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

Minutes: January 25, 2016

YouTube video of the January 25, 2016 council meeting »

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, January 25, 2016 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Dan Kadish presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 5, 2016, 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 of Members

Present were Council Members Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Dan Kadish. Also present were Mayor Harry Shortway, Administrator Patrick Bailey, CFO Elke Yetter, and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

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

Presentations

Council President Kadish asked for Rebecca Dorney of the Vernon Coalition to come forward. Ms. Dorney discussed the history of the coalition and its 5 year grant cycle, noting that it established community collaboration for substance abuse reduction. Ms. Dorney expressed concern with e-cigarettes and vaping as well as its impact of the youth of Vernon. Ms. Dorney noted that vape stores are not regulated and therefore could sell electronic cigarettes in flavors to attract children. Ms. Dorney noted the nicotine in these cigarettes had a negative impact on people. Ms. Dorney also discussed the use of extracts to be added to cigarettes which included oil laced with heroin. Ms. Dorney expressed concern over the negative health effects of second hand smoke. Ms. Dorney noted that the Smoke Free act prohibited vaping or smoking electronic cigarettes as well. Ms. Dorney discussed the movement in some towns to raise the smoking age to 21. Ms. Dorney encouraged the township to consider taking such a measure. Ms. Dorney stated the coalition would be hosting a hidden in plain sight event on February 9 to bring awareness to drug and alcohol use among the Township’s youth.

Council President Kadish asked that Council Member Ooms read the following proclamation:

Cervical Health Awareness Month

WHEREAS, cervical cancer is a disease that strikes 12,000 American women each year; and

WHEREAS, cervical cancer most often affects women in the prime of life; and

WHEREAS, regular cervical cancer screening tests are effective in detecting the disease early when it can be effectively treated; and

WHEREAS, cervical cancer vaccines are available that—together with screening tests—provide a formidable and effective means of preventing this disease; and

WHEREAS, increasing awareness among patients and health care providers alike regarding the best use of these prevention tools is a key component is safe-guarding women’s health;

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, do hereby proclaim January 2016 as Cervical Health Awareness Month and encourage all our citizens to recognize that cervical cancer is preventable, and to encourage and support the women in our lives in taking charge of their health and availing themselves of the tests and vaccines that have proven so effective in preventing cervical cancer. We have the means to prevent this disease; it is incumbent on all of us to insure we have the will to do so.

Council President Kadish asked that Council Member Wetzel read the following proclamation:

Special Olympics Month

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 25th day of January two thousand sixteen, 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 Kadish asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members were in favor.

Sally Rinker expressed concern over Resolution 15-190 which was to expand the sewer service area. Ms. Rinker stated that 15-190 should be rescinded; indicating that at its presentation the resolution was purported to be for the exploration of the service area not to endorse a map. Ms. Rinker stated the Council should have all the correct and accurate information. Ms. Rinker took exception to the statement in the resolution which stated 53% of the septics were failing as this was simply not true. Ms. Rinker expressed concern over the property values of homes affected by the sewer service area. Ms. Rinker expressed concern over the financing of the MUA and negotiations with Mountain Creek. Ms. Rinker requested that the Township try to renegotiate the payment arrangement with SCUMA.

Brian Lynch expressed concern over the Council receiving misinformation and promoted listening to the professionals. Mr. Lynch asked about the status of Route 515 as a truck had slid down the hill out of control. Council Member Murphy indicated she had reached out to Director Graham to meet with him.

Gary Martinsen welcomed Council Member Ooms and Mayor Shortway as well as congratulated Council President Kadish. Mr. Martinsen expressed concern that resolution 15-190 had been adopted based on misleading and false information.

John Souliopoulos, owner George Inn, expressed concern that in the presentation for 15-190 that there was a comment that there was a problem with his septic; he indicated that was not correct.

