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

Minutes: March 28, 2016

YouTube video of the March 28, 2016 council meeting »

The meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday March 28, 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 has 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 in attendance were Mayor Shortway, Administrator Charles Voelker, CFO Elke Yetter and Township Attorney John Ursin.

Salute to the Flag

Council President Kadish led the assemblage of the flag.

Mayor Shortway asked for moment of silence for Sergeant William Fischer’s family for loss of their son, James, in a vehicle accident this past week.

Proclamations

Council President Kadish read the Proclamation for Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month for April 2016.

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

WHEREAS, Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological movement disorder of the central nervous system, which has a unique impact on each patient; and

WHEREAS, according to the Parkinson’s Action Network, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, the National Parkinson Foundation, the American Parkinson Disease Association and the National Institutes of Health, there are over one million Americans diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease; and

WHEREAS, symptoms include slowness, tremor, difficulty with balance and speaking, rigidity, cognitive and memory problems; and

WHEREAS, although new medicines and therapies may enhance life for some time for people with Parkinson’s, more work is needed for a cure; and

WHEREAS, increased education and research are needed to help find more effective treatments with fewer side effects and ultimately a cure for Parkinson’s disease; and

WHEREAS, a multidisciplinary approach to Parkinson’s disease care includes local wellness, support, and caregiver groups; and

WHEREAS, April has been proclaimed as World Wide Parkinson’s Awareness Month for all to recognize the need for more research and help in dealing with the devastating effects of Parkinson’s disease.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the Township of Vernon, do hereby proclaim April 2016 as Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in Vernon Township.

Given under my hand in these free United States in the Township of Vernon, on this 28th day of March, 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 Comments

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.

Jackie Espinoza—representative JCP&L—commented that the JCP&L tour for Morristown has been expanded to include safety programs for EMS responders and they would like to invite Vernon Township EMS to participate for safety education. Ms. Espinoza commented that the Sussex County Chamber recently held a town reception that some Vernon officials attended and wanted to remind the public of Sussex County Day to be held on May 1, 2016.

Art Alvini, Vernon, commented that the 2016 Municipal Budget should stay the same or go down and that Social Security remains same.

Robert Oliver, Sand Hill Road commented that the 5.8% increase for the municipal budget is too high and the township needs to do better.

Gary Martinsen, Vernon stated he mailed a letter to the Township attorney and copied the Council requesting the statute which allows for a passed resolution to be temporary suspended. Mr. Martinsen commented he did not receive a response from either the council or attorney to verify the statute. Mr. Martinsen said that it appears that a MUA subcommittee has been formed by some council members and the mayor and feels the meetings should be open to public, taped and minutes available via OPRA requests to improve government transparency. Mr. Martinsen, referring to an agenda item opined that Ordinance #14-16 should never have been done and for a 30-year pilot program and believes that it was part of a do or die golden egg bauble. Mr. Martinsen stated the expansion was presented as a must do thing and the proposed sewer would bring in $1.5 million every year regardless and must be done now or else the sewer fees would be exorbitant and the MUA would default. Mr. Martinsen referred to three Redevelopment Zones created in 2008 that were for designated areas in need of redevelopment which the owners now would not be building and would change from minor collectible tax to a huge ratable. Mr. Martinsen opined the ordinance should not be modified but rescinded because any new ordinance written should have callbacks should promises not be fulfilled and should be maximum 20 years with conditions like other states. Mr. Martinsen added the Pilot program should only be for infrastructure so all residents and businesses would benefit which is how public services like sewers, roads, police, fire are paid for now and not by residents in future. Mr. Martinsen believes Ordinance #14-16 should be rescinded not amended until redevelopment commitment fulfilled, and any pilots, bond or sewer expansion issues or redevelopment zones should be put to the people to decide via referendum.

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: Sandra Ooms
All members were in favor

Mayor’s Report

  • Mayor Shortway has received complaints about the runoff on Breakneck Road caused by the National Winter Activity Center and has directed the Township Engineer to inspect and report will be forthcoming.
  • Mayor Shortway noted that the 2016 Municipal Budget Presentation will be tonight.
  • Mayor Shortway discussed that the Couch to 5K program has begun for which 45 residents have signed up and is very successful.
  • Mayor Shortway discussed that the Greenway Action Advisory Committee has received a $2,000 grant from Sustainable New Jersey on behalf of the Township.

