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

Minutes: June 16, 2014*

Township Council Work Session

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, June 16, 2014 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Brian Lynch presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on June 4, 2014, 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 Lynch led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel and Council President Lynch. Also present were Township Business Administrator and Acting Mayor William Zuckerman, Township Bond Counsel Bob Beinfield and CFO, Elke Yetter. Council Member Dan Kadish arrived at 6:34 p.m. Township Auditor Bud Jones arrived at 6:39 p.m.

There was no Executive Session.

Public Comment

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.

Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

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

There were no public comments.

Closed to Public Comments

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

Items for Discussion: Refunding 2006 General Bonds

Council President Lynch requested Administrator Bill Zuckerman, CFO Elke Yetter and Bond Counsel Bob Beinfield come forward.

Administrator Zuckerman explained that in April 2013, the Township had examined the cost of refunding the 2006 bond ordinance but found at that time the savings was not significant enough.

CFO Yetter explained that since interest rates are currently lower, it is anticipated that the Township will achieve a 5.27% savings over the lifetime of the bond. CFO Yetter stated that the previous review last year had found the Township would only achieve a 3% savings. CFO Yetter reviewed the State’s requirements to qualify for a refunding bond. CFO Yetter noted that the current savings would translate into $282,983.64 in savings over the life of the bond CFO Yetter explained that with the refunding bond, there would not be any out of pocket expenses but there would be some labor costs for the CFO, Clerk, and Administrator for paperwork. CFO Yetter explained all other expenses are built into the bond ordinance. CFO Yetter explained that the rates fluctuate and the Township could realize more savings or possibly less. However, CFO Yetter noted if the Township did not save it did not have to issue the bond.

Attorney Bob Beinfield explained the procedure for the bond ordinance noting the 5% savings is well above the 3% threshold required by the local finance board.

Council President Lynch asked what number would make it not advantageous to go forward. Attorney Beinfield explained 3% or less which would be approximately $170,000. Attorney Beinfield explained the bond sale resolution process, and refreshing the Township’s credit rating indicating the 2012 rating was AA. Attorney Beinfield discussed the interest rate fluctuation.

Council President Lynch asked Auditor Jones if the Township was in a good position to go forward with this measure. Auditor Jones affirmed that it is a good time to go forward.

Council Member Rizzuto commented on the savings. Council Member Wetzel questioned if there was a minimum savings the Township could require. Attorney Beinfield stated when bonds are customized it costs more and noted that persons who purchase are losing their ability to earn interest at the time of the call. Attorney Beinfield stated the old bond will lose its life January 1, 2015 if the Township goes forward.

Administrator Zuckerman stated that at this point he would like to have Council approval to go forward and direct Bond Counsel to draft an ordinance. Administrator Zuckerman explained there is a long lead time and that he did not want to authorize Bond Counsel to go forward with draft if the Township Council did not want to go forward. Administrator Zuckerman stated he was looking for direction and approval to go forward. Council Member Murphy took issue with the fact that this is a work session and the Council would be taking action. Clerk Kirkman noted the notice for the work session meeting included the statement that official action may be taken.

Motion

Council President Lynch asked for a motion requesting to give the Administrator and CFO the authority to have the Bond Counsel move forward in drafting the specifications and bring forth a refunding bond ordinance.

Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

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

Council Comments

Council Member Kadish stated that he believed that the vote that was taken at the last meeting was not noticed to the public. Council President Lynch questioned what vote he was referring to. Council Member Kadish stated the vote to authorize the Mayor to negotiate the contract. Council Member Kadish stated that he believed pursuant to the Township Code it was the purvey of the Council to negotiate the matter. Council President Lynch disagreed.

Council Member Murphy had no comments.

Council Member Wetzel had no comments.

Council Member Rizzuto had no comments.

Council President Lynch stated that if a member of the Council feels the meetings were not being noticed adequately, it should be brought to his attention beforehand rather than wait until after it occurred.

Adjournment

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

The Work Session Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC
Municipal Clerk