Minutes: February 19, 2020*

The special workshop meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 3:00 p.m. on February 19, 2020 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 February 14, 2020 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. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the Township Budget. Official Action may be taken.

Roll Call

Present were Council Members John Auberger, Jean Murphy, Kelley Weller and Council President Shortway. Also present were Mayor Howard Burrell, Business Administrator Charles Voelker and CFO Donelle Bright.

Salute to the Flag

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

Public Comments (For Current Agenda Items Only, Limited to 3 minutes per person)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: John Auberger
Second: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Seeing no members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close the meeting for public comments.
Motion: John Auberger
Second: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Council Member Mark Van Tassel entered the meeting at 3:05 p.m.

Items for Discussion

  1. Department of Public Works Budget
  2. Police - Animal Control Budget
  3. Finance Department
  4. Building Department
  5. Tax Collector
  6. Tax Assessor
  7. Fire Prevention/Volunteer Emergency Services

The above named departments individually presented their 2020 municipal budgets. The Township Council and the individual departments discussed the budgets. Questions were asked and answered.

Public Comments (On any topic, limited to 3 minutes per person)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: John Auberger
Second: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Tom McClachrie, commented that in 2008 the Town had a tax reevaluation and at that point Mountain Creek was having financial difficulties. In 2010 Mountain Creek was sold for $15,000,000 and Mountain Creek was being assessed at $62,000,000. Mr. McClachrie said that Mountain Creek came to the Township and asked for a reduction in their property taxes to an assessed valuation of $15,000,000. He said that Mountain Creek settled at an assessed value of $30,000,000. Mr. McClachrie commented that Vernon averages over 1000 tax appeals for the last 10 years, this is a result the 2008 assessment, which raised the valuation of some houses over one hundred to two hundred percent. Mr. McClachrie feels that reevaluations should be done. He also feels with the sewer system in Vernon no one will be building.

Seeing no other members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: John Auberger
Second: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Council Comments

There were no further comments from any Council Member.

Adjournment

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

The Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 5:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marcy Gianattasio
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: March 9, 2020