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

Minutes: September 12, 2011

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:31 p.m. on Monday, September 12, 2011 in the Vernon Township Municipal Building, 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 July 8, 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 Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Brian Lynch. Also present were Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis, and Township Attorney Kevin Kelly.

Salute to the Flag

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

Moment of Silence

Council President Lynch asked for a moment of silence commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Presentations

Chief Wherry introduced the new Police Department Patrolman—Brian Patterson. He explained that Officer Patterson was a resident of Vernon, and that he had come by way of Paterson, the Passaic County Juvenile Detention Center, and the Passaic County Jail. He also introduced the officer’s family. Mayor Marotta administered the oath of office to the officer.

Bill Zuckerman, CFO, advised that each Council Member had received a copy of the Best Practices Plan that had been sent to the State on August 28. Council Member Dunn asked if a comparison had been made to other towns, and Mr. Zuckerman advised that he had not done so. Mr. Giaimis noted that most towns file their Plan each year with the State.

The Council President advised that members of the FEMA Community Relations advance team were present and were prepared to give a presentation on the proper procedure to register for relief with FEMA. He introduced Mr. Pat Scanlon. Mr. Scanlon advised that the website for register was disasterassistance.gov and the phone number to call was 1-800-621-3362. Mr. Scanlon urged everyone to file no matter how minor the damage as FEMA can refer them to additional avenues for relief if they do not actually fit the criteria for FEMA relief. He advised that he and his colleague, Bruce Goldberg, would be available in the front hall during the meeting for anyone who wished to speak to them.

Mr. Lynch advised that he would have a separate public comments period for residents to address damage issues.

Public Comments

Craig Williams—Chairman of the Environmental Commission—spoke about Open Space. He advised the Council on the Commission’s role with open space issues. The Commission is concerned that the Open Space funds were being returned to the general fund and then they would be lost for the original purpose that they were collected. He advised that they had a number of targets set aside to be addressed with Open Space monies.

Council Member Kadish noted that there was a first reading on the Code ordinance, but that discussion on it would be at the next meeting.

Tom McClachrie—Agreed with Mr. Williams. He noted that there had been no financial information since the new Council came on. He asked where they were in the budget cycle and what monies were left.

Gary Martinsen—thanked the DPW, Fire and Police Departments for their hard work with the hurricane and the rainstorms. He noted that Resolutions 11-173 and -175 raised questions for him: #173 had no sketch attached despite stating they would be attached in the Resolution; and on #175, he felt that despite the destruction from the storms, it did not justify bonding for $1,000,000. He also noted that on Ord. 11-21 he would be sending an email about issues he was concerned with.

Mary Ellen Vischiconti—advised that she had been turned away from a meeting at the Highland Lakes Country Club on drug issues. She felt it should have been a public meeting, as she had been told it was being held by the MAC committee. However, she was told it was a private meeting. Ms. Vischiconti advised that she had been contacted by the School Superintendent about the drug issue and her comments from the last meeting. She felt that this problem was more important that fixing roads.

Jessi Paladini—noted that she was rather appalled that Council does not respond to public comments. She advised that she had been contacted by some residents who were interested in joining Mr. Dunn on the drug issue. Ms. Paladini noted that she had received a letter from Governor Christie relative to her efforts to preserve the Waywayanda State Park and share its natural beauty with the public. Ms. Paladini also spoke on the efforts of the Historical Society for Vernon and their accomplishments over the years, as well as their eviction from the municipal building.

Robert Oliver—noted that he was also appalled with the lack of response. He thought that the new government seemed less transparent than the old one.

Sally Rinker—handed papers to Council Members Rizzuto and Dunn, and then read a prepared statement on her opinion of the way the Council and Mayor had been doing business.

Vernon Heights—a group of residents—spoke about the drainage issues in their area.

Mayor Marotta noted that he had been out to see the problems, and that 22 major repairs were on the list to be addressed with the emergency funding. He also noted that part of the problem was that the development did not include a drainage easement.

Cory Stoner, Township Engineer, addressed their issues, noting that they were included in the listing. He advised that he had been trying to determine the actual cause of the failure of the drainage in that area, and how to repair it.

