RP M&C Meeting (November 6, 2008)

On November 6, 2008, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

Mayor and council were all in attendance with the exception of Councilman Matarante.

Communications

  • None

Report and Recommendations of Mayor

  • The mayor wanted to thank the voters and candidates who participated during Tuesday’s election. He also welcomes all new officials.
  • A notice from the New Jersey League of Municipalities (NJLM) providing information for newly elected officials. Additionally, the Annual Mayor’s conference on January 21, 2009 at the State House. The Elected Officials Handbook from the NJLM will be available. The Borough has order forms available for anyone interested in purchasing a copy.
  • The Holiday Tree lighting will be held on the first Friday of December and the Holiday Parade will be held on the first Saturday in December.
  • The mayor attended the Oktoberfest.
  • The mayor wanted to thank the Indo-American for allowing him and councilman Badillo to attend the Indian New Year festivities.

Certificates

  • All five (5) participants of the Halloween Home Decoration contest were given certificates. The turnout was low but better promotion is going to be conducted for next year’s Halloween Contest and for this year upcoming Holiday Decoration contest.

Report of Standing Committees and Other Mayor and Council Committees

Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning

  • The councilwoman wanted to thank the residents for voting.  She learned of residents from Colfax Manor having to vote provisional ballots since their street address is Roselle Avenue. There is an issue of their street being Roselle Avenue but their address being confused with those of residents on East Roselle. Mrs. Cali spoke on the issue and stated that Union County had 20,000 new voter registrations and that there were some errors. They will be corrected with the provisional ballots. The councilwoman asked if there were any solutions to avoiding this confusion in the future. Perhaps having the street name changed. This problem goes beyond the elections since some people in Colfax Manor had their power turned off because their bills and notices went to the wrong address. The mayor stated that changing the name of the street might be difficult based on changes that will need to be made on deeds and mortgages. The Board of Elections has been contacted to have the matter corrected. The councilwoman said that he has been told this problem has existed for 20 years. The mayor asked if something could be sent to the post office to see what they would suggest; perhaps have some indicator put on mail for Colfax Manor.
  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning made a suggestion to eliminate political signs in Roselle Park since some people feel that signs might cause undo pressure on people to either put signs up or take them down. The mayor stated that the Borough Attorney could look into the matter to see if there are an legal or constitutional matters that would prevent such a thing from happening.

Councilman Miranda

  • The councilman wanted to give to the municipal clerk information to the engineer to complete the stamping at the Casano Center for $3,590. The mayor wanted to confirm that the fence is up.
  • Two items have been put on the agenda. Resolutions 258-08 and 259-08. Councilwoman asked what happens to money appropriated that is not used. CFO Ken Blum stated it is all lumped into cancel balances or capital surplus.
  • Councilman Miranda wanted to start research on the new phone system for Borough Hall.
  • At the next public safety meeting, the councilman would like to have fire prevention adn firce code present.

Councilman-At-Large Badillo

  • The councilman wanted to congratulate Carl Hokanson and Larry Dinardo for winning their respective elections.
  • The Borough received money from the Children’s Recreational Trust Grant with which to purchase new helmets. It was $12,400 grant with the Borough matching that grant. In addition, at $19,000 grant with a match from the Borough will go to giving 30 scholarships for children.
  • The cheerleaders went to Trenton for their tournament and won. If they win again, they will be heading to Disney. He wanted to thank the volunteers for all their hard work and, win or lose, the councilman would like the cheerleaders receive a certificate of appreciation.
  • The council would like the Litterette (sp?) family to receive recognition. Their son helped his family out of their car when it flipped over in an accident.
  • The councilman would like to thank the Indo-American community for let him particiapte in their New Year.
  • The councilman wanted to thank everyone who helped him during the campaign and stated he never needed a title to help the community and he will continue to help the community even though he will not be an elected official.

Michael Yakubov

  • The clerk informed the councilman that leaf pick up will be in November and December. Residents should put their leaves in non-plastic bags.
  • The councilman wanted to thank the engineer for addressing issues on Willow Avenue. The paving will begin shortly.
  • The Neighborhood Watch has been postponed till a later date. A backpack program was sent out for Halloween.
  • The councilman attended the Oktoberfest.
  • The councilman attended the Pet Appreciation Day and learned a lot.

