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

Minutes: December 17, 2012

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on December 17, 2012, in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 9, 2012, 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 Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Lynch led the assemblage in the salute to the flag. Mr. Lynch asked for a moment of silence before anyone sat down in order to honor the memory of the 20 angels and 7 adults senselessly taken from this world in Newtown, Connecticut, noting that they would be remembered in our prayers.

Public Hearing—SEC-TV Municipal Consent

Robert McBriar, of Courter, Kobert & Cohen, explained the legal requirements for this public hearing, as it relates to renewing the Township’s franchise agreement. He gave the floor to representatives of SEC-TV, Michael Meliti, Esq. and Kristen Schreib of the law firm of Arturi, D’Argenio, Guaglardi & Meliti, LLP.

Mr. Meliti reiterated the requirement for renewal, noting that SEC-TV was requesting a 10-year renewal. He noted that on March 4, 1981, they started servicing Vernon. Since that time they have no complaints on file from residents. He noted that service had been bundled about three years ago, for phone, cable, and internet. He referenced the exhibits included in the application for renewal that all members had received. He explained the franchise fee, and advised that they were looking for finalization with an ordinance within two to three months. Also present and representing SEC-TV were Service Manager Cheri LoPresti, and General Counsel Robert Williams, Esq.

Council President Lynch asked about when Council meetings would be shown on the channel, as they don’t seem to be on a specific schedule. Mr. Meliti noted that he had been trying to work that out.

Mr. Lynch noted that in 2012 SEC-TV no longer provided copies of the videotaped meetings. Mr. Meliti stated that there would be no problem to get them. Mayor Marotta asked for all of the 2012 copies, as well as all Council meetings going forward.

Council Member Dunn questioned the issue of “no complaints,” asking how complaints had been previously received and then resolved.

Council Member Wetzel also questioned how there could be no complaints for 35-40 years.

Council Member Rizzuto asked if a 10-year renewal was standard. Mr. Meliti advised that it was the standard practice of neighboring towns. He further advised that the process of renewal usually starts around year 7, and that it was a non-exclusive franchise. Mr. Rizzuto asked if the fee schedule was set for the 10 years. Mr. Meliti noted that the fee schedule would be renewed annually.

Council Member Wetzel inquired about any problems with another provider using their lines. Mr. Meliti advised that it hasn’t come up.

Council Member Kadish asked about public access channels over the past years. Mr. Meliti advised that there are 2 access channels: Sussex County Community College and Channel 10.

Mayor Marotta inquired what the percentage of franchise fees is based on, and was told that the current 2% is on the basic fee. It was also noted that it was 3% for 18 months in 2000 - 2001.

Council Member Dunn asked about downtown following Sandy, noting there were electrical outages. Mr. Meliti advised that the electrical outages made their efforts impossible, that people had asked for credits—a 30-day window was in place for outages over electrical outages, and that they made some credits due to any additional outages.

Council Member Wetzel asked if the franchise fee would include the availability of a studio. Mr. Meliti advised that they would always be willing to discuss the issue.

Public Comments on Cable Franchise Renewal

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments at this time about the cable franchise renewal.
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

Gary Martinsen—noted the different carriers he had used, that he had had no issues that were not quickly handled, and noted the increase in usage of Channel 10 by other towns which can limit access.

Mary Ellen Vichiconti—felt that airing of the Council meetings was a great service, and that she would like to see a consistent schedule of those meetings.

Closed to Public Comments

Council President asked for a motion to close the public comments portion of the meeting on the cable franchise renewal.
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members present were in favor.

Motion

Robert McBriar suggested to Council President Lynch that it would be appropriate at this time for the Council to entertain a motion to begin the renewal process. The motion would be approving Service Electric Cable TVs application for municipal consent to operate a cable communication system in the Township of Vernon, based on findings of tonight’s meeting that the company possesses the necessary legal, technical, and financial qualifications to support this municipal consent; and that the company’s operating and construction arrangement are adequate to sustain the terms of the consent.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion as stipulated by Mr. McBriar.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: Eddie Dunn
Motion carried.

