RP M&C Meeting (November 17, 2008)

On November 17, 2008, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

(This meeting was joined in progress at 7:39 pm)

A quorum was present with Mayor Joseph DeIorio and Councilman Rick Matarante not present. Councilman-at-large Ricky Badillo was the council chairperson for the meeting.

Report of Standing Committees and Other Mayor and Council Committees

Councilman Modesto Miranda

  • The councilman wanted to put on the Borough site information on “Trees For Troops”, a program that honors military men and women and their families by providing them with a Real Christmas Tree. The event will happen from December 5th through December 7th with a $60 donation. Anyone interested in more information can call (908) 232-4076.

Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning

  • The councilwoman attended that Neighborhood Watch meeting on November 16th.
  • On Saturday, the councilwoman attended the Diwali feast with the Indo-American community. She wanted to thank the Indo-American community for inviting her to their celebration and additionally for providing a translator for the event.
  • With regard to her previous suggestion of removing political signs, she received feedback from residents regarding first amendment rights and has taken into consideration. She is looking into seeing if both political parties in the town could reach some agreement not to distribute signs. If a resident wishes to make up their own sign that would be all right.
  • The councilwoman attended that Union County Mayors meeting where various issues were discussed including ways to reduce waste, to find more efficient energy alternatives (http://www.njcleanenergy.com), and have a townwide ‘green fair’. Other topics at the meeting were regarding the Rahway Valley Sewage Authority (RVSA) and looking into 40 year bonds instead of the 20 year one.
  • Springfield has started their own newspaper, feeling that coverage for their municipality has been lacking. It is paid through ads and is mailed out to every home. Perhaps Roselle Park could look into such a newspaper.
  • The councilwoman wanted to notify council of a possible error in the COAH form that could be discussed and reviewed later.

Councilman-At-Large Ricky Badillo

  • The councilman attended that Public Safety Committee meeting where the pilot program of designating parking spaces with lines was discussed. The program will start with Dalton Street. Councilman Yakubov wanted to confirm that the spaces were not going to be resident (property) specific. Councilman Badillo stated they would not be resident specific. The borough would need to pass an ordinance in order for the program to be implemented. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked if possible spots for motorcycles be placed if there was enough room for more than one car but less than two. Councilman Badillo stated that the idea could be looked into.
  • The curbs at bender and Sheridan are done. The other sidewalk program started today.
  • The fence at Acker Park is complete and the Casano Center fence is up except for one (1) section which should be done by the end of the week.

Proclamations/Certificates

  • A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to the Jordan family whose son is presently serving in the Marine Corps.

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

Ordinance for Second Reading

Ordinance 2252

  • Mr. Magiera asked to have the ordinance read into the record. After the reading the ordinance was moved, voted on, and adopted.

Resolutions

  • Resolutions 263-08, 264-08, and 267-08 were removed from consensus. The rother remaining resolutions were moved, voted on, and carried.
  • Resolution 263-08. Councilman Dinardo asked if the cost was for the plans, preparation, bid, and installation or just the plan and bid process. He was notified it was for the plans and bid preparation process. The resolution was moved, voted on, and approved with Councilwoman Chen0-Hoerning voting ‘no’.
  • Resolution 264-08. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked on some background on the resolution. Borough Attorney William Johnstone stated that the issue arose from Great Northern not sending an invoice initially. When they did a problem was discovered and the matter was settled. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked if this issue could be addressed with other services. Mr. Johnstone stated that this is the only time this has happened in the 10 years he has been invovled with the Borough, who saved $10,000 in the settelement. The resolution was moved, voted on, and carried.
  • Resolution 267-08. Councilman Dinardo asked how the figure in the resolution was reached. He was notified that the amount covers the last three (3) months and should be enough to finish out the year. It was based on past performance with no specifics on how that number was reached by the attorneys. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked how much does this bring up this attorney’s amount of billing to; she was notified the figure will now be $240,000. The resolution was moved, voted on, and carried.

There was one (1) matter set for closed session.

Public Portion

Joseph Gregory

  • Mr. Gregory, a shcool crossing guard, on November 11th saw a boy get mugged on Walnut and Grant. He had no phone with him to call the police and tried to wave down a police car but he could not get the driver’s attention. After sometime he got someone to call the police and the car turned around and arrived at the scene. Mr. gregory attended to the boy who was injured. He asked if the Borough could provide radios to guards to allow them to directly contact the police if any incidents happen. Councilman Badillo stated that during negotiation, this issue will be brought up. Councilman Miranda asked Mr. Gregory if he caught the number of the police car; cars on patrol need to be observant while driving around town.

jacob Magiera

    • Mr. Magiera wanted to remind everyone of families that have members serving in the military.
    • Mr. magiera asked Ken Blum to explain ‘caps’ with regard to the municipality after he is through with his 15 minutes.
    • At the last meeting, Mrs. Cali read code 21-18 and 40-3004.e regarding the height of fences in the Borough not exceeding 6 feet. Mrs. Cali stated that the ordinance is being reviewed for clarification.
    • Mr. Magiera suggestd that the Borough ask the federal government for some bail out funds that are being given to corporations. In connection with that statement, Mr. Magiera stated that the federal governmnet is not releasing a list of recepients for those funds. This is in conncetion with having transparency in government.
    • Mr. Magiera asked if we could re-negotiate PILOT and taxes for AvalonBay since there was an article in the newspaper regarding Garden City, NY getting more from AvalonBay in their negotiations. Councilman Badillo stated that negotiations are still on-going and nothing is impossible with regard to future outcomes.
    • Mr. Magiera wanted to thank council for Resolution 266-08.
    • Mr. Magiera asked forthe status of the transparency in goverment resolution. He was notified it was passed at the last meeting.
    • Although it is not Christmas, Mr. Magiera wanted to read something, it being Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us.
  • Twas the Night before Christmas, he lived all alone
    In a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone
    I had come down the chimney with presents to give.
    And to see just who in this home did live.I looked all about a strange sight I did see.
    No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
    No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand.
    On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

    With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
    A sober thought came through my mind.
    For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
    I found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

    The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
    Curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
    The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
    Not how I pictured a United States Soldier.

    Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
    Curled up on a Poncho, the floor for a bed?
    I realized the families that I saw this night,
    Owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.

    Soon round the world, the children would play,
    And grownup would celebrate a bright Christmas Day.
    They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
    Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

    I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
    On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
    The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
    I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

    The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
    “Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice.”
    The solider rolled over and drifted to sleep,
    I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

    I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
    And we both shivered from the cold nights chill.
    I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night,
    This guardian of honor so willing to fight.

    The solider rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
    Whispered, “Carry on Santa, it’s Christmas Day, All is secure.”
    One look at my watch, and I knew he was right.
    “Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

Eugene Meola

  • Mr. Meola promised a neighbor that he would bring up a concer she had with regard to the storm drain in front of her house. When it rains it gets flooded. He tries to clean it as best he can when the drain is not blocked by a parked car but she still has a problem when it rains.
  • Mr. Meola made mention of speed bumps on East Grant Avenue at the last meeting. He wanted to know if such bumps (humps) could be placed on Sheridan and Madison. Councilman Badillo stated that residents living next to the humps complained of the noise and disturbance it caused because after a  while drivers got used to the humps and simply continued driving at their fast speed. Councilman Dinardo stated that on residents stated that her windows rattled every time a car passed over the bumps. Mr. Meola stated there is an issue of speeding on Sheridan but he does not want to be the police with regard to recording speeders. Councilman Badillo stated the police department can be notified to monitor the area during times when speeding is common.
  • Mr. Meola stated he had a meeting with the mayor and the DPW. He did not like the outcome of the meeting and is walking around his neighborhood to get his petition signed. He does not want residents to worry or be concerned when they see him asking to sign his petition.

Saul Qersdyn

  • Mr. Qersdyn asked if negotiation will continue passed the December 31st dealine for COAH. He was notified that negotiations will continue after that time. Mr. Qersdyn asked if PILOT would be taken from the 38 COAH housing units or only the 211 units not COAH. He was notified that PILOT is based on revenue of the entire complex. Mr. Qersdyn asked is sewage tax will be collected on the AvalonBay complex or if it is covered by PILOT. Councilman Badillo stated that AvalonBay is negotiating with RVSA for that. Mr. Qersdyn wanted to confirm that even though AvalonBay negotiated for 10% PILOT that the actual cap is 15%. He was notified that the cap is 15% but the Borough is working to get the most it can. Finally, Mr. Qersdyn suggested that a townwide meeting, without AvalonBay, be held at sometime before the end of the year so that residents would be able to follow up on discussions started during the October meeting.

Joseph Accardi

  • Mr. Accardi wanted to discuss Avalonbay. He stated that with the 10% PILOT the only group that gains all around is AvalonBay. With taxes, the Board of Education would be guaranteed a share of funds. Additionally, the number of occupancy (96%) would most likely not be realized the first year. Mr. Accardi stated he thinks AvalonBay is a great idea and the Borough is in a better position than a year ago but the negotiations that resulted in the October meeting should be a starting point for further discussions. Mr. Accardi discussed AvalonCove in Jersey City. Although the number of student to apartment ratio for public schools is low, Jersey City is a district that was taken over by the state. Finding out the total number of students going to public and private schools would be a better measure of how many students are in AvalonBay. With regard to Roselle Park, if there are only seven (7) students, the municipality would be making money but there most likely there will be more students than seven. Councilman Badillo stated that the negotiation team is trying to get the borough the best deal it can. He stated that once on PILOT, AvalonBay will not be able to apply for tax appeals which would affect taxes collected. Mr. Accardi stated that with PILOT, when in a recession or during bad economic times, the borough will suffer and will receive less money in PILOT, but with taxes the burden would be equal to everyone with the tax ratio. Councilman Badillo stated that people could keep speculating about how many children would be coming into the borough but it would not be prudent. Addiitonally, with PILOT, the Borough could negotiate a minimum amount that would be paid. Mr. Accardi stated that the amount would not be comparable due to an increase in municipal services.
  • Mr. Accardi wanted to discuss another issue regarding the borough. He thinks that AvalonBay will be a great investment for the town as is Solar do Minho. They could be the start of a renaissance in town. Mr. Accardi sees the empty stores in town as blank canvasses that could be filled with businesses that could be drawn in with tax incentives. Over the years he has seen many changes and a good community or identity is what would define the town as a draw for visitors and businesses. To that end, since Roselle Park is the only town in all of Union county that does not have a county park, now could be the time, since there will be a greater Democratic presence on council, to see if the county could build a park at the end of Chestnut Street (at Westfield Avenue). This park could be the center of the town and give the borough its identity by tying in Westfield and Chestnut. Councilman Badillo stated that the park would be a waste of tax ratables since the Sullivan property is private property and a park would lose incode from taxes for that space; it would be a mistake to give that away. Additionally, the councilman stated that it is sad when the borough has to think in terms of politics to get help or assistance from the county. It should not be that way. Mr. Accardi wanted to clarify that it would not be all of the property but just the small parking lot area where the car rental place is located. It would be a great gateway that could tie in any proposed bike trails behind Sulivan Chevrolet and other proposed trails to expand the one next to the train station. Councilman Yakubov stated he would be insterested in any developments with trails and information on a park.

The meeting went into closed session to discuss negotiations of crossing guards.