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

Minutes: May 29, 2014

YouTube video of the May 29, 2014 council meeting »

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 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, CFO 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.

Presentations

Police Department Awards Ceremony

Council President Lynch asked Police Chief Randy Mills and Captain Stephen Moran to come to the podium.

Police Chief Mills thanked the members of the Police Department for coming forward this evening. Chief Mills noted that the Township was being patrolled by neighboring towns for this celebration. Chief Mills indicated that this evening the Police Department would give awards for various different acts of heroism performed by the various members of the Department and some members of the public. Chief Mills stated it had been some time since awards were given. Chief Mills thanked Captain Moran for his hard work in putting this program together.

Chief Mills and Captain Moran distributed the following awards:

Life Saving Awards
Cpl. Scott Waleck - 2011
Cpl. Charles Reid - 2011
Ptl. Harry Russo - 2009
Cpl. Charles Reid - 2009
Ptl. Brian Patterson - 2009
Ptl. James Higgins - 2011
Ptl. William Terrill - 2013
Ptl. Emanuel Rivera - 2013
Cpl. Derrick Scudieri - 2013

Civilian Service Award/Life Saving
Richard Carson Jr. - 2010
Cpl. Scott Waleck - 2010

Civilian Service Award
Karen Starr
Letter of Commendation: Cpl. Charles Reid, Dsg. Sean Talt

Gallantry Star Medal
Cpl. William Gebhard
Ptl. Stephen Rovetto

K-9 Commendation Medal
Cpl. William Gebhard 2003-present

Narcotics Enforcement Medal
Sgt. William Fischer 2004-2005

Narcotics Enforcement Medal
Det. Shawn Fitzgerald - 2011-14
Ptl. Stephen Gentle

Meritorious Service Medal
Cpl. Charles Reid

Meritorious Service Medal
Ptl. Brian Patterson

Exceptional Duty Medal-Market Place Deli Robbery
Det. Sean Talt
Det. Jason Haw
Det. Keith Curry
Det. Shawn Fitzgerald

Exceptional Duty Medal-2012 H.L. Burglaries
Det. Sean Talt
Det. Keith Curry
Det. Jason Haw

Exceptional Duty Medal
David Dehardt - 2012 residential burglaries

Exceptional Duty Medal
Capt. Stephen Moran - 1995-2010 Detective Bureau

Exceptional Duty Medal
Lt. Brian Jernick - 2000-2013 Detective Bureau

Exceptional Duty Medal
Det. Sean Talt - 2002-present

Exceptional Duty Medal
Ptl. Ronald Koumaras - Traffic Enforcement/Grants/MADD awards

Honorable Service
Lt. Daniel Young-Admin/Tech/ATV Programs

Honorable Service Medal
Cpl. Charles Reid 2011-Present - Mortgage Fraud

Honorable Service Medal
Lt. (Det.) Brian Jernick
Dsg. (Det.) Sean Talt
Cpl. (Ptl.) Kenneth Kuzicki
Det. (Ptl.) Keith Curry

Honorable Service Medal
Sgt. Keith Kimkowski
Cpl. Kenneth Kuzicki
Cpl. Derrick Scudieri
Ptl. Ronald Koumaras

Honorable Service Medal
Capt. (Dsg.) Moran - 2008
Lt. (Det.) Brian Jernick
Det. Thomas Zabriskie
Dsg (Det.) Sean Talt
Cpl. (Ptl.) Kenneth Kuzicki
Det. (Ptl.) Shaun Fitzgerald

Honorable Service Medal
Ptl. David Dehardt
Ptl. Ronald Koumaras

Letter of Commendation
Cpl. Kenneth Kuzicki
Cpl. Charles Reid

Letter of Commendation-Stork Pin
Ptl. David Dehardt

Letter of Commendation-Stork Pin
Ptl. Stephen Rovetto

Letter of Commendation-Special Olympic Torch Run Coordinator
Det. Jason Haw

Letter of Commendation-Police Unity Tour 2012 & 2014
Ptl. Stephen Rovetto

Letter of Commendation-BOLO MV stop 3rd degree theft arrests
Ptl. William Terrill

Veterans Service Medals
Sgt. Keith Kimkowski- Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Cpl. Charles Reid - Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Ptl. James Higgins- Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Ptl. Harry Russo - Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Ptl. Stephen Gentle - Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom
Ptl. Ronald Koumaras - Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom

Council President Lynch thanked the members of the police department.

