RP M&C Meeting (October 2, 2008)

On October 2, 2008, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

Mayor and council were all in attendance with the exception of Councilman Badillo who was at Back-To-School night and councilman Matarante who was called away for work.

Communications

  • None

Report and Recommendations of Mayor

  • The Clean Community Coordinator will be organizing a townwide cleanup the weekend of October 4th.
  • There will be a debate at borough hall on October 15th at 7 pm.
  • A band show will be held at the high school gym on October 18th.
  • Pet Appreciation Day will be on Sunday, October 26th from 1 pm.
  • A COAH workshop will be held in Summit on October 16th at 7 pm. The mayor suggested that the scheduled borough meeting be moved. After discussion it was decided that the meeting be re-scheduled to October 20th.

Report of Standing Committees and Other Mayor and Council Committees

Councilmember Laurence Dinardo

  • The councilmember is in talks with the Sheriff’s Department regarding Project Lifesaver (Link). A presentation may be given at 4 pm on Pet Appreciation Day.
  • The next Neighborhood Watch meeting will is scheduled for October 28th. He suggested that a schedule for next year.
  • The councilman wants to see about getting recycle bins outside of schools.
  • Councilman DInardo stated that he spoke with a representative from Verzion and that it is possible (90%) that he can get carpet donated for the Casano Center.

The mayor reminded residents that October 15th is the deadline for Federal Income Tax economic stimulus payment. Anyone interested in more information can call (866) 234-2942. There are programs for seniors, veterans, and the disabled. They can contact their 21st district representatives.

Councilmember Michael Yakubov

  • With regard to the Neighborhood Watch, the councilman suggests starting a Neighborhood Watch Committee.
  • In line with honoring those from Roselle Park who serve, the Jordan family has a son in the Marines and he would like to have council recognize him at the next meeting.
  • A resident wrote to him regarding a sign on Locust & Grant about the time constraints on turning. The resident notices that schools start before 8 am and the times for no turns be changed to 7 am.
  • Streets in his ward are getting done but there are some issues but they are being addressed. On Ashwood Avenue there are some residents who are reluctant to have their trees removed.
  • Roselle Park has a SAFE program designated to check in on seniors. If anyone knows of any people who could use this program, they can contact the police department of the borough clerk.

The mayor wanted to remind residents that the Farmer’s Market is every Wednesday until the end of October. The Library Board meeting is scheduled for the 15th, the Recreation Committee is on the 8th and the Planning Board will be on the 20th.

Councilmember Modesto Miranda

  • The councilman mentioned there have been speeding complaints on Hawthorne and the police have been notified.
  • The stalks along Chestnut Street look nice.

Councilmember Larissa Chen-Hoerning

  • The Community Methodist Church will be having a Rummage Sale on Friday and Saturday, October 3rd and 4th.
  • The councilwoman had a resident asked what the statute of limitations is for a landlord to take action against a tenant. The mayor stated he will give information on that so the resident can follow up on it. The councilwoman stated that a resident on fixed income had her latest tenants leave the property in a mess.
  • The councilwoman made a suggestion if the borough could add information for New Business and asked if this had been tried on council agenda before. The mayor sated that there used to be a “New Business” part of the agenda but it has been incorporated into “Referrals To Committee”. The councilwoman also made another suggestion about having topics for discussion. The mayor sated this could also go under “Referrals to Committee”.
  • The councilwoman suggested that there be a primer for new councilmembers either at the beginning of the year or from the election to the first of the year. It would allow for new council to know more of the departments and workings of the Borough.
  • Finally, the councilwoman reminded everyone to register to vote.

