Minutes: December 9, 2019

The regular meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:02 p.m. on December 9, 2019 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Jean Murphy presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 3, 2019 and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

Roll Call

Present were Council Members Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger and Council President Murphy, Attorney Marlin Townes, Business Administrator Charles Voelker and Mayor Harry Shortway.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Murphy led the assemblage for the salute to the flag.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to enter into a Recess at 7:03 p.m.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members present voted in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to return to Regular Meeting at 7:05 p.m.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members present voted in favor.

Council President Murphy announced that Ordinance #19-29 requires an amendment and asked for a motion to remove the Ordinance from the present agenda.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Jean Murphy

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried.

Ordinance #19-29: Ordinance Extending Lease Agreement between the Vernon Township Board of Education and the Township of Vernon, and Sub-Lease Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Dog Owners Gathering Society of Vernon Township, Inc., for Certain Unimproved Real Property Identified on the Official Tax Maps of the Township of Vernon as Block 133, Lot 2.05

Public Comments (On Current Agenda Items Only)

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members present voted in favor.

Jessi Paladini commented that the Resolution appointing the new Municipal Clerk was not available on the website and requested a copy. She urged the Council to not move forward with the Clerk Appointment at this time to further obtain references on the candidates. Ms. Paladini questioned if all Council Members researched all Clerk applications received and if they were all involved in the interview process. Council President Murphy explained Business Administrator Voelker and all Council Members except for Council Member Van Tassel were present to attend the Special Meeting for interviews of qualified candidates. Attorney Townes explained the Township is not required to interview all applicants.

Ms. Paladini expressed concern that the outgoing Council Members Curreri and Ooms whose terms end 12/31/19, are voting for this important position that will not be serving them. She noted that the Clerk advertisement end date was 12/25/19 but was pulled early no allowing for applicants to submit to end date. Ms. Paladini stated an Acting Clerk should be appointed to allow for more time to make an appointment and suggested Ms. Lauren Shaw who has worked in that office since 2016. She further questioned if any Civil Service violations have occurred with this action. Attorney Townes stated the Township is in compliance and there are no violations to Civil Service or state law. Ms. Paladini opined that it is very obvious that no research was done on the candidate being appointed and at salary higher than last Clerk. Ms. Paladini commented the Council is disingenuous, binding the future Council is outrageous and urged the Township to restore the application deadline and allow for new Council to hire the Clerk that will serve them.

Steve Dunlop, Williamsville Estate, agreed with Ms. Paladini’s comments and questioned what the rush is to make this decision and suggested to appoint an Acting Clerk in meantime. Mr. Dunlop opined that the present Council’s action are unethical and a disservice to the residents as well as the new Council and urged Council to table the resolution. He commented that reasonable people interested to apply note the deadline and should be given the opportunity until December 25 to apply. Mr. Dunlop expressed his concern of this similar action by previous Mayor Marotta by appointing positions at end of his term.

Sean Clarkin, Barry Lakes, commented his agreement with prior speakers and that appointment should be thoroughly reviewed prior to vote is made. Attorney Townes explained that Council cannot have deliberations outside of a public meeting except in executive session for purposes set by law. He added that as legal counsel to the Council and Township, there are times during the meeting that Council Members may need to confer.

Seeing no one further wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members present voted in favor.

Minutes

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of November 14, 2019 and November 25, 2019.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms(only November 14, 2019), Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: Sandra Ooms (only November 25, 2019)
Absent: None
Motion carried.

Regular Meeting Minutes November 14,2019
Regular Meeting Minutes November 25, 2019

Items for Discussion

Short Term Rental Ordinance

Council President Murphy explained there was an amendment added to Ordinance #19-26 but questioned if wording added on page 4 regarding Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) and Short Term Rentals (STRs) by Counsel is correct.

Council Member Ooms stated that if one buys a home to rent as an AIRBNB, the proposed Ordinance won’t allow that action because it is not the owner’s principal address and asked if that makes sense for Vernon to collect the tax. Mayor Shortway stated true AIRBNBs have owner’s present and suggested that Council table the Ordinance to provide Mayor-elect Burrell’s input and so Ordinance can be amended as needed. Council President Murphy noted that the Ordinance already wen to the Land Use Board for review and recommendations which there were no changes.

