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: May 7, 2020

A. OPENING OF REGULAR MEETING

1. Call to Order

A regular meeting of the Randolph Township Council was called to order at 5:00 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. The time change for this meeting was posted on all the entrance doors of the municipal building, on the township website, and on TAPInto Randolph on May 5, 2020 as well as posted on the township’s Facebook page and Twitter account. The time change notice was also emailed to the Daily Record and Randolph Reporter on May 5, 2020.

2. Roll Call

PRESENT:
Councilman Forstenhausler - (via phone)
Councilman Loveys - (via phone)
Councilman Nisivoccia - (via phone)
Councilwoman Potter - (via phone)
Councilman Tkacs - (via phone)
Deputy Mayor Veech - (via phone)
Mayor Carey

Also present (in person): Township Manager Mountain; Attorney Ed Buzak from the Buzak Law Group (via phone)

3. Pledge of Allegiance

Mayor Carey led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Carey expressed her appreciation to the Randolph residents for their support, patience, positivity, and cooperation during the last seven weeks with the stay at home order. There have been many generous donations of medical supplies, PPE, cleaning supplies, food, as well as the coordination of food collection. The Mayor also expressed her appreciation to the volunteer first responders. Mayor Carey noted things that she’s seen that residents have been doing: a “Randolph Strong” sign was placed near John Herold Jewelers by Girl Scout Troop 6716 from Center Grove School; a junior at Randolph High School started a letter writing campaign to thank and encourage first responders and has collected hundreds of letters; a brother and sister team selling “Thank You Health Care Heroes” yard signs, with 100% of the proceeds being used to purchase gift cards for Morristown Medical Center workers. The community is really rallying—great people doing great things.

B. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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

C. MANAGER’S REPORT

Manager Mountain reported the following:

  • COVID-19 Update
    • Today’s update—one new confirmed case today, which brings the total to 262; twenty-two of the cases are from long term care facilities. There have been 19 Covid fatalities to date, 10 of which were from long term care facilities. As of today, 150 cases have reported their symptoms have resolved. The number of new cases per week has declined the past two weeks and that trend appears to be continuing again this week. The Public Health Nurses have been doing the contact tracing and working overtime both on weekdays and weekends.
    • Dashboard—a new dashboard will be introduced on the township website today to display case information. The dashboard will include all of the information that has been provided previously as well as gender and age demographic data on township cases.
    • Township Staffing/Services—on Monday, May 11th township administrative and clerical staff who have been working remotely or on shift work will be returning to regular schedules in office. All township services continue to operate with facilities closed to the public. All interactions with the public are being conducted online, mail/email, phone or through drop off/pickup at facility entrances. All front line field staff—Police, DPW, Water & Sewer, Volunteer Fire and EMS will continue to operate with some small modification in work schedules/hours to maintain social distancing.
    • Communications—we are continuing to communicate daily utilizing all media platforms. There continues to be very positive feedback on our communications thus far.
    • Donations—we continue to receive many donations and contributions from local individuals and businesses. From masks and personal protective equipment, to sanitization supplies, to food and other services. He again acknowledged publically all those who have given so selflessly to help others.
    • Event-Program Cancellations/Postponements—the decision was made with the Kiwanis Club to cancel the Freedom Festival and 4th of July parade. A decision is still pending on the fireworks. The township is in discussions with the Governor’s Office and the VFW on the Memorial Day Ceremony. The event is still on, but will likely proceed with significant modification. He will advise as soon as the details are finalized. All spring recreation programs and sports have been cancelled; participants have been offered the option of a refund or credit against future program fees. The township is in discussions with the Governor’s Office on summer programs, most notably camps and Randolph Lake Beach. Staff has prepared a variety of contingency plans for the operation of these programs and the beach should the allowance be given by the state to operate.
    • The township has been given clearance by the State to open a couple of other facilities in the parks including the community garden, which you will be hearing more about later this evening, tennis courts for singles play, and the dog park. An announcement on these openings will be going out shortly.

Mayor Carey stated that if there was any way to have the fireworks, even if it was later in the summer, would be great. The Manager replied that the company that the township has been working with has indicated that a postponement is an option.

