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

Minutes: June 9, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:06 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, 2011 in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Mayor Sally Rinker presiding.

Statement of Compliance

Adequate notice of this meeting had been provided to the public and the press on January 10, 2011, and was posted on the bulletin board in the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, and Mayor Sally Rinker. Also present were Township Manager Jerry Giaimis and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

The Mayor led the assemblage in the salute to the flag. Mayor Rinker requested a moment of silence be observed relative to the catastrophic events that had taken place in Japan.

Presentations and Special Items

Planet Day of Service

Aspen Companies—Mayor Rinker presented a plaque to Ron, who was the only landscaper to respond and did work for Beautification. Ron explained the nature of his program.

Mayor Rinker noted that the 5K run on Vernon Day went very well. Council Member Shortway presented a check representing funds raised from sponsors and registration fees. He advised that the 5K was sponsored by the Board of Recreation and had been spearheaded by his wife Cherie and daughter Kendall. He thanked Pat Seger, the Recreation Department, and the Police Department. The 5K run and 1-mile walk will go to the aid of Michelle in the amount of $7,216.00. Michelle’s family thanked all those involved. Mayor Rinker added her gratitude to the Shortway family for putting the event together on short notice.

Beverly Budz noted that an Environmental Commission segment of the day had been a framed collage and drawings for Earth Day made by the children. Ms. Budz presented the collage to the town. She also noted that the new town seal with the black bear in the center was posted on the Council Chamber wall.

Mayor Rinker reminded all about Ms. Budz’s efforts to continue to keep all informed in her fight with the FAA flightpaths.

Mayor Rinker noted the new Township seal on the wall as well.

Council Member Lynch suggested a special presentation should be made to acknowledge all efforts on the new seal.

Mayor Rinker noted the informational session to advise residents was scheduled for this Saturday, June 11, at 12:00 noon at the Municipal Center. The Mayor asked about taping the session and the possibility of using the Senior Center as it was a bit cooler than Council Chambers. She thanked those who had put up the banner about the informational session at the A&P shopping center. The Mayor advised that she had received an email sent by Mr. Dunn, which she felt was illegal and inappropriate. She gave the email to the Clerk.

Public Comments

Mayor Rinker opened the meeting for public comment.

Mary Bradley, Board of Recreation, thanked all for Vernon Day—especially the Council, the DPW (and Digger and Scott for doing an outstanding job), the Fire Dept., the Police Dept., and the PAL. She felt it was a great day.

Gary Martinsen, Vernon, noted that he had heard great things about Vernon Day but had been unable to attend. He thanked all for the Memorial Day parade. He asked about Resolution #11-107 on the agenda to make the last meeting of the current Council on July 1. He thanked all sitting Council for their time served.

Harold MacPeek—voiced a complaint that the “Emergency—No Parking” signs had not been removed from the Memorial Day parade.

Seeing no one else from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Sally Rinker closed the public portion of the meeting.

Minutes for Consideration

Regular Township Council meeting of 4/11/11

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Second: Richard Carson

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: none
Minutes were approved.

Executive Session meeting of 5/23/11

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Second: Richard Carson

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: none
Minutes were approved.

Township Manager’s Report

Mr. Giaimis advised that:

  • he had attended a County meeting on civil service;
  • realtors had been contacted about listing the Faline Building;
  • the Resolution on the agenda had been requested by a Council Member;
  • the sign ordinance was being revised;
  • Rickey Farms had requested a sign waiver relative to a future location of a skate park (leasing the property to a private entity)—Council Member Seufert suggested more information for the future Council to decide on this issue;
  • the Corrective Action Plan was listed on the agenda;
  • the information session was scheduled for this Saturday at noon.

Council Member Seufert asked to speak about the information session. She felt that the new Governing Body should be educated prior to the public information session. Mayor Rinker explained why the session was being scheduled at this time. The Council Member advised that when she had originally supported the idea she had mistakenly believed that it would be after the new Governing Body had been trained. She did not feel it made sense to inform the public first. The Council Member and the Mayor debated the issue briefly.