Mayor Marotta asked Chief Mills to come forward, Mayor Marotta offered an award to Chief Mills for his years of service.

At 8:08 p.m. it was moved by committee member Rizzuto and seconded by committee member Wetzel to take a brief recess with all members voting in favor.

At 8:16 p.m., Council President Lynch called the meeting back to order.

Council President Lynch announced that the county had sent a notice out that on or about July 2014, the county would be doing road construction on Rudetown Road (Rte 517)for Bridge V-05. This would close the road. Council President Lynch noted that a detour route had been posted and was available on the township’s website.

Proclamations

Vernon Day

Council President Lynch invited Melissa Wiedbrauk to the podium. Council President Lynch read the following proclamation:

Whereas, Vernon Township is a 71 square mile community with 3 square miles of water and 68 square miles of land that some 24,000 neighbors call home; and

Whereas, Vernon Township is an unrivaled collection of neighborhoods, each with its own geographic flavor and historic personality. Together, we form a dynamic community with an exemplary volunteer spirit; and

Whereas, Vernon Township began holding Vernon Day over a decade ago to offer residents the opportunity to meet friends and neighbors from the top of the Mountains, to the flats of Vernon Crossing, to Lake Wallkill Road and everywhere in between; and

Whereas, Vernon Day 2014 will be held rain or shine on Sunday, June 8, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at beautiful Maple Grange Park; and

Whereas, Vernon Day 2014, is sponsored by the Vernon Township Department of Recreation and Community Development and promises to be a wonderful family fun day. Activities for the day will include a 5K and 1 mile race beginning at 9:00 a.m., followed by an afternoon of fun including bounce houses, face painting, local artisans and vendors. The day will also provide opportunities for neighbors to meet their local civic groups.

Now therefore be it proclaimed that, I, Brian Lynch, Mayor Marotta and the Vernon Township Council do hereby proclaim June 8, 2014 as Vernon Day. We hope to see all our residents come and celebrate the greatness of Vernon Township.

Public Comments

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
Motion: Dan Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel
All members were in favor.

Jessi Paladini, Sunset Ridge, stated tonight’s presentation made her proud for the police department. Ms. Paladini stated she would like to thank Beverly Budz, for her hard work at the Memorial Day Parade. Ms. Paladini commented that Ms. Budz had put out all the flowers and flags and decorated town center for the Memorial Day Parade. Ms. Paladini thanked Ms. Budz for her act of kindness.

Bruce Zaretsky, Church St., stated he would like to offer support for the purchase of Camp Glenwood property. Mr. Zaretsky said it could be a beautiful jewel for the community and he supported the purchase.

Closed to Public Comments

Seeing no other 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.

Township Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta advised that the Environmental Commission had invited homeowners around to Camp Sussex for a walking tour of the property. Mayor Marotta stated the Environmental Commission was eager to show the public what they would like to see for this project.

Mayor Marotta stated an ethics complaint had been filed against him in relation to Vernon Vibes. Mayor Marotta indicated all charges were dismissed by the Ethics Board.

Liaison Committee

Council Member Kadish commented that on May 19 both he and Council Member Murphy had met with some members of the Board of Education for a Liaison committee meeting. Council Member Kadish indicated that the parties had viewed a video as an example of what Vernon could create to introduce newcomers to Vernon as well as discussed how to enhance communication between the BOE and the Town’s officials. Council Member Kadish also indicated that the BOE had proposed a transfer of the Child Study Team property to the Township in January and they would like to move forward with that transfer. Council Member Kadish noted that a discussion ensued about possible shared services between the BOE and the Township including street sweeping, snow plowing, grant writing, computer technology evaluation and sharing bandwidth. Council Member Kadish stated that the BOE has indicated that the population of students has decreased over the past ten years and in response the BOE has created a strategic vision plan. Council Member Kadish indicated that the BOE has represented that although the student population has decreased, all buildings are currently necessary and fully utilized. Council Member Kadish stated the number of classrooms remains the same and there has been no budgetary increase in the past four years. Council Member Kadish stated that he and Council Member Murphy had suggested a possible Adult Education program for seniors; the BOE members suggested a possible “State of the Schools” presentation at a future Council meeting.

