Minutes: February 4, 2016
Call to Order
Statement of Compliance
Pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231 P.L., 1975, adequate notice as defined in Section 3D of Chapter 231, P.L., 1975, had been forwarded to the New Jersey Herald on January 15, 2016. Notice is also posted on the bulletin board and filed with the office of the township clerk.
Salute to the Flag
Chairperson Dee Franklin called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
1. Open the Meeting to the Public
Dee Franklin opened the meeting to the public and kept it open throughout the duration of the meeting.
2. Robert’s Rules
Dee Franklin went over Robert’s Rules and how she felt it was important to use this item; like ways to correct her if she is making a mistake like point of order, point of privilege, she wants you to feel comfortable and have everyone be able to have their turn in talking. Point of information is being used for clarification for asking a question. Challenging the speaker, if you challenge a speaker the speaker should provide the reason whatever the reason is and the vote is taken, votes should be by roll call, raising your hand to speak. She is trying to do this to keep the democracy in what we are doing. If someone makes a motion it needs to be seconded, allowed for discussion it can be amended and cast with the majority vote. It can be reconsidered and it can be rescinded. If a motion is amended it needs to be seconded, discussion and majority vote, reconsidered and rescinded. At least 4 out of 5 have to vote yes in order for something to pass. Christopher stated that the commission has always done this but we have done it comfortably and the commission has always worked like it is a family and worked in a relaxed atmosphere and this makes some people feel uncomfortable to be so rigid with the rules. Christopher stated that sometimes things are tabled and brought up at future meetings. Charlie stated that the meeting has always been an informal group and everyone has always had the opportunity to speak. Charlie stated that everyone might get caught up on all the verbiage and might not get through what you need to for the meeting. Ted stating that talking is important but we need to make sure that everyone is listening and not talking to the person next to them. Valerie stated that it is important to follow the rules and she things that Robert Rules are a safe place when you have a large crowd but she doesn’t see that with this commission and use a little leniency. Yes, we need a majority to act upon something, and we have been pretty much unison with our voting.
Charles made a motion we follow the direction that Dee suggested by Robert’s Rules of Order, for our business during HPC meetings, Valerie seconded. Ted discussed that the alternates can vote only when there is an empty place.
Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Ted Laabs
Nays: Nancy Adam, Charles Bates, Dee Franklin, Chris Hanke, Valerie Seufert, Lisaann Permunian, Laura Pettinato
Dee stated that she reserves the right to revisit it at a later time.
3. Public Floor Discussion
Jessie Paladini stated as far as Robert’s Rules you can’t vote no because it’s an ordinance and you have to follow them. Robert’s Rules are parliamentary for every part of the town government and you don’t have to be so rigid with the phrases, however it is a courtesy and everyone needs to be courteous to one another. You don’t have to do all the formalities but you have to apply Robert’s Rules of discussion. Also when opening the meeting to the public you should have a motion and a second on it.
Jessie brought up why she was here this evening and first asked why Ron DuPont was not here this evening and Charlie stated that he was notified that Ron was now appointed to the committee and was not sure as to why he wasn’t at the meeting. Jessie wanted to know if he is a regular or if an alternate had been moved up. Charles stated that Ron is a regular member but did not have the information with him. Jessie stated she had heard that he was appointed.
After the January meeting Jessie received phone calls from 5-6 people from the commission asking why she wasn’t here as the secretary of the commission. The council wrongfully appointed a secretary in violation of state statutes and the township codes. She didn’t come that night in respect for Gail and didn’t want to make her feel uncomfortable. The commission is to appoint and hire your own secretary and the council went ahead and hired someone else. The ordinance in the town is that you have to hire your own secretary. Jessie stated that the commission should go through the formality and hire Gail as the HPC secretary. Chris had stated that the ordinance was changed. Charles stated they had a meeting that Chris and Charles attended and Lauren Kirkman was there and indicated ordinance 330-146 and it was changed 330-143 to 330-147 and that particular item and that the commission should appoint a secretary and that it was rescinded in 2011 and that is what Lauren had given them.
Jessie came down and got the code that is on the township website and spoke with the attorney and former mayor and no one has the code that Charles is speaking about. Lauren Kirkman told Charles that it was the responsibility of the mayor to recommend a secretary for the town council.
Jessie stated that that was not the most recent and the most recent was on the website. Charles stated that he would contact the clerk’s office and get the proper code. Jessie stated that the commission needs to vote on Gail as your secretary. You need to make this official as the commission and vote.
Dan Kadish as liaison said that not everything on the website and not everything in the codebook is correct and it is going to be worked on. Things have been worked on with the inception of the new government. There was a time that it is the HPC Commission’s choice as to who to hire and the commission was told by the old mayor that it was not. He stated that the mayor has the right to make the decision. Dan stated that he is not getting involved in this situation that it was something that the mayor needs to handle.