Council Member Curreri stated amendment to add HOAs was done to help Lake Communities but now questioned if the limitation will hurt them. Council Member Ooms added that Attorney Zielinski explained at last meeting that Township law supersede community by-laws. Attorney Townes noted that should the Township allow AIRBNBs, the Community by-laws can add further rules or procedures.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members present voted in favor.

Sean Clarkin commented that State law dictates that Sussex County is zoned as recreational with tourism as large fund producer and noted that stopping AIRBNB would be counterproductive business. Mr. Clarkin stated many unoccupied homes throughout Sussex County are being purchased as second homes to be used as rentals making this requirement of primary residence not a good idea. He explained currently Highland Lakes requires renters to register with the Association for a set fee. Council President Murphy explained this Ordinance has not yet been adopted due to certain items need to be clarified.

Jack McLaughlin, Highlands Lakes, not speaking on behalf of the Association, requested Council to table or reject the Ordinance due to many structural and philosophical items needing revisions. He opined there will be lack of compliance amongst property owners regarding the requirement of “primary residence” and flexibility. Mr. McLaughlin commented that retaining ownership is difficult in these economic circumstances and questioned what role does the Town have in this matter. He further noted that that version of Ordinance #19-26 on the Town website is not the one being discussed tonight. The Ordinance states that Council seeks to learn the quantity of STRs in Vernon by establishing a process of registration, inspection but he opined seems sequentially incorrect.

Mr. Mclaughlin explains the Township Assessor is required to collect Chapter 91 forms from all commercial properties which produce income and questioned if AIRBNB properties are subject to this tax. He noted he is unaware if AIRBNB properties are being solicited by the Assessor for this information as it may affect the assessment value. He added that Vernon Township already requires a Landlord/Tenant Registration form to be filed with the Township Clerk.

Mr. McLaughlin suggested the Ordinance should review parking issues that may arise due to number of occupants renting as well as overtaxing of wells and septic systems. He opined the town should not be involved with requirement of insurance as any liability should be held by homeowner. Mr. McLaughlin urged Council to table the proposed Ordinance due to many questions and concerns brought forward.

Scott Ghysels, Barry Lakes, clarified the request at the last Council meeting that should Council adopt this Ordinance, it provided right for HOAs to allow by amending By-Laws or exempting AIRBNB.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members present voted in favor.

Council Member Ooms suggested a Council Worksession is needed to address the outstanding issues.

Ordinance #19-26: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Creating Chapter 476 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Short-Term Rentals”

Council President Murphy read the title of Ordinance #19-26 and asked for a motion to table Ordinance #19-26.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to table Ordinance #19-26.

Ordinance #19-27: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 509 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Taxation” to Include Transient Accommodations

Council President Murphy read the title of Ordinance #19-27 and asked for a motion to table Ordinance #19-27.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to table Ordinance #19-27.

Vacant and Abandon Property Ordinance

Council President Murphy commented that the fee schedule for the Vacant and Abandoned Property Ordinance needs to be reviewed by new Council and Administration before any reminder letters for 2020 are mailed as some cases are being challenged.

Consent Agenda

Council President Murphy stated that Resolution #19-133, Appointment of Acting Township Clerk has been added to agenda and gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #19-223 through #19-233.

Council Member Auberger requested Resolution #19-223 be voted on separately.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Resolution #19-223.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: John Auberger
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Resolution #19-223.

Resolution #19-223: Authorizing the Mayor to Sign a Contract between the Township and Delta Dental Plan Care Plan for Township of Vernon Employees

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon (“Township”) has a desire to offer the Delta Dental Premier Plus PPO Dental Plan to its employees; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to execute the contract between the Township and Delta Dental; and

WHEREAS, Delta Dental had submitted a contract, detailing all of the benefits, conditions and costs for the Premier Plus PPO for the period effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021; 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 amend said Agreement without public bidding provided all reporting requirements have been met; and

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

  1. The Mayor of the Township of Vernon is hereby authorized to sign contract for the Delta Dental Premier Plus PPO plan effective January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021.
  2. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon passage in accordance with law.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #19-224 through #19-233.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Resolutions #19-224 through #19-233.

