502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869-3799
Tel: 973.989.7100Fax: 973.989.7076

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

Minutes: January 1, 2009

The Reorganization Meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Councilman 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.

Councilman Napoliello led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Councilman Napoliello recognized several dignitaries in attendance, including Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, State Senator Anthony Bucco, State Assemblyman Rick Merkt, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 733 Commander Jack Sassaman. He noted that Anthony Bucco, Jr., was administering the Oath of Office in another town and could not be in attendance today.

OATH OF OFFICE

(1) Councilman-Elect Algeier

Councilman-Elect Algeier was administered the Oath of Office by his daughter, Lisa DeMarco. The Bible was held by wife Kathy Algeier, son-in-law Jim DeMarco, and grandson Douglas.

(2) Councilwoman-Elect Mitsch

Councilwoman-Elect Mitsch was administered the Oath of Office by Assemblyman Rick Merkt. The Bible was held by her daughter Elizabeth and her sister Maggie.

(3) Councilman-Elect Obremski

Councilman-Elect Obremski was administered the Oath of Office by his wife Pam. The Bible was held by his daughters Kristi and Chelsea.

ROLL CALL OF THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL

PRESENT:
Councilman Algeier
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price

Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Edward Buzak

RECOGNIZE FORMER MAYOR ALLEN NAPOLIELLO

Manager Lovell thanked everyone in attendance at the meeting. He congratulated the re-elected members of the Township Council. The Manager noted that the Mayor is required to put in a tremendous amount of hours on the job and thanked outgoing Mayor Napoliello for his efforts in 2008.

Former Mayor Allen Napoliello:

Thank you very much. I appreciate your kind words. Before I start, I want to congratulate Congressman Frelinghuysen on his wonderful victory in November. We’re very lucky to have you. I also want to congratulate Gary, Trina, and Mike on their election. I feel the same as John Lovell does, very happy to have you back.

I want to thank you for coming today and wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year. I am both proud and honored to have served as Mayor of Randolph for the second time.

First, my thanks go to Ed Metz for the fine job he did as Deputy Mayor last year.

I also want to thank the Council, Town Manager John Lovell, and Municipal Clerk Donna Luciani and all the members of their respective staffs for their cooperation last year.

I also want to publicly thank my wife, JoAnn, for her unwavering support. She understands the time commitment needed for me to serve as Mayor. She has been both understanding and helpful.

Last year, in many ways, was a good year for Randolph. Here are some of the accomplishments about which I am most proud:

  • The Council passed a budget with a zero tax increase on those expenses that we had control over. Taxes were increased only because of mandatory contributions to State pension funds and cuts in aid from Trenton.
  • Our Council rejected the Council on Affordable Housing’s unrealistic mandate and decided to undertake the Highlands conformance analysis in 2009.
  • We dodged a very big bullet with PSE&G’s decision to develop new transmission towers on a northern county route as opposed to crossing Randolph.
  • The relocation of the Mt. Freedom Post Office took place in 2008. The ribbon cutting occurred in October. This facility is now in a more convenient and safer location on Sussex Turnpike.
  • We were able to have a Fall Festival (Country Fair) thanks to the Randolph Rotary Club which took on the project when the Council was forced to cut funds from the budget. Thanks also go to the Randolph Kiwanis Club and Sovereign and Heritage Banks for their monetary donations. The good news is that the Rotary Club has agreed to run the Fair again this year.
  • Last January, I invited residents to “Meet the Mayor” in Saturday morning sessions. These informal sessions were very successful. They gave me a chance to meet with residents and listen to their concerns.
  • Early last year, we purchased and preserved properties comprising 13 acres in the Mill Brook Valley adjacent to other open space lands. Specifically, the Township moved forward and acquired the Rebernik property on Piersons Hill Road, a five acre parcel of land that abuts and further protects the recently preserved Nitti Mountain tract.
  • After 30 years of unfulfilled promises from the State of New Jersey, Morris County has taken over and begun the design of Sussex Turnpike improvements.
  • The Grecco Mall to be developed on Route 10 along where Senatores Restaurant used to be was approved by the Planning Board last month.
  • We purchased a new fire pumper and it was delivered to Chemical Engine Company #2.
  • Renovations to the Randolph Library are now underway.
  • The Friends Meeting House on Quaker Church Road celebrated their 250th anniversary and the Millbrook Methodist Church celebrated its 175 anniversary in 2008.
  • The town began a formal study process to replace the vehicle maintenance building on Sussex Turnpike as a joint initiative with the Randolph Board of Education.
  • Also, the Senior and Community Center design was undertaken to retrofit and expand the building which dates back to Randolph’s hotel era.
  • We received a $220,000.00 grant to rebuild Carrell Road in 2009.
  • The town installed new sidewalks along Quaker Church Road with federal grant dollars.
  • We began the development of concept plans for the EA Porter property on South Salem Street. This is the “forgotten section of town”. This area is badly in need of renovation.
  • The Council was presented with a comprehensive energy audit in 2008. We began the implementation of the findings of this audit last year.
  • Our Traffic Committee’s “Alive at 25” driving program received the New Jersey State Safety Council’s Beacon of Safety Award.
  • The reconstruction of Everdale Road was undertaken by our Public Works Department in 2008.
  • The Health Department received the 2009 Sanofi Pasteur Award in recognition of its public health immunization programs.
  • The Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council operated by Randolph grew to 209 members.
  • The Public Safety Dispatch Communications Center was replaced in 2008 and will go live this month.
  • And last, but not least, the Recreation program registrations reached new heights in 2008 with more residents deciding to stay closer to home and take advantage of local activities.

