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: March 5, 2020

A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING

1. Call to Order

A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Carey. 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 6, 2019 by emailing them the annual resolution adopted by the Council on November 5, 2019. 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 14, 2019.

2. Roll Call

PRESENT:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

Also present: Township Manager Mountain and Attorney Ed Buzak from the Buzak Law Group

3. Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor Carey led the Pledge of Allegiance.

B. PRESENTATION

2020 Census Morris County/US Census Bureau

Manager Mountain introduced Assistant Morris County Administrator Deena Leary and Marvin Joss from the Census Bureau.

Mr. Joss explained that Census day is approaching, April 1, 2020. People can start responding to the Census on March 12th. The Census is required every 10 years; the purpose is to apportion house seats. He explained the main reasons for completing the Census. Mr. Joss encouraged the Council and Manager to get the information out to residents via website and other communications. He also explained that they need people to work the Census; it pays $21/hour.

There was a discussion on the benefits of having residents complete the Census and what happens if numbers are underreported.

Ms. Leary explained that Morris County applied for funds through the Department of State; they received more than expected since some counties did not apply. The funds were shared with Morris County municipalities and non-profits to spread awareness and aid residents with submitting their responses to the 2020 Census.

C. APPOINTMENTS

Councilman Loveys nominated Dr. John Insinga as a full member of the Board of Health to replace Dr. Gayle Pearson who previously resigned.

Councilman Loveys made a motion to appoint Dr. John Insinga to replace Dr. Gayle Pearson as a full member on the Board of Health and appoint Dr. Bijal Dave to Alternate #2 on the Board of Health. Deputy Mayor Veech seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

Councilman Tkacs nominated Dar Patel to the Economic Development Committee (EDC).

Councilman Tkacs made a motion to appoint Dar Patel to the EDC to fill the vacated Alternate #1 position. Councilman Forstenhausler seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

D. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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

E. MANAGER’S REPORT

Manager Mountain reported the following:

  • BOE/Township Liaison Meeting—Manager Mountain attended the first quarter Board of Education—Township liaison meeting along with Mayor Carey, Deputy Mayor Veech and Chief Stokoe. Board members Tammy Mckay, Ronald Conte, and Joe Farenetta attended along with Superintendent Fano and Business Administrator Eckert. The meeting provided updates from the Board about a number of topics including the Township’s 2020 Budget, planned infrastructure projects, the communication tower, plans for this year’s New Resident meeting and information regarding their 2020-21 Budget which they are looking to finalize this month. Their budget does not include any new projects or expanded programs, but in light of another significant cut in state aid they are expecting a local increase again in the 2 percent range. They did advise that declining enrollment is helping mitigate the impact of the state aid reduction. A full presentation on the school budget was discussed to be scheduled for a future council meeting in spring. Included in the meeting was an update on the referendum project, and advisement of several programs the school will be sponsoring on health and wellness; including a Youth Summit on November 10th.
  • Coronavirus—Joined by members of the Township Health Department, representatives from Police, Fire, and First Aid, representatives from township schools and Mayor Carey, Manager Mountain participated in a County OEM conference call concerning the Novel Coronavirus. The call discussed the latest information from the State Health Department and Center for Disease Control and advised that all levels of government should continue to monitor the situation closely as the impact of the virus continues to evolve. It was reported that the County government, through the OEM and the County Office of Health, is working to provide a unified countywide response to the situation. The communications center has implemented call screening tools for emergency medical calls to identify potential COVID-19 cases at the time of dispatch, MC OEM is maintaining additional levels of response equipment for use by schools and health care facilities, and the OEM mobile Ambulance bus will have added equipment on board for mass assessments if needed. The County asked that the township reiterates the message coming from the CDC that residents follow the common sense guidelines available on their website to protect themselves and others from the spread of the virus, and to rely on the CDC and NJDOH information to avoid the spread of false rumors. In addition, the County advised those exhibiting symptoms of concern to call their health provider before taking any other action. Manager Mountain reported that he and the Health Department staff, along with other relevant departments, continue to meet regularly to remain informed on the latest developments and to review readiness plans.

F. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS

Item #22, R-101-20 Awarding a Contract for Meadowbrook Road Phase 3—Deputy Mayor Veech asked about the process of notifying residents of the work and the timing of the phase 3 paving and drainage work project on Meadowbrook Road. Manager Mountain explained that the work that remains for phase 3 should be completed relatively quickly as the larger portion of the project has been completed; he estimated that the project should be completed in early summer, contingent upon receiving a final schedule from the contractor of the project. Manager Mountain also reported that township social media would be utilized to notify the community about the project; he also added that he had not received any concerns from residents about the project.

