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

Minutes: March 10, 2014

YouTube video of the March 10, 2014 council meeting »

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 10, 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 January 8, 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.

Roll Call of Members

Present were Council Members Dan Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Township Business Administrator William Zuckerman, Chief Financial Officer Elke Yetter and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

There was no Executive Session.

Salute to the Flag

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

Public Comments

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

Gary Martinsen, commented that the he felt the new Council should be as transparent as possible when providing information. Mr. Martinsen commented that at a previous meeting comments were made about him and he felt he was cut short in making his response.

Jessi Paladini (comments were directed to Mr. Kadish), Ms. Paladini commented as to what parameters were acceptable to allow a person to speak twice at a meeting. Ms. Paladini commented that she objected to linking the Township website to other websites that she felt were inappropriate.

(Comments were directed to Ms. Murphy) Ms. Paladini commented on Ms. Murphy’s vote on the resolution for bond anticipation notes.

Doreen Edwards, (Highland Lakes) commented that she was upset that at the previous council meeting two members of the council did not appear to understand the bond resolution.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no one else from 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.

Mayor’s Report

  • Mayor Marotta stated that Mr. Pecarillo, Director of the MUA tendered his resignation.
  • Mayor Marotta stated that his objective was to provide a picture of Vernon Township’s finances into the future. Mayor Marotta noted that he, along with the CFO, had created a Township debt schedule for the next 20 years. The schedule, he observed, provides the yearly payments of bonds, notes and interest for each year. The Mayor explained this demonstrates that the township is not financing daily operations through debt. Mayor Marotta stated his administration is providing this plan so the Council can see the expenses laid out.

Consent Agenda

Council President Lynch gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #14-44, #14-46 and #14-47. Council President Lynch asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #14-44, #14-46 and #14-47.

Moved: Dan Kadish
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

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

Resolutions #14-44, #14-46 and #14-47 were adopted.

Resolution #14-44: Resolution for Calculation for Reserve for Uncollected Taxes

WHEREAS, the prior year tax collection rate is used to calculate the Reserve for Uncollected Taxes; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A 40A:4-41c(2) states:

“If tax appeal judgments of the county tax board pursuant to R.S.54:3-21 et seq., or the State tax court pursuant to R.S.54:48-1 et seq., result in tax reductions for the previous fiscal year, the governing body of the municipality may elect to calculate the current year reserve for uncollected taxes by reducing the certified tax levy of the prior year by the amount of the tax levy adjustment resulting from those judgments.”; and

WHEREAS, 2013 taxes were reduced by court tax judgments in the amount of $303,326.60;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the 2013 tax levy be reduced by $303,326.60 in calculating the tax collection rate used for the Reserve for Uncollected Taxes.

Resolution #14-46: Authorization for Payment of Stipend

WHEREAS, pursuant to Resolution 14-42 the Township of Vernon has appointed Lauren Kirkman to the position of Township Clerk; and

WHEREAS, the Township Council has negotiated a one time relocation stipend of $5,000.00 for moving expenses;

NOW THEREFORE IT BE RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that Lauren Kirkman, Township Municipal Clerk shall receive a one time stipend of $5,000.00 for moving expenses.

Resolution # 14-47: Authorizing the Execution of a Shared Service Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Township of Hardyston for Fire Prevention Services

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon and the Township of Hardyston wish to enter into a Shared Service Agreement for Fire Prevention Services; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Hardyston agrees to provide its Fire Prevention Services to the Township of Vernon pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:65-4 and those Fire Prevention services are as per the attached Shared Service Agreement; and

WHEREAS, the term of the agreement will be from March 10, 2014 for a period of 60 days or as extended per the terms of the agreement; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon agrees to compensate the Township of Hardyston the sum of $1,500 monthly.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor is authorized to execute the attached Shared Service Agreement between the Township of Vernon and the Township of Hardyston for Fire Prevention Services; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution shall be forwarded to the Mayor and Clerk of the Township of Hardyston and to the Vernon Township Finance Department.

Introduction/First Reading on Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #14-03: Calendar Year 2014 Ordinance to Exceed the Municipal Budget Appropriation Limits and to Establish a Cap Bank (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-45.14)

Council President Lynch read Ordinance #14-03 by title only.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to introduce Ordinance #14-03 with a public hearing to be held on April 14, 2014.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dan Kadish

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

Motion carried to pass the Ordinance on first reading with a public hearing on April 14, 2014.