Councilman Dinardo

  • The councilman wanted to thank all who came to vote and all who supported him.
  • The councilman wanted to thank the police department for their assistance on Halloween. He has been getting some complaints that there have been a lot of out of town kids and he wants to get together with other residents from Bender to find out what can be done to address their concerns. Perhaps a parade or a curfew would alleviate the immense people traffic that has become Halloween.
  • The floor for the Casano Center is starting this weekend.
  • The councilman’s duaghter is one of the cheerleaders that participated in the tournament.
  • The Mayor wanted to address the Halloween situation because in the next two year Halloween will fall on a Saturday and Sunday. The councilman suggested closing more streets for safety since kids walk on other blocks other than Bender. Councilman Yakubov asked about the Hanuted House that used to be in the Casano Center. The mayor stated it had to be stopped as a preventive measure since the Center did not have a sprinkler system. It was moved to the Youth Center but when it was on Halloween, the attendance was poor. When it was held a week before Halloween it had a good turnout.

Report of Departments

Engineer’s Report

  • The engineer touched upon the Westbrook Project which is still waiting on residents who have not contacted the Borough regarding the easement.
  • Webster Avenue will start next week.
  • The First Aid generator and switch have been installed but there is an issue with them not having enough gas. The borough received a letter from PSEG stated the feed is sufficient so there has to be some tweaking of the valves.
  • There is a change order for the Union Avenue Project, Phase II.
  • There is a change order for East Clay.
  • East Lincoln Porject is in the review design stage.
  • The Filbert Street project went out for bid today.
  • There is an issue with the Raritan Valley Sewage Authority (RVSA). The Borough has been exceeding its alotted use. A study found that prior to 2007 there was inaccurate billing meters on the part of the RVSA which, in turn, lead to the Borough offering its use to the RVSA. The mayor asked if the issue could be discussed with the borough attorney for any legal issues since the changes made by the broough were based on erroneous information from the RVSA. The matter was moved to closed session.
  • The Chestnut Street crosswalks project will be accepting bids.

Councilman Badillo asked if the Borough could meet with the hold out residents on the Westbrook Project. The engineer agreed that it was a good idea to do so. Also, the councilman wanted to address a pilot program with parking that is on Dalton – having lines to separate spaces to avoid spot hogging. He felt it was more a traffic safety issue  rather than an engineering one and he asked it be placed on the agenda for the next public safety meeting.

  • The engineer stated he would be willing to walk with any councilmember who would like to walk their ward to address any engineering concerns.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera stated that Bender Avenue is the Halloween capital of Union County. He suggested a curfew to address the situation.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to thank all who ran for office.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there is an ordinance that would compel the utility company to clean up after they have finished work in the Borough. He noticed that there was red clay from work that was done by the utility company went into the storm sewer catch basins. The mayor will look into it.
  • Mr. Magiera gave a copy of the New Jersey Coalition Against Air Noise (NJCAAN). In the report it stated that palanes want to fly even lower than they are now.
  • The storm sewer catch basins are filling with leaves which will cause flooding.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that the fences at Acker Park and the Casano center are at 8 ft. but he thought there was an ordinance that limited fence height to 6 ft. The mayor stated he will look into it but he believes the ordinance is for residences. Additionally, the fence is that high for safety issues, like the Hawthorne retention basin. Mr. Magiera stated that the retention basin in Springfield  has no fence.
  • Mr. Magiera referred to an article in the newspaper that reported that cable prices are being investigated.  It deals with Comcast and Verizon. Mr. Magiera wanted to know if Verizon comes to Roselle Park and the Borough goes with them, will TV-34 be aired. The mayor stated that in talking with other municipalities, yes it will air TV-34. Councilman Badillo stated that he has the paperwork and will get it ready to have TV-34 on Verizon. Mr. Magiera asked about the franchise fee, will there be one with Verizon. The mayor stated that an agreement that Verizon made with the State, the franchise fee is paid to the State not municipalities.
  • Mr. Magiera asked, in regard to AvalonBay, can the Borough negotiate a PILOT program for five (5) years with a review after that time to see if it is beneficial. He spoke of issues with the Board of Education and the cost per student that might affect the BOE’s budget that would not be addressed through the PILOT. he suggested that in future meetings, perhaps the Board Superintendent of Schools could be present at meetings. Mr. Magiera stated that the the Roselle Park Historical Society Museum sahoudl be at the library not at Faitoute Avenue. If the Borough opts for taxes, the county would still give grants to the Borough which would even out the 15% given to the county under taxes.