Manager Mountain continued:

  • Estimated Tax Bill Resolution—the municipality by governing body resolution may direct the Tax Collector to issue estimated tax bills in accordance with the law if the County Board of Taxation has not certified a tax rate. Since the State has extended its fiscal year, it is anticipated that tax rates will not be certified in time for the release of the third quarter bills. As a result, the State Department of Local Government Services has strongly recommended the enactment of such a resolution. To this end Tax Collector Linda Roth prepared the resolution R-130-20 listed under Combined Action on tonight’s agenda. This resolution authorizes and directs the collector to prepare and issue estimated tax bills for the third quarter installment of 2020 taxes. The estimate is based upon the levy estimate coming from information provided by the entities covered by the municipal tax bill (including the school and county). The estimate should very close to accurate since we have information on all of the entities adopted budgets. Any differential occurring once the final rate is certified will be reconciled on the bill that follows. This action was prepared for this meeting because there are forms and logistical actions that need to be completed prior to the issuance of the estimated bills which would need to happen on or before June 15th.
  • Economic Development/Business Support Activities—he again recognized the fantastic job the township’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) has been doing behind the scenes to support our local businesses during this crisis. The EDC has been working closely with him and other staff to push out daily messages via their social media platforms and on our Randolph Local and Economic Development websites. They have promoted everything from listings showing which businesses are open for curbside service to recognizing businesses donating goods and services to those in need in the community. The efforts have been noticed by the community as metrics measuring the number of people liking and following the messaging have grown exponentially in the past several weeks. He encouraged the Council to follow the EDC on Facebook or Instagram and to check out the Randolph Local or Economic Development websites, if they haven’t done so recently.
  • 565 Millbrook Avenue Loan—the Board of Education has advised that they will be making the final two payments on the loan for the acquisition of 565 Millbrook Avenue early and we should have this payment in hand by early June. This will be unanticipated revenue which will help us with cash flow as the year progresses.
  • Paving Update—the township was able to reach an agreement with New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) for them to pave a section of Shongum Road (house#30 and the intersection with Openaki Road) and Bragman Road. Similar to the agreement reached last year on several roads where utility work had been completed, NJNG will fund the full repaving and re-striping of these roads and the town will fund the milling. This work was not anticipated in the road program listing presented last month. Additionally, the final section of paving and infrastructure work on Meadowbrook Road (Butternut to Old Chimney) and the paving of Brookside Road, a state-aid project, will begin Monday, May 11th.

Councilman Loveys confirmed that they will also be paving Cromwell Drive South and part of Surrey Lane in addition to Shongum Road and Bragman Road. Manager Mountain replied that those were the anticipated shared projects; NJNG contacted the township after the list was put together and indicated their willingness to proceed. The township is covering those costs through monies from old ordinances so there will not be a significant cost.

Councilman Forstenhausler thanked Manager Mountain, his staff, and Mayor Carey for all the work they’re putting in during this pandemic to keep the township running.

D. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES

1. Approving the Meeting Minutes for Council Meetings Held on January 25, 2020, February 6, 2020 and February 20, 2020

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to approve the meeting minutes for Council meetings held on January 25, 2020, February 6, 2020 and February 20, 2020. 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

E. COMBINED ACTION RESOLUTIONS

  1. R-125-20 Release Police Detail Escrow to D&S Land Development, LLC—$279.50
  2. R-126-20 Release Police Detail Escrow to Benjamin Dillard—$348.00
  3. R-127-20 Release Police Detail Escrow to MCSSADA—$130.50
  4. R-128-20 Refund Spring Girls Lacrosse Program Registration Fee Due to the Sport Being Cancelled to Kelly Tuttle—$280.00
  5. R-129-20 Refund Spring Adult Artworks Program Due to Classes Being Cancelled to Pattie Calligaro—$416.00
  6. R-130-20 Authorize the Tax Collector to Prepare and Issue Estimated Tax Bills for the 3rd Quarter Taxes (2020)
  7. R-131-20 Refund Teen Camp Program Registration Fee Due to COVID-19 to Anastasia Parton—$1,180.00

Councilman Tkacs made a motion to approve the Combined Actions Resolutions. Councilwoman Potter 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

F. ORDINANCES: SECOND READING/PUBLIC HEARING

1. Ordinance No. 04-20—Range of Compensation for Specified Officers and Employees

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 07-19 TO PROVIDE AND DETERMINE THE RANGE OF COMPENSATION FOR SPECIFIED OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH” be read by title on second reading and a hearing held thereon.

Manager Mountain explained that this is an ordinance which sets the salary ranges for the year; the majority of these salaries have already been established by a contract. This ordinance memorializes it for the record.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled, “AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 07-19 TO PROVIDE AND DETERMINE THE RANGE OF COMPENSATION FOR SPECIFIED OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES IN THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH” be passed on final reading and that a Notice of Final Passage of said Ordinance be published in the official designated newspaper according to law.