Certificates

Reports of Departments

Department of Public Works

  • Borough trash cans are emptied twice a week.
  • Cardboard is picked up every other Tuesday from businesses.
  • The street sweeper is out five (5) days a week and early Friday morning.
  • Grass is cut throughout the borough.
  • SLAP worked with the DPW the whole month of September.
  • Areas under the bridges are washed at least once a week.
  • One man cleans up Borough Hall and the Police Department daily.
  • One man cleans downtown Chestnut Street and Westfield Avenue at least three times a week.
  • The tree crew is out every day working on trees with work order requests for trims and removals.
  • White goods are picked up Monday through Friday by appointment only.
  • One crew painted yellow curbs throughout the borough.
  • A crew is grinding stumps where tress were removed.
  • A crew did pot hole repairs.
  • Flags are being replaced on Westfield Avenue. Councilman Yakubov asked how the old flags are disposed. The superintendent stated they are collected and given to the American Legion. The councilman suggested the flag box by the library.
  • One crew removed the fire call boxes.
  • SLAP cleaned weeds around flag poles on Westfield Avenue.
  • Handicap spaces were painted at Borough Hall.
  • SLAP cut weeds behind the first aid building.
  • One crew removed the shed at Acker Park.
  • One crew painted the closets at the Casano Center.

Police Report

  • The Police Chief stated that the police have radar units to address speeding on Hawthrone Street. A traffic study will also be conducted.
  • The police started a pedestrian crossing detail. Officers acted as pedestrians crossing. Within a two-hour period, 14 summonses were issued. A future detail of longer hours might be done.
  • Detective Richard Cocca applied for a Grant with Homeland Security and received $14,000 for Roselle Park and video enhancement equipment. The equipment will be able to enhance video for more details. The only catch is that there is a $1,200 technical support cost.
  • The police department received some training on Identity Theft and 4 or 5 accompanying videos on ID theft and scams. He will try to get it on TV-34 or find some way to make them available to the public. Councilman Dinardo stated his family was recently the target of debit card theft and wanted to know if the videos covered that. The police chief stated that yes, they covered it. The mayor suggested maybe getting them to the library to allow people to check them out. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked if the tapes can be copied to allow further distribution. The police chief stated he would have to check but he does not believe that they cannot be copied. The mayor also stated that perhaps the tapes can be incorporated into a Neighborhood Watch meeting.
  • Councilman Yakubov asked if there is any new information on the stoplight camera system. The police chief stated that Roselle Park is in the top 6 municipalities in the running to have the program.