Resolution #19-224: Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Fiscal Grant Cycle July 2021 - June 2025

WHEREAS, the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse established the Municipal Alliances for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in 1989 to educate and engage residents, local government and law enforcement officials, schools, nonprofit organizations, the faith community, parents, youth and other allies in efforts to prevent alcoholism and drug abuse in communities throughout New Jersey.

WHEREAS, The Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey recognizes that the abuse of alcohol and drugs is a serious problem in our society amongst persons of all ages; and therefore, has an established Municipal Alliance Committee; and,

WHEREAS, the Township Council further recognizes that it is incumbent upon not only public officials but upon the entire community to take action to prevent such abuses in our community; and,

WHEREAS, the Township Council has applied for funding to the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse through the County of Sussex;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey hereby recognizes the following:

  1. The Township Council does hereby authorize submission of a strategic plan for the Vernon Municipal Alliance grant for fiscal year 2021 in the amount of:
    DEDR $16,540.00
    Cash Match $4,135.00
    In-Kind $12,405.00
  2. The Township Council acknowledges the terms and conditions for administering the Municipal Alliance grant, including the administrative compliance and audit requirements.

Resolution #19-225: Resolution Authorizing the Cancellation of Appropriation Reserve Balances

WHEREAS, certain 2018 Appropriation Reserve Balances remain that are no longer needed; and

WHEREAS, a STORM RECOVERY RESERVE TRUST FUND was established by Resolution #07-68 and approved by the Division of Local Government Services on April 17, 2007; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to formally cancel said balances from appropriation reserves and fund the Snow Removal Trust Fund,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the following unexpended balances of the Appropriations Reserves be cancelled:

8-01-26-29-20—(2018) ROAD REPAIRS & MAINT. O/E$30,000.00
TOTAL$30,000.00

Resolution #19-226: Temporary Budget—Debt Service

WHEREAS, N.J.S.40A:4-19 provides authority for appropriating in a temporary resolution the permanent debt service requirements for the coming fiscal year, and

WHEREAS, the date of this resolution is subsequent to that date, and

WHEREAS, principal and interest will be due on various dates from January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2020, inclusive, on bonds and notes issued and outstanding,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, that the following appropriations be made to cover the period from January 1, 2020 to January 31, 2020 inclusive:

Payment of Bonds$1,851,850.00
Interest on Bonds240,184.38
Principal on Road Assessment33,150.00
Total$2,125,184.38

Resolution #19-227: Resolution Approving a Settlement Agreement and Release between Vernon Township and Employee #854

WHEREAS, J.E. (“employee”) is employed by Vernon Township (“Township”) as a non-union Animal Control Officer; and

WHEREAS, the Township and Employee have agreed to a Settlement Agreement and Release to fully and finally resolve all matters related to the employment relationship between them; and

WHEREAS, the Settlement Agreement and Release was executed by employee; and

WHEREAS, the Township wishes to ratify and execute the Settlement Agreement and Release;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED as follows:

  1. The Township approves the Settlement Agreement and Release between the Township and Employee; and
  2. The Mayor And Clerk are authorized to execute the Settlement Agreement and Release between the Township and Employee related this matter, and to perform such other ministerial tasks as needed to effectuate the provisions of this resolution on behalf of the Township

Resolution #19-228: Resolution Enabling Agent and Contracting for Online Power Purchase

WHEREAS the NJ Department of Community Affairs, Division of Local Government Services, permits public entities—as per P.L.2001, c.30—to utilize Division-approved online purchasing agents to secure energy supply contracts through an online bidding/reverse auction process; and

WHEREAS the services of said approved agents are exempt from public bidding, as per P.L.2001, c.30; and

WHEREAS the governing body of the Township of Vernon desires to utilize Premiere Marketing, LLC dba Transparent Energy (“TE”)—a BPU certified and DCA approved provider of online energy procurement services—to secure natural gas and electricity supply contracts; and

