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, 2011
The Township Reorganization Meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Councilwoman Mitsch. 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, 2009, by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on December 3, 2009. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph, and in the Morris County Daily Record on December 17, 2009.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Councilwoman Mitsch led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Councilwoman Mitsch recognized from the audience Senator Anthony Bucco, Assemblyman Anthony Bucco, Sheriff Ed Rochford, Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom, Freeholder Tom Mastroangelo, and former Randolph Mayor Jay Alpert.
OATH OF OFFICE TO BE ADMINISTERED TO:
(1) Councilman-Elect Michael Guadagno
Ms. Geraldine Hoffman administered the Oath of Office to Councilman Guadagno.
(2) Councilman-Elect James Loveys
Mrs. Karen Loveys administered the Oath of Office to Councilman Loveys. The Bible was held by Chelsea, Anna, James and Abby Loveys.
(3) Councilman-Elect Thomas MacArthur
Mrs. Deborah MacArthur administered the Oath of Office to Councilman MacArthur. The Bible was held by David and Isabella MacArthur.
(4) Councilman-Elect Allen Napoliello
Assemblyman Anthony Bucco administered the Oath of Office to Councilman Napoliello. The Bible was held by Peyton Napoliello.
Councilwoman Mitsch recognized former Randolph Mayors Betty Jaeger and Lee Whilden and Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen in the audience.
ROLL CALL OF THE TOWNSHIP COUNCIL
NOMINATION FOR THE SELECTION OF TEMPORARY MAYOR
Councilman Napoliello nominated Donna Luciani as Temporary Mayor. Councilman Loveys seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
NOMINATIONS AND SELECTION OF MAYOR FOR THE YEAR 2011
Councilman Guadagno nominated Trina Mitsch as Mayor for 2011. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
NOMINATIONS AND SELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR FOR THE YEAR 2011
Councilman Loveys nominated Councilman Guadagno as Deputy Mayor for 2011. Councilman MacArthur seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
SWEARING IN OF MAYOR AND DEPUTY MAYOR
Dr. Therese Ruane O’Hora administered the Oath of Office to Mayor Mitsch. The Bible was held by Elizabeth Mitsch, Caoimhe O’Hora, and Niall O’Hora.
Lillian Giordano administered the Oath of Office to Deputy Mayor Guadagno.
COMMENTS BY MAYOR AND COUNCIL—Goals and Objectives for 2011
Mayor Trina Mitsch
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much for being here with us today. It’s not that long ago that 2011 sounded like a year in science fiction, and yet here we are. We’ve experienced all the challenges that started with the near collapse of the financial sector in 2008 and we’ve come through on the other side. America is an amazingly resilient place. Two hundred plus years of hard work, innovation, and an indomitable spirit do not come undone so easily. I continue to meet and work with people who leave me in awe with their achievements, ability to adapt to new challenges, and the tenacity to bring about change and get the job done.
The structural changes that have taken place in our economy in the last few years necessitate changes in how we operate as a municipal government. Randolph has been ahead of the curve with respect to shared services starting years ago as a founding member of the Morris County pricing cooperative. The list of shared service arrangements continue to grow. We recently started providing animal control services to the two Mendhams, and we will soon start providing health department services for Roxbury Township. We continue to look at all new potential opportunities for collaboration on a case by case basis. I believe that there are many more opportunities where a strategic alliance could provide savings for Randolph and other potential partners.
Because we do so much so well, Randolph is the model that others look to emulate in many ways. As a result of the harsh economic reality other communities are only starting to make changes that have been standard practice here for years.
As a council member over the last eight years, I have thought about the long term impact of my decisions on Randolph’s financial position and quality of life. That mind set will continue to guide me through the budget process again this year. Given the state budget challenges, the slow economic recovery, and its effect on state revenues, it is highly likely that Randolph will experience a significant loss in state revenue again this year. As Randolph residents, we have to decide this year what is the appropriate balance we desire between maintaining the current standard of services provided and paying more for those services.
Starting this month, I will be attending the monthly Economic Development Committee meetings. Ed Metz has done a lot with this committee over the last two years and it is my intention to build on that foundation and have even more interaction with Randolph businesses. We have a slow growing economy which presents as many challenges to the business community as it does to municipal government. I invite you all to support your local businesses here in town. We are all looking for ways to maintain certain standards and take care of essential services. As a business owner myself, I want Randolph businesses to know that I am here to help and I look forward to finding ways the town can help them. Together we can really help each other.