Motion to cancel the information session scheduled for Saturday, June 11, 2011, at 12:00 noon.
Moved: Valerie Seufert
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway
Nays: Sally Rinker
The information session was cancelled.

Council Member Seufert asked who had ordered and paid for the banner. Mayor Rinker advised that the banner had been donated. The Council Member felt that the new Governing Body should have been included in the decision on the banner.

Township Attorney’s Report

Attorney John Ursin advised that the tax appeal cases had started, and that the first day had gone well. He anticipated 4 or 5 more days of court.

Resolutions Requiring Separate Action

Resolution #11-100: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

BE IT RESOLVED that the following bills listed are hereby approved:

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1Current$829.11 
#2Current$952,850.80BOE
#3Current$876,097.56BOE
#4Capital$6,000.00 
#5Capital$437.20 
#6Grant$1,000.00 
#7P & Z$413.00 
#8Recreation$275.00 
#9Outside Services $718.30 
#10Other Trust$4,374.26 
 Payroll$288,658.182nd Pay in May
 Total$2,131,653.41 

Moved: Richard Carson
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-100 was approved.

Resolution #11-101: Authorizing the Township Tax Collector to Prepare and Mail Estimated Tax Bills in Accordance with P.L.1994, C.72

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has scheduled budget adoption on April 2011 and the Sussex County Board of Taxation is unable to certify Vernon’s tax rate at this time the Vernon Township Tax Collector will be unable to mail the Township’s 2011 tax bills on a timely basis:

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Tax Collector in consultation with the Vernon Township Chief Financial Officer has computed an estimated tax levy in accordance with N.J.S.A. 54:4-66.3, and they have both signed a certification showing the tax levies for the previous year, the tax rates and the range of permitted estimated tax levies;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex and State of New Jersey on the 9th day of June, 2011 as follows:

  1. The Township of Vernon Tax Collector is hereby authorized and directed to prepare and issue estimated tax bills for the Township for the third installment of 2011 taxes. The Tax Collector shall proceed upon approval from the Director and take such actions as are permitted and required by L.1994, C72 (N.J.S.A. 54:4-66.2 and 54:4-66.3).
  2. The entire estimated tax levy for 2011 is hereby set at $71,797,669.45.
  3. 3. In accordance with the law the third installment of 2011 taxes shall not be subject to interest until the later of August 10th, or the twenty-fifth calendar day after the date the estimated tax bills were mailed. The estimated tax bills shall contain a notice specifying the date on which interest may begin to accrue.

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Second: Richard Carson

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-101 was approved.

Resolution #11-102: Resolution Authorizing Contracts with Certain Approved State Contract Vendors for Contracting Units Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12a

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-12a and N.J.A.C. 5:34-7.29 (c), may by resolution and without advertising for bids, purchase any good or services under the State of New Jersey Cooperative Purchasing Program for any State contracts entered into on behalf of the State by the Division of Purchase and Property in the Department of the Treasury; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has the need on a timely basis to purchase goods or services utilizing State contracts; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon intends to enter into contracts with the attached Referenced State Contract Vendors through this resolution and properly executed contracts if necessary, which shall be subject to all the conditions applicable to the current State contracts; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Township of Vernon authorizes the Purchasing Agent to purchase certain goods or services from those approved New Jersey State Contract Vendors on the attached list, pursuant to all conditions of the individual State contracts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the governing body of the Township of Vernon pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:30-5.5 (b), the certification of available funds, shall either certify the full maximum amount against the budget at the time the contract is awarded, or no contract amount shall be chargeable or certified until such time as the goods or services are ordered or otherwise called for prior to placing the order, and a certification of availability of funds is made by the Chief Finance Officer; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the duration of the contracts between the Township of Vernon and the Referenced Contract Vendors shall be from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011.

Moved: Harry Shortway
Second: Brian Lynch

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-102 was approved.

