received September 16, 2004, from Township of Hanover regarding Position of Township Committee with respect to the need for special election in the selection of a new Governor.
5. Resolution received September 20, 2004, from Township of Montville regarding CAP restrictions on Board of Education.
6. Resolution received September 22, 2004, from Independence Township regarding Granting Permission to Teleport Communications to install Telecommunications Facilities along, under and over the public right of way.
7. Letter received September 23, 2004, from Washington Township regarding Drakestown Road.
8. Tort claim received September 13, 2004, from Houston, Palmer & Ligos regarding Osman Osmanovic et al v. State of New Jersey.
9. Tort Claim notice received September 17, 2004, from Flaster and Greenburg regarding ARD Mount Olive Associates.
DOT / DEP / LOI
10. Letter received September 13, 2004, from State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Oakwood Village Apartments, 185 Route 206, Mount Olive Block 4600, Lot 11.
11. Letter received September 13, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding Onyx Environmental Services, LLC.
12. Letter received September 14, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding The Storage Store, Block 8200, Lot 3 (348 Rt. 46, Budd Lake).
13. Permit received September 15, 2004, from the State of New Jersey, Department of Environmental Protection regarding granting permission to replace two existing pedestrian bridges over Morris Canal, located southeasterly of the intersection of Decker Pond Road and Route 80, within various lots and blocks in the Township of Byram and Mount Olive.
LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES
14. E-mail received September 15, 2004, from New Jersey State League of Municipalities regarding A-2923 on property tax exemption relief and Home Improvement Contractors.
15. Letter received September 24, 2004, from Musconetcong Valley Community Association regarding Mount Olive Board of Education after school child care issues.
16. Letter received September 13, 2004, from James Laskey of Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, PA regarding Teleport Communications New York / Mount Olive Township.
LETTERS FROM LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES
17. E-mail received September 13, 2004, from Christopher Donnelly regarding Weapons Ban.
18. E-mail received September 23, 2004, from Christopher Donnelly regarding Pay to Play with Strong executive order.
President Rattner: Moving right along, we have eighteen items of correspondence. Does anybody want to comment on any of the correspondence?
Ms. Labow: I wanted to know what was done about the Stephens Mill Road runoff, from that development.
Gene Buczynski: His wife stayed. I got the pictures like second hand, they finally got them to me last time what happened with Serebrakian sent his letter with his pictures. I went up to the site, and met Tim Quinn up there also, part of that problem, again, timing. He had just seeded his…the slopes going up to the house. When you come up that one driveway, where all the problem was, the house to the right, he had just seeded that area and the major problem was going there. That’s where, if you drove up there, there’s a big rut off the driveway and it completely covered the inlet that would take all that water coming off the higher hill and went all the way Mr. Buczynski(cont’d): downstream, down to the driveway, down to Stephens Road and caused the problem. When we met with the contractor, we talked about things that still have to be implemented, putting an additional inlet, what he agreed to further down from there, closer to Stephens Mill Road and also to restabilize the areas, use some jute mesh. It really was the fact that that top inlet was completely covered with hay bail, dirt, I know you don’t want to hear this over and over again, but that’s what happened there, and I was out there today, after I went through Woodland Estates, which I think I also talked about, and to Woodfield. I went over to Stephens Mill and I had Tim come over and look at that also. There is silt coming out today, but not from that site. If you come off the Flanders Road, right down here, and you go down the road, before you get to those driveways, somebody did some construction behind a house and that’s where all the dirt is coming out today. There’s no debris or soil coming off the two driveways. Tim was going to speak to the Zoning Officer tomorrow to find out what somebody did out there. Either they did some excavation, just to enlarge a garden, or something, but there’s gravel and there’s silt coming right off of that person’s driveway, prior to getting to the site. The site seemed to be stabilized today, when I looked….when I got there, the first driveway right after that soil, there was some water coming down from the subject driveway, the development driveway. I drove up the first inlet and I took care of that problem. There was leaves and a hunk of dirt that was laying in the corner of the inlet that pushed the water on the….. Once I pushed that in, all the water went into that inlet, there was no water coming down off of that driveway. So, I think it…..I don’t think that’s a problem, it was horrible that one day, but it’s pretty much getting under control now.
President Rattner: Okay, any other questions?
Mr. Guenther: Maybe not you, I don’t know, but anyway, regarding the letter from Washington Township responding to the citizens of the combined citizens liaison committee in Mine Hill and Drakestown Road. I have two things, did the Administration ever respond to that letter from the residents? I didn’t see a response, maybe I missed it somehow. Washington Township responded to them, but did we respond in a written form?
Mr. Katona: I have not responded. I don’t know if that happened since I’ve been here, or before. I don’t even know that the response that Washington Township offered was a joint response, because we had been meeting, although I don’t know what the content is about.
Mr. Guenther: No, it’s not a joint…and I have a bone to pick with their response, I mean, their third paragraph about the speed humps is absolutely false. They’re saying….we don’t do it in Washington Township. Well, a lot of things Washington Township doesn’t like to do because they consider themselves a farming community still, and they have a lot of weird ordinances that, you know, other towns don’t have. That doesn’t necessarily mean they have to impose their…the way they believe upon other towns, and they’re saying it’s normally only….speed humps are normally only done on private roads. I’ll give them an example of five different places in the County where you have speed humps now, and you’re getting more and more of them, because this is a very prevalent problem of people speeding through neighborhoods at excessive speed, and I would like to….us to respond to them, you know, in a nice diplomatic way and saying this is, you know, you’re not…you’re wrong. Site Stanhope, site Kenvil or Roxbury Township, we’ve done them on Park Road and in Flanders, I think there are a couple of other municipalities, that don’t come to mind right now, that I can’t….
Mr. Buczynski: Parsippany has them.
