All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.

Minutes: April 22, 2013

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on April 22, 2013, in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey, with Council President Patrick Rizzuto presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 11, 2013, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, and Dick Wetzel. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Township Attorney Kevin Kelly, CFO Bill Zuckerman, and Auditor Bud Jones. Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis arrived during Executive Session. Council President Patrick Rizzuto was absent.

Acting Council President

Motion was made to appoint Council Member Brian Lynch as Acting Council President in the absence of Mr. Rizzuto.
Motion: Dick Wetzel
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
Council Member Lynch was appointed as Acting Council President for this meeting.

Resolution to Go into Executive Session

WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 permits the exclusion of the public in certain circumstances; and

WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon as follows:

1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matter.

2. The general nature of the subject matters to be discussed are:

Personnel Matter—Fire Department Application
Litigation

3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Council exited to executive chambers at 6:34 p.m.

Council returned to open session at 7:30 p.m.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Salute to the Flag

The Acting Council President led the salute to the flag. Mr. Lynch asked for a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon bombing and West, Texas plant explosion.

Mr. Kelly advised that the Council had discussed both items listed on the agenda, but that he was not sure when those minutes would be available.

Presentation

Jessi Paladini showed a power point presentation on the Vernon Township Historical Society. Ms. Paladini gave an overview of what the Society does and a history of different locations around the Township. She referred anyone interested in viewing their website at vernonhistoricalsociety.com.

Acting Council President Lynch noted how he appreciates all that they do, and that he had learned quite a bit from her presentation.

Proclamation

Mr. Lynch read the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, the maltreatment, abuse, and neglect of children is a significant social problem that damages children physically, mentally, and emotionally, and inflicts immeasurable harm on society as a whole, and all children deserve to be nurtured, protected and free from physical or emotional harm; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, as well as the State of New Jersey and the Department of Children and Families, believes that strong, healthy families are the best place to raise children; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, as well as the State of New Jersey, are committed to building a continuum of community-based child abuse prevention and intervention programs that are culturally competent, strength-based and family-centered, and that achieve positive outcomes for parenting and family relationships as well as the empowerment of domestic violence victims and their children; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, as well as the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, embraces the Standards for Prevention Programs developed by the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect; and

WHEREAS, all sectors of the community, including law enforcement, medical professionals, schools, courts, and media outlets, as well as numerous public and private agencies, have joined forces to promote public awareness and community involvement in strengthening families during the month of April and continuing throughout the year.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, do hereby proclaim April 2013 as Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month in Vernon Township, and urge our residents to become involved in efforts aimed at strengthening families and communities and preventing our children from being abused and neglected.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, on this 22nd day of 2013, and to which I have caused the Seal of the Township of Vernon to be affixed and have made this proclamation public.

Mr. Lynch noted that Mr. Rizzuto was absent this evening as his wife was ill.

Public Comments

Acting Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments at this time.
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Daniel Kadish
All were in favor.

Gary Martinsen—asked Council not to approve Resolution #13-84 if their fireworks would negatively impact the firemen. Advised Council that Mr. Lynch would have to recuse himself from Resolution #13-92 as it pertained to an ordinance for fire department purchases, and another ordinance for DOT funds.

Mary Bradley—advised that a local resident, Timmy Grins had done a program for “30 nights in 30 days” to promote alcohol awareness month.

Krista Gherry—felt that the Wild West party at the senior center was a wonderful time. She applauded the efforts of Missi Wiedbrauk and her staff. Ms. Gherry asked for the status of the senior housing project.

Mr. Lynch advised that any updates would be publicized.

Closed to Public Comments

No one else wished to speak at this time, and Acting Council President Lynch asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Daniel Kadish
All were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta noted the following items:

  • Fireworks issue—the Fire Department reached out to Mt. Creek, and a meeting is scheduled for tomorrow with the C.O.O. of Mt. Creek to resolve the issues/conflict. The Fire Department has asked to table the resolution until after their meeting.
  • At the last meeting, Council Member Kadish referred to an ordinance on the conflict of fireworks issue, but after searching through ordinances and resolutions from the 1990’s (and beyond), nothing was found on the books.
  • Senior housing—this project is being developed by a private enterprise with funds that did not come from the State. These funds are set aside from all developer’s fees. The project is alive, necessary changes in the developer’s agreement have moved forward, projected costs are being put together, and the attorneys are reviewing all paperwork. The developer will be addressing the Land Use Board with an application in about 2-3 months. He advised that he had stated at last year’s senior luncheon that this was a very involved project, but at no time was it stated that it would happen overnight.
  • There has been a long-standing lease by Vernon Township for sewer lines to run along the Susquehanna rail lines. The MUA attorney is negotiating a lower cost for this lease.
  • With the passage of the 2013 budget, we can now proceed with the acquisition of 2 new police cruisers (same as the last 2), SUV’s with all-wheel drive, which have actually reduced the old fleet.
  • With the acquisition of a new CAD system for our dispatch system, we anticipate seeing an increased productivity with reduced man-hours.
  • High-frequency radio system upgrades should be completed this year.
  • Employee evaluations will continue with written performance reports, and resulting rewards for those deserving of them.
  • Roof repairs to the Municipal Center with a pitched roof have been allocated for $500,000 in this year’s budget.
  • The Herald printed an article on April 12, quoting Council Member Kadish about why he did not vote for the 2013 budget, citing that capital projects were being back-ended, the Mayor read from sheet 40 of the budget (for capital budget and capital improvement program information)—“It does not in itself confer any authorization to raise or expend funds. Rather it is a document used as part of the local unit’s planning and management program. Specific authorization to expend funds for purposes described in this section must be granted elsewhere, by a separate bond ordinance, by inclusion of a line item in the Capital Improvement Section of this budget, by an ordinance taking the money from the Capital Improvements Fund, or other lawful means.” The Mayor advised that the proposed plan would be funded by previous bond ordinances, a resolution from 2013’s operating budget, last year’s reserve, or previous year’s bond ordinance.