Motion was made to extend the time for this group to speak.
Moved: Brian Lynch
Second: Eddie Dunn
All were in favor.

After a continued discussion, the Mayor advised that he would meet with the Engineer, Mt. Creek, and the pipeline crew to tour the top of the mountain to view the area for a possible cause.

Bonnie Rubin—advised that she was concerned with something that occurred at the Reorganization meeting—some people who were recognized had actually opposed the change in government, but petitioners who had supported it were not recognized. She also spoke about the Historical Society issue.

Phyllis MacPeek—thanked the DPW, Police, and Fire Departments for their hard work during the storms.

Eva Ferlato—spoke about the Historical Society issue.

Chris Hordych—Valley View Homeowners—noted his development was across from the high school, and that they had experienced a bridge collapse. His research on the bridge showed poor inspection records since 1979. The bridge was pre-World War II construction, though improvements were made in 2005. He advised that oil and propane delivery trucks would not go across the bridge at this time, which is a major concern with the colder weather approaching.

Council Member Kadish and Mr. Stoner advised that the County inspected the bridge in 1979, but never took it over as they do with other bridges. The Council Member asked Mr. Stoner if the bridge could be removed and saved for historical purposes, and then replaced. Mr. Stoner was not sure how historical it still is as it was modified over the years. Mayor Marotta advised that there might be some legal issues that need to be reviewed.

Council President Lynch closed the public portion of the meeting at this time.

Mr. Lynch addressed the questions asked by the public:

  • To Mr. McClachrie—budget summaries have been distributed, and Council is aware of the budget. Taxes to be raised was never mentioned.
  • To Mr. Martinsen—the roads will be addressed with the emergency resolution.
  • To Ms. Vischiconti—drugs will never be ignored.
  • To the Historical Society—there has been much stress over the last few weeks about this issue. He noted he had met with the Mayor and advised the audience that the Township records are being addressed and need to be maintained. He advised that the Mayor will make space available where appropriate. Mr. Lynch noted that he would like the display case placed in the front hall and Historical Society items for public viewing—he feels that is important to the town.
  • To Robert Oliver—Council is showing respect to all residents by not using up their public comment time.
  • In general, everyone is working very hard to address the storm damage.
  • He advised that the town is being run appropriately, even if it is not the way the public wants it to.
  • He pointed out that Council would not respond to negative comments.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Marotta reported on the following items:

  • Thanked each employee—Police Dept. communication skills were being recognized with reverse 9-1-1 and Facebook notifications.—Lt. Randy Mills and Sgt. Dan Young for their idea for using Facebook, and the Chief to allow it. (The Mayor asked for a round of applause for them.) For the DPW—18 men with round-the-clock efforts, as well as their continued efforts. He further noted that the DPW would be doing $700,000 worth of road repairs.
  • The emergency bond anticipation note for $1,000,000—the anticipated FEMA and other reimbursement aid will be used to pay off the bond. There are very stringent controls on what can be spent with this bond. He felt that the Township had no other choice than to borrow the money.
  • He met with the Board of Trustees of the Historical Society earlier in the day, where he pledged to help them find a placement here, or elsewhere.
  • Baldwin/Mott Drive issues—he spent 7 hours looking for the records on this area, which is why we need to make the records easier to find. He noted the Division of Archives and Record Management (DARM) process for records, and the County representative who has been assisting us in this process—Dan Freed.
  • Drug Abuse—he attended the CrimeStoppers of Sussex County meeting, where he invited them to join the Vernon problem. He encouraged people to report drug abuse by calling them. He noted a letter from Becky Carlson, Assistant Director, advising that October 1, 2011 would be the start of the Vernon coalition to reduce drug use of 7-10 year olds.
  • The Vernon Police Department was given a directive that where need is shown, funds will be found to deal with the issue.

Approval of Minutes

August 22, 2011 Regular Meeting Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Minutes were approved.

August 30, 2011 Work Session Minutes

Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Minutes were approved.

Resolutions

Council President Lynch asked to remove #11-173, and 11-175 for separate action.

