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: February 26, 2022


1. Call to Order

A budget meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Mayor Potter. 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 November 19, 2021 by e-mailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 18, 2021. The annual resolution, which included this meeting date, was advertised in the Randolph Reporter, the official newspaper of the Township of Randolph and the Daily Record on November 24, 2021.

2. Roll Call

Council Member Carey
Council Member Forstenhausler
Council Member Loveys
Council Member Tkacs
Council Member Veech - via phone
Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia
Mayor Potter

Also present: Township Manager Mountain and CFO Debbie Bonanno

3. Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor Potter led the Pledge of Allegiance.


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


Manager Mountain asked if the council had any items they wanted to discuss before reviewing the capital improvements.


Manager Mountain reviewed the following Capital Improvement items:

  • Fire - Replacement of Fire Engine E51
  • Fire - Replacement Radio Equipment with Morris County
  • Rescue Squad - Purchase of Automated External Defibrillators
  • Rescue Squad - Purchase of Lucas CPR Devices
  • Rescue Squad - Purchase of RAD 57 Monitors
  • Rescue Squad - Purchase of Hi-Viz Protective Outdoor Gear
  • IT - Equipment/Software Upgrades

Council Member Carey asked if the new fire engine would be purchased within the year or if the money was just being prepared. Manager Mountain explained that the specs for the vehicle/engine were in development. Once the funds for the engine have been appropriated, the next step would be to go through a national co-op to obtain the engine. Manager Mountain explained that if the conditions were right, the process typically takes about 8 to 12 months.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia inquired about what would happen to the old engine. Manager Mountain explained that the engine could be traded in, auctioned, or sold to another community. He stated that trading in the vehicle was the preferred option.

Council Member Loveys asked if the township had information relating to the number of responses from each firehouse. Manager Mountain stated that he could reach out to the firehouses for that information. Council Member Forstenhausler explained how the process for obtaining a new engine typically worked in regards to developing specs, going to bid, and understanding the viability of old vehicles.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked if another pump vehicle would be replaced in two years. Manager Mountain confirmed that he was correct. There was a brief discussion on the timeline for future vehicle replacements. Manager Mountain explained that the replacements are on a typical schedule that does not overwhelm the budget.

Council Member Forstenhausler discussed various factors related to pumper vehicles. Council Member Forstenhausler asked Manager Mountain to find out how much the county is spending/contributing on the radio system equipment.

Council Member Veech asked if there would be a review of the new IT systems/cyber security. Manager Mountain explained that the Township IT Coordinator Adam VanAntwerp assembled a cyber security/recovery plan that includes the use of external groups. He stated that the Joint Insurance Fund (JIF) also assists with testing the software systems and training staff members.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia commented that Mr. VanAntwerp informed him that the JIF requires reoccurring training; he asked if the council should be included in the training. Manager Mountain confirmed that the council was included in 2019 and that they could be included again. There was a brief discussion about the importance of training and protecting cyber systems.

Improvement to Municipal Facilities:

  • Town Hall Countertops - the countertops at the municipal building will be replaced through this funding. It is anticipated that this will be completed within a couple of years.
  • Town Hall Window Replacement Phase 1 - the windows at the municipal building will be replaced as insulation is poor, especially on the north side of the building. The project will progress in quarters with 1/4 of the windows being replaced each year.
  • Town Hall Carpet Replacement - the carpeting at the municipal building is 30 - 35 years old and has begun to show wear and tear. The carpet replacement will continue to be completed throughout the building with this funding.
  • Police Department Locker Room Showers - the locker rooms are dated, small and have poor ventilation. The township's special project crew will be completing the project in-house. The funding for this project is mostly for material costs.
  • Town Hall Replacement of Atrium Glass - the atrium glass feature at the municipal building has been experiencing leaking and wind vibration issues, in addition to the glass pieces pulling away from the metal frame. There are concerns about the feature potentially causing an accident. The funding will function as a strong placeholder as the cost of the replacement will continue to be finalized.
  • Emergency Building & Grounds - the funding will serve as a placeholder to charge any building and ground emergency costs that arise.
  • Town Hall HVAC Repair/Replacements - the funding will complete the system at the municipal building.
  • Municipal Parking Lot - the funding will allow the completion of the first phase of resurfacing the municipal parking lot. The remaining portion of the lot will be resurfaced the following year. The project will be coordinated with the Public Works Department and scheduled with the anticipation of additional cell tower carriers in mind.

Mayor Potter asked if the countertop replacements at the Municipal Building were for the customer service islands. Manager Mountain confirmed that she was correct. The replacements would be for the customer service islands located in each of the municipal departments. Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked what material the new countertops would be made out of. Clerk Luciani informed him that it would likely be some type of stone surface.