Public Comments

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

Gary Martinsen—wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Council President Lynch wished the same to all.

Closed to Public Comments

Council President asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Eddie Dunn
All members present were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta noted that he would like Council to approve a motion approving the Pleasant Valley drainage project that was discussed at the last meeting. He added that it was fairly inexpensive and would be paid for by the Pleasant Valley Lake Association, with the DPW performing the work.

Motion

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to approve the Pleasant Valley Lake drainage project on Evergreen Trail, which will be performed by the DPW, that the Township Engineer has estimated to cost about $16,000.00, and would be paid for by the Pleasant Valley Lake Association.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish asked if there would be any liability for the Township if the drainage was repaired and another storm comes in. Mr. Kelly advised that the matter would fall under a Tort Claim with no liability for the Township. Mr. Kadish asked if this would be included in the municipal services act. Mayor Marotta advised that we already plow and maintain this roadway.

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

Consent Agenda—Resolutions #12-228 through #12-333

Council President Lynch gave a brief explanation of each resolution.
Mr. Lynch asked for a motion adopting Resolutions #12-228 through #12-333.
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

Council Member Kadish asked about the transfer of $94,000.00. Mayor Marotta advised that this was a bookkeeping issue with personnel in the incorrect line item.

There was a brief discussion on renewals of professionals prior to the start of the new year. Mayor Marotta and Business Administrator Giaimis advised that there would be no lapse in coverage.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Resolutions #12-228 through #12-333 were adopted.

Resolution #12-228: Resolution Appointing Fund Commissioner

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (hereinafter “Local Unit”) is a member of the Statewide Insurance Fund (hereinafter “Fund”), a joint insurance fund as defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:10-36 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Fund’s Bylaws require participating members to appoint a Fund Commissioner.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the governing body of the Township of Vernon that Gerald J. Giaimis is hereby appointed as the Fund Commissioner for the Local Unit for the calendar year 2013; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that William Zuckerman is hereby appointed as the Alternate Fund Commissioner for the Local Unit for the calendar year 2013; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Local Unit’s Fund Commissioner is authorized and directed to execute all such documents as required by the Fund.

Resolution #12-229: Resolution Appointing Risk Management Consultant

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (hereinafter “Local Unit”) has joined the Statewide Insurance Fund (hereinafter “Fund”), a joint insurance fund as defined in N.J.S.A. 40A:10-36 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the Bylaws require participating members to appoint a Risk Management Consultant, as those positions are defined in the Bylaws, if requested to do so by the “Fund”; and

WHEREAS, the Local Unit has complied with relevant law with regard to the appointment of a Risk Management Consultant; and

WHEREAS, the “Fund” has requested its members to appoint individuals or entities to that position.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the governing body of “Local Unit,” in the County of Sussex and State of New Jersey, as follows:

  1. The Township of Vernon hereby appoints D & H Alternative Risk Solutions/Wayne F. Dietz as its local Risk Management Consultant.
  2. The Mayor of the Township of Vernon and Risk Management Consultant are hereby authorized to execute the Risk Management Consultant’s Agreement for the year 2013 in the form attached hereto.

Resolution #12-230: Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement between the Township of Vernon and Action Data Services to Provide Payroll and Accounting Services from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (“Township”) has a need to acquire professional payroll and accounting services to process employee payroll; and

WHEREAS, Action Data Services has submitted a proposal (annexed) for the provision of said professional services for the year 2013; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5(1)(a)(1) of the New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law, the Township may enter into said Professional Services Agreement without public bidding provided all reporting requirements have been met; and

WHERAS, the Township Chief Financial Officer has certified that there is no charge to the Township Budget as the current Township bank, Lakeland Bank, pays in full for this service.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey as follows:

  1. Upon satisfactory presentation of all materials required under the New Jersey Local Pay-to-Play Law and the Local Public Contracts Law, the Mayor of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to enter into the Professional Services Agreement with Action Data Services substantially in the form annexed hereto, and subject to the review and approval as to form by the Township Attorney.
  2. Notice of the award of the within Contract shall be published in accordance with law.
  3. The within Resolution and subject Contract shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.
  4. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon passage and publication in accordance with law, if required.