Council Member Kadish asked to remove #11-169 for separate action as well.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-170, 11-171, 11-172, and 11-174:
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain:
Resolutions #11-170, 11-171, 11-172, and 11-174 were adopted.

Resolution #11-170: Authorizing the Award of Bid for Purchase of Up to Six (6) Brand New 2.5 Cy Salt and Sand Spreaders w/Gas Hydraulic Drives

WHEREAS, there is a need to purchase up to six (6) brand new 2.5 CY salt and sand spreaders w/ gas hydraulic drives; and

WHEREAS, the Township has issued specifications and contract documents soliciting formal bids for the necessary equipment;

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon received and opened four bids for the above mentioned purchase on August 17, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. in the Vernon Township Municipal Building; and

WHEREAS, the bids were received and reviewed by the Qualified Purchasing Agent and the Vernon Township Municipal Clerk for the specified bid requirements; and

WHEREAS, the QPA and Director of Public Works recommends awarding the contract to the lowest responsible and responsive bidder, Trius, Inc., 458 Johnson Avenue, PO Box 158, Bohemia, NY 11716 for the unit price of $6,314.00, up to the maximum amount of $37,884.

WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified funds available for this purpose in Ordinance #11-07, Account #3094206

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Vernon Township Mayor and Council, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey to award the bid to Trius, Inc., for the purchase of up to six (6) brand new 2.5 CY salt and sand spreaders w/ gas hydraulic drives.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately according to law.

Resolution #11-171: Authorizing the Use of the Morris County Co-Op Contract #15C to Purchase Two (2) 2011 Ford Expedition SSVs for the Police Department and Contract #15A to Purchase Lights and Sirens for These Vehicles

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase two (2) 2011 Ford Expedition SSVs w/ lights and siren for the Police Department; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to use the Morris County Cooperative Council which has publicly received bids for said equipment through Contract #15C, Item #3 for the Ford Expeditions and Contract #15A, Item #1-21(c) for the lights; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to purchase certain upgrades not covered under the Morris County Co-op in the amount of $2,218 for each vehicle; and

WHEREAS, the Purchasing Agent recommends the Township Council award the contract for the two (2) 2011 Ford Explorers with lights and sirens and certain upgrades as per the attached price quote using the vendor Warnock Fleet, 175 Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936; and

WHEREAS, the total cost for the purchase two (2) 2011 Ford Expeditions with lights and sirens and certain upgrades will be $66,519.00 and the Chief Financial Officer, of the Township of Vernon, has certified these funds are available in account #3093303.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that the vendor, Warnock Fleet, be utilized to purchase two (2) 2011 Ford Expeditions with lights and sirens and certain upgrades through the Morris County Co-Op, in accordance with the attached quote in the amount not to exceed $66,519.00; and

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

Resolution #11-172: Authorizing the Use of the Morris County Co-Op Contract #15A to Purchase Three (3) 2011 Ford Crown Victorias with Lights and Sirens for the Police Department

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has a need to purchase three (3) 2011 Ford Crown Victorias w/ lights and sirens for the Police Department; and

WHEREAS, the Township desires to use the Morris County Cooperative Council which has publicly received bids for said equipment through Contract #15A, Item #1; and

WHERAS, the Township additionally desires a 3 year/100 mile deductable power train care warranty in the amount of $1,570.00 for each vehicle through Contract #15A, Item 1; and

WHEREAS, the Township additionally desires to purchase certain upgrades not covered under the Morris County Co-op in the amount of $2,738.45 for each vehicle; and

WHEREAS, the Purchasing Agent recommends the Township Council award a contract for the two (3) 2011 Ford Crown Victorias with lights and sirens and certain upgrades as per the attached price quote using the vendor Warnock Fleet, 175 Route 10, East Hanover, NJ 07936; and

WHEREAS, the total cost for the three (3) 2011 Ford Crown Victorias with lights and sirens and certain upgrades will be $94,711.35 and the Chief Financial Officer, of the Township of Vernon, has certified these funds are available in accounts #10574586 and #10574586A.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, that the vendor, Warnock Fleet, be utilized to purchase three (3) 2011 Ford Crown Victorias with lights and sirens and certain upgrades through the Morris County Co-Op, in accordance with the attached quote in the amount not to exceed $94,711.35; and

