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Minutes: February 19, 2015

YouTube video of the February 19, 2015 council meeting »

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 19, 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 February 9, 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. Clerk Kirkman noted this meeting had been rescheduled from February 9, 2015 due to the weather.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Dan Kadish (arrived at 7:36 p.m.), Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel and Council President Patrick Rizzuto. Also present was CFO Elke Yetter, Administrator Bill Zuckerman who was also serving as Acting Mayor and Special Township Attorney Robert McBriar.

Executive Session

There was no Executive Session.

Salute to the Flag

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

Proclamations

Special Olympics Month

Council President Rizzuto asked Coach John Kelly and Shawn Barber, a long time Special Olympics athlete, to come forward. Council President Rizzuto read the following proclamation:

WHEREAS, the Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those with special intellectual and physical limitations; and

WHEREAS, Special Olympics Events provide youngsters with individual challenges and the inner satisfaction of success and accomplishments; and

WHEREAS, the Special Olympics have been competing in Vernon for three decades and Genuine Jersey Pride defines Special Olympics New Jersey which celebrates the impact they have on all who participate as well as those privileged to witness the magic every time an athlete with an intellectual disability takes to the slopes, reaches a goal, achieves a personal best time, or simply experiences the joy of participation; and

WHEREAS, Special Olympics helps each youngster learn to play hard and compete to the fullest so as to achieve a success cycle and overcome the patter of failure and frustration that often plagues mentally challenged youngsters who have not had the opportunity to play, practice, compete and achieve; and

WHEREAS, the Special Olympics helps each youngster develop self respect, self discipline, self confidence, physical, social, emotional and mental fitness; positive values such as sportsmanship, responsibility to team and respect for others; the will to succeed; and the ability to achieve their maximum potential.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council of the Township of Vernon, do hereby proclaim February as Special Olympics Month in Vernon Township and we thank the participants of the Special Olympics for choosing Vernon to hold their events.

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

Public Comment

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.

Krista Gerry, stated she was a member of the Vernon Taxpayers Association. Ms. Gerry asked what qualifications are needed to be a member of the Environmental Commission. Council President Rizzuto indicated an application was required.

Gary Vernon claimed that some people, including employees of the township, are afraid to ask questions and there is a lot of rhetoric and putting people down. Mr. Vernon claimed that some people were bullied off commissions. Mr. Vernon commented on the make-up of the finance committee.

Beverly Budz stated she would like to thank the Vernon Police for their arrest of a drug dealer in town.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

Acting Mayor Bill Zuckerman stated the Township had a full salt shed and that he was hopeful it would not all be used. The Council discussed the possibility of getting an additional salt shed.

Consent Agenda

Council President Rizzuto gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #15-46 - #15-49.

Council Member Kadish asked that Resolution #15-46 be voted upon separately.

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #15-47 - #15-49.

Moved: Dan Kadish
Seconded: Brian Lynch

Council Member Kadish discussed the street sweeper and expressed concern that the sweeper not be used in a shared service so it would not be destroyed. Administrator Zuckerman indicated that it was not intended to be used as a shared service.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Resolutions #15-47 - #15-49 were adopted.

Resolution #15-47: Authorizing the Release of Two Performance Bonds for Aqua New Jersey, Inc. for Phase I & II—Watermain Improvements in the Cedar Ridge Section of Vernon Township

WHEREAS, Aqua New Jersey, Inc. posted two Performance Bonds for Phase I and Phase II of Watermain Improvement Project in the Cedar Ridge Section of Vernon Township per Resolution #13-66 in the amount of $159,960.00 for Phase I and per Resolution #13-128 in the amount of $114,600.00 for Phase II; and

WHEREAS, Aqua New Jersey, Inc has completed all the water main replacement work associated with Phase I & Phase II in stated project and had made a request for the bonds to be released; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer, per letter dated January 15, 2015, has recommended that the Township accept the roadway repairs of Phase I and Phase II as complete and release the bonds.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex that it hereby approves and authorizes that the two performance bonds posted by Aqua New Jersey for Phase I and Phase II of Watermain Improvements in the amounts of $159,960.00 and $114,600.00 be released and returned to Aqua New Jersey, Inc.

Resolution #15-48: Resolution Accepting the Completion of the Phase I Improvements to Breakneck Road Project

WHEREAS, the Township awarded contracts for the Breakneck Road Phase I Project via resolution to the following: Zone Striping, Inc. awarded by resolution 14-177, on October 16, 2014, M. L. Ruberton awarded by resolution 14-176, on October 16, 2014, Denville Line Painting awarded by resolution 14-154 on September 22, 2014, and Tilcon New York, Inc. awarded by resolution 14-155 on September 22, 2014; and

WHEREAS, the Breakneck Road Project has been inspected and accepted as final by the New Jersey Department of Transportation; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has issued the attached letter dated February 2, 2015 which states that the said contracts have been completed in full and that it is recommended that the Breakneck Road project be accepted by the Township Council.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vernon Township Council accept this project identified as Phase I Improvements to Breakneck Road as final and complete; and

BE IT FURTHUR RESOLVED, that this Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Resolution #15-49: Authorizing the Use of Houston-Galveston Area Council Contract #Sw04-14 to Purchase One (1) Johnston VT651DS Sweeper for the Department of Public Works