The longer I’m on the council, the more I realize how lucky we are in Randolph. Many individuals, volunteers, staff and council members have made this town the great place it is. Let’s keep that momentum going. Some things will change, but change many times is a good thing. Before a mosaic is created, there are only shattered pieces of glass. The artist sees the opportunity to create something new and wonderful. I invite you all to embark on the next chapter in Randolph history with me. Despite the economic challenges, I think it’s possible to continue to be the premier community that we are. Many residents have had only limited engagement with local government. I invite you to attend council meetings, particularly the budget sessions, so you can see the big picture and understand what drives the decisions we have to make.
On a lighter note, I have learned recently that one of my responsibilities as mayor is to throw the opening pitch for Little League Opening Day. For those of you who know me well, especially my sister in the audience, the athlete in the family, as kids growing up she was the soccer player, the basketball player. Our bedroom wall was paved with posters of the Liverpool soccer team in England. When I told her the other day that this was going to be one of my duties I almost had to pick her up off the floor she was laughing so hard. After 24 years living here in the United States, I’m still trying to figure out the game of baseball, I must confess. My sporting endeavors have been less than stellar, shall we say. Fortunately, Jim Loveys has volunteered to coach me and he has no idea what he signed up for. I look forward to Opening Day and a new experience in my American education.
I hope you, the Randolph residents, feel free to contact me at any time with your thoughts, comments, or questions. I wish you all a prosperous and healthy 2011.
I would like to recognize two other people who just walked in, Freeholder Bill Chegwidden, and the mayor of Mount Arlington Art Ondish. Thank you.
Deputy Mayor Mike Guadagno
I’m serving as Deputy Mayor this year and I’m honored to be serving with Trina as Mayor. I’ve watched her political career grow from Day 1 and I’m honored and I’ll be learning a lot about how government is formed.
Basically my job is to back up the mayor and I will be at her beck and call. Call me any time. My phones are always available to you.
I’m looking forward to serving the people of Randolph who voted me into office and I’m looking forward to, even in these tough times, making it through this year to the budget meetings and hearings. Thank you very much.
Mayor Mitsch recognized Freeholder Doug Cabana in the audience.
Councilman Gary Algeier
I’d also like to thank all the dignitaries and public and elected officials who have taken time out of their day to join us here in Randolph. We’re deeply honored and very thrilled that so many of you have come to Randolph and support us in so many ways.
As I look down the table here I see three rookies, but you know what? They’re not really rookies. Jim has been on the council for three months and I think he’ll be the first to admit he’s a new guy. When you talk about rookies, you talk about somebody who’s just kind of getting their feet wet, getting an idea of what’s going on. These three gentlemen, these new council members, are not rookies in that sense.
I did a little homework and I came up with some information that I think will be important for our community to realize as we move into 2011. These gentlemen have excellent capabilities and tremendous experience. They have a total of 23 years on various township advisory committees plus ten years on the planning board and eight years on the zoning board. If you count the rest of the four of us sitting at the council, we have a total planning board experience of 23 years. As we go into 2011, the four more seasoned council members have a total of 39 years of council/manager experience. Add the 35 years of our Manager, John Lovell, I think you can see that as we move forward into 2011 Randolph will be well served by experienced people as we move into the challenges with creativity and innovation to meet the challenges of 2011 and beyond.
Councilman Jim Loveys
Good afternoon and Happy New Year to all. I’d like to start by thanking my wife, Karen, and my four children—James, Anna, Abby and Chelsea—for sharing this day with us and I want to thank you for your support and also for your understanding of my commitment to this position.
I’d also like to congratulate Mayor Mitsch who has clearly demonstrated the ability to guide this council through these difficult times. 2011 promises to be a very difficult year for all Americans. The economic downturn and resulting recession has left many state and local governments on the brink of a fiscal crisis. Our Governor Chris Christie has slashed budgets, he’s taken steps to reduce spending, and he’s implemented policies in an effort, although painful in the short term, to put our state’s fiscal house on the road to recovery. He’ll need to continue these efforts in 2011.
As Mayor Mitsch mentioned, our state budget again will face double digit deficits in the billions of dollars. Local government entities, including ourselves, must continue to adjust to this changed environment and we’ll face uncharted waters as we seek to develop budgets this year in conformance with the 2 percent property tax levy cap. Fortunately Randolph has been very soundly managed by our Township Manager John Lovell, his high quality staff and department heads and the personnel in town, as well as fiscally responsible township councils. By implementing long term strategic planning approaches and also taking some necessary steps to help us weather the storm, Randolph I believe finds itself in a slightly better state than many of our surrounding communities.