Deputy Mayor Veech noted that the agenda had a typo; the Ordinance should be 04-20, not 04-02 as written on the agenda.

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to accept the ordinance. Councilman Tkacs 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 (ABSTAIN)
Mayor Carey

NAYS: None

G. ORDINANCES: INTRODUCTION

1. Ordinance No. 05-20—Appropriating $1,049,500 from the Capital Improvement Fund for Various 2020 Capital Improvements

Manager Mountain explained that these are a series of ordinances that memorialize the projects that were approved as part of the budget capital plan. These ordinances allow for the projects to be appropriated against. Every project in the capital plan has not been included. As indicated in his memo to the Council, the township has held back some discretionary projects to determine the status as the year progresses with respect to collections and revenues. They will also be watching all projects, even those that are part of the capital ordinances, and if there is the feeling that they should not act on the ordinance in the timeframe that they are currently in, they would hold off on such action if warranted. At this point, the majority of the items listed are either commitments to projects that are ongoing or they are essential projects that they do not wish to defer.

Manager Mountain explained that Ordinance 05-20 is a cash ordinance which provides for the capital items in support of rescue squad, police department, parks department, fire department and municipal facilities.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH APPROPRIATING $1,049,500 FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND FOR VARIOUS 2020 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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 Loveys explained that prior to the meeting he struggled with introducing all of these ordinances at one time. He spoke with Manager Mountain about his concern; he has full trust in the staff that they will move along in a responsible fashion as far as staying in tune as to where the township is from a revenue standpoint. He was also reminded of the points that are made each year during the budget process. Councilman Loveys asked Manager Mountain earlier in the day if there had been any discussions with the state, recognizing that the state is not in the greatest fiscal state as far as their state aid. The Manger replied to him that there was no indication at this point that state aid would be withheld. Councilman Loveys reiterated that he would appreciate if the Manager and staff would watch over this very closely.

Manager Mountain explained that Councilman Loveys did a good job capturing their discussion. He explained that the township was comfortable that 2020 is a year that the expenses can be managed, even against some anticipated revenue loss. The concern is, things that could happen during 2020 could impact 2021, and the township would not want to defer projects or expenditures to 2021 because that might be a more challenging budget year. He had reminded Councilman Loveys that they had held back approximately $400,000 of cash projects that are not part of these ordinances that are part of the capital plan that they would only move forward on as the end of the year approaches and they felt they were in a position to do so. If they see the need to hold back on initiating any of the ordinances, they would, despite them being adopted at this time. The Manager added that the township doesn’t really receive state aid anymore because of all the cuts over the years have eliminated the discretionary aid to almost zero; the township receives its gross franchise and receipts tax revenue back from the state. The state collects the tax revenue the way the township collects tax revenue for the schools.

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to introduce Ordinance 05-20. 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

2. Ordinance No. 06-20—Appropriating $900,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for the 2020 Road Overlay Program

Manager Mountain explained that this is the cash funding for the 2020 Road Overlay Program.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH APPROPRIATING $900,000 FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND FOR THE 2020 ROAD OVERLAY PROGRAM” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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 Ordinance 06-20. 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

3. Ordinance No. 07-20—Appropriating $1,150,000 from the Capital Improvement Fund for 2020 Water/Sewer Capital Improvements

Manager Mountain explained that this is also a cash ordinance to fund the 2020 Water/Sewer capital improvements. The funding comes exclusively from the Water/Sewer utility.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH APPROPRIATING $1,150,000 FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND FOR 2020 WATER/SEWER CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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 Tkacs made a motion to introduce Ordinance 07-20. 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

4. Ordinance No. 08-20—Appropriating $275,000 Including $121,000 from the General Capital Improvement Fund and $154,000 due from a New Jersey Department of Transportation Grant for Improvements to Franklin Road

Manager Mountain explained that this ordinance funds in cash the township’s match for the New Jersey DOT state aid grant project for Franklin Road; it is a road resurfacing and sidewalk improvement project.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH APPROPRIATING $275,000 INCLUDING $121,000 FROM THE GENERAL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FUND AND $154,000 DUE FROM A NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION GRANT FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO FRANKLIN ROAD” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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 Loveys made a motion to introduce Ordinance 08-20. 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

5. Ordinance No. 09-20—Appropriating $440,000 from the Recreation/Open Space Trust Fund for Various 2020 Park and Recreation Capital Improvements

Manager Mountain explained that this ordinance funds the capital projects that are proposed to be funded from the Recreation Open Space Trust.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “AN ORDINANCE OF THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH APPROPRIATING $440,000 FROM THE RECREATION/OPEN SPACE TRUST FUND FOR VARIOUS 2020 PARK AND RECREATION CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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.

