RP M&C Meeting (September 6, 2007)

On September 6, 2007, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

The mayor was not present due to illness. Councilman Loren Harms was acting mayor. All council members were in attendance. The meeting started with a full reading of Resolution 191-07  (Budget Amendments). After the reading the public hearing was opened.

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Mageira wanted to confirm that mayor and council were not taking a pay increase for budget year 2007. That was confirmed by acting mayor and council.

Bill Crossett

  • Mr. Crossett felt that the $60,000 spent on crosswalks was a waste of resources. The crosswalks look good for a year or two but then after use they begin to require repair which would require more funds for future repairs.
  • Mr. Crossett wanted to confirm that collections for property taxes was going up $500,000. He asked how much that would average out to each resident and was notified it would be an average increase of $123.70 per household per year. He was also notified that this amount was the same as before the budget was amended. Mr. Crossett mentioned that since 2004 his property tax increases 35%. Council mentioned that property tax includes school taxes and county taxes. Mr. Crossett asked if, going forward, Roselle Park would be able to maintain Governor Corzine’s benchmark of 3 – 4% increase. He was informed that it would appear to be the case.

After public comment was closed, Resolution 199-07 was voted on and passed.

Communications
Four (4) were made for a block party. The first three (3) voted on and passed. The fourth one was held for comment because it included a Yard Sale along with the block party. Council was concerned that having the 100 block of West Lincoln Avenue blocked off for the yard sale and block party would become a safety / traffic issue since the yard sale would invite traffic from outside the block. After discussion, it was decided that the block party would be voted on and passed. The yard sale was voted on and passed pending approval from the police department to address safety and traffic issues.

Report and Recommendations of the Mayor

  • The Clean Committee of Roselle Park will be holding an annual event to clean up areas of Roselle Park. This will take place on September 22 from 9 a.m. to noon. Anyone interested should meet at Acker Park at 9 a.m.

Report of Standing Committees and other Mayor and Council Committees

Laurence Dinardo

  • There will be an Autism Speaks Walk for Autism Research at Nomahagen Park in Cranford on October 7, 2007. Roselle Park will have a team participating (Team Park Puzzlers). Anyone interested can visit http://www.autismwalk.org or contact councilman Dinardo.

Ricky Badillo

  • School has started and both motorists and children should be careful when crossing. On the same note, Pop Warner is having practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Rick Matarante

  • Councilman had three (3) items for closed session. Two (2) were contract negotiations and one (1) involves personnel.
  • The Capital Budget was finalized and an ordinance will be introduced on September 20th regarding it.
  • The Acker Park meeting has results in an Acker Park Committee consisting of eight (8) individuals. Their first meeting will be atborough hall on September 13th at 6 p.m.

Robert Rubilla

  • A joint meeting was held between Councilman Rubilla, Councilman Yakubov, Carl Pluchino, and Conrail regarding the painting and maintenance of their bridges. At first Conrail refused to address the issues with their bridges but the Code Enforcement Officer sent a letter regarding the pertinent issues. They have met with the Chief of Operations for Conrail and there is a sense of a positive response moving forward.
  • Mention was made of budgeted money for address netting for bridges to address pigeon droppings. Planks under the trestles has been recommended to also help with the situation.

Michael Yakubov

  • Abandoned railroad ties were addressed to Conrail to see how it can be addressed. The Valley Road ties are not Conrail property but M&E Property. The Webster Gardens area is Conrail property.
  • DPW put garbage cans by 7-11 to address noticeabl littering.
  • Street signs have been ordered for the borough.
  • Televue is up and running .

Reports Of Departments

DPW Report

  • Chestnut Street has new garbage cans and benches.
  • The county has been called to find out when the street signs on Chestnut Street will be completed.
  • The issue with powerwashing pigeon droppings was brought up and DPW stated that they cannot powerwash the dropping into the storm sewers.
  • Out of the workers that were out since the last report, one worker is back which has the street sweeper back in service.

Police Report

  • The report was submitted and the police department has been asked to look into speeding issues, now that school has started.

Borough Attorney Report

  • There is a Municipal Services Meeting coming up on Monday and one (1) item has been added regarding the Land Use Ordinance to include realtors and insurance agencies.
  • One (1) item is held for closed session regarding litigation.

Certificates

A certificate was presented to Glen South for donation of Juniper trees to the borough. Mr. South could not be present but the certificate was read.

Public Comment

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera stated that he did not file a complaint to DEP but simply called them to find out about the removal of bird droppings into storm sewers.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted information on Ordinance 2217. Borough Attorney Lane stated that the redevelopment plan is being amended and any amendment needs to have an ordinance – this is required by statute.
  • Mr. Magiera mentioned that Mr. Ramos from Castle Mortgage is available for assistance with sub-prime mortgages.
  • Mr. Magiera had pictures of the pigeon droppings and dead carcass of a pigeon to show the significance of the issue. Councilman Rubilla stated that he has sent a memo to Union County SPCA to have the carcass removed. Mr. Magiera suggested that a wet Speed-Dry be used, then picked up and shoveled into garbage bags.
  • There are stop signs that are obstructed by trees and leaves.
  • People are riding bicycles downtown on the sidewalks which is against the law. He wanted to remind residents that all bicycles need to be registered. He also wanted to commend more children for wearing helmets.
  • Mr. Magiera requested an invoice for the street sweeper repair. He was informed that the machine was not broken down but that it was due to lack of manpower.
  • Mr. Magiera asked how much was received from Comcast. He was told it was about $40,549and that t was applied to revenue. Mr. Magiera wanted to know if it was applied to TV services or the full budget – he was told it was the latter.
  • After asking, Mr. Magiera was told that 6% of the municipal budget goes to garbage pick-up.
  • There are 13 parking meters that are out of order. He asked when they will be fixed. he was told that as soon as the budget is approved, the monies apportioned to repairing the meters will be utilized.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to know if the police Chief is still on vacation or on disability? He was notified that the Chief is not on disability and is using up his sick time. The chief submitted a doctor’s note stating he cannot come to work.
  • Residents would like bonding ordinances on spending read publicly.

Dan Nydick

  • Mr. Nydick lives on Sherman Avenue and has had problems with flooding when it rains. He found a solution to the problem and would like the council’s recommendation on how to address the problem in the future. The last time it rained he lifted a storm access box, that had no holes, and all the water funneled and the street flooding was alleviated. He proposed a permanent solution to the problem (slotted cover / grated cover) so that the street stops being flooded. He would like the storm access box addressed as well; either locked so no one could open it and perhaps risk someone falling into the hole or creating a grated opening to allow for rainwater to drain. He was thanked for his help and was told that there are various waterlines that run throughout the town. He was asked to speak with the borough engineer to see how this problem can be addressed.

Bill Crossett

  • Mr. Crossett, regarding Ordinance 2217, asked if a hotel site had been considered. A hotel would charge an occupancy fee tax which would, in turn, go to the borough, in addition to property tax. Chuck Lettini, representing the borough, stated that it was considered, along with other ideas, and the present plan, which is in effect, was the best option for Roselle Park.
  • Mr. Crossett asked how much a “Click-It-Or-Ticket” citation was. he was told that it was around $67 but the program also addresses other issues, such as registration, suspended licenses, etc.
  • He asked if the use of cell phones while driving was upgraded to a primary offense. He was notified that is was. He wanted to know if municipal employee were exempt from the law; he was told that no one was exempt from the cell phone use while driving prohibition.

Ray Roach

  • Mr. Roach wrote the sheriff to request assistance on monitoring speeding on county roads that go through Roselle Park.
  • Mr. Roach is a representative of Creative Development of Union County and asked that any resident interested in more information can contact him via his address at 715 Walnut.

The public comment portion was closed and the Reports of Departments continued.

Reports Of Departments

Engineer’s Report

  • Chester Avenue Reconstruction: Elm St & Lincoln Ave Drainage. the contractor has completed work with the exception of some minor punch list items.
  • Madison Avenue Reconstruction. There is some problem getting this job started.
  • West Brook Stream Improvements.
  • Webster Avenue Sanitary Sewer Replacement
  • First Aid Squad Emergency Generator. The contractor does not have the state contract for the purchase of equipment. The borough will prepare construction documents and publicly bid the purchase end of the project.
  • Stormwater Mangement Plan
  • Union Ave Storm Sewer Repair
  • Fire Station Bathroom renovations. Work is expected to be completed before November elections.

Talk among council began with regard to a timeframe for contractors who are non-compliant. The contractor for the Madison Avenue project is in default and the borough wanted to know what options it has; can this re-bid the project or go with the second lowest bidder. Mr. Villano discouraged the bonding process option since it would take a long time and use resources. He would prefer going with the second lowest bidder. The council agreed that if work did not start by the next council meeting, then the borough would go with the next lowest bidder.

Bills & Payrolls were passed.

Ordinance 2217 was voted on and passed.

Resolutions

  • Resolutions 197-07, 198-07, and 201-07 were voted on and passed.
  • Resolution 199-07 was previously voted on and passed.
  • Resolution 200-07 was pulled for discussion. Councilman Yakubov asked how the position would be filled during the employee’s maternity leave. he was informed that either a patrolman would substitute or other dispatchers would be called in on their days off to cover. A vote was taken with Councilman Badillo abstain. The resolution was passed.

There were four (4) items reserved for closed session. Two of them were contract negotiations with one regarding a bargaining unit with the PBA and the other regarding the contract between Roselle Park and the Boys & Girl’s Club of Union. The third matter had to do with personnel (a position not a person). The fourth matter for closed had to deal with litigation.

The meeting was adjourned.