Council Member Murphy questioned Mayor Shortway for update on County meeting that DPW Director had attended in relation to Route 515. Mayor Shortway answered that he had met with George Graham and Ron Tappan about 3 major concerns. First regarding RT 515, the County is unable to enforce the weight and speed limits in Town Center on RT 515 due to lack of weight team and coverage. Second, Mayor Shortway has requested the speed limit be lowered on Vernon Crossing Road and Maple Grange Road from 35mph to 25mph. Third, the parking situation for the Appalachian Trail was discussed. Mayor Shortway explained the need for parking due to the increase of visitors must have many parties involved since the trail is Federal, the parcels where parking is being proposed contain wetlands and is state owned and the road is County maintained. Mayor Shortway added the parcel where the silo is located was deeded wetlands in 2008 and also has requested the Land Conservancy look for options for increased parking. Council Member Murphy added that Prices Switch and Canal roads may be parking options due to RT 517 being dangerous road for people crossing and exiting vehicles. Council Member Rizzuto stated it is imperative for the residents on Meadowlark and Carol Drive that more parking is available before it escalates. Council Member Murphy explains that parking is now allowed on Meadowlark but not allowed on Carol because of an existing Ordinance when boardwalk was first installed. Council Member Murphy added that a new ordinance could allow parking on opposite side of Carol only where no houses are located.

Council President Kadish opined that Vernon should explore both sides of the footbridge of Canal Road and also Wawayanda State Park property. Mayor Shortway adds that all options are being explored and traffic enforcement being addressed but some areas are difficult to hike to get to the boardwalk.

Presentations

Municipal Budget Presentation

Ms. Yetter, Vernon Township Chief Finance Officer explained a power point presentation on the 2016 Budget with goal for Council to re-introduce later in meeting. Ms. Yetter stated the Taxable Assessed Value in $2,623,050,268 making one tax point = to $262,305.00. the 2016 proposed budget is $25,115,486 which is a 5.8% increase on paper. Ms. Yetter further added that though that budget is increased by $650,000 which is offset by increase in revenues of $650,000 and realistically is a 3.2% proposed increase. Ms. Yetter stated that $15,895,898 will need to be raised by taxes which is a 3% increase.

Ms. Yetter describes the differences in the 2015/2016 appropriation line items emphasizing that all departments except DPW show a decrease in operating expenses as well as a decrease in the utilities line. She added the budget increases were due primarily by increase in insurance costs $138,000, Gypsy Moth program $124,000 and Municipal Services Act reimbursements, $247,500 whose budget was lowered in previous year leaving a shortfall. The biggest increase is the reserve for uncollected taxes with an increase of $472,000 which is a calculation we have no control over. Ms. Yetter stressed our intention is never to raise taxes needlessly and looked at every line and only cut items which were not mandatory and ended with a tax increase of $651,000. If we have delinquents, the Town has to pay for their county and school as well as tax liens the town owns; school and county must always be made whole and then town will collect the following year.

Ms. Yetter stated in 2017, we are projecting our Municipal Service reimbursement will decrease based on the mild weather in early part of year. Also Ms. Yetter added that Mayor Shortway has stated that through attrition we will save $300,000-$380,000 in salaries and the Hurricane Irene note will be paid off in 2016 and not need to be budgeted in 2017. Ms. Yetter stated in 2017 Vernon may be able to replenish what we cut in 2016 we can replenish the capital improvement plan due to foreclosed tax title liens we will improve our tax collection rate. Township Auditor Mr. Bill Schroeder explained the reserve for uncollected tax amount in simpler terms per state law if Township needs $9.00 then bill $10.00 so you get as least $9.00 to cover the county and school costs. Mr. Schroeder added that Vernon is a little late in introducing the budget which weakens the cash flow rate to pay the mandatory expenses. He added that if the budget is not introduced, the Township may be forced to borrow or mail out estimated tax bills as well causing increased postage costs. Ms. Yetter explained the Best Practices Questions will decrease our state aid if budget is not introduced by deadline and added that amendments can be made to the introduced budget before it is finally adopted. Ms. Yetter added the county must receive our approved budget in order to set the tax rate and then we can mail out the tax bills and also municipalities are not required any more to include the state aid in the budget.