Mr. Guenther: Every time I drive around, I see more and I don’t remember the other ones right off the top of my head, so I think they should be educated about what’s happening, the trend with speed humps and it’s not necessarily…it’s not something that’s only done along private roads. It’s something they should keep an open mind on.
Mr. Katona: Was it done to Washington Township or to the resident?
Mr. Guenther: Talk to the Administrator who wrote the letter, Diane Galletts, that this is…you know, she’s misinformed about it. I think, you know, she should be educated that this is not, you know, it’s not only done along private roads.
Mr. Buczynski: Mr. President, just one more issue before I sit down, if I could….
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum has a question.
Mr. Greenbaum: And it’s to you.
Mr. Buczynski: I figured it would be.
Mr. Greenbaum: Did you drive by Second Street today and how was that?
Mr. Buczynski: Yes I did. I was there at 1:30 and all the water was going into the inlets, there was no soils on the roadway, everything was fine. I drove by there this evening and there is a build up of water at those inlets but there’s no soil erosion leaving the site. If you remember last time we talked about that, and the problem there was, which I found out after the meeting, they had a segmentation basin off the roadway, which overtopped and breached, and that’s where all that soil came that last storm.
Mr. Greenbaum: Did you have a discussion with the developer with respect to our concerns about….
Mr. Buczynski: The next morning.
Mr. Greenbaum: Okay and he was amenable to doing whatever was necessary?
Mr. Buczynski: Yes he was, in fact, he claimed that his brother was on the site that Saturday also, but again, there isn’t much you can do at that point, when he was there, but they know they have to monitor it, I told them about everything that had to be done.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Mr. Buczynski: Okay, thank you.
President Rattner: You said you had something, Gene.
Mr. Buczynski: That was it.
Ms. Labow: Gene, I was there at 2:30 and it was clear too.
President Rattner: Thank you Ms. Labow. No other items on the correspondence, we’ll move to ordinances for public hearing.
ORDINANCES FOR PUBLIC HEARING
President Rattner: I open the public hearing to Ordinance #25-2004, entitled:
Ord. #25-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Prohibiting Parking on Eric Court.
Linda Kowalski, Victoria Drive, but my property is on Eric Court: I just want to know if it’s still open for
discussion or has a decision been name?
President Rattner: We have a public hearing and we’ll be taking a vote.
Ms. Kowalski: Okay, so you want my opinion?
President Rattner: Yes ma’am, go ahead.
Ms. Kowalski: You don’t want to hear what I told the woman…the poor secretary in your office. I can’t
understand why we waste paper. This is a cul-de-sac. It’s inside the development, I think it’s ludicrous, I think
it’s a slap in the face of the other people in the neighborhood, I think it’s just somebody was upset with
something one day, and I think that if we keep doing this kind of thing, I don’t know, I’m very tired, this is too
late for me, I’m not….I’m against it. Nobody parks over there. If a few kids go there during the day, big deal.
They’re there before the babies get up and they’re gone by the time the babies come home from school, so I’m
against it, I think it’s a silly thing for you to waste your time making a sign.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Good seeing you again. Sorry we made you come out. Is there
anybody else from the public who would like to address the Council on this ordinance? Seeing none, I’ll close
the public hearing and ask Mr. Buell to move the ordinance.
Mr. Buell: I plan to vote against it, so I can’t move it.
President Rattner: So, do all of us, so we still have to do it.
Mr. Buell: I move for adoption and passage of Ordinance #25-2004.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Defeated Unanimously
ORDINANCES FOR FIRST READING – (2nd Reading October 26, 2004)
President Rattner: Next item we have on the agenda is now for first reading, is Ordinance #29-2004, entitled:
Ord. #29-2004 An Ordinance of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing the Fees to be charged for Copies of Documents Requested through the Municipal Prosecutor for Municipal Court Discovery.
Ms. Labow: I move that Ordinance #29-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on October 26, 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? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #30-2004, entitled:
Ord. #30-2004 An Ordinance of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Establishing Salaries of Certain Non-Union Personnel for the Year 2004.
Mr. Guenther: I move that Ordinance #30-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on October 26, 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. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #31-2004, entitled:
Ord. #31-2004 Bond Ordinance Providing a Supplemental Appropriation of $60,000 for Various Improvements to Turkey Brook in and By the Township of Mount Olive, in the County of Morris, New Jersey And Authorizing the Issuance of $57,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township for Financing Part of the Appropriation.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you Mr. President. I move that Ordinance #31-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on October 26, 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? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, except President Rattner voted No
President Rattner: Next item on the agenda for first reading is Ordinance #32-2004, entitled:
Ord. #32-2004 Bond Ordinance providing for the Acquisition of Open Space in and By the Township of Mount Olive, In the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $3,300,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $2,185,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township to Finance part of the Cost Thereof. (Silver Spring)
Mr. Greenbaum: I move that Ordinance #32-2004 be introduced by title and passed on first reading and that a meeting be held on October 26, 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. Perkins: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Just for the public, I just want to state that, while the cost is estimated at $3.3 million, we’ve already gotten $1 million from the Morris County Open Space Trust. We’ve gotten a commitment for half the purchase price from Green Acres, we also have another grant in with the County for this year, which we’re very hopeful for, so the actual amount to buy this very large desirable lot…tract of land, will be considerably less than that. We’re talking in the vicinity of anywhere from a couple hundred thousand to a few hundred thousand higher than that. It’s just that we have to provide the availability to pay for it in the total amount, that’s what we’ll be doing here when we have the public hearing on the 26th. Okay, with that, 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 Granting Advice and Consent to the Mayor’s Appointment of Sherry Jenkins as Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Township Of Mount Olive.
2. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the release of All Performance Guarantees Submitted by the Kaplan Companies in Connection with the Development Known as Oak Hill II.
3. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2004 Municipal Budget ($14,110.00 for the Completion of a Stormwater Management Plan)
4. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Requesting Approval from the Director of the Division of Local Government Services for Insertion of a Specific Item of Revenue into the 2004 Municipal Budget. ($6,050.67 for Recycling Tonnage Grant)
5. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract with Schoor Depalma to Update the Township’s Stormwater Management Plan. (No Certification of Funds Issued)
6. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Awarding a Contract to Flanagan’s Inc for the Turkey Brook Park Phase II Improvements.
7. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing Schoor Depalma to Proceed with the Engineering Design for the Project Referred to as Turkey Brook Park Phase II.
8. Resolution Awarding a Contract to Schoor Depalma to Provide Construction Inspection and Administration of the Project Referred to as Turkey Brook Park Phase II Improvements.
9. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Retaining William John Kearns, Jr., Esq. for Litigation Nunc Pro Tunc. amended.
10. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing a Grant Agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Regarding a Stormwater Management Plan.
11. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Appointing Robert Scott Ireland to a Five Year Unexpired Term on the Ethical Standards Board, Which Term will Expire on December 31, 2005.
President Rattner: Okay, the next item we have are Consent Agenda Resolutions. We have eleven resolutions. Does anybody want to take anything off and discuss any of these resolutions separately?
Mr. Buell: Number one.
President Rattner: Number one will be on non-consent, anybody else? Seeing nobody else, Ms. Labow would you move resolutions number two through eleven?
Ms. Labow: I would like to move resolutions number two through eleven.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Okay, does anybody from the public want to address the Council on resolutions number two through eleven? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON CONSENT RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any Council comments? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
1. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive Granting Advice and Consent to the Mayor’s Appointment of Sherry Jenkins as Director of Finance and Chief Financial Officer of the Township Of Mount Olive.
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, would you move resolution number one?
Mr. Buell: I move consent resolution number one.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Would anybody from the public like to address the Council on this resolution? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment. Any comment from the Council? Seeing none, Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously, expect Mr. Perkins voted No
RESOLUTIONS NON CONSENT
12. Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Mount Olive RE: Acquisition of Block 5300, Lots 8, 26 and 27. (Silver Spring Manor)
President Rattner: Resolution number twelve, Ms. Labow would you move that one?
Ms. Labow: I move non consent resolution number twelve.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Would anybody like to address the Council on resolution number twelve? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment portion.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any comments from the Council? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
13. Resolution of the Township of Mount Olive Authorizing the Omission from Tax Sale of Certain Properties. (Dattalo & Others)
President Rattner: Resolution number thirteen, Mr. Guenther will you take that one?
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move the passage of resolution number thirteen.
Mr. Perkins: Second.
PUBLIC PORTION ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Thank you. Anybody from the public like to address the Council on resolution number thirteen? Seeing none, I’ll close the public comment.
COUNCIL COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL RESOLUTIONS
President Rattner: Any Council comment? Roll Call
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, now we go on to Motions. Motion #1, Mr. Guenther.
1. Approval of Raffle # 2051 for Mount Olive Jewish Center, Approval of Raffle Application # 2052 and # 2053 for Independence Township Booster Club.
Mr. Guenther: I hereby move for the approval of Raffle Application 2051 for Mount Olive Jewish Center,
Approval of Raffle Application #2052 and #2053 for Independence Township Booster Club.
Ms. Labow: Second.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Any discussion? Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Okay, Bill List, Mr. Perkins.
2. Bill List
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. I make a motion to approve the Bill List, total of eighteen pages.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
President Rattner: Any discussion? Boy, Ms. Jenkins, this is your lucky night tonight, two things and no discussion. Roll Call.
ROLL CALL Passed Unanimously
President Rattner: Administrative Matters.
Mr. Katona: Yes, just some answers to some of the questions raised from last week’s meeting, is that
Administrative Matters, or Old Business?
President Rattner: Yes, Administrative.
Mr. Katona: One large question was the notification issue during the storm. Our Fire Marshall and Health Officer were not notified about the power outages. While I discussed this previously with Mr. Guenther, heretofore the issue of notifying these individuals of power outages was not a policy, or was not considered by Mr. Katona(cont’d): anyone. We have had discussions, I had discussions with both Mr. Wilpert and Mr. Detoro and I am convinced that it is an important issue to do. The issue being with the power out for an extended period of time, some food establishments lose temperature or gain temperature, however you want to put it in there, there may be an issue there as well as some of the sanitary facilities within. We need to find a way of checking these. We are continuing to meet, Mr. Wilpert and Mr. Detoro and myself, to establish that procedure. For the immediately future, we will be notifying those two individuals when we become aware of power outages. The Police are not always informed nor do we have a mechanism to determine when power returns, so we cannot report that issue. Several options exist for us for addressing the problem, such as an ordinance either from this body or from the Board of Health, or as conditions of any continuous certificate of occupancy, the three professionals involved will be meeting and making a recommendation to Administration and to Council when that is determined.
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Katona, the emergency response manual, which I’m going to assume we have one….
Mr. Katona: Yes, we do.
Mr. Perkins: Does that….is that now going to be included as part of the standard operating protocol to be followed, will that be added into the manual?
Mr. Katona: You’re referring to the emergency management plan, it’s the same, but different. The emergency management plan is enacted when the issue at hand, or the incident goes beyond the scope of those individuals who are charged with responding to it. If it’s Police, Fire, EMS, if it becomes a health issue or, you know, any other type of issue. When the people, who are on the scene, cannot call in sufficient support to remediate that situation, then we enact the emergency operation plan. When it goes beyond the scope of this municipality or say a spill of some sort, which is going to get out of hand and consume a large section of the community, we would invoke that. For something like this, where there was a localized issue, it can be dealt with with Police, Fire, EMS on scene and calling in the professionals to respond to the area to remediate the situation, such as the landslide today. Okay, if we can look and we can identify what’s going on and we can bring the people in to fix it, we fix it without invoking that plan.