Tom McClacherie, stated he had been looking at the MUA’s rates and questioned same. Mr. McClacherie indicated he had 32 years of background in these issues and he was concerned with the rate schedule for the MUA.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no more members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Kadish asked for a motion to close the public portion of the meeting.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

Mayor’s Report

  • Mayor Shortway indicated that to start his term, he had been handed a budget with a $586,680 budget gap. Mayor Shortway indicated that this was in part due to the $600,000 in Kelly Bill payments as a result of last year’s snow storms. Mayor Shortway noted this gap does not include the $180,000 required to spray for gypsy moths this year. Mayor Shortway discussed the need to spray so the trees would not be devastated again this year. Mayor Shortway expressed concern over soil erosion if the trees were lost. Mayor Shortway noted that New York did not have a gypsy moth suppression program so the problem could return. Mayor Shortway noted there was a possibility of a 30-50% reimbursement, from the State, for this item.
  • Mayor Shortway discussed the requirements for the gypsy moth program. Mayor Shortway noted he had not had a response from the State as to whether they would spray Wawayanda Park but West Milford had agreed to spray. Council President Kadish noted it would be more expensive if the trees were not sprayed, to which Council Member Wetzel agreed.

Approval of Minutes

It was moved and seconded as noted below to approve the following minutes:

Regular Meeting Minutes of December 14, 2015

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

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

Motion carried to approve minutes.