Council Member Wetzel questioned how many appeals has Vernon received this year. Ms. Yetter believes it to be over 480 appeals. Council Member Rizzuto asks how often do we pay the schools. Ms. Yetter states we pay the Board of Education every two weeks and it is approximately $21,000,000 for 1/2 year. Council Member Rizzuto asked who is responsible to borrow from banks in order to pay the Board of Education on time if needed. Ms. Yetter states the township does and is responsible for the interest. Council Member Ooms asks if Vernon receives a check mark on the Best Practices if the budget is under 2%. Ms. Yetter answered no.

Council Member Murphy questioned why is the $10,000 for the sewer analysis that the council requested put under the Legal section and not the Mayor & Council section? Council Member Murphy would like it under Mayor & Council so it can be spent by Council. Mr. Ursin adds that it is dedicated in a subaccount and all contracts must go through the Mayor’s office but normal procedure for council expenses may not apply but will confirm with Auditor. Council Member Rizzuto opined that he is against the additional money in the budget for sewer analysis when we already have John Ursin who is very knowledgeable about all of the Township’s Sewer contracts and reminds Council of Mr. Wetzel’s and his request for a special meeting on this issue but no quorum or date can be scheduled. Council Member Wetzel asked again to schedule a workshop with John Ursin to discuss the sewer analysis and to make decisions to put closure to this issue. Council President Kadish states that three members of the Council want an analysis done on the existing sewer contracts and had asked for this information to see if this expansion should be done. Council Member Rizzuto opined that the outcome of an analysis is not going to change based on what was done and adds the $10,000 could be used to put towards the water tank or to expand the franchise into Town Center. Council Member Ooms asks how many lots needed water on Church Street? Council Member Rizzuto explains that Vernon can’t satisfy new corporations with wells, they need water and we have had many interested parties that would like to come to Vernon. Council Member Rizzuto adds that we obtain professional advice from our CFO, Attorney, Township Engineer, MUA commissioners and make the best decision to proceed. Council Member Murphy opined that the numbers received from the MUA are not accurate. Council Member Rizzuto again requests a public work session to discuss the sewer analysis and Council President Kadish answered we will try to schedule. Council Member Murphy restated that she is not interested in anyone that was involved before to do analysis and feels the 2012 contract changed the direction substantially. Council Member Wetzel asked when this analysis should be done, Council Member Murphy would like to see it done as soon as possible before the expansion is voted on.

Council Member Murphy questioned about the money which was moved to pay off the pension deferment. Ms. Yetter stated she is waiting to hear from Senator Oroho because Pensions said the amount may be higher than what we deferred; difference of $330,000 to $388,000. Ms. Yetter added if it is not in the best interest of the Township to pay in 2016, we can cancel the appropriation and it would stay in the capital fund balance. Council Member Murphy opined that she is prepared to approve the introduction of the budget and is not threatened by the $25.00 fine by the Local Finance Board; she just wants to do the right thing. Ms. Yetter explained she wanted the Council to be fully informed which is why the Local Finance Notice was provided to the Council.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to move Resolution #16-91 here in the agenda.
Moved: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Dan Kadish

Council Member Murphy questioned at what point can the Council spend the money allotted for the sewer analysis. Auditor said the position in the budget can be spent by Council. Mayor Shortway answered in the interest of compromise, $10,000 was added to the legal section of the budget for this purpose and after discussion with the Council President, names will be given to the Mayor and one will be chosen for Council consideration.

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 move Resolution #16-91 up in the agenda.

Introduction of the 2016 Municipal Budget

Resolution #16-91: 2016 Municipal Budget

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to approve Resolution #16-91.
Motion: Jean Murphy
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

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 Resolution #16-91.