Mayor Potter asked about the functionality of the window replacements. Manager Mountain and Clerk Luciani informed her that they would like the windows to be able to open.

Council Member Forstenhausler asked about the status of the carpet replacement project. Manager Mountain informed him that the project is in its early stages.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked if the carpet replacement at the town hall would use the same 2x2 square carpet installation process that was utilized for the library. He commented that the process makes cleaning and replacing the carpets easier. Clerk Luciani informed him that the square-by-square installation was generally how the replacement would work. She continued to explain which areas would be installed via the square-by-square method.

Council Member Tkacs asked if ventilation would be installed within the Police Department locker rooms. Clerk Luciani informed him that they would do their best, but the project was restricted by the building's design. There was a brief discussion about the plans for the locker room. Manager Mountain commented that the township's in-house electrician, who also works as a full-time BOE employee, was a great asset to assist with the completion of these types of projects.

Council Member Carey asked if the town reimburses the BOE for the electrician's time. Manager Mountain informed her that the township pays the employee separately.

Council Member Tkacs asked why the emergency building and grounds fund was not placed into the annual budget. Manager Mountain explained that the annual budget funds function on a use or lose basis at the end of the year. He stated that designating the funds this way allowed the money to transcend to the next budget year.

Manager Mountain reviewed the following Capital Outlay items:

  • Art Works Center
  • Dog Park
  • Animal Shelter
  • VFW
  • Museum Upgrade
  • Document Scanning
  • Furniture and Equipment Replacement
  • Landscaping
  • Sidewalk
  • Police Shooting Range
  • Maintenance Tools
  • Review of Circulation Element of the Township Master Plan

Council Member Carey inquired about the committee that will review the circulation element. Manager Mountain stated that the committee would need to be updated; the last time the group was together was a few years ago.

Council Member Tkacs asked who would assess the town. Manager Mountain explained that Township's Planning Consultant Katherine Sarmad and Planning and Zoning Administrator Darren Carney would be reviewing the process with the council. An outline will likely be assembled before the committee is pulled together.

Mayor Potter asked if part of the review process would also include searching for grant money. Manager Mountain confirmed that she was correct. He explained that once the town identifies the priorities and completes a review of the circulation element, the findings could be used as a justification for grant awards. The review will demonstrate that the town has conducted a thorough analysis.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked if the bulk of the project would be completed with internal staff. Manager Mountain stated that the township may have to outsource occasionally, but the majority of the work would be completed internally.

Council Member Carey asked if the digital document scanning was a permanent project. Manager Mountain stated that the project was progressing. Clerk Luciani explained that some documents are considered permanent records; the building department is now digitizing documents as they work, and the Police Department documents would be scanned as well.

Mayor Potter asked about the scanning process. Clerk Luciani informed her that the project was being completed by the department, with the building department being underway first because of its large number of records. She explained that the Planning, Water and Sewer, and Engineering Departments have some documents scanned in. She stated that the township would likely go into maintenance mode in a few years after catching up with backlogging.

Council Member Forstenhausler commented that it was mind-blowing to see how many boxes of documents were being stored at the municipal building. There was a brief discussion about the importance and benefits of digitizing documents.


CFO Bonanno reviewed the Recreation Trust schedule and the debt the municipality has concerning Open Space. She informed the council that the Green Acres Trust Loan was paid off. She summarized the remaining debt from the 2015 and 2018 Bond Sales.

Manager Mountain reminded the council that when the 10-year master plan was adopted, the town completed an analysis on how the plan would impact the trust reserve. The annual fund balance was projected based on the expenditures that were associated with that plan on an annual basis. In the first five-plus years of that plan, a few adjustments have been made due to projects coming in under budget. He explained that the fund balance numbers could be impacted as the town approaches 2025 and 2026. He stated that the adjustments provided a lot more cushion to absorb changes. He explained how the township is in a good position for when the council establishes the next 10-year plan.

Council Member Loveys asked CFO Bonanno how the $2.2 million figure was calculated. CFO Bonanno explained that it was a summary of interest and principal to be paid between 2022 to 2036.


CFO Bonanno reviewed the bond issuances related to the general, water, and sewer utility funds.

Manager Mountain explained that Randolph's debt was very low. The low percentage was a compliment to the township council's strong interest in "pay-as-you-go" capital financing programs.

Council Member Nisivoccia asked when the next set of bonds could be funded. Manager Mountain explained that it was hard to say; discussions with the township auditors and bond counsel would have to occur as there is a sizable cost associated with bond sales.

Council Member Forstenhausler asked if it would make sense for the town to call the bonds and pay them off if interest rates went up in the next year or two. Manager Mountain informed him that it was feasible, but would have to be evaluated to determine if it makes financial sense. That would have to be discussed with the auditors and bond consul to determine if it is justifiable.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked how much debt/short-term notes the township was sitting on leading up to the next bond sale. CFO Bonanno informed him that we have no notes outstanding. She explained that the authorized debt is about $3 million that hasn't been financed yet.

