Minutes: September 13, 2021

YouTube video of the September 13, 2021 council meeting »

The Regular Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 7:00 p.m. on September 13, 2021 via Zoom Webinar in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey with Council President Harry Shortway presiding.

STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE

Adequate notice of this meeting has been provided to the public and the press on January 6, 2021 and on September 7, 2021 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

Present were Council Members John Auberger, Toni Cilli, Andrew Pitsker, Kelly Weller and Council President Harry Shortway. Also present were Mayor Howard Burrell, Business Administrator Charles Voelker, and Township Attorney Josh Zielinski.

SALUTE TO THE FLAG

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

PROCLAMATION

Recognizing and Declaring the Month of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Mayor Burrell read the proclamation.

PUBLIC COMMENTS (For Current Agenda Items Only, Limited to 3 minutes per person)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open the meeting to public comments.
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker
All members present voted in favor.

Peg Distasi - Vernon Township, feels that resolution #21-204 is an attempt to control and silence the public. She asked what the Council is afraid of because they never answer questions or address the public. Ms. Distasi feels that this is taking away our 1st amendment rights, and that since Harry Shortway is the person who decides what is on the agenda, she asked for his resignation on a vote of no confidence.

Christine Dunn - Vernon Township, agrees with Ms. Distasi on resolution #21-204. She feels that there is no public discussion and the public has no say. Ms. Dunn asked who she can address her questions to because she has a lot of questions. She cast a vote of no confidence in Harry Shortway and the rest of the Council.

Jessi Paladini - Vernon Township, told the Council that they are allowed to answer questions as you wish. The Town Council for decades has had robust back and forth dialog with the public answering their questions. Ms. Paladini said that this is an unilateral rule that Harry Shortway made up and it is not the law or State policy for best practices. She encourages the Council to start responding to public questions because that is the only time you can have transparency. Ms. Paladini cast a vote of no confidence in Harry Shortway.

Seeing no other members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close the meeting for public comments.
MOTION: Kelly Weller
SECOND: John Auberger
All members were in favor.

MINUTES

August 23, 2021 - Executive Session

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve the August 23, 2021 Executive Session minutes.
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Toni Cilli
All members were in favor.
Motion carried to approve the August 23, 2021 Executive Session minutes.

August 23, 2021 - Regular Minutes

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to postpone the regular meeting minutes.
MOVED: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: Toni Cilli
All members were in favor.
Motion carried to postpone the August 23, 2021 regular meeting minutes.

CONSENT AGENDA

  • Resolution #21-198: Refund Overpayment (Various Blocks and Lots Wells Fargo Real Estate Tax Services)
  • Resolution #21-199: Refund Overpayment (Block 251 Lot 2 - Lereta)
  • Resolution #21-200: Refund Overpayment (Block 526 Lot 365 - Jesse Fecteau)
  • Resolution #21-201: Refund Overpayment (Block 527 Lot 220 - Corelogic)
  • Resolution #21-202: Refund Overpayments (Block 527 - Lot 384 Corelogic) (Block 526 Lot 368 Corelogic)
  • Resolution #21-203: Refund for Totally Disabled Veteran (Block 249 Lot 3 - Huber)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.

Council Member Cilli asked if they owned more than one piece of property, would they receive a refund if they did not pay their taxes on a separate piece of property.

Township Attorney Zielinski explained that you cannot withhold if they own on another lot.
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Kelly Weller

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion passed to approve the Consent Agenda

Resolution #21-198: Refund Overpayment (Various Blocks and Lots Wells Fargo Real Estate Tax Services)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Wells Fargo in the amount of $1082.72 representing refund for overpayment of the following property taxes:

OWNERBLOCKLOTREFUND AMOUNT
Mulvihill52794$360.94
Mulivhill527101$359.84
Mulivhill527101$360.94
  TOTAL:$1,082.72

Mulvihill- refund for overpayment totaling $360.94 of 3rd qtr. 2017 property taxes for Block 527 Lot 94 also known as 2 Chamonix Drive Unit 454, Vernon, New Jersey.

Mulvihill- refund for overpayment totaling $359.84 of 1st qtr. 2017 property taxes for Block 527 Lot 101 also known as 2 Chamonix Drive Unit 440, Vernon, New Jersey.

Mulvihill- refund for overpayment totaling $360.94 of 3rd qtr. 2017 property taxes for Block 527 Lot 101 also known as 2 Chamonix Drive Unit 440, Vernon, New Jersey.

Resolution #21-199: Refund Overpayment (Block 251 Lot 2 - Lereta)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Lereta in the amount of $1,893.70 representing refund for overpayment of 1st qtr. 2020 property taxes for Block 251 Lot 2 also known as 120 Lounsberry Hollow Rd. Sussex, NJ 07461, New Jersey.

Resolution #21-200: Refund Overpayment (Block 526 Lot 365 - Jesse Fecteau)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Jesse Fecteau. in the amount of $820.31 representing refund for overpayment of 4th qtr. 2017 property taxes for Block 526 Lot 365 also known as 6 Augusta Drive Unit 4, Vernon, New Jersey.

OWNERBLOCKLOTREFUND AMOUNT
Fecteau526365$820.314
  TOTAL:$820.31

Resolution #21-201: Refund Overpayment (Block 527 Lot 220 - Corelogic)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Corelogic in the amount of $620.23 representing refund for overpayment of 2nd qtr. 2017 property taxes for Block 527 Lot 220 also known as 2 Solitude Ct. Unit 4, Vernon, New Jersey.

OWNERBLOCKLOTREFUND AMOUNT
Marren527220$620.23
  TOTAL:$620.23

Resolution #21-202: Refund Overpayments (Block 527 - Lot 384 Corelogic) (Block 526 Lot 368 Corelogic)

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon, Vernon, New Jersey, that a warrant be drawn to Corelogic in the amount of $1,957.79 representing refund for overpayment for the following properties:

OWNERBLOCKLOTREFUND AMOUNT
Simanski527384$724.92
Hanus526368$1,232.87
  TOTAL:$1,957.79

Simanski- refund for overpayment totaling $724.92 of 4th qtr. 2020 property taxes for Block 527 Lot 384 also known as 4 Brandywine Dr. Unit 2, Vernon, New Jersey.

Hanus- refund for overpayment totaling $1,232.87 of the 1st qtr. 2020 property taxes for Block 526 Lot 368 also known as 4 Augusta Drive Unit 7, Vernon, New Jersey.