Approval of Minutes

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

April 28, 2014: Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Dan Kadish
Seconded: Patrick Rizzuto

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

Motion carried to approve minutes for April 28, 2014.

May 5, 2014: Work Session Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dan Kadish

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

Motion carried to approve minutes for May 5, 2014.

Items for Discussion

Mayor Marotta indicated that the Township would like to put forward a bond ordinance. Mayor Marotta stated the Township had received a $200,000 grant from the DOT for Breakneck Road which had reduced the amount of the bond. Mayor Marotta reviewed the proposed bond ordinance noting that it included the connection fee for the Vernon and Sussex County MUA, turn out gear for the Fire Department based on a survey of the existing turn out gear in the four fire houses, $200,000 for ambulance chassis, expansion of Animal Control, municipal roof repair, a secure impound building for the Police Department, score boards for Maple Grange Park and improvement to Township properties, an international truck, balance of the roof project for DPW building and Breakneck Road resurfacing. Mayor Marotta indicated the section 20 costs would be approximately $50,000. Council President Lynch questioned if this would be done as a Bond Anticipation Note (BAN). Mayor Marotta indicated it was. Council President Lynch questioned if 45 sets of turn out gear would be sufficient for the Fire Departments. Mayor Marotta stated that based on the surveys he had received that is sufficient. Council President Lynch indicated turn out gear can be damaged after use in fires with extreme heat. Council President Lynch questioned how long it would take to purchase a street sweeper. Mayor Marotta indicated it would take approximately one year after the bond is approved. Mayor Marotta stated that the cost of the sweeper the Township currently rents is significantly higher than anticipated. Mayor Marotta indicated that the Township had paid down its debt by more than $5 million dollars. Council President Lynch questioned the purchase of the AR-15. Mayor Marotta indicated it was necessary at this time based on the fire power the police were facing on the street. Council Member Murphy questioned if the sewer connection fee for the Child Study Building was anticipated. Mayor Marotta indicated he believed it was anticipated. Mayor Marotta asked if the Council would by vote direct the Mayor and CFO to contact the bond council and direct them to prepare an ordinance for introduction for the June 9, 2014 meeting. Council Member Murphy confirmed that the turn out gear was for all four fire houses.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to direct the Mayor to contact the bond council to draft an ordinance and necessary documents for the June 9, 2014 meeting.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Jean Murphy

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

Motion carried.

Consent Agenda

Council President Lynch gave a brief explanation of Resolutions #14-79 - #14-82.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to adopt Resolutions #14-79 - #14-82.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

Council President Lynch commented on Resolution 14-81 - Resolution opposing the use A2280 and S1305, indicating his concern that if the use of cameras was not mandatory, the Township when faced with a budget issue may remove the cameras in the cars. Council President Lynch discussed his concerns with the resolution as well as unfunded mandates. Council Member Rizzuto expressed his concerns with the State’s unfunded mandate in regards to this issue and if the state funding for this item will expire in the future. Council Member Rizzuto indicated the decision to have cameras should be with each municipality. Council President Lynch stated that he was opposed to unfunded mandates. Mayor Marotta indicated the cameras had already been installed in the Township’s police cars and they had been a benefit. Mayor Marotta stated the Council had done a great job in providing this equipment to the officers. Council Member Rizzuto expressed his concerns with unfunded mandates from the State.

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

Resolutions #14-79 - #14-82 were adopted.