My intent is to work together with the Mayor and my fellow colleagues on the council and the township manager to try to keep a check on spending. Again, we anticipate lower revenue levels this year and that, as the Mayor mentioned as well, will put stress on the many services that we’ve all come as residents to expect. There will be many, many difficult decisions on the horizon, but we certainly must all work together to uphold those services that we deem to be essential.
During 2010, again as the Mayor mentioned, Randolph made great strides in the area of shared services with surrounding municipalities and with the county. We all believe and understand that we must continue to seek various areas where these agreements can save taxpayer money and increase efficiencies in the long term.
Probably without question our parks, our trails, our recreation facilities, our open space, are second to none. They’ve come to define a certain quality of life here in Randolph that is unlike any experienced in other towns. It also makes Randolph a very attractive place to live. We must do everything we can to continue to properly maintain these valuable assets.
In closing I’d like to say I’m very excited and honored to have been elected to this office. I look forward to working with the Mayor and fellow colleagues and Township Manager John Lovell, all of whom I have great admiration for and respect. My decision making will be guided by what’s in the best interests of Randolph, trying to keep the big picture in mind because, after all, we all sit up here for a relatively short period of time.
I’d like to acknowledge my mom and dad, too. It’s very special for me to have them here today.
Happy New Year.
Councilman Mike Obremski
Happy New Year everybody. It is truly a pleasure to be up here again for another Reorganization Meeting. Welcome to our new council members and returning council members. As always, I will work with each and every council member up here to guide Randolph in the right direction.
Most of everything has been said or will be said of what our goals are for 2011, but I wanted to talk about two specific projects that I will be continuing to work on this year. I do see a lot of the Friends of the Randolph Pound here. We have a long term project to get a new pound at the Seeing Eye property in Mendham Township. We’ve run into some road blocks and we may be reaching out to some of our legislators to help us with that process. We’ve hit a Green Acres snag but we have plan and we’re going to overcome that and I’m hopeful that by the end of 2011 we’ll be in the new facility in Mendham Township to get rid of that ugly thing we have now called a pound.
Also one of my other pet projects is our teen driving program we have in town. As many of you know we have won awards for that program, it’s called Alive at 25, and it’s designed to help our young teenage drivers stay alive when they’re driving. My goal this year to enhance that program is that I am hopeful we’ll have a speaker called JC Good. For those of you who don’t know her story I’ll give it to you briefly. She graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2008. On her way home from that graduation ceremony with her family her vehicle was hit by a teen driver who was texting. She lost both her parents that day and she is severely handicapped. Some of you may have seen her on Oprah this spring where she started her No Phone Zone project. She is available, she lives in Pennsylvania, she does come out to municipalities to talk about the dangers of texting and driving, and we’ve had some initial discussions and I’m hopeful that she will be here this year. We’re trying to work out all of the details to get the most people out to hear her story, which is very enlightening to say the least.
Those are my two things that I’ll be concentrating on this year in addition to help guide this town in the right direction.
Happy New Year to all, and good to see everybody.
Councilman Tom MacArthur
Thank you all for being here. It is really an honor to be here to represent the citizens of Randolph. It’s the first time I’ve taken this oath and I take it very seriously. I’m honored to have my family here. My wife and son and daughter you saw earlier. My sister is here with her family. My dad is here from New Hampshire. My son’s fiance and her family are here, and it’s a privilege to have them all here.
My mom used to have us make New Year’s resolutions. I guess that’s fallen out of style but it’s a habit I’ve pulled into adulthood. I was making my personal resolutions this week for the coming year and I decided to make some for my service as a councilman. I’d like to share two of them with you. One is a short term resolution, the other a little bit longer.
The short term one has been alluded to already, and that is that we are facing fiscal difficulties in this coming year for a host of reasons. I would hasten to add that they’re not really Randolph reasons though. This town has done a terrific job in keeping a lid on costs. It’s a testament to our manager and staff. It’s a testament to prior councils that have been very careful. We spend less today than we did a year ago. We have fewer employees today than we had ten years ago. We’ve done that without compromising service. We’ve done it by sharing services with other towns, health, construction, animal control, purchasing cooperatives, we’ve done that really well. But the state has had some difficulties and our Governor is trying hard but it is creating short term pain as the state is cutting the money that it returns to towns. My first resolution is to support the Mayor and her initiatives and the Manager and to make sure that we do our very best without cutting essential services to keep a lid on our spending.
