All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.
Minutes: August 30, 2010
A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor 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 Morris County Daily Record on August 25, 2010, by emailing them the Special Meeting Notice. The Special Meeting Notice, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Morris County Daily Record on August 27, 2010.
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Edward Buzak
Mayor Mitsch led the Pledge of Allegiance.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, stated that the front doors to the Municipal Building were locked when she arrived for the meeting. Mrs. Stewart recommended the Council not select an individual to fill Jay Alpert’s vacant council seat who will be running for election in November.
Manager Lovell apologized to Mrs. Stewart for the difficulty she encountered trying to enter the building and stated he will make sure the doors are unlocked for future meetings. The Manager noted that a new handicapped-accessible entrance is being constructed at the Municipal Building.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
SELECTING A NEW COUNCIL MEMBER TO FILL JAY ALPERT’S UNEXPIRED TERM
Councilman Metz, in his role of County Committee Chairman, stated that this special meeting is necessary in order to select a new Council member to fill a current vacancy due to the resignation of Jay Alpert. Michael Guadagno, James Loveys, and Thomas MacArthur were selected by the County Committee for consideration by the Council and will present their qualifications to the Council this evening.
Mr. Guadagno’s comments included the following:
- He has been a part of the Randolph community for approximately 38 years
- He likes quality of life in Randolph
- He loves the trail system and parks in Randolph
- He chose to remain in Randolph after his retirement
- He believes taxes are fair and is getting good services for those taxes
- He has worked with the MUA on a study committee
- He worked with Ed Tamm on form of government changes
- He worked on the Master Plan
- He worked on sewer projects
- He worked on the early stages of Randolph’s computer systems (i.e., wrote early systems for finance, tax collection, accounts payable and accounts receivable, etc.)
- He is knowledgeable of how the finances of government work
- He is still active in the County with elections and is consulted on a regular basis for problems throughout Morris County
- He served on the Board of Adjustment for approximately 7 years where he worked on the re-write of the Master Plan and the Acme project
- He was on the Board of Assessments for Local Improvements when the Shongum Dam was being addressed
Mr. Lovey’s comments included the following:
- He is very honored to have been nominated by the Randolph Republican County Committee to seek selection to the unexpired term of Jay Alpert
- His family is rooted in the community having lived in Randolph for nearly 19 years
- He is a firm believer in community service and volunteerism
- He has been heavily involved with several various youth sport recreation programs and committees
- He is currently serving on the Landmarks Committee
- He is serving his third term as vice-chairman of the Parks Committee
- He has been a volunteer in various recreation programs for approximately 17 years
- He is very active in his church community
- His four children, ages 9-22, have attended or are attending Randolph schools
- He believes he has a general pulse on several segments of the community as well as a general knowledge as to the goings on in the town
- He feels seeking a seat on the township council is a natural extension of his community involvement to date
- He believes he can work together with and add value to the current field of high quality council people
- Due to current economic conditions, he realizes in years to come there will be several very difficult decisions
- He will be dedicated and committed and will always keep what he believes to be the best interests of Randolph Township and its residents in the forefront
- He is very proud to be in the same company with his fellow nominees
Mr. MacArthur’s comments included the following:
- He believes his past business experience in the insurance business for 30 years, including eleven years as chairman, would be beneficial in his role as council member
- Things he learned in business include leading people, stimulating growth, controlling expenses, and managing budgets
- Teamwork is vital on a township council—there is always a better result when a team is engaged in something as opposed to an individual
- The most important thing is to discover the right answer together, not necessarily to be the author of it
- He has lived in Randolph almost 18 years
- He is raising his family here—the oldest is at college, the youngest is at the middle school
- He is involved in Bethlehem Church—currently on Elder Board which oversees the church
- He has served on the Open Space Committee
- He has served on Planning Board, where he was able to see how a town develops one decision at a time and the importance of making such decisions well
- He currently sits on the Community Services Advisory Committee, the Environmental Commission and the Assessment Board
- Those areas have helped him to get to know a lot of people in town and to also see how government works in various facets
- He has been attending council meetings this year and has a handle on issues discussed publicly at meetings, including the budget process which has been difficult
- He hopes to be a useful and productive member of council
The Council asked each candidate if their busy schedules would leave them the necessary time to participate fully as a council member.
Mr. MacArthur, Mr. Guadagno, and Mr. Loveys all responded that they can commit the time necessary should they be appointed to the Council.
Mayor Mitsch noted that she finds it very heartening to have such an incredible bank of talent and experience as evidenced by the individuals selected for Council consideration. The individuals who step forward to offer their services to Randolph is part of makes Randolph the amazing town that it is.
Deputy Mayor Napoliello stated that the Council is facing a tough decision in choosing between the three individuals.
Councilman Algeier echoed the Deputy Mayor’s sentiments.
Councilman Metz stated that he believes all three candidates are well qualified and would bring something to the table. Since the public gave Mr. Loveys the most votes in the recent Primary election, he feels the Council should nominate him to fill the vacant spot.
Councilman Metz nominated James Loveys for the position of Councilman replacing Jay Alpert. Councilman Obremski seconded the nomination, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
Councilman Metz thanked Mr. Guadagno and Mr. MacArthur.
The Township Clerk administered the Oath of Office to Mr. Loveys.
OPEN TO PUBLIC
Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, stated that she believes all three candidates were capable and that Councilman Loveys will do a good job.
Seeing no one further from the public, the public portion was closed.
