All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: April 25, 2013
A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING
1. Call to Order
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor MacArthur. This meeting is held pursuant to the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act. Adequate notice of the meeting has been provided by posting written notice of the time, date, location, and to the extent known, the agenda of the meeting in Randolph Township. This notice was posted on the bulletin board within Town Hall, it was filed with the Township Clerk, and it was provided to those persons or entities requesting notification. Notice was also provided to the Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record on December 7, 2012, by e-mailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 29, 2012. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and the Daily Record on December 13, 2012. Notice of the time change, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Daily Record April 22, 2013.
2. Roll Call
Deputy Mayor Loveys
Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Attorney Cofoni from the Law Office of Edward Buzak. Edward Buzak arrived at 7:00 p.m.
3. Mayor MacArthur led the Pledge of Allegiance
1. Buddy Poppy Sale
Mayor MacArthur gave the history of the Buddy Poppies by the VFW. He read the Proclamation:
The Township of Randolph, this Proclamation for the Buddy Poppy Sale May 1 through May 31, 2013.
WHEREAS, the annual distribution of Buddy Poppies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States has been officially recognized and endorsed by governmental leaders since 1922, and
WHEREAS, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled veterans, and the proceeds of this worthy fund-raising campaign are used exclusively for the benefit of disabled and needy veterans, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans, and
WHEREAS, the basic purpose of the annual distribution of Buddy Poppies by the Veterans of Foreign Wars is eloquently reflected in the desire to “Honor the Dead by Helping the Living,”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Thomas MacArthur, Mayor of the Township of Randolph, do hereby urge the citizens of this community to recognize the merits of this cause by contributing generously to its support through the purchase of Buddy Poppies from May 1 through May 31, 2013 which are symbols of appreciation for the sacrifices of our honored dead.
FURTHER, I urge all patriotic citizens to wear a Buddy Poppy as mute evidence of our gratitude to the men of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as American citizens.
APRIL 25, 2013
Thomas MacArthur, Mayor
C. SPECIAL HEARING
1. MCCPC Contract #15-C Utility Vehicles Contract Award (Appeal)
Mayor MacArthur explained that this hearing is the first public or private discussion on this matter. He stated that both Plaintiff and Defendant have 20 minutes to make their presentation. To ensure each has exactly equal time, there will be no interruption of them during their 20 minutes.
Attorney Cofoni explained the following:
- This is a hearing regarding the award of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council Contract 15C, Item 14 which involves dump trucks.
- Originally, the determination was made that Mid-Atlantic’s bid was non-compliant because of a paperwork issue. Therefore, the award of the contract was originally given to Brown’s Hunterdon International (Brown’s).
- Mid-Atlantic then submitted opposition objection to that, it was reviewed legally and determined that the reason for the rejection was deminimis and could be waived. Therefore Mid-Atlantic, as the low numerical bidder, should be awarded the contract.
- Thereafter, Brown’s submitted an objection saying that the actual bid submitted by Mid-Atlantic did not comply with the specifications as written by the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council (Co-Op). Brown’s then filed an action in Superior Court.
- The judge issued an order remanding back to the Township Council on behalf of the Co-Op to make a determination as to whether or not Mid-Atlantic’s bid met the specifications. The Court remanded the Council to make a full determination on behalf of the Co-Op as to whether Mid-Atlantic’s bid was the lowest responsive, and responsible bidder.
- A responsive and responsible bidder for the local public contract was, one who conformed to the bid specifications. An immaterial, non conformance may be waived, but a material non conformance cannot be waived and would result in a rejection of a bid.
- The Courts have developed a two prong test to determine if a non conformity is material or not, and therefore, if it’s material, it cannot be waived. If the non conformity deprives the municipality of its ability to determine that the contract will be performed in accordance with the specifications, it is material and cannot be waived. Or, if the non conformity could place a bidder in a position of advantage over other bidders, it is a material non conformity, and cannot be waived.
- The only issue before the Council involves the technical specifications, whether the truck that Mid-Atlantic proposed to provide complies with the technical specifications. The basis for this is that they have to submit technical specs with their bid so a comparison of their technical specs submitted versus what was required.
- Brown’s has provided 6 items of alleged deficiencies. For each of those 6 deficiencies, the Council will have to determine first if what Mid-Atlantic proposed is a non conformity, and second, if it’s material. While any one material non conformity would result in rejection of the bid, the court specifically said a full determination needs to be made. Therefore the Council will still need to go through all of the alleged deficiencies and make a determination on each.
- Two things to keep in mind while evaluating the conformance to the specifications:
- This isn’t a matter of what one thinks would be better or what would be worse or what one would like to see in a truck driven by a municipal employee, it is a matter of what complies with the specifications.
- In specifications there is often a brand name listed and it states “or equivalent.”
Mr. McDonald, the attorney for Brown’s Hunterdon International LLC, stated that Todd Brown, the owner of Brown’s Hunterdon International LLC, Corey Brown the Vice President, and Andy Sanchez, the representative from the body shop, were also present. Mr. McDonald’s comments included the following:
- The overall purpose of the New Jersey Public Bidding Law is to ensure fair and open competition. A government entity, like the Co-Op, must act in accordance with the law, and take all necessary steps to preserve that fairness.
- Part of the process is to make sure that the awarded bid is not just awarded to the lowest bidder, but that the bid complies with the specifications of the bid which is called responsiveness.
- The law does not provide a defective bidder opportunity to cure a material defect or omission. The responsiveness of the bid is determined on the day of submission to the municipal entity.
- The fact that a bidder marks on their submission that they haven’t taken any exceptions the bid, should not be relied upon by the municipal entity. The municipal entity should look at the specifications in the bid to see that it meets the request for proposal.
- Mid-Atlantic was undisputedly the lowest numerical bidder; however, Brown’s maintains that that bid contained material defects and omissions which render it unresponsive. Mid-Atlantic marked on their bid that they took no exceptions; however, in the bid documents they took many exceptions that they’ve now admitted.
The engine brake versus the exhaust brake:
- The bid specification called for an engine brake. Both of these systems, an engine brake and an exhaust brake are retarder systems, they’re meant to slow a truck without using the traditional braking method. So when a truck is going down a hill and there’s heavy weight, the engine will slow up and allow the truck to slow down without having to put pressure on the traditional brakes. An exhaust brake, by definition, is not an engine brake. Exhibit A explains the difference between an engine brake and an exhaust brake.
- The exhaust brake is not part of the engine, it is a different piece that is an alternate type of method that’s put on the back of the exhaust system.
- The exhaust brake is significantly cheaper, and it’s typically used in a light duty application because of its reduced braking capacity.
- Mid-Atlantic submitted an exhaust brake and that alone is a material deficiency in the bid.
- The bid specification called for Goodyear brand Unisteel tires.
- Mid-Atlantic submitted Continental brand, which is a lower quality brand and has a significantly cheaper price.
- The Continental tire they provided has a much smaller tread, which affects the life of the truck and the application of the truck.
- Mid-Atlantic provided what they call an equivalent, but what is not equivalent, it is a clear reduction in cost which resulted in reduction of their bid price.
- The bid specification called for a minimum 130 amp alternator. Mid-Atlantic submitted a 120 amp alternator.
The lights & rear tow hook:
- The bid requested specific lights and a rear tow hook, neither of which were included in Mid-Atlantic’s submission.
- Mid-Atlantic cannot take the position that they were going to produce these items. The inquiry here is did the bid meet the specification on the date of the submission.
- The bid requested a 9 inch boxed eyebeam. Mid-Atlantic and Henderson, their body shop, submitted paperwork with an 8 inch eyebeam, not boxed.
With 8 minutes and 20 seconds of time remaining, Mr. McDonald stated that Mid-Atlantic clearly took exceptions to the bid, but noted they didn’t take any exceptions. As a result, there is about a $2,800 difference in bid price between Brown’s and Mid-Atlantic which creates an unfair competition.
Mr. Salerno, the attorney for Mid-Atlantic Truck Centre, Inc. stated that William Hanley, Frank Dellaferiante, and Bruce Shelte were also present. Mr. Salerno’s comments included the following:
- The law says that material departures that would invalidate a non conforming bid, minor or inconsequential discrepancies and technical omissions can be the subject of a waiver.
- It is the position of Mid-Atlantic that they do meet the bid specifications.
- Mid-Atlantic was the successful bidder last year, they sold 12-15 trucks to municipalities in the MCCPC, they delivered those trucks, those trucks contained the same precise specifications that were submitted in connection with this year’s bid.
The engine exhaust brake:
- The specification called for an engine brake which is undisputed. Mid-Atlantic says that an engine exhaust brake is an engine brake. Mr. Salerno stated that Brown’s says that the specification meant an engine compression brake. The specification didn’t say engine compression brake, it said engine brake and an engine exhaust brake is a type of engine brake.
- The vehicle specification sheet from International, the manufacturer of the truck (Exhibit A), refers to the engine brake as an engine exhaust brake. Therefore if the manufacturer of the truck considers it to be an engine brake, an engine exhaust brake should be considered an engine brake for purpose of this bid.
- The question before you is simply, is our engine exhaust brake an engine brake? Whether one is better than the other or not is not the question.
- The specification called for the Goodyear Unisteel TD tire or equivalent rear tires; that particular tire is no longer available, it no longer exists.
- Mid-Atlantic submitted an appropriate equivalent rear tire, Continental, which is a well respected brand. It is a brand that is offered by the manufacturer, and the fact that there may be a better pricing structure for Continental, cannot necessarily lead to the conclusion that it’s an inferior tire.
- Mid-Atlantic stands by the Continental tire, and submits that it is not a material deviation, that in fact it is a reasonably equivalent substitute.