Resolution #14-79: Authorizing Professional Service Contract with Lifelock, Inc. for Renewal of Identity Theft Protection for Eligible Municipal Employees

WHEREAS, there exists a need of a Professional Service Contract for the Township of Vernon for the renewal of Identity Theft Protection for previously registered Municipal Employees; 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, the Township has determined that LifeLock, Inc. 60 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 400, Tempe, Arizona 85281, the Township’s current contractor providing these services, is qualified to continue providing the Township with such services; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has certified that funds are available for this purpose in Account#10570196; and that the value of the contract will exceed $17,500.00; and

WHEREAS, the term of the contract is from June 1, 2014 to May 31, 2015, with a contract price not to exceed $19,125.00; and

WHEREAS, LifeLock, Inc. has completed and submitted a Business Entity Disclosure Certification in compliance with applicable law.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that they hereby authorize and approve the award of contract to Lifelock, Inc., pursuant to a non-fair and open contract pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, N.J.S.A. 40A:11-1 et seq. to provide Identity Theft Protection in accordance with the 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.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Mayor and Municipal Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute, seal and deliver the Contracts 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 #14-80: Refunding Tax Overpayment

WHEREAS, DUPLICATE PAYMENTS were made on the Second quarter 2014 taxes; and

WHEREAS, such payments created an OVERPAYMENT.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, hereby authorize the Township Treasurer to issue check for said overpayments and the Tax Collector refund said overpayment of taxes on the following accounts:

BLOCKLOTNAMEAMOUNTQUARTERLOCATION
90.141Core Logic
(Re: Leardi, Michael #04554399)
$1684.532nd1 Meadowlark Dr
150.197Core Logic
(Re: Wong, Brian #42863993)
$1121.272nd147 Coon Den Rd
207.191Core Logic
(Kirk, Richard Owen #56404289)
$1034.512nd677 Canistear Rd

Resolution #14-81: A Resolution Opposing A2280 and Companion Bill S1305 Mandating Installation of Cameras on Certain Police Vehicles

WHEREAS, A2280 and companion bill S1305 concerning mandatory installation of cameras on certain new or used municipal police vehicles, supplementing Chapter 14 or Title 40A of the New Jersey Statutes and amending R.S. 39:4-50 have been introduced in the current legislative session and A2280 has been referred to the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee and to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and S1305 has been referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee; and

WHEREAS, in the latest legislative session similar bills were introduced as S2860 and A4193; and

WHEREAS, A4193 was passed in both the Senate and the Assembly on January 13, 2014 but was not enacted into law due to Governor Christie’s Pocket Veto on January 21, 2014; and

WHEREAS, the purpose and intent of the legislation to assist in recording routine traffic stops including stops associated with driving while under the influence (DUI) is a beneficial purpose; the portion of the surcharge proposed to be imposed upon persons convicted of DUI charges will not offset the cost of purchasing, installing and maintaining such equipment resulting in an unfunded mandate; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Legislative Services concluded in the Legislative Fiscal Estimate that the “total municipal costs under this bill will likely be higher that the municipal share of revenue raised by the increased fee on DUI convictions.”

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, strongly opposes A2280 and companion bill S1305 and respectfully requests our representatives to vote against these bills unless the mandate will be fully funded by the State without any adverse consequences to the taxpayers of our Township and County.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk shall send a copy of this resolution to Senate President Stephen M. Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, Senator Steven V. Oroho, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, Assemblyman Parker Space, Governor Chris Christie, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.

Resolution #14-82: Authorizing the Use of the New Jersey State Contract Program for the Purchase of Folder/Inserter Machine for Use by the Vernon Township Tax Collection Department

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase a new folder/inserter mailing machine for use in the tax collection department; and

WHEREAS, the purchase of this machine was approved in Capital Ordinance #14-05; and

WHEREAS, Vernon Township is a member of the New Jersey State Contract Program; and

WHEREAS, prices were received through competitive bidding from the said program; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer has reviewed the Cooperative prices, and determined it would be cost effective for the Township to utilize the State Contract program in lieu of public bidding by private contractors; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial recommends that the Township Council pass this resolution authorizing use of the State Contract program for the purchase of the folder/inserter mailing machine and