Councilwoman Veech asked when the project at Old Tye Park would take place. Manager Mountain replied that the project is tied to the Bennett Avenue/EA Porter project.

Deputy Mayor Veech made a motion to introduce Ordinance 09-20. 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

6. Ordinance No. 10-20 Bond Ordinance Providing for the Acquisition of New DPW Equipment by the Township of Randolph in the County of Morris, New Jersey, Appropriating $348,000 Therefore and Authorizing the Issuance of $323,000 Bonds or Notes of the Township for Financing Such Appropriation

Manager Mountain explained that this is the only bond ordinance; it funds DPW equipment.

BE IT RESOLVED, that an Ordinance entitled “BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ACQUISITION OF NEW DPW EQUIPMENT BY THE TOWNSHIP OF RANDOLPH IN THE COUNTY OF MORRIS, NEW JERSEY, APPROPRIATING $348,000 THEREFORE AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $323,000 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE TOWNSHIP FOR FINANCING SUCH APPROPRIATION” 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 21st of May, 2020 at 5:00 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 Tkacs asked why the township wouldn’t capitalize this equipment instead of bonding for it. Manager Mountain clarified that Councilman Tkacs meant funding it with cash. Councilman Tkacs asked why it wouldn’t be part of the capitalization program; Manager Mountain explained that for DPW equipment they typically borrow for it because they tend to be larger purchases. The township could borrow on a short-term basis through notes or, if necessary, roll it over into long-term bond financing. In terms of balancing this year’s budget, the choice was made to leave it in as a bond-financed project; to have added that amount of cash onto the capital program they had already constructed would’ve pushed it into a much higher dollar value overall for the program. It is a choice, but historically the DPW equipment has been funded through bond financing.

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to introduce Ordinance 10-20. Councilwoman Potter 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

H. UPCOMING EVENTS

1. Table of Hope—Food Distribution Event, Wednesday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Randolph High School, 511 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph

I. DISCUSSION

1. Community Garden Opening

Manager Mountain reported that the Community Garden sub-committee has been working closely with the Recreation Director, Garden Coordinator and Deputy Mayor Veech, who is the Council liaison to the project. They have been developing a plan to open the community garden at Veterans Community Park later in May. The Manager shared the elements of the plan with the Council via a summary he provided earlier in the week. He advised that the Parks Committee reviewed the plan and supports it. The plan was being presented for the benefit of the Council. As reported earlier in his Manager’s Report, the township has already reviewed this with the Governor’s office; it is an element of park use that has been cleared for opening under social distancing requirements. The community gardens that already exist in Morris County are proceeding in a similar timeframe with the social distancing requirements.

Deputy Mayor Veech provided the following summary:

  • The safety and health of the gardeners were the driving force behind all of the operating guidelines the Council received as part of their package.
  • There are very strict guidelines—the maximum number of gardeners is 20 for four of the groupings and 23 for the other two groupings. People were placed in a total of six groupings.
  • For accessing the garden, the days (8 a.m.-8 p.m.) have been divided up into two-hour slots; only one gardener per bed is allowed in at one time.
  • Gardeners are separated by 24 feet in one direction and 18 feet in the other.
  • Tools are not shared.
  • Masks are to be worn.
  • There are a few other safety operating guidelines listed.
  • There are approximately 130 garden beds leased.

Mayor Carey commended Deputy Mayor Veech and the others who created the safety guidelines for a very thorough job to keep the gardeners safe.

Councilman Tkacs echoed Mayor Carey’s comments; he felt it was a fantastic plan, well thought out and planned, with the gardeners’ safety in mind. One week ago he drove past the park and thought the entry roadway was still pretty rough. He asked if there was going to be any effort to smooth it out a little or if any information was sent to gardeners to take precaution when driving lower vehicles on that roadway. Manager Mountain replied that it will be a challenge; they spoke to the contractor and there probably would not be the ability to make it much better than it is. There will likely be a time in the next month that there will be an interruption to ready the roadway for paving. The Manager thought Councilman Tkacs’ suggestion to notify gardeners to be cautious was a good idea and one that the Garden Coordinator could do. He reiterated that it is still a construction area and people need to be cautious when on-site.