My second resolution is a little bit longer term. I was reading last year a history of Randolph and I came across an anecdotal story about the naming of one of the oldest parts of our town, Mt. Freedom. General Washington, when he was encamped in Morristown in those difficult winters of the Revolution, would ride through the hills, as the historian wrote, to a quiet place where, for a few hours, he would be free from worry. He called the place his Mt. Freedom, and such perhaps is the beginnings of the name of that part of town. That part of town has had a rich history. I won’t detail it now, but it’s gotten a little bit tired. That area between Millbrook and Hanover along Sussex Turnpike has been ripe for development of a good kind. It’s been attempted over decades. There have been various hurdles and I think we’re coming into a time in these next few years where we can encourage and foster good development there. That’s a pet project of mine. I’d like to encourage it. It could be a beautiful center.
I guess one last hope, not a resolution, is that each of you has a healthy and happy New Year. I’m looking forward to serving you, the people of Randolph, and you’ll have my very best on this council.
Councilman Al Napoliello
I want to thank everyone for coming today and wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year. I am both proud and honored to once again be elected to the Randolph Council. I view my re-election as an acknowledgement by the residents that I have done a good job.
I want to thank Jay Alpert for the fine job he did last year as Mayor. Unfortunately, Jay had to resign as he took an assignment with the Port Authority but, fortunately, we didn’t miss a beat as Deputy Mayor Trina Mitsch assumed the job as Mayor and did an outstanding job. Trina has been a valuable asset to our community and she showed it again last year.
I also want to offer my congratulations and support to Trina on her selection as this year’s Mayor.
My congratulations and support also goes to the newly elected Deputy Mayor Mike Guadagno as well as Councilmen Tom MacArthur and Jim Loveys. I’ve know all three of these people for many years and I am happy to serve with them. I know that they will do a great job.
My thanks go out to Assemblyman Bucco for taking the time from his very busy schedule to be here to administer the Oath of Office to me today.
I also want to publicly thank my wife, JoAnn, for her unwavering support. She understands the time commitment needed to serve on the council and has been understanding and helpful. Also, I want to thank the members of my family and friends who came out to be here for me today.
And last but certainly not least my thanks go to my grandson Peyton for taking part in my swearing in ceremony and also helping me during my campaign by going door to door with me on weekends and on other days whenever he didn’t have to attend school.
Some of the accomplishments that I am proud to have been a part of during my eight years on this Council are as follows: We reduced legal fees while retaining top New Jersey attorneys, stopped residential sprawl, secured a new postal facility for Randolph, achieved a AAA bond rating, created a Homeland Security Task Force, and negotiated shared services agreements with surrounding towns.
I know that I have made a positive difference during my eight years on the Council, but I also know that there is still work to be done.
Some of my goals for the future are to continue to hold down taxes through our participation in shared services, and to continue to encourage commercial development. I want to rebuild and renovate the Senior Citizen Center and Department of Public Works buildings.
And, of course, my goal, as always, is to continue to hold down expenses as we were successful in doing last year.
I know it will be even more challenging to accomplish this year during the economic slowdown that we are faced with. The challenge will be to hold down expenses while continuing to provide the wonderful quality of life that all Randolph residents enjoy.
It is my sincerest desire to do so because it is that “quality of life” that makes Randolph the town “Where Life is Worth Living”.
Thank you and, once again, Happy New Year.
MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGE—3 Year Term
Councilman Algeier nominated Ira Cohen as Municipal Court Judge. Deputy Mayor Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
Councilman Algeier stated that Judge Cohen, appointed for his third term as Municipal Court Judge in Randolph, is one of the most outstanding judges in New Jersey. Judge Cohen spends many hours outside of the court room working with the youth of the community, most notably in traffic and driver safety related issues. The Honorable David Ironson, a Superior Court judge in Morristown, will administer the Oath of Office to Judge Cohen. Judge Ironson, a Randolph resident as is Judge Cohen, has served this community well in various capacities. Councilman Algeier stated that he is proud to re-appoint Judge Cohen and is also proud to have Judge Ironson present today.
Judge Ironson administered the Oath of Office to Judge Cohen.
PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING OPERATION APPRECIATION AND BRIGHTON CROMWELL
Mayor Mitsch read the following proclamation into the record:
WHEREAS, Operation Appreciation sends holiday care packages to American troops overseas; and
WHEREAS, Randolph’s Brighton Cromwell, the United Way of Morris County, and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce teamed up to undertake a local Operation Appreciation effort; and
WHEREAS, the Randolph Township municipal organization, local service clubs, and residents joined in this effort at the request of Brighton Cromwell; and
WHEREAS, Brighton Cromwell organized the collection of goods and assemblage of care packages at their Randolph facility; and
WHEREAS, the 2010 Operation Appreciation program was an unprecedented success due to the inspiring efforts of the Brighton Cromwell Team.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Trina Ruane Mitsch, on behalf of the Township Council and citizens of Randolph, do hereby proclaim that Brighton Cromwell is recognized for their outstanding service and commitment to our American Troops and exemplify Randolph’s motto, “Where Life Is Worth Living”.