As I said earlier, I enjoyed being Mayor last year and I look forward to working with our new Mayor in 2009. Together we will continue to make Randolph the town “Where Life is Worth Living”.

Thank you, and once again, Happy New Year.

SELECTION OF TEMPORARY MAYOR

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to appoint Donna Luciani as Temporary Mayor. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price

NAYS: None

NOMINATIONS AND SELECTION OF MAYOR FOR THE YEAR 2009

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to appoint Ed Metz as Mayor for 2009. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilman Alpert
Councilman Metz
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price

NAYS: None

NOMINATIONS AND SELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR FOR THE YEAR 2009

Mayor Metz made a motion to appoint Jay Alpert as Deputy Mayor for 2009. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilman Alpert
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Mayor Metz

NAYS: None

SWEARING IN OF MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR

Mayor Metz was administered the Oath of Office by Assemblyman Rick Merkt. The Bible was held by his wife Nancy and daughter Erica.

Deputy Mayor Alpert was administered the Oath of Office by Beth Alpert. The Bible was held by daughters Lauren, Rachel, and Stephanie.

Mayor Metz noted the attendance of Morris County Freeholder Gene Feyl at the meeting.

COMMENTS BY MAYOR AND COUNCIL—Goals and Objectives for 2009

Mayor Metz:

It is an honor to be selected as Mayor of Randolph for 2009. I can say that I’m very proud to serve the people of Randolph. I’d like to thank my wife, Nancy, and my daughter, Erica, for all their support and interest in what I do. I also appreciate the dignitaries that always seem to make so many of our events. We truly do appreciate your support. I’d like to wish Rick Merkt the best of luck in his run for Governor. I’d also like to thank all my family members and friends who have attended today’s event. I would also like to congratulate Councilwoman Trina Mitsch and Councilmen Gary Algeier and Mike Obremski on their re-election to the Council. I am truly glad to have you back. I would also like to congratulate Jay Alpert on his appointment of Deputy Mayor. It is always great to have you at my side.

Ladies and gentlemen, our country is not in great shape right now. I believe the two top issues are homeland security and the economy. I also believe that these are the two most important concerns for Randolph as well. As Mayor, I’ll do whatever I can in the next 12 months to try to keep Randolph safe and to govern it as fiscally responsible as possible.

In regards to homeland security, Councilman Gary Algeier serves on the Safety Committee and he has worked very hard since September 11, 2001, to have procedures in place in the event of an emergency. Gary will expand on this in his comments. It is my intent to implement a message system so that in the event of an emergency, citizens of Randolph would be contacted immediately via phone and e-mail, similar to the Text Caster system presently used in the schools. Currently there is a reverse 911 system, but it needs some tweaking. This can be done in-house. If we do need to add a service the cost would be minimal, $1,000.00 or less, and would either be funded through a Homeland Security grant or by a local business. It will not cost the taxpayers any money.

On the economic front, 2009 does not look very promising. In Randolph, there will be little or no increase in revenue. Healthcare and union costs continue to rise, so we’ll need to trim costs. In 2008, we imposed a 3 cent tax increase, which equaled the amount of aid reduction from the State. Therefore, we did not increase your taxes at all last year.

Just a reminder, 15 percent of your property taxes go to the Municipality. So, if your property taxes are $12,000.00 per year, or $1,000.00 per month, at 15 percent that equates to $150.00 per month. For $150.00 per month, you have police protection, four fire departments, a rescue squad, your garbage and recycling picked up, your leaves hauled away, and your parks and trails maintained. Overall, quality service at a reasonable price.

We’ll do our best to maintain the services that Randolph provides but keeping taxes in mind as well. We will approach the budget from a zero-based approach—show us why you need to spend the money. Our goal is no increase at all, or as small of an increase as possible. There are some capital projects, however, that do need to be addressed. We must safeguard our assets. The Senior Community/Recreation Center is in desperate need of repair and needs to be addressed this year. Unfortunately, much needed improvements to the VFW and Animal Shelter most likely will not be performed in 2009. We will need to wait a little longer for those improvements to take place.

In my opinion, I believe the town has done a great job in being fiscally responsible for quite some time. This is evidenced by the AA+ bond rating that only a handful of towns in over 550 towns in the State can claim. The Town Manager, John Lovell, and the CFO, Mike Soccio, should be congratulated for their efforts. As the second largest town in Morris County, this is a huge task.

The experience of the Director of Parks and Recreation, John Van Brunt, and the Director of the Department of Public Works, Bill Kerwick, should not go unnoticed as well. With Parks and Recreation our facilities are second to none. With several thousand children in recreational programs, John is able to run the department in a very efficient manner. Bill Kerwick does an outstanding job at the Department of Public Works. Bill has found a way to make salt, saving the Township thousands of dollars in snow removal. The Recycling Center is run very efficiently and he is providing maintenance of school buses as we look to share more costs with our school partners across the street.