Councilman Loveys agreed that it was a well thought out plan; he did not see any reason not to open.

Deputy Mayor Veech explained that even though they are targeting May 18th as the opening, it is subject to change depending on if certain things are not completed as expected. The gardeners are being kept up to date on the situation. Deputy Mayor Veech will also update the Council as needed.

2. 2-1-1 Update

Manager Mountain reported that the 211 group continued to meet and focus on meeting the community’s needs in the coming weeks and months.

Councilwoman Potter explained that at the October 3, 2019 Council meeting, she and Councilman Loveys presented the idea of implementing NJ211in Randolph. The Council directed them to create a small committee with Julie Swenson and a liaison from the Municipal Alliance Committee (MAC); Liz Ritter joined the small committee as the MAC liaison. Since then the 211 committee has posted an access button on the homepage of the township website, created awareness of 211 with press releases, and trained the municipal staff with awareness in the use of 211. In Randolph, there were 145 calls to 211 between November 4, 2018 and November 3, 2019, an average of 12.08 calls per month; from January 1, 2020 to May 1, 2020 there were 147 calls, an average of 36.75 calls per month. There are many more action items to address with 211 in Randolph including reaching out to Randolph service providers to list their services on the 211 website; getting the 211 website access button onto other Randolph websites such as the schools, medical providers, social service providers, etc.; promoting other 211 services in Randolph such as texting “readynj” or “njcovid” to 898-211 to get information.

Councilwoman Potter felt that Randolph is lucky to be part of a county that has arguably the best social services in New Jersey; however, there are some gaps for Randolph residents. They have found that 211 by itself is not able to bridge the gap in social services, the township is providing some of the items to fill that gap. In January 2020, the 211 committee began to consider the possibility of creating a new public assistance advisory committee. When the county did not provide Randolph with social services in the past, there was a committee called “Community Services Advisory Committee.” The existing ordinance could be modified; however, one of the bullet points in the old ordinance is to “assist the department of parks, recreation and community services with special events, trips, social services, and senior citizen programs,” which is not the intended direction of this new committee. They proposed that the Council’s ordinance workgroup look at moving the 211 ad-hoc committee under the new committee so there would be more volunteers to execute the action items previously listed. The new committee would be tasked with creating liaisons with the county human resource advisory boards and committees that exist; these county boards and committees are public meetings and the new committee members should attend and bring information back to Randolph as well as communicate the township’s needs to the county. Also, this new committee should work with the township to ensure that the website is updated with community service information as well as promoting the information via the township’s communication media. Appoint volunteers to this committee that are currently serving Randolph’s at-need populations so that needs can be identified, and create a way for volunteers to give back to their Randolph community in the area of social services.

Councilman Loveys stated that Councilwoman Potter had provided a good summary. He felt the intent was to provide the Council with their thoughts and note some of the limitations they found with 211. They felt that composing some notes in terms of a draft ordinance regarding the creation of such a committee would be a next step, which would then be brought back to the Council for review.

Councilman Tkacs commented that one of his elderly neighbors had a fire in her house; the neighbors got together to help her with what she needed at the time. He commented that if he had been aware of the NJ211 resource at the time, he could’ve provided his neighbor with the information. He felt there was already a need in the community, but the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the need. Councilman Tkacs was happy to see that the Council members were trying to plug gaps and fill some needs that residents have. He asked if instead of a new committee, it might better fit into a workgroup similar to those they have for infrastructure and facilities. He explained that once the structure is in place, he wasn’t sure how much maintenance it would need other than reporting.

Councilman Loveys explained that the thought was to staff the committee with those volunteers that are already doing it. There are a lot of different groups within our large community that have people experiencing needs of various kinds. Ideally they would identify those areas and needs and staff the committee with volunteers that would go out and keep a pulse on those areas. He gave an example of a need in the township which Julie Swenson has been working with over the years for which she is a good advocate. If there was a committee to which she could bring those needs, it might spur other thoughts and volunteer efforts. Councilman Loveys noted that there are many people in Randolph that want to volunteer, but they are not always pointed in the appropriate direction. Another aspect of the committee would be to monitor the township’s website and make it more user friendly as far as available social services. He felt that the township offers a lot, but residents are not aware of what is available. Councilman Loveys felt that by having a committee with a pulse on the social services available from the County, it would enhance and support the activities that Randolph already provides. He did not envision it as a workgroup, but rather a committee.