Councilman Loveys inquired about the project’s budget, to which Manager Mountain reported that it came far under budget as the waterline work contract came well below what was estimated.

Councilman Forstenhausler inquired if the older escrow items being fulfilled were a result of the contractors realizing they were owed money or a result of cleaning house. Manager Mountain responded that these items were being fulfilled as a result of cleaning house.

Councilman Nisivoccia asked if the Meadowbrook Road project was covered by the Water & Sewer Budget, to which Manager Mountain responded that the Water & Sewer Budget covered the waterline work and the paving work was charged to the general paving budget.

Council Forstenhausler then inquired after were the remaining surplus from the waterline work would be applied. Manager Mountain responded that the remaining funds would be directed towards water utility to be used for future capital projects.

  1. R-80-20 Releasing a stabilization bond posted to ensure the stabilization at 19 Helene Drive, Block 103.02, Lot 1 to Elbaum Homes—$1,000.00
  2. R-81-20 Releasing a stabilization bond posted to ensure the stabilization at 72 Barbara Drive, Block 103.03, Lot 8 to Elbaum Homes—$1,000.00
  3. R-82-20 Refund cash road opening bond posted for the purpose of extending the sewer main at 63 Everdale Road, Block 114, Lot 63 to John Finnerin—$2,550.00
  4. R-83-20 Refund cash road opening bond posted for the purpose of resurfacing the driveway at 87 Quaker Church Road, Block 137, Lot 11.01 to Benjamin Horton—$300.00
  5. R-84-20 Release road opening cash bond posted for the purpose of resurfacing the driveway at 71 Hilltop Drive, Block 56, Lot 4 to A. Cifelli Contracting—$500.00
  6. R-85-20 Release road opening cash bond for the purpose of resurfacing the driveway at 226 Morris Turnpike, Block 50, Lot 1.04 to Glenn Woodruff—$500.00
  7. R-86-20 Release police detail escrow to Panetta Contracting—$696.00
  8. R-87-20 Release police detail escrow to Rockaway Township Education Foundation—$108.00
  9. R-88-20 Release police detail escrow to Jasmine Tamkloe—$174.00
  10. R-89-20 Release cash road opening bond posted for the purpose of resurfacing the driveway at 15 Walnut Street, Block 30, Lot 22 to Rand Homes Corp.
  11. R-90-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds for 175 Quaker Church Road, Block 111, Lot 20.01 to Shelter Development—$20.27
  12. R-91-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds for 353 Route 10, Block 145, Lot 2 to Envision Properties (c/o Randolph Pavilion, LLC)—$1,909.00
  13. R-92-20 Refund Tax sale certificate for 43 Lake Shore Drive South, Block 160, Lot 49 to Cazenovia Creek Funding II, LLC—$5,686.02
  14. R-93-20 Authorizing Change Order #3 to increase the amount of a Professional Services Agreement by $25,000.00 with Harbor Consultants, Inc. for Planning Services for the Affordable Housing Program (COAH) bringing the new total to $100,000.00
  15. R-94-20 Authorizing appropriation reserve transfers per N.J.S.A:4-59 from Group Health Insurance O&E to Recycling O&E for $24,000.00
  16. R-95-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds, plus interest, for Combs Hollow Road, Block 52, Lots 2 & 3 to Hertz Homes—$1,829.93
  17. R-96-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds, plus interest, for Pierson Hill Road, Block 146, Lot 72 to Toll NJ VI, LP—$1,535.64
  18. R-97-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds for 18 Arthur Lane, Block 121, Lot 32 to Coralinks Limited—$526.00
  19. R-98-20 Refund a portion of escrow funds for 1450 Sussex Turnpike, Block 21, Lot 24 to McKay Brothers LLC, c/o Price Meese—$1,040.78
  20. R-99-20 Refund cash road opening bond posted for the purpose of repairing the granite curbing at 39 Shongum Road, Block 201, Lot 68 to JBL Electric—$500.00
  21. R-100-20 Awarding the Contracts for Supplying Plumbing and Waterworks Specialties to various bidders
  22. R-101-20 Awarding a Contract for Meadowbrook Road Phase 3—Road Improvement Project to CCM Contracting Inc. t/a Carroccia Co.—$399,813.00

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to approve the Combined Actions Resolutions. Councilman Nisivoccia seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