Items for Discussion

MUA Sewer Service Area

Council President Kadish questioned resolution 15-190 which was adopted in December. Council Member Ooms stated that she had reached out to the County Health Department to attempt to verify some of the information therein but they could not verify same. Council President Kadish expressed concern that the resolution was pitched as for exploration of an expansion but did not appear to be so and indicated that perhaps it should be rescinded. Council Member Rizzuto indicated that what he had understood was that there was a need for the MUA to gather data and they were attempting to collect the data. Council Member Rizzuto stated the information from the MUA had to be gathered and presented. Council President Kadish indicated this resolution was to authorize to expand the sewer. Council Member Rizzuto also questioned the discrepancy in information and stated he would like to find out the reason as well. Council Member Rizzuto noted the MUA director or chair were not at the meeting. The Council discussed the environmental impact of failing septics in the area. Council Member Rizzuto noted the need for a stabilization of rates, new customers is not necessarily bad. Council Member Rizzuto opined that a way to bring businesses and increase the number of ratables was to make sewer and sewer treatment plants available. Council Member Ooms questioned if the resolution said we are exploring or if when the resolution was passed it said they could go forward and expand. Attorney Ursin stated that first, was for the MUA to apply to the County for a wastewater management plan to expand the sewer service area. Attorney Ursin stated in order to do this the MUA needs the Council’s endorsement. Attorney Ursin stated the resolution says endorse and once the Council voted on it, that is what the Council did. Council Member Ooms questioned that now that they have approval, the MUA does not have to come back to the Council unless they were looking for funding. Attorney Ursin stated that was correct. Attorney Ursin noted that with the DEP, expanding the sewer service area is a lengthy process but that the MUA could determine on a case by case basis those areas that were financially feasible to expand into. Attorney Ursin indicated the MUA could move on the expansion independently unless they needed financing for which the Council may or may not be involved. Council Member Ooms stated she felt there was no exploration in the resolution. Council Member Ooms stated she wanted to know where they could expand, not that she was for or against, just that she would like to see some sort of plan before the Council. Council President Kadish expressed concern over the unfounded facts and the clear financial need of the MUA based on the SCUMA payment schedule. Council President Kadish expressed concern over the septic failure rate in the resolution. Discussion ensued over how to analyze the statistics in the resolution. Council Member Murphy stated she felt the word failed is being used loosely. Council Member Murphy stated during her real estate career she had seen many septic issues. Council Member Murphy expressed concern that businesses were named as having issues where the owners are saying that did not happen. Council Member Murphy expressed concerns over what appeared to be erroneous comments that were made at a recent Environmental Commission meeting about failing septics. Council Member Ooms also questioned where was the list of new users and stated that a decision needed to be made on correct, true data. Council Member Ooms questioned what locations the MUA was thinking of expanding into because the Council has given the ok already. Attorney Ursin stated the endorsement given would go with the map they submitted that night. Council President Kadish asked Engineer Cory Stoner to come forward. Engineer Stoner stated procedural wise he was not sure why the MUA was looking for the Council to endorse a plan that the Council had not seen. Engineer Stoner stated they were looking for the ok to go forward with exploration. Engineer Stoner stated he spoke with the MUA engineer. Engineer Stoner relayed that before the MUA went to the County they would have to submit a plan to the County. Engineer Stoner opined that he believed the MUA should have submitted a plan to the Council before they asked for an endorsement. Attorney Ursin stated that is not how the resolution reads. Attorney Ursin stated that some of what is being discussed is the same in every town that has a town center. Attorney Ursin stated that what he understood was that the MUA was seeking the Council’s endorsement so they could go to the DEP and apply to have these areas expanded. Attorney Ursin stated that does not mean that sewers are going to come to that area, it means if they were permitted to have additional areas, it means then they have to explore and do feasibility studies. Engineer Stoner stated that after they get the plan approved the next step is to do feasibility studies. Attorney Ursin explained the endorsement is the step to go to the County who in turn goes to the DEP. Council Member Rizzuto noted that does not mean they can lay pipe. Attorney Ursin said that is true, once approved they do a feasibility study. Attorney Ursin stated the issue with the data in the resolution is between the Council and MUA. Attorney Ursin noted the auditor’s statement for the need for more customers. Council Member Ooms noted that resolution emphasized environmental concerns. Attorney Ursin stated the overwhelming concern is how to get more customers in that system to meet the financial burdens which are greatly increasing. Council Member Ooms stated she felt the resolution was wrong. Engineer Stoner stated the MUA’s report to the County would include the reasons why this needs to be done, environmental, financial, expansion of business, etc. Council President Kadish questioned the feasibility of expanding a pressurized system. Engineer Stoner noted the limited development if your property is not in the sewer service area. Engineer Stoner noted there could be advantages. Council President Kadish questioned the proximity to Black Creek. Engineer Stoner stated that sensitive areas are sometimes limited. Council President Rizzuto expressed concern over questioning this issue without the professionals from the MUA present. Council Member Murphy noted she had minutes from an environmental commission where statements were made that were false which the business owner said were false. Council Member Murphy expressed concern with going forward on a resolution that seemed to have an inaccurate premise to start. Council Member Murphy noted that this should be examined moving forward. The Council discussed meeting with other persons about these issues including the attorney. Engineer Stoner stated he believed the MUA would be coming forward to the County. Chairman Vincent Zinno of the MUA entered the Council meeting. Council Member Ooms noted the resolution does not say exploring and requested perhaps that this be addressed. Council President Kadish stated that the question is does the Council want to re-examine the resolution and direct it in a different way than it was. Council President Kadish stated this could be done in the next few weeks. Council Member Rizzuto asked if Chairman Zinno could address the Council.

A motion was made and seconded to have Chairman Zinno address the Council.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Dan Kadish
All members were in favor.