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

Resolution #11-174: Authorizing Execution of an Agreement with the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council to Renew Membership Therein for the Period October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2016

WHEREAS, the Morris County Cooperative Council (MCCPC) was created in 1974 to conduct a voluntary cooperative pricing system with municipalities, boards of educations and other public bodies located in the County of Morris and adjoining counties; and

WHEREAS, the purpose of the MCCPC is to provide substantial savings on various goods and services to its members through the cooperative public bidding process; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon desires to enter into an Agreement with the MCCPC, which is administered by Randolph Township as Lead Agency to renew its membership in the MCCPC for the period of October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2016 at the annual fee of $1,100.00 when paid within 45 days of invoice receipt.

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

  1. The Council of the Township of Vernon hereby authorizes the execution of an Agreement with the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council by the Township of Randolph as Lead Agency dated October 1, 2011 pursuant to NJSA 40A:11-11(5). Said Agreement is for renewal of membership in the MCCPC for a five (5) year period from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2016 at the annual fee of $1,100.00 when paid within 45 days of invoice receipt.
  2. The Vernon Municipal Clerk is hereby directed to submit a copy of this adopted Resolution, along with an executed Agreement, to Randolph Township as Lead Agency of the MCCPC.
  3. This Resolution shall take effect immediately upon final passage according to law.

Council Member Kadish had questions on reimbursements for the McAfee Fire Dept. and the Vernon Ambulance Corps. Mr. Zuckerman explained the nature of those reimbursements.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-169:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Patrick Rizzuto

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #11-169 was adopted.

Resolution #11-169: Authorizing the Approval of Bills List

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

Disbursement
Journal
FundAmountMajor Vendor
#1Current$1,099,899.78BOE
#2Current$1,140,756.44BOE
#3Current$128,703.26INT SALT
#4Current$1,123,928.73BOE
#5Current$111,406.76 
#6Grant$9,476.54 
#7Grant$7,693.05 
#8Capital$45,986.00ENVIRONCON
#9Capital$48,389.44H & H MACK
#10P & Z$4,144.50 
#11Other Trust$331.23 
#12Outside Services$215.52 
#13Outside Services$5,459.84 
#14Outside Services$5,603.52 
#15Recreation$1,492.50 
#16Recreation$800.00 
#17Sewer Operating$477.08 
 Payroll$303,922.891st Pay-Sept
 Total$4,038,687.08 

Council Member Kadish asked what Resolution #11-173 was about. Ms. Nelson explained that the licensee wished to expand the licensed area to include an outdoor patio for serving alcohol.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-173:
Moved: Daniel Kadish
Second: Dick Wetzel

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #11-173 was adopted.

Resolution #11-173: Authorizing the Vernon Township Council to Approve a Place-to-Place Expansion of Premises Transfer of a Liquor License for Smokey’s Glenwood Grill, LLC

WHEREAS, an application has been filed for a place-to-place, expansion of premises transfer of a Plenary Retail Consumption License #1922-33-013-002, for the purpose of expanding the premises under license wherein the sale, service and storage of alcoholic beverages are authorized; and

WHEREAS, the submitted application form is complete in all respects, the transfer fees have been paid, and the license has been properly renewed for the current license term.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Council of the Township of Vernon does hereby approve, effective as of September 12, 2011, the expansion of the premises for the Smokey’s Glenwood Grill, LLC Plenary Retail Consumption License #1922-33-013-002, located at 2 Vernon Crossing Road, Glenwood, New Jersey to place under license the area delineated in the application form and the sketch of the licensed premises attached thereto.

Motion to approve Resolution #11-175:
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish suggested adding wording specifying the usage of the bond.