Resolution #21-203: Refund for Totally Disabled Veteran (Block 249 Lot 3 - Huber)

WHEREAS, THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS awarded Terry Huber a 100% permanent and totally disabled veteran: and,

WHEREAS, the law exempts said property from taxation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Council of the Township of Vernon hereby authorizes the Tax Collector to refund 2nd quarter 2021 property tax in the amount of $1,766.13 to Corelogic.

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

RESOLUTIONS

Resolution #21-196: Resolution Authorizing Interlocal Services Agreement for Administrative Support Services

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-196.
MOVED: Toni Cilli
SECOND: Kelly Weller

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN: Pitsker
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-196.

Resolution #21-196: Resolution Authorizing Interlocal Services Agreement for Administrative Support Services

WHEREAS, the Vernon Township Municipal Utilities Authority ("VTMUA") is a municipal utilities authority established pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:14B-1 et seq.; and

WHEREAS, the VTMUA has a need for administrative services in connection with it maintaining the sewer assets in the Township of Vernon ("Township"); and

WHEREAS, it has been determined that the Township can provide administrative support services to the VTMUA without negatively impacting its operations and ability to serve the public; and

WHEREAS, the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act, N.J.S.A. 40A:65-1 et seq. provides the mechanism for local governments to enter into contracts for the joint provision of required services; and

WHEREAS, both the Township and VTMUA wish to enter into an agreement for administrative support services; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the Township of Vernon that the Mayor and Township Clerk are authorized to execute an Interlocal Services Agreement between the Township and VTMUA for administrative support services in accordance with the mutual terms and conditions of the attached Interlocal Service Agreement.

Resolution #21-197: Resolution Authorizing the Sale of Surplus Vehicles and Property No Longer Needed for Public Use on an Online Action Website

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-197.
MOVED: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: John Auberger

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-197.

Resolution #21-197: Resolution Authorizing the Sale of Surplus Vehicles and Property No Longer Needed for Public Use on an Online Action Website

WHEREAS, the Township has the need on a timely basis to provide for auction of its surplus property; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon has determined that the surplus property described on Schedule "A" attached hereto and incorporated herein is no longer needed for public use; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon through this Resolution gives notice by the intention to the public, that the sale will be by the means of an online auction with Municibid through State Contract T2581 - Auctioneering Services: Internet Auctions to Sell Surplus Property, applicable to all the conditions to current State contracts.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon, authorizes the Business Administrator to use the services of Municibid through state contract T2581 to sell the surplus property as indicated on Schedule "A" on an online auction; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:11-36 that formal public notification will be provided by the publication of a Legal Notice in the official newspaper, the New Jersey Herald, not less than seven (7) or more than fourteen (14) days prior to the scheduled auction.

This Resolution will take effect immediately according to law.

Resolution #21-204: A Resolution to Amend Resolution #20-216 to Revise the Township of Vernon Policy for Public Questions or Comments During Virtual Meetings of the Vernon Township Council in Accordance with the Regulations of the Division of Local Government Services

Council Member Pitsker said the language in the resolution can be misinterpreted. He respects the change and it still gives the public time to send an email but the language needs to be updated.

The Municipal Clerk explained that the only change on the resolution will be the time the emails are due is now 4:00 pm on the day of the meeting.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-204 as amended as recommended by Council Member Pitsker.
MOVED: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: John Auberger

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Pitsker, Shortway
NAYS: Cilli, Weller
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-204 as amended.

Resolution #21-204: A Resolution to Amend Resolution #20-216 to Revise the Township of Vernon Policy for Public Questions or Comments During Virtual Meetings of the Vernon Township Council in Accordance with the Regulations of the Division of Local Government Services

WHEREAS, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a Public Health Emergency and a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic pursuant to Executive Order 103. Governor Murphy subsequently issued Executive Orders 119, 138, 151, 162, 171, 181 and 186 extending the Public Health Emergency; and

WHEREAS, the Governor's Executive Orders allowed municipalities to conduct public meetings electronically with the proviso that such meetings must comply with the public notice and public requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act ("OPMA"); and

WHEREAS, on or about September 24, 2020, the Director of the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs promulgated emergency regulations (N.J.A.C. 5:39-1.1. et seq.) concerning the conduct of remote public meetings during a Public Health Emergency or State of Emergency; and

WHEREAS, on October 15, 2020 the Township Council of the Township of Vernon passed Resolution #20-216 to establish the Township Council's policy to conduct public comment sessions during public meetings in compliance with the OPMA and the regulations for remote public meetings during the existing Public Health Emergency; and

WHEREAS, a determination has been made that there is a need to revise the procedures for public comments to promote greater efficiency and to ensure that all comments are received during the Township's hours of operation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township of Vernon Council hereby Amends Resolution #20-216 as follows and adopts the following amended policy to conduct remote public meetings:

  1. It shall be the policy of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that citizens shall be allowed to participate in council meetings via audio call in number and video conferencing platform by stating their name and address when directed to do so during the Public Comment (Agenda Items Only and Any Topic) portions of the Township Council meeting or the public hearing segment of a pending ordinance on second reading. Citizens shall be allotted up to three (3) minutes to participate during the Public Comment portions or public hearings. Additionally, the public may comment at council meetings by emailing their statements or questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address) or in written letter form directed to the Township Clerk no later than 6:45 p.m. on the scheduled meeting date 4:00 p.m. on the scheduled meeting date. The email or letter shall consist of the name and complete address of the individual wishing to speak; the portion of the meeting the individual wishing to comment would like to participate in (Public Comment on Agenda Items Only; Public Comment on Any Topic; or public hearing for an ordinance) and the comment or statement. All public comments submitted through electronic mail or written letter before the remote public meeting shall be read aloud and addressed during the remote public meeting in a manner audible to all meeting participants and the public listening. The Township Council shall adhere to the limit noted above in reading comments. Each comment shall be read from the beginning until the time limit is reached. The Township Council may pass over duplicative written comments; however, each duplicative comment shall be noted for the record with the content summarized. If the Township Council elects to summarize duplicative comments, it must not summarize certain duplicative comments while reading other duplicative comments individually. The Township Council reserves the right to respond or not to respond during the meeting to any citizen's questions or comments.
  2. Participants that wish to speak should remain on mute until acknowledged by the Council President to speak. If a member of the public becomes disruptive during a remote public meeting, including during any period for public comment, the member of the local public body charged with running the remote public meeting shall mute or keep on mute, or direct appropriate staff to mute or keep on mute, the disruptive member of the public and warn that continued disruption may result in their being prevented from speaking or removed from the remote public meeting. Disruptive conduct includes sustained inappropriate behaviors such as, but not necessarily limited to, shouting, interruption, and use of profanity. A member of the public continuing to act in a disruptive manner after receiving an initial warning may be muted or kept on mute, with other members of the public allowed to proceed with their questions or comments. If time permits, the disruptive individual shall be allowed to speak after all other members of the public have been given the opportunity to make comment. In the event the individual remains disruptive, the individual may be muted or kept on mute for the remainder of the remote public meeting, or removed altogether from the remote public meeting.
  3. The agenda, agenda items and documents in relation to the scheduled meeting shall be available to members of the public at http://www.vernontwp.com/government/township_council_meetings/. Presentations that require materials not on the Township of Vernon's website prior to the meeting shall be visibly shared by broadcasting during the meeting.
  4. When entering an executive or closed session, the Township of Vernon shall ensure that audio or video of the session cannot be accessed except by those individual that are participating in the session. The Township Clerk should take roll call with each individual affirmatively identifying themselves prior to commencing the executive session. If a closed session is held through a telephonic conference call, a separate call-in line should be made available to ensure confidentiality. For closed sessions during remote public meetings held through video conferencing, audio recording should be muted and video recording blocked by a graphic labeled "Executive Session." As with in-person meetings, the Township Clerk shall read into the record the reason(s) for entering into executive session.
  5. It shall be the policy of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon that notice of the meeting must include the time, date, location and, to the extent know, the agenda of the meeting, whether formal action may or may not be taken; how the public can access the meeting via audio call in number or video conferencing platform; how to make public comment and where relevant documents relating to the meeting can be accessed. Notice of a meeting shall be posted on the front entrance of Township Hall and on http://www.vernontwp.com.

