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 6, 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 Metz
Councilman Napoliello
Councilman Obremski
Councilwoman Price (arrived at 8:35 a.m.)
Deputy Mayor Mitsch (arrived at 8:35 a.m.)
Mayor Alpert

Also Present: Township Manager John Lovell and Township Attorney Edward Buzak

Mayor Alpert led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked if the budget document was changed since the last meeting.

Manager Lovell responded that there have been no changes to the document since the last meeting.

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


Councilman Metz reported that the Economic Development Committee is moving forward with their High School Senior Career Day plans. The Councilman discussed the proposed budget with the EDC and suggested the Council look to the EDC for recommendations on raising revenue in the Township and trying to get residents to more fully support local businesses.

Councilwoman Price reported that she will send an email to the Manager and other Council members asking for more detail on miscellaneous budget items.


Manager Lovell stated that he has invited several department heads to the meeting to discuss their budgets, plans for their departments, and how the proposed budget would impact their operations.

(1) Bill Kerwick

Mr. Kerwick’s comments included the following:

  • Based on the price of asphalt right now and excluding aid from the state, one less mile of roadway will be resurfaced this year than last year
  • Randolph has a shared purchase with Jefferson for a crack sealer which will help in maintaining roadways
  • The largest increase in his budget is for road materials
  • There was a reduction in street sweeping
  • There is potential for more shared services with other communities and with the Randolph Board of Education, such as snow removal

Councilman Algeier asked if the truck washing facility could be opened up to other communities to bring in additional revenue.

Mr. Kerwick responded that if Randolph were to offer that service, they would also have to pay for the removal of the water. Right now, he is able to re-use the water for his brine solution so there is no waste to remove.

Manager Lovell responded that many smaller communities may be unable to construct a wash facility and may be interested in paying an additional fee for the removal of water in order to get their fleet washed.

Mr. Kerwick will research the issue.

Councilman Obremski asked if there was a market for Mr. Kerwick’s brine solution.

Mr. Kerwick responded that there is and he has received calls from other communities in that it results in a substantial savings on the purchase of salt.

Councilwoman Price asked if there was anything he had requested that was pulled from the budget that he would like to be reconsidered.

Mr. Kerwick responded that he is comfortable with his portion of the proposed budget.

Councilman Napoliello asked how his operation would be affected if the Council needed to cut his budget by five percent.

Mr. Kerwick responded that his department already lost two part-time positions which necessitated pulling a mechanic from fleet maintenance to be on the road and, in turn, causing fleet maintenance to be delayed. Should his budget be cut further, he would work within the confines of the budget but noted it would be difficult at this point.

Manager Lovell noted that either a service or manpower would need to be cut, thereby decreasing efficiency.

Mayor Alpert noted that there are issues with leaf collection.

Mr. Kerwick noted that when leaves are bagged, the Township collects the within 24 hours. He suggested promoting this concept to residents in order to become more efficient and save money.

Manager Lovell responded that September’s newsletter will emphasize the leaf collection program and the advantages of bagging leaves.

Mayor Alpert asked if there was a market for leaf mulch.

Manager Lovell responded that Randolph got out of the mulching business because it could not be done efficiently.



Manager Lovell made the following comments:

  • The Health Department tracks recycling tonnage and receive substantial recycling grants each year
  • Recycling and garbage collection numbers are both down
  • Expenses for snow removal fluctuate year to year
  • The salary and wage line item is probably very close for this year
  • The snow trust account contains approximately $230,000.00
  • The Road Overlay Program for 2010 amounts to $925,000.00, however $225,000.00 of that will be covered by a NJ DOT discretionary grant for South Street and Carrell Road
  • The expense for a leaf loader is the refurbishment of the claw used for leaf collection
  • Sewer Pump Station Back-Up Equipment is an appropriation for emergency purposes should a pump at one of the stations need immediate repair or replacement
  • A joint maintenance facility with the Board of Education is anticipated for 2011
  • Overall, both appropriations and revenue for water and sewer budgets are down
  • It is likely that Randolph will undertake a water rate increase this year
  • Randolph owns the meter reading system and Roxbury pays a portion for access to that equipment

Councilwoman Price asked how the twenty percent reduction in road paving will impact projections for the future of road paving.

Mr. Kerwick responded that it all boils down to pricing for materials.

Deputy Mayor Mitsch asked for an explanation of the impact of losing staff a couple of years ago.