The rear tow hook:
- The rear tow hook issue and some of the other issues, the specifications that Mid-Atlantic submitted in connection with the bid were that they would comply in all respects.
- Henderson has submitted a letter that indicates that it would be providing a rear tow hook.
- The fact that a tow hook is not mentioned, in the scheme of things is a minor, inconsequential discrepancy. And if the vehicle didn’t have a rear tow hook, you have a right to reject the vehicle.
Mr. Salerno also made the following comments:
- There were allegations in Brown’s papers that Mid-Atlantic didn’t provide for the guarantee, but page 7 of the specifications referenced that the guarantee in the bid specifications was being provided.
- All of the other items that are raised in the submission by Brown’s are minor, but the bid provided that Mid-Atlantic was not taking any exceptions to these items.
- Henderson Truck Company is one of the largest and most reputable body manufacturing companies in the country. They submitted specifications regarding the understructure of the dump body to evidence the fact that the proposed design of the eyebeam and the understructure far exceed the required specifications. Mid-Atlantic is trying to give you a better vehicle, a vehicle that’s going to work, something that has a better application, and that’s set forth in the attachment in greater detail.
- With respect to the snow plow, it is fully compliant and superior to the specifications. And the application has noted, and the ability to adjust the tension of the springs is actually superior to what is requested in the specifications.
- For all of these reasons, Mid-Atlantic has delivered the same truck in years past with the same specifications. The items that are being requested here are superior, and Mid-Atlantic is in fact, the lowest responsible and responsive. Many of these items which have been noted are not deviations, and while there may be some minor departures, those departures are providing something that is superior in quality as opposed to inferior, therefore, it is a better vehicle.
Mr. McDonald added the following comments:
- Mid-Atlantic submits that they won the bid last year, so it’s assumed that their bid last year was compliant. Because the Co-Op is a unique type of entity, that both the Township of Randolph and the Co-Op do not have an opportunity upon receiving the bids to go through, line by line, and identify what bid meets the specifications. Attorney Cofoni informed them that a general checklist is reviewed to see if the bid submitted cites any exceptions, if there’s an owner’s affidavit, the price, and the insurance information. There’s never an analysis unless there’s a situation like this where another bidder requests a copy of a bid via Open Public Records and feels that it doesn’t meet specifications. The idea that Mid-Atlantic won the bid last year has no impact on whether the bid they submitted this year meets the specifications.
- Mid-Atlantic stated that the tire they provided is an equivalent, but acknowledge that the tread depth on the tire is 27/32, not 33/32. They admit they didn’t provide the requested 33/32 tire and state that none was available; however, there is a Goodyear tire with that tread but they didn’t provide that because the application is for coal mines. The bid specifications called for a 33/32 tire which Mid-Atlantic chose not to provide, and resulted in a savings of approximately $600 for the four rear tires.
- Mr. Salerno said that if a municipality receives a truck that they don’t like, they have the right to reject it and demand what they want. However, that’s not how public bidding works, from day one the bid has to meet the specifications.
- Regarding the engine brake issue, Mid-Atlantic says the spec from International says engine exhaust brake. But in Exhibit A to Mr. McDonald’s document, the specification from the manufacturer that creates the engine brake and the exhaust brake, it states that there is an engine compression brake and an exhaust brake. The word engine is not provided because the exhaust brake is not part of the engine, it doesn’t give you what the engine brake is. Brown’s was told by members of the Co-Op because they had won the bid for approximately one month, that they wanted the engine brake, that was important to them.
- With respect to the eyebeam, Mid-Atlantic says they’re providing a superior product than what was requested. That is an exception, yet they said they took no exceptions.
- In order to preserve fairness in competition in public bidding, it is important that everyone complies with the specified elements of the bid. If someone takes liberties to say they can provide something that is better, and by the way it is cheaper, that does not preserve competition and it creates subjective thinking by bidders. What Mid-Atlantic is providing is not what was asked for in the specifications, and the bidding process requires everyone stand on equal ground to preserve fairness and not wind up with inequitable results.
Mr. Salerno added:
Mr. McDonald said the bid specifications called for a certain tire tread; however, there is no reference to any specific tire tread. There is a reference to a model and that model no longer exists.
Mayor MacArthur stated that both rebuttal and extra comments came in well within the 20 minutes, and both had certainly the ability to go the full length if they wanted to. For clarification, the decision will be voted on by the seven Council members.
Questions and answers regarding the tires:
Councilman Guadagno asked Public Works Director Spring if the specific tire, Goodyear 12R22.I, has a specific depth of tire tread. Public Works Director Spring stated that the specification called for the rear tires to be of a traction tread, not a highway tread. With the traction tread there is a specification of the tire tread depth of the TD.
Councilman Guadagno asked Public Works Director Spring if by looking at the specification, he could tell by the tire tread what would be an equivalent tire and what would not? Public Works Director Spring said that he would probably have to see the actual tire. If it’s a Continental CYG, he doesn’t know if that’s a traction tread or a highway tread. They specifically asked for a traction tread because the trucks are used during snow events and a heavy lug rear tire is needed; they do not want to have a highway tread tire that would not be able to push snow during a heavy event.
Councilman Hirniak asked Public Works Director Spring if the Goodyear tire that is called for in the specifications has a specific tread depth. Public Works Director Spring stated that he assumes it does, but he can’t say it does. He said every tire is listed with a tread depth and a ply, how many ply it’s made out of and all of the other manufacturer’s specifications.
Council Hirniak asked if a tire with a shorter tread depth would necessarily not be equivalent given the application mentioned. Public Works Director Spring stated that he would not personally look at a tread depth, he would look at the tread pattern. The specifications were done by three members of the Co-Op including himself. The three members all had agreed that they wanted a traction tread tire on the back of that truck. They weren’t worried about the actual tread depth, they were talking about the lug, that it’s a heavy lug that would be able to push snow.
Councilman Hirniak asked for clarification on what a lug is and if it’s a bump on a tire. Public Works Director Spring explained that the way the pattern separates the rubber to where snow can get in between the actual lugs and still be able to throw it out, and have a clean lug going back into the snow. Having a highway tire would clog up with snow a lot quicker than a heavy lug tire.
Councilman Hirniak asked if Tom Spring, as the Director of Public Works, has an opinion about the tread pattern of the Continental tire compared to the Goodyear that was specified. Public Works Director Spring stated the Continental is a highway tread, not a traction tread, and the specs called for a traction tread.
Mayor MacArthur asked Public Works Director Spring if he knew if the Goodyear tire in the specifications was available at the time the bid went out. Public Works Director Spring stated that they used a specification of the tires that were purchased on prior vehicles and that were being used as replacement tires. He was unsure if it was currently available, but in the papers distributed, there is a G177 which is a replacement of Goodyear that matches the TD. Public Works Director Spring stated that he knows for a fact the tire was bought from their own vendor and that it is an equivalent and it works fine. It’s a heavy traction tread tire.
Mayor MacArthur asked the representatives for Brown’s if the Goodyear tire in the specifications was available. Mr. McDonald stated that at the time of the bid, it was available through International. He stated that at this point he would have to see if it is still available. A representative from Brown’s said the bid specification originally said TD; however, TD was discontinued by the manufacturer so the G177, 167 was the closest pattern to the TD and that was the reason they supplied it.
Questions and answers regarding the alternator:
Councilman Hirniak asked to hear from Mid-Atlantic regarding the alternator being fewer amps than the minimum requirement stated in the specification. Frank Dellaferrante stated that they don’t make a 130 amp alternator and Mid-Atlantic wanted to determine a way to give the Co-Op the best possible alternator in view of the specification. Mr. Dellaferrante stated the 120 amp alternator puts out the amperage that’s needed at idle and it puts out the amperage that is needed while the truck is going down the highway. It puts out almost 160 amps, but has a rectifier in it that tweaks it down to 120 amps. Me. Dellaferrante stated that he has paperwork with calculations that he could provide. He said that they felt the 120 amp was going to save money, and it’s an equivalent alternator other than going to the next available which is the 160 amp.
Councilman Hirniak stated that it is a 120 amp alternator and the specification called for a minimum of a 130 amp alternator. He asked if the 120 amp alternator exceeds 130 amps. Frank Dellaferrante replied that it does in the paperwork, on the truck it’s going to be 120.
Councilman Hirniak asked if Mr. Dellaferrante was suggesting that in a real world application it would not produce 130 amps. Mr. Dellaferrante said in a real world the alternator they proposed would produce 120 amps, but he was stating that this alternator will go up to 160 amps. Councilman Hirniak asked when it will go up to 160 amps if it only produces 120 amps. Mr. Dellaferrante stated when the engine is turning 2,200 RPMs. Councilman Hirniak asked under what circumstances an engine turns 2,200 RPMs. Mr. Dellaferrante replied that that’s the governed speed of the engine, which is the maximum. He went on to clarify that they calculated what amperature was needed for the truck, and determined that 120 amps was more than sufficient.
Councilman Hirniak reiterated that that wasn’t the minimum that was asked for. Mr. Dellaferrante stated that the specification didn’t ask for a minimum, it just said “130 amp for internal regulator and that’s why they chose 120 amp. Councilman Hirniak asked Mr. Dellaferrante if seeing “130” would stand to reason that it is a minimum. Mr. Dellaferrante replied yes, but if there isn’t one, they would automatically go to the 160, and then the 320. They calculated what the truck would need based on lights, fans, blowers, everything needed for pushing snow late at night, and those calculations show that the 120 amp was adequate. That is why they made the decision, and it saves money.