Manager Lovell recognized Randolph Police Chief Robert Mason, Fire Inspector Ray Stromberg, and Animal Control Officer Norma Jacobs in the audience.
Manager Lovell provided a summary and service highlights of out-going Fire Chief William Wagner and presented Mr. Wagner with an award in recognition of his service.
Manager Lovell provided a brief summary of the history and service of both John McAndrew III and Kevin Dunn.
(1) Fire Department Chief—2 Year Term
Manager Lovell appointed John McAndrew III as Fire Department Chief in Randolph Township.
(2) Deputy Fire Chief—2 Year Term
Manager Lovell appointed Kevin Dunn as the Deputy Fire Chief in Randolph Township.
COMMENTS BY FIRE CHIEF
Mr. McAndrew stated that he has lived in town for most of his life. Mr. McAndrew stated that he believes the true measure of a community is when people come together to serve another fellow citizen in a time of need. He takes his appointment as Fire Chief very seriously and considers it an honor and privilege to serve in Randolph.
Mayor Mitsch noted that over her years on the Council, she has been able to observe the fire department closely and knows of the extraordinary amount of hours in both training and service they perform. She has had occasion to call the fire department to her home and appreciates their professionalism. The Mayor agrees with Chief McAndrew’s sentiments that the measure of a community is the volunteers who commit their time to serve. She thanked all of the volunteers who serve on the various committees because she believes all of their efforts combined make Randolph an extraordinary place to live.
ADJOURN FOR RECEPTION IN MAIN FOYER
Councilman Algeier made a motion to approve the appointments contained on the agenda listed under Item A with the exception of Tax Appeal Attorney and Public Defender. Deputy Mayor Guadagno seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
A. COUNCIL APPOINTMENTS FOR 2011
Donna M. Brady—1 Year Term
Edward J. Buzak—1 Year Term
Special Counsel for Labor and Negotiations
Fred Knapp—1 Year Term
Special Counsel for Negotiations and Preparation of Developers’ Agreements—1 Year Term
Anthony Bucco, Jr.—1 Year Term
Jack Kraft—1 Year Term
Mike Cresitello—1 Year Term
Deputy Public Defender
Andrew Blair—1 Year Term
William Schroeder of Nisivoccia & Company—1 Year Term
Duane Sossong—1 Year Term
Immediate Medical CC—1 Year Term
Gail Hari—1 Year Term
Barbara Gothie—1 Year Term
Ralph Carchia—1 Year Term
Donna Luciani—1 Year Term
Myra Sesko—4 Year Term
Bob Mooney—4 Year Term
Roman Hirniak—Official Member
Allen Napoliello—Mayor’s Designee
Gary Algeier—Official Council Member
Board of Adjustment
Joanne Veech—4 Year Term
Linda Johnson—4 Year Term
Jonathan Gold—Unexpired Term as Alternate #1
Board of Health
Ron Millman—2 Year Term as Alternate #1
Art Lee—3 Year Term
Walter Nickens—3 Year Term
Matt Newman—Unexpired Term as Alternate #2
Janet Lorey—3 Year Term
Ed O’Connor—3 Year Term as Alternate #1
Board of Assessments for Local Improvements
Myra Sesko—2 Year Term
Joanne Veech—Unexpired Two Year Term
Economic Development Committee
John Ragan—3 Year Term
Edward Metz—3 Year Term
Susan Scola—3 Year Term
Joe DeFeo—3 Year Term
John Herold—Unexpired Term
Jim Gorga—2 Year Term as Alternate #1
Frank Echanique—1 Year Term as Alternate #2
Recreation Advisory Committee
Iva Cook—1 Year Term
Ned Levine—1 Year Term
Matt Tal—1 Year Term
Robert Barbiere—1 Year Term
Doug Todd—2 Year Term
Community Services Advisory Committee
Kathy Algeier—2 Year Term
Dolores Madison—2 Year Term
Sunita Mathur—2 Year Term
Doris Dolan—1 Year Term
Barbara Anderson—1 Year Term
Joanne Veech—1 Year Term
Debbie MacArthur—3 Year Unexpired Term
Library Board of Trustees
Frances Jerow—5 Year Term
Trina Ruane Mitsch—Mayor’s Alternate
Traffic Advisory Committee
Jim Maraska—2 Year Term
Deputy Mayor Guadagno made a motion to approve the appointments listed on the agenda under Item B, Council Liaisons. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
B. Council Liaisons
Economic Development Committee—Trina Ruane Mitsch
Community Services Advisory Committee—Mike Guadagno
Landmarks Committee—Mike Guadagno
Environmental Commission—James Loveys
Parks Committee—James Loveys
Municipal Alliance Committee—Michael Obremski
Recreation Committee—Thomas MacArthur
Board of Health—Gary Algeier
County College of Morris—Gary Algeier
Board of Education—Trina Ruane Mitsch, Thomas MacArthur
Rescue Squad—Allen Napoliello
Fire Department—Allen Napoliello
Traffic Advisory Committee—Michael Obremski
Safety Committee—Gary Algeier
Media Communications Liaison—Trina Ruane Mitsch
Councilman Algeier asked that Item C-9 be withheld to a later meeting. The Councilman is concerned about the stewardship of the funds given to the Committee. A program was offered recently for which a sizeable amount of money was paid and which was not well attended. Before the Councilman votes on the resolution, he would like to obtain more information on how decisions are made within the committee for various programs and events.