Introduction of 2016 Budget

BE IT RESOLVED that the Local Municipal budget of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, New Jersey for the fiscal year 2016 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 March 28, 2016 and that a final public hearing before passage will be held on April 25, 2016 at 7:30 P.M. at the Municipal Building 21 Church Street, Vernon and that said budget shall authorize total general appropriations of $25,115,486.00 and the anticipated revenues of $9,219,588.00 leaving an amount to be raised by taxes for municipal purposes of $15,895,898.00.

Approval of Minutes

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

Regular Meeting Minutes of January 25, 2016

Moved: Jean Murphy
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 approve minutes.

Items for Discussion

Discussion to Amend Ordinance #14-16

Ordinance #14-16: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey Establishing the Eligibility of Redevelopment Projects within Designated Areas in Need of Redevelopment for Thirty (30) Year Tax Exemptions and Abatements Pursuant to the Long Term Tax Exemption Law, N.J.S.A. 40a: 20-1, et seq.

Council President Kadish stated this item is on for discussion because of a proposed change in wording specifically the number of years to be “up to 30 years.” Council Member Ooms asked for clarification that this Ordinance allows for a PILOT program. Mr. Ursin explained that this allows a developer to complete an application for a PILOT program designating them as the developer and enables them to negotiate a financial agreement which would then require council approval. Council President Kadish opined that 30 years is too long and 20 years would be better with a graduated return negotiated in the financial agreement. Council Member Murphy asked if we can add verbiage that payment could start at beginning of project not completion so there is more of a guarantee for payment. Mr. Ursin added that Council can include language to the financial agreement during negotiations to include number of years, start of payment and conditions about transfer of property responsibilities.

Council President Kadish questioned if this change is a major or minor change and would require re-introducing and approving the Ordinance? Mr. Ursin stated that the changes proposed would require new language to replace Ordinance #14-16. Council Member Murphy believes that will receive a percent of the PILOT payment but the schools will not. Council President Kadish opined that the new Ordinance for these proposed changes should be introduced at next meeting. Mr. Ursin stated that at the request of the Council he will prepare a draft ordinance for Council consideration for an agenda of the Council’s choice.

Sale of Municipal Real Property (Faline Building and Other Potential Properties)

Mayor Shortway offered that with the many challenges of this budget he believes it is in the best interest of the public to sell the Faline building because it has been vacant for a long time, is an eyesore and it will bring in revenue. Mayor Shortway said there are other township owned properties on RT 94 that also may be auctioned. Council President Kadish asked if we must have appraisals done in order to sell. Mayor Shortway added the other lots were purchased in 2010 for $400,000 for a proposed Vernon Fire Department House which was never completed. Council Member Murphy suggested that if /when we auction the properties to use more professional signage to enhance interest and catch attention. Mr. Ursin will prepare an Ordinance for the Faline Building for council consideration on a future agenda.

Council President Kadish closed the discussion on these two items.

Consent Agenda

Council President Kadish gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #16-92 - #16-98.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #16-92 - #16-98.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Jean Murphy

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

Motion to adopt Resolutions #16-92 through #16-98.

Resolution #16-92: Emergency Temporary Appropriations

WHEREAS, an emergent condition has arisen in that the Township is expected to enter in contracts, commitments or payments prior to the 2016 budget and no adequate provision has been made in the 2016 temporary budget for the aforesaid purposes, and

WHEREAS, N.J.S. 40A:4-20 provides for the creation of an emergency temporary appropriation for said purpose, and

WHEREAS, the total emergency temporary appropriation resolutions adopted in the year 2016 pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 96, P.L. 1951 (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20) including this resolution total $1,243,967.00,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, (not less than two-thirds of all the members thereof affirmatively concurring) that in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-20:

1. Emergency temporary appropriations be and the same are hereby made in the amount of $1,243,967.00 as follows:

Current Fund 
General Administration- S&W18,690.00
General Administration- OE8,120.00
Mayor & Council- SW3,835.00
Mayor & Council-OE440.00
Municipal Clerk-SW9,980.00
Municipal Clerk-OE4,325.00
Finance & Audit-SW16,975.00
Finance & Audit-OE1,290.00
Technology3,500.00
Collection of Taxes- SW11,000.00
Collection of Taxes-OE2,880.00
Assessment of Taxes-SW15,245.00
Assessment of Taxes-OE5,510.00
Legal Services21,335.00
Engineering2,085.00
Environmental Commission135.00
Economic Development Commission500.00
Historical Preservation Commission170.00
Beautification Committee250.00
Land Use-SW9,860.00
Land Use-OE5,100.00
Group Insurance-OE292,000.00
Worker’s Comp Insurance-OE5,000.00
Other Insurance-OE10,000.00
Police SW299,310.00
Police OE11,035.00
Dispatch SW33,940.00
Dispatch OE875.00
Fire Prevention SW6,860.00
Fire Prevention OE945.00
Volunteer Emergency Services28,542.00
Municipal Court SW15,507.00
Municipal Court OE570.00
Prosecutor2,250.00
Recycling- SW1,920.00
Recycling-OE417.00
Road Repairs- SW110,000.00
Road Repairs- OE45,310.00
Fleet Management- SW16,809.00
Fleet Management- OE15,000.00
Building & Grounds- SW3,715.00
Building & Grounds- OE6,690.00
Maintenance of Parks- SW12,915.00
Maintenance of Parks- OE2,080.00
Animal Control SW34,000.00
Animal Control OE1,095.00
Community Affairs SW2,880.00
Community Affairs OE4,765.00
Senior Citizens SW1,320.00
Senior Citizens OE14,000.00
Building Department SW32,000.00
Building Department OE865.00
Utilities38,542.00
Social Security50,750.00
Defined Contribution Retirement Plan835.00
Totals1,243,967.00

2. Said emergency temporary appropriations will be provided for in the 2016 budget.

3. That one certified copy of this resolution be filed with the Director, Division of Local Government Services

Resolution #16-93: A Resolution to Read the 2016 Municipal Budget by Title Only

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-8 provides that the budget may be read by title only at the time of the public hearing if a resolution is passed by not less than a majority of the full governing body, as well as posting of same; and

WHEREAS, the conditions required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-8 have been satisfied for the 2016 Municipal Budget by Township Officials.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of Vernon, New Jersey that the 2016 Municipal Budget shall be read by title only at the Public Hearing (tentatively scheduled on April 25, 2016).

This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Resolution #16-94: Refund for Total Disabled Veteran Gubner 1st Quarter

WHEREAS, The Department of Veterans Affairs on September 25, 2015 awarded Michael Gubner a 100% permanent and totally disabled Veteran; and

WHEREAS, the law exempts said property from taxation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Council of the Township of Vernon that they authorize the Tax Collector to refund the 2016 1st quarter property tax payment in the amount of $1,194.56 to Michael Gubner.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Township Treasurer and Tax Collector.

Resolution #16-95: Refund for Total Disabled Veteran Gubner 4th Quarter

WHEREAS, the Department Of Veterans Affairs on September 25, 2015 awarded Michael Gubner a 100% permanent and totally disabled Veteran; and

WHEREAS, the law exempts said property from taxation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Council of the Township of Vernon authorizes the Tax Collector to refund the 2015 4th quarter property tax payment in the amount of $1,182.98 to Michael Gubner.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a certified copy of this Resolution be forwarded to the Township Treasurer and Tax Collector.

Resolution #16-96: Amendment 2016 Salaries for Non-Union Full Time and Part Time Employees

WHEREAS, Ordinance #16-03, Ordinance #15-20 and Ordinance #14-04 amended salary ranges for non-union full time and part time employees; and

WHEREAS, Resolution 16-86 established salaries for various positions.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey that the Resolution 16-86 is amended to correct the following titles retroactive to January 1, 2016.