The public (the citizens of Randolph) also play a major role in their huge commitment to volunteering. It is truly amazing how many volunteers there are, not only in recreation, but town committees and most importantly, the fire department and rescue squad. These are the people that truly risk their lives to protect us. There are well over 1,000 people in this community that volunteer their time and commitment to Randolph. The entire Council is very proud of this effort put forth and Randolph would not be in as good of condition without your help. Again, I applaud the effort of our township management staff and the public for their involvement in the community.

With such a great team—the public, the town management and its employees, and the direction of this Council—great things have been accomplished. Given these tough times, though, we have to do better. We’re all familiar with the exercise where you are asked to stand and raise your hands as high as you can, and then you’re asked to raise them further. This is the level we are operating at now. If we then ask to raise your hands higher, we can go a little higher. This is what we need to do in 2009. We need to take a look at where we can cut spending, work smarter, and share costs. I have the confidence that the team will put forth its best effort.

In regard to much needed revenue, we are concerned that some projects may be stalled due to the current COAH and Highlands provisions that face Randolph. Projects such as the Grecco project, which involves an upscale shopping mall, may be stalled or prevented because of these issues. At a time where we could really use some added revenue to help us with our taxes, the issues of COAH and Highlands are not helping us at all.

I’m sure you’ll hear more on these issues from my fellow Council members. But at this point, I’d like to let you know if you don’t already know that COAH, the Coalition on Affordable Housing, is looking for us to build approximately 300 more affordable housing units in Randolph, which would result in approximately 1,500 new homes. Randolph likes affordable housing. We have always met or been ahead of our required quota. Affordable housing is important and under the old rules we were favorable. All of a sudden, the rules have changed. Randolph has joined over 200 other towns in New Jersey in litigation on this matter. This is a huge issue and has an extraordinary impact on the fiscal health of our town. Highlands is another avenue but at the present time, the rules are not well-defined. Generally speaking, we could expect less housing from Highlands than COAH but most likely no major commercial development. I do feel that commercial development is much needed to help with our taxes. I’m sure you’ll hear more on Highlands as well later today.

In addition to keeping Randolph safe and running efficiently, I would also like to make the public more aware of low-cost or no-cost events held in town. With the economy in its current state, we can use this opportunity to make Randolph citizens more aware of events that are occurring right in town. Last year on January 1, as Deputy Mayor, I had stated my intent to expand on communication. We explored some avenues and are now ready to implement them.

You may be familiar with the Text Caster system that is being used by roughly 50 percent of the school population. The Randolph Township web site is currently set up to perform this same type of function. Starting next Friday afternoon, a weekly e-mail will go out to those who have signed up for this service. This e-mail will inform you about upcoming events for the week, Friday through Friday, such as a concert at the Library, a high school chorus or band concert, a play at Brundage Park, a high school championship game, or a forensics debate. I think that the citizens of Randolph will spend more time in our community attending low-cost or no-cost events meeting their neighbors and fellow citizens.

To kick off this project, we’ve asked the School Board, and they’ve agreed, to send out an e-mail from their Text Caster system next week with a link to the Randolph Township web site, encouraging people to click on the link and sign up for the free weekly e-mail. The system would also be used to inform the public of other important items as they occur, such as implementing new water restrictions, large item garbage pick-up, or holiday pick-up schedule changes. There is no cost to implement this system.

What else can we do? How about Senior Career Day? This will be an event that would require the joint effort of our Economic Development Committee as well as the high school. The Economic Development Committee would contact the businesses of Randolph to determine their interest. High school seniors, on a day in May or June, would visit the business for approximately two hours, from 12:00 to 2:00, in which they would learn how that employer conducts his or her business. The students would register for one of the listed businesses based on their career choice. For instance, if a student was interested in going to culinary school, he or she might sign up to visit Skylands or Meadow Wood Manor. If a student is interested in criminal justice, he or she might go over to the Randolph Police Department. If a student has an interest in accounting, they can attend one of the Randolph CPA firms.

New Jersey, in comparison to many other states, does a pretty good job in educating its students, many of which go on to college out of state and don’t return. We train our students well but then do not benefit from their contributions to society as many do not return to Randolph or even New Jersey. Holding Senior Career Day brings the students and the business community closer and provides another benefit that Randolph has to offer. Perhaps when they graduate from college, they may consider returning to Randolph to start their post-college life. This is another no-cost event and should become an annual event.

To wrap up, let’s make sure we stay safe, provide quality services to citizens at reasonable prices, keep residents informed, and bring people out to community events.

Once again, I’d like to thank everyone for their support and in helping to make Randolph a “community” where life is worth living.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.

Deputy Mayor Alpert:

Greetings and best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

I’m incredibly proud to serve on this Township Council along with such highly dedicated and motivated people with the common focus of doing what is best for our town. I’m especially proud to have been selected to serve as the Deputy Mayor, a privilege that I do not take lightly.