G. UPCOMING EVENTS

  1. St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at the Community Center, 30 Calais Road on Saturday, March 14, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.—$25.00—purchase tickets thru Randolph’s Community Pass
  2. Library Event; Irish Music with Danny & the Boys on Sunday, March 15, 2020, 2:00 p.m., register by calling 973-895-3556
  3. Grand Opening/Ribbon Cutting; SubUrban Bar and Kitchen, at 500 Route 10, on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, at 5:30 p.m.
  4. Municipal Alliance Committee Event; “Let’s Clear the Air About Vaping,” on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in the Randolph Middle School auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
  5. Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce; Monthly Networking Luncheon with guest speaker Larry Levine: “Getting Extraordinary Results From Ordinary People... Including You” on Thursday, March 19, 2020, from 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. at LaStrada Restaurant, 1105 Route 10, Randolph, NJ
  6. Municipal Alliance Committee Event; “Youth Mental Health First Aid Training” on Saturday, March 21, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Randolph YMCA Program House, 14 Dover Chester Rd.—Registration required: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address)
  7. Pins for Pets to benefit the Randolph Animal Shelter, Rockaway Lanes, 365 Rte. 46, Rockaway, on Sunday, March 22, 2020 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.—$25.00 per bowler includes 3 games and shoe rental—to register contact Gene Stracco at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this e-mail address)
  8. Randolph Area Chamber of Commerce; Randolph Business After Hours Networking Event on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at Brightview, 175 Quaker Church Rd., Randolph, from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  9. Randolph PTO Council All In Fundraiser on Friday, March 27, 2020, from 6:45 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. at the Hanover Marriot on Route 10, Whippany, NJ
  10. Brundage Park Playhouse Special Fundraiser to Benefit Theater; Nick Galletta—Rocking with the Oldies on Sunday, March 29, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. Tickets—$15.00—Call for tickets: 973-989-7092
  11. Added—Rotary Club of Randolph; “Taste of Randolph” Event on Monday, April 27, 2020, at the Randolph Township Fire Department Mt. Freedom Company #3, 670 Millbrook Ave., from 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  12. Added—New Residents Meeting—Monday, May 4, 2020

H. ORDINANCE: INTRODUCTION

1. Ordinance No. 03-20 Amending section 15-90, Administration and Enforcement of the Land Development Ordinance of the Township of Randolph by the Addition of Section 15-90.10, Enforcement of Affordable Housing Regulations

Manager Mountain explained that this ordinance resulted from the work of the Planning/Zoning Department and the office of Township Attorney, Ed Buzak, to address frequent subletting fraud that has been reported within the township, particularly amongst the occupied affordable housing units. Planning/ Zoning Administrator Darren Carney was introduced to provide further information about the purpose of the ordinance. Mr. Carney continued that the form of fraud involves individuals abusing a tenancy to profit from it by unlawfully occupying or subletting to someone else.

He explained that currently the township has the ability to file a complaint to superior court to try to force the occupants to sell the unit or have the court sell it in a Sherriff Sale; it is a long process that often requires the township to pay back the mortgages on the units, and frequently allows violators to get away with the fraud. This ordinance introduces measures that allow violators to be taken to municipal court and seeks to enforce penalties on violators at a local level, making it a strong deterrent to commit the fraud. Mr. Carney further relayed that many of the communities where this frequent illegal activity occurs have been made aware of the penalties this ordinance will impose on violators.

Councilman Forstenhausler asked for specific examples of what this process currently entails. Mr. Carney explained that it will start with a qualified individual subletting or moving out of a renter unit but not documenting these changes formally. The individual then sublets the unit illegally, not transferring the ownership formally or on the utility bills and getting profit from the individuals (who may or may not be qualified) now living in the unit.

Councilman Forstenhausler followed up with another question asking what happens if a transfer of ownership occurs and if that process can go awry. Mr. Carney explained that we have an administrative agent the township contracts with who screens all applicants to make sure they are qualified for properties. Councilman Forstenhausler asked how many administrative agents out there service municipalities. Manager Mountain explained that there are a handful of these agents that work statewide.

Attorney Ed Buzak further explained that the process often occurs when an individual obtains an affordable housing unit then obtains a higher standard of living therefore making the affordable unit not worth maintaining because they can now afford a higher standard of living. It was explained that these individuals are supposed to relinquish their equity in the unit they are leaving, but unfortunately that does not occur.

Councilwoman Potter asked why the state did not have tighter restrictions on this type of activity. Darren Carney responded that it was the state’s position that the restriction should be between the township and the property owner. Manager Mountain added that there is a state mandated program in place that gets passed down to the municipalities to enforce.

Deputy Mayor Veech asked if we had a list of the number of restricted deeds and an individual who can confirm if the information is accurate. Manager Mountain responded that most known cases are a result of individuals being turned in by other community members. He explained that in cases where the township has identified and caught the guilty party, the guilty individuals take advantage of the loop holes within the existing rules and regulations. The regulations introduced in this ordinance will make it much more difficult for those individuals to get out of enforcement.