Resolution #11-103: Resolution Authorizing the Award of a Non-Fair and Open Contract for New Kubota Utility Vehicle and Accessories for Park Maintenance

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to acquire a brand new Kubota Utility Vehicle and Accessories as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the purchasing agent has determined and certified in writing that the value of the acquisition will exceed $17, 500; and

WHEREAS, the anticipated term of this contract is one (1) year; and

WHEREAS, Mid State Equipment Company has submitted a proposal on April 25, 2011 indicating they will provide the New Kubota Utility Vehicle for $18,515.00; and

WHEREAS, Mid State Equipment Company has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that Mid State Equipment Co. has not made any reportable contributions to a political candidate committee in the Township of Vernon in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit the Mid State Equipment Co, from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contract; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available in Bond Ordinance #11-07.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Township of Vernon authorizes the purchasing agent to enter into a contract with Mid State Equipment Co. as described herein; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Business Disclosure Entity Certification and the Determination of Value be placed on file with this resolution.

This Resolution will take effect immediately according to law.

Moved: Harry Shortway
Second: Valerie Seufert

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-103 was approved.

Resolution #11-104: Resolution Authorizing the Award of a Non-Fair and Open Contract for New Falcon RME 4-Ton Hot Patch Trailer for Township Road Maintenance by Department of Public Works

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to acquire a brand new Falcon RME 4-Ton Hot Patch Trailer as a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.4 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the purchasing agent has determined and certified in writing that the value of the acquisition will exceed $17, 500; and

WHEREAS, the anticipated term of this contract is one (1) year; and

WHEREAS, McGrath Municipal Equipment, LLC 36 North Derby Road Springfield, NJ 07081 has submitted a proposal on February 7, 2011 indicating they will provide the Falcon RME 4-Ton Hot Patch Trailer for $20,669.02; and

WHEREAS, McGrath Municipal Equipment, LLC has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification which certifies that Mid State Equipment Co. has not made any reportable contributions to a political candidate committee in the Township of Vernon in the previous one year, and that the contract will prohibit the McGrath Municipal Equipment, LLC, from making any reportable contributions through the term of the contract; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available in Bond Ordinance #08-17.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the Township of Vernon authorizes the purchasing agent to enter into a contract with McGrath Municipal Equipment, LLC. as described herein; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Business Disclosure Entity Certification and the Determination of Value be placed on file with this resolution.

This Resolution will take effect immediately according to law.

Moved: Harry Shortway
Second: Richard Carson

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-104 was approved.

Resolution #11-105: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Not Exceeding $1,412,000 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey

BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, as follows:

Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (herein called “local unit”) entitled: “Bond ordinance appropriating $1,484,000, and authorizing the issuance of $1,412,000 bonds or notes of the Township, for various improvements or purposes for emergency services authorized to be undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey”, finally adopted on April 28, 2011 (#11-08), Bond Anticipation Notes of the local unit in a principal amount not exceeding $1,412,000 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any Bond Anticipation Notes heretofore issued therefor.

The following matters in connection with said Bond Anticipation Notes are hereby determined:

All notes issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the chief financial officer or the interim chief financial officer (the “chief financial officer”) of the local unit, provided that no note issued pursuant to Section 1 hereof shall mature later than (i) one year from the date of the first such note issued pursuant to the respective ordinances referred to in said Sections, and (ii) three years from the date of the first note issued pursuant to each such respective ordinance unless the local unit shall have paid and retired amounts of such notes sufficient to allow it, in accordance with provisions of Section 40A:2-8 of the Local Bond Law, to renew a portion thereof beyond the third anniversary date of the first of such notes;

All notes issued hereunder shall bear interest at such rate or rates as may be determined by the chief financial officer of the local unit; and The notes shall be in the form prescribed by resolution heretofore adopted by the governing body of this local unit determining the form of Bond Anticipation Notes issued pursuant to the Local Bond Law, and any such notes may be signed or sealed by officers of the local unit in any manner permitted by Section 40A:2-25 of said Local Bond Law notwithstanding that said form or resolution may otherwise provide.

The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized and directed to determine all matters in connection with said notes not determined by this or a subsequent resolution, and the chief financial officer’s signature upon said notes shall be conclusive as to such determinations.

The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized to sell said Bond Anticipation Notes from time to time at public or private sale in such amounts as the chief financial officer may determine at not less than par and to deliver the same from time to time to the purchasers thereof upon receipt of payment of the purchase price plus accrued interest from their dates to the date of delivery thereof and payment therefor.