I’d be remiss if I did not express my sincere thanks to my wife, Beth, and daughters Rachel, Lauren and Stephanie for their constant support and love. They, too, have devoted so much of their time to the town that we love, volunteering their time and effort.

I’d also be remiss not to thank my parents, Ben and Janice, for their support through the years. Obviously if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be here.

We’re facing a tough year ahead. Our nation is in financial turmoil unlike anything experienced by anyone other than our esteemed and respected senior citizens who are old enough to remember the horrors of the Great Depression. Our nation will welcome a new President and administration in 19 days. I only hope that the promises made during the presidential campaign can be fulfilled so as to usher us in a direction of prosperity.

I am thankful that our outgoing President and his administration have been successful in keeping the violence of terrorism off of our land and that our national security remains intact.

We’re fighting another war right here in Randolph. As the Mayor mentioned just a few minutes ago, the Council on Affordable Housing, or COAH as it’s better known, in conjunction with the Highlands Preservation Act, have the potential of changing the way we live in Randolph. We all love our town for what it is, with over 30 percent as open space or preserved farmland. Our recreation program is second to none, the school system brings pride in its efforts to educate our children, and so many other positive forces.

Our Governor set a goal developing 115,000 affordable housing units in New Jersey’s 566 towns. What that really translates to is 700,000 new homes. Where are they supposed to put them? Should we trade our preserved open spaces to accommodate his wishes? I think not. He has thoughtfully appointed a Commissioner whose focus is to make every town mirror Bayonne. Not that Bayonne is a bad town, but if that’s the environment in which somebody wishes to live, they should move there. We all live in Randolph because this is the lifestyle and environment we have chosen, a choice made without the dictates of the Governor’s Office.

My point is that the Council will continue to fight aggressively for what is best for our community with pride and enthusiasm.

Thank you again for the trust and faith that you’ve placed in me.

Councilwoman Price:

I’d like to wish everybody here a very happy and prosperous New Year and thank you for coming out for our Reorganization Meeting.

You’ve already heard about some of the challenges that we will be facing as a town in 2009. We’re representing you as the citizens of Randolph, and I think we have the right team in place to do the best job that we can facing these challenges.

You’ve heard some of the issues with Highlands and COAH. Other things that we need to be looking at are shared services, zero-based budgeting as we go into our budget sessions, economic development and retention to help in lowering taxes for our citizens, and some of the valued services that we all have come to appreciate in town.

That’s what we’re working here to help maintain and to do the best job that we can in making Randolph a place where life is worth living.

Again, a very happy and prosperous New Year to all of you and we thank you for your support.

Mayor Metz noted that Morris County Freeholders Bill Chegwidden and Doug Cabana were in attendance.

Councilman Obremski:

Good afternoon everyone and Happy New Year.

You’ve heard about the challenges, but there’s good news, and I’m going to tell you some of that.

Once again, this year I’m going to be the liaison to the Traffic Advisory Committee. I’m very proud of that committee. In fact, this past year, the Police Department and the Traffic Advisory Committee put together a “how-to” guide. Basically it’s how to put together a Traffic Advisory Committee and the successful “Alive at 25” teen driving safety program that we’ve established in Randolph. That guide has now been published by the State of New Jersey and is out for everyone in the state of New Jersey to use in their towns and to put together a similar program, so we’re very proud of that.

Back in December, Township Manager John Lovell and I attended a meeting in Morris County to hear about a new program they have about renewable energy financing. Freeholder Chegwidden is here and he’s the spearhead of that and I am so excited about this program. It is going to allow Randolph to move into the renewable energy project that we’ve been looking for for years at no cost to our residents. It is an amazing program, we have signed our letter of interest already, it’s down in the county, so we’re looking forward to 2009 where we can identify either a solar or wind project, or multiple projects in town, that we can move forward with.

It was mentioned before that several of our projects are on hold. One of them is the Randolph Pound. I’m not accepting that. We have to think outside of the box, so I’m going to reach out to our Friends of the Randolph Pound, which is a very active group, to see if there are different ways that we can explore to try to move that schedule up to get a new pound in Randolph that we can be proud of. It’s something we need to do and we need to look at it very seriously this year and not just put it off to next year.

Also mentioned is the Bennett Avenue project, which is a low-income affordable housing project that we’re moving forward with. We’ve had discussions with Habitat for Humanity and they are very excited about this project. It will be a cluster-type home project. The town would be responsible for cleaning up that area, it’s an industrial area, but we have funds in our developers’ account at this point and so we are moving forward with that. Another project well overdue in the Township of Randolph.

There are good things on the horizon. We will get through the bad things, but we have to continue to operate this town the best that we can.

Once again, happy New Year and thanks for coming today.

Councilwoman Mitsch:

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. I would first like to say thank you very much to the voters of Randolph for placing their confidence and trust in me once more. I look forward to working with everyone in the next four years.

Much has been accomplished already, but it will take continued hard work to keep Randolph the unique community that it is, with an excellent quality of life.