Councilman Forstenhausler asked if the township was legally allowed to knock on the doors of these units and try to ascertain who lives there. Manager Mountain responded that the township enforcement agent has a right to verify the owner of the property.

Councilwoman Potter inquired about who was responsible for paying the salary of the administrative agent. Darren responded that we pay out our Court-Housing Trust Fund. There was a brief discussion on the qualification requirements for sale and rental units.

Councilman Forstenhausler asked a question regarding Sec.15-90.10, paragraph 2 section D; asking for clarification regarding the process of Sherriff Sales in the case that there are no bidders, or if the amount of money is insufficient. Ed Buzak explained that this section was in the case of judgment for penalty and the township seeking to enforce it by executing judgment and ultimately selling real estate. He explained that with regards to a Sheriff Sale, if there are no bidders, this section provides that to buy the unit the municipality has to pay all the prior liens on the property, and then sell the property, thereby reimbursing the township and guaranteeing the property owner the difference of that sale. The purpose of the section is to not cheat the owner of the property despite their violation.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “An Ordinance Amending Section 15-90, Administration and Enforcement of the Land Development Ordinance of the Township of Randolph by the Addition of Section 15-90.10, Enforcement of Affordable Housing Regulations” be introduced, read by title by the Township Clerk and passed on first reading.

BE IT RESOLVED, that said Ordinance shall be further considered for final passage at the meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Randolph on the 19th of March, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the evening, prevailing time, at the Municipal Building in said Township, at which time and place all persons interested shall be given an opportunity to be heard concerning said ordinance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Township Clerk be authorized and directed to advertise said Ordinance in full or by summary with the notice of introduction thereof, in the official designated newspaper according to law.

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to introduce the ordinance. Deputy Mayor Veech seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

I. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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

J. COUNCIL COMMENTS

Councilman Tkacs informed that there was no Recreation Committee meeting or Planning Board meeting since the last council meeting, but he did attend the Traffic Advisory Committee meeting on the behalf of Councilman Nisivoccia on Tuesday; There were three traffic complaints investigated by the police, two of which was found to be probably not as valid as the complaint was, the remaining complaint requiring further review as there was a significant amount of speeding related to the complaint. The number of police/traffic zones was up for the month of January compared to last year but the number of accidents was down. In a future April meeting, Morris County Engineer, Christopher Vitz will be invited to speak about county roads.

Councilman Loveys had nothing to report for the present meeting.

Councilwoman Potter reported that the Environmental and Landmarks Committee did not meet, but the Municipal Alliance Committee meet on the 25th, there are two events planned for the MAC calendar presently. The committee discussed various aspect of the November 10th event to be held at Randolph High School. She also reported that the Police Departments plans to give a pre-prom pep talk for Randolph high school students. She reported that on May 7th the MAC event ’Tame the Pain’ will be held at the Randolph Library from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will provide seniors with informative information about opioid free pain management for older adults.

Councilman Nisivoccia had nothing to report for the present meeting.

Councilman Forstenhausler had nothing to report for the present meeting.

Deputy Mayor Veech informed the council that it was Councilman Forstenhausler’s birthday, to which everyone gave him well wishes. Deputy Mayor Veech also reported sad information that resident Dan Collins passed away. Collins was an involved member of the community, coaching wrestling and running the RAM RAC.

Mayor Carey attended the Economic Development Committee meeting; reporting that on the local EDC website, http://www.RandolphLocal.com, improvements continue to be made. The EDC’s social media team continues to gather interviews to spotlight businesses in town to showcase on the website. In addition to those efforts they are continuing to research and highlight business by utilizing holidays, and months designated for awareness to relate back to the businesses in the community. The EDC will also participate in the Randolph Quarterly with an article about Randolph businesses and how they relate to the upcoming summer season.

Deputy Mayor Veech inquired about the developed township Communication plan, asking what will happen with it and if the council should read it. Manager Mountain responded that the plan is a live internal policy document that is continuing to be worked on. He suggested that the council read and relay any suggestions they have about its development.

Councilwoman Potter added that she was invited to the four township schools to read for Dr. Seuss Day and also met with the second grade class of two different schools.

K. EXECUTIVE SESSION

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:

Discussion (Attorney-Client)—Guerin Drive

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.

Councilman Tkacs made a motion to move into Executive Session at 8:15 p.m. Councilman Forstenhausler seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to close the Executive Session at 8:30 p.m. Councilman Nisivoccia seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

L. ADJOURNMENT

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 p.m. Deputy Mayor Veech seconded the motion, and the following roll call vote was taken:

AYES:
Councilman Forstenhausler
Councilman Loveys
Councilman Nisivoccia
Councilwoman Potter
Councilman Tkacs
Deputy Mayor Veech
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None