COUNCIL AND MANAGER COMMENTS
Councilman Algeier stated that there is a bill in front of the Legislature that would greatly change the system of volunteer ambulance squads and, in his opinion, could possibly destroy them within the next five years or so. To date, the League of Municipalities has not taken a strong opposing position on this issue. The Councilman asked Deputy Mayor Napoliello, as a member of the Legislative Committee at the League of Municipalities, to talk to people at the League about the many possible ramifications and the need for strong opposition to this proposed legislation.
Councilwoman Price welcomed Councilman Loveys and thanked Jerry Giaimis for his service as Assistant Township Manager and wished him well in his new position in Vernon.
Councilman Metz reported that Mayor Mitsch, Manager Lovell, and he met recently with the School Board. The Board is uncertain at this time as to future legislation regarding budget issues, and so they are not sure whether or not there will be a school election next April. The Councilman will be meeting with the new high school principal to discuss High School Career Day, but so far the principal has expressed her enthusiasm to see the program continue and grow.
Manager Lovell noted that if school board elections are held in April, he has offered the Municipal Building as a possible polling place to help alleviate the overcrowding at the Shongum Fire House.
Councilman Obremski attended the annual VFW picnic recently and he enjoyed sharing the day with the family of a young man currently serving a second tour of duty in the military. Traffic Safety Month will be in October once again, with this year’s focus being school bus safety. The Traffic Safety Committee is working with Paul Ferriero on a traffic study for Shongum Road for possible speed limit reductions.
Councilman Loveys stated that he is pleased to have been appointed to the Council and looks forward to working with the rest of the Council.
Mayor Mitsch noted that the Board of Education indicated they have made it past the enrollment bubble they had projected and classes coming through should be smaller than in recent years. The Mayor hopes this decrease will relieve pressure at various points in the education system.
Manager Lovell stated that a number of commercial buildings in Randolph are beginning to support solar panels on their facilities. Most of these buildings seem to be flat roof projects with the panels mounted so you can’t see them from the road. Currently these projects go before the Planning Board for approval, however if there is a height issue, they must go to the Board of Adjustment. The Manager suggested the Council consider a way to make the path for approval for these types of projects a little easier for local businesses. The Manager reiterated that this would apply only to projects where the panels would be mounted on a flat roof and not visible from the street. He will have an ordinance prepared for introduction at the next Council meeting.
Deputy Mayor Napoliello welcomed Councilman Loveys.
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 (N.J.S.A. 10:4-12) permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Township of Randolph, in the County of Morris, and State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from the following portion of the meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:
3. As nearly as now can be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public at such time and under such circumstances as are prescribed by law.
4. At the conclusion of the closed Executive Session, the Council may reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action on matters discussed in closed session or on any other matter as permitted by law.
Councilman Algeier made a motion to go into Executive Session at 7:43 p.m. Councilman Metz seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
Council returned to Open Session at 8:00 p.m.
Councilman Algeier made a motion to approve Resolution #225-10. Councilman Metz seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:
Deputy Mayor Napoliello
ABSTAIN: Councilman Loveys
Resolution Authorizing Appointment of an Investigatory Committee
WHEREAS, as authorized in the Council Manager form of government under the Optional Municipal Charter Law, the Township Council can appoint a committee of its members to conduct investigations into the conduct of any officer, or department, or any matter relating to the welfare of the municipality and delegate to such committee the power of inquiry as the municipal Council may deem necessary; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-25, a municipal Council Investigatory Committee is possessed of certain subpoena powers to assist in its investigation; and
WHEREAS, the Township Council is of the opinion that based upon a Confidential Memorandum from the Township Manager to the Township Council, dated August 4, 2010, disclosing the results of an investigation that the Township Manager undertook pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:69A-95h, it is appropriate for the Township Council to appoint a Committee to undertake a more detailed investigation of the matters and issues addressed in said confidential memorandum of the Township Manager, dated August 4, 2010, and such other matters that may come before the Committee as the investigation proceeds; and
WHEREAS, the Township Council desires to vest in said Committee all powers set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:69A-91 and N.J.S.A. 40:48-25 et seq., including, without limitation, the power to issue subpoenas and to enforce the same, and to solicit and obtain testimony and documents under oath.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Council of the Township of Randolph, County of Morris, State of New Jersey, as follows:
1. The Township Council hereby creates an Investigatory Committee to undertake a further investigation of matters and issues which prompted and initiated an investigation undertaken by the Township Manager as explained in a Confidential Memorandum from the Township Manager to the Township Council, dated August 4, 2010.
2. The Investigatory Committee appointed under this resolution shall consist of the following Township Council members: Mayor Trina Ruane Mitsch, Councilman Edward A. Metz and Councilman Gary C. Algeier. Mayor Trina Ruane Mitsch is hereby designated as Chairperson of said Investigatory Committee.
3. The Committee shall be vested with all powers set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:69A-91 and N.J.S.A. 40:48-25 et seq. and all other applicable laws and regulations related thereto.
4. The Committee shall diligently pursue its investigation and prepare a Confidential Report setting forth the scope of the investigation, identifying the witnesses testifying before the Committee, the documents reviewed, the facts as established as a result of said investigation, the conclusions as to whether there were any violations or deviations from statutory, regulatory, or operating rules and standards of applicable municipal departments or officers, and provide recommendations for further action.
5. The Township Attorney shall provide appropriate legal advice to the Committee and ultimately to the Township Council in accordance with his obligations as the municipal attorney for the Township of Randolph.
6. The Township Manager is hereby directed to advise all municipal employees to cooperate with the Committee in its investigation and all such employees and witnesses before the Committee shall maintain the confidentiality of their testimony or documents produced.
7. This Resolution shall take effect immediately.
Mayor Mitsch adjourned the meeting at 8:05 p.m.
Donna Marie Luciani