The economic climate is particularly challenging at the moment and will likely remain so for a while. The state fiscal position is especially weak, so Randolph can not expect much help from Trenton. We will likely be forced to make some tough choices this year. Unlike some other towns, Randolph has a history of prudent fiscal management and therefore we’re coming off a very solid foundation, and we have already accomplished a lot already to save taxpayers money. Shared services is an area where we have accomplished a lot in the last four years and will continue to look at for further opportunities for savings. Recent developments like more collaboration with the Board of Education and hiring a consultant engineer have saved additional taxpayer dollars. No doubt there are many other opportunities to be looked at.

COAH is the other big challenge facing Randolph. When you have state senators of the controlling party questioning the newest regulations, you know there is a problem. We will continue to fight with other municipalities the most recent rules put forward by COAH. We are fortunate to have excellent professionals and municipal staff helping us in this endeavor, and also elected officials who continue to show their support for us.

Thank you to our elected officials who continue to work on our behalf, to our many volunteers who provide so much of the spirit that contributes to our great quality of life. A special thank you to my husband Michael and daughter Elizabeth for their enthusiastic support over the last several years in my efforts to help the town. Thank you to my sister Maggie and my brother-in-law Austin who are here today visiting from Ireland.

I wish everyone a very healthy and happy and prosperous 2009.

Councilman Algeier:

First of all, I’d like to take everyone back to 1996, 13 years ago. One afternoon I went up to get a gallon of milk and ran into former mayor Al Enoch who approached me and asked if I’d like to run for Council. Little did I realize how that would change my life. I said yes, I’d run for one term, and that was in 1996. At that point my family was pretty much all living at home. Lisa was in college. She’s now married to a great guy and she gave us our newest grandson back in April.

Life changes. My life changed tremendously by that chance meeting I had with Al, and I know this Al sitting next to me, his life changed when he met with me one day and I talked to him about coming on to the Council. Life’s funny, as you know. At the time I had four children and my lovely wife Kathy, now I have all of them plus 10 grandchildren. I consider myself one of the most fortunate people in our community and I thank everyone who worked for us—Trina, Mike and myself—to return us back to the Council. After 12 years I did have enough, but it can get into your blood and you develop a feeling for your community, you develop a feeling you want to continue to work for your community, for all the great people you’ve met in the town. I had planned on one more term back in 2004, but when they asked me again, it was an easy decision. So long as Kathy said yes, it was easy for me to say yes.

Thank you for returning me back here. This is a great group of people that I have the privilege of working with. I think you, the citizens of Randolph, realize the intelligence and the competence of this Council. We do not always agree on every issue. After all, as I often say, if all seven of us thought alike, six of us would be unnecessary. Trust me, we do not all think alike, but I do guarantee you that we think positively for your community. When we do that, we are able to come up with compromises and a plan. We work things together, we work with our staff, we work with our excellent attorney Ed Buzak, to come up with the right answer. Although you may see a vote come out 7-0 or 6-1, it doesn’t mean that everything is always sweetness and light on the Council. What it does mean is that we know how to work together and we all have the same goal, and that is what is best for Randolph to make Randolph a place where life is worth living.

As mentioned before, we have some challenges in our community. We are fortunate to have some very fine economic people on the Council that are already working with John and the staff on the 2009 budget. We also have people who are very concerned about our quality of life here and we will not succumb to COAH. You’ve heard that we’ve got a possible twin whammy. COAH on the one side, but there is a carrot or stick, whichever way you want to view it, saying that if you opt in to Highlands we can reduce the COAH obligation in some unstated manner. Again, it’s very amorphous. They’re not telling you a lot. Personally, my view of it is that we are balancing at the moment between two tanks filled with water. On the one side we have COAH, and on the other side we have the Highlands. We don’t want to fall into either one because I view one side as sharks and one side as alligators. Neither one will do the town any good, so we’re going to continue to balance between those two and we’re going to continue to fight them. We have a year to look at the Highlands situation, and you can trust us that we’re going to study that very carefully. If we believe Highlands works for us, we’ll opt in. But if we don’t believe Highlands works for us, we’re not going to opt in and we’ll continue to fight COAH.

Assemblyman Merkt has a bill in Trenton to abolish COAH and start over on fair housing in the state. I personally support that bill and I’m going to ask the Council to pass a resolution in support of that bill as well and go out to other communities to support it. It’s time we stood up to Trenton, and this is the one issue where you’ve gotten over 50 percent of the municipalities in this state to agree that the current quota system under COAH does not work. We’re going to fight it because it involves your quality of life and the future of this community.

Thank you very much.

Councilman Napoliello:

Right now I stand between you and lunch, so I’m not going to take a lot of time. I’ve already said plenty today, but I do want to offer my best wishes to our new Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Ed and Jay. I know you’re going to have difficult decisions to make this year, but I also know that you are both very capable and certainly up to the task. I look forward to working with both of you this year.

TOWNSHIP MANAGER APPOINTMENTS

(1) Fire Department Chief William Wagner
(2) Deputy Fire Chief John McAndrew, III

Manager Lovell noted another group in town, the volunteer firefighters, who give of their time and often jeopardize their own safety to serve and protect the public of Randolph Township. He thanked former chief Mark Absalon for his efforts and presented him with a plaque reading:

“Presented to Mark Absalon in recognition and gratitude for his service and dedication to Randolph Township from 2007-2008”

The Manager appointed William Wagner as Fire Department Chief and John McAndrew III as Deputy Fire Department Chief. He noted that both have served in these offices before and they bring years of volunteer service and experience to the community.