Councilman MacArthur made a motion to approve the resolutions under Item C with the exception of Number 9. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
(1) Rate of Interest on Delinquent Taxes & Delinquent Water and Sewer
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% interest on the first $1,500.00 of delinquent water and sewer charges and 18% interest on any amount in excess of $1,500.00.
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 non-payment 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. This resolution shall take effect on January 1, 2011.
(2) Bank Depositories
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 2011:
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
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 2011 as required by the “Open Public Meetings Act”.
2. The bulletin board 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 2011 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 2011 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
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
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 2011 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 2011.
(6) Certifying Agent to Police and Firemen’s Retirement System and Public Employees’ Retirement System
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 2011.
(7) Assessment Search Officer
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 2011.
(8) Cash Management Plan
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 those 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 be approved.
(9) Re-Establishment of the Municipal Alliance Committee
Item pulled from the agenda.
(10) Authorizing Rescission of Contract from Main Pool & Chemical Company for Item 8C—Water Treatment Chemicals
WHEREAS, the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council has entered into a contract dated November 30, 2010, for Contract #17 (Water Treatment Chemicals) with Main Pool & Chemical Company for 2011; and
WHEREAS, Item #8-C was awarded to Main Pool & Chemical Company in error due to Main Pool & Chemical Company not being the actual low bidder for Item #8-C at $1.15 per gallon; and
WHEREAS, another bidder (Kuehne Chemical Company, Inc.) also bid Item #8-C at $1.15 per gallon; therefore, a coin-toss is recommended to be scheduled to determine the actual successful bidder for this item.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that under these conditions, it is in the MCCPC’s interest to rescind Item #8-C (Caustic Soda, bulk deliveries of 1,500 gallons minimum to one location) at $1.15 per gallon from Main Pool & Chemical Company and schedule a coin-toss with Main Pool & Chemical Company and Kuehne Chemical Company to determine the successful bidder for Item #8-C of Contract #17 (Water Treatment Chemicals).
(11) Authorizing Rescission of MCCPC Contract for Office Supplies With Office Depot and Re-Awarding to W.B. Mason and CMF Business
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph on behalf of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council awarded Categories A & C to Office Depot on November 30, 2010, under the 2011 Contract #16 (Office Supplies); and
WHEREAS, the award to Office Depot for Categories A & C consisted of discounts from their Office Depot Full Service Catalog/Special Order Catalog 2011 which was an equivalent to the catalogs specified in the bid specifications; and
WHEREAS, Office Depot is now offering a substitute catalog (Office Depot Full Service Business to Business, 1066 page catalog) after the initial award of November 30, 2010, which is not an equivalent to the catalog they bid on and awarded; and
WHEREAS, it is in the MCCPC’s interest to rescind Categories A and C from Office Depot for non-compliance with the bid specifications and the re-awarding of Categories A and C to the following bidders who submitted the second highest discount for the categories noted:
Category A: Day-to Day Used Supplies: Award to W.B. Mason
Category C: Miscellaneous Equipment: Award to CMF Business Supplies
NOW, THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, that the award of Categories A & C be rescinded from Office Depot under the 2011 Contract #16 (Office Supplies) and the re-awarding of Category A to W.B. Mason and Category C to CMF Business Supplies for submitting the second highest discount for the categories as noted.