Resolution #21-205: A Resolution Authorizing Non-Fair and Open Contract for Real Estate Auction Services to Max Spann Real Estate & Action Co. to Conduct Action & Sale of Real Property

Council Member Cilli asked if this is a resolution to sell the property listed in ordinance #21-32.

CFO Donelle Bright answered yes.

Council Member Cilli feels that even though we are not paying the 10%, it is a lot of money. She said NJ commission is usually about 5.18% and asked why is this so high.

Council President Shortway said they do other work besides acting as real estate agents, they are also acting as auctioneers. They do work to bring in the bids such as sending out letters.

Vice President Auberger asked if this should be tabled.

Mayor Burrell said this may be time sensitive in order to have the auction.

CFO Bright explained that the Business Administrator was looking to do this sale the end of October, but that would be contingent with the ordinance being introduced tonight.

Council President Shortway asked CFO Bright if the sale goes through, the revenue that is collected goes into miscellaneous revenue.

Ms. Bright answered yes.

Council President Shortway asked if the Mayor can get the list to all of the Council Members because the are the Open Space Committee so they can review the properties to see if they are adjacent to any properties of interest. He also asked that the list be sent to the GAAC for their review also.

Mayor Burrell said he will send the list to the appropriate committees and he asked that the Council does not delay voting on this because it is time sensitive.

Tax Assessor Kristen Umansky does not know about the 10% fee but she believed that Max Spann's opening for the auction was the end of October so this does make this time sensitive because there are two readings to the ordinance. Mr. Umansky went through the list three times. She explained that every vacant parcel of land the township owns that to our knowledge is not being used for something. It is a good idea to review the list and have the committees review it also. Ms. Umansky added that this is time sensitive.

Council President Shortway said the last auction like this was quite successful. The funds from this go into the fund balance. A lot of the properties are back on the tax base so we are collecting revenue and this is long term sustainability.

Mayor Burrell said that building up the fund balance is a key factor in the ratings that we get from Moody's.

Council President Shortway said we can take properties off the list prior to the auction if a committee requests.

Council Member Pitsker said he looked on line and Max Spann does all of the advertising for the auction. They are in line with other companies that do this kind of work.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-205.
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Kelly Weller

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-205.

Resolution #21-205: A Resolution Authorizing Non-Fair and Open Contract for Real Estate Auction Services to Max Spann Real Estate & Action Co. to Conduct Action & Sale of Real Property

WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13, the Vernon Township Council has, by ordinance, authorized the sale of properties no longer needed for any public purposes; and

WHEREAS, the Township of Vernon ("Township") does not have the ability to adequately market and conduct the necessary public auctions for these properties to ensure that the highest viable sale price is received for the benefit of the taxpayers of the Township; and

WHEREAS, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. is a licensed real estate brokerage and certified auctioneer with substantial experience in conducting municipal property auctions pursuant to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13; and

WHEREAS, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. has agreed to be paid by way of a buyer's premium, and therefore, not by the Township for the marketing, conducting and assisting in the completion of the property sales; and

WHEREAS, Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. has not made any political contributions to any political candidates or committees in Vernon Township and may not do so during the pendency of this agreement, and shall within ten (10) days of the award of this contract provide the Township Clerk with certification of same; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Vernon Township Council that Max Spann Real Estate & Auction Co. is hereby awarded a non-fair and open contract for professional services by Vernon Township.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Mayor and the Township Clerk are hereby authorized as directed to execute an agreement in a form similar the document attached hereto. The Township attorney may make applicable language changes deemed in the best interest of the Township.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Township Clerk maintain a copy of the final agreement and advertise it in the Township's official newspaper pursuant to law.

Resolution #21-206: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of not Exceeding $1,718,316 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, In the County of Sussex, New Jersey

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-206.
MOVED: Toni Cilli
SECOND: Kelly Weller

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-206.

Resolution #21-206: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of not Exceeding $1,718,316 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, In the County of Sussex, New Jersey

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY, AS FOLLOWS:

Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (the "Township") entitled: "Bond ordinance providing for the restructuring of a portion of the cost of acquisition of capacity at the sanitary sewage treatment plant of the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey, appropriating $2,800,000 therefor and authorizing the issuance of $2,666,000 bonds or notes of the Township for financing such appropriation," finally adopted on November 14, 2011 (#11-23), bond anticipation notes of the Township in a principal amount not exceeding $1,718,316 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any bond anticipation notes heretofore issued therefor.

All bond anticipation notes (the "notes") issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the treasurer, the chief financial officer or the acting chief financial officer of the Township (the "Chief Financial Officer"), provided that no note shall mature later than one year from its date. The notes shall bear interest at such rate or rates and be in such form as may be determined by the Chief Financial Officer and shall be signed and sealed by officials and officers of the Township in any manner permitted by N.J.S.A. §40A:2-25. The Chief Financial Officer shall determine all matters in connection with the notes issued hereunder, and the Chief Financial Officer's signature upon the notes shall be conclusive evidence as to all such determinations. All notes issued hereunder may be renewed from time to time subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. §40A:2-8. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized to sell part or all of the notes at not less than par from time to time at public or private sale and to deliver them to the purchasers thereof upon receipt of payment of the purchase price. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to report in writing to the governing body of the Township at the meeting next succeeding the date when any sale or delivery of the notes hereunder is made. Such report must include the principal amount, interest rate and maturities of the notes sold, the price obtained and the name of the purchaser.

