502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, NJ 07869-3799
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All meeting minutes posted on the township website are unofficial minutes. Official copies of minutes may be obtained from the township clerk.

Minutes: February 20, 2010

A budget meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Mayor Alpert. 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 January 19, 2010, by emailing them the special meeting notice. The special meeting notice, 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 January 22, 2010.

Councilman Algeier
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Mayor Alpert

Councilman Metz
Deputy Mayor Mitsch

Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell

Mayor Alpert led the Pledge of Allegiance.


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


Manager Lovell’s comments on the proposed draft budget included:

  • Randolph has been managed conservatively over a period of years
  • Because of that conservative approach, Randolph is in a strong position today
  • The levy cap, now in its second year, is beginning to have a very real ratcheting effect on municipalities
  • Randolph’s Mission Statement is the policy that drives the preparation of the budget
  • The budget being presented today is a draft budget
  • There has been no confirmation as yet on state numbers
  • There is currently a revenue gap of $211,599.00 in the budget, mostly due to the levy cap, and he will present options for closing that gap in Executive Session
  • The budget as presented is well below the appropriations cap
  • Commercial tax appeals are on-going because of a slow down in the court
  • The filing of commercial tax appeals has dropped due to the correction in the housing market and the ratio is moving up
  • Refunds on tax appeals is a very real impact to the treasury
  • It is recommended that money be set aside in anticipation of these appeals
  • Only two areas of the budget saw significant increases this year, pension and health insurance
  • The pension system in the State of New Jersey is a cause of great concern to the Manager, and he is distressed that property taxes will be used to pay state employee pensions
  • This year pension for all non-police employees comes to $493,508.00 and pension for police employees comes to $925,472.00
  • Health insurance costs increased by 7.3 percent
  • The North Jersey Health Insurance Fund has been developing a new policy dealing with a completely different level of coverage that mirrors private sector plans in order to bring premium costs down for the organization
  • This plan will be in place for all new hires
  • The North Jersey Health Insurance Fund has been successful and is seeing an increase of applications from organizations who wish to leave the state health insurance fund
  • Overall, salaries in the organization are down 1.71 percent and operating expenses are down 1.33 percent from 2009
  • In 1999, Randolph sold general bond obligations and the final payment on that bond obligation has been made, causing a drop in debt service
  • Other significant expenses will be coming in the near future which will incur new debt, the repayment of which will be fast tracked by the Finance Director
  • Revenues are down this year, reflecting the fact that there is a recession
  • Tax collection rates dropped slightly
  • Land use fees in Planning and Zoning and Engineering went down since there were fewer applications, and building applications were down, however, several big projects are expected to begin, such as the Grecco project, Nitti Mountain, and Mr. Campo’s project on Calais Road
  • Interest on investments is down since the interest rate is at 1 percent
  • Court fines were down due to a reduction in tickets issued
  • The cumulative impact of these reductions saw a decline in the surplus of $732,000.00, which comes out to 2.5 cents
  • The current budget is about $45,000.00 below the levy cap, approximately 2.49 cents or $84.50 for a home assessed at $338,000.00
  • Randolph maintains independent financial records for the water fund and the sewer fund
  • This year’s sewer budget is down 2 percent from 2009
  • The sewer fund continues to carry an enormous surplus, however the Butterworth improvement project and the installation of sewers under Sussex Turnpike are expected to move forward this year and will be funded by cash from this fund
  • The Manager is concerned about the portion of the Butterworth project to be funded by the Kushner Corporation and an alternative may have to be addressed with the Council in the near future
  • The water fund budget is down 6.5 percent from 2009
  • There was a reduction in revenue for the purchase of water due to the wet weather of the past summer and conservation efforts of the Township
  • A new water rate study may be undertaken in the future
  • The Manager reiterated that several questions should guide the Council when considering the budget: How will this action compound the tax rate for 2010; how could this action create a budget crisis due to the levy cap in 2011 and 2012; how does the value of the reduction compare with the expectations placed on the Township by the public; if this expenditure is deferred for a year, can and will the organization catch up in the future; will this decision made today make Randolph a stronger community this year and five years down the road

The Manager then reviewed the various summary pages of the proposed draft budget with the Council, highlighting the following areas:

  • Statement of Operations
  • Water Fund
  • Total Expenditures
  • Revenue
  • Reserve for Uncollected Taxes
  • Property Tax Value
  • Surplus
  • The Capital Improvements Program
  • Park Improvements and Equipment Purchases

The Manager asked that the Council members review the proposed draft budget and to forward any questions or concerns they have to him.

Mayor Alpert stated that the Township appears to be in an unusually good position considering the economy and things that are happening in New Jersey.


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


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:

a. Personnel

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 Napoliello made a motion to move into Executive Session at 10:00 a.m. Councilman Algeier seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

Councilman Algeier
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Mayor Alpert

NAYS: None

Councilman Metz
Deputy Mayor Mitsch

Councilman Algeier made a motion to move out of Executive Session at 10:20 a.m. Councilman Napoliello seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

Councilman Algeier
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price
Mayor Alpert

NAYS: None

Councilman Metz
Deputy Mayor Mitsch


The Mayor adjourned the meeting at 10:20 a.m.

Donna Marie Luciani
Township Clerk