Chief Wagner presented a plague to out-going Chief Mark Absalon in recognition of his service.

ADJOURN FOR RECEPTION IN MAIN FOYER

CONSENT AGENDA FOR COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS FOR 2009

Mayor Metz made the following appointments that are within the purview of the Mayor:

  • Planning Board Official Member—Myra Sesko
  • Planning Board Mayor’s Delegate—Councilman Napoliello
  • Library Board of Trustee Member (five year term)—David DiFusco
  • Library Board of Trustees Member (five year term)—Stephanie Pangaro
  • Library Board of Trustees Member (five year term)—Kathy Algeier
  • Library Board of Trustees Member—Mayor Metz

Council liaisons are as follows:

  • Economic Development Committee—Mayor Metz
  • Community Services Advisory Committee—Councilman Napoliello
  • Landmarks Committee—Deputy Mayor Alpert
  • Environmental Commission—Councilwoman Mitsch
  • Parks Committee—Councilwoman Price
  • Municipal Alliance Committee—Councilman Algeier
  • Recreation Committee—Councilwoman Mitsch
  • Board of Health—Councilwoman Price
  • County College of Morris—Councilman Algeier
  • Board of Education—Deputy Mayor Alpert
  • Open Space Committee—Councilman Obremski
  • Rescue Squad—Councilman Napoliello
  • Fire Department—Mayor Metz
  • Traffic Advisory Committee—Councilman Obremski
  • Safety Committee—Councilman Algeier
  • Media Communications Liaison—Mayor Metz

Councilman Napoliello made a motion to approve the remaining Consent Agenda. Deputy Mayor Alpert seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Alpert
Mayor Metz

NAYS: None

The following appointments were approved:

  • Deputy Clerk (one year term)—Donna Brady
  • Township Attorney (one year term)—Edward J. Buzak
  • Special Counsel for Labor & Negotiations (one year term)—Fred Knapp
  • Special Counsel for Tax Appeals (one year term)—Richard DeAngelis
  • Special Counsel for Negotiations & Preparation of Developers’ Agreements (one year term)—Anthony Bucco, Jr.
  • Bond Counsel (one year term)—Jack Kraft
  • Prosecutor (one year term)—Michael Cresitello
  • Public Defender (one year term)—Allan Iskra
  • Deputy Public Defender (one year term)—Andrew Blair
  • Township Auditor (one year term)—William Shroeder of Nisivoccia & Company
  • Township Physician (one year term)—Duane G. Sossong
  • Township Physician (one year term)—Immediate Medical C. C.
  • Municipal Historian (one year term)—Toni Sydor
  • Planning Board Member (four year term)—Art Lee
  • Planning Board Official Council Member—Councilman Algeier
  • Board of Adjustment Member (four year term)—Gene Stracco
  • Board of Adjustment Alternate #1 (unexpired term)—John Sharples
  • Board of Adjustment Alternate #2 (unexpired term)—Laurie Newmark Shortino
  • Board of Health Member (three year term)—Donald Allegra
  • Board of Health Member (three year term)—Jane Moore
  • Board of Health Member (three year term)—Robert Siroty
  • Board of Health Alternate #1 (two year term)—Ron Millman
  • Parks Committee Member (three year term)—Linda Johnson
  • Parks Committee Member (three year term)—Gail Kreitzer
  • Parks Committee Member (three year term)—James Loveys
  • Parks Committee Member (three year term)—Nancy Metz
  • Environmental Commission Member (three year term)—Rick Barker
  • Environmental Commission Member (three year term)—Mike Whiting
  • Environmental Commission Alternate #1 (unexpired term)—John Scorsone
  • Environmental Commission Alternate #2 (unexpired term)—Larry Appel
  • Landmarks Committee Member (three year term)—Joan Brembs
  • Landmarks Committee Alternate #1 (unexpired term)—Charlie Whitehead
  • Landmarks Committee Alternate #2 (unexpired term)—Meg Sullivan
  • Board of Assessments for Local Improvements Member (two year term)—Myra Sesko
  • Economic Development Committee Member (three year term)—Debra Sprung
  • Economic Development Committee Member (three year term)—Eric Weiss
  • Economic Development Committee Member (unexpired term)—Richie Vener
  • Economic Development Committee Member (three year term)—Joe Defeo
  • Economic Development Committee Member (unexpired term)—Richard Thomas
  • Economic Development Committee Alternate #1 (two year term)—John Herold
  • Economic Development Committee Alternate #2 (one year term)—Jim Gorga
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Iva Cook
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Ed Kennedy
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Doug Todd
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Beth Alpert
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (three year term)—Sue Huston
  • Recreation Advisory Committee Member (three year term)—Dan Limone
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (two year term)—Dolores Madison
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (two year term)—Thelma Sellman
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (two year term)—Sunita Mathur
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Barbara Anderson
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Doris Dolan
  • Community Services Advisory Committee Member (one year term)—Lorraine Hopler
  • Open Space Committee Member (three year term)—Mark Cascella
  • Open Space Committee Member (three year term)—Joyce Echanique
  • Open Space Committee Member (unexpired term)—Caroline Schneider
  • Open Space Committee Alternate #1 (two year term)—Colleen Ryan Meyer
  • Traffic Advisory Committee Member (two year term)—Robert Sesko

CONSENT AGENDA RESOLUTIONS

Deputy Mayor Alpert made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda Resolutions. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion.