Any note 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 the notes and, unless otherwise paid or payment provided for, an amount sufficient for such payment shall be inserted in the budget and a tax sufficient to provide for the payment thereof shall be levied and collected.

The Chief Financial Officer 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.

All action heretofore taken by Township officials and professionals with regard to the sale and award of the notes is hereby ratified, confirmed, adopted and approved.

This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Upon motion of Toni Cilli, seconded by Kelly Weller, the foregoing resolution was adopted by the following vote:
AYES: 5
NAYS: 0

Resolution #21-207: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of not Exceeding $2,000,000 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, In the County of Sussex, New Jersey

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to approve Resolution #21-207.
MOVED: Toni Cilli
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to approve resolution #21-207.

Resolution #21-207: Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of not Exceeding $2,000,000 Bond Anticipation Notes of the Township of Vernon, In the County of Sussex, New Jersey

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL OF THE TOWNSHIP OF VERNON, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, NEW JERSEY, AS FOLLOWS:

Pursuant to a bond ordinance of the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex (the "Township") entitled: "Bond ordinance appropriating $4,015,000, and authorizing the issuance of $3,130,000 bonds or notes of the Township, for various improvements or purposes authorized to be undertaken by the Township of Vernon, in the County of Sussex, New Jersey," finally adopted on May 24, 2021 (#21-12), bond anticipation notes of the Township in a principal amount not exceeding $2,000,000 shall be issued for the purpose of temporarily financing the improvement or purpose described in Section 3 of said bond ordinance, including (to any extent necessary) the renewal of any bond anticipation notes heretofore issued therefor.

All bond anticipation notes (the "notes") issued hereunder shall mature at such times as may be determined by the treasurer, the chief financial officer or the acting chief financial officer of the Township (the "Chief Financial Officer"), provided that no note shall mature later than one year from its date. The notes shall bear interest at such rate or rates and be in such form as may be determined by the Chief Financial Officer and shall be signed and sealed by officials and officers of the Township in any manner permitted by N.J.S.A. §40A:2-25. The Chief Financial Officer shall determine all matters in connection with the notes issued hereunder, and the Chief Financial Officer's signature upon the notes shall be conclusive evidence as to all such determinations. All notes issued hereunder may be renewed from time to time subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. §40A:2-8. The Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized to sell part or all of the notes at not less than par from time to time at public or private sale and to deliver them to the purchasers thereof upon receipt of payment of the purchase price. The Chief Financial Officer is directed to report in writing to the governing body of the Township at the meeting next succeeding the date when any sale or delivery of the notes hereunder is made. Such report must include the principal amount, interest rate and maturities of the notes sold, the price obtained and the name of the purchaser.

Any note 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 the notes and, unless otherwise paid or payment provided for, an amount sufficient for such payment shall be inserted in the budget and a tax sufficient to provide for the payment thereof shall be levied and collected.

The Chief Financial Officer 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.

All action heretofore taken by Township officials and professionals with regard to the sale and award of the notes is hereby ratified, confirmed, adopted and approved.

This resolution shall take effect immediately.

Upon motion of Toni Cilli, seconded by Andrew Pitsker, the foregoing resolution was adopted by the following vote:
AYES: 5
NAYS: 0

Resolution #21-208: Renewal of Pocket Liquor License (JD Lodge and Inn LLC) Requiring Special Ruling in the Township of Vernon for the 2021-2022 Licensing Term

Council Member Pitsker would like to table this resolution till after the arbitration which is tentatively scheduled for September 27, 2021 and then the owners can use the license or we can give it to someone else who can utilize it in the town.

Mayor Burrell has no rejection to tabling the resolution but there is no way you can take their license. This can be approved or not approved. The license is their property and we can not take it away from them.

Council Member Cilli asked if this license comes from the State and is it tied to their mortgage.

Municipal Clerk Gianattasio explained that the license does come from the State and she is not sure if the license is tied to the mortgage.

Township Attorney Zielinski said the owner is completely entitled to put their license in pocket and to keep it in pocket.

Council President Shortway is concerned that this has been going on for years. It is their license but the place is blight, the grass has not been cut and it is overgrown with weeds. It is right in the town center.

Council Member Cilli asked if we are fining them for having their property look like that. Why are we not fining them for a vacant property?

Mayor Burrell said he has spoken to the Zoning Officer about this property.

Council President Shortway said there was an issue with the septic years ago.

Council Member Pitsker made a motion to table resolution #21-208.
MOVED: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: Toni Cilli

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to table resolution #21-208.

INTRODUCTION/1ST READING OF PROPOSED ORDINANCE

Ordinance #21-32: An Ordinance Authorizing the Sale of Certain Land in Vernon Township to Be Sold at Public Auction in Accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:12-13 (a)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to introduce Ordinance #21-32
MOVED: Kelly Weller
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Cilli, Auberger, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion passed to introduce Ordinance #21-32

PUBLIC HEARING/2ND READING OF ORDINANCE

Ordinance #21-25: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending and Supplementing Chapter 330 Entitled “Land Development” to Permit Retail Sales of Legalized Cannabis

Council President Shortway read by title Ordinance #21-25

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #21-25
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #21-25
MOVED: Kelly Weller
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker
All members were in favor.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #21-25
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Pitsker, Shortway
NAYS: Cilli, Weller
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #21-25

Ordinance #21-28: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 330 Entitled “Land Development” to Regulate Multi-Generational Family Accommodations

Council President Shortway read by title Ordinance #21-28

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #21-28
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Peg Distasi - Vernon Township, is opposed to this ordinance. She personally has had a family member move into her home to be able to care for them. Ms. Distasi feels that to ask people to have the expenditure of accommodating family members and install ramps, kitchens and bathrooms, then say once the person dies you have to remove everything is an unfair financial burden. Ms. Distasi feels that there should be a way of approaching this and it should be looked at further.

Sean Clarkin - Vernon Township, feels that this is discouraging home owners from investing in their property. Many communities like ours end up with larger more beautiful houses over the time the property has been in existence. Mr. Clarkin said the first owner may not be the one who renovates the property, the next owner buys it and they add a bathroom or something. Mr. Clarkin did not read all of the ordinances on the agenda tonight because he did not want to be aggravated by them. Mr. Clarkin feels that limiting how many front doors someone can have and needing a separate entrance to another part of the property where a relative or child may live, is overstepping your bounds and taking away rights of American citizens to do what they want on their own property. Mr. Clarkin feels that the Council is making decisions on things they do not understand and asked who spoke to a real estate agent about this.