Chairman Zinno stated he had conversations with the George Inn regarding sewer. Chairman Zinno stated he had spoken with Mr. McClacherie about how many gallons the system flowed 200,000-220,000 to SCUMA with 100,000-130,000 coming back each day. Chairman Zinno stated the recharging system was designed for 265,000 gallons. Chairman Zinno stated that SCUMA can only send back what they send out. Chairman Zinno stated the areas that on the map is what they had information on so far; technically maybe they should have looked at this prior to but they were all new to this. Chairman Zinno stated in the best interest of the township and residents the MUA looked into the people who called about sewer. Council President Kadish noted their information was anecdotal; not scientific. Chairman Zinno stated he is not the septic or sewer police, the resolution gave them the opportunity to explore the issues. Chairman Zinno said the MUA is looking to expand because people have called them with failing septics. Council President Kadish questioned the financial issues. Chairman Zinno replied that is putting the negative financial issue in front of the environmental impact issue. Chairman Zinno stated when a septic fails there is a negative environmental impact. The Council questioned the statistics and how it exists. Chairman Zinno stated the data came in around the time Council Member Ooms came and questioned were the information came from. Council Member Ooms stated she called the County Health Department who indicated they did not have the data which is why she went to Mr. Scerbo who also said he did not have the documentation. Council Member Ooms stated this is why she was questioning it because if the data exists where is it. Chairman Zinno stated we asked for a resolution to amend the wastewater management plan. Council President Kadish stated the resolution actually endorses the plan and presents an image to the County to push forward without the Council having adequate information. Chairman Zinno stated how can I give you the information without the exploration. Chairman Zinno stated to expand the MUA must go before the 208 PAC (Sussex County Water Quality Policy Advisory Committee). Chairman Zinno questioned why the MUA would not come before the Council after they met with the County. Chairman Zinno questioned what should he do with the unused gallonage. Chairman Zinno questioned what the Council’s plan was. Chairman Zinno stated there was a negative environmental impact and a financial burden. Chairman Zinno stated sewer allows for commercial ratables but they needed a detailed plan. Chairman Zinno stated if the Council was not going to allow the MUA to explore then rescind the resolution as the MUA had put a lot of work into this. Council Member Ooms stated the Council is just looking for the truth; it was said it was an environmental issue then at the Environmental Commission meeting they stated that doesn’t mean everyone would be connected. Council Member Ooms questioned the inconsistencies. Chairman Zinno stated the MUA was created as an operating agency for the municipality. Chairman Zinno suggested a letter from Mr. Ursin to Mr. Wenner that stated the Council would like the MUA to come back before the council before they went to the 208 PAC so the council could have a clear understanding of what is going on. Council President Kadish stated he thought that was a very helpful suggestion. Chairman Zinno stated that as far as he was concerned he thought that the MUA was not going to just walk out the door. Council Member Ooms indicated that was not how the resolution was worded. Chairman Zinno stated that he guessed the MUA could not go forward to do the research. Council President Kadish asked that the MUA follow up on Chairman Zinno’s suggestion of the presentation. Council Member Murphy noted that Chairman Zinno was not present when there was discussion that the entire council did not understand what the resolution authorized. Attorney Ursin stated the suggestion that Chairman Zinno made was that the MUA’s plan that he is representing would come back but it was not required by the resolution as passed. Chairman Zinno stated that the Council had his word the MUA would be back in front of the Council.

Board of Education Liaison

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to remove himself as the BOE liaison and place Council Member Ooms in his place.
The motion was made and seconded.

Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members were in favor.

Historic Commission Liaison

Council President Kadish asked for a nomination as Historic Commission Liaison.
A motion was to appoint Council President Kadish as the liaison.
The motion was made and seconded.

Motion: Jean Murphy
Second: Sandra Ooms
All members were in favor.

Council Vice President

Council President Kadish nominated Jean Murphy as Council Vice President.
The motion was made and seconded.

Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Sandra Ooms
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Dan Kadish
Nays: Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel

Consent Agenda

Council President Kadish gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #16-51 - #16-55.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

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

Motion carried to adopt 16-51 through 16-55.

Resolution #16-51: Authorizing the Award of Contract for Professional Services for Appeal, Appraisal and Consulting Services

WHEREAS, there is a need for Professional Services to the Township of Vernon for Tax Appeal, Appraisal and Consulting Services for the term January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-5 specifically exempts professional services from provisions of public bidding as provided in the Local Public Contracts Law; and

WHEREAS, said specified professional services are to be rendered or performed by a person or persons authorized by law to practice a recognized profession, and whose practice is regulated by law within the meaning of N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended; and

WHEREAS, the performance of said professional services requires knowledge of an advanced field of learning acquired by a prolonged formal course of specialized training and study as distinguished from general academic instruction or apprenticeship and training; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon is desirous to enter into an agreement with this professional as a fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified in writing that the value of this contract is available for these purposes subject to the adoption of the 2016 Municipal Budget; and