WHEREAS the NJDCA and NJBPU advise that contracts for power supply should be awarded shortly after an online auction is conducted in order to ensure the lowest possible rates;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the governing body of the Township of Vernon authorizes TE to investigate market conditions and, when directed by approved Township of Vernon officer(s), conduct online auctions for the purpose of securing natural gas and electricity supply contracts for its utility accounts.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the governing body of the Township of Vernon authorizes Mayor Shortway or his designee to award and sign power supply contracts on the day that the auctions close, provided that the natural gas and electricity rates procured are at least 7% and 12% lower—respectively—than those provided by the local utility company.

Resolution #19-229: Authorize The Award Of A Required Disclosure Contract With Associated Appraisal Group, Inc. For Tax Appraisal Services

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need for tax appraisal services through Associated Appraisal Services Group Inc. 6 Commerce Drive Suite 303, Cranford, N.J. 07016 as a required disclosure contract pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4; and,

WHEREAS, the Sean Canning, Q.P.A., has determined and certified in writing that the value of the acquisition will exceed $17,500.00; and,

WHEREAS, the anticipated term of this contract is for the year of 2019-2020; and

WHEREAS, Associated Appraisal Services Group Inc., in the aggregate is expected to provide more than the pay to play threshold of $17,500.00; and

WHEREAS, Associated Appraisal Services Group Inc., has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification and a Personal Contribution Disclosure form which certifies that Associated Appraisal Services Group Inc. has not made any reportable contributions to a political or candidate committee in the Township of Vernon in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit Associated Appraisal Services Group Inc. from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contract, and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer hereby certifies that funds NOT TO EXCEED $20,000.00 are available as follows;

Resolution #19-230: Appointment of Township Clerk

WHEREAS, there is currently a vacancy in the Office of the Township Clerk; and

WHEREAS, the Township has advertised for this position and interviewed candidates that are qualified to serve as Township Clerk; and

WHEREAS, Marcy Gianattasio is a Registered Municipal Clerk in the State of New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that they herby appoint Marcy Gianattasio to the position of Township Clerk for a three year term, effective December 26, 2019, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:9-133.

Position2019 Base Salary
Ordinance 19-08
Municipal Clerk$80,000.00

Resolution #19-231: Appointing Registrar of Vital Statistics

WHEREAS, Vernon Township is required by law, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:8-11, to appoint a Registrar of Vital Statistics; and

WHEREAS, New Jersey statutes require and authorize the municipality to appoint such officials; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to the Code of Township of Vernon, Chapter 5, Article VIII, Section 5-45 (G), the Clerk shall perform the duties of Registrar; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:8-13, the term of office for a Municipal Clerk serving as Registrar shall be concurrent with the term of office of the Municipal Clerk.

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

1. ______________ shall be appointed as Registrar of Vital Statistics, effective December ___, 2019, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 26:8-13 for the term as prescribed therein, and provided ___________ otherwise complies with the applicable educational requirements and license requirements applicable to such position; and

Position2019 Base Salary
Ordinance 19-08
Registrar$.00

Resolution #19-232: Resolution Authorizing the Cancellation of Appropriation Reserve Balances

WHEREAS, certain 2018 Appropriation Reserve Balances remain that are no longer needed; and

WHEREAS, an ACCUMULATED ABSENCES TRUST was established by Resolution #02-44 and approved by the Division of Local Government Services on April 05, 2002; and

WHEREAS, it is necessary to formally cancel said balances from appropriation reserves and fund the Accumulated Absences Trust Fund,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the following unexpended balances of the Appropriations Reserves be cancelled:

Administration- S&W$5,000.00
Finance - S&W$10,000.00
Building Department - S&W$5,000.00
Road Repairs & Maint. - S&W$15,000.00
Police Department- S&W$25,000.00
TOTAL$60,000.00

Resolution #19-233: Appointment of Acting Township Clerk

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Ordinance #19-25: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, and Supplementing Chapter 500 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Streets and Sidewalks” to Authorize a Deadline for Excavation of Newly Improved Streets and Rights of Way

Council President Murphy read the title of Ordinance #19-25 asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #19-25.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #19-25.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: Mark Van Tassel
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-25.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Patrick Curreri

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Ordinance #19-25.