CFO Bonanno summarized the purposes of the 2015 and 2018 Bonds and the improvements that were financed with the debt. She explained that she did not think the town was close to going out for new bonds as there is a significant cost associated with the process.

Council Member Loveys asked how much the state law allowed the debt capacity to go up. Manager Mountain stated that it was around 2% or 3%. He explained that Randolph is currently at less than 1%.


Council Member Carey recalled that the Board of Education (BOE) would typically present its budget to the council. She asked if that would occur again this year. Manager Mountain informed her that there were difficulties with coordinating around schedules and the pandemic. His goal was to have the BOE present their budget during the same evening as the township's budget adoption. He explained that the BOE's presentation served as a courtesy because the council does not approve it.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia asked if Manager Mountain heard any news from Trenton in regards to increasing the utility fund for tax relief on municipalities. Manager Mountain shared that he has heard rumblings of reviving legislation that would return funds to the municipality, but had not heard if it was near finalization. He shared that there has been debate on the state's potential decision for restricting the uses of the returned funds. He explained the issues of the state's collection process. There was a brief discussion on the state's tax collection process and the potential restrictions on returned funding.


Mayor Potter stated that she was pleased with the budget presentation. She acknowledged that the township avoided implementing increases on the municipal tax levy for a sixth consecutive year. She was in favor of moving ahead with the process.

Council Member Forstenhausler echoed Mayor Potter's comments. He thanked Manager Mountain, CFO Bonanno, and the township staff for their efforts. He stated that preventing an increase on the local tax levy for a sixth year was a great accomplishment.

Council Member Carey thanked Manager Mountain, CFO Bonanno, Assistant Finance Director Angelica Sabatini, Clerk Luciani, and the township departments for their thorough and thoughtful work. She acknowledged the township's low debt and stated that she appreciated the many years of sound financial management.

Council Member Loveys thanked Manager Mountain, CFO Bonanno, and Angelica Sabatini. He stated that the township's financial stability was due to prudent financial leadership. He acknowledged that this year's budget process was Manager Mountain's last. He commended Manager Mountain for shepherding the township for the past eight years and leaving the community in a healthy financial position.

Manager Mountain thanked Council Member Loveys. He stated that it was a great opportunity to work in a strong operation and hoped that he added to it. He shared that he felt good with the work that will be continued and commended CFO Bonanno for contributing a lot of value to the process. He stated that it had been a pleasure to work with the council.

Council Member Tkacs commented that from his experience with budgeting for a small business, he appreciated the level of detail being presented to the council. He was impressed with the number of cogs that were needed to keep the town turning and appreciated that the process was made easy for the town.

Council Member Forstenhausler shared that a cub scout once asked him what happens if the town wants to buy something, but does not have any money for it. He stated that after working with the council over the years through the budget process, he was able to explain the process to the scout and other volunteers with no problem. He thanked the township staff for their efforts.

Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia echoed the previous council comments. He congratulated Manager Mountain for completing the process.

Council Member Veech stated that many residents love the township's services and clean and safe environment. She appreciated that the township came into a sixth year of avoiding a tax increase. She stated that the prudent approach of the township employees has put the township in a great position. She thanked Manager Mountain for his work.

Manager Mountain and CFO Bonanno will be prepared to introduce the budget on March 17, 2022; a formal presentation will be presented at the public hearing and adoption of the budget in April.


Vincent Quatrone of 14 Indian Trail thanked the township for their work in preparing the budget. He shared that he reviewed last year's figures and found that there was a reduction of .74%. He appreciated the hard work of the council and the township departments.

Seeing and hearing none, 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 Executive portion of the meeting.

2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows:

Manager's Compensation

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 Executive Session, the Council may or may not reconvene in public session for the purpose of taking formal action.

Council Member Forstenhausler made a motion to move into Executive Session at 10:25 a.m. Council Member Tkacs seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

Council Member Carey
Council Member Forstenhausler
Council Member Loveys
Council Member Tkacs
Council Member Veech
Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia
Mayor Potter

NAYS: None

Council Member Forstenhausler made a motion to close the Executive Session at 10:55 a.m. Councilman Tkacs seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

Council Member Carey
Council Member Forstenhausler
Council Member Loveys
Council Member Tkacs
Council Member Veech
Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia
Mayor Potter

NAYS: None


There were no further council comments.


Council Member Forstenhausler made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:55 a.m. Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

Council Member Carey
Council Member Forstenhausler
Council Member Loveys
Council Member Tkacs
Council Member Veech
Deputy Mayor Nisivoccia
Mayor Potter

NAYS: None