WHEREAS, the Local Public Contracts Law N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq., as amended, requires that this Resolution be publicly advertised.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that they hereby authorize and approve the award of contract for Realty Appraisal to Holzhauer & Holenstein, LLC, for the term January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 pursuant to a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A.-1 et seq. to provide Tax Appeal, Appraisal and Consulting Services in accordance with the attached contract for Professional Services.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the award of contract shall be contingent upon the completion and receipt of the following:

  1. A fully-executed professional services contract detailing the scope of services, established fees for said professional services, mandatory Equal Opportunity Language and Affirmative Action Certificate; and
  2. Receipt of all statutorily mandated “pay to play” political contribution forms pursuant to N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq.; and
  3. New Jersey Business Registration Certificate; and
  4. Upon the aforementioned professional being a member in good standing in his respective profession.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute, seal and deliver the attached Contract for Professional Services on behalf of and in the name of the Township of Vernon and that the Municipal Clerk shall publish the award of contract as required by law with ten (10) days of passage of this Resolution.

Resolution #16-52: Approving Active Volunteer Fireman for Membership in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association

WHEREAS, the Township Council recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by volunteer firefighters to our community and seeks to encourage their full participation in professional organizations; and

WHEREAS, Louis J. Martinez, an active firefighter and member of the McAfee Volunteer Fire Department, is requesting approval to submit an application for membership to the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, Sussex County, New Jersey hereby approves Louis J. Martinez for membership in the New Jersey State Firemen’s Association.

Resolution #16-53: Resolution Accepting the Completion of the Lake Wallkill Road Improvements Sections I & II

WHEREAS, the Township awarded contracts for the Lake Wallkill Road Improvements, Sections I & II via resolution to the following: Tilcon New York, Inc. awarded by Resolution #15-163, on September 28, 2015; Reclamation, LLC awarded by Resolution #15-166, on September 28, 2015; Denville Line Painting, Inc. awarded by Resolution #15-162 on September 28, 2015, and Road Safety Systems, LLC, Inc. awarded by Resolution #15-165 on September 28, 2015; and

WHEREAS, the Lake Wallkill Road Improvement Project has been completed, inspected and formally accepted by the New Jersey Department of Transportation; and

WHEREAS, the Township Engineer has issued the attached letter dated January 7, 2016 which states that the said contracts have been completed in full and that it is recommended that the Lake Wallkill Road project be accepted by the Township Council.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Vernon Township Council accept this project identified as Lake Wallkill Road Sections I & II as final and complete; and

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

Resolution #16-54: Resolution Authorizing Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Fiscal Grant Cycle July 2014-June 2019

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 2017 in the amount of:

DEDR $20,457.00
Cash Match $5,117.00
In-Kind $15,350.00

The Township Council acknowledges the terms and conditions for administering the Municipal Alliance grant, including the administrative compliance and audit requirements.

Resolution #16-55: Resolution of the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon to Donate Surplus Municipal Property to the Vernon Fire Departmen

WHEREAS, the Township has approximately 160 retaining wall blocks as a result of a recent construction project on the corner of Main Street with an approximate value of $800; and

WHEREAS, the Township has no further need for these blocks and therefore deems it surplus municipal property; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township is a community focused on outdoor recreation which often utilizes the Vernon Township Fire Department facilities for outdoor events including our annual Tree lighting; and

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Fire Department has expressed a desire to utilize these blocks to improve their facility; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council believes that it is beneficial to donate these blocks to the Vernon Township Fire Department.

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the above mentioned blocks are hereby donated to the Vernon Township Fire Department.

NOW THEREFORE IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that the Vernon Township Fire Department will pick up and transport the blocks at their own cost or expense.