WHEREAS, the cost estimate for the purchase is $11,973.00; and

WHEREAS, the vendor for the Program for this purchase is Pitney Bowes; and

WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer of the Township of Vernon, has determined and certified the funds of this agreement; and

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that the New Jersey State Contract Program be utilized to purchase folder/inserter mailing machine for the tax collection department, and that it will be purchased from Pitney Bowes, in the amount not to exceed $11,973.00; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor and Township Clerk are hereby authorized and directed to execute such documents as necessary to effectuate the purpose of this Resolution; and

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

Public Hearing/2nd Reading of Ordinances

Ordinance #14-08: An Ordinance Amending Chapter 94 of the Administrative Code of the Township Of Vernon: Division Of Police

Council President Lynch read Ordinance #14-08 by title only.

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to open the public hearing on Ordinance #14-08.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

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

Seeing no members of the public come forward regarding Ordinance #14-08, Council President Lynch asked for a motion to close the public hearing.

Moved: Dan Kadish
Seconded: Dick Wetzel

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

Council President Lynch asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #14-08.

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Seconded: Jean Murphy

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

Motion carried to adopt Ordinance 14-08.

Council Comments

Council President Lynch stated he has reviewed the amendments made to the State statute regarding the maintenance of foreclosed properties. Council President Lynch indicated that an ordinance would make the lien holders of foreclosed properties responsible to abate any nuisances that arise from it being vacant, like broken windows and uncut grass, which adds to the blight of a community with unkempt houses. Council President Lynch stated that one of the main issues a Council faces is how to tell people to maintain their property. Council President Lynch indicated that this ordinance will force banks to maintain properties to a level that is consistent with the Township Code. Council President Lynch stated he would like to ask the Council to consider this as an ordinance. Council President Lynch asked the Township Attorney to draft an ordinance and work with the Clerk. Council President Lynch stated the banks are required to register with the Township Clerk. Council President Lynch stated that if the Township has to do the maintenance on these properties the Township can put a lien on the house. Council President Lynch also asked that if the Mayor and Township Clerk would look at the administrative code and starting reviewing the code for errors such as the ordinance that was adopted this evening for Chapter 94. Council President Lynch indicated this would be an arduous task that may require work sessions of the Council and certainly not be finished before the end of the year. Council Member Rizzuto commented on the maintenance of houses, noting that he has had many complaints about unkempt homes in town and the desire of the public to have the Township address this issue. Council President Lynch indicated this ordinance would only apply to foreclosed homes.

Council Member Wetzel congratulated Kevin Kelly and Megan Ward for being selected as the best law firm in Sussex County. Council Member Wetzel thanked the VFW and all the people who worked on the Memorial Day Parade, it was a beautiful event.

Council Member Rizzuto stated he was unable to attend the groundbreaking event for the new Veterans Cemetery that was coming up. Council Member Rizzuto stated the Mayor and Council had worked with Mr. Harrigan and the Vietnam Veterans to establish the cemetery. Council Member Rizzuto stated he was also found innocent for appearing on Vernon Vibes. Council Member Rizzuto stated he had been advised that it was a minor problem that he introduced his campaign treasurer while on Township property.

Council President Lynch thanked Beverly Budz for putting the flowers out for the Memorial Day parade.

Council Member Kadish stated he was hoping that the Township could forward a resolution for the prosecutor to consider the issue of Narcan. Mayor Marotta indicated that the County was getting a new prosecutor.

Council Member Murphy questioned who to contact at the VFW as residents had approached her wanted to help with donations. Mayor Marotta stated Robert Constantine would be the contact person. Mayor Marotta stated discussions had begun about the VFW and MUA and people who wanted to help with the issues at the VFW. Council Member Murphy asked if the VFW sustained damage from the storm. Mayor Marotta indicated he believed it did. Council Member Murphy questioned the hiring of the fire marshal. Mayor Marotta stated the Township had received twelve resumes and he hoped by mid next month to hire someone.

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 Kadish, 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 9:18 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lauren Kirkman, RMC
Municipal Clerk