Minutes: February 18, 2015*
Township Council Special Work Session
The Special Workshop Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 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 29, 2015, 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.
Salute to the Flag
Council President Rizzuto led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.
Roll Call of Members
Present were Council Members Dan Kadish, Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel and Council President Rizzuto. Also present were Township Administrator Bill Zuckerman who was also serving as acting Mayor, CFO Elke Yetter and Special Township Attorney Robert McBriar.
There was no Executive Session.
Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.
There were no public comments.
Closed to Public Comments
Seeing no members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.
Items for Discussion: Department Budget Presentations
Department of Public Works
Council President Rizzuto asked if Director Dave Pullis would please come forward. Administrator Zuckerman noted that what the Council had received was a draft of a recommended budget and the Council is invited to ask questions and make suggestions. Administrator Zuckerman continued that the CFO would, after all the presentations and comments, come back with a state budget for approval. Director Pullis discussed the various lines in the DPW budget. The Council discussed the revenue generated from recycling as well as the salary and overtime expenses. The Council discussed the salt costs and that this year the Township had already expended at or close to its proposed budget due to the multiple storms and excessive snow. The council discussed the Municipal Services Act. The Director discussed the possibility of purchasing or building a salt shed so that the township could store more salt since the town is now supplying salt to the lake communities rather than reimbursing for salt under the act. The Council discussed the possibility of making a shared service with other towns to store salt. The Council discussed that the township has a shared service with the board of education and MUA for DPW’s services. The Council requested a copy of the updated list of roadways that have been improved in the 2014 cycle.
Council President Rizzuto requested that Bill Zuckerman please come forward. Administrator Zuckerman reviewed the lines in his budget including that there was a salary increase from $63,000 to $75,000 for his office due to the additional day of work added to his schedule. Administrator Zuckerman reviewed the lines of his budget including the cost of floater salaries, cost of photo copies, postage and publications. The Council questioned the difference in the salary of the floaters. The Administrator explained that this was due to change of staff and the hiring of part time floaters who would not be assigned to any one department and would receive no benefits.
Council President Rizzuto asked that Donna Zuidema come forward. Ms. Zuidema reviewed the lines of expenses, noting that now by accepting credit cards had greatly increased the town’s collection rate. The Council discussed video arraignments and the cost savings achieved rather than having an officer transport people to and from the County facility.
Council President Rizzuto asked if Ann Izzo would please come forward. Ms. Izzo reviewed the expenses for the tax collector. Ms. Izzo discussed that the microfiche machine had stopped working and the Township was getting quotes to switch to CDs. The Council discussed the collection rate which is currently between 97 and 98%. Ms. Izzo stated that adding the MUA collections to the tax collector’s office had significantly increased the work load in the collector’s office. Ms. Izzo also discussed her work with the various banks in having them escrow the MUA funds similar to escrowing taxes.
Department of Recreation
Council President Rizzuto asked if Melissa Wiedbrauk would please come forward. Ms. Wiedbrauk reviewed the Department of Recreation’s expenses including the Couch to 5K run and Vernon Day, noting that they would like to add a playground. Ms. Wiedbrauk also reviewed the expenses for the Senior Center. Ms. Wiedbrauk noted that some of the equipment is getting old and will need replacement. The Council discussed the ridership on the Senior Bus.
Council Member Murphy stated she would like to get a breakdown of the costs of the Municipal Services Act. Council Member Lynch requested a discussion item for Monday’s meeting of stipend for Emergency Services Personnel. Council Member Kadish questioned the PAL charges. Administrator Zuckerman explained they are traditionally reported under recreation but can be moved elsewhere. The Council discussed the grants and various possible matching amounts.
Council President Rizzuto asked for any further discussion. No members of the Council indicated they would like additional discussion at that time.
There were no comments.
There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Lynch, seconded by Council Member Wetzel with all members voting in favor.
The Work Session Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Lauren Kirkman, RMC CMR
Minutes approved: March 23, 2015