Resolutions Requiring Separate Action

None

Introduction/1st Reading of Ordinances

None

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Council President Kadish read Ordinance #16-01 by title:

Ordinance #16-01: An Ordinance Amending Chapter 5 of the Code of the Township of Vernon Regarding Employment Restrictions for Former Elected Officials

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to open the public hearing for Ordinance #16-01.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Dan Kadish
Nays: Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel

Beverly Budz, Chairman Vernon Environmental Commission, expressed concern over comments made that Ordinance 16-01 could be expanded to include members of the Boards and Commission. Beverly Budz stated she swore an oath of office when she was appointed as chair of the environmental commission; she affirmed an oath of office to uphold the constitution of the United States and to bear true faith and allegiance to the governments established and she swore to faithfully, impartially and justly perform all the duties of her office to the best of her ability. Beverly Budz stated she has not only upheld those promises but worked diligently to secure $400,000 in a non-matching grant to Vernon. Ms. Budz stated had she known that when she was asked to serve that at the end of her service to the town she would be banned from working for the township or any other entity that had appeared before her commission she would have declined the position. Ms. Budz stated this ordinance was patently unfair to the volunteers who donate their time to have these restrictions placed upon them. Ms. Budz questioned the motives of the Ordinance and suggested that Council Member Murphy get some Xanax or ginkgo-biloba for the next meeting.

Tom McClacherie stated he thought he upset Chairman Zinno. Council President Kadish said this was in regards to the ordinance. Mr. McClacherie apologized as he had difficulty hearing.

Jessi Paladini stated she had no intention of running for public office. Ms. Paladini stated this ordinance would go down as Murphy’s Law or spite law. Ms. Paladini stated that if Mayor Shortway did a wonderful job, then he would not be allowed to work for the people of Vernon. Ms. Paladini said if he did a good job she would recommend him back. Ms. Paladini questioned conflicts amongst the Council. Ms. Paladini questioned if this included firefighters or ambulance squad members and whether they could be volunteers. Council President Kadish noted that is not employment. Ms. Paladini stated she would like to see the ordinance improved. Ms. Paladini advised Council Member Ooms that she was elected to represent the people and asked her not to go along with the spite. Ms. Paladini stated a spite law is not needed.

Mary Ellen Vichiconti questioned the cooling off period is for one year. This was affirmed.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to close the public hearing for Ordinance #16-01.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Dick Wetzel
All members present voted in favor.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #16-01.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Dan Kadish
Nays: Patrick Rizzuto w/comment, Dick Wetzel w/comment
Abstain: None
Absent: None
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #16-01.

Council Member Rizzuto stated he believed the law would come back to haunt the Township and that it was in his opinion, unconstitutional because it deprives people with a way to make a living and deprives the people with much needed talent.

Council Member Wetzel stated he felt the Ordinance was totally unnecessary.

Appointments to the Historic Preservation Commission

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adopt resolution #16-56.
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Seconded: Sandra Ooms

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Jean Murphy, Sandra Ooms, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Dan Kadish
Nays: None

Motion carried to adopt resolution 16-56.

Resolution #16-56: Appointment 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 individual is 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:

Ronald DuPont Class B
Expiring 12/31/2019

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 stated that a notice of settlement had been filed for Camp Sussex but the deed had not been filed. Council Member Murphy questioned the building the Township owned on Route 94 where the Historical Society is and stated she would like to see it returned to the Board of Education so that they can lease it to the Historic Society given the finances of the Township. Council Member Murphy asked Attorney Ursin if he had direction on this issue. Attorney Ursin said this would be a Council vote via ordinance. Council President Kadish noted that the building was required to be returned to the Board of Education. Attorney Ursin indicated that was accurate. Council Member Murphy asked if the Board Of Education could lease it to the Historic Society. Attorney Ursin stated he would have to check.

Council Member Wetzel stated in regards to the sewer; his neighbor is spending $30,000 to put in a septic. Council Member Wetzel commended the DPW on the outstanding job in plowing the roads.

Council Member Rizzuto complimented the DPW as well.

Council Member Ooms also commended the DPW for their great job. Council Member Ooms stated the language used by the public to address members to the Council seemed to get carried away and hoped Council meetings did not continue to use derogatory language towards each other. .

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: March 28, 2016