Council President Lynch noted that there were already stringent restrictions due to the nature of the request and processing of it. He added that the FEMA money would reimburse the cost of the bond. Mr. Zuckerman advised that the restrictions do not allow any purchase and has a time limit. He noted he would be attending a meeting on Wednesday on this issue. Council Member Rizzuto asked about the bidding process for this bond. Mr. Zuckerman advised that this type of bond does not have to go through the State Finance Board. Mr. Kelly pointed out that in Sections 1 and 2 there are specific references on Local Budget Law which are statutory controls, and which set limits on purchases. Mr. Kadish asked Mr. Pullis and Mr. Zuckerman if the Council would get updates and/or monthly reports on the spending. Mr. Stoner advised that the list of 22 municipal responsibilities would be addressed through this bond. He further advised that where the DPW cannot handle an item, there would need to be outside vendors for those items, such as @$170,000 for the Woodland Drive area. Mr. Stoner noted that the County planned to have the Canistear culvert open by Friday, 9/23/11, and Maple Grange as well. Mayor Marotta noted that estimates were put together within 48 hours after Irene hit. The Mayor and Mr. Stoner cautioned that once the repairs get started, they may find additional damage under the surface. Mr. Zuckerman advised that the bond would go out for bid on September 14.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Resolution #11-175 was adopted.

Resolution #11-175: Resolution Making a Special Emergency Appropriation of $1,000,000 and Authorizing the Issuance of Not Exceeding $1,000,000 Special Emergency Notes of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, for Purposes of Financing Such Appropriation

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY (not less than two thirds of all the members thereof affirmatively concurring), AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:4-54, there is hereby made a special emergency appropriation in the amount of $1,000,000 for purposes of paying the cost of extraordinary expenses for the repair and reconstruction of streets, roads, bridges or other public property damaged by flood or hurricane and located in the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey (the “Township”).

Section 2. For purposes of financing the improvement or purpose stated in Section 1 hereof and to meet said special emergency appropriation, special emergency notes (the “Notes”) of the Township are hereby authorized to be issued pursuant to the Local Budget Law of New Jersey (N.J.S.A. 40A:4-1 et seq. and, in particular, N.J.S.A. 40A:4-55) in a principal amount not exceeding $1,000,000, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any special emergency notes heretofore issued therefor.

Section 3. The following matters in connection with the Notes are hereby determined:

  1. All Notes issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the chief financial officer, interim chief financial officer or treasurer (the “Chief Financial Officer”) of the Township, provided that no Note shall mature later than one year from the date of the first Note issued hereunder unless the Township shall have paid and retired amounts of such Notes sufficient to allow it, in accordance with provisions of Section 40A:4-55 of the Local Budget Law, to renew a portion thereof beyond the first anniversary date of the first of such Notes;
  2. All Notes issued hereunder shall bear interest at such rate or rates as may be determined by the Chief Financial Officer; and
  3. The Notes shall be in the form prescribed by resolution heretofore adopted by the governing body of the Township determining the form of special emergency notes issued pursuant to the Local Budget Law, and the Notes shall be signed or sealed by the Chief Financial Officer, the Mayor and the Township Clerk in any manner permitted by law notwithstanding that said form or resolution may otherwise provide.

Section 4. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized and directed to determine all matters in connection with the Notes not determined by this or a subsequent resolution, and the Chief Financial Officer’s signature upon the Notes shall be conclusive as to such determinations.

Section 5. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized to sell the 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.

Section 6. Any instrument issued pursuant to this resolution shall be a general obligation of the Township, and the Township’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.

Section 7. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby 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.

Section 8. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby further authorized and directed to file a copy of this resolution, as adopted, and all other resolutions or ordinances relating to the authorization of the aforementioned special emergency appropriation with the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey.

Section 9. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized and directed to do all other matters necessary, useful, convenient or desirable to accomplish the delivery of the 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 the Notes, (ii) preparation, distribution and publication, if necessary, of a Notice of Sale with respect to the Notes, (iii) execution of a Continuing Disclosure Undertaking, with respect to the 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 Township, 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 the Notes is not included in gross income under Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Section 10. All action heretofore taken by Township officials with respect to the sale, issuance and delivery of the Notes is hereby ratified, confirmed, adopted and approved.

Section 11. This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Council President Lynch called for a 5-minute recess. 9:40 p.m.

Council President Lynch resumed the meeting at this time. 9:45 p.m.