Council Member Kadish noted that there was also a lack of a 10-year plan, and revolving road projects.

Minutes

Acting Council President Lynch asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the Reorganization meeting of January 7, 2013:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
The minutes from the Reorganization meeting of January 7, 2013 were approved.

Acting Council President Lynch asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the meeting of January 31, 2013:
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
The minutes from the regular meeting of January 31, 2013 were approved.

Resolution #13-84: Authorizing Fireworks on July 5, 2013 at Minerals

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to table Resolution #13-84:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
It was noted that the resolution was still on the table from the last meeting. Mr. Kadish withdrew his motion.

The Acting Council President asked for a motion to approve Resolution #13-92:
Moved: Eddie Dunn
Second: Dick Wetzel

Mayor Marotta advised that this was not new money, and that Bond Anticipation Notes are for one year and are allowed to roll over annually for 10 years. He added that by making the amount larger, the interest paid is significantly less at the current rates.

The Acting Council President asked if this BAN was to pay for any fire apparatus. The Mayor advised that all fire apparatus had already been purchased and the funds spent.

Council Member Kadish asked if BANs were only for emergencies, which the Mayor advised were not the case. The Mayor further explained how the process works, and the savings of using BANs based on interest rates. He also explained that any amounts not spent on bond ordinances can be moved (re-appropriated) if the projects have been completed.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
Resolution #13-92 was approved.

Resolution #13-92: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Not Exceeding $2,895,000 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY, AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (herein called “local unit”) entitled: “Bond ordinance appropriating $1,650,000, and authorizing the issuance of $1,571,000 bonds or notes of the Township, for various improvements or purposes authorized to be undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey,” finally adopted on March 28, 2011 (#11-7), Bond Anticipation Notes of the local unit in a principal amount not exceeding $1,527,000 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any Bond Anticipation Notes heretofore issued therefor.

Section 2. Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the local unit entitled: “Bond ordinance appropriating $1,484,000, and authorizing the issuance of $1,412,000 bonds or notes of the Township, for various improvements or purposes for emergency services authorized to be undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey,” finally adopted on April 28, 2011 (#11-08), Bond Anticipation Notes of the local unit in a principal amount not exceeding $1,368,000 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any Bond Anticipation Notes heretofore issued therefor.

Section 3. Pursuant to the provisions of Section 40A:2-26 of the Local Bond Law of New Jersey, particularly paragraph (f) thereof and in lieu of the sale of more than one issue of bonds as provided for in said Local Bond Law, the several issues of bonds of this local unit authorized pursuant to bond ordinances of the local unit hereinabove in Sections 1 and 2 described, shall be combined into a single and combined issue of bonds in the principal amount of $2,895,000.

Section 4. The following matters in connection with said Bond Anticipation Notes are hereby determined:

(a) All notes issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the chief financial officer or the interim chief financial officer (the “chief financial officer”) of the local unit, provided that no note issued pursuant to Section 1 and 2 hereof shall mature later than (i) one year from the date of the first such note issued pursuant to the respective ordinances referred to in said Sections, and (ii) three years from the date of the first note issued pursuant to each such respective ordinance unless the local unit shall have paid and retired amounts of such notes sufficient to allow it, in accordance with provisions of Section 40A:2-8 of the Local Bond Law, to renew a portion thereof beyond the third anniversary date of the first of such notes;

(b) All notes issued hereunder shall bear interest at such rate or rates as may be determined by the chief financial officer of the local unit; and

(c) The notes shall be in the form prescribed by resolution heretofore adopted by the governing body of this local unit determining the form of Bond Anticipation Notes issued pursuant to the Local Bond Law, and any such notes may be signed or sealed by officers of the local unit in any manner permitted by Section 40A:2-25 of said Local Bond Law notwithstanding that said form or resolution may otherwise provide.

Section 5. The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized and directed to determine all matters in connection with said notes not determined by this or a subsequent resolution, and the chief financial officer’s signature upon said notes shall be conclusive as to such determinations.

Section 6. The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized to sell said Bond Anticipation Notes from time to time at public or private sale in such amounts as the chief financial officer may determine at not less than par and to deliver the same from time to time to the purchasers thereof upon receipt of payment of the purchase price plus accrued interest from their dates to the date of delivery thereof and payment therefore.

Section 7. Any instrument issued pursuant to this resolution shall be a general obligation of the local unit, and the local unit’s faith and credit are hereby pledged to the punctual payment of the principal of and interest on said obligations and, unless otherwise paid or payment provided for, an amount sufficient for such payment shall be inserted in the budget and a tax sufficient to provide for the payment thereof shall be levied and collected.

Section 8. The chief financial officer of the local unit is authorized and directed to report in writing to the governing body at the meeting next succeeding the date when any sale or delivery of notes pursuant to this resolution is made, such report to include the amount, description, interest rate and maturity of the notes sold, the price obtained and the name of the purchaser.

Section 9. The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized and directed to do all other matters necessary, useful, convenient or desirable to accomplish the delivery of said notes to the purchasers thereof as promptly as possible, including (i) the preparation, execution and dissemination of a Preliminary Official Statement and Final Official Statement with respect to said notes, (ii) preparation, distribution and publication, if necessary, of a Notice of Sale with respect to said notes, (iii) execution of a Continuing Disclosure Undertaking, with respect to said notes in accordance with Rule 15c2-12 promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and (iv) execution of an arbitrage and use of proceeds certificate certifying that, among other things, the local unit, to the extent it is empowered and allowed under applicable law, will do and perform all acts and things necessary or desirable to assure that interest paid on said notes is not included in gross income under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Section 10. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Ordinances—Introduction

1st Reading of Ordinance #13-07 by Title Only

Mr. Kelly asked if there was going to be a minimum bid for this property. The Mayor explained that although no municipal taxes were collected on this vacant property, the County and Board of Education taxes were paid by the Township. He added that interested parties are restricted to adjacent property owners that would have this parcel added to their properties and they would have to pay the taxes. He felt that no minimum was necessary. Mr. Kadish felt they should get graduated assessments.

Mr. Kelly advised that the bid date would be at the June 10, 2013, Council meeting.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #13-07 on 1st reading by title only.
Motion: Dick Wetzel
Second: Eddie Dunn

Mayor Marotta advised that the law does not allow for graduated tax assessments.

Council Member Kadish noted that the property was very overgrown, like a jungle. Council Member Wetzel agreed with Mr. Kadish, noting that he meant for both properties in the two ordinances for introduction.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
Ordinance #13-07 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #13-07: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Authorizing the Sale of Certain Property Owned by the Township and Not Required for Public Purposes and More Commonly Known as 10 Barberry Street, Block 90.05, Lot 5


1st Reading of Ordinance #13-08 by Title Only

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to approve Ordinance #13-08 on 1st reading by title only.
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Absent: Patrick Rizzuto
Ordinance #13-08 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #13-08: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Authorizing the Sale of Certain Property Owned by the Township and Not Required for Public Purposes and More Commonly Known as 8 Clover Lane/2 Gilbert Drive, Block 83.08, Lot 2


Acting Council President Lynch advised that the 2nd reading/public hearing on Ordinance #13-05 would be held until the Council meeting of May 13, 2013, as the Land Use Board was not able to meet to review the ordinance prior to tonight’s meeting.

Council Business

Council Member Dunn had nothing to report at this time.

Council Member Kadish asked about a transfer in the bills list. The Mayor advised that he would be happy to discuss the item, and asked if he would call him the next day. Mr. Kadish noted that he was happy to see the article in the paper on High Breeze Farm with their sugar operation, feeling it put Vernon in a good light.

Council Member Wetzel complimented Ms. Paladini on her very good presentation for the Historical Society. He complimented the Mayor for the BAN, noting that the current interest rates were very low. He reminded people that Earth Day was this Sunday, April 27, at Heaven Hill Farms.

Acting Council President Lynch noted the rabies clinic was scheduled for this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. by the Animal Control Department. The Mayor added that it was free to residents’ pets, who must be vaccinated in order to be licensed.

The Acting Council President addressed the following:

  • He thanked the Mayor for the financial stability of the Township, for paying down the debt, and especially at a lower rate.
  • He noted that near and dear to his heart is the Fire Service. He advised that 8 of the 14 people who died in the Texas explosion were first responders, volunteers. All their equipment and training did not matter anymore in that situation. He advised that the Boston responders faced similar peril. He reminded residents that when they see volunteers, no matter the nature of their volunteer efforts, that they should say thank you. He felt that volunteers are the bread and butter of each and every town.

Mr. Lynch advised that there was a Special Joint Meeting of the Council and the Board of Education scheduled for this Thursday, April 25, at 7:00 p.m. at the Lounsberry Hollow all-purpose room, at 30 Sammis Road, in Vernon. The purpose of this Special Joint Meeting is to discuss the potential for shared services.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted at the Regular Meeting, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Dunn. Motion seconded by Council Member Wetzel, with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:57 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: May 30, 2013