Councilman Guadagno asked for clarification that they don’t make a 130 amp alternator. Mr. Dellaferrante stated that International does not offer one. Councilman Guadagno asked if anyone makes it and Mr. Dellaferrante replied that someone might, but he can’t say who since they can only offer what is in their books.
Mayor MacArthur pointed out to both counsels that both had about 3 minutes left to speak if either wished to make comments at the end.
Deputy Mayor Loveys asked Attorney Cofoni if the bid proposal requires a specification of “meet or exceed.” Ms. Cofoni stated it does.
Mayor MacArthur asked Public Works Director Spring if in his view an exhaust brake is different than an engine brake. Mr. Spring said yes, they are two different things.
There was some confusion about the International specs and Exhibit A regarding an exhaust brake and an engine brake, but it was clarified. Bill Hanley showed the spec that came direct from the manufacturer and stated that when he looks for an engine brake, he clicks on engine exhaust brake. He stated that International considers an engine brake an engine exhaust brake.
Mayor MacArthur asked Public Works Director Spring if our specification called for an engine compression brake. Public Works Director Spring stated that the specification called for an engine brake, it didn’t specify compression or exhaust brake. The intention was for an engine brake that does all the braking within the engine in the heads, and not outside the engine in the exhaust; however, the proper wording wasn’t used.
Councilman Hirniak asked if, within an engine brake category, there is a compression brake and an exhaust brake & Mr. Dellaferrante answered yes. Councilman Hirniak asked if it was correct that every exhaust brake is an engine brake and every compression brake is an engine brake. Mr. Dellaferrante stated that all devices are secondary braking devices. Councilman Hirniak asked for a representative from Brown’s to give his position. Andy Sanchez explained that their position is that you go to the Jake Brake manufacturer who manufactures these exhaust brakes and engine brakes for International, for Mac, and for Volvo. They specifically make two different brakes, they make an exhaust brake which is used in pick up trucks, up through medium or heavier duty trucks. The power of an exhaust brake is 60-80% of the horsepower of the engine. The power of an engine brake is 90-100% of the engine. International builds a medium duty truck or a severe duty truck, which this one is considered, but no manufacturer offers an exhaust brake with a Class A truck, meaning tractor trailers, tri-axle dump trucks, tandem dump trucks, big ones, 80,000 pound and heavier. You cannot equip anything over 350 horsepower with an exhaust brake, anything under 350 horsepower, you can equip with an exhaust brake. The manufacturer, Jacobs, makes two different brakes for different uses. Mr. Sanchez stated he has been in the business for 45 years and if a person said he wanted an engine brake, he was talking about a compression brake inside the engine; if he was talking about an exhaust brake, it used to be a thing on the floor that he could push down. Exhaust brakes are mounted up by the turbo, and is a flap that stops the exhaust from going out. The engine brake is on the engine and it opens up the valves and forms a vacuum to slow the truck down.
Councilman Hirniak asked Public Works Director Spring if there was a safety concern with using an exhaust brake when the specification was for an engine brake. Public Works Director Spring replied that he isn’t an expert and it’s a tough question to answer; however, he has used both types of brakes and both slow vehicles down. He explained that without an exhaust or engine brake the air brakes would be used all the time and the brakes would burn up more quickly. Councilman Hirniak asked if there is a difference in safety between the engine brake and the exhaust brake other than the fact that having them makes it a safer situation for the driver. Public Works Director Spring replied that there is a little more safety by having them, it’s going to slow the truck down more quickly in a panic-type stop. Councilman Hirniak asked if Mid-Atlantic agreed with that and Mr. Dellaferrante said yes.
Mayor MacArthur asked representatives from Mid-Atlantic if they currently supply these trucks with exhaust brakes or compression brakes under the current specification. Mr. Salerno replied that there’s a staying order so there are no trucks being supplied. Mayor MacArthur clarified by asking how they were supplied last year. Mr. Dellaferrante replied that they were supplied with engine exhaust brakes. He also stated that the year prior, with the other bidder that had won, the specifications called for an exhaust brake.
Mayor MacArthur asked Public Works Director Spring if the specification for the brakes was changed this year. Public Works Director Spring replied that it was changed 2 years ago. Mayor MacArthur asked to clarify if the same language, calling for an engine brake, has been in the bid specifications for the last few years. Public Works Director Spring replied yes. Mayor MacArthur stated that his question is that they’ve been supplying in the prior bid, exhaust brakes.
Councilman Guadagno asked which brake was better for the engine as far as wear and tear on the engine, the exhaust brake or the engine brake. Public Works Director Spring replied that he has operated both types of brakes and hasn’t run into issues with either.
Mayor MacArthur reminded everyone that their task is to determine if Mid-Atlantic complied with the bid specifications, not to try to decide which brake is better. The other aspect to determine is if they didn’t comply, was it immaterial or material.
Deputy Mayor Loveys asked Mid-Atlantic and Brown’s if an engine brake is considered a compression brake or an exhaust brake in the industry. Mr. McDonald replied that if he asked for an engine brake, every dealer would provide an engine compression brake, not an exhaust brake. He stated that it’s Mr. Brown’s understanding that in his 45 years in the industry, an engine brake is an engine compression brake and not an exhaust brake. Mr. McDonald also pointed out that MaxxForce is the brand that Mid-Atlantic quoted for exhaust brake. The MaxxForce documentation that was provided both to the court and Exhibit A of his submission, clearly does not include anywhere the word engine exhaust brake. To the manufacturer there’s a difference between an exhaust brake and an engine compression brake. The word engine nowhere appears in the engine company brochure with the word exhaust.
Andy Sanchez stated that in the industry if you say engine brake, it could be 2 or 3 different brands, but you specifically mean Jacobs engine brake inside an engine. Exhaust brake is a pick up brake, and the savings on the brakes versus an engine brake and a compression brake is tremendous.
Frank Dellaferrante replied that an engine brake is defined as a secondary braking system. If somebody walked into my dealership and said he wanted to buy a truck, and wanted an engine brake, I would ask him if he wanted a compression brake or an engine brake. I would also ask what the application is in order to determine what was right. He stated that Mr. Brown is used to selling Macs which were heavy duty trucks, and as he stated before, 350 horsepower engine, you have to get an engine compression brake. This is a 315 horsepower engine, exhaust brakes and compression brakes were available. The language that was in the specifications, we thought it was a ??, that’s what we gave you last year.
Councilwoman Veech asked Attorney Cofoni if, when the bid goes out, the bidders have an opportunity to call someone in the Township and ask for clarification on the brakes. Ms. Cofoni replied that the bid specifications specifically say to contact Liz Cresibene, the Qualified Purchasing Agent, for any clarifications or with any questions. There is a specific time period to contact her with questions because any question like that would result in the issuance of an addenda. The addendum is issued and that’s statutorily has to be issued to everybody within a certain amount of time.
Councilwoman Veech asked if either party submitted questions to Liz Cresibene. Ms. Cofoni stated that they did not since no addendum was issued. Both Brown’s and Mid-Atlantic stated that they did not submit any questions.
Mayor MacArthur stated that both sides had 3 minutes remaining if either had something new or clarifying to add.
Mr. McDonald stated the following:
- He wanted to note one of the significant differences between a box channel versus an eyebeam is salt accumulation on the bottom of the truck which would then affect the rusting, the wear and tear on the bottom of the vehicle. He stated that that’s one significant difference between the box, the one that was called for in the bid, and the eyebeam form that was presented by the body shop for Mid-Atlantic.
- He is taking Mid-Atlantic on their word that Exhibit A is a computer generated report. However, there is no certification there, sworn, stating that is what the computer produced. Because what that Exhibit A is to Mid-Atlantic’s submission is a copy of page 3 of their original bid because it’s dated October 9th. So that page is something that they submitted, it’s a copy essentially of what they submitted here. Mr. McDonald stated that he’s not saying that it’s untrue or not, but that he hasn’t seen that page before separately and apart from the manufacturer. The only documents that he has seen that discusses engine brake and exhaust brake, is Exhibit A of Brown’s document which is provided by the engine company which is MaxxForce which clearly delineates between the two and never attaches the word engine to exhaust.
Mr. Salerno stated the following:
- The vehicle specifications were attached, it was a certification by Mr. Hanley. It was here that says the attached was true, and he’s identified the source of the information. Mr. Hanley testified, swearing under oath to certify that that is in fact the manufacturer’s document if there’s any question. And it does refer to a specific engine, and that’s the specific engine that’s in this particular bid. So the engine braking system that was provided is appropriate for this vehicle.
- Mid-Atlantic attached a specifications to the submission for the tire that was provided, the HDR from Continental. The application that’s noted from the manufacturer is for “on or off highway service” so there was a question earlier with respect to whether or not that met the specifications. He believed someone had indicated this was for on-highway only, the manufacturer indicates “on or off highway service.” The specifications indicate excellent wet dry traction, therefore, that is a reasonably equivalent substitute for the tire that was called for.
Mayor MacArthur asked for any last minute questions from the Council.
Deputy Mayor Loveys asked Public Works Director Spring if a tire that’s on or off highway would be equal to the specifications for the original TD. Public Works Director Spring said no.
Deputy Mayor Loveys asked Attorney Cofoni when equal or equivalent comes into play, if it is only if a specified component is unavailable or if a bidder could just use an equivalent and prove it is equivalent. Ms. Cofoni replied that the equivalent is primarily used when referencing brand names. For instance, when it calls for a Goodyear tire, you can’t require that it be a Goodyear tire, you have to require that it be a certain tread, a certain depth, those types of things.