Mr. Perkins: Ed, could you get me, if you wouldn’t mind, just a couple answers to a couple of questions. I don’t have the report handy, in front of me, with the instance that happened at the A&P Shopping Center last week, during the storm. I did find it interesting that there was a section, I believe the Administrative code was attached to the back end of that and I would like to know when….I think there was an issue with regarding to vehicles…when exactly did that vehicle no longer…was that vehicle no longer accessible to the Director and, if you don’t have that answer now, that’s fine. I would just like to know.
Mr. Katona: As I understand, the vehicle has always been and continues to be accessible to the Director, however, it’s not a vehicle that is assigned to him that he may take to and from home.
Mr. Perkins: Do we know the date?
Mr. Katona: Do we know the date, no I don’t know the date.
Mr. Perkins: Okay. Mr. Buell, can I borrow that for a second, if you don’t mind? Thank you very much. The reason I’m asking, Ed, is…and if you would just get back to me, I would just like to know, and I know I had this circled and I sure wish I had brought my own, the emergency…you know, we’re back to talking about the emergency response plan, and it does mention in here, and I apologize to the public for not having, you know, my copy, however, I do seem to remember somewhere, and I do know what a corker this is when you’re trying to read it and talk at the same time, but that we should have had a plan…orient and train staff, yes, here we go. As I read through this report, I noticed that some people were a little unsure, Ed, with what they were doing, they’re overwhelmed, and who could be contacted, and who couldn’t be contacted, and why it was easier and why it was harder, and I look at the….under, I guess, it’s 8:52-12.2, paragraph, let’s see, it would be 3, and it says orient and train their staff (through exercises) to their roles and responsibilities under the plan, at least annually. Could you just find out….I would like to know when the vehicle was taken away and when the last annual “plan” was undertaken, you know, to deal with that emergency and if that, in effect, does it need to be looked at now, if that vehicle is not, you know, at a 24 hour disposal for that Director? Thank you. If you could get it within a week, Ed, that would be fine.
Mr. Katona: As I just read this…the responsibility to conduct the training would rest with that official?
Mr. Perkins: Yes it would.
Mr. Katona: Okay, I’ll find out when it was last done and when the vehicle was removed.
Mr. Perkins: Which would have then necessitated different training, obviously, the circumstances now changed.
President Rattner: Anything else, Mr. Perkins?
Mr. Perkins: No sir.
Ms. Labow: Mr. Katona, could you also check, while you’re at it, if…because the Health Officer’s job is a statutory position, is there anything that says, as a municipality, we must provide a vehicle for 24 hour use?
Mr. Katona: I’ll look for it, I don’t know that one exists.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Buell: I went ahead and voted for the $60,000 for Turkey Brook Park to improvements, but last week we had a long discussion in terms of…..
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, this is Administrative Matters right now.
Mr. Buell: Okay.
President Rattner: If you want that in New or Old Business, or that’s probably more appropriate for Final Comments.
Mr. Guenther: I would just, as an adjunct to Ms. Labow’s question, since it is a position that requires him to be on call, using the common expression 24-7, in other words, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, comprising weekends, when he happens to be home or maybe in other parts where, in his absence, has designated somebody else, if that…you know, there should be some consideration made for that and it’s, in my opinion, is it’s probably the second most important position in town. It’s dealing with the health and welfare of the citizens of this town.
Mr. Katona: Moving on, we spoke about the quest of the contractor, an additional contractor to remediate the Rosewood Ditch to supplement our DPW people. We’ve contacted several vendors who have not, in the last week, responded to us with quotes, they are forthcoming. When we get those, we will be able to report those and see if we can incorporate them in next year’s plan.
Mr. Guenther: Excuse me, Ed, I saw what Mr. Quinn was going to do was write up some specs first, because what are they going to quote on unless they know what they’re quoting on?
Mr. Katona: He had some discussion, I don’t know the exact, but it’s to describe what can be done with the private vendor working for us, their types of equipment and machinery and their access. Once we have that, we’ll be able to formulate a conceptual plan as to how much it may cost and then go for specs at that point in time. These aren’t formal quotes.
Mr. Guenther: No, no, I understand.
Mr. Katona: Again, we’ve asked for several vendors for videotaping quotes to videotape and produce a TV show featuring this Council meeting. Those have not been responded to as yet, it’s only been a week so we should have that for our next meeting.
Ms. Labow: Chief, excuse me, did you check into the High School programs, if any of the kids want to come?
Mr. Katona: No I didn’t.
Mr. Guenther: We went through this, at length, last year and it’s just not feasible, because of the turnover of the program and the different levels of proficiency of the students in the program, it’s very difficult to get the level of proficiency that you need to get a constant quality.
Ms. Labow: Okay, thank you.
Mr. Katona: Someone made a request to find out if the deeds for those homes that are subject to the right of way, along the Rosewood Ditch, we’ve been able to find several deeds and they indicate that the right of way exists, but there’s no indication on the deed that they have an obligation to maintain that. That may be contained in any of the Planning Board Minutes from that time and I have not looked forward to find that answer yet. The final question was that previous mud slide that occurred on Route 46 and who cleaned it up and did Mount Olive have to pay for any of that. It was cleaned up by the Department of Transportation and no Mount Olive did not have to provide any of those costs. Whether DOT is going to move to attain or recover their costs from the builder, I am not aware of it.
Mr. Greenbaum: Did we dispatch a Police Officer to the scene, related to the land slide?
Mr. Katona: Today or previously?
Mr. Greenbaum: Either.
Mr. Katona: Yes.
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s my position that the Administration should send a bill at our overtime rate for the Police Officer related to having to be present at the site for the amount of time.
Mr. Katona: I’ll follow that up.
President Rattner: Is that it, Mr. Katona?
Mr. Katona: That’s all I have, unless I forgot anything.
President Rattner: Any Old Business?
President Rattner: New Business?
Mr. Dorsey: None.
President Rattner: Moving right along, Council Reports.