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase one (1) Johnston VT651DS with 115 hp John Deere Tier 3, Auxiliary Engine mounted on a 2015 Freightliner M2 Conventional Chassis per HGAC Contract to be used by the Department of Public Works; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township desires to use the HGAC of which Vernon Township is a member; and

WHEREAS, the Qualified Purchasing Agent and the Mayor recommend the Township Council award the contract for one(1) Johnston VT651DS with 115 hp John Deere Tier 3, Auxiliary Engine mounted on a 2015 Freightliner M2 Conventional Chassis using the vendor U.S. Municipal, P.O. Box 190, Manville, New Jersey 08835; and

WHEREAS, the total cost for the purchase one (1) Johnston VT - 651 DS chassis mounted vacuum street sweeper with 115 hp John Deere Tier 3 per HGAC Contract #SW04-14 is not to exceed $270,410.00 at the discounted price reflecting the quote dated November 21, 2014 and the Chief Financial Officer, of the Township of Vernon, has certified these funds are available per Ordinance #14-12; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that the vendor, Vacuum Sales, Inc. be utilized to purchase one (1) Johnston VT651DS with 115 hp John Deere Tier 3, Auxiliary Engine mounted on a 2015 Freightliner M2 Conventional Chassis through the HGAC Contract #SW04-14; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and the State of New Jersey, the Mayor is authorized to execute a contract with U.S. Municipal, P.O. Box 190, Manville, New Jersey 08835.

Resolutions Adopted by Separate Vote

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt resolutions #15-46.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: Dan Kadish
Abstain: Jean Murphy

Resolution #15-46 was adopted.

Resolution #15-46: Authorizing the Contract for 2015 Recording Secretary for the Historic Preservation Commission

WHEREAS, there exists a need for a Recording Secretary for the Historic Preservation Commission for the year 2015; and

WHEREAS, Jessica Paladini is the Township’s current independent contractor for these services for the Environmental Commission and desires to be appointed in this capacity for the Historic Preservation Commission; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township desires to execute a contract with Jessica Paladini for the term of the contract from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015, with a total contract price not to exceed $500.00; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose subject to the adoption of the 2015 Municipal Budget.

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

  1. The Township of Vernon is authorized to execute a contract with Jessica Paladini for 2015 Recording Secretary for the Historic Preservation Commission.
  2. The Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute the attached Contract with Jessica Paladini.

A copy of this Resolution shall be published in the New Jersey Herald by the Municipal Clerk as required by law and a true copy of same and the Contract shall be available for inspection in the office of the Municipal Clerk.

Introduction/1st Reading of Ordinances

Council President Rizzuto read Ordinance #15-03 by title:

Ordinance #15-03: 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, More Specifically Unused Water Transmission Mains

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to introduce Ordinance #15-03 with a public hearing to be held on March 9, 2015.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Jean Murphy

Council Member Kadish questioned the need for the sale of water lines and requested that the Township Engineer be available for discussion. Council Member Murphy also indicated she would like to have Mr. Stoner available to answer questions. Council President Rizzuto requested that the Clerk ask Mr. Stoner attend the public hearing.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: Dan Kadish
Abstain: None

Motion carried to introduce Ordinance #15-03 with a public hearing to be held on March 9, 2015.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

None

Mayoral Appointments

Council President Rizzuto asked for a motion to adopt Resolution 15-50. Council President Rizzuto gave a brief history of the appointees.

Moved: Brian Lynch
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Dan Kadish, Brian Lynch, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Nays: None
Abstain: None

Motion carried to adopt Resolution #15-50.

Resolution #15-50: Appointments to Historic Preservation Commission

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, and STATE OF NEW JERSEY, as follows:

  1. That the following individuals are hereby appointed or reappointed as members of the Vernon Township Historic Preservation Commission pursuant to the Code of the Township of Vernon for a term specified as follows:

Laura Pettinato—Alternate 1, Class C
Expiring 12/31/2018

Lisaann Permunian—Alternate 2, Class C
Expiring 12/31/2018

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT, the Township Clerk shall send a certified copy of this resolution to the following:

a. Chairperson of the Historic Preservation Commission

Council Comments

Council Member Murphy requested that at the Ordinance hearing for the water lines that an additional more detailed be provided.

Council Member Kadish commented about the work session being advertised, including that action may be taken. Council Member Kadish indicated that he did not think this is appropriate, based upon the annual notice adopted without that language. Special Attorney Robert McBriar stated that it is recommend as long as it is a public meeting that the language be included about action being taken; this mirrors the State statute language and is legally required to comply with the open public meetings act. Council Member Kadish indicated that the public minimally attends workshop meetings and it is not just a legal concern.

Council Member Lynch commented it is not the Council’s responsibility to pack the room but it is the Council’s responsibility to be legally prepared if the room is packed.

Council Member Wetzel expressed concern over the water lines indicating the Council did not want to be in a position like other towns that later could not sell their water lines.

Council President Rizzuto stated the County Health Department was offering screening for breast and prostate cancer. Council President Rizzuto stated he is recently seeing comments about measles returning which can be easily prevented by vaccines. Council President Rizzuto urged people to be wise and immunize. Council President Rizzuto stated he was very disturbed by the public comment that people are being intimidated and urged anyone who had evidence of the same to go to the Chief of Police, not just make unfounded comments at a public meeting and walk away.

Adjournment

There being no further items of business to be conducted on the agenda, a motion for Adjournment was made by Council Member Murphy, 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 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: March 23, 2015