Councilman Algeier asked about Item 11, the resolution rejecting bids.

Manager Lovell responded that this project deals with energy conservation. The two bidders did not provide complete packages and therefore must be rescinded. He placed this on the agenda today to get this project back out to bid and underway as quickly as possible.

The following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Alpert
Mayor Metz

NAYS: None

(1) Rate of Interest on Delinquent Taxes & Delinquent Water and Sewer

R-01-09

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 54-4-67 has been amended to permit the charging of 8% of the first $1,500.00 of delinquent taxes and assessments, and 18% on any amount in excess of $1,500.00; and

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 54 also permits the charging of 8% on the first $1,500.00 of delinquent water and sewer charges and 18% interest on any amount in excess of $1,500.00; and

WHEREAS, the delinquent charges on finance agreements is 1 1/2 % per month in each installment in default for thirty (30) days.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, as follows:

1. The rate of interest to be charged for nonpayment of taxes, assessments, water and sewer charges, on or before the due date shall be 8% per annum for the first $1,500.00 and 18% on any amount in excess of $1,500.00.

2. No interest shall be charged if payment of any taxes and assessments is made within ten (10) calendar days of due date.

3. The rate of interest to be charged on delinquent finance agreements is 1 1/2 % per month in each installment in default for thirty (30) days.

4. This resolution shall take effect on January 1, 2009.

(2) Bank Depositories

R-02-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, that the following list of banks be designated as depositories for Township funds for the year 2009:

JP Morgan Chase Bank
TD Bank, NA
New Jersey Cash Management Fund
The Provident Bank
Heritage Community Bank
Investors Savings Bank

(3) Fees for Agendas

R-03-09

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., known as the “Open Public Meetings Act”, requires notices to be given of meetings of public bodies, as defined and prescribed in said statute, and further provides for the fixing of a reasonable charge to be paid by any person requesting such notices.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, as follows:

1. The Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record, as the newspapers having the greatest likelihood of informing the public of meetings to be held by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, are hereby designated as the newspapers to receive notices of all meetings of this Township Council for the calendar year 2009 as required by the “Open Public Meetings Act”.

2. The bulletin board located immediately adjacent to the Municipal Clerk’s Office in the main hallway of the Randolph Municipal Building shall be the place for posting of all notices of meetings of the Township Council during the 2009 calendar year.

3. The sum of twenty ($20) dollars is hereby fixed as the fee to be paid by any person requesting that notices of meetings of the Township Council of the Township of Randolph during the 2009 calendar year be mailed to such person; but, as provided in N.J.S.A. 40:4-19, no charge shall be made to any newspaper requesting the mailing of such notices to its business office.

4. Certified copies of this resolution shall be mailed by the Clerk of the Township to the Randolph Reporter and the Morris County Daily Record and a certified copy shall be filed with the Clerk of the Township.

(4) Signatures on Checks

R-04-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph that the signatures of the Township Manager and Township Treasurer shall be required on all checks drawn against Township accounts.

(5) Official Newspaper

R-05-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, that the Randolph Reporter be designated as the Official Newspaper for the Township of Randolph for the year 2009 and the Morris County Daily Record is the “backup” Official Designated Newspaper and are hereby designated as the newspapers to receive legal notices for the Township of Randolph for the calendar year 2009.

(6) Certifying Agent to Police & Firemen’s Retirement System and Public Employees’ Retirement System

R-06-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, that Michael Soccio, Director of Finance, be appointed Certifying Agent for the Township’s Police and Firemen’s Retirement System and the Public Employees’ Retirement System for the year 2009.

(7) Assessment Search Officer

R-07-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, that the Municipal Clerk be appointed Assessment Search Officer of the Township of Randolph for the year 2009.

(8) Cash Management Plan

R-08-09

WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph adopted a Cash Management Plan on April 2, 1997; and

WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey amended the statutory provisions governing cash management plans and permitted investments; and

WHEREAS, the Director of Finance has amended the Cash Management Plan of the Township of Randolph to incorporate these provisions.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that the Cash Management Plan as amended be approved.

(9) Re-Establishment of the Municipal Alliance Committee

R-09-09

BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, State of New Jersey that in compliance with P.L. Chapter 51 and the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Randolph Township Municipal Alliance Committee is hereby re-established. The Municipal Alliance Committee pledges to work towards the following goals as directed in the Chapter 15 legislation.

1. Organized and coordinated efforts involving schools, law enforcement, business groups and other community organizations for the purpose of reducing alcoholism and drug abuse.

2. In cooperation with local school districts, comprehensive and effective alcoholism and drug abuse education programs in grades Kindergarten through 12.