Any instrument issued pursuant to this resolution shall be a general obligation of the local unit, and the local unit’s faith and credit are hereby pledged to the punctual payment of the principal of and interest on said obligations and, unless otherwise paid or payment provided for, an amount sufficient for such payment shall be inserted in the budget and a tax sufficient to provide for the payment thereof shall be levied and collected.

The chief financial officer of the local unit is authorized and directed to report in writing to the governing body at the meeting next succeeding the date when any sale or delivery of notes pursuant to this resolution is made, such report to include the amount, description, interest rate and maturity of the notes sold, the price obtained and the name of the purchaser.

The chief financial officer of the local unit is hereby authorized and directed to do all other matters necessary, useful, convenient or desirable to accomplish the delivery of said notes to the purchasers thereof as promptly as possible, including (i) the preparation, execution and dissemination of a Preliminary Official Statement and Final Official Statement with respect to said notes, (ii) preparation, distribution and publication, if necessary, of a Notice of Sale with respect to said notes, (iii) execution of a Continuing Disclosure Undertaking, with respect to said notes in accordance with Rule 15c2-12 promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission and (iv) execution of an arbitrage and use of proceeds certificate certifying that, among other things, the local unit, to the extent it is empowered and allowed under applicable law, will do and perform all acts and things necessary or desirable to assure that interest paid on said notes is not included in gross income under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Moved: Harry Shortway
Second: Brian Lynch

Mr. Giaimis advised that this pertained to Bond Ord. #11-08.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-105 was approved.

Resolution #11-106: Authorizing the Application to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for the 2012 Recreational Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities Grant and Further Authorize Execution of Agreement

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon desires to apply for and obtain a grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, for approximately $10,000.00 State share with $2,000.00 local share for a total contract of $12,000.00 for 2012 to provide therapeutic horse back riding recreational opportunities for people with disabilities; and

WHEREAS, the funds for this purpose have been certified by the Chief Finance Officer in the Recreation Trust Fund Account.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Township of Vernon does hereby authorize the application for such a grant; therefore, upon receipt of the grant agreement from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, does further authorize the execution of the agreement; and also, upon receipt of the fully executed agreement from the Department, does further authorize the expenditure of such funds pursuant to the terms of said Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Clerk whose names, titles and signatures appear below are authorized to sign the application, the agreement and any other documents necessary in connection therewith.

Moved: Valerie Seufert
Second: Harry Shortway

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-106 was approved.

Resolution #11-107: Resolution of the Township of Vernon, Authorizing Change of Date for Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting of June 27, 2011

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon, as per Resolution #11-02, designated meeting dates of the Township Council for the 2011 calendar year; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council desires to change the date and time of the regularly scheduled meeting of Monday, June 27, 2011 to Friday, July 1, 2011 @ 11:00 a.m., with the location staying the same at the Vernon Municipal Center

WHEREAS, notice of the change of date for the meeting has also been posted in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act N.J.S.A. 10:4-1 et. seq., and has been published in the local newspaper.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the Regularly Scheduled Council Meeting of June 27, 2011 be changed to July 1, 2011 @ 11:30 a.m. to be held at the Vernon Township Municipal Building, Vernon, New Jersey.

Moved: Richard Carson
Second: Harry Shortway

Mayor Rinker asked what the benefit was to the change. Council Member Lynch advised that it would give the Clerk more time to finish preparing the minutes, and that it would be the last possible day for bills to be paid. He also advised that no ordinances would be adopted. The Mayor felt there should be time between the last meeting of the current Council and the first meeting of the incoming Council. She asked what the time span would be between the two meetings. Council Member Lynch said that the two meetings were scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Mr. Ursin advised that the time could be amended. Mayor Rinker asked the Clerk if the minutes would be up to date. Ms. Nelson advised that she would do her best to see that they were.

Motion to amend Resolution #11-107 to reflect that the meeting would start at 11:00 a.m. on July 1, 2011.
Moved: Harry Shortway
Second: Valerie Seufert

A roll call vote was taken on the amended Resolution:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-107 was approved as amended.