Ann Larson - Vernon Township, feels that the Council is trying to seize personal property. If someone invests in property and needs it for a relative, and then when they no longer need it, you are seizing their assets that were used to generate that home, you are taking away the ability for some young families to care for aging family members at a time when real estate is at an all time high. Ms. Larson feels that the Council is crippling not only those people but also the next generation who may purchase such a home and have needs for the exact same thing. You are telling people they have to remove improvements after they received building permits to make the improvements. It is seizing personal property and it is beyond the scope of authority.

Jessi Paladini - Vernon Township, feels that it seems the Council is going after specific people who have these types of properties. To pay thousands of dollars to add to a home to accommodate family members and then tell them that they have to rip it out is outrages. Ms. Paladini does not even think it legal to give someone a permit to build a structure, and then you turn around and say it is not permissible so you have to take it out. She feels the Council should think twice before adopting such a punitive ordinance.

Seeing no one else wishing to come forward, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #21-28
MOVED: Toni Cilli
SECOND: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Council Member Cilli agrees with the public on this. She feels that it makes no sense that we let them put this in and then we make them take it out. She also feels that this does not go with our Master Plan but pot shops do, it makes no sense.

Council President Shortway explained that when we first passed this ordinance, we did not say no to families that want to bring a parent of family member. The problem is when they move on to a nursing home, move out or pass on, we have a problem with legal two-family homes in residential zones zoned for one-family homes.

Township Attorney Zielinski explained that Council President Shortway is correct. The concern is after the relative or family member is no longer living there, the mother/daughter who the house was constructed for in single family neighborhoods, is now a 2-family dwelling.

Council Member Cilli asked isn't this something the Zoning Officer should be checking on to see who is living there.

Mr. Zielinski said this still does not resolve the issue of multi-family housing in single family neighborhoods where it is not permitted. This is what we were trying to guard against.

Council Member Pitsker is looking at this as a safety perspective. It says in the first sentence that the township seeks to ensure that single family dwellings are not improperly converted. That is where this ties in, is it improperly converted or utilized? To him this is safety concern to make sure they are done correctly and he went from the bases of that. Council Member Pitsker mentioned the memorandum from the Land Use Board regarding the public hearing on this ordinance, and they did not see any problems with it. He looks that the ordinance as a safety precaution protecting everyone in the dwelling that is not improperly done.

Council Member Shortway said we are saying you can do this a mother/daughter relationship, multi-generational family members. You cannot turn it into a 2-family according to this ordinance.

Council Member Weller said you are asking them to undo it when the person passes, so that down the road they do not turn it into a 2-family home.

Mr. Zielinski explained that the ordinance requires them to remove the kitchen appliances.

Council Member Cilli asked who is going to check on this.

Council President Shortway said there is a law and you choose to follow it or not.

Council Member Cilli feel the ordinance needs to be written better.

Council Member Pitsker feels that the author of this ordinance needs to be rewritten since there are so many misunderstandings because of the way it is worded. There are a lot of misinterpretations in the ordinance and there needs to be more clarity to it. It needs to be rewritten so it responds to everyone's needs.

Council President Shortway suggests not more than two Councilpersons sit with the author to rewrite the ordinance.

Council Member Pitsker and Council Member Cilli will work with the author and legal counsel to rewrite the ordinance.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #21-28
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Shortway
NAYS: Cilli, Pitsker, Weller
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion does not carry to adopt Ordinance #21-28

Ordinance #21-29: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending and Supplementing § 99-33 of the Municipal Code of the Township of Vernon Entitled “Schedule IX: Stop Intersections”

Council President Shortway read by title Ordinance #21-29

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #21-29
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Seeing no one wishing to come forward, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #21-29
MOVED: Kelly Weller
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker
All members were in favor.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #21-29
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #21-29

Ordinance #21-30: Ordinance of the Township of Vernon, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, Amending Chapter 94 of the Code of the Township of Vernon Regarding the Police Division to Authorize the Hiring of Entry-Level Law Enforcement Officers without an Examination Requirement

Council President Shortway read by title Ordinance #21-30

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open public hearing for Ordinance #21-30
MOVED: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: Kelly Weller
All members were in favor.

Peg Distasi - Vernon Township, feels that this ordinance makes no sense, and asked what is the purpose of reducing the requirements to hire policemen. We already have one that has been brought up on multiple charges. Ms. Distasi asked why we are making it easier for people to be hired without meeting requirements.

Sean Clarkin - Vernon Township, lives in Barry Lakes since 1995 and over the years he has had several occasions to speak to the Vernon Police Department and they have always been extremely professional and have always recognized that he is a citizen of the community and not someone driving through. He feels that the quality of our police officers is very good so why would we want to change that. Mr. Clarkin asked why we would lower the standard by allowing less qualified people to fill a position? The more qualified officers, you are lessening their value. Mr. Clarkin asked if we are setting up different tiers for payments, is this a means to save money? Mr. Clarkin asked if his questions could be answered and the website updated to better educate the citizens.

Jessi Paladini - Vernon Township, feels that up until now or recently we have had an exceptional police department. She asked why would want to lower the standard she does not understand. Ms. Paladini said we had a town manager who stole out taxpayer funds and went to prison, and we had another town manager who had about 32 jobs in 6 years because no one checked her background. We have had so many problems in our town with people who were hired who were not qualified, why would you lower that standard for police officers. Ms. Paladini said unless you have people in mind you want to put in these positions, she does not understand why we would lower the standard.

Christine Dunn - Vernon Township, with all of the scrutiny in the news with police she does not think it is good idea to lower the standards. God forbid something happens in our town and something is questionable, the person that is the police officer has not had the proper training. Ms. Dunn said these are the things that she wished the Council would answer questions about. She said she has to go on Facebook to get answers and she hopes the Council is listening.

Seeing no one else wishing to come forward, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close public hearing for Ordinance #21-30
MOVED: Kelly Weller
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker
All members were in favor.

Mayor Burrell explained that this ordinance was requested by our Chief of Police. This changes no standards. There is a move around the State of New Jersey especially in Civil Service towns which Vernon is, to only take the top three officers on the list. A lot of times the top three on the list are not the people you want. Veterans are always on the top of the list and every Veteran is not necessarily the best police officers. They all must go through the same test and same standards. Mayor Burrell said that this will allow our police department to not only look at the Civil Service list but to choose from a list of police officers that have already gone through the academy. It saves us a lot of money as we will not have to pay for the academy cost because they have already gone through the academy.

Council President Shortway said this will save the taxpayers money because the person they hire are vetted by the academy, they have to go through the academy and then we can choose. The other way we can hire someone through Civil Service and they will wash out of the academy and we lose the money. This way we have seen what they have done with their training before we hire them.

Mayor Burrell explained that our Chief of Police said we really need to do this.

Council Member Pitsker said this was explained at the last meeting that this is an opportunity for the Chief of Police to have a lot of ownership of who is hired and making sure it is successful. We have a great police force and Council Member Pitsker trusts the Chief of Police is going to do the right thing. There are a lot of requirements and this ordinance outlines the details.

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to adopt Ordinance #21-30
MOVED: John Auberger
SECOND: Andrew Pitsker

A roll call vote was taken:
AYES: Auberger, Cilli, Pitsker, Kelly Weller, Shortway
NAYS:
ABSTAIN:
ABSENT:
Motion carried to adopt Ordinance #21-30

PUBLIC COMMENTS (Limited to 3 Minutes On Any Topic)

Council President Shortway asked for a motion to open the meeting for public comments.
MOTION: John Auberger
SECOND: Toni Cilli
All members were in favor.

Jordan Lehman - Vernon Township, emailed her comments: I am 9-year Nurse and resident of Vernon Township. I would like to once again call for "No Confidence" in council President, Harry Shortway. Your mismanagement of this township has not gone unnoticed. Your waste of Covid relief funds and taking them away from the resources that need them is completely despicable. I am calling for your immediate resignation. Your personal attacks on township residents, especially, Walter Marsico, is horrendous and you should not be allowed to hold any government position that is in charge of our residents. You are unfit to lead this township and a detriment to all tax payers under your reign.

Walter Marsico, Sr. - Vernon Township, emailed his comments: My name is Walter M. Marsico, Sr., a 48year tax paying resident and developer in Vernon Twp. Responding to Mr. Shortways inquiry at the last Council meeting, and far more importantly for the Marsico situation, however, is the fact that the Appeals hearing was, in effect, preempted by the ruling authority, the Director of Department of Community Affairs. Mr. Zielinski failed to reference that the Director of the Department dispatched an investigator to Vernon Twp. to examine the files on this matter and also interview department members. Their finding was that Robert Westenberger's denial of Mr. Marsico's TCO and additional conditions he assessed to the TCO were illegal. The DCA then immediately ordered the issuance of his TCO which was retroactive to the completion of "health and safety" elements of the construction and subsequent inspections. Having been in compliance, Mr. Marsico's TCO voided the condition to which Vernon assessed fines. Fines were therefore "NULL AND VOID." There is also the matter of a COAH fee which was extorted from him in order to obtain his building permit. He paid the fee under duress and in protest. Mr. Marsico, Jr. then deferred the matter to Mr. Zielinski in a letter dated 2017. He also petitioned the State of New Jersey which, in a letter from Cindy Larson on March 28, 2018 stated he was not required to pay the COAH fee. Additionally, Vernon's Ordinance also states that an owner occupant of a dwelling is EXEMPT from paying a COAH fee. Mr. Zielinski also acknowledged his exemption from COAH in a letter to his Attorney. Vernon, however, refused to return the COAH payment!? As for Council President, Shortway's inquiry into the status of the "Marsico situation," I hope this answers the "question?" more factually than Mr. Zielinski's "comic book version." Hold on to your "purse strings" Vernon residents, tax time is coming and Vernon is "hungry for money!!" All documents substantiating the above are available upon request.

Walter Marsico, Jr. - Vernon Townsip, emailed his comments: My name is Walter Marsico, Jr., a 40+ year resident of Vernon Township. I am a tax payer, business owner and served in Law Enforcement for the past 14 years and Real Estate for the past 20 years. My father, Walter Marsico, Sr. is the original Developer of Settlers Notch which put Vernon Township on the map.

Tonight, I would like to address the ludicrous comments made by Josh Zielinski at the last Council Meeting. For the record I would like to state the facts surrounding the matter I have against the Township since Josh cannot get his facts straight. Since 2017 Josh has done nothing to resolve this ongoing matter caused by Vernon's Rouge Officials other than racking up legal fees for the Vernon Township tax payer.

Several erroneous comments were made by Mr. Zielinski at the August 23rd Council Meeting. He stated, "Mr. Marsico failed to attend the appeals meeting." Well Mr. Zielinski, let's state the facts that surround the meeting. Did you advise the public that you canceled one of the scheduled meetings because a few days prior to the meeting you were "not available" or was that because I supplied the board with over 150 pages of evidentiary documents and you were grossly unprepared. Josh, did you mention that the Sussex Board of Appeals failed to carry out the June meeting that I was present for and ready, willing and able. That meeting was cancelled 5 minutes in due to "technical difficulties" then Michelle Mezger, Secretary to the Dept Administrator for the Sussex County Board of Appeals stated on record that she would come up with three dates to choose from. Those dates were never furnished and Ms. Mezger selected her own date to which I was unable to schedule time off once again on such short notice, but the facts don't matter to you Mr. Zielinski. Let's also discuss how Ms. Mezger BLOCKED my email address from supplying important documents and communicating with the Board of Appeals during an active investigation. Is that legal Mr. Zielinski, blocking communication in a public forum? You are an Attorney, correct? I have my doubts especially since you failed to supply your law license through an OPRA request. More importantly in the "Marsico Matter" is the fact that the state of NJ investigated Mr. Westenberger along with Township files and found them to be in violation of issuing a TCO which is also a Civil Rights violation Josh, maybe you should review the UCC Handbook. This illegal action conducted by Mr. Westenberger has caused the State of NJ to issue the TCO and back date it retroactively. The matter also exists that Vernon Township has extorted COAH funds from me and has refused to pay it back, you remember that Josh, you emailed my Attorney that you agreed I was exempt.

So, Mr. Shortway, I hope this helps give you a better understanding to your concern from last Council Meeting in regards to the "Marsico Situation." This is why it pays to do your research before answering questions in regards to a very serious matter

For the record Mr. Zielinski, the Marsico matter is far from over and I am also waiting for a response to who the Township creep is that has been trespassing and taking pictures inside my bedroom window at night?

The following is the UCC code that was violated by Mr. Westenberger:

"If a code official or any government agent requires someone to do something that is more than the law requires, that can be interpreted as a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1960. The Act (42 U.S.C. 1974) reinforces the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution (Bill of Rights) that protects from unlawful taking of private property. The courts have ruled that withholding permission to occupy property that complies with the law (code) is a civil rights violation. Triple damages may be awarded."

Sean Clarkin - Vernon Township, feels that the agendas for the meetings need to be more detailed on the website so people can participate more. He understands the more people who participle the harder the Council's job is but as public servants you work for us. Getting the agendas more transparent would be a major plus. Mr. Clarkin feels that the police officer issue was very poorly presented to the public and he thinks that if we did a better job in the agenda presenting the facts, more citizens would be more open to some of things the Council is doing. Mr. Clarkin asked how much the academy costs. He said if you passed the ordinance, you would be able to hire police officers from other jurisdictions and they don't have to go through the academy this allows us to look for better quality police officers. However, if you are going to take a high school kid who has not gone through the academy it does not make sense. This is what most of the public thinks you are going to do, so a better description of the agenda items would help the citizens better understand.

Mr. Clarkin feels that if the Council is going to rewrite the 2-family house ordinance, they should have two real estate agents sitting there assisting who have 8-10 years' experience. Mr. Clarkin feels that the Council is looking to write an ordinance instead of enforcing the zoning code. He said you are looking to enforce an ordinance that forces people to remove things from their houses and this is a zoning issue and a Zoning Officer should be knocking on doors where it is reported there is a 2-family house.

Mr. Clarkin mentioned Legends and their liquor license saying if their liquor license is tied to their property and they are not paying their property taxes you can foreclose on their property and their liquor license.

Mr. Clarkin said because of the vacant property ordinance two brothers tried to fight the $500.00 fine. He said you are going after citizens for vacant houses but you are not going after Legends. You go after a guy who owns $150,000 bungalow but not legends. He feels that this is selective enforcement.

Christine Dunn - Vernon Township, thanked the Council for explaining the police ordinance because it now makes sense.

Jessi Paladini - Vernon Township, feels that if the Council could be transparent in their actions and doings what was explained seems so much more reasonable.

Ms. Paladini said we can absolutely fine the owner of the liquor license because we have a property maintenance code and this is what the property maintenance code is designed for.

Ms. Paladini said please do not ask Harry Shortway when you are allowed to go back to live meetings or say you are not allowed to answer the public's questions. She feels that these are not Harry Shortway's decisions to make, they are the Council's decisions collectively. You just need to make a motion and vote on this.

Ms. Paladini addressed John Auberger and asked him to do the right thing and disqualify yourself from candidacy for Vernon Township Council. Ms. Paladini feels that he violated the election law by leaving his petition on a counter unattended. She has photos and videos of this. Ms. Paladini said several people filed complaints to have him disqualified but unfortunately, they missed the deadline to challenge the petition. She regrets that she missed the deadline.

Ms. Paladini said we have not heard anything about the Baldwin property in month. She feels that it has significant lead contamination which is toxic. Ms. Paladini said the DEP sued the Baldwins for contamination on both the trail property and the adjacent property which is contiguous to what she feels is the town's illegal dump. Ms. Paladini said she requested over and over again that you do deep soil testing.

Peg Distasi - Vernon Township, wants the Council to go back to in-person meetings. She commends Toni Cilli and Kelly Weller for voting no tonight and standing up for multiple residents on multiple issues. To the rest of the Council she said, do not let your reputations be spoiled by the struggle of power of one individual.

Ms. Distasi said that since Mr. Auberger obtained signatures without personally witnessing them, as required by State law, she hereby asks him to do the right thing and remove himself from the ballot in November.

Ms. Distasi said that we received some transparent explanations and information on some issues, it would have made this entire meeting much easier if that had been done upfront. This information should be readily available and easily obtained so intelligent decisions could be made. Ms. Distasi requested that the Mayor ask for the resignation of Harry Shortway for a vote of no confidence.

Ann Larson - Vernon Township, regarding the mother-daughter homes, every time a property is rented, a smoke cert is supposed to be done. Our officer goes there and would know if this is a rental property and not a mother-daughter. We are making laws when we have laws that are sufficient.

Ms. Larson said regarding the commission charged for the auctions, she does not know who does the negotiating for the town but you do not pay top price for multiple parcels at the same time. She feels that whoever came up with this agreement did the town a disservice and voting on this without the information did everyone a disservice.

Ms. Larson feels that it is inappropriate that the Mayor used the name of the Chief of Police. She feels the Chief of Police should come and explain himself. She feels that this is a work around the Civil Rights Law. If the Civil Rights Law says we hire a veteran first then that is what should be done. We should be following the law if it says to hire the top three on the list.

Beverly Marsico - Vernon Township, spoke about the mother-daughter ordinance saying that Mayor Burrell could get the person who snooped inside 16 Jenny Layne and took pictures inside the bedroom.

Seeing no other members of the public wishing to speak, Council President Shortway asked for a motion to close the meeting for public comments.
MOTION: Andrew Pitsker
SECOND: John Auberger
All members were in favor.

Mayor’s Comments

Once again, I appointed a Vernon volunteer as a new member of an already outstanding committee.

On tonight, I appointed Ms. Keren Gonen to the Municipal Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC).

I am constantly amazed at the kind, positive, and talented Vernon residents who are willing to volunteer their time, efforts, and energy to make our town a better place in which to live.

Ms. Gonen brings to the EDAC her experience as the Treasurer for the Sussex County Association of Realtors; her experience as a Director for the Vernon Chamber of Commerce; her experience as the Vice President of the Team Up for Hope organization; and her experience as the President of the Referral Roundtable.

Thank you, Ms. Gonen, for volunteering to serve our town.

We have a host of reasons to be proud of the town in which we live. And, that pride was quite evident in the form of an outstanding Vernon Township Display that was on exhibit at the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show in August.

The quality of this display was highlighted by the Board of Sussex County Commissioners. In a communication to the Vernon Township Mayor's Office, the Commissioners stated that Vernon's display "demonstrated ingenuity, artistry, and conveyed a proud community spirit."

I thank our Municipal Director of Community Affairs, Ms. Mishelle Downtain, for putting this display together, and for presenting it at the New Jersey State Fair/Sussex County Farm & Horse Show for all to see what a great town in which we are lucky to live.

VERNON PROUD!

I provide a brief update on the status of Vernon's current success at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which is being propelled by the Delta Variant of this virus.

Available data seems to support the view that as it relates to the spread of this virus, Sussex County in general, and Vernon Township in particular, remains relative good and safe places to live.

For example:

a. During the month of June, when the Delta Variant began to spread significant measurable infections throughout our nation, Sussex County had a total of 138 new infections, or 5 infections per day; and Vernon Township had just 5 new infections, or .2 infections - - that is under 1 infection - - per day.

b. During the month of July, both Sussex County and Vernon Township saw increases in the number of COVID-19 cases registered. However, the 179 new County cases equaled 6 infections per day; and the 16 new Vernon Township cases equaled just .5 new infections per day - - still under 1 infection per day.

c. During the month of August, both Sussex County and Vernon Township felt the sting of the Delta Variant, with this variant being responsible for 99% of both, the County's 792 new cases and Vernon's 85 new cases. However, the County's new cases equaled an average of 26 new infections per day, and Vernon Township's new cases equaled just 3 new infections per day.

While the data shows that as it relates to the spread of this virus, Sussex County in general, and Vernon Township in particular, remain relative good and safe places to live, as September progresses, we are seeing the daily number of new COVID infections creep up slightly in our town and county.

For example, during the first 12 days of September, the number of new COVID infections in the county have increased from 26 to 29 per day; and the number of new COVID infections in our town have increased from 3 to 4 per day.

We must not become over confident or complacent; we must continue to do our part to halt this virus' spread.

I strongly recommend that we all follow the CDC's basic guidance - - that is, get the COVID vaccine, and wear a mask when we feel that we are in situations where we believe that we may have an unacceptable level of exposure to this awful virus.

Let's continue to be VERNON WISE!

Anyone who has joined or viewed our last several Town Council Meetings, can't help but to be aware of what appears to be an organized and orchestrated effort to drive Council President Shortway out of office before his elected term ends.

At our last Town Council Meeting, and again at this Council Meeting, I was asked to join this effort - - specifically, I was called upon as mayor to ask for Council President's Shortway's resignation.

As most know, me asking Council President Shortway, or any other Council Member, to resign has no force of law - - I can't require that a Council Member resign, any more than a Council Member can require that I, as Mayor, resign.

All members of this governmental body were duly elected by a majority of the voters of Vernon, or by the voters' elected representatives. And only a majority of the voters can remove any members of this governmental body before their term of service ends.

Since our last Town Council Meeting, a couple of individuals, who claimed to be spoke persons for this group, approached me and advised that this group would not "come after" me next if l obeyed their request and called for Council President Shortway to resign.

Over the years, we in Vernon Township have, unfortunately, become accustomed to a variety of in-your-face, negative, and often outrageous demands and comments from a small, but highly Facebook vocal, group of individuals. However, while we have unfortunately become accustomed to a certain type arrogance, disrespect, and threatening behavior from specific individuals, in this case, their blunt, in-your-face threat and demand that I join their attack team against Council President Shortway still surprised me.

I use my comments tonight to let this group know, in no uncertain terms, that I will not be calling for Council President Shortway to resign; and, that I will not be threatened or intimidated into allowing myself to be used as a tool to hurt and discredit another member of this town's governing body.

My best guess is that this response means that I will for sure be next on their attack list. However, my personal life experiences, plus my civic and political experiences, have prepared me well to withstand the verbal "sticks and stones" that they are likely to cast my way.

My life experiences have also demonstrated to me that people can change; and, therefore, I close my comments by expressing my desire and my hope that this group - - that is being led and instigated by an individual who has verbally and legally harassed our town, some of our town's businesses, and many of our town's volunteers for years - - will somehow find it in their hearts and minds to change; that they will somehow find it in their hearts and minds to cease this negative behavior that's so hurtful to our town.

I invite them to join with the Mayor and Council, plus the great majority of other Vernon residents, in focusing on things that build up and positively highlight the image our town, rather than constantly focusing on things that tear down and smear mud on the image of our beautiful town.

It is my hope that they will come to realize that our view of things in life are often influenced by those aspects of our lives that we choose to emphasize - - that is, either the good experiences or the bad ones.

By the choice we make, we either:

1. Develop a negative and angry attitude, that often keeps us stuck in a mental and emotional place where we always see the glass of life as being half empty, and ourselves as victims; or ...

2. We develop and attitude that's positive and affirmative, where we see the glass of life as being half full, with the hope and belief that through our efforts and actions, we can make a positive difference.

The amount of energy and effort to do either is the same. Each of us have this choice to make.

COUNCIL COMMENTS

Vice President Auberger was fortunate on Saturday to be able to attend the 911 service on the Flats/Veteran's Memorial Park and it was a vary nice ceremony and a nice turnout considering the street fair and farmer's market was at the same time. It was a somber moment and he is grateful for the people who came. Hopefully we will continue this with this service.

Vice President Auberger said Town Hall is open, meetings are happening inside and the equipment is set up. He feels that we should be having hybrid meetings at the next meeting.

Kelly Weller thanked Toni Cilli, her family and the other volunteers who were at Maple Grange this weekend painting the fence. It was a big job and thank you for getting out there both days. Hopefully next time we will have more volunteers to help fix up the park that we all love.

Council Member Pitsker commented with regards to Resolution 21-204, I voted YES on this resolution out of fairness to the Town Clerk and our public. This is not in retaliations as some have commented, but one of respect of the amount of preparation that goes into facilitating the meeting. Marcy, our Town Clerk works a normal day of 8-4:30 and then is responsible for facilitating the Town Council Meeting, recording it and taking notes. Her preparation prior to the meeting is critical for a smooth meeting. It is vital that she is signed on to the meeting, make sure all systems are operational and we as council do our connection and sound checks. This typically can and should be 15-30 minutes prior to a meeting for any facilitator of a zoom meeting to be successful and smooth. Keep in mind, she has to sort out the material and emails in preparation for the meeting, and reads them out loud (not always the easiest thing to do is to read somebody else written words on the fly). With a new format being designed to have Hybrid meetings in the future, this will become even more work for the Town Clerk. Managing a live meeting, connecting zoom and checking all systems in the room function. I believe with the agenda and all of the supporting documents being available by Thursday afternoon prior to the meeting, this means the public have 4 days to draft and send your comments to the Town Clerk. Please have some compassion and respect for what the town clerk does, I for one do. Marcy, thank you for all you do. This is why I voted for this change. Simple compassion for the hard work that goes into facilitating these meeting.

In closing, Toni Cilli, thanks for the work you and your team did to paint Maple Grange with pride!

Council Member Cilli commented that we had some students painting the fence and we are meeting again tomorrow at 4:30-6:00 pm if anyone would like to come out and help. Council Member Cilli feels that for a DPW team this is a lot of work to take on. She said the little amount of DPW workers do a lot of work taking care of all of the parks and fields. Council Member Cilli would support hiring another DPW worker to help with all the work. She feels that the Recreation Department and the DPW take on a lot of work that is started by volunteers and she thanks them for all of the work and feels that they need help with it all.

COUNCIL PRESIDENT COMMENTS

Council President Shortway had no comments.

ADJOURNMENT

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

The Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marcy Gianattasio, RMC, CMR
Municipal Clerk

Minutes approved: October 14, 2021