All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: February 28, 2008
A work session of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:00 p.m. by Mayor Napoliello. 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 Morris County Daily Record and the Randolph Reporter on December 11, 2007, by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on December 6, 2007. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, on December 20, 2007, and in the Morris County Daily Record on December 27, 2007.
Deputy Mayor Metz
Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Edward Buzak
Mayor Napoliello led the Pledge of Allegiance.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER REPORTS
Councilman Alpert reported that he attended the first Open Space Committee meeting of the year where there was a lot of discussion on past accomplishments and the benefits of the program to the community. The annual tour of open space properties will take place on April 13.
Councilwoman Price thanked the Council for the flowers that were sent for her father’s funeral. She also expressed her condolences to Mayor Napoliello for the passing of his mother-in-law earlier in the day.
Councilwoman Mitsch attended an Environmental Commission meeting where she discussed the energy audit with them. The student member informed them that some high school students are endeavoring to improve the recycling situation at the high school, and she will pass that information along to Deputy Mayor Metz to relay to the Board of Education. The leaf collection program is under review by a sub-committee of the Environmental Commission.
Mayor Napoliello reported on an item he read about in the newspaper saying that Jersey City is considering dropping out of the RVRSA, which would cost Randolph about $136,000.00 a year should that happen. The Mayor had a productive meeting with the Executive Director of the RVRSA and learned more about the operation of that facility.
(1) 2008 Municipal Budget
Manager Lovell stated that there have been announcements in Trenton regarding changes to the state budget. The one that affects Randolph the most is a cut in homeland security assistance, estimated to be approximately $92,000.00. Should that aid be completely cut from the state budget, it would have an impact on the municipal budget. The Manager is looking to hold the tax increase to 3.9 cents and will look to cut something from the budget in order to come up with the $90,000.00. The Manager is also concerned about the reported numbers for the energy tax at this point. He will be ready to discuss this issue with the Council when the final numbers are released by the state.
(2) Open Space Trust Fund
Manager Lovell reported that he would like to undertake a couple of projects in 2008 using money from the Open Space Trust Fund. One of the projects is clean up of the Cohn Farm property which would require about $100,000.00. Another project is marking the boundaries of the township’s open space properties. This would require survey work, an investment in boundary markers, and installing them. Another project would be restoration of wetlands at Brundage Park for damages caused by a neighboring property owner. Currently the ordinance governing open space does not all money to be withdrawn from the trust fund for these types of projects. The Manager would like to amend the ordinance to allow project such as these.
Councilman Alpert asked about the application of adverse possession in cases like those when a property owner extends their property onto public lands.
Mr. Buzak responded by giving a summary of adverse possession. Mr. Buzak also noted that he needs to research whether or not an amendment of the ordinance needs to be placed on a referendum since the Open Space Trust Fund was originally created as a result of a referendum.
(3) Set Presentation Date on New COAH Rules
Manager Lovell stated that COAH regulations are going to have a major impact on Randolph and it would be extremely beneficial for the Council to hear a presentation on COAH by Ed Buzak. He suggested having the COAH presentation at the April 17 meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m. Darren Carney and Bob Michaels will be a part of the presentation as well.
Councilman Alpert expressed frustration that two active state agencies have rules and regulations that conflict with each other on almost every issue.
Mr. Buzak pointed out that both agencies have different missions, one being a mission of protecting the environment and the other to build enough housing.
Manager Lovell cited the Governor’s failure to establish priorities among those two agencies as part of the problem.
REVIEW AND SET THE PROPOSED AGENDA FOR MARCH 6, 2008
Manager Lovell reviewed the items on the proposed March 6, 2008 agenda.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Julie Hooper, 71 Everdale Road, asked if there were any results available from the deer hunt.
Manager Lovell responded that results will be available in March. He noted that it often takes several years of hunting for deer herds to be culled to a reasonable level.
Lee Whilden, 82 Radtke Road, commended the county for district maps and street directories used by the poll workers during elections. She also complimented the Township for the way in which she handled the evening of the special election.
Township Clerk Luciani explained that those district maps were developed by our Engineering and Planning Departments.
Mrs. Whilden asked if Randolph has received a response from the state about exceeding our caps.
Manager Lovell explained that Randolph has not made a request to exceed the caps. There is an ordinance, which is a companion bill to the budget, in place that does not have to be approved by the state that allows Randolph to go from a 2 1/2 percent limitation to a 3 1/2 percent limitation.
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked about Jersey City withdrawing from the RVRSA and how towns’ payments will be determined.
Michael Guadagno, Randolph’s representative to the RVRSA, explained that the amount of sewers a town had in 2002 will be the determining factor. He noted that some towns will be more deeply impacted due to the amount of storm water running into the sewers instead of storm drains.
Mrs. Stewart asked when there will be another discussion on the budget and when the Manager expects the budget to be adopted. She also asked who in town enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act in light of infractions she sees when handicapped parking spaces are improperly maintained during snow storms and subsequent plowing. Mrs. Stewart commended Louis Bandiera on the fine job he does maintaining Town Hall during snow falls.
Manager Lovell responded that either the Health Officer or the Assistant Town Manager handles the responsibility of the ADA.
Mrs. Stewart asked when the list of roads proposed for improvement will be available.
Manager Lovell responded that the list of roads will be available within the next two or three weeks. Future budget discussion will occur on March 20, 2008, when he hopes the budget discussions will conclude. If not, discussion would continue on March 27. He is looking to introduce the budget on April 3 and conduct a budget hearing on May 1, 2008.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS
There were no comments.
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 following portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
b. Center Road Property
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.
Councilman Alpert made a motion to move into Executive Session. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Metz
Councilwoman Price made a motion to go back into Public Session. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Metz
The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 9:15 p.m.
Donna Marie Luciani
E X E C U T I V E S E S S I O N
An executive meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order by Mayor Napoliello.
Present for the executive session were:
Absent from the executive session were:
Deputy Mayor Metz
Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Ed Buzak.
Manager Lovell noted that he is getting close to a final draft of this change to the police ordinance. He has worked closely with the police lieutenants and the Chief on this document. The Manager summarized the following points:
- It establishes titles within the department as well as numbers in the organization chart
- It changes the standards for officers eligible for promotion, taking into account 60 college credits or two or more years of service in the military
- It cleans up the language for charging officers and taking action against them
Center Road Property
Manager Lovell summarized this property and the problems associated with it when it was proposed as a property for Habitat for Humanity. Councilman Algeier had suggested selling the property, a reverter clause was discovered, and Ed Buzak’s office set out to try to find the legal owner of the property. Contact has been made with someone claiming ownership of the property, although that has not yet been absolutely determined. The apparent owner is interested in selling the property privately. The Manager cautioned the council to not move on this issue at this time since it will most likely create a hostile reaction from the neighbors at Center Road.
Mr. Buzak summarized the different points relating to reverter clauses. It is his opinion that the apparent owner would not be awarded the property as per the reverter clause. This property once contained a water tank for the water system. Mr. Buzak referred to language in the reverter clause that says “if the property is never used for water purposes,” then it would revert to the former owner. However, since the property was used at one time for water purposes, it would not revert back to the original owner.
It is an issue that would have to be resolved, however he is also confident that, since the land is worth a good deal of money, the apparent owner would be willing to spend some money in the hopes of retrieving ownership.
The council agreed to not act on selling this property at this time.
Donna Marie Luciani