First Reading on Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #11-21: An ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, amending the code of the Township of Vernon: supplementing Chapter 1 “General Provisions”; replacing Chapter 5 “Administration of Township Government”; changing the municipal election from May to November each year; supplementing Chapter 500 regarding roads; replacing Chapter 413 regarding parks and recreation; supplementing Chapter 89 regarding retirement benefits; and deleting Chapter 244

Motion to approve Ord. #11-21 on 1st reading by title only:
Motion: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Eddie Dunn

Council Member Kadish felt another work session was needed for the public to get a better understanding of the changes.

Mr. Kelly explained that the changes made from the existing code/ordinances were required to be made by State law due to the new form of government, but with a time limit. He noted that some changes were simple words (i.e. Manager to Administrator), as well as Council powers. He further noted that Council had already had 2 public work sessions, a sub-committee meeting (Mr. Kadish, Mr. Rizzuto, and Mr. Kelly), and the initial and continued work of John Ursin. He felt that any review would be with page 12 and the 7 departments and their responsibilities and powers. He explained that after the introduction, the 2nd reading would be scheduled for September 26, with further review at the public hearing on the ordinance. He advised that this code was a living document subject to change at any future time.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Abstain:
Ordinance #11-21 was approved on 1st reading by title only. It will be presented for 2nd reading/public hearing and adoption at the next Council meeting scheduled for Monday, September 26, 2011, at 6:30 p.m.

Motion to schedule a work session to discuss the administrative code.
Motion: Daniel Kadish
Second: Brian Lynch

Council Member Dunn noted that he was not sure than an additional work session was necessary as he felt the Council had already put in extensive time on the matter.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: Eddie Dunn
Motion carried.
Ms. Nelson was to advise Council of possible dates.

Second Reading, Public Hearing on Proposed Ordinances

Ordinance #11-20: An ordinance to replace Chapter 275 of the code of the Township of Vernon regarding flood hazard insurance

Motion: Brian Lynch
Second: Daniel Kadish

Public Comments on Ordinance #11-20 Only

The meeting was open to public comments on Ordinance #11-20 at this time.

Phyllis Pfeiffer—asked to speak about a matter concerning the Clerk. The Council President advised Ms. Pfeiffer that this comment segment was for the ordinance only.

Closed to Public Comments on Ordinance #11-20

As no one wished to speak on this ordinance, the Council President closed the public comments segment.

Council Member Kadish asked what the fine would be for non-compliance of these regulations. He was advised that the amount was $2,000.00.

Council President Lynch advised that if the ordinance was not adopted, the Township would not be eligible for FEMA money.

A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Patrick Rizzuto, Dick Wetzel, Brian Lynch
Nays: None
Ordinance #11-20 was adopted on 2nd reading.

Council President

Council President Lynch advised that he had a number of items of note:

  • Asked the Mayor to speak to the Chief about speeding, especially on Highland Lakes Road. He felt it might have gotten worse due to people who are not familiar with the road, but are using it due to the many detours.
  • Noted that it was a blessing that the State Park was open—creating better communication.
  • Thanked Cory Stoner, Dave Pullis, Mayor Marotta, Chief Wherry, the many FD and EMS workers for handling the storm. It came to light that the County Office of Emergency Management almost had to restrict the Police and Fire Departments from responding due to the volume of workers out there, but that didn’t happen.
  • Thanked the citizens—preparations had been taken (there was nothing left on store shelves by the time he got there). They hunkered down, and no one was hurt or lost their lives.
  • He advised the Historical Society that he would like them to put the glass showcase in the front hall as soon as they are able—he wants to see us pull together on this issue.

Council Business

Council Member Dunn referenced the MAC meeting noted by Ms. Vischiconti. He had asked Mr. McLaughlin why the people were turned away. He noted that, unfortunately, Mr. McLaughlin suffered a death in the family and had not yet responded to him. Mr. Dunn suggested that anyone wanting an answer should try contacting him at this time.

Council Member Kadish asked about having a representative from Jersey City Power and Light attend the next Council meeting for the residents who were very unhappy with the amount of time it took for the return of power. He noted that Senator Lautenberg’s website advised that citizen groups can be formed to assist the Office of Emergency Management, as they may have inventories of equipment to assist in response times (chain saws, tractors, etc.).