3. In cooperation with local school districts, procedures for the intervention, treatment and discipline of students abusing alcohol or drugs.

4. Comprehensive alcoholism and drug abuse education, support and outreach efforts for parents in the community.

5. Comprehensive alcoholism and drug abuse community awareness programs.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the above mentioned Alliance will be recognized as an Ad Hoc Advisory Committee reporting to the Township Council.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the membership of the Randolph Municipal Alliance Committee may include, but not be limited to, the following representatives:

Mayoral alliance representative, Chief of Police, Board of Education President, Superintendent of Schools, Student Alliance Coordinator, representative of the Parent-Teacher Association, representative of the local bargaining unit for teachers, representative of the Chamber of Commerce, Municipal Court Judge, representatives of local civic association, representatives of local religious groups, private citizens.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Randolph Township Municipal Alliance Committee be authorized to seek and secure funding from the County of Morris for 2009.

(10) Meeting Dates Resolution (Subject to Change)

R-10-09

WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6 et seq., known as the “Open Public Meetings Act” requires that all public bodies of the State of New Jersey provide adequate notice to the public of its intended meetings.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, Morris County, New Jersey, as follows:

1. The regular meetings of the Township Council for the Township of Randolph to discuss or act upon public business during the calendar year 2009 will be held on Thursdays on the dates listed below. Regular meetings and work session meetings are scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. prevailing time. The public is invited to attend work sessions, but there is no public participation except at the beginning of the meeting during the “Open to the Public” portion of the agenda. Final action may or may not be taken at all scheduled meetings which are held at the Randolph Township Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, New Jersey, on the following dates:

Regular Sessions
(8:00 p.m.)
Combined Meeting
(8:00 p.m.)
Work Sessions
(8:00 p.m.)
Reorganization Meeting on Thursday, January 1, 2009, at 1:00 p.m.
January 1 (1:00 p.m.)January 15January 29
February 5February 17 (Tuesday)February 26
March 5March 17 (Tuesday)March 26
April 2April 16April 30
May 7May 21May 28
June 4June 18June 25
July 2Summer ScheduleSummer Schedule
August 6Summer ScheduleSummer Schedule
September 3September 15 (Tuesday)Sept. 29 (Tues.)
October 6 (Tuesday)No Meeting ScheduledOctober 29
November 5No Meeting ScheduledNov. 24 (Tues.)
December 3 (Tuesday)No Meeting ScheduledDecember 17
Reorganization Meeting on Friday, January 1, 2010, at 1:00 p.m.
 January 14, 2010January 28, 2010

2. Certified copies of this said Resolution shall, within seven days of its adoption, be mailed to the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper designated by the Randolph Township Council, and to the Daily Record.

3. A certified copy of this said Resolution shall also be maintained throughout the year 2009 on the bulletin board located immediately adjacent to the Municipal Clerk’s Office in the main hallway of the Municipal Building.

4. A certified copy of this said Resolution shall be mailed to any person requesting notices of meetings of the Township Council pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10-4-19 and whoever has paid the required fee for such notice.

(11) Resolution to Reject Bids—2008 Window Film

R-11-09

WHEREAS, bids were opened on December 4, 2008, for Installation of Window Film at the Municipal Building; and

WHEREAS, two bids were received but both vendors were missing mandatory paperwork; and

WHEREAS, both bids must be rejected and the project rebid.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that both bids be rejected and the project be rebid.

COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS

Councilwoman Price offered congratulations to Mayor Metz and Deputy Mayor Alpert and she looks forward to working together as a team to represent Randolph.

Councilwoman Mitsch echoed Councilwoman Price’s sentiments.

Councilman Algeier thanked Councilman Napoliello for his work as Mayor in 2008 and offered his best wishes to Mayor Metz and Deputy Mayor Alpert. He asked Manager Lovell to obtain a copy of the bill proposed by Assemblyman Merkt concerning COAH, prepare a resolution in support of that bill, and forward both documents to the Council for possible action at the next meeting.

Councilman Napoliello stated that he thought the meeting and reception went well and he looks forward to a good year in 2009.

Deputy Mayor Alpert thanked Councilman Napoliello for his work as Mayor in 2008 and stated that he looks forward to working with the Council in 2009. He thanked the members of the council for their support and for the opportunity to serve as Deputy Mayor in 2009.

Mayor Metz thanked Councilman Napoliello for his guidance while he was Deputy Mayor in 2008. He noted that for mayors Napoliello, Algeier and Obremski were all helpful in the transition phase. He is thankful there is an experienced group of individuals working together as a whole. The Mayor thanked the public for coming forward with their requests to be placed on various boards and committees.

Manager Lovell stated that there has never been a year during his 34 years of service where there haven’t been challenges. He believes the Council will rise to those challenges facing them and that Randolph will be better for the Council’s efforts in 2009.

OPEN TO PUBLIC

Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.

ADJOURNMENT

Councilman Obremski made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Councilwoman Mitsch seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Algeier
Councilwoman Mitsch
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Deputy Mayor Alpert
Mayor Metz

NAYS: None

The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 2:50 p.m.

_________________________________
Donna Marie Luciani
Township Clerk