Councilman Guadagno asked to clarify that it is equivalent or better. Ms. Cofoni stated there are two different things, there is the brand name or equivalent which is you can’t ask for a Ford truck, you have to ask for a Ford or equivalent and they can provide a Toyota or whatever else. Then there’s the provision that in almost all specifications that say you have to meet or exceed these specifications. Exceeding isn’t always better, for example, a bigger truck isn’t always better, there may be a reason why you wanted a certain size truck.
Councilman Napoliello stated that the task is not to decide on equivalents, but to find out if Mid-Atlantic met the specifications. Mayor MacArthur replied that the line of questioning related to equivalents is necessary since it gets to the materiality question.
Attorney Cofoni stated that the fact that one is a Goodyear tire and one is a Continenal would be brand name or equivalent, but that is the only brand name issue that is relevant here. The alternator would fall under meet or exceed.
Mayor MacArthur asked Public Works Director Spring if the boxed beam is materially different than an eyebeam. Public Works Director Spring replied that there is a difference, the box beam is square, hollow inside, and an eyebeam is solid throughout the shape of the beam. Mayor MacArthur clarified that the bid called for a boxed beam and Public Works Director Spring stated it did.
Mayor MacArthur asked if an eyebeam meets or exceeds the requirement of the box beam. Public Works Director Spring replied that he is not a steel man, but his personal opinion is that it does because there are deficiencies with both. He felt it would meet the requirement, but not necessarily exceed.
Bruce Shelte replied that he provided the body and equipment on the truck that was being bid and also last year’s. He explained that the spec called for a certain brand of steel called a Corten. A Corten has a property that allows it to develop a surface rust, it’s a coating. He provided that documentation at the time of bid which was an exception of the eyebeam. Mr. Shelte stated that they presented Mid-Atlantic’s counsel the documentation showing that in this application Corten is not a good thing. He explained that when Corten is painted, the property is changed and it actually prohibits what it’s designed to do. And by boxing it in, moisture will get captured and the Corten will rust. Mr. Shelte stated that the eyebeam is structural, and with that structural eyebeam, it has a flange and he provided documentation to show the flange. The flange itself at the bottom is a quarter inch thick. The Corten spec was 3/16, so the flange is thicker, that’s exposed so it can be washed off. Mr. Shelte stated that they delivered 86 of these similar trucks to the NJ Turnpike in the last 2 years, and therefore, it is acceptable in the industry.
Andy Sanchez replied that Corten, which is also known as rust resistant high tensile strength steel, is about 85,000 psi. The eyebeam that Henderson offers is not at the same psi strength. Mr. Sanchez stated that Mr. Shelte said that it’s painted on the outside, but the inside is not painted. It forms a light rust and you want to worry about the inside, not the outside. He explained that the outside will get washed, the eyebeam is going to rot because it’s not rust resistant steel. As the moisture builds up inside of it, you have a steel that is rust resistant, it doesn’t do anything. It’s not going to rot it out because that is its properties, it’s also stronger. It’s not a box, it’s a formed longitude, any time that you form a piece of steel from a longitudinal manner, you build more strength. Mr. Sanchez stated that you’re picking up on your floor, the eyebeam is just a little right from the center, our longitudinal will come over and go up over. There is a bigger floor when towns are dumping rock, concrete, asphalt, the floor has a higher strength of holding up because of the longitudinal design. An eyebeam lets you get that little 4" center that they’re using because they’re not going to give you any bigger because your base on your truck are only about 3" wide. So they’re not going to supply an eyebeam that’s going to come out 4" because then it’s going to stick out under the flange. Mr. Sanchez concluded that Corten is rust resistant steel that is made for that. The inside of the beam is where they are worrying about condensation; it’s rust resistant on the inside.
Mayor MacArthur asked Attorney Cofoni if the Council is to address whether it met or exceeded the specification even if it were different. He asked if that is a question they should be answering since it applies to a couple of the items.
Attorney Cofoni stated that the meet or exceed language isn’t applicable for everything. She explained that what they cannot do is say that one thing was required, the bidder provided something different, but that turned out to be better. The Council cannot make a determination that what was provided was better, and therefore preferable instead of what was in the specifications.
Deputy Mayor Loveys stated that Mid-Atlantic used an argument related to the tires that the specified tires weren’t available so they provided Continental. He asked to clarify that now they are not saying the box beam wasn’t available, but that they just chose to offer something different. Bruce Shelte stated that his body company makes the bodies with the structural eyebeam, they will not make it out of a Corten for the reasons he stated previously. He said that when you paint it, it changes the outside and it will rust, and they chose not to do that. Mr. Shelte stated that if he made it formed with stainless steel, which would exceed the specification, he wouldn’t be competitive. Therefore, he did it to meet and exceed the specification.
Mayor MacArthur explained that the Judge’s Order gives a two part test. First, is it a material condition, and second, was there strict compliance. He stated that the Judge doesn’t suggest the meet or exceed question to be determined. The Council’s task is to determine if it is a material condition, and if it’s not a material condition then perhaps the Council has the right to say they’re going to waive it. Mayor MacArthur explained that it says “furthermore strict compliance with the specifications with the bid is required, the municipality has no discretion to accept a defective bid.” If the Council concludes that these items are material, then is the only question left for us is whether there was strict compliance?
Attorney Cofoni said yes, but she suggested it be done in the reverse. She explained that first they have to decide whether or not it’s a non conformity, and that’s where it can get a little more hung up on the meet or exceed. The meet or exceed language is in the very beginning of the specifications, it’s not in the technical aspect of it. Ms. Cofoni read, “The following minimum specifications which must be met or exceeded.“ She explained that it’s a very broad statement that can’t be applied across the board for exactly the reason she said previously, because if you want a 9 foot truck and they give you a 10, that may not be okay, and that isn’t okay for whatever reason. Ms. Cofoni apologized for not being able to give the Council a black and white role with regard to that, but explained that it’s a broad brush statement that can’t be applied universally.
Manager Lovell made the following comments:
- He’s been in this business since 1975 and the first bid he ever dealt with where there was a challenge, was a truck bid back in 1975. He has also been a Director of Public Works and is somewhat familiar with trucks.
- The bid specification does include, in caps in the technical section, “the following are minimum specifications which must be met or exceeded.” He explained that he tried to apply that with reason, and there are certain areas where that language absolutely applies. When a truck specification is designed, it isn’t designed so just International bidders will be in the audience, it is designed so a Ford dealer or a Chevy dealer or GMC dealer can come in with a truck. So the minimum standards are created in certain areas anticipating that there will be some variances. It is anticipated that the variance will exceed what is specified. There are some areas that belong in that category, there are some other areas that he looked at and couldn’t make a decision on. The Manager stated that he appreciates the two attorneys going head to head, and the two truck companies going head to head, but they haven’t helped him on some of these issues and they haven’t moved him one way or the other.
- The specification used the term engine brake, but, Public Works Director Spring was looking for an engine compression brake, but it didn’t say engine compression brake, it said engine brake. He looked through the literature, went on the internet, looked up engine brake, and found engine compression brakes and engine exhaust brakes. He stated that he is not convinced that there’s a winning argument in either direction that we’re going to present to a judge and he’s going to be able to figure out. A good amount of time was spent looking at it and he could not come to a conclusion on that issue. When the specification is written next year, it will specify “engine compression brake” as to be clear.
- Regarding the tires, the Manager thought that Public Works Director lays out a very good argument why he specified that particular Goodyear tire. Models change, but it is the style of the tire with a certain type of tread. The attorney for Mid-Atlantic puts forward in his arguments that a substitution was more appropriate for the application, but that’s not for him to decide. In the specification, we were looking for a certain style of tire, that is not what was submitted. The Manager thought that that particular issue falls against Mid-Atlantic.
- He could make no determination on the tow hook issue. Manager Lovell stated that he accepts the fact that Mid-Atlantic said that they will provide a compliant truck. There’s nothing in there that suggested they wouldn’t put tow hooks on the front so he didn’t favor for either side.
- There was an issue of additional omissions, and this is pretty cut and dry. This was listed in the letter we received from Brown’s. In his opinion, there was one issue that was clear, the specification for the alternator, 130 amp with internal regulator. One company exceeded that specification, they came in with 150 amp alternator, another company chose to put in a 120 amp alternator which is below that standard. In his opinion, the fact that they can meet that standard when the engine red lines, is not an acceptable response. You either provide us with the 130 amp alternator or you provide us something bigger. The other areas that Brown’s refers to within that category of additional omissions, he felt were dealt with, in many cases, with the simple statement that was made by Mid-Atlantic on their bids “they will provide, we take no exceptions.” The Manager felt that if they deliver the vehicle without something, we don’t take possession of it until they provide that item. But in the case of the alternator, their language was specific, 120 amps.
- After listening to the gentlemen speak about the under structure of the dump body, Manager Lovell still couldn’t tell which is better, or why one’s better than the other. However, when the specification is written next year, if a certain type of construction is wanted, it should say “no substitute” to a box beam or an eyebeam or whatever. That wasn’t written in the specification. He didn’t have a clear position on that in favor of one company or the other.
- Regarding the snow plow, the Manager spent much time researching it, but couldn’t make a determination. He wasn’t convinced that one was deficient or one exceeded the specs.
- He concluded that two issues jumped out, the alternator and the tire issue. The alternator specification said 130 amps, and meet or exceed language works. The specification provided a brand name, including the model number. Despite the fact that model number is not available today, that is a style of tire, and the style of tire was by one company which is not what was specified for the rear of the trucks.
Deputy Mayor Loveys stated that his sentiments are exactly the same as the Manager’s. He added the following comments:
- He thought that perhaps the problem with the engine brake is that the bid specification was deficient.
- He felt that Mid-Atlantic’s tire spec was deficient. He said he would have to consider that a material defect.
- He felt the rear tow hook was a non-issue.
