RP M&C Meeting (May 1, 2008)

On May 1, 2008, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

The meeting started with a moment of silence in remembrance of William “Fordy” Jenkins, who passed away this week.

Communications

  • The request for a Block Party was moved, voted on, and approved.

Report and Recommendations of Mayor

  • Yesterday, the mayor attended the monthly meeting with the Special Improvement District (SID) at Costa’s. The Chief of Police was invited and met with business owners to discuss issues and concerns. Councilman Badillo was also in attendance. Earlier in the month the SID met with Cranford’s SID representative so she could offer insight and goals for Roselle Park’s downtown. Among issues discussed were creating design standards, establishing marketing approaches, developing ways to invite businesses to Roselle Park, addressing vacant properties by perhaps listing them on the Roselle Park web site, and having a liaison for businesses. The idea is not to imitate Cranford but to use ideas from surrounding municipalities. There may be an office for business development to have a point of contact for interested parties wanting to start businesses and/or development in Roselle Park.
    The next SID meeting will be in May to discuss ideas and work on a plan of action to present to council.
  • The borough is preparing for the “Relay For Life” to take place on June 7th and 8th. The centerline on Chestnut Street is painted purple and there are ribbons around town in show of support. The mayor will be riding the Montauk Century 100 mile bike ride in Long Island to raise awareness and donations for the Relay for Life. Anyone interested in donating or participating can contact the mayor via e-mail.
  • The mayor gave a reminder regarding bicycle safety in the borough. There was a program in place last year where police gave ‘rewards’ (coupons to stores in town i.e. 7-11) to minors they encountered riding with helmets. The mayor asked children and adults to wear helmets to improve safety.
  • The mayor wanted to thank all the families who participated and donated to the recycle bins in an effort to emphasize recycling in the borough. In the fall blue containers for paper will become available. He offered an example of a ream of paper which weighs five pounds. One (1) of paper is $68 of disposal costs to the borough. The average paper waste is 1,300 lbs of paper a year per family. If one-fifth of the borough recycled the paper it would come out to about 5,015 tons of savings in disposal costs.
  • The borough’s recycling calendar will be going out soon through monies received from a grant.
  • The town-wide garage sale will be held on June 16, 2008.

Councilman Badillo stated that Borough Hall has started on paper recycling with blue bins.

Report of Standing Committee and Other Mayor and Council Committees

Councilmember Laurence Dinardo

  • Councilman Dinardo stated that his family purchased a recycle bin.
  • The councilman attended the NJDOT meeting where issues with Westfield Avenue were discussed.
  • Councilman Dinardo concurred with the mayor’s statement that more children should wear bike helmets. He stated that his daughter, who wears her bicycle helmet, stated that police have seen her wearing her helmet but have never approached her with a reward. The mayor stated that coincidentally the Chief of Police had spoken of Ms. Dinardo and that the Chief himself will personally be delivering her reward.
  • With regard to the Casano Center, the tiles have been delivered and the councilman is seeking volunteers to assist with tiling the floor. A small class will be held to instruct on the proper manner to lay tile. More information will be provided the next few weeks after painting of the center is complete.
  • The councilman mentioned that in connection with the Relay For Life, the library will be holding two (2) sessions of “Heart Hug Pillow” making. The classes will take place on May 13 from 6 pm-8 pm and May 17 from 10:30 am – 1:30 pm. Anyone interested can contact the library. (Link)The councilman wanted to remind residents that there is still time to get involved for the Relay For Life.

The mayor stated he received notice from the State regarding the Homestead Rebates. Anyone interested in more information should contact Borough Hall, the Community Center, or the 21st Legislative District. The deadline for the Homestead Rebate is June 2, 2008.

Councilmember Michael Yakubov

  • The councilman and councilman Modesto Miranda spoke with Mrs. Accardi from the high school in regard to having the high school make a commercial based on “Roselle Park Goes Green”. there were students who were interested but due to the prom and the end of school approaching, the project will be postponed until September.
  • The councilman spoke of his walk through his ward with the mayor and the police chief. It was a very informative and useful endeavor. he will do it again this year and invited any other councilmembers to do the same in their wards to have issues and concerns addressed.
  • The county is getting the Valley Road area cleaned up. Hopefully all railroad ties will be cleaned up.

Councilmember Ricky Badillo

  • The councilman and councilman Yakubov on Tuesday spoke with representatives of the M&E railroad to clean up their property.
  • The councilman wanted the borough engineer to look at 128 to 124 Union road. It appears that water is puddling in front of those properties.
  • The councilman thanked the DPW for the leaf pick up on Monday and for them to thank Mike for removing the dead tree.
  • The councilman asked the police to do a traffic study on the 700 block of Walnut Street to see if a speed bump should be recommended.
  • The little league fields are still under inspection by the NJDEP.
  • The councilman wanted to thank the police department for the Honor Guard ceremony in honor of Fordy Jenkins.
  • The Little League parade will take place on Sunday.
  • The golf outing for the Dad’s Club will take place on May 17, 2008.
  • The councilman wanted to thank the PTSA for the Tricky Tray at Sherman School.

Councilmember Larissa Chen-Hoerning

  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning contacted residents to start a ward-wide sprucing up. There is a little group started and anyone interested to do community-building can contact her. (Link)
  • The councilwoman spoke with police chief Morrison with regard to an officer that visits homebound and senior residents. She would like to expand the program to include residents who would like to volunteer to assist in that matter.
  • The councilwoman asked of Kenilworth had a separate weight restriction for trucks or is there one for Roselle park since she did not notice a sign on Sumner or Tucker. The mayor sated that the chief will check into the ordinances to see if there is one for Roselle Park.
  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning stated that in speaking with businesses in her ward, there have been speculation regarding Sullivan Chevrolet. She asked if there was a way to keep businesses in her ward more aware of serious development. The mayor stated that although there have been rumors that there is no public notice of application presented to the borough nothing is substantiated. Once an application has been submitted the borough will send out notice to businesses and residents. There has been talk of a Shop-Rite or Stop & Shop but as of yet, there is nothing to report. Councilman-At-Large Badillo stated that even Sullivan Chevrolet employees do not know what will be happening to the property. Everything at this point is speculation.
  • The councilwoman asked if there is presently any councilmember acting as liaison for the Planning Board. The mayor stated that there presently is not but if councilwoman Chen-Hoerning would like to volunteer, the position would be available. She stated she would like to volunteer. The mayor stated that at the next meeting the appointment will be made official.
  • The councilwoman wanted to attend the Tricky Tray but since no children were allowed she could not attend, although she wanted to.

Reports Of Department

Borough Attorney

  • Mr. Johnstone had two (2) items for closed session. One dealt with Mr. Gaylen and the other had to do with Romerovski.

Borough Clerk

  • Nothing to report

Chief Financial Officer

  • The CFO asked for dates for upcoming budget meetings. The next meeting was scheduled for May 6th at 6:30 pm

Police Department Report

  • The police chief reviewed interviews for a vacant position in the police department. He has a recommendation to present before council so that the applicant can be hired. Councilman-at-large Badillo stated that the application will be addressed at the next meeting.
  • The police chief spoke with American Traffic Solutions (ATS) regarding a proposal to provide surveillance cameras at stop lights. They wanted to come in and make a presentation. They are like Redflex except they are closer to Roselle Park and have been in New York for years. They also would be willing to negotiate with the borough on their percentage of funds collected from fines. The mayor stated that such negotiations would require a bid ordinance. The police chief stated that he spoke with NJ Attorney General Anne Milgram who stated that only 12 municipalities will be able to participate in this pilot program so the council would need to decide on who to choose rather quickly. In discussions between the police chief and council it was brought out that NJDOT would need to approve any plans in order to proceed. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked if the chief knew how many municipalities were interested. the chief stated there was a lot of interest. Councilman-at-Large asked if a joint ordinance was needed with other boroughs for lights that border other towns. The police chief stated that he did not believe so. The mayor asked if the borough needs a firm in place in order to apply for the program. The chief stated that it appears to be the case but he will check.
  • The chief met with a company to try and progress the borough’s plan to get reverse 911.
  • The honor Guard at William Jenkins’ funeral was very professional and appreciated. The two officers who volunteered to take Honor Guard training (officers Frino and Breuninger) were part of the Honor Guard. There are eight other officers who are interested in volunteering. The chief states that it gives a professional look to the police department and the borough. The mayor asked if all the Honor Guard were volunteers. The chief answered yes.

Councilman Yakubov asked the chief about the progress of OEM applications. the chief stated that the OEM will be up and running ASAP with publicity and recruiting as well as training will be arranged within the next couple of weeks.

Councilman Dinardo asked if the chief could address people making u-turns at La Catena when there is a “No U-Turn” sign. The chief stated he would look into it. The councilman also stated he received a letter from an attorney of a resident on West Westfield Avenue requesting a handicapped parking space in front of his house. The Chief stated that Route 28 is a state highway but he would look into what could be done.

The Police Chief closed with stating that the traffic study requested by Councilman-At-Large Badillo will start on Tuesday for a 10-day study.

Department of Public Works

  • Mr. Benny Cosentino, speaking for the department, asked if council had anything to ask of them after reading their report. The mayor thanked the DPW for cleaning up the graffiti in the tunnel. Councilman-At-Large thanked the DPW for picking up the leaves on Monday. The Borough Clerk thanked the DPW for their work at Borough Hall. Councilman Dinardo thanked the DPW for their snow removal and street sweeping this year. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning apologized for incorrectly calling Mr. Cosentino Barney. She asked that the DPW look into some one-way signs in her ward (Warren and Filbert) that give false impression that a perpendicular street is one way, not the one-way street itself.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • In reference to Sullivan Chevrolet, the service department is closed, the used vehicles are gone, and the other autos are going to be auctioned. It appears that Sullivan Chevrolet will be closing soon.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to thank Cranford’s Special Improvement District (SID) for their advise and opinion.
  • Cranford is televising their Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings and Mr. Magiera requested that Roselle Park’s respective board meetings be televised to maintain an open and transparent government. Mr. Magiera feels if such meetings were televised residents would be more aware of what was being discussed with relation to the Romerovski property. The mayor stated that Mr. Magiera should take into account that there were public outreach meetings where the public could attend and become informed.
  • Mr. Magiera requested that recycling awareness and leaf pick-up awareness but put on TV-34. Mr. Magiera then read for the 2007 service information pamphlet which stated that residents should call DPW to have leaves picked up from January to September. Mrs. Cali stated that the recycling calendar has changed since that pamphlet. Mr. Magiera stated that there is no 2008 pamphlet so residents refer to 2007’s for their information. The mayor stated that the 2008 pamphlets come out when the new tax bills are mailed. Mrs. Cali also stated that leaf season starts in October.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to remind the mayor and residents that it is mosquito season again.
  • Mr. Magiera asked residents to call their senators in reference to the Homestead Rebates. In reading the resolution tabled for tonight Mr. Magiera stated he only noticed that the resolution was going to be sent only to the 21st district representatives. he suggested that it also be sent to the municipalities within the district.
  • Mr. Magiera asked how much money is left in the last year’s sewer budget account. he also asked if it could be used for this year’s budget. CFO Kenneth Blum stated there is $127,000 left with $30,000 already being used for this year’s budget. The rest is being left due to Schering-Plough’s production slow down.
  • Mr. Magiera asked to have Resolution 130-08 explained. He was notified that it is part of shared services and deals with health nurse services, health complaints, health inspection services, vaccination and other shots, and other health department related matters.
  • Mr. Magiera gave the mayor an article from the IRS on the Economic Stimulus Payment and closed with requesting that the Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings be televised.

Glenn Marczewski

  • Mr. Marczewski stated, in regard to the mayor’s comments on helmet safety, if the borough has done anything with the information he gave last year to provide children with helmets for $10. He stated he would bring the information again to the next meeting.
  • Mr. Marczewski asked if Roselle Park has a program to deal with fluorescent bulbs and batteries since fluorescent bulbs contain mercury. He was notified that the county has a program to handle that.
  • Mr. Marchewski asked regarding the little league ball fields. They have been unoccupied for almost two years and he asked Councilman-At-Large if he ever noticed any ooze coming out of the ground. The Councilman-At-Large stated he did not. Mr. Marczewski stated that neither did he. Mr. Marczewski stated that he wondered how one letter could close the fields. He was told that a letter was sent to the EPA in 1998 and the EPA found nothing significant regarding contaminants. NJDEP then investigated the field two years ago and starting testing the soul. The mayor stated that any testing on site fees were covered through grants.
  • Mr. Marczewski spoke on the danger of traffic at Westfield Avenue and Faitoute. He wanted the borough to keep that in mind when addressing development, either through AvalonBay or any other developer.

Robert Zeglarski, Sr.

  • Mr. Zeglarski stated that a few meetings ago he had asked about redevelopment and property taxes. He found a model like Roselle Park’s situation where the property tax paid by the development did not go to the general fund but went to capital projects. He asked if this was the situation with Roselle Park. The mayor asked if Mr. Zeglarski was referring to the PILOT program (Payment In Lieu Of Taxes). Mr. Zeglarski stated he did not know what the program was called but was inquiring on the program. The mayor stated that the state allows a PILOT program, where a developer would give a lump sum payment to a municipality for capital projects. A portion would go the the county and is something that a municipality could utilize during negotiations. Mr. Zeglarski if Roselle Park will collect AvalonBay’s property taxes, if they are the developer, in the form of tax or a PILOT program. or will it be decided upon at a later date. The mayor stated that it would be addressed at a later date and that the collection could be a combination of the two. Mr. Zeglarski asked if the funds could be used for the additional services that might be needed to cover the new development.
  • Mr. Zeglarski stated that he believed that any taxes collected, no matter where they were put, could not go over property assessments. Additionally, during the AvalonBay meeting, a BOE member asked a question that he felt was not answered. It was regarding where money would go for taxes generated by a new development. He stated that it would not be more money in the budget but that the taxes collected would lessen the resident’s tax burden. He asked how the Borough’s planner got us into this situation. the mayor stated that the planner did not get the borough into the present situation with AvalonBay.
  • Mr. Zeglarski stated he saw a meeting where councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked about a resolution dealing with payment for a borough employee who needed legal counsel and perhaps having the borough’s insurance cover such legal fees. He asked what was the purpose of insurance if it cannot cover such incidents.
  • Mr. Zeglarski stated that he also saw a meeting where Mr. Magiera asked Councilman-At-Large about his fees for being on the Essex County Joint Sewer Committee and that the Councilman-At-Large stated he did not know since he gave his paycheck to his wife. Mr. Zeglarski asked if the councilman-at-large ever asked his wife.

The councilman-at-large wanted to address the comment made by Mr. Zeglarski but Mr. Zeglarski kept yelling out from his seat ‘cover up’.

The public portion was closed.

Reports Of Department

All reports were moved, voted on, and approved.

Minutes To be Approved, Pending Any Corrections

  • The motion was moved, voted on, and carried.

The Motion that Bills & Payrolls Not Be Read and Motion that Bills & Payrolls Be Passed For Payment were all voted on and carried.

Proclamations and Certificates

  • The certificate for Rick Matarante was postponed until the next meeting.
  • The mayor read a proclamation of awareness on Myasthenia Gravis.

Ordinances for First Reading

  • Ordinance 2244 was moved, voted on, and introduced.

Ordinances for Second Reading

  • None.

Resolutions

  • Resolution 131-08 was pulled from consensus by councilwoman Chen-Hoerning. Resolutions 129-09 and 130-08 were moved, voted on, and carried.
  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning wanted more information on the details of the Homestead Rebate change. After some discussion the resolution was tabled to allow for more information to be gathered.

The meeting went into closed session to deal with the two previously mentioned matters.