Minutes: January 7, 2020

CALL TO ORDER

The regular meeting of the Vernon Township Economic Advisory Committee meeting was convened at 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 in the Vernon Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, adequate notice of this regular meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 3, 2020 and was posted on the bulletin board the municipal building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

SALUTE TO THE FLAG

OATHS OF OFFICE

Mayor Burrell was in attendance to administer the oaths of office. All EDAC members were sworn in collectively by Mayor Burrell. The mayor addressed the committee stating that the mission and goals of the EDAC constitute the platform he ran on for mayor. He stated he wants everyone to know Vernon is open for business. He spoke of appointing members who he had confidence in and looked forward to the achievements and progress to come. He stated that he and Sally Rinker have had discussions as to the purpose and direction of the EDAC and that he wanted Sally Rinker to chair the committee. Mayor Burrell took a seat at the table and remained for the duration of the meeting.

ROLL CALL

Sally Rinker, Chairperson—P
Jennifer Lubliner—P
John Perry—P
Edward DeYoung—P
Elmer Platz—P
Ron Williams—P

NOMINATIONS AND VOTE FOR VICE-CHAIRPERSON

Chairperson, Sally Rinker, opened the floor for nominations. Jennifer Lubliner nominated herself, John Perry seconded the nomination.
There were no other nominations. All were in favor. 6 Ayes O Nays.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Ed DeYoung motioned to open the floor to the public. Seconded by Elmer Platz. All were in favor.

Jessica Paladini addressed the committee stating she had been attending the meetings of the previous EDAC. She stated she felt this committee was very important. Ms. Paladini spoke of the establishment of the Western Scenic Byway in Vernon and its positive impact on economic development. She stated she was hopeful with the make-up of this committee and said it was a great board.

There were no others members of the public requesting to speak. John Perry motioned to close the meeting to the public. Ed DeYoung seconded it. All were in favor.

DISCUSSION

Chairperson, Sally Rinker, asked the committee members to review the EDAC 2020 mission statement and due to the necessity of needing to cover many “house keeping” issues for the first meeting, to return to the February 4th meeting prepared with questions and/or comments pertaining to the document.

It was agreed that Sally Rinker would draft the agendas and keep the minutes and that all members could submit agenda items. The agenda will be submitted to the township for public posting 48 hours before the meeting, as well as to all EDAC members.

Discussion of the agendas, the minutes, the Open Public Meetings Act, the Open Public Records Act, quorums, and executive sessions took place to ensure that all members have an understanding of the particulars and requirements of these matters. The committee addressed notifying the chair in ample time before a meeting to ensure the remaining members have a quorum for a meeting.

While there are 6 EDAC members currently, 4 members must attend to suffice a quorum. 4 or more members cannot discuss EDAC business together out side of a regular meeting. No EDAC business can be discussed by email, social media, conference call, or any other collective means without being at a regular meeting. Members agreed that all actions will be decided by the majority, in a democratic process. Executive sessions will be entered into when necessary and they will follow the statute for OPMA.

A confidentiality agreement was discussed. This is a document that would address conflicts of interest and confidentiality of EDAC matters. This will be further discussed at the February 4th meeting.

Chair, Sally Rinker, stated that she believed the main goals of our committee should be to focus on local business retention and pro-actively pursuing new businesses. She stated that it would be helpful to have maps of Town Center, all commercially zoned areas, sewer service areas and water service areas - both existing and proposed.

John Perry, MUA chairperson, gave an overview of existing and proposed sewer areas. Discussion took place among members regarding sewered areas and proposed areas. Sally Rinker asked about the status of the sewer expansion application sent to NJDEP about 2 years ago. John Perry’s response was we are still waiting. A request was made for John Perry to bring maps to the next meeting.

Sally Rinker spoke of the benefits this committee can bring to existing businesses by visiting them. Letting them know we are here to listen to their concerns and to be helpful to them, where possible, such as their retention and/or expansion has been shown to be very valuable. This was done when she was on the EDAC back in 2010. She also suggested the committee formulate several pertinent questions to ask to get a general consensus of issues and concerns. Ron Williams spoke of the importance of our work for all businesses that are already established in Vernon. Ed DeYoung stated he looked forward to doing that and that this would be a valuable method for both businesses and our committee.

Business cards for EDAC members were discussed. we agreed they would be beneficial. A layout and purchase was discussed. Elmer Platz motioned to approve the purchase of business cards, as discussed, for each member. Ed DeYoung seconded it. All were in favor. Mayor Burrell, still in attendance, announced he would take care of getting the purchase done.

Creating a web pages for the EDAC was discussed. All members agreed on the importance of having them and adding them to the township website. Sally Rinker offered a copy of the 8 pages posted by the Hardyston Township Economic Development Committee on Hardyston’s website. We agreed it was well done and should use it as a template for our own. Jennifer Lubliner offered to begin working on it. Sally Rinker suggested some photos could be used from the collection of photos gathered for the Western Scenic Byway, as photographs of Vernon depicting all four seasons have been being taken for their management plan and brochure. Mayor Burrell agreed with the creation of EDAC web pages and offered to assist in that effort.

All members took turns stating their backgrounds, involvement in our community, and their interest for being a member in Vernon’s EDAC.

We discussed the potential list of items for our next agenda, such as, the mission statement document, website, formulating questions for local business visits, and adding a second public session to our agenda.

John Perry made a motion to adjourn. Jennifer Lubliner seconded it. All were in favor.

The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

The next meeting of the EDAC will be on February 4, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

Minutes respectfully submitted by Sally Rinker EDAC Chairperson

Approved February 4, 2020