Township Council Work Session
The Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2014, in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey. The purpose of this Work Session was to discuss the 2014 Municipal Operating Budget.
Statement of Compliance
Adequate notice of this work session was posted on the Township website and on the front door of the Municipal Building on January 10, 2014 in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.
Salute to the Flag
The Council President led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.
Roll Call of Members
Present were Council Members Daniel Kadish, Jean Murphy, Patrick Rizzuto, and Dick Wetzel. Also present were: Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Bill Zuckerman and Elke Yetter, CFO. Council President Lynch was absent.
WHEREAS, the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 permits the exclusion of the public in certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Vernon as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matters.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is:
Personnel—Municipal Clerk Position Interview
a. Lauren Kirkman
3. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
Moved: Patrick Rizzuto
Second: Dick Wetzel
A roll call vote was taken:
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Absent: Brian Lynch
Time: 6:05 p.m.
Return to Open Session
Moved: Dick Wetzel
Second: Jean Murphy
Ayes: Daniel Kadish, Jean Murphy, Dick Wetzel, Patrick Rizzuto
Abstain: Brian Lynch
Time: 6:35 p.m.
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Closed to Public Comments
The Council President closed the meeting to public comments.
Discussion on the 2014 Municipal Operating Budget
Council President Brian Lynch noted the reason for this work session was to discuss the preliminary budget for the coming year.
MUNICIPAL CLERK—Susan S. Nelson
Mayor Marotta said the budget for the Clerk’s office is self explanatory. There was a discussion about the purchase of the shredder for the public’s use. Ms. Nelson discussed the quotes received for the remediation for records stored in the trailer. Council Member Rizzuto stated that we are doing the same or more with less.
ANIMAL CONTROL—Tom Maellaro
Mr. Maellaro discussed the businesses that donate food and the veterinarians that donate services, otherwise Animal Control could not operate on the current budget. Council Member Rizzuto suggested sending thank you letters to Wal-Mart and the veterinarians for their services. Mr. Maellaro discussed the number of employees at Animal Control. Council Member Kadish questioned if they all receive rabies shots, Mr. Maellaro answered that they do.
Ms. Weidbrauk stated that her budget stayed pretty much the same from last year. Council Member Wetzel questioned the trust account—that money goes in and then it is spent for event. There was a discussion about the Community Garden and how everyone wants to be involved.
SENIOR CITIZEN (was Catholic Family Charities)—Missi Wiedbrauk
Mayor Marotta asked Ms. Wiedbrauk to expand on the Senior lunch program, which is the nutrition center.
Ms. Wiedbrauk stated that she and Dave Pullis (Director of DPW) both use these accounts. Council Member Dan Kadish questioned the portable toilets. A discussion ensued regarding the concession stand and its use.
FIRE PREVENTION—Dave Tynan
Mr. Tynan read a brief report of inspections and activities of the Fire Prevention Office. Mr. Tynan explained the line item for hand-outs to children at various programs and how it is geared to educate the school kids.
FIRE DEPARTMENTS—Dave Tynan and Vernon Fire Chief Joe Byra
Mr. Tynan discussed the $35,000. that each fire department gets annually, to off-set costs to run each department. Council Member Kadish questioned the fire department’s equipment, Mr. Tynan advised it will be discussed at the time of the Capital budget. Turn out gear was also discussed.
Fire Chief Byra asked if the sewer hook-up fee could be waived for the fire department. It was suggested that possibly the fire departments could ask for an increase in their budget to compensate for the sewer hook-up fee.
AMBULANCE SQUADS—There was no representation
Mayor Marotta stated there is a meeting scheduled with the Mayor and two ambulance squad officers to review their equipment and it should be held before the Capital presentation. The Mayor further stated that he reviewed their budget and discussed a cut back.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATION—William Zuckerman
Mr. Zuckerman gave an overview of his qualifications as Business Administrator, he discussed his hours of work and his various tasks.
Mr. Zuckerman discussed our current CFO, Elke Yetter, and spoke about the shared services of the CFO with Sussex Borough. Mr. Zuckerman also discussed the Qualified Purchasing Agent and said that Mr. Maloney has left which will lower our bid threshold. Mr. Zuckerman discussed that we have an employee that is currently taking classes to become a QPA. Mr. Zuckerman also discussed the 3 administrative floaters and one new Municipal Utility Authority person.
Mr. Zuckerman spoke about the Bond Anticipation Notes and explained how they work and the re-payment process.
Mayor Marotta gave an overview of the re-valuation and reassessment in the Township.
Mr. Zuckerman reviewed miscellaneous items in the budget. Mr. Zuckerman also explained the medical costs regarding the employees and the affordable care act, and the OBAMACare costs.
Council Member Kadish questioned safety training for our employees and the Mayor explained that we do provide safety training and the DPW and Police have line items for this. The number of employees was discussed and Mr. Zuckerman said that he doesn’t see any lay-offs in the future.
Mayor Marotta asked the Council when they wanted to get together to have a meeting to discuss the Capital budget. Mr. Zuckerman suggested having it at the work session on Feb. 3rd before the Council meeting of Feb. 10th.
Council Member Rizzuto moved to adjourn this Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon. Council Member Murphy made the second; all were in agreement. The work session was adjourned at 9:13 p.m.
Deputy Municipal Clerk
Minutes approved: April 14, 2014