(12) Authorizing Award of Six MCCPC Contracts and the Rejection and Re-Bid on One Contract for Services on an As-Needed Basis
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph authorizes an award of six (6) contracts and the rejection and re-bid of one (1) contract for the year 2011 on behalf of the Morris County Cooperative Pricing Council (MCCPC); and
WHEREAS, bids have been advertised and received on December 8, 2010, in accordance with the “Local Public Contracts Law” for MCCPC Contracts #1, 2, 5, 6, 12, 19 and 21; and
WHEREAS, the Township of Randolph has determined that the vendors recommended for the award of above contracts are the lowest responsible bidders meeting the specifications as noted:
Contract #1—Motor Gasoline: Reject bid of Allied Oil and re-bid entire contract.
Contract #2—Fuel Oil #2: Award to Finch Fuel Oil for a two (2) year contract.
Contract #5—Paving Materials: Award entire contract to Tilcon New York.
Contract #6—Road Resurfacing:
Category A, B & C: Award to Tilcon New York.
Category D: Award to Intercounty Paving.
Category E: Award to Micro Pave Systems (Districts #1 & 2); Award to Joseph Snzari for (District #3).
Categories F, G & H: No awards due to no bids received.
Category I: Award to Sor-Testing Laboratories.
Contract #12—Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel #2: Award to Finch Oil for a two (2) year contract.
Contract #19—Cinder & Concrete Blocks: Award to Harrison Supply.
Contract #21—Oil and Stone Treatment: Award to Morris Asphalt.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council, Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, that contracts be awarded and rejected/re-bid as indicated for each category noted.
WORK SESSION ITEMS AND ACTION
A. Public Discussion of 2011—CDBG Application—Sidewalk Completion From A&P to Grecco Center
Manager Lovell stated that the recently installed sidewalk system for the garden apartment units on Center Grove Road has been a great success. The Manager suggested applying for the grant so that repair work can be done to sidewalks along Quaker Church Road and Center Grove Road as well as the installation of a sidewalk from the intersection of Route 10 and Center Grove Road to the Grecco shopping site. Repair work will also be scheduled for decaying sidewalks near the Fernbrook School in cooperation with the Board of Education.
Deputy Mayor Guadagno stated that this issue has come before the Planning Board and should be done for the safety of the community.
Mayor Mitsch opened the meeting to the public for comment on this issue. Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.
Deputy Mayor Guadagno made a motion that the Township Council authorize the submission of a grant application for the sidewalk project for the Grecco property. Councilman Obremski seconded the motion.
Councilman Algeier asked if the grant would pay for 100 percent of the project and if the project would impact the Liberty Tree.
Manager Lovell responded that the grant would pay for 80 percent. The project would not impact the Liberty Tree.
Councilman Algeier suggested asking Mr. Grecco to make a contribution towards the project since the sidewalk would enhance his facility.
The following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
B. Shongum Lake Dam—Acceptance of Late Payments for Special Assessments
Manager Lovell stated that, in the past, late payments for special assessments have not been accepted. However, this past year several families in the Shongum area did not pay their assessments on a timely basis. As typically occurs, the Township sends a bill and then sends a reminder notice. If payment is not received after these two notices, the Township sends a bill for the entire balance of the assessment. Several families contacted the Manager once this final notice was received and related instances of financial or medical hardship. The Manager asked the Township Attorney to review the statute to determine what authority the Council brings to bear on this matter and to see if late payments could be accepted.
Mr. Buzak’s comments included the following:
- When the Township imposes an assessment for a local improvement, the law requires the assessment be paid in full at the time the assessment is made, usually within 30 days
- In certain circumstances, the Council has the ability to extend those payments over a period of years and the Council elected to do that in this instance
- The interest rate paid is what is known as the legal rate, which is the rate at which the Township borrowed the funds and the residents get the benefit of the lower rate
- The laws says the Council gives the opportunity for the assessment to be paid over a period of time, however if a payment is missed the entire balance becomes due
- However, the Council has the ability, by resolution, to accept a late payment and to reinstate the process of the longer term payment
- If such a resolution is approved, the payment would consist of the regular payment that is due including interest at the legal rate from when the payment was due to the time payment is received by the Township
- It is his recommendation that, if the Council were to adopt a resolution accepting a late payment, a date be set for which payment must be received
- If a late payment is not received, the homeowner will then be faced with paying the remaining balance
- The resolution would be for the year 2010 only and any future late payments would be addressed again by the Council at that time
Councilman Napoliello made a motion to approve the one time only late payment that must be paid by January 31, 2011, with interest at the legal rate to the date of payment. Deputy Mayor Guadagno seconded the motion.