Ordinance #19-28: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 484 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitle “Soil Fill Placement”

Council President Murphy read the title of Ordinance #19-28 asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #19-28.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy explained the Zoning Officer and Township Engineer recommended these amendments to the current Ordinance to close loopholes and add more criteria.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #19-28.
Moved: Sandra Ooms
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members were in favor.

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #19-28.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Mark Van Tassel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Sandra Ooms, Patrick Curreri, Mark Van Tassel, John Auberger, Jean Murphy
Nays: None
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion passed to adopt Ordinance #19-28.

Public Comments (Limited to 3 minutes on any topic)

Council President Murphy asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
Moved: John Auberger
Second: Patrick Curreri
All members voted in favor.

Jessi Paladini opined the Council took no heed in appointing a new Municipal Clerk with no experience at a higher starting than Ms. Kirkman. Council President Murphy explained that there is no stipend for Registrar which was $5,000 for previous Clerk. Ms. Paladini commented the position of Municipal Clerk is very important and opined the Council, with the responsibility to do due diligence to bring in the best candidate, failed from lack of research. She commented new Appointed Clerk has political history and was not chosen for permanency to Clerk position in two other towns.

Steve Dunlop commented that Council actions of pulling ad than quickly appointing the Clerk, whether unethical or not, displays the appearance of being unethical and the 2020 Council should have been given opportunity to deal with appointment.

Sean Clarkin, Barry Lakes, commented that he witnessed DPW personnel setting up the Town Christmas tree without proper safeguards which could have been an OSHA violation and urged Administration to address concerns to prevent legal actions. Mr. Clarkin commented recent local election results are direct reflection of Council’s quality of work and behavior and urged Council to do what is in the citizen’s best interest and run the government like a business.

Seeing no one further wishing to come forward, Council President Murphy asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.
Moved: Patrick Curreri
Second: John Auberger
All members present voted in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Shortway reported the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot was a huge success with over 200 participants and raised more than $4,000 for Harvest House.

Mayor Shortway reported the Vernon Township Farmer’s Market and Holiday Bazaar was very successful in 2019 that vendors have requested 2020 Market to be held twice a month.

Mayor Shortway commented the “Toys for Tots” Train came to Vernon on November 30th, greeted by 200-300 residents, with the Vernon High School Band performing, Fire Department proudly displaying a large American Flag, a truly fantastic event.

Mayor Shortway reported the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting was a great community event and thanked the Vernon High School Band for music and the Vernon Fire Department for hosting the event.

Mayor Shortway thanked the Beautification Committee for the Holiday displays on the Welcome to Vernon Signs throughout the Township. Mayor Shortway expressed sincerest thanks to all volunteers and Mishelle Downtain Recreation Director for their many contributions to our community.

Council Comments

Council Member Auberger commented the “Toys for Tots” Train coming to Vernon was a great event for the community.

Council Member Ooms commented the wording in Resolution #19-229 should be approval of services and not approval of acquisition. She questioned an entry of $800.00 on the Bills List for reimbursement of mileage to the CFO. Mayor Shortway noted he will look into request. Council President Murphy explained mileage is reimbursed by state rate of $0.58/mile and entry included multiple CFO and league conferences plus attendance at QPA certification classes. Council Member Ooms questioned when she obtains her QPA certification, will the Township then end the contract with current QPA independent consultant. Mr. Voelker reminded Council that a proposed Pool Car was removed from the budget causing need for mileage reimbursement to Township employees attending training.

Council Member Curreri made no comments

Council Member Van Tassel made no comments

Council President Comments

Council President Murphy thanked the former Municipal Clerk for her service to the Township and noted the prior Council gave her tenure showing a job done with integrity.

Council President Murphy commented that Police Department are holding a toy drive for local families called “Operation Blue Elf,” donations are accepted at various businesses as well as the Police Department.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Auberger and was seconded by Council Member Curreri with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Irene Mills
Acting Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: January 13, 2020