Introduction of 2014 Municipal Budget

Mayor Marotta stated the Municipal Budget had been reduced for the 3rd year in a row, noting the Township is doing more with less.

CFO Elke Yetter and Business Administrator Bill Zuckerman provided a demonstration on the budget.

Municipal Budget Presentation (905 KB) 

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to introduce the 2014 Budget with a public hearing to be held on April 14, 2014

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Brian Lynch

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

Motion carried to introduce the 2014 budget with a public hearing on April 14, 2014.

Resolution #14-45: Introduction of 2014 Budget

BE IT RESOLVED that the Local Municipal budget of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, New Jersey for the fiscal year 2014 be approved by the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon, and the Clerk is hereby instructed to advertise in the New Jersey Herald on April 2, 2014 and that a final public hearing before passage will be held on April 14, 2014 at 7:30 P.M. at the Municipal Building 21 Church Street, Vernon and that said budget shall authorize total general appropriations of $24,464,090.00 and the anticipated revenues of $9,013,310.00 leaving an amount to be raised by taxes for municipal purposes of $15,450,780.00.

2014 Municipal Budget of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex for the Fiscal Year 2014

Revenue and Appropriation Summaries
Summary for RevenueAnticipated
 20142013
1. Surplus1,200,000.00943,000.00
2. Total Miscellaneous Revenues6,113,310.005,034,437.00
3. Receipts from Delinquent Taxes1,800,000.001,650,000.00
4. A.) Local Tax for Municipal Purposes15,135,306.0015,484,096.00
B.) Addition to Local District School Tax  
Total Amount to be Raised by Taxes for Support of Municipal Budget15,135,306.0015,484,096.00
Total General Revenues24,248,616.0023,111,533.00
Summary of Appropriations2014 BudgetFinal 2013 Budget
1. Operating Expenses:
Salaries & Wages7,469,820.007,441,286.00
Other Expenses9,261,306.008,344,173.00
2. Deferred Charges & Other Appropriations2,112,052.001,979,962.00
3. Capital Improvements320,000.00400,000.00
4. Debt Service (include for school purposes)2,707,872.002,603,708.00
5. Reserve for Uncollected Taxes2,377,566.002,380,467.00
Total General Appropriations24,248,616.0023,149,596.00
Total Number of Employees114114
Balance of Outstanding Debt
 GeneralWater UtilitySewer UtilityUtility - Other
Interest906,100.00   
Principal1,801,772.00   
Outstanding Balance30,065,730.83   

2014 Municipal Budget (1.4 MB) 

Council Business

Certification of Clerk for Petition Regarding Ordinance #14-01

Clerk Kirkman reported that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A: 9-165, the Petition to Oppose and Repeal Township of Vernon Ordinance #14-01 had been signed by a sufficient number of qualified voters as certified by Andrea Bates on February 28, 2014.

Council Comments

Council Member Kadish discussed that at the last meeting he wanted the vote regarding the BAN to be separated out because the MUA was included. Council Member Kadish noted that the expense of the MUA is not supposed to be paid by the tax payers. Council Member Kadish expressed concern that if the town were going to default than it should not have waited till so late in the game to provide the resolution.

Council Member Murphy questioned if Andy Mulvihill, who would be giving a presentation about a possible water park in Vernon, had been rescheduled. Council Member Murphy discussed that she would like to receive documents in advance, not just the Friday before a Council meeting to give her ample opportunity to review them and speak with the Township professionals if need be on the issues.

Council Member Wetzel stated that he had no comment.

Council Member Rizzuto noted that the time had changed for day light savings time. Council Member expressed hope that the Township had seen the last of the snow. Council Member Rizzuto warned residents to be aware of children who would be more likely to be out playing in the streets around town as day light hours are extended.

Council President Lynch stated that the emergency dispatch police button had at a previous meeting been accidentally tripped. Council President Lynch stated that steps have been taken so that would not happen in the future. Council President Lynch wished everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

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 Rizzuto, seconded by Council Member Kadish with all members voting in favor.

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:07 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman,
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: April 14, 2014