Library Board Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: Yes, I just wanted to…Mrs. Hilbert also sent a letter out and I just wanted to make a comment that at our last meeting, it was stated that, for the Library, they had proposed having a full basement of 27,000 square feet, I believe, and at that time, some of the…it would be broken off in sections for record keeping and for various departments, but when they were asked to bring down the cost of their project, it was decided that the basement would be reduced by 20,000 square feet, leaving a very small amount of 6,000 which they are planning on using for themselves, and that there is no room for any archives from this municipality in that basement and they just wanted to make it clear that they did try to bring that forward and it was not something the Council considered at the time.
President Rattner: No it was the Project Manager, because we said stay within the Budget, and it was the Project Manager’s recommendation to cut certain things out.
Ms. Labow: In other words, everything is going well, the Library is moving along and Scott, the construction manager said, of course, not as quickly as they would like, but it is as it is, and hopefully we’ll have the opening of the Library very soon.
Recreation Liaison Report
President Rattner: Did anybody cover the last meeting, even though we got a report from Mr. Heymann. We’ll have to get a replacement….well, we’ll see what happens there.
Board of Health Report
Mr. Guenther: Board of Health has not met since the last meeting.
Planning Board Report
Mr. Greenbaum: None.
Board of Adjustment Liaison Report
Mr. Perkins: Thank you, Mr. President. The only notable thing to report is that Paragon, up at the village, was denied by the Zoning Board of Adjustment. He came in for two principal uses on the building, he wanted to add a day care center to that and the Board summarily denied that. All other was just standard business.
Pride Committee Liaison Report
Ms. Labow: I just want to say that due to the persistence, I guess, of Liz, who’s our chair of the Pride Committee, 220 bushes were planted along 206 and she counted every one of them, and that is for our program with the DOT, and also, they were nice enough to spread some mulch for her, as well, and we’re looking for…we’re going to be having some more projects coming in that are going to take care of parts of Route 46. This is a program that the DOT has where they want to beautify the State highways and we were able to take advantage of some of that which is a wonderful thing…..hopefully everybody can go by and see it, and we have our new billboard up now, I believe.
Board of Education Liaison Report
President Rattner: Mr. Buell, would you do that, I had a conflict last night.
Mr. Buell: Yes, they met last night. Principally, they talked about the new curriculum in both literacy and math, from that very positively our test scores are up, so they think things are working better as a result of the changes in the curriculum. On the negative side, as everybody may or may not know, the Board of Education is now under a new 3% cap rule which, evidently not unsurprisingly, the State has not explained to them. They don’t understand it and there are no rules or regulations to implement it so, obviously, they’re in difficulty with their budget.
Lake/Environment Issues Committee
President Rattner: The Lake Committee met again, actually last night. We’ve been working on, for the last year, a dock ordinance for two major issues. One is the temporary docks, that can break up when they’re caught in the ice and when they break away, how to identify them, so identification so that the property owner is responsible. The other is an issue through our research is that we have docks that some extend more than fifty feet from shore and during the winter, especially when there’s snow, you don’t know they’re there and people are boating and snow mobiling and other such things on the lake, so we’re looking at some sort of markings or some sort of pole with a marking on it that can be seen, so if it snows a little bit and it’s drifting, they’ll see it there. It’s expected that a proposal for how they’d like the ordinance changed, will be discussed at our October 19th workshop. We’d like to see if we can get it in before the winter, just because of the safety issue of the markings are the permanent ones and temporary ones that they get taken out so they don’t end up being cleaned up in the spring during the spring clean-up.
Safety Committee Liaison
Mr. Guenther: We had originally scheduled a meeting for last week, it was postponed until tomorrow night.
President Rattner: Thank you. Now we come to the final public portion. Well, the first hand up was our town Librarian.
Rita Hilbert, Director of the Public Library: I have a dilemma and it’s a dilemma only that you can solve. Last week I submitted the application…pay application for Blackstone. It was prepared by the Finance Committee and Mr. Dorsey had ruled on a municipal mechanics lien and it was submitted and I understood it was to be presented tonight on the supplemental bill list. When I was in the Town Hall, I ran into the Town Clerk, Miss Lashway, and asked if we could be on the agenda and I was told that we were too late on Friday, when I had requested it to be on the agenda, and that only emergency things would be put onto the agenda at a late date. Evidently, there was a miscommunication, because I said that, although we could not make a presentation this evening, we would be here to answer any questions. It appears that the Clerk’s office notified the Finance office to remove the bill from the bill list. So, I am here at this moment to ask if there is something that you can do to pay that bill this evening. Ms. Jenkins has all the backup information on it and they submitted it and there is……
President Rattner: Miss Hilbert, that wasn’t why….in fact, the Clerk, I believe, asked one thing, it’s a big bill and since we’ve looked over the bills over…was around $300,000. The Clerk advised me she asked was it an emergency or something, and you said no, and if it wasn’t an emergency, we want to have time to look it over and….
Ms. Hilbert: I was of the impression she was saying was it an emergency to make a presentation tonight.
Mrs. Lashway: No, the question was it an emergency for it to be on the bill list, that was the question that I asked you.
Ms. Hilbert: That isn’t how I understood it.
Mrs. Lashway: Okay, well, we miscommunicated, then.
President Rattner: Because why we need it so she can get it in the packages so the Council members who have jobs, have time to look it over, have the questions before it comes down here, so we don’t, at the meeting, come up with questions and it has to be pulled off, and with $300,000, with not understanding, I understand that the mechanics lien was released, or we had enough money, but we’re getting near the end of the project. You know, one of the things we keep looking at, is how much work has been completed, how much money we were holding, and at the end of the project it gets more and more important, and so that’s why, but I was told it wasn’t an emergency, for whatever reason, and unless it was an emergency, there was no way we could get it on now, because there’s no way we could review it, go through the backup and get it on.
Ms. Hilbert: Then, can I request that you put it on for your workshop meeting as a public session?