Mr. Kerwick responded that fleet maintenance was affected when he had to take his fourth mechanic out and put him back on the road. The three remaining mechanics are responsible for not only the public work’s fleet, but also the police, rescue, fire, and administration vehicles.

Mayor Alpert opened the meeting to the public for questions.

Geoff Price asked what additional funds would be needed to pave an additional mile of roadway.

Mr. Kerwick responded that the capital expenditure amount would need to increase by approximately $150,000.00.

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

(2) Ralph Carchia

Manager Lovell’s comments included the following:

  • Randolph has made significant changes over the last couple of years in the Engineering and Planning Departments
  • All the design work for the Calais Road projects and the proposed Public Works building project, as well as several other projects, are now being done in-house resulting in substantial savings
  • It has been suggested that next year’s budget create a financial incentive whereby the apartment complexes upgrade their bathroom facilities

Mr. Carchia’s comments included the following:

  • Approximately $635,000.00 in state aid has been secured during the past year through grants written in-house
  • Randolph has developed a nice relationship with the Department of Transportation, the Department of Environmental Protection, the RVRSA, and the MCMUA
  • They will be applying again this year for discretionary aid money from the state for the road program
  • Several large projects are in line to start development this year
  • The Shongum Road Sanitary Sewer Project was done in-house, completed in a timely manner, and came in under budget
  • The water tank rehabilitation project management and inspection were done in-house, and that project was completed in a timely manner and came in under budget
  • Site work and site design for the proposed renovations to the Library and Senior Center were done in-house
  • A new sewer project will be designed and surveyed in-house
  • Doing this work in-house provides substantial savings as well as more control over each project
  • They are beginning an infiltration process to identify areas in the sewer system that are in need of repair, which is expected to be a multi-year process
  • The Mt. Freedom Sussex Turnpike sewer line implementation will begin this year
  • Should the Engineering Department be faced with a possible five percent budget cut, it may affect some design work and the Engineering Consultant’s hours

Mayor Alpert opened the meeting to the public for questions.

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked why there was overtime listed in recycling but not in snow removal.

Manager Lovell responded the money in the snow removal budget for salary and wages is an overtime budget covering only overtime. Recycling overtime is typically generated during leaf collection season.

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

(3) John Van Brunt

Mr. Van Brunt’s comments included the following:

  • The Parks and Recreation Department has the ability to generate revenue
  • Currently the department enjoys approximately a fifty percent cost recovery rate
  • They have a budget of $2.3 million for total operations for the department with revenues of approximately $1.3 million
  • He anticipates increasing the daily fee at Randolph Lake for the summer season
  • Freedom Park will undergo an expansion of parking this year

Mr. Lovell’s comments including the following:

  • Passage of the referendum last fall guarantees a revenue stream that will allow for the continued maintenance of open space, trails, and parks in the township

Councilman Napoliello asked how he would absorb a five percent cut if it were necessary.

Mr. Van Brunt responded that areas in his department that do not generate revenue would be affected, such as park maintenance or senior services.

Deputy Mayor Mitsch stated that one of the tough questions the Council will have to face when finalizing the budget this year is how will cuts compromise the high standards Randolph residents have come to rely upon and expect.

Mayor Alpert opened the meeting to the public.

Geoff Price asked how much money is obtained through grants and how the opportunities for grants are identified and pursued. He noted that from the discussion tonight it will be hard to find areas to cut and that is why he is focusing on grants to pull in additional revenue.

Manager Lovell responded that discretionary grants have become increasingly more political in the way they are assigned. The towns receive invitations to apply for various grants. When Randolph receives such notification, the staff will make a determination as to whether or not the grant is applicable to Randolph and if a grant could be prepared that would match the program.

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked what expenses were included in Seniors, Other Expenses, as it relates to seniors, if the projected salary increases are even across the salary line, and if credit card processing fees are recovered.

Mr. Van Brunt responded that expenses for the Community Center are included in the Senior budget. The salary increases are based on union contracts. Regarding credit cards, a three percent charge is added to the registration fees to recover that cost.