Paul Erslinger

  • Mr. Erlinger wanted to discuss the casano Center. He stated he could understand the work that is being done inside but he wanted to know how many rentals the center has had since the renovations to offset any cost on renovation. The mayor stated that he will get the numbers; he also wanted to clarify that the renovations were not made solely to make the center rentable but to update the center for the community. Mr. Erslinger asked about the stamped concret in the patio in the back that will need to be maintained every year. He also asked about having a cupola on the top of the center. The mayor stated that the roof needs to be repaired and it may cost more than replacing it. Mr. Erslinger stated that the purpose should be to make the leaking stop. Mr. Erslinger asked what the rental rate is on the center. The mayor stated that it is $200 for the first five hours. There has been already $30,000 spent in expenditures and the Borough went into the renovation wholeheartedly and Mr. Erslinger wanted to know how the borough will re-coup. Mr. Erslinger stated that the fencing in the back could have been repaired instead of being replaced. The mayor stated that the money used was money that was made expressly available for the center and instead of doing a patch up job, getting a new fence was better. The engineer spoke on the areas of the center that needed work and that the cupola may not fit in with the rest of the center. He stated that there is a difference with concrete and stamped concrete. The mayor stated that maintaining the stamped concrete may, in the long run, extend the life of it since regular concrete might be overlooked and not maintained as frequently. Mr. Erslinger stated he is not against the renovations but that he simply wanted to bring up the costs associated to the attention of the residents and to try to find a way to re-coup as much as possible. The mayor stated that the re-coup valule could be in the sense of pride the community would have.

Paul Endler

  • Mr. Endler wanted to remind residents that the Veterans Day observance will be at the Roselle Park veterans Memorial Library at 11 am on Tuesday, November 11th.

Glen Marczewski

  • Mr. Marczewski stated that some town have curfews on Mischief Night to address incidents that might occur.
  • Mr. Marczewski asked if swimming pools could be a consideration for the Borough to bring in revenue. The mayor asked about a location. Mr. Marczewski stated that perhaps the two lots on Valley Road that the Borough was not able to auction off.
  • Mr. Marczewski asked if there could be an ice hockey team for winter sports.
  • Mr. Marczewski wondered if the train station has an elevator. He was notified that NJ Transit’s policy is that they only install elevators if a certain number of customers reach a threshold level.

Eugene Meola

  • Mr. Meola wanted to congratulate everyone who was in the elections. He has been in town for eight (8) years but this year was the largest turnout he has seen.
  • In watching himself during the meetings where he spoke, Mr. Meola noticed he kept cutting off the mayor and council when they were talking. His wife brought to his attention and while it is something he has to work on, he wanted to apologize for that.
  • Mr. Meola stated he was noticed by residents on TV-34 and people let them know of his problems. He stated he would speak for them if they could not attend.
  • With regard to his petition for his tree, Mr. Meola has brought pictures for the council to see and review. He notified council that two other residents on his block stated they have similar problmes with their trees that need attention.
  • Mr. Meola asked if the DPW could come by during the day to pick up the leaves since when he gets home at night, there are cars parked on them so they cannot be picked up.
  • Mr. Meola agreed with the idea of having marked parking spaces. In additiona, perhaps speed bumps that have worn away over the years could be addressed.
  • Mr. Meola stated that there was some foot traffic on his block during Halloween and asked if the police could offer assistance for next year.
  • The mayor stated that he realized Mr. Meola came before the council looking for help with his situation and he wanted to know if he could meet with Mr. Meola sometime next week with Frank from DPW to talk over the tree situation. An agreement was made for 6 pm next Thursday. Councilman Dinardo requested to attend that meeting.

Laura Hahn

  • Ms. Hahn gave her report on TV-34. Among the topics discussed were the taping of the planning and zoning boards. A few meetings ago she had given reasons why not to televise the planning and zoning board meetings, including the fact that it is difficult to schedule regular programming for the Historical Society, as well as finding time and room to air other special tapes, such as the Avalon Bay Public meeting and the Relay for Life PSAs. Also, she was not sure of the legalities of Mr. Magiera’s suggestion to have Mayor and Council take a pay cut and his donation of the difference. The Borough Technician might not be able to tape these meetings. There were a couple more reasons why they could not physically televise the meetings. TV-34 cannot play the council meeting, BOE meeting, Avalon Bay Public meeting (or any other special tapes), the Historical Society and the 2 additional meetings. There are not that many tape decks and are only able to have so many. And currently, there is a tape deck out for repairs. TV-34 would be setting a precedent that all meetings with a public portion need to be televised. That being said, they unanimously voted to not televise the planning and zoning board meetings.  Instead, they offer 2 solutions: 1) Council liaisons could report on the meetings at the Mayor and Council meeting and TV-34 could air announcements on TV34 of when and where town committees with public portions will be held, not just planning and zoning board meetings.

The public portion was closed.

Report of Departments (continued)

Borough Attorney

  • There are seven (7) items for closed session, several with settlement issues.

Municipal Clerk

  • Nothing of note to mention.

Chief Financial Officer

  • Fourth quarter tax bills are due. The last day will be November 10th to be able to pay the bill with no penalties.
  • There will be a tax sale on November 16, 2008.
  • There is one (1) item for closed.

Administrator’s Report

  • With regard to the Casano Center, Melo contractors have finished the coat closet and installed the shelf and coat bar. The DPW installed shevling in the old back room closet. Chair rails will be installed and the lower portion of the wall will be painted. The new flooring will be put down very soon. The new LED sign is up and running. New furniture for the back of the reception has been installed. The new Dell computer has also been installed. The new fence in the back has been installed and specs are being prepared for the backyard renovations.
  • With regard to Community Affairs, a new program with the welcome package is trying to be established to have Mrs. Intile visit new residents with the respective council representatives.
  • The next SID meeting will be scheduled soon. The mayor asked if a special meeting with residents could be arranged.
  • Boy Scout troop 56 will be having their annual food drive on Saturday, November 8, from 9 am to 1 pm.
  • The tree lighting ceremony will be on December 5th with the parade being December 6th. The parade marshall will be Lyman Thompson, who constantly volunteers and goes above and beyond his duties to help keep Roselle Park green.
  • The next free movie night will be on Novmber 12th at 7 pm. The movie will be “Night at the Museum”.
  • The next afternoon movie will be “The Notebook” which will be shown on November 26th at 1 pm.
  • The annual Halloween Party was held on October 22.
  • The 3rd annual Pet Appreciation Day was on Octoebr 26th.
  • The Casano Center has started a “Local Artists’ Gallery”. Presently the works of Mary Beck are on display.
  • The center celebrated its 27 years with a birthday party.
  • The town is getting ready for stores to participate in a Holday Window Decorating Event. The hardware store donated paint and there will be children available to offer to paint the windows of local businesses.
  • A Holiday Ceramic Class will be held on December 9. The cost is $8.
  • “Be Red Cross Ready” presentations will be given at the Community Center on January 12th at 1:30 pm and January 14th at 7 pm.
  • A request from an independent filmmaker was delivered to ask for permission to film a short film at the Center.

Police Report

  • Earlier in the week councilman Miranda brought to the police department’s attention excessive speeding on West Grant and Meadow. A radar unit has been assigned and once the traffic study is done on Hawthorne, one will be conducting on West Grant.
  • The chief attened a meeting with SID and business owners. There were a few small issues that have been addressed including changing the meters from one hour to two hours.
  • The pedestrian crossing detail is going well. So far 34 summonses have been issued.
  • Next week the police department will attend training on ‘failure to yield’ issues.
  • New security cameras have been installed around Borough Hall and will be monitoring the area 24/7 with the capability to record.
  • The mayor wanted to commend the police department on the compliments residents gave of the police presence during Halloween. The mayor also asked if there was any significant activiyt related to mischief night. The chief stated there was nothing of note.
  • Councilman Badillo wanted to see if officer Deegan could recieve a citation for his off duty capture of a robbery suspect. The borough clerk stated that the citation is slated for December 2nd.

DPW Report

  • The street sweeper has been working every day and cardboard pick up has been happening every other Tuesday.
  • The tree crew has been out addressing tree issues.
  • SLAP has cleaned the brook by Union Road and the area by the McDonald’s as well as the bike path.
  • The soil in Acker Park has been spread and leveled.
  • All new welcome signs has been installed.
  • Leaves are being picked up throughout the borough. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked if the leaves should be left in open containers. The DPW stated that yes, it should be and the leaves should not be left in piles nor on the street. She also asked if the same goes for county roads. She was notified that people who live on county roads acan put their leaves on the street.

Fire Department Report

  • Fire chief Tobe stated that the OEM has instituted a new system and that councilmembers are welcomed to attend meetings and training regard the new system.

The mayor stated that, in answer to Mr. Magiera’s question of the length of gates, the Borough has code 128-115 which states that municipal fences should be at least 8 feet, not 6 feet.

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 First Reading

  • Ordinance 2253 is an amendment to an existing borough code to avoid lawsuits that have occurred in other municipalities. There has been a deletion od Section D which stated that public drunkeness is not allowed. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning stated this might help things since people would no longer be worried when walking home drunk (instead of driving) that they will not be cited for public drunkeness. The mayor stated there might be other issues of people, when intoxicated, walking into the street or destroying other property.

Resolutions

  • Resolution 249-08 has a correction. It is East Clay, not East Grant. Resolutions 248-08, 251-08, 253-08, and 256-08 have been removed from consensus. All other resolutions were moved, voted on, and approved.
  • Resolution 249-08 was moved, voted on, and approved with Councilman-At-Large Rick Badillo abstaining.
  • Resolution 251-08. The mayor wanted to add to part 3 of the resolution which would send a copy of the resolution to Assemblyman Roberts and Senate President Cody. The amendment was voted on and accepted. The resolution was moved, voted on, and approved.
  • Resolution 253-08. The councilwoman stated she was interested in the resolution not to hurt anyone but to help all residents and councils. She asked about the bud awards being in the original draft and asked if it was out of the current one (the listing of names, bids, and projects). The mayor asked if the way it is now where resolutions would list the bidder and the project and the price would be sufficient. The councilwoman stated it would be. Councilman-At-Large Badill stated that he wanted ot comment on the hypocrisy of the councilwoman in the resolution. He stated that she was asked to vote on something but refused to vote and take the party line. The councilwoman stated she was not on council when the incident regarding the vote happened and did not have enough information. The borough attorney, Mr. William Johnstone, wanted to clarify the situation by stating that Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning did indeed contact him and asked questions. The borough attorney stated that he let her know that her vote was not necessary since the three votes from other councilmen were already more than sufficient to deal with the issue. The resolution was voted on and approved.
  • Resolution 256-08. Councilwoman wanted to know if the correct amount was the one on the agenda or the one in the resolution details. She was notified that the correct amount was the one in the details, $9,396.70.

Matters for Referral

  • The mayor reminded residents interested in the issue with AvalonBay to watch the presentation meeting that is being aired on TV-34. Also, the handouts that were given at the meeting are available on the Borough web site and at the Borough Clerk’s office.

There were matters for closed session including

  • Contract with RVSA
  • Negotiations with the crossing guards
  • East Coast Sanitation v. Roselle Park
  • Senior housing with regard to CONRail
  • Guardello & Deck v. Roselle Park
  • Great Northern v. Roselle Park
  • Board of Education negotiations for the Youth center
  • Fibretech Contract review
  • Judy Mack v. Roselle Park

The meeting went into closed session at 10:23 pm. It came out of closed at 11:26 pm. The meeting was adjourned at 11:27 pm.