Dee stated that she has been pouring over the township codes and sees something like this and it’s very disturbing that it was changed and no one was ever notified. Dan stated it is something that needs to be addressed to the mayor.
Dee made a motion to close this discussion, seconded by Charles.
Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Nancy, Charles, Dee, Chris, Valerie, Lisaann
Dee rescinded her last motion to close the discussion and instead postponed it to discuss it at the next meeting, seconded by Ted.
Ayes: Nancy, Charles, Dee, Chris, Valerie, Lisaann, Ted, Laura
Valerie stated that someone from our commission go to the town council and find out exactly what code we are supposed to be following.
Valerie made a motion to postpone now and the next HPC meeting someone from commission to go to the town council meeting with a liaison and get the correct code. Seconded by Nancy.
Ted’s discussion was that it shakes his confidence in the law and dealing with the public and doesn’t know what else has been changed and doesn’t want to violate the law, and Jessie replied that it shouldn’t shake your confidence that you have to follow published legal code if they want to change—you have to follow proper code that it has been published and in the code book and not some statement.
Ayes: Nancy, Charles, Dee, Chris, Ted, Valerie, Lisaann, Laura
Charles and Valerie will go to the next township council meeting. If the township council president will notify Dee as to when the next meeting is and then in turn notify Charles and Valerie. Valerie stated that she is not around on February 23rd. Charles wanted to know if he should be there at the meeting or if it should be handled with the lawyer. Dan stated that it should be addressed at the next township council and not to wait until the March town council meeting. Charles said he will attend regardless if the agenda is written for input and will be there.
4. Approval of Minutes
January 7, 2016 Regular Meeting Minutes
Correction done to January meeting minutes of Valerie abstaining from December’s minutes since she was not present for that meeting. Ted Laabs stated that also the word education needed to be put into the section of Wayne McCabe.
Valerie made a motion to adopt the minutes with the changes, Dee seconded.
Roll Call Vote:
Ayes: Chris Hanke, Ilene Franklin, Ted Laabs, Lisaann Permunian, Laura Pettinato, Charles Bates
Abstained: Nancy Bates (not present at January meeting)
5. Approval of HPC Secretary
Charles made motion that we accept Gail Russell as the HPC secretary effective January 2016 to the reorganization meeting in January 2017. Ted seconded.
Laura discussion was that we have no clarity and that we shouldn’t vote anyone in until we have clarity or the codes. If it is the code from 2011 then we should get resumes and start the process over. Charles agreed with the point of view and that Gail is a sitting secretary and that she is receiving a salary and that we don’t want to say that a theft of services is not happening. Dan Kadish asked if I signed a contract and I stated yes. Ted said we should follow our duty and say we accept her as to accept or not accept.
Ayes: Nancy, Charles, Dee, Chris, Ted, Valerie, Lisaann
6. All other old business is being postponed until the next meeting since the time is getting late.
Charles stated that there are a couple of issues and that he finished the end of year report and it goes to the town council. Bulleted items were to be put into a paragraph and sent into December. Jessie stated that it was already done voted on and submitted.
Historic farming district should be deleted and brought as scenic byways and it was to be brought up as scenic byways. Dee asked if Jamie Rickey was part of it and Charles stated he wasn’t sure.
United Methodist Church it has been six long years, Charles thanked Nancy and they both met with the trustees and they gave a letter to go forward with marker. Spoke to the land use board to set up date for presentation with approval from the chair. All paperwork and notifications have taken place and were party and privy to that presentation with reference to appropriate channels addressed.
Dee makes a motion for Charlie to follow through to designating the United Methodist Church with a historic marker. Seconded by Valerie.
Ayes: Dee, Nancy, Chris, Ted, Valerie, Lisaann, Laura and Charles
7. Dee stated that we spoke of Robert’s Rules and hopes that we can follow the rules so that we are using parliamentary procedure as necessary.
Dee already discussed HPC 5-94 duties—going through paperwork. It was stated that everyone have some sort of loose-leaf or binder to keep all paperwork. To show what the purpose of what our commission as is our ordinance and handed it out to everyone so that you all have the information.
Charlie and Chris went over with the mayor of the classification of the HPC Commission. Wayne McCabe stated that we were illegal the way we were all classified and it is stated in the state statue that you can only have at least 1 A and 2 Bs or 2 As and 1 B. Jessie stated that it should all be a minimum of 1 A and the rest of Bs. Dan Kadish stated that it has been corrected already.
Charles Bates moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m.
Ted Laabs seconded the motion.
All commissioners were in favor.
The next meeting of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission will be on March 3, 2016 at 7 p.m.
Transcribed by Gail Russell