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

(4) Mark Caputo

Manager Lovell’s comments included the following:

  • As recycling numbers continue to decrease, recycling education and information is prevalent in every Randolph Quarterly Newsletter
  • Randolph has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Roxbury for shared health and construction services with January 1, 2011, as the projected date for those shared services to be implemented
  • Randolph provides animal control services to Dover and Rockaway Borough and has entered into contracts with Mendham Township and Mendham Borough
  • Construction is expected to begin this year at the Grecco and Nitti sites as well as Heritage 55 on Calais Road
  • There is also the possibility of the hotel breaking ground this summer or late spring

Mr. Caputo’s comments included the following:

  • Recycling provides a substantial cost avoidance for Randolph in that recycled material is not going to the dump
  • In 2009, 3,100 tons of recycling material was collected and saved $269,000.00 in tipping fees alone—additional hauling fees could bring that final savings amount to over $400,000.00
  • Mr. Caputo reviewed the costs associated with the commodities collected at recycling
  • A function of his department is to assure that businesses and institutions in Randolph submit their recycling numbers and they have surpassed their compliance goal at 57 percent
  • Lighter containers and fewer newspapers contribute to lower tonnage numbers
  • There are discussions underway with Roxbury to combine health and construction code services
  • They distributed a survey to other municipalities regarding nursing services and have found that, unlike many communities, our nurses provide comprehensive services that far exceed state mandates
  • A new Health Inspector has been hired and is being trained at this time
  • Randolph provides Rockaway Borough with health services which brings in additional revenue to cover health services
  • Randolph received an H1N1 grant for $92,000.00
  • Animal control services can be expanded to the two Mendhams without hiring additional staff

Councilman Algeier suggested Mr. Caputo reach out to neighboring communities to see how they have education their residents about recycling.

Councilman Napoliello asked how Mr. Caputo’s organization would be affected by a five percent cut if necessary.

Manager Lovell responded that, if forced to cut services, the nurses would adjust their services down to provide only core requirements.

Mayor Alpert opened the meeting to the public.

Judith Stewart, 114 Everdale Road, asked if Randolph saves money on recycling or if recycling costs Randolph money.

Mr. Caputo responded that the real savings in recycling is the cost avoidance whereby the recycling item does not go into the garbage collection and bring about tipping and hauling charges.

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

(5) Chief Robert Mason

Chief Mason’s comments included the following:

  • In 2009 the police department reorganized core functions and put more officers on the road
  • Expenses for overtime and vehicle maintenance in 2009 were cut
  • The police fleet went from 22 vehicles to 18 vehicles in 2009
  • Salaries and wages were significantly under budget for 2009
  • With all of these savings, the police department was able to purchase seven in-car video systems which are being installed
  • A software solution for a re-write of the policies and procedures has been purchased
  • The budget for 2010 shows a decline of about three percent mainly due to vacancies as well as the lower cost for new employees
  • Approximately 32 percent of the workforce has over 20 years of service and more retirements are anticipated
  • The budget for department operations increases by about 2 1/2 percent
  • There are currently three positions that need to be filled and those officers will need uniforms and equipment
  • There is an increase for the maintenance of communications equipment
  • The Community Services Unit and the Traffic Safety Bureau merged into one unit called Support Services and money that was targeted there was moved to their request for additional funds and supplies
  • The Tactical Team and Explorer Post were eliminated and money there was moved to continuing education
  • $15,000.00 has been allocated to the replacement of an emergency generator on Dover Chester Road and Sussex Turnpike
  • The weapons replacement program can be deferred for 12 months

Mayor Alpert suggested re-visiting the idea of creating the position of a second in command to the chief.

Chief Mason responded that he will put together a proposal for the implementation of a second in command for the Council.

Councilman Obremski asked if there was a mechanism in place whereby the chief would be informed of which communities received grants for emergency management.

Chief Mason responded that he receives information through the Chiefs’ Association.

Manager Lovell stated that discussions are still on-going with the County about combining dispatch services. The Manager has asked Chief Mason for a full analysis of the proposal which should include pros and cons, cost avoidance, and any additional costs.

Councilman Algeier asked what the reaction of the patrol officers is concerning the in-car video cameras that are being installed.

Chief Mason responded that the concept was brought to him by the officers and, while there may be some who are initially resistant, many are comfortable with the cameras.

Mayor Alpert opened the meeting to the public. Seeing no one from the public, the public portion was closed.

Manager Lovell thanked the Council and public for attending the meeting. The Manager recognized Michael Soccio for his efforts in putting the budget together.


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


Deputy Mayor Mitsch made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 11:45 a.m. Councilwoman Price seconded the motion, and the voice vote was unanimous.

Donna Marie Luciani
Township Clerk