Councilman Tkacs stated that he wholly supports the efforts of Council members Loveys and Potter, and thought it was great to enhance the township’s ability to help residents in need. He felt that 211 has made a great in-road into the community and he hoped it could be expanded upon. He only questioned that once the structure was in place, would it need monthly monitoring or would it be like an organization running on its own momentum? Councilman Loveys replied that he does not have an answer to that, but he felt that there needed to be a permanent structure in place because today’s volunteers aren’t necessarily tomorrow’s; Councilman Tkacs agreed.

Mayor Carey stated that was a good point; she added that she liked what Councilman Loveys and Councilwoman Potter discussed as there is obviously a need in the township which is not going away. She commented that there are also a lot of services through other organizations and groups, but at times not a lot of coordination between them, and people often don’t know how to navigate the system. Mayor Carey felt that forming the advisory committee was a great idea and she supported their plan.

Deputy Mayor Veech agreed with Mayor Carey. She added that she felt that with the right people, those who are in touch with the community, can reach out to the county, and are similar to those on the 211 group, the committee would be great, and she supports the effort.

Mayor Carey asked for any further questions or comments, which there were none. She asked what the next steps would be. Manager Mountain explained that the next steps would be to congregate the ordinance workgroup to review the details with feedback from Councilman Loveys and Councilwoman Potter, create a draft ordinance in consultation with Attorney Buzak’s office, and bring it back to the Council for review and discussion.

J. OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

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

K. COUNCIL COMMENTS

Councilman Nisivoccia thanked Mayor Carey, Manager Mountain, and the township staff for continuing to keep residents informed of the township’s response to COVID-19 through communications.

Manager Mountain acknowledged that Janet Pollio in the Manager/Clerk’s office does a lot of the communications work; he and Donna Luciani manage her work, but she does most of the crafting of the language and editing of the communications. Mayor Carey noted that the communications continue on the weekends, as well; Manager Mountain commented that Janet also works on those. The Mayor has looked at other town’s websites and some are not putting anything on their websites other than linking them to the county’s information. She commended the township staff and thanked the Manager for acknowledging Janet. Mayor Carey asked that Manager Mountain and Donna Luciani let Janet know that the Council thanked her.

Councilman Tkacs had no comments other than to agree with Councilman Nisivoccia in thanking the township staff.

Councilwoman Potter noted that it’s been a challenging time, and on behalf of the time capsule committee, she asked Council members to save anything they thought appropriate for the time capsule to remember this time.

Councilman Forstenhausler again thanked the Manager, Mayor and township staff for their work during this time; communications have been excellent. He also mentioned that it’s interesting to note that Randolph was able to extend the tax payment deadline to June 1st when other towns were not able to due to their financial situation. He wished that the State of New Jersey had as much forethought in being responsible for budgets as the municipal government in Randolph has been for the last several years.

Councilman Loveys reported that the Board of Health will be having a meeting via Zoom on May 11th in which he will participate.

Deputy Mayor Veech noted that the Council appointed Sheila Bell-Helmke as an alternate on the Parks Advisory Committee, but they should have appointed her as a full member replacing Greg Johnsen. She asked the Council members to consider that correction.

Deputy Mayor Veech made a motion to make the correction and appoint Sheila Bell-Helmke as a full member of the Parks Advisory Committee. Councilman Tkacs 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

A member of the public indicated that they wanted to speak. Mayor Carey opened the meeting for the resident to speak as they may have missed it earlier due to technology.

There was difficulty getting the person on the line; Deputy Mayor Veech suggested the person text someone at the municipal building the question. Attorney Buzak stated that he had a message on his screen earlier that said “unstable internet connection.” He could hear some people fine, but had trouble hearing others. He heard the person from the public ask to speak, but he didn’t believe she heard him. Manager Mountain replied that they were having difficulty hearing him. He explained that a message was sent to the resident that she could text her question, but they no longer had the indication showing that she wanted to speak.

Mayor Carey reported that she looked at the 2020 Census site prior to the Council meeting. The current response rate in the country is 57%; the State of New Jersey is 59%; Morris County is 69%; and Randolph Township is 74%. She was impressed with the response rate in the township, but would like to see it higher. She noted that the Randolph Reporter had a nice article encouraging people to complete the census.

Mayor Carey explained that there would be no action taken after the Executive Session was closed.

L. 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:

Affordable Housing Update

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 Forstenhausler made a motion to move into Executive Session at 6:30 p.m. Councilman Tkacs 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

Deputy Mayor Veech made a motion to close the Executive Session at 7:35 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

M. ADJOURNMENT

Councilman Forstenhausler made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 p.m. Councilwoman Potter 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