President Rattner: We don’t have a public session, that’s only during the summer, when we cut down the meetings. The next meeting is in two weeks.
Ms. Hilbert: Well, you did last time, you had a workshop, you did a public session and….
President Rattner: Well, it was an emergency. What is the emergency?
Ms. Hilbert: We have a contract with them to be paid every thirty days.
President Rattner: And why were we given one day’s notice then, if we got it there? You said that you mentioned it, we didn’t even receive it…when she talked to you, we hadn’t even received it yet, right?
Mrs. Lashway: No.
Ms. Hilbert: Yes, it was already processed at that point in time. Colleen had processed it already in Finance and I was just bringing her over the original. It had been faxed over to her on Friday morning.
President Rattner: But, if we have thirty days, or we get it….
Ms. Hilbert: Well, we have thirty days to pay them, from the last….they should be paid every thirty days.
President Rattner: Mr. Greenbaum.
Mr. Greenbaum: It’s irrelevant why it wasn’t here, it wasn’t here. Can we set it up as a public meeting next Tuesday to discuss this bill, because it has to be paid.
President Rattner: We do, we just have the extra expense of the advertising.
Mr. Greenbaum: Well, you know, what are we going to do at this point?
President Rattner: I just want to know whether….why we’re going to spend the extra money, if it is really needed to get on. I don’t understand why a bill has to be paid within two days.
Mr. Greenbaum: You know what, I find…personally, I find Rita’s explanation as to the contractual issue. I think it was an oversight, let’s just get it on and get it paid and let’s move on to the next item.
President Rattner: Rita, on the contract, when the event….when the contractor gives us a bill, how much time do we have to pay it? The contract probably has something there, and did we exceed the amount of time? Usually you have a certain length of time and it has to be reasonable to get through a business area. Did the contractor meet his contractual obligations? I doubt it says we have to pay within three business days of receipt.
Ms. Hilbert: No, but the bill was there. Normally, I would have the payment…I would have that pay application to the Finance office on Thursday. I did not have it to them until Friday morning.
President Rattner: When did you receive it from the contractor? That’s what I’m saying.
Ms. Hilbert: Thursday.
President Rattner: And our contract says that when he gives you a bill we have to pay it within two business days?
Ms. Hilbert: No, but it says he should be paid every thirty days.
President Rattner: Normal business….okay. We’ll look at that, if we have a contractual agreement…..
Ms. Hilbert: Well, it was a communications error, I didn’t understand that Lisa would be able to tell the Finance office to not pay the bill. So, I just thought that, when she was talking to me, she said is it an emergency to make a presentation to the Council.
President Rattner: Okay. I’ll put it on, but I do want the part of the contract, because I want to make sure we’re not giving any special dispensation to the contractor. If it says that we have ten or fifteen days from receipt of a bill to pay, that’s what we should pay. It’s done that way, so you have enough time for proper review and checking. That’s normal business, and if we had it in there, if we received it a week before and it took you a couple of days, okay, I’ll take that example, you know, that explanation, but I want to make sure, because we’ve had this issue before with other contractors, on other projects, not yours, and I want to make sure…we’ll meet the contractual agreements, we have to, but I cannot believe that we signed a contract and Mr. Dorsey would put something together that we would have to pay within two or three business days.
Ms. Labow: Rita, don’t they usually give you that bill earlier in the month? Was there a reason for the delay?
Ms. Hilbert: Because the bill….last time we were running late because of the summer….how we had to gear it for your summer meetings, so we were running late. It normally, other than twelve hours, it’s the same process that we have always….we have always followed. I was just late getting the notice, on Friday, to the Clerk’s office to be on the agenda, and I did say someone would be here tonight to answer any questions on the bill.
Ms. Labow: Are you concerned that they’ll stop working if they don’t get paid next week?
Ms. Hilbert: Could well be….could well be. We’re in the last phases, so everything that’s come in now, is expensive. Will I make a guarantee, no.
President Rattner: We want that part of the contract. We’ll put it on to make our contractual agreements, but I just do want to say that if you brought it over to Finance on Friday, because we’re looking at everything very closely and Finance…asking them to do certain reviews. I think if you’re giving them a matter of an hour to approve a $300,000….I’m serious…..$300,000 payment on a complicated contract, that’s unfair to them, too.
Ms. Hilbert: It’s my mission in life.
President Rattner: You don’t have to comment, Ms. Jenkins. We’ll advertise and we’ll put it on, but we do want to see what the terms of the contract are. Do you want to say anything else, Mr. Greenbaum?
Mr. Greenbaum: Yes, very quickly. Rita, I expect that we’ll have a detailed report, along with the discussion, as to what’s left to complete, what’s been completed, what’s outstanding, in terms of our financial obligations, what’s left…because we are coming down to the end.
Ms. Hilbert: Yes, you would have had that this evening if I had gotten to the Clerk’s office sooner, to request it to be on the agenda.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you.
Jill Overick, 10 Harwich Road, Flanders: I’m here on behalf of Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center and I’m hoping to help them find another space, perhaps the current/old Library. Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center has been kind of our second home. I have two children, eight and five, and they’ve both been through the center, they’re still going through the safe program and the morning and after care programs. The center has provided and exceptional program for my children and the fact that it is a not-for-profit organization is wonderful for the community, because everything else is, you know, for profit, and there is nothing else available for parents who cannot afford daycare. Additionally, they provided all kinds of programs, parent training, that’s absolutely free for the entire community, and the growth of my children…the educational growth of my children has been phenomenal. I mean, I’ve watched them just…their ability to read and write, some of the real basic stuff that they get in school, but they got that in pre-school. The staff is wonderful, it’s an exceptional program, and I would just like to voice my opinion that if we could help them, as a community, find a space, that would be tremendous, and, again, perhaps the old Library. Thank you.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you. Is there anyone else who wanted to discuss the Mount Olive Child Care situation? Please state your name and address.