Councilman MacArthur asked if the initial yearly assessment bill to the property owners could include a clear warning of the ramifications of not paying their assessment on time, perhaps including the invoice for the entire amount of the assessment.
Manager Lovell responded that Mr. Soccio’s letter is specific as to the impact of late payments, however he will review the letter to see if there is room for improvement next year.
The following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Guadagno
C. Notification of Highlands Council Conformance Study to Terminate Opt-In Randolph’s Planning Area
D. Notification of Morris County to Include Randolph in the Wastewater Management Plan
Manager Lovell’s comments included the following:
- Items C and D are companion issues
- In 2008 and 2009 a few issues were having a very real impact on land use in Randolph Township and other communities in northern New Jersey
- COAH reforms that had been put in place by the McGreevey administration were thrown out and suddenly Randolph was contending with a significant number of housing obligations
- Meanwhile, the Highlands Act was requiring towns with land in the preservation area to opt in to their plan
- Opting in for lands in the planning area would be an optional decision made by each town
- The Township created a committee to study how to best protect Randolph’s interests, both in the long and short term
- By starting the process of studying whether to opt in the planning area, a period of relief was created for the Township with regard to addressing the COAH numbers and would ultimately bring about a much lower housing element conformance number for Randolph
- Additionally, the DEP issued an edict which required all counties to undertake a regional sewer master plan for their communities, referred to as the Wastewater Management Plan
- Since Randolph had indicated we were going to begin the conformance process through the Highlands, the county took the position not to include Randolph in their Wastewater Management Plan
- Much has changed over the last couple of years
- There has been a regime change in Trenton and no one is quite sure what is happening with COAH
- During that time, the county has made great strides in completing their Wastewater Management Plan, which at this time does not include Randolph
- The Manager proposes changing course at this time by notifying the Highlands that Randolph is no longer proceeding toward bringing the planning area into conformance with the Highlands plan and that Morris County be notified that Randolph wishes to be included in their Wastewater Management Plan
- The County is now beginning with their hearing process but they have indicated that, from this point forward, they will begin to bring Randolph into their plan which is critically important for the allocation of sewer capacity
- Several interesting projects that are coming up would be in danger of not being able to move forward if Randolph is not included in the county plan
- The Manager reiterated that COAH is in a state of confusion at this time and we are in a holding pattern with them regarding our housing element, which has not been certified
Mr. Buzak’s comments included the following:
- He is concerned that, while the affordable housing issue is in chaos, COAH still exists
- The Senate and Assembly would like to create different methodologies to determine how a town is going to comply with affordable housing obligations
- If a resolution were adopted today that says Randolph is going to withdraw from the Highlands with regard to the planning area, Randolph would have to file a housing element and fair share plan with COAH now
- A housing element and fair share plan has been filed with the Highlands and that plan reflects a lower affordable housing obligation because of the regulatory constraints that the Highlands would have imposed on the entire town if it were in the preservation area
- Until a housing element and fair share plan is submitted to COAH, Randolph would be vulnerable to builders’ remedy lawsuits
- It is his suggestion that the Council delay this resolution, discuss the issue with our planner Bob Michaels, allow him time to retool and prepare our housing element and fair share plan, and be prepared to submit it to COAH the day after the resolution is approved so as to eliminate any time gaps
Manager Lovell indicated that he is comfortable delaying this resolution until later in January to allow Mr. Michaels time to review and retool the plan.
Councilman MacArthur asked if Randolph opts out of the Highlands plan, is there a guarantee that Morris County will include us in their Wastewater Management Plan.
Mr. Buzak responded that it is his understanding that the county will include Randolph and it is not a choice for the county.
Mayor Mitsch stated that this issue will be revisited later in January.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS
Councilman MacArthur stated that he is happy to be here.
Mayor Mitsch wished everybody a happy new year.
Mr. Buzak thanked the Council for his re-appointment as Township Attorney and for the confidence the Council has placed in his firm. Mr. Buzak considers it a privilege to represent Randolph Township and pledges to give the best service and advice he is able to provide.
Mr. Knapp echoed Mr. Buzak’s sentiments.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
A long time Shongum resident who was late in her assessment payment stated she has on-going health, emotional, and family issues and felt that the final notice sent by the Township requiring the payment for the balance of the assessment was cruel. She stated that she never received the first statement in September but she has the money to make the payment. She asked for clarification of the Council’s decision regarding the late payment.
Manager Lovell responded that the Council will accept late payments and some minimal interest will be tied to that payment. The Manager reiterated that this is a one time exemption to accept late assessment payments.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
Mayor Mitsch adjourned the meeting at 3:15 p.m.
Donna Marie Luciani