Resolution #12-231: Authorizing the Execution of an Interlocal Service Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex to Provide the Services of a Qualified Purchasing Agent for 2013

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex wish to enter into an Interlocal agreement to provide the services of a Qualified Purchasing Agent for the year 2013; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon agrees to provide a Qualified Purchasing Agent pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11 et seq. and those purchasing services as per the attached Interlocal Service Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the term of the agreement will be from January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon will provide 130 hours over the 12-month period and the Borough of Sussex agrees to compensate the Township of Vernon at a sum of $3,900.00 payable semi-annually on July 31, 2013, and December 31, 2013. Any additional hours over the 130 will be paid at the rate of $30 per hour.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon of the County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor is authorized to execute the Interlocal agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex to provide the services of a Qualified Purchasing Agent for the year 2013 as per the attached Interlocal Agreement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Mayor and Clerk of the Borough of Sussex, as well as the Vernon Township Purchasing and Finance Departments.

Resolution #12-232: Authorizing the Execution of an Interlocal Service Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex for Municipal Finance Services for 2013

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex wish to enter into an Interlocal agreement for Municipal Finance Services for the year 2013; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon agrees to provide a certified Chief Financial Officer pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-140-1 et seq. and those Finance services as per the attached Interlocal Service Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the term of the agreement will be from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon will provide 384 annual hours over the 12 month period and the Borough of Sussex agrees to compensate the Township of Vernon at a monthly rate of $1,600 payable on the last day of each month.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon of the County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor is authorized to execute the Interlocal agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Borough of Sussex for Municipal Finance Services for the year 2013 as per the attached Interlocal Agreement; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Mayor and Clerk of the Borough of Sussex and to the Vernon Township Finance Department.

Resolution #12-233: 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 Transfers of Appropriations (2012 Municipal Budget) in accordance with N.J.S.A 40A-58/59 are hereby approved.

FROM: TO: 
Current Budget: Current Budget: 
Police Department—S&W$94,000.00  
Road Repairs—S&W13,000.00  
Assessment of Taxes—S&W27,100.00  
Municipal Court—OE3,600.00  
  Radio Communications—S&W$94,000.00
  Fleet Management—OE5,000.00
  Recycling—S&W1,000.00
  Maintenance of Parks—S&W7,000.00
  General Administration—S&W13,000.00
  Revenue Administration—S&W1,000.00
  Finance Department—S&W1,000.00
  Recreation Department—S&W2,000.00
  Municipal Court—S&W13,700.00
Total Current Budget Transfers$137,700.00Total Current Budget Transfers$137,700.00

Council President

Council President Lynch thanked all for all their hard work this year, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Council Comments

Council Member Dunn had a question on SEC-TV relative to a concern on quality of service. He would like to have seen more statistical analysis of the current contract, and feels a deeper discount is warranted. He was also concerned with the lack of competition, as well as the length of time of the agreement. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas.

Council Member Kadish felt the franchise deserves additional discussion, noting that he would like a studio to be available to residents and students, and feels it is worth pursuing.

Mayor Marotta asked if Council would consider what happened to the 1% (that was reduced from 3% to the current 2%). Council President Lynch suggested a work session on the matter.

Council Member Rizzuto also expressed concern with the length of time of the agreement. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. He noted that it had been a great year, with a great deal having been accomplished.

Council Member Wetzel noted that it wasn’t until the 1980s that they could broadcast high school games. He felt it was an enjoyable year, and that he learned a lot. He wished everyone a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy Kwanzaa.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: February 11, 2013