- The additional omissions in the cap chassie, he felt the one that stuck out was the amp, the 130 versus 120 or the Brown’s spec of 160 and 120. He asked for clarification if the fact that a 120 amp was used in the spec as opposed to the 130 amp or more was material.
Attorney Cofoni stated that she can’t answer technically, but explained that the way to determine if something is material is the two prong test; it’s applied differently depending on what is being discussed. In this case, does the fact that it was a 120 amp versus a 130 amp affect the Council’s ability to determine whether or not the truck will perform as expected? And two, does providing a 120 amp versus a 130 amp provide a bidder with an unfair advantage over other bidders?
Deputy Mayor Loveys then replied that he felt the alternator would be a material deficiency. He felt the underbody issue was a bid specification deficiency that should be clarified in the future. He could come to no conclusion on the snow plow, and wasn’t certain that was a bid deficiency. He felt that would be something someone analyzing the bid would have to know, whether it’s a material deficiency or not.
Councilman Hirniak stated that Judge Weisenbach realizes that none of the Council members are truck experts. Yet he gives guidance in the form of a standard of review that the Council is meant to apply. Councilman Hirniak credited Counsel for both parties on agreeing what the standard of review is. He stated that, in his mind it’s rather straight forward, there are two parts to it, and the second part has two steps. The first part is whether the truck conforms to the bid requirements. And to the extent that it does, our discussion is over. To the extent that it doesn’t, the Council has to then decide whether those discrepancies or technical omissions can be waived. If they’re material, they can’t be, if they’re minor or inconsequential, they can be. And then Counsel explained the two prong test, what makes something material. The first prong, does it deprive the municipality of the bargain that it entered into, will the municipality get its product or will it not. If it doesn’t, then it’s material. The second is, does it place the bidder in a competitive advantage over other bidders and undermine the standard of competition? Councilman Hirniak stated that he had taken a look at that standard, and listened to what was presented, and he believed that the Council has to go to the materiality analysis because the truck does not conform. Are the non conformities or the discrepancies, material? As Counsel suggested we should create a full record for the court, assuming this goes up on appeal. His specific comments included:
- He did not have an answer for whether the engine brake versus exhaust brake issue was material or not. He stated that in his mind, an engine brake is different than exhaust brake, but he didn’t know what the custom in practice is.
- He felt the issue of the tires was material. He stated that the Director of Public Works indicated that it’s not the tread depth that should be the focus, but the tread pattern. Public Works Director Spring indicated that it was his belief that the tread pattern on the Continental is not equivalent to the tread pattern on the Goodyear that was found in the bid specifications. He referred to it as a highway tire, and this is going to be used for snow situations. Councilman Hirniak believed the tires were a material discrepancy.
- Regarding the alternator, he agreed 100% with the Township Manager. He was not swayed by the testimony of the defendant regarding the alternator. Councilman Hirniak felt that this issue was clear, 120 amps is 120 amps, 130 amps is also 130 amps and 130 amps alternators are available. A 130 amp alternator was not provided, the alternator that was provided produces fewer amps. He believed it to be a material defect, which cannot be waived. Councilman Hirniak stated that he was intrigued by something the Manager said, the concept of substituting a bidder’s opinion for the specs that are found in a bid. In a perfect world, every bidder has the opportunity to say “you know, I’m smarter than the town, I know what’s better for the town, this is better for the town.” What good is bidding then? It’s much easier to say, “know what we expect, we expect you to scribe your bid to the parameters that we established in the process.” Substituting your judgement for that of the municipality isn’t appropriate. Councilman Hirniak stated that he heard that in the testimony concerning lights and tow hooks, the accessories, that there was a fair amount of substitution. He believed that that produced a product that was a non conformity and a material non conformity with the bid package.
- He stated that his view on the body issue with the eyebeams was very similar to engine brake versus exhaust brake. He understood the difference between the eyebeam and the longitudinal beam, that the respective experts testified about. Which one is better and which one is not, he could not formulate an opinion, so he couldn’t determine whether it was material or not. But to the extent that the Council is charged with determining whether there were material deficiencies that can’t be waived, he stated that he finds at a minimum 3 that he believed made this bid non conforming.
Councilman Napoliello stated that it is simple, Mid-Atlantic didn’t provide what was specified. There were two or three items there that were different, but the box and the eyebeam, it’s different, that’s not what they asked for. He stated that the Council is not to determine if it was just as good or if was equivalent, they are to determine if Mid-Atlantic met the bid, and he felt they did not.
Councilman Guadagno stated that he agreed with everything so far and would try to put a new light on some issues:
- The tires were not what were asked for, and he felt it gave the bidder a financial advantage over the other one.
- The alternator definitely was not what was specified, it was giving an advantage to the bidder to put in this other alternator.
- On the eyebeams and the brakes, a group of three put together the specs and they asked for a box beam, not an eyebeam.
- The braking system had to be an engine braking system. If Mid-Atlantic wasn’t sure of which braking system it was, they could have called to clarify.
- Councilman Guadagno didn’t like the fact that Mid-Atlantic said they’d put on whatever was in the bid. He felt that each item should be addressed in the bid.
Just to be brief, Councilman Guadagno stated that he was totally against the lowest bid as he felt it didn’t meet the specifications materially.
Councilwoman Carey stated that she agreed with the others, and made the following comments:
- Regarding the brakes, she stated that she could understand why Mid-Atlantic might have been confused since it appears that they did win the bid last year and they supplied the exhaust brake last year, and the specs have not changed in two years. For that reason, she understood why they didn’t call and clarify the brakes. Councilwoman Carey also felt the wording needs to be changed in the specifications.
- She felt the tires didn’t meet the specs, and they were materially different.
- She felt the same about the alternator.
- Regarding the body issues, she couldn’t determine if one was better or not. She stated that it seems like there’s no clear answer within the industry and the experts, they’re just different. She agreed with Councilman Guadagno, that three people came to a consensus, it was included in the specifications, and it was non conforming.
Councilwoman Veech stated that she agreed with everyone and would reiterate what Councilman Hirniak had to say point by point.
Mayor MacArthur stated that he agreed on the individual elements, and the Council members are all in complete agreement that the tires and the alternator clearly don’t meet the specifications. He felt that the substitution of lower cost elements, some of which definitely did not meet the specs, and some of which were questionable, like the brakes and others, clearly compromised the ability to ensure fairness in the bid process. In his opinion, that precludes the Council from awarding this to Mid-Atlantic.
Mayor MacArthur asked Councilman Hirniak to formulate the motion since he spoke the longest and the most clearly on the issues.
Councilman Hirniak asked for guidance from Manager Lovell on what needs to be accomplished procedurally to the extent that the Council does not feel that the bid was properly awarded in the first instance.
Manager Lovell stated that it was a better question for Attorney Cofoni. He explained that a resolution would be drafted by Ms. Cofoni, and it would include the comments recorded during the hearing. At that point, the Council would have a document to vote on. The Manager said that Councilman Hirniak should advise the Township’s legal Counsel to draft a memorandum awarding the contract to Brown’s, and in that contract specify the reasons as outlined during the hearing, and allow them to speak to the Counsel.
Councilman Hirniak asked if there is a relationship with Mid-Atlantic that needs to first be unwound.
Attorney Cofoni replied that there is, and that she would address that in what she anticipated to be two separate resolutions. One will be the determination that the Council was court ordered to make, and that is whether or not Mid-Atlantic’s bid complied with the specifications and whether they’re material defects and therefore needs to be rejected. Ms. Cofoni stated that there was one modification she would make, and felt it was just as important from the court perspective, but it was up to the Council how they wanted to do it. If everyone was in agreement with Councilman Hirniak, as part of the motion, it could include a number by number determination. Otherwise, if there is not a consensus, a vote on each numbered item would need to be taken. Ms. Cofoni felt it was important to get a clear picture of what the majority vote was on each item. She would draft the resolution which will be memorialized by the Council at the next meeting.
Councilman Hirniak stated that in two instances he could not determine if it was material or not; however, he understood the standard to be that if the Council found one item that was material, the bid would be rejected. He stated that he wasn’t speaking for the Council members, but he thought that at a minimum 2 items everyone was in agreement on, and those were the tires and the alternator. He suggested that the agreement memorialize that those two items were material and not subject to waiver, and indicate in the resolution that there was no consensus on the remainder of the issues.
Attorney Cofoni said that if that was the way the Council wanted to proceed, it was fine. However, if she were to go to court to support the position, then she would be defending it based on those two things and nothing else.
Mayor MacArthur stated that those are the only two things upon which the Council all agrees, and are making their decision.
Attorney Cofoni replied that that would have probably been determined had a line by line vote been taken.
Councilman Hirniak made a motion to draft a Resolution to rescind contract with Mid-Atlantic Truck Centre, Inc. and draft a Resolution to award Brown’s Hunterdon International due to material defect subject to tire and alternator specifications. Councilman Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
Mayor MacArthur asked Attorney Cofoni when the temporary injunction was lifted, if it was upon approval of the resolution or if it had to go back to the judge before it’s lifted.
Attorney Cofoni stated that it wasn’t addressed, the Judge retains jurisdiction, but that’s for someone to initiate. She felt that the Council’s decision is made upon adoption of the resolution that will rescind an award and that would then comply with the order and allow the process to proceed.
D. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
E. MANAGER’S REPORT
There was no report from the Manager.
F. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
1. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of January 31, 2013
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Councilman Napoliello seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
2. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of February 21, 2013
3. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of February 23, 2013
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the minutes as presented. Councilwoman Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
G. 2013 MUNICIPAL BUDGET HEARING
Manager Lovell made the following comments:
Tonight marks the final budget hearing that I will conduct as a Township Manager.