Administrative Report

  • Mellilo Contractors expanded the closet and put up a new closet. Councilman Dinardo can now put in the carpet.
  • The LED sign will be put in on November 3rd.
  • More furniture has been put in the reception area and a new PC has been installed.
  • The next Special Improvement District (SID) meeting is scheduled for October 22nd at Costa’s. The Police Chief is invited to attend. The mayor stated that there was an SID meeting last week.
  • Cruising Night did not have a good attendance but a picture of a car at the show was in the newspaper.
  • The 50/50 raffle that was supposed to be held at “Cruising Night” will be held at Octoberfest.
  • The “Welcome To Roselle Park” packet is ready. The welcome bags have come in and the upper-case ‘i’ in Mayor DeIorio’s name will have the font changed so that it is not confused with a lower-case ‘L’. More bags are being ordered.
  • The Boy Scout will be having their annual food drive from 9 am to 1 pm in November.
  • The tree lighting ceremony will be held on December 5th with the 6th as a rain date.
  • The September Movie Night was well attended with the movie being “Made of Honor”. The october movie for the October 15th Movie Night will be “Ratatouille”.
  • The trip to Egg Harbor feel through. Presently, a less expensive trip is being looked into.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera asked the mayor about his bike ride. The mayor responded that the 275-mile bike ride went well but that he feels very sore.
  • Mr. Magiera made a suggestion for the Casano Center. The ID theft/scam videos could be shown before movies during Movie Night.
  • Mr. Magiera asked about councilmen Matarante and Badillo. He was notified of the reason for their absence.
  • Mr. Magiera asked for the phone number for the offices of the 21st district. They are (908) 232-3673, (908) 918-0414, and (908) 232-2073.
  • Mr. Magiera asked for the DPW cardboard tonnage total year-to-date. The mayor stated that those numbers could be provided to him.
  • Mr. Magiera asked that when the current superintendent retires and his position is filled, will there be a new hire for the position that is vacant because of the promotion. He was notified that it has not been determined. Mr. Magiera suggested there be a hiring freeze. The mayor stated if the public is willing to bite the bullet to get less services.
  • Mr. Magiera restated that next quarter’s taxes are going to be due in two weeks. He asked the Ken Blum, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) explain how bond sales will be or are affected by the current financial crisis the country is in. Mr. Blum stated that Roselle Park had bond anticipatory notes and had their sale in January. The next one is not for another three (3) years. Bids are low and if municipalities have to go out earlier for their notes and bond sales.
  • Mr. Magiera asked about the borough fireboxes. He was notified that the auction will be held on October 7th.
  • Mr. Magiera re-iterated his belief of having term limits of two terms.
  • Mr. Magiera asked what the current cost was for Acker Park. He was notified that the cost for Acker Park came from grant funding.
  • Mr. Magiera wished to comment on Mike Astone, the borough tree expert. Mr. Magiera stated that Mr. Astone was awesome and went as far as saying that the man was an artist, a sculptor, a surgeon. Mr. Magiera praised him on his work and how he cleaned up his work.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that the underpass between Roselle and Roselle Park on Locust Street looks clean.
  • Mr. Magiera commented on the additional parking space outside of Borough Hall, making it have three (3) spaces designated for handcap tag or plate holders.
  • Mr. Magiera asked, with regard to Resolution 225-08, who the property owners were of two of the addresses mentioned. He was notified that the owner of 531 West Westfield Avenue was Sunrise Village. The owner of 76 Westfield Avenue was not know but that information could be given to Mr. Magiera tomorrow.
  • Mr. Magiera wanted to inform the community that reports have come out that candy made in China has melamine, substance not legal in the United States and found to cause liver problems in children. People should be cautious since Halloween is coming up.
  • At the September 24th Mayor & Council meeting Miss Laura Hahn, as Chair of TV-34 Committee, stated with regard to televising Planning Board and Zoning Board meetings that the estimated $1,440 could go to a higher priority. Mr. Magiera stated that the residents are of the highest priority. Perhaps some of the monies received from Comcast can be used for televising the meetings. The remaining balance should be divided between the Borough and the Board of Education. If not, there is still the suggestion of a $200 pay cut with Mr. Magiera putting in the remaining $40.
  • With regarding to spending, Mr. Magiera stated that the council must not forget $200,000 already spent on legal fees with regard to AvalonBay.
  • Mr. Magiera stated that there is fensing that is going to cost $250,000. The mayor stated that the decorative fencing that Mr. Magiera refers to is fence needed to replace due to damage. The repair costs have been too much and replacing would be less than long term repair costs. The mayor stated that the figure of $250,000 is not accurate. The Acker Park fencing is $60,000 and the parking lot fencing is $15,000. The Hawthorne Basin fencing was removed from the budget and is not being done. Mr. Magiera stated that hurrican fencing lasts about thirty years. The mayor stated that the hurricane fencing is the fencing that needs to be replaced due to damage and aging. The mayor stated that the new fencing lasts just as long and gave Aldene Park as an example.
  • Mr. Magiera brought up the issue of AvalonBay with regard to costs for legal fees. The mayor asked Mr. Magiera what would he have done. Mr. Magiera stated that there was very little information before the April 16, 2008 meeting. The Concerned Citizens of Roselle Park did an independent study on AvalonBay. He stated that anything would be better than what is there now and that the apartments should be put up.

Glenn Marczewski

  • Mr. Marczewski asked about the current year’s budget. He asked wat was cut out of it. The mayor stated that the budget was reviewed in about 17 meetings and that a narrative was supplied along with a budget document that detailed what went into the process.
  • With regard to AvalonBay, Mr. Marczewski made mention of the situation and the mayor asked what Mr. Marczewski would have done if he were mayor. Mr. Marczewski stated he would have had a referendum to see what the residents wanted. The mayor stated that AvalonBay gave no plans on to what was going to be done on the property so there would have been no referendum to ask what residents wanted because no one knew what the proposal was. COAH was also discussed in numerous outreach meetings. The mayor stated, with regard to AvalonBay, the council needed to protect Roselle Park.
  • Mr. Marczewski asked if anything has progressed with the Ryan property. The mayor stated that the Borough is acting as a facilitator between the Ryan property owners and NJ Transit.
  • Mr. Marczewski stated that, with regard to AvalonBay, the schools will be flooded with new schoolchildren. The mayor stated that the reason for mediation is because there are many opinions to an issue.
  • Mr. Marczewski spoke of the upcoming November elections. The mayor stated that government keeps going regardless of elections or who sits on council.

Nick Pagnetti

  • Mr. Pagnetti spoke on the increased presence and community participation of the police department. He used the Honor Guard on Memorial Day and the September 11th remembrance ceremony. With having Paul Morrison as Chief and the promotions of Lt. McCaffey and Scalia, things are better – morale is up. Mr. Pagnetti has been in town for 40 years and been a police officer and there is a noticeable participation and open relationship with the community.

The public portion was closed.

The mayor spoke on the tree issue with Mr. Meola. Councilmembers went to the site and maintenance was done on his tree. In speaking with Mr. Meola’s insurance company, he has coverage.

Engineer’s Report

  • The engineer gave an update of the following projects: The Westbrook project is waiting the easement, Webster Avenue, the First Aid squad, Union Avenue (Phase II is complete), East Clay Avenue, East Grant Avenue (complete), East Lincoln Avenue, the RVSA (trying to determine the amountgiven to the municipality), the Casano Center, and the Chestnut Street crossings (a bid date).

Mrs. Cali stated that to have a change order on a project a resolution is needed.

Attorney’s Report

  • There is an issue of NJV v. Roselle Park that needs to be discussed regarding the takeover of the NJ Insurance Fund.
  • There are other litigation issues coming to a close.

Borough Clerk’s Report

  • The DPW is working at Acker Park: trimming trees, back fencing, sod, watering system. It should be done by the first week of November.
  • Mrs. Cali wanted to thank Frank from the DPW for the stalks along Chestnut Street.
  • SLAP planted nine (9) mums at the Girl Scout Park.
  • Aldene Park was inspected for rivets or loose bars. There were no issues found after the inspection.

CFO Report

  • Fourth quarter tax bills will be going out by October 17th and will be due November 1st.

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.

Ordinances

Ordidnance 2251

  • Mr. Magiera asked that the ordinance be read. The mayor had the ordinance read and explained that it is an attempt to allow businesses to clean up the window space t improve security and to address and atmosphere of cleanliness. Councilmember Chen-Hoerning stated she was contacted by business owners who have small space for their businesses. She agrees with the Borough about having a clean and inviting downtown but does not want an undo burden placed upon businesses who need to have attractive displays for their stores and/or shops. The mayor opened the ordinance up for discussion. Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning stated that there appears to be conflict sentences in the ordinance because one sentence talks about having the window area clear but then it stated that the glass should be 80% clear. The mayor stated that the sentences address that nothing can be put in front of the window but business can put thins on the actual glass. After discussion about footage requirement between an aisle and the glass and other issues, the ordinance was tabled due to good discussion and questions. The ordinance will be given to the SID for review and Carl Pluchino will be asked to come in to answer more questions and concerns.

Resolutions

  • Resolution 229-08 was removed from consensus. All other resolutions was move, voted on, and approved.
  • Councilmember Dinardo asked what could be done to get rid of all cars in inventory all at once. He also asked what constitutes unclaimed vehicles. He was notified that abandoned cars, those seized, and those that were not claimed by drivers when notified because their insurance company designated the vehicle as a total loss due to damage. Councilman Yakubov asked if the low bids could be adjusted based on the condition and blue book value of the cars as opposed to having a general $500 starting bid. Mrs. Cali stated that the low bid invites more bidders. The mayor suggested that announcements of car sales be sent to dealers and/or repair shops.

Matters For Referral

  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked for an update on the county IT issