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

Minutes: December 12, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on December 12, 2011 in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey, with Council President Brian Lynch presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on July 8, 2011, 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, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

Resolution to Go into Executive Session

At 6:35 p.m., Council President Lynch asked for a motion to go into Executive Session. Council Member Rizzuto made a motion to close the meeting to the public and enter into executive session. Motion seconded by Council Member Dunn with all members present voting in favor.

The Municipal Clerk read the following resolution to go into executive session:

WHEREAS, Section 8 of 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 matter to be discussed is:
    1. Litigation/Thompson v. Vernon Township
  3. It is anticipated that the above-stated subject matter will be made available upon final decision.
  4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

The Township Council entered into Executive Session at 6:37 p.m.

Return to Open Session

Council Member Kadish made a motion to return to open session. Motion seconded by Council Member Wetzel, with all members present voting in favor. (7:31 p.m.)

Mr. Kelly explained to the audience that an additional item was discussed in executive session—a personnel matter that came up during the day.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Lynch led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • The Township was audited on November 1 by the State for affirmative action. We were advised that the Township was in compliance.
  • Hardyston Township sent a copy of a letter opposing a shared services bill proposed in the legislature. He asked the Council to read the letter so a response can be formulated by the Council. He noted that the bill adds a punitive measure for non-compliance with the stringent suggestions on shared services.
  • He noted that Council had previously approved funding for 4 Fire Department vehicles. We need to modify those vehicles due to a caveat from Ford on timelines. Discussions have arisen and agreements have been made to downsize from Explorers to Escapes. The deadline to order is 12/16/11.

Motion to approve the change in Fire Department vehicles to 4 Escapes:
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Nays: None
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Motion carried.

  • He noted that Mr. Giaimis had done an outstanding job on the contract negotiations. The PBA and DPW are complete and being drawn up by the legal people. There will be no increases from this year’s budget.
  • He asked for Council’s approval of the Memorandum of Understanding on Jack Stout and to authorize the Mayor to sign it.

Motion to approve the Memorandum of Understanding on Animal Control Officer Jack Stout and to authorize the Mayor to sign the MOU:
Motion: Eddie Dunn
Second: Daniel Kadish

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None

  • He noted that he would be asking to authorize the lease with the Historical Society on this evening’s agenda.

Public Comments

Council President Lynch opened the meeting to public comments at this time.

Sally Rinker—spoke about the article in the paper on the Fire Prevention staff changes. She read a prepared statement.

Lynn VanGorder—asked to speak to reporter Jessica Zummo after the meeting.

Phyllis MacPeek—asked permission to put a donation box for animal food in the front hall. Mayor Marotta noted that Walmart had been donating cat food, and that the Township had brought in a vet who examined all animals—all were fine but were too heavy.

Ted Warnet—asked where funding for the Fire Official’s office came from. Mayor Marotta advised that there were 2 sources of funds: fees/inspections—used for operating expenses and firematics; and fines—trust fund. The Mayor also noted that salaries for that office are paid by tax dollars. Mr. Warnet noted that the cost of the cars was not from tax dollars.

Justin Annunziata—read a statement from Mary Bradley, Chairperson on Board of Recreation. The statement thanked all for their efforts for the tree lighting ceremony and other festivities that same night. She felt the event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and went off without a hitch.

Tom McClachrie—addressed budget figures, as well as real estate values.

Gary Martinsen—suggested that the budget sessions be recorded. He also noted the loss of Mrs. Scordato, as well as the young man who died. He wished all a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah.

Mayor Marotta advised that he neglected to mention that Council would be having a joint meeting with the Board of Education at the Cedar Mountain School at 7:00 p.m. this Thursday, 12/15. He noted that one item of discussion will be real estate values.

Closed to Public Comments

No one else wished to speak at this time, and Council President Lynch asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.

Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All were in favor.

Approval of Minutes

November 28, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Minutes were approved.

Resolutions #11-226 through #11-230

Council President Lynch gave a brief description of each Resolution for the Council members.

Motion to approve the resolutions individually:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch
Nays: Eddie Dunn, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel
Abstain: None
Motion failed

Council Member Kadish asked to remove resolutions 11-227, -228, -229, and -230.

Motion to approve Resolution 11-226:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Resolution #11-226 was adopted.

Resolution #11-226: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

BE IT RESOLVED that the following bills listed are hereby approved:

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1Current$879,931.82BOE
#2Current$791,969.32BOE
#3Grant$9,040.10 
#4Capital$18,157.50 
#5Other Trust$364.00 
#6Planning & Zoning$12,561.50 
#7Outside Services$323.28 
 Payroll$292,164.201st Pay in Dec
 Total$2,004,511.72 

Motion to approve Resolution 11-227:
Council Member Kadish noted that ‘appendix C’ was not in the packet. The Mayor noted that it was from the bond and cannot be known until the bond has been acquired.

Mr. Kadish asked about clause 12. The Mayor explained that since the October 2005 bond, this has been paid by Mountain Creek in full. He also pointed out a typo—there should be a dash between Vernon Township and Mountain Creek.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Resolution #11-227 was adopted.

Resolution #11-227: Authorizing the Mayor to Execute an Interlocal Services Agreement with the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon Township, a Municipal Corporation of the State of New Jersey and the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority (VTMUA), a municipal utilities authority established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:14-B-1 et seq. have determined that an Interlocal Service Agreement is in the best interest of the parties; and

WHEREAS, the specific services, payment arrangements, and term of agreement, have been negotiated and set forth in a written Interlocal Service Agreement between the Township and VTMUA.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey that the Mayor is hereby authorized to execute the Interlocal Service Agreement between the Township and VTMUA in accordance with the mutual terms and conditions of the attached Interlocal Service Agreement.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Motion to approve Resolution 11-228:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Resolution #11-228 was adopted.

Resolution #11-228: Township Owned Properties

WHEREAS N.J.S.A.54:5-104.29 et seq. IN-REM FORECLOSURE allowed the Township of Vernon to foreclose Tax Certificates which pertain to properties within Vernon Township and the Township of Vernon has acquired Final Judgment In Rem Docket #F000094-11 on November 9, 2011 to become tax exempt, and,

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has acquired the annexed Tax Foreclosure List on November 9, 2011, and,

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is claiming effective for the 2011 taxes, tax exempt,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex State of New Jersey, hereby authorize the Tax Collector to cancel the 2011 taxes in the amount set forth in the annexed Tax Foreclosure List as deem necessary.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that a certified copy of the Resolution be forwarded to the Tax Collector and Township Auditor.

Motion to approve Resolution 11-229:
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Resolution #11-229 was adopted.

Resolution #11-229: Transfer Resolution—Fund Balance Transfer

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon Municipal Budget requires certain modifications to cover potential expenses that may occur in excess of the original budget.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the following Transfer of Appropriations (2011 Municipal Budget) in accordance with N.J.S.A 40A-58/59 and hereby approved.

Motion to approve Resolution 11-230:
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: Daniel Kadish
Resolution #11-230 was adopted.

Resolution #11-230: Authorizing the Mayor and Municipal Clerk to Sign a Lease Agreement with the Vernon Township Board of Education and an Assignment of Said Lease Agreement to the Vernon Township Historical Society

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (Township) has entered into a Lease with the Vernon Township Board of Education (BOE) for premises located at 293 Route 94 (Block 141, Lot 13), Vernon, New Jersey; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to assign its rights and obligations under this Lease to the Vernon Township Historical Society (VTHS); and

WHEREAS, VTHS desires to accept this assignment to enable the premises to be utilized by VTHS for its officers and activities as a non-profit entity;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, New Jersey as follows:

  1. That the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby authorizes and directs the Mayor and Township Clerk to execute the Lease Agreement with the Vernon Township Board of Education;
  2. That the Township Council of the Township of Vernon hereby authorized and directs the Mayor and Township Clerk to execute the Assignment of said Lease Agreement to the Vernon Township Historical Society.
  3. This Resolution shall take effect after publication and passage according to law.

Introduction of Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #11-27 on 1st Reading by Title Only

Ordinance #11-27: An ordinance granting non-exclusive permission to co-locate conduit and related equipment and facilities within the public right-of way of Sand Hill Road for the purpose of transmitting solar energy generated electricity from Lot 2.03 to Lot 1 in Block 141

Motion to approve Ord. #11-27 on 1st reading by title only:
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish questioned the difference between public v. private utilities, as he was concerned it might set a precedent. Mr. Dunn asked about the “non-exclusive” clause. Mr. Kelly explained that there are other utilities using the right-of-way. Mr. Kadish asked about Mr. Zaretsky’s offer of payment. Mayor Marotta noted that clause (h) stipulates a fee.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Ordinance #11-27 was approved on 1st reading.

Ordinance #11-26 on 2nd Reading by Title Only

Ordinance #11-26: An ordinance granting municipal historic designation to certain property in the Township of Vernon


Motion to adopt Ord. #11-26 on 2nd reading by title only:
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

Open to Public Discussion on Ord. #11-26

No one wished to be heard.

Closed to Public Discussion on Ord. #11-26

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Ordinance #11-26 was adopted.

Council Appointments

Constable—3-year term ending 12/31/2014

Motion to approve appointment of Warren Burgess as Constable for a 3-year term ending 12/31/2014:
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Mr. Burgess was appointed.

Environmental Commission—Alternate #1 to 12/31/12

Motion to approve appointment of Traci Baldwin-Carter as Alternate #1 on the Environmental Commission to 12/31/12:
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Ms. Baldwin-Carter was appointed.

Mr. Kelly advised that, pursuant to Executive Session discussion, he would need Council to pass a motion authorizing him to settle Thompson v. Vernon Township.

Motion to authorize Township Attorney, Kevin Kelly, to offer $50,000 in the settlement of the Thompson v. Vernon Township matter:
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Motion carried.

Council President

Council President Lynch advised that he had a few items of note:

  • It had been a long 6 months since the new governing body took over in July, with a lot of hard, good work.
  • He was happy that a lot of people came out in such lousy weather for the fireworks and tree lighting.
  • The Rt. 515 plate is gone, and the road has been fixed.
  • He noted that this was a time of giving.

Council Business

  • Council Member Wetzel wished everyone a great, safe holiday season.
  • He was glad to see a former student getting involved on the Recreation Board.
  • He also felt that great efforts had been made since July.
  • Council Member Rizzuto felt that the Christmas party for the tree lighting was terrific, and he was also surprised with the turnout.
  • He felt that the Mayor’s appearance on the news was good public relations.
  • He thanked the Board of Recreation and Missy Wiedbrauk for all their efforts.
  • He wished everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year.
  • He felt it had been a great six months on the Council.
  • He asked for a goal-setting meeting in early January.

Council Member Kadish expressed his concern with getting the foreclosed properties back on the tax rolls, and suggested that the Township might acquire them as well as low-rent properties. Mayor Marotta advised that the banks were paying the taxes. Mr. Kadish pointed out 14 Pine Street East on the in-rem property listing. He advised he would ask how to handle this uninhabitable property. He noted that most other foreclosures were vacant lots. He would like to see neighbors taking them over. He felt there would be more properties coming. All 300 are hoped to be handled by the end of his term.

  • Council Member Dunn advised that the tree lighting ceremony gave him a strong sense of pride. He felt the strong showing was because it was held at the center of town, starting a new tradition.
  • He wished all Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas. He felt it was a blessed time.
  • He noted it had been a distinct pleasure to serve with the other members of Council, and that he had learned a lot.

Council Member Kadish advised that if anyone hadn’t seen the new Red Tail Lodge at Mountain Creek, that they should check it out.

Council Member Rizzuto echoed that sentiment.

Council President Lynch asked everyone to review the list of meeting dates for 2012.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan S. Nelson, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: January 23, 2012