I have been involved in municipal budget processes since 1976.
Throughout my years of service, I have promoted the theme that you must not limit your focus to the current year as today’s policy decisions will have impacts for many years to come.
The 2013 Municipal Budget process started with a draft document prepared by the administration.
Four critical questions were posed to the Council when they undertook their review in February.
- Will this action compound (increase) Randolph’s budget challenges in 2014 and beyond?
- How does the value of the reduction compare with the expectations placed on the Township by the Public?
- If this expenditure is deferred for a year, can and will the organization catch up in the future?
- Will this decision make Randolph a stronger community five years from now?
Chief Financial Officer Michael Soccio will be retiring next winter several weeks in advance of my departure.
I would be remiss if I did not thank him publicly for the amazing effort he places into the budget process each year.
In the last several days, Standard and Poors completed their periodic review of Randolph’s financial standing. I am pleased to announce this evening, that Randolph’s AAA rating has been re-affirmed for 2013.
Of more than 550 municipalities in NJ, only 18 share Randolph’s financial stature:
Allendale, Avalon, Bernards Township, Branchburg, Cranberry, Hopewell Township, Madison, Mahwah, Mendham Township, Montville, Mountain Lakes, New Providence, Plainsboro, Princeton, Ridgewood, Summit, West Windsor, and Woodcliff Lake.
As of last September, there were only 213 municipalities across all of the United States with AAA ratings.
The Township Council achieved this rating by making the right decisions over many years, most notably with regards to ensuring adequate revenues to sustain Randolph in the eyes of the financial experts. You have achieved this recognition at a time when several of our neighbors have seen their S&P ratings slip and another neighbor has been assigned a negative outlook.
The 2013 Municipal Budget follows a Randolph tradition of falling below state-mandated caps. The budget is $19,012.00 below the 2% Tax Levy Cap and $204,704.00 below the 1977 Appropriation Cap calculation for municipal budget appropriations.
The Municipal Budget and Capital Improvement Program totals $28,433,914.00. The Water and Sewer Fund appropriations will total $7,186,137.00 for a combined budget total of $35,620,051.
The 2013 municipal budget is increasing by a total of $685.826 or 2.47% over the prior year. Three appropriations contributed substantially to this increase.
- $126,643.00 Health Insurance Premiums
Insurance premiums continue to rise at a pace in excess of inflation. Additional pressure was placed on premiums by the national health care laws enacted in 2010. Randolph gains competitive access for health insurance through the North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund representing twenty municipalities.
- $195,023.00 Reserve for Uncollected Taxes
The Reserve for Uncollected Taxes is tied to both the rate of tax collections achieved in the past year as well as the amount of taxes to be collected in support of 2013 municipal, school, and county operations. Adjustments to 2013 assessments as a result of tax appeals and the resulting credit against 2013 taxes impacts the overall collection rate and, in turn, depletes the Reserve.
- $143,200.00 Capital Improvement Program
Every year the Township is faced with major infrastructure projects, as well as the need to replace equipment. Careful consideration goes into each decision before an investment is undertaken. A significant emphasis has been placed on improving Randolph’s municipal road system.
The Township maintains independent financial records for the Water Fund and Sewer Fund. Both functions are supported by customer billings and do not require property tax revenues to meet financial obligations. The combined appropriation of $7,186,137.00 is 2.92% lower than the 2012 budget.
Randolph has experienced a period of years in which many revenue categories have either remained stagnant or have been reduced due to the recessionary economy. The 2012 year marked the third time (2010 was the first) in which the town’s ratable base actually contracted in size. The Township is beginning to see signs of an economic recovery with stabilizing property values and approved development projects under construction. As a result of these signs, the Township anticipates revenue performance to strengthen during the 2013 year and beyond.
The municipal tax rate including the Library and Open Space/Park Development Tax, necessary to support the municipal organization, including the Reserve for Uncollected Taxes, is increasing by 3.69% for the 2013 year. The increase of .025 cents will generate $725,752.00 in additional taxes allowing Randolph to meet its obligations. The impact on the average assessed residential structure ($335,800.00 with an estimated market value of $493,170.00) is $84.25 for the year, or approximately $7.00 per month.
The Township Council struggled with the issue of raising taxes this year. Ultimately, the Council placed a high priority on long-term fiscal stability, investing in Randolph’s infrastructure and ensuring that we, the Council and employees, maintain the excellent service levels that help define the quality of life for 25,000 citizens.
One may ask, how do Randolph municipal taxes compare? There are 39 municipalities in Morris County. Randolph in 2013 had the 7th lowest per capita tax in Morris.
Standard and Poors has assigned a AAA rating to five municipalities in Morris County. The 2013 per capita municipal taxes for those municipalities ranked from the lowest to highest are:
Randolph at $680
Madison at $774
Montville at $779
Mendham Twp at $1,077
Mountain Lakes at $1,264
The average per capita municipal tax for Morris County in 2013 was $939.
I would not justify this year’s tax increase through this comparison, but I do believe that one can reasonably surmise that the Randolph Council placed tremendous significance on the budget process and reluctantly embraced a tax increase for 2013.
In closing, we continue to be guided by our Mission Statement:
“The Randolph Township municipal organization strives to make the Township of Randolph the best it can be by providing effective governance, enhanced customer services and excellent community facilities.”
It is my hope that you will support the 2013 budget with a unanimous vote.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Lee Whilden, 82 Radtke Road asked for clarification of what was meant by regenerating under surplus. Manager Lovell replied that each year the Township goes through a process of regenerating surplus as each year the surplus is used to offset the budget. In the past the surplus was much larger and the Township is trying to rebuild that fund.
Lee Whilden also asked about the school budget indebtedness and bonding as related to the municipal indebtedness. Michael Soccio explained the relationship and stated that the Township is well below the limit that is allowed by the State of New Jersey.
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road commended the Manager on the ease of understanding of the budget document and for including the number of hours the part time employees worked in order for the citizens to see how the municipality is staffed. She stated that in the future she would like to see more of an analysis on recycling and garbage collection. Mrs. Stewart felt that if people who don’t recycle thought they would be saving money by recycling, they might begin to recycle. She would also like to see in future budgets, a better analysis on spending for recreation programs for people who can’t afford to pay the fees. Mrs. Stewart stated that she supports the budget and commended the Manager and Finance Director on their work.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
There was discussion from Council members as to their support of the budget. None wanted to increase taxes, but none wanted to provide fewer services to the residents. Maintaining the Township’s AAA rating and planning for future budgets were very important to the Council as well. The Council members thanked the Manager and the Director of Finance for prior budgets as well as the current budget.
2. Adoption of the 2013 Municipal Budget
BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris that the budget hereinbefore set forth is hereby adopted and shall constitute an appropriation for the purposes stated of the sums therein set forth as appropriations, and authorization of the amount of:
|(a) $18,114,803.00||(Item 2 below) for municipal purposes, and|
|(b) $0.00||(Item 3 below) for school purposes in Type I School Districts only (N.J.S. 18A:9-2) to be raised by taxation and,|
|(c) $0.00||(Item 4 below) to be added to the certificate of amount to be raised by taxation for local school purposes in Type II School Districts only (N.J.S. 18A:9-3 and certification to the County Board of Taxation of the following summary of general revenues and appropriations.|
|(d) $812,844.00||(Sheet 43) Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund Levy|
|(e) $1,425,031.00||(Sheet 38) Minimum Library Levy|
|1. General Revenues|
|Miscellaneous Revenues Anticipated||$12,230,217.00|
|Receipts from Delinquent Taxes||$1,100,000.00|
|2. Amount to Be Raised by Taxation for Municipal Purposes (Item 6(a), Sheet 11)||$18,114,803.00|
|3. Amount to Be Raised by Taxation for Schools in Type I School Districts Only:|
|Item 6, Sheet 42||$0.00|
|Item 6(b), Sheet 11 (N.J.S. 40A:4-14)||$0.00|
|Total Amount to be Raised by Taxation for Schools||$0.00|
|4. To Be Added to the Certificate for Amount to Be Raised by Taxation for Schools in Type II School Districts Only:|
|Item 6(b), Sheet 11 (N.J.S. 40A:4-14)||$0.00|
|5. Amount to Be Raised by Taxation Minimum Library Levy||$1,425,031.00|
|5. General Appropriations||xxxx.xx|
|(a&b) Operations Including Contingent||$21,086,709.00|
|(e) Deferred Charges and Statutory Expenditures—Municipal||$2,269,244.00|
|(g) Cash Deficit||$0.00|
|Excluded from “CAPS”||xxxx.xx|
|(a) Operations—Total Operations Excluded from “CAPS”||$4,513,420.00|
|(c) Capital Improvements||$2,361,000.00|
|(d) Municipal Debt Service||$2,036,870.15|
|(e) Deferred Charges-Municipal||$143,399.85|
|(n) Transferred to Board of Education for Use of Local Schools (N.J.S. 40:48-17.1 & 17.3)||$0.00|
|(g) Cash Deficit||$0.00|
|(k) For Local District School Purposes||$0.00|
|(m) Reserve for Uncollected Taxes (Include Other Reserves if Any)||$3,209,408.00|
|6. School Appropriations—Type I School Districts Only (N.J.S. 40A:4-13)||$0.00|
It is hereby certified that the within budget is a true copy of the budget finally adopted by resolution of the Governing Body on the 25th day of April, 2013. It is further certified that each item of revenue and appropriation is set forth in the same amount and by the same title as appeared in the 2013 approved budget and all amendments thereto, if any, which have been previously approved by the Director of Local Government Services.