Position2016 Base Salary
Ordinance 16-03
Public Safety Tele-Communicator (part-time)$19.66 per hour
Sr. Police Records Clerk (Records Support Technician 3)$56,241.94

Resolution #16-97: Resolution Authorizing the Application to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety for a Seatbelt Enforcement Program, “Click It or Ticket”

WHEREAS, the most effective device for preventing deaths and injuries in motor vehicle crashes remains the seat belt; and

WHEREAS, when used consistently, seat belts save lives and reduce serious injuries and according to NHTSA, seat belt use saved more than 12,000 lives nationally in 2012 alone; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey will participate in the nationwide seat belt enforcement campaign “Click It or Ticket” from May 23 - June 5, 2016 in an effort to raise awareness and increase safety belt usage through a combination of enforcement and education; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township will initially incur the cost of the program, not to exceed $5,000.00 and then submit the necessary documentation to the Division of Highway Traffic Safety for total reimbursement.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Vernon Township declares its support for the Click It or Ticket safety belt mobilization both locally and nationally from May 23 - June 5, 2016 and pledges to increase awareness of the mobilization and the benefits of safety belt use, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, that the Mayor, CFO and Township Clerk are hereby authorized to execute and sign any and all documents in order to effectuate the receipt of the Grant monies between the Township of Vernon and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety for Seatbelt Enforcement in the amount of $5,000.00.

The effective dates for this program will be from May 23, 2016 through June 5, 2016.

Resolution #16-98: Appointment of Vernon Township Acting Zoning Officer

WHEREAS, the Township’s Zoning Officer, Allison LaRocca, has been serving the Township since October 2014; and

WHEREAS, per the Vernon Township Administrative Code, the Zoning Officer shall serve at the pleasure of the Mayor; and

WHEREAS, a need exists for a Zoning Officer in the event that the current zoning officer is ill, or otherwise unavailable; and

WHEREAS, Kimberley L. Decker has obtained her zoning administration and enforcement certification to perform the duties of Zoning Officer.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex and State of New Jersey as follows:

  1. Kimberley L. Decker is hereby appointed as the Acting Zoning Officer to review and approve zoning permits for the Township of Vernon, New Jersey, in the event that Ms. LaRocca is unavailable.
  2. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon adoption according to law.

Introduction/1st Reading of Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #16-06: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey Authorizing the Transfer of Certain Township-Owned Property to the Vernon Township Board of Education

Council President Kadish read Ordinance #16-06 by title only

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to Introduce Ordinance #16-06 with a public hearing to be held on April 11, 2016.
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 introduce ordinance #16-06 with a public hearing to be held on April 11, 2016.

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Council President Kadish read Ordinance #16-05 by title.

Ordinance #16-05: An Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, and State of New Jersey Amending Chapter 250 of the Township Code Entitled “Fees and Escrows”

Council President Kadish asked for a motion to open the public hearing for Ordinance #16-05.
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Seconded: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

There being no members of the public wishing to speak Council President Kadish asked for a motion to close the public hearing.
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Seconded: Sandra Ooms
All members voted in favor.

Council President Kadish asked for a motion for adopt Ordinance #16-05.
Moved: Jean Murphy
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 Ordinance #16-05.

Council Comments

Council Member Wetzel offered his heartfelt condolences to the Fischer Family on the loss of their son, James. He has known his grandmother, son and family for many years and expresses sympathies for the pain they are going through. Council Member Wetzel stated that Sussex County Day is on May 1st at Sussex County Community College and suggests Vernon participate. Ms. Ooms added that there will be a helicopter display, IDOL contest, prizes and many children events.

Council Member Rizzuto also Offered his sincerest condolences to Lt. Fischer and his family who he has known for many years. It is a tragedy that no family should face. It was a true display of humanity that James was a registered organ donor and the Fischer family showed strength and courage by donating 5 organs to help others in their time of loss.

Council Member Ooms no comments

Council Member Murphy stated that the Beautification Committee had the first meeting and are a great group of people with many great ideas. Council Member Murphy stated that she had attended a Meals on Wheels program for governing body members from the county that increased awareness of the amount of senior citizens within the county who are unable to leave their houses. Council Member Murphy noted that a part of the Meals on Wheels offices is now open to Veterans meeting rooms, offices and for counseling purposes. Council Member Murphy stated the Grand Opening for two businesses in town: Bow Tie Collective in McAfee opened by local young men from the Kenerson family and Home on the Mountain which is a branch of Highlands Florist opened by Lori Struck.

Council President Kadish had no comments.

Adjournment

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

The regular meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: June 13, 2016