Resolution #11-108: Renewal of Liquor Licenses for Vernon Township for the 2011-2012 Licensing Term

WHEREAS, all licenses to dispose alcoholic beverages must be renewed and reissued no later than July 1, 2011; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to R.S. 33:1, the Vernon Township Police Department has made the necessary inspections and reported same to the Township Clerk; and

WHEREAS, all of the licenses have complied with all of the regulations as set forth by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission of the State of New Jersey;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the following licenses shall be reissued for the 2011-2012 licensing period effective as of July 1, 2011

CLUB LICENSE
Wallkill Valley VFW Memorial Post #84411922-31-010-002
PLENARY RETAIL CONSUMPTION
Great Gorge Country Club Inc. (Golf course)1922-33-003-006
Mountain Creek Resort Inc.1922-33-007-012
FLME, Inc. (George Inn)1922-33-008-003
JD Vernon Lodge & Inn1922-33-009-002
Smokeys Glenwood Grill, LLC1922-33-013-002
HV Hospitality, LLC dba Hickory Sticks Grill1922-33-004-005
Drew’s Tavern Inc. (Lamp Post Inn)1922-33-001-002
HOTEL EXCEPTION
Mountain Creek Resort, Inc.—Appalachian Hotel1922-36-014-001
Stonehill Recreation Corp. (Kites/Mineral Springs)1922-36-011-001
PLENARY RETAIL DISTRIBUTION
Highland General Store Inc.1922-44-002-002
Mac & Lindy’s LLC1922-44-012-001
LIMITED RETAIL DISTRIBUTION
Harry Lawrence Marsh (Lake Wanda Store)1922-43-005-001

Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Harry Shortway

Council Member Carson asked if the taxes had been paid by all licensees. Mr. Ursin advised that the law did not allow the Township to base their decision on payment of property taxes, but that the State did consider whether State income taxes had been paid. The Clerk advised that all licensees had been given clearance from the State.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-108 was approved.

Resolution #11-109: Corrective Action Plan 2010 Audit

WHEREAS, the 2010 Annual Audit Report was delivered in April 2011 and regulations promulgated by the Local Fiscal Affairs Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:5 requires that the Chief Finance Officer prepare a Corrective Action Plan covering all findings and recommendations in the audit report; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:5 further requires approval of the Corrective Action Plan within 60 days of audit receipt by the Township Council;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the Corrective Action Plan for the 2010 Annual Audit Report prepared by the Township Chief Financial Officer and attached hereto as “Appendix A” be approved.

Moved: Richard Carson
Second: Valerie Seufert

Council members Carson and Seufert suggested that Mr. Giaimis make sure that the items be corrected before next year’s audit.

Mr. Robert Oliver asked what the issues were, as they did not have that information from their agendas. Mr. Giaimis read the list of 9 items to the audience.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Resolution #11-109 was approved.

Second Reading, Public Hearing on Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #11-14: An ordinance to amend Chapter 330 Article XI Zoning of the code of the Township of Vernon to provide regulations regarding solar energy facilities

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Valerie Seufert

Mayor Rinker opened the meeting for public hearing on this ordinance.

There being no comments from the public, the Mayor closed the public hearing.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Ordinance #11-14 was approved.

Ordinance #11-15: An ordinance of the Township of Vernon, Sussex County, State of New Jersey repealing Article XIX Sections 330-229 through 330-239, Stream Buffer Conservation Overlay Zone, of the code of the Township of Vernon

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Harry Shortway

Mayor Rinker opened the meeting for public hearing on this ordinance.

Gary Martinsen, noted his objection to this ordinance.

Robert Oliver, noted his objection as well.

Mayor Rinker noted that she asked for this ordinance, but some residents came forward with stories of their hardships advising that it was harder for them to expand their properties or sell to move to a larger home due to the restrictions in place.

Robert Oliver, asked if it wasn’t the responsibility of the homeowner to know about the restrictions before buying a home.

Mayor Rinker agreed that they should know, but that it still made it too restrictive and the Township should go back to the DEP limits.

Gary Martinsen, asked to follow-up, noting that this would also allow large contractors who want to build new housing and not just the small homeowner with hardships.

Council Member Lynch advised that the Highlands Act already restricts large builders.

Phyllis MacPeek, noted Whispering Springs.

Beverly Budz, asked about the benefit to towns for additional taxes with the reduced buffers.

There being no further comments from the public, the Mayor closed the public hearing.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Richard Carson, Brian Lynch, Valerie Seufert, Harry Shortway, Sally Rinker
Nays: None
Ordinance #11-15 was approved.

Public Comments

The Mayor opened the public portion of the meeting.

Phyllis MacPeek, asked if there was a cost for Saturday’s cancelled informational session. The Mayor advised that it was to be free of charge.

Gary Martinsen, noted that he didn’t understand why the public shouldn’t be informed before the new Governing Body.

Jamie Rickey, advised that he was available to explain his request for the sign waiver.

  • 30-year old men raising money to build a free skate park (a 501c-3 company).
  • Had looked at public parks in town but never materialized.
  • He offered some land to them last year and they recently accepted.
  • He felt it was a huge benefit to the community.
  • It would be a recreational facility.
  • It would be like a teen ministry.
  • Formal plans will be announced to the town soon.
  • No approvals yet but the sign would announce the future plans.

Mayor Rinker felt that the Zoning Board should hear the matter. Council Member Seufert asked Mr. Rickey how long the temporary sign would be up, and he responded that it would be up for whatever time he was allowed. Mr. Ursin advised that a request for the waiver would require the sign and wording on the proposed sign. Council Member Seufert still felt that the Zoning Board should review the request.

Mayor Rinker asked for a motion to allow Jamie Rickey to go forward at this time to pursue putting up a sign announcing the future plans for a skate park.
Moved: Sally Rinker
Second: Richard Carson

Mr. Ursin advised that a time frame should be included as to how long the waiver was for. Mr. Rickey asked if they would issue the waiver for 90 days.

Mayor Rinker amended the motion to state authorization for a 90-day sign waiver based on review and recommendation of Zoning Officer.
Moved: Sally Rinker
Second: Richard Carson
All were in favor.

Mr. Rickey thanked the Council.

Doreen Edwards, asked about the cancellation of the informational session on Saturday—she thought it was to benefit the public. She also felt it was short notice for the professional to cancel. Mayor Rinker noted that its purpose was to benefit everyone.

Council Member Lynch advised that a new information session will be forthcoming. The Mayor asked when it would be held. The Council Member replied that it would be as soon as possible.

Mr. Pat Rizzuto, Council Member-elect, added that the entire Council would be conferring to schedule the information session.

Mayor Rinker noted her disappointment with these actions. Council Member Seufert clarified her position, again. Council Member Lynch advised that the reasoning for postponing the information session until after the new Governing Body gets trained was for a smooth order of transition.

Natalie, spoke about the efforts of Council Member Shortway as a caring person. In her experience with the Deputy Mayor and other victims of sexual abuse, she noted that she would miss his input. The Deputy Mayor advised that he and his family would continue to work on this issue. Natalie explained how difficult it is for victims to try moving forward in life.

Jessi Paladini, advised that it saddened her that the informational session was cancelled, as well as the heated debate that ensued. She felt that the expertise of the Rutgers’ programs and their instructors was what is needed for such a complex issue.

There being no further comments from the public, the Mayor closed the public portion of the meeting.

Council Business

Council Member Richard Carson spoke on his tenure on the Council for the past 3 1/2 years. He thanked everyone for the honor to serve. He spoke about the AmeriPay issue, the drug problems in Vernon, environmental catastrophes in Hidden Valley and Whispering Woods, the RECO complaint, and noted that he always told the truth, stood firm, and did not waiver.

Mayor Rinker spoke about her experience on Council. She noted that sign ordinance, and how she tried to move it forward but that the next Council will need to complete it. She enjoyed challenges and opportunities for the residents. She praised Mr. Ursin for his efforts and due diligence on all issues he was given to handle. She thanked the employees and various departments, and volunteers, noting how proud of them she is. She wished the best of luck to the incoming Mayor and Council, and hoped they understand the enormity of their responsibilities.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:44 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Susan S. Nelson, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: July 1, 2011