Council President Lynch disagreed with that idea, as a part of the OEM—they do not need residents running around with chainsaws or other items during an emergency situation. The OEM needs to know that the people not included with responders are safely at home and off the roads, and not impacting rescue and response teams. They feel that clean-up crews are okay, but the Fire Depts. have chain saws and would have gotten through as needed for emergencies already.

Mayor Marotta noted that there was a meeting on 9/21 with other Mayors, in Parsippany, to address JCP&L lapses. He noted that the Vernon Fire Department, Vernon Ambulance Corps, and the Highland Lakes Fire Department assisted with an emergency on Prices Switch Road and would be recognized.

Council Member Kadish advised that the real issue with JCP&L was no response.

The Mayor advised that he and the Chief got nowhere either in reaching them. He added that the Mayors meeting would contact the BPU about this experience.

Mr. Kadish asked about the Dept. of Transportation meeting last Thursday, Sept. 8.

Mr. Stoner, Mr. Giaimis, and Mr. Pullis responded to Mr. Kadish:

The meeting was scheduled for the Rt. 94 bridge issue—South Lodge at Mt. Creek—there will be bids for this project next fall; the DEP permits are being applied for now; anticipated to be completed in spring/summer of 2013; the work will not impact traffic during the ski season.

Mr. Lynch asked Mr. Nunziato about a student who did a presentation at the high school and brought the mother of Fire Fighter Wells Krauther, who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

Council Member Rizzuto advised that he had received a letter from the Business Administrator of the Board of Education stating that there would be no fee charged for Council’s use of the auditorium for the Reorganization meeting on July 1, 2011. He expressed his thanks to the Board for their kind notice. He noted that he and Mr. Lynch had attended a 9-11 service at St. Francis LaSalle Church where a resident (Everett Paladini) presented a beautiful piece of sculpture—he would like to see it displayed. He addressed the drug issue, noting his belief that Vernon has a very effective Police Department with ongoing investigations and efforts. He asked the residents to trust in them, but advised that the process takes time.

Council Member Wetzel commended the Fire Departments, Rescue Squads, the DPW, and the Police Department for doing an exceptional job. He had received all positive feedback. He was glad that the Historical Society memorabilia would be displayed. He addressed the residents who had been critical of the school’s efforts to combat/address the drug issues—he has asked Dr. Alfieri to come to a Council meeting to explain what they are doing.

Open to Public Comment

The meeting was opened to public comment, but the audience was advised that each person would be limited to 3 minutes each.

Jessi Paladini—noted that her husband was deeply touched by the reception, as he had worked on the sculpture for 3 years. She advised that the removal of the glass showcase earlier that day from the front hall had taken 3 large men, and now Mr. Lynch was asking for it to come back. She added that it is not that easy to move back and forth.

Phyllis Pfeiffer—asked about an OPRA issue: if electronic records are not charged, why is there an issue with record storage when it can be done electronically? Council advised that they would get back to her with information on that issue. Ms. Pfeiffer addressed the issue of Open Space money being diverted, asking how it can be done without voter approval. Mr. Lynch advised that it cannot be diverted.

Robert Oliver—asked Mr. Lynch about the payment relative to the Kelly Bill—he felt the payment was at 150% instead of 100%. Mayor Marotta advised that the rate was still 1.5 as in 2009. A discussion continued between Mr. Oliver and the Mayor on this issue.

Gary Martinsen—clarified that he had felt that the bond should be specific on what it would be used for, but that the money should be available to assist the public.

Gary Grey—spoke about the storm damage, noting that he had a problem with drainage from the County road through his property and neighbors. He was advised by the County that their efforts were being deferred to other causes. He asked the Council to reach out to the County for a resolution to the problem, noting that they had received estimates of about $14,000 to fix the road).

Beverly Budz—thanked the Highland Lakes Fire Dept. for their hard work. She noted that any berms should be replaced where worn down on Grant Street.

Closed to Public Comment

The Council President asked for a motion to close the meeting to public comments.

Motion: Eddie Dunn
Second: Patrick Rizzuto
All were in favor.

Adjournment

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

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 11:00 p.m.

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

Minutes approved: September 26, 2011