Laura Kay, Church Street, Budd Lake: Like Jill, I do support the Mount Olive Child Care and Learning Center. I’ve been affiliated with them for the past twelve years and they have helped me tremendously and I just ask you to help us….we do need a home, it’s a great organization, and it is community based. It helped me and my family so much and I’m sure there’s other families out there that have a voice and would like to be heard and Mr. Mayor, if you could help us, and Town Council….we just need your help. That’s really why I’m here, just to support them and kind of voice my opinion and ask you to help us. Thanks.
Mr. Greenbaum: Thank you. Anyone else on this issue? Before I pass the gavel back to Mr. Rattner, Ed, can you please provide me, next week, with either an update on what efforts the Administration has made with respect to the resolution that Council passed towards negotiating with Mount Olive Child Care and if no efforts have been made to date, a timeline for those negotiations. I would appreciate that, thank you.
President Rattner: I haven’t needed the gavel today, so maybe I’ll just let it stay there. Anybody else?
Nelson Russell, Budd Lake: A small public safety issue, I don’t know whether to go to the Council or to Ed Katona. About a hundred feet north of the eastern intersection of Sand Shore Road and Route 46 (close to the hardware store), there is a light on a pole on the lakeside, it’s a spot light that shines right into oncoming traffic and on certain nights, particularly rainy nights like this, it’s blinding and I noticed it for the last several months and haven’t mentioned anything to it. It seems to be on a timer, because it’s on all the time….every night. You know where the hardware store is and that intersection is Sand Shore, as you come off 46, across the intersection, across the light, about a hundred feet…to Sand Shore, on the left side…on the lakeside, there is a pole with a spot light.
Someone from the Audience: Inaudible.
Mr. Russell: Thank you.
Russ Tepper, Natures Court, Flanders: I’m here this evening as a Board member of the Mount Olive Junior Marauders Football Association. I know everybody likes to complain about Turkey Brook and its condition. I’d like to personally thank Tim Quinn, Jim Lynch and their team for the work that they’ve done at Turkey Brook. After Ivan came, we had several inches of rain that Friday night and Saturday morning. I can tell you that Sunday morning we met at 7:00 to check the condition of the field, it was outstanding. We played four games Mr. Tepper(cont’d): that afternoon. They’ve also helped us in erecting the score board and I don’t think the football field or the surrounding area, would be in the condition it is without their efforts. So, I would just like to acknowledge that. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you and if you want to come back and bring some friends with you if you want to….comments like that, that would be fine, I think we’d all appreciate it. Anybody else like to address the Council at this time?
Robb Pearson, Budd Lake: Good evening. I’d have spoken earlier but my Novocain was wearing off and it hadn’t quite worn off completely. First of all, it’s refreshing that we have gotten this far without any notable drama and I find that, not only commendable, but exciting at the same time, but how can we just let what happened last week pass. I had to actually leave early last week, due to exhaustion, an illness, and it wasn’t until Sunday, after picking up the Daily Record, just flipping through my Sunday paper, I found out what happened last week, and the first thing I saw was a Councilman and Mayor trade insults, and I said to myself, you know I should have stayed and I should request to the Council that I build a concession stand here and charge admission. The amount of money I’d make, would be phenomenal, just an opinion there, but in all seriousness, just in the past week alone, four articles have come out, two in the Mount Olive Chronicle, one in the Daily Record and one today in the Star Ledger. Pretty much all of it about the lack of confidence in the Mayor and the growing public lack of confidence in the Mayor and the leadership and, when I look at what’s been happening in the Mount Olive Chronicle, that has become an editorial war zone. Residents, even political party committee members, individual Town Council Members have written articles about the issue of no confidence in the Mayor, which is why I started coming to meetings, because I needed to know, you know, what…is there really anything to any of this and so I went back, I did some research of articles from the Daily Record and the Mount Olive Chronicle since January. It was amazing, I think over twenty articles, that I read, nothing positive…nothing positive, and after coming here and after speaking with some residents and some people and reading the articles, I think, in my opinion, I’ve become persuaded that, yes, there are some issues with the leadership on the part of the Mayor. Now, what that stems from, why it is, I’m not entirely sure, but what persuaded me more, is that there has been zero communication and response from the Mayor, on the accusations that have been hurled against him, whether for right or for wrong, and that reminded me of something Thomas Jefferson said about leadership. He said it is not wisdom alone, but public confidence in that wisdom, which can support an Administration, and he also said to inform the minds of the people and to follow their will, is the chief duty of those placed at their head, and so, when you’ve got public confidence eroding and our leadership is not informing us of what’s going on, on his part, I think that is most telling as to the ineffectiveness and lack of ability for leadership. The reason I’m up here is because I would like to ask the Mayor, and I don’t think there is any obligation or any requirement on the Mayor’s part to respond publicly, but I think we need that, because so far, all we have are negative, negative, negatives, and more negatives eroding the public confidence and I would like to see something from the part of the Mayor, from the part of the Administration, to answer to that, because otherwise that’s only going to emphasize a fact or truth that leadership ability is, if not lacking, then totally absent. I think, under the circumstances, if there is no communication from the Mayor, which we really do need, we really do need that from you, then I think resignation isn’t something that would be hurtful to us. I think, for the sake of the community, that might be one of the options the Mayor might want to consider; however, what I would first like to see before anything like that happens, is some very candid, some very direct and some very real communication to the public on as many levels as possible, through the media, by voice, anything to restore our confidence in you, because we really need that, we really do, and I think we deserve that, and I think this Council deserves it, I think the public deserves it, and I think it would be really great to see a good story in the paper one of these days…I think it would be helpful, but ultimately when there is zero communication, when we do have what has been happening, which culminated in the idiocy that occurred last week, which I was surprised that…and which should never have happened. I mean, when Police have to be called into control what’s going on in Council chambers, I think that’s an obvious….it’s obvious that something has to be done, and so I think of solution. There has been this conflict, spinning for months, but there has been no solution, there has been no move to put an end to it and stand on ground that is much more solid, for the sake of the community. So, if there will continue to be zero communication, and I would like to see communication from the Mayor, I think that would be very positive and very helpful, and if it’s firm communication; however, if it’s not going to be done, then I think, for the good of the township, the Mayor’s resignation would be proper and not shameful, but proper for the good of the township and that’s all I have to say. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you very much. Does anybody else from the public want to address the Council?
Paul Stefiniw, Budd Lake: Mr. Pearson, I would like to thank you for your eloquent speech, but I have a question for you. I would like to know, are you tied to any one of the Council members sitting up on the dais right now?
President Rattner: Wait, wait, this isn’t….this is the public portion to address the Council, we’re not going to go there.
Mr. Stefiniw: Okay, very good, well….
President Rattner: If you want to make a statement, make your statement.
Mr. Stefiniw: I’ll make a statement. I’m very glad to see some of our citizens can stand up and make accusations, as such, and be free to do so, but I would also like to say that I think they are politically motivated because the individual that made them, has actually done some work for one of the Council members and I think that’s one of the reasons why that type of discussion is going on. Thank you.
President Rattner: Thank you. This is, again not to go back and forth, if you have something else to say, but not to go back and forth. We had a pretty good meeting tonight and we don’t want it to denigrate. Anybody else from the public like to address at this time? I’ll close the public portion and come to the final Council Comments. Now, let’s keep it in the same tone.
Mr. Buell: Yes. I voted tonight for the Bond Ordinance for Turkey Brook, for the extra $60,000, just to move it along. Last week, we had several….or a very extensive discussion about some things that are in the bids that may not need to be there and I think we specifically were talking about the granite block curb and the HMA curb, as to whether or not those two things were necessary and I didn’t ask Gene, when he was here, because I’m not sure there’s been enough time for him to sit with the contractor and all, but I would like us to take a sharp pen to that bid. I also would like to see us consider paying as we go, and if we do take that $39,500, I would like to see us take the $20,000…..the last $20,000 of the $59,500 that we are bonding for, out of the Open Space Fund and not issue these bonds.
President Rattner: Thank you, Mr. Buell.
Ms. Labow: Just one quick thing. We didn’t make mention of our newest Ethics Committee Member, we kind of passed over that and I just want to congratulate Mr. Scott Ireland and thank him for his dedication to the community, and that’s it. Clapping…
Mr. Guenther: I just want to commend two people: Michelle, our Assistant Clerk, did a stellar job in the absence of our Clerk and managed the whole office very well together for her first solo flight, if you will, you know, for an extended period of time, I just….if you would, just want to pass on our thanks to her. And secondly, I just want to commend the Acting Administrator, the Police Chief, there were several items I had that I wanted….was going to bring up in Old Business, I didn’t have to bring them up because he was proactive in answering those. Thank you.
Mr. Perkins: No comment.
Mr. Greenbaum: I have several. First, I think we need to congratulate Sherry Jenkins for her appointment and confirmation as Chief Financial Officer and the benefits which will inure to both her and the township through her guidance and hopefully is a successful partnership between her and the township on a going forward basis. Secondly, I have some comments for Kathy, in terms of the Open Space Committee. I know that it is a diligent group who has very strong views about protecting…and the need for the purchase of open space in Mount Olive, but I think it is now a changed time, as we discussed before the meeting, and that there are issues which the township needs to address, and which the Open Space Fund is appropriately used for, and I temper that with the fact that I strongly believe that there has to be a balance struck between our need to continue to purchase open space and our need to use some of those funds to finish off Turkey Brook Park, and other projects; and I agree with you that, perhaps, what we need to do is to take a look at a myriad of projects, including the Seward Mansion, in terms of that Open Space Fund, and, perhaps, we can apportion monies from the Open Space Fund to make sure that there is sufficient funds left for the purchase of open space, to use monies to finish off certain projects at Turkey Brook, including the Seward Mansion, and if it’s required to amend our ordinance with respect to that, I’m in favor of it and I would also like to use that money, if possible, to finish off the beach, in terms of bringing down the old municipal building and putting up some sort of inexpensive pavilion. I am completely honest when I say that I look forward to the opportunity to meet with the committee so we can have a frank discussion so that we can come back to Council after that frank discussion, with some kind of consensus in terms of the use of the Open Space Fund, which I think will benefit us all.
President Rattner: Thank you Mr. Greenbaum. I just want to say we had a lot of activities over the weekend here, we had very good weather for most of it and one that is probably the big one, which is the unofficial township picnic or barbeque each year, which is the Fire Department’s wet down that they have each year. As usual, they probably had 3,000 people, mostly residents of the town, along with visiting Fire Departments. I think everybody had a great time, I know it’s looked forward to by a lot of people, each year, but also, which I didn’t realize, is that because of the crowds, it takes a good number of Policemen for crowd control, you’re right on the highway, there is drinking there, because they have the beer, the Firemen, a lot of children, everything else. What I didn’t realize, and it’s been going on for a few years, is those officers volunteer their time, and their equipment and everything else, and there had to be at least four of them there, and I think they should be commended for that. This is part of what they feel is important to give back to the community and I think when they do things like that, it should be recognized, just like it should be for any group or anybody who donates that to the public. So, with that, Chief, just let your department know it is well appreciated by the entire community, and with that I’ll move for adjournment.
Mr. Greenbaum: So moved.
Mr. Guenther: Second.
All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 10:00 pm.
Steven W. Rattner, Council President
I, LISA M. LASHWAY, Township Clerk of the Township of Mount Olive do hereby certify that the foregoing Minutes is a true and correct copy of the Minutes approved at a legally convened meeting of the Mount Olive Township Council duly held on November 9, 2004.
Lisa M. Lashway, Township Clerk