Councilman Guadagno made a motion to approve the 2013 Municipal Budget. Councilman Napoliello seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
H. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS
Councilman Guadagno made a motion to approve the Combined Action Resolutions. Deputy Mayor Loveys seconded the motion and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
1. Authorizing Award to NuPump Construction Company for Installation/Replacement of Floating Docks at Randolph Park Lake—$86,270
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph advertised for the Randolph Park Lake Dock Replacement 2013 project and received bids on April 17, 2013; and
WHEREAS, 1 bid was received; and
WHEREAS, the bid received was from the following and for the bid prices listed:
Nupump Corporation, Malaga, NJ
Base Bid: $55,900.00,
Alternate Bid 1—Additional Swim Lanes: $12,400.00,
Alternate Bid 2—Dock Accessories: $30,370.00,
Alternate Bid 3—Additional Swim Lane Accessories: $7,780.00; and
WHEREAS, the Recreation Director, Engineer and Purchasing Agent recommend the award of the contract to Nupump Corporation as the lowest responsive, responsible bidder for the Base Bid (Supply and Install Floating Dock System For 6 (Six) Swim Lanes) plus Alternate Bid 2 (Dock Accessories for 6 Swim Lanes); and
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph desires to award a contract for the Randolph Park Lake Dock Replacement 2013 project to Nupump Corporation of Malaga, NJ.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that a contract be awarded to Nupump Corporation of Malaga, NJ for the price of $86,270 (Base Bid ($55,900.00) plus Alternate Bid 2 ($30,370.00)) per their bid proposal.
CERTIFICATION OF AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
Dated: April 25, 2013
As required by N.J.S.A. 40A:4-57, N.J.A.C. 5:30-14.5, and any Other applicable requirement, I, Michael J. Soccio, Director of Finance of the Township of Randolph, have ascertained that funds are available in Ordinance #7-12, Various Capital Improvements - Park Improvements, to award a contract to Nupump Corporation for the Randolph Park Lake Dock Replacement in the amount not to exceed $86,270.
Michael J. Soccio
Chief Financial Officer
Budget Account: 04-215-55-950-304
Raffle License—Tricky Tray at St. Andrew Community Center 1447 Sussex Turnpike, on May 31, 2013 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. by Nixon Elementary School PTA
Raffle License—On-Premise 50/50, Morris County Council of Education Associations, at the Meadow Wood Manor, Route 10 East, Randolph NJ on June 5, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Social Affair Permit—Beefsteak Dinner, Randolph Chemical Engine Company #2, 340 Route 10 West, Randolph NJ on June 1, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Social Affair Permit—Golf Outing Dinner, Randolph Chemical Engine Company #2, 340 Route 10 West, Randolph, NJ on October 1, 2013 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
I. UPCOMING EVENTS
- Clean Communities Day—April 27, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. (begin assembling at 8:30 a.m. with bagels & coffee)
- YMCA Ramp Dedication—April 30, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (paid for by a Community Block Grant)
- CCM Road Meeting—May 10, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. (meeting to try to move the process along between State, County, CCM, and Randolph of getting access road out of the college onto Route 10). Mayor MacArthur asked Councilman Hirniak, as liaison to the Traffic Advisory Committee, to attend meeting. If Councilman Hirniak cannot make it, he can concede his seat to the Chairperson of the TAC.
J. ORDINANCES: SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING
1. Ordinance 06-13: Amending and Supplementing Section 31-54, Crosswalks, of Chapter 31, Traffic and Vehicles
Manager Lovell stated that this is a crosswalk at Pleasant Hill Road for the connection of Patriot’s Path from Roxbury into Chester through Randolph Township. All the signs and markings are to be placed by the Morris County Park Commission.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road stated that she approved of the ordinance.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING SECTION 31-54, CROSSWALKS, OF CHAPTER 31, TRAFFIC AND VEHICLES, OF THE REVISED ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH, MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY” be read by title on second reading and a hearing held thereon.
Councilman Guadagno made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Councilman Hirniak seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
BE IT RESOLVED that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING AND SUPPLEMENTING SECTION 31-54, CROSSWALKS, OF CHAPTER 31, TRAFFIC AND VEHICLES, OF THE REVISED ORDINANCES OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH, MORRIS COUNTY, NEW JERSEY” be passed on final reading and that a Notice of Final Passage of said Ordinance be published in the official designated newspaper according to law.
K. DISCUSSION ITEMS
1. Sewer Service Billing System/Flat Rate vs. Metered Rate
Manager Lovell read his memo dated April 19, 2013:
The below fee schedule was last affirmed in 2008.
User charges: Quarterly sewer service rate—residential/commercial/professional/ industrial and schools:
|Multiple-family dwelling, apartment units, condominium units, seasonal occupancy units, townhouse units or cooperative apartment units:|
|With more than 2 bedrooms, quarterly||$188.00|
|With 2 bedrooms, quarterly||$142.00|
|With fewer than 2 bedrooms, quarterly||$114.00|
|Base rate, quarterly, with a 32,000 gallon minimum||$188.00|
|Excess of 32,000 gallon minimum per 1,000 gallons||$6.20|
Where actual daily flow cannot be established, meters shall be installed on the potable and/or non-potable water supply system of a type approved by the authority. The user shall allow the authority, or its agent, entrance and access to the property and buildings of the user for the purpose of installation and meter reading. No person except the agent of this authority shall disconnect, remove, or in any way tamper with any water meter, and every water meter shall be wired and sealed.
The owner of each building shall pay, or shall be liable for the payment of the annual service charge with respect to such building.
The question has been raised as to whether or not residential use can be accurately metered so as to bill for actual consumption.
The simple answer for Randolph is “No” for the below stated reasons:
- Engineer Paul Ferriero advises that a residential flow meter to measure sewage is not available. He points out that sewer meters in general are problematic requiring constant recalibration as they get fouled with debris.
- If sewer meters were available, the cost of acquiring, installing, and maintaining such a system would be prohibitive for 3,908 customers.
- Relating residential sewer fees to water consumption is problematic. Not all sewer customers are connected to the public water system. The water system is split between the Dover and Randolph systems, further complicating matters. Finally, with lawn sprinkling so common in Randolph, calculating sewer consumption based upon actual water consumption would be an imperfect calculation.
The final point for consideration relates to a discussion and the conclusion reached with regards to water rates, modified in 2011. Simply stated, customers pay for system access representing the cost of providing a sewer system. The 2013 sewer budget totals $4,213,286 of which $1,400,000 or 33% pays for actual treatment. The balance goes towards the ongoing day to day cost of providing and maintaining the sewer infrastructure needed to transport sewage from the customer to the plant regardless if its 40 gallons or 160 gallons.
Councilman Hirniak stated that while campaigning, he was questioned by residents as to why their sewer charges were so much higher than their water charges. He promised those residents that he would try to provide them with an answer. Councilman Hirniak appreciated the Manager looking into it and reporting the facts. However, he felt the facts wouldn’t quiet the residents, and the Council should remain vigilant and do everything possible to implement a more equitable system. The Township should continue to monitor the technology available in order to possibly create a more equitable situation in the future.
Mayor MacArthur suggested that Manager Lovell consider including a Q&A piece in a future newsletter to possibly bring some clarity as to how the sewer charge is calculated.
2. Sussex Turnpike/West Hanover Improvements
Councilman Guadagno reported that he distributed maps to Council members since for the next 3 years the roads will be worked on and people will be asking questions. He reported that one of the things the County asked the Council, which probably should go to the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC), they want to make Dover Chester Road from Route 10 to Sussex Turnpike a “complete street.” That means, they will restripe it, there will be one lane in each direction with traveling some kind of a shoulder.
Questions were raised about the County’s specific plan. Councilman Guadagno stated that the plan needs to be sent to the TAC for them to determine if they want to go forward with making it a “complete street.”
Councilman Hirniak reported that there has been a lot of discussion by the TAC members regarding the intersection of West Hanover and Sussex Turnpike. He read an email he received from one of the TAC members: “Roman, as we had talked about when you initially showed us the plans for the realignment of West Hanover Avenue and Sussex Avenue at the TAC meeting, you mentioned that since the existing West Hanover Ave connection to Sussex will be maintained for a few commercial properties that would need access. I mentioned making the turn a right hand turn only, you indicated a follow up with an email may help. I’m referring to the existing West Hanover Avenue connection to Sussex Avenue as the spur. What I see as a potential major safety issue is the potential for people to attempt to circumvent the traffic light when traffic backs up, by veering left on what will be the spur to Sussex in order to make a left hand turn and in effect creating two left turn areas, one controlled by a traffic light, the second uncontrolled. The potential for accidents seems high, I think it might be best to make the spur a right turn only lane onto Sussex Avenue to prevent any potential problems from occurring. If you have any questions...”
Manager Lovell responded that the spur that is being referenced is actually a cul de sac. It doesn’t let out to Sussex Turnpike, it dead ends, it services the commercial properties.
Councilman Hirniak stated that he would follow up with this issue and the TAC.
Councilwoman Veech stated that, regarding the “complete streets,” the TAC should take into consideration the roads in and out of County College.
There was discussion about the new CCM Library on Route 10 and access into and out of the college and how the County and State would be involved in the road project.
There was discussion on the street resurfacing projects since new columns were added to the chart to make it more understandable.
3. YMCA/Randolph Emergency Management—Electronic Message Sign
Manager Lovell reported that the YMCA is looking to erect an electronic message sign identical to the signs the Township has on Sussex Turnpike and Calais Road. The YMCA staff is very receptive to working with the Township and allowing municipal access for use of the sign in an emergency. The YMCA is very important during an emergency for use as a sheltering facility with showers. They are also willing to post non-emergency information for the Township such as the branch collection schedule. Manager Lovell reported that he, Bill Lamia, and Paul Ferriero drafted a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the electronic message sign. The YMCA staff would like to finalize the memo and present it to their Board at the May meeting. The Manager asked the Council for guidance and input related to the Memorandum of Understanding. The YMCA would like to be in front of the Planning Board in June to get a C variance.
Councilman Guadagno asked about back up power for the sign.
Manager Lovell stated that the YMCA will have a portable emergency generator to service the sign. If the Township is able to come forward with a second agreement through which a switch be placed in the YMCA, then the Township would be able to supply them with an emergency generator that could be hard wired to their overall collectible system. Money was placed in the Capital Improvement program to purchase a large mobile generator so the YMCA would be able to light as needed. Manager Lovell explained that the generator is not guaranteed to the YMCA in an emergency since if it was needed at a major pump station to avoid a catastrophe, it would be used by Township. The emergency management team would make that type of decision in the future.
Deputy Mayor Loveys asked if there was any other financial involvement with the Township.
Manager Lovell replied that the Township will purchase the generator. It was his understanding that the YMCA was also asking the Township to purchase the switch equipment. He reported that the YMCA would be purchasing the sign.
Mayor MacArthur shared his concern regarding Item #10 of the Memorandum, “a Township Manager on behalf of Randolph shall appear at the Planning Board” and Manager Lovell’s dual role as Township Manager and Board Member of the YMCA. He also suggested that someone in the future could ask why the YMCA and not their organization. The Mayor asked Ed Buzak if there was reason for concern.
Ed Buzak stated that he didn’t believe there was reason for concern. He explained that the Township Manager is the Chief Executive Officer of the municipality and while he has a relationship with the YMCA, Mr. Buzak didn’t think it would prevent the Manager from espousing the Township’s role in the process.
Manager Lovell explained that he is not attending the Planning Board meeting to coerce, he is attending it to explain the emergency management relationship that currently exists with the YMCA. There is a partnership that revolves around the sign that is unique, and one that the Township doesn’t have with other organizations in the town.
Ed Buzak stated that a resolution would be better to authorize the agreement, and if the Council is in agreement, one will be drafted for the next Council meeting.
4. Review May 2 Agenda
Mayor MacArthur reported that there are 2 items to add to the May 2 agenda, the resolution from the earlier hearing, and the resolution for the electronic message sign at the YMCA.
5. Shongum Mountain Fire Company/Drainage Easements
Manager Lovell reported that the Shongum Fire Company has asked to place a generator for their building on top of the drainage easement. They are hoping to get approval from the Council prior to appearing in front of the Planning Board. There will be a condition tied to it that if for any reason the Township has to dig up the drainage easement to fix the drainage, they’ve got to pay to move the generator, disconnect it, and then reconnect it. They realized they were placing it on top of an easement, and the Planning Board cannot grant them permission to place the generator on an easement, only the Council can. If the Council is opposed, they would pull their application from the Planning Board and modify it.
There was some discussion as to the site, the expansion of the firehouse, the type of generator, and options for placing the generator.
Ed Buzak explained that for tonight they need an affirmation so they can go before the Planning Board. Ultimately there will be a consent agreement that will be entered into, and that would have to be authorized by ordinance and that would be a recorded document so that these would all be formalized, but this is step one.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to approve the request for the generator to be placed on the drainage easement. Councilman Hirniak seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
6. Master Plan/Highlands Conformance Committee
Mayor MacArthur felt that there was a large amount of information provided by the Highlands Commission, some of which create real questions. He felt a subcommittee was needed to delve into the information and advise the Council on pertinent issues. The Mayor stated that it’s been 7 years since the last Master Plan Committee was empanelled. A Master Plan is a large part of Highlands, there is going to be a large Highlands element to the Master Plan. Mayor MacArthur reported that he read the ordinance and the Planning Board is responsible for the Master Plan, not the Council. However, the ordinance says the Planning Board is responsible to review the Master Plan and the Development Regulations of the Township once every 6 years as directed by the Council. He felt it appropriate for the Council to direct in the form of a subcommittee, and create a Master Plan/Highlands Conformance Committee. Mayor MacArthur proposed that the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chair of the Planning Board, Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Planning and Zoning Official Darren Carney, the Manager, and Planning Consultant Bob Michaels be on the subcommittee. He also felt that Ralph Carchia and Paul Ferriero would occasionally be consulted on zoning issues. Ed Buzak would also need to be consulted occasionally. Mayor MacArthur asked Councilman Guadagno if he would be willing to serve on the subcommittee as the third Councilman & he accepted.
Mayor MacArthur asked for a resolution to be drafted to form this subcommittee as described and the subcommittee would report back to the Council. He also suggested the Mayor be the Chairperson of the subcommittee.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to draft a resolution to form a Master Plan/Highlands Conformance Subcommittee. Councilman Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
L. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road expressed her concern about the Sussex Turnpike/West Hanover improvements as related to the installation of a traffic light. She felt that the Council needs to insist that another traffic light is not installed unless it will be timed with the light at Millbrook because otherwise the traffic will be worse, not better.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
M. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Councilman Napoliello reported that he attended the MAC meeting. The Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders has again made up to $2,000 in supplemental funding available to each municipality in 2013. These monies are to be used to develop new substance abuse prevention programs or to expand on existing programs. However, the Township needs to match this with 50%. The MAC members asked for the Council’s support to move forward with this application. The application needs to be completed by May 8th.
Mayor MacArthur stated that he believed when the Council reauthorized the MAC, the ordinance gave them requirements to supply the Council with reports from time to time. He didn’t think any reports had been supplied. The Mayor requested that MAC provide a report on where their money is being spent and where they intend to spend additional money, and then the Council could discuss whether to support this additional funding. It can be added as a discussion item on the May 2nd meeting agenda.
Councilwoman Carey asked about the Recreation Department revenues since the number of children in the town is decreasing.
Deputy Mayor Loveys reported that he attended the Recreation Committee meeting, and there is concern with low participation numbers; demographically enrollment is down in several programs. Day camp is one of the significant programs being impacted. Russ Newman is contacting surrounding areas to try to increase day camp registrations as well as contacting those who participated last year and are still eligible. Deputy Mayor Loveys said the revenue has also been impacted by a one week reduction in the length of the camp since it went from 6 weeks to 5 weeks. However, to offset some of the loss of revenue, Russ and Jeanne Montemarano proposed a one week extension with day trips. Art class revenue is down. Attendance at productions at Brundage Park Playhouse has been down, but the classes and the camp participation is up, so it’s almost breaking even. Little League Baseball is down because the number of youth is down.
Manager Lovell reported that when the Board of Education made their bus presentation, they also reported changing demographics in the township. The number of school children is in decline, what’s being experienced with our day camp registration is being experienced in other day camps including the YMCA day camp.
Councilwoman Carey asked if there is any risk from a budget perspective because of the declining enrollment in recreation programs.
Manager Lovell said there isn’t, but the impact will be next year. It will require Russ Newman and his staff to plan accordingly for next year.
Deputy Mayor Loveys also reported on Wildlife Management, approximately 600 deer were taken. Different zones were broken down for public owned property and each was assigned a Captain. John brought aerial maps of the town to the Wildlife Management meeting and provided them to the 3 or 4 hunters on the committee to identify more private lands.
Mayor MacArthur asked Deputy Mayor Loveys to provide a report on the number of deer culled from various sources including auto accidents, County parks, town lands, etc. and include data from previous years for comparison.
Manager Lovell reported that Sue Grassmeyer is putting together information for the town website. He will ask her to include previous years’ data for comparison.
Mayor MacArthur reported that he attended a breakfast for Mayors. One of the topics discussed was school security and the lack of funding from school boards and towns for School Resource Officers. An idea that was proposed was to take police radios that were being retired, and get one police radio into every school in the hands of one responsible person. The Mayor felt with proper protocols, and proper training for a few key people at each school, it may be an improvement to safety because an officer could arrive within minutes. He asked the Council to think about the proposal & discuss it prior to the next school liaison meeting. There was some discussion on the proposal, but further research will be conducted and reported back to the Council.
Councilwoman Veech stated that she heard more police officers were going to be submitting their retirement papers. She expressed her concern over the senior members retiring and the resulting young police force.
Manager Lovell reported that they have been actively recruiting officers, and three have accepted job offers. The Manager agreed it would be a young police force, but also explained that they are going through a process of promotions within the department.
Manager Lovell reported that he received a telephone call from the owner of Gateways apartment complex on Center Grove. There is a one acre property adjacent to the Gateways apartments with a house on it which is for sale. He was contemplating purchasing the house and building 15 to 16 apartments on the property if he felt it was viable to approach the Township for a zoning change. The owner asked the Manager to get a sense from the Council if this was something worth pursuing. There was some discussion about the proposal and the Mayor suggested the Manager contact the owner of Gateways and suggest he provide a concept plan to the Council. Manager Lovell said he will contact the owner and explain the process of seeking a zone change and explain if he wants to take that risk, it would be his decision.
N. EXECUTIVE SESSION
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 (N.J.S.A. 10:4-12) permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from the remaining portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
Stonybrook vs. Randolph
3. As nearly as now can be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public at such time and under such circumstances as are prescribed by law.
4. At the conclusion of the closed Executive Session, the Council may reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action on matters discussed in closed session or on any other matter as permitted by law.
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to move into Executive Session at 10:05 p.m. Councilwoman Carey seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
Councilwoman Veech made a motion to return to Open Session at 10:20 p.m. Councilman Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys
Councilman Guadagno made a motion for adjournment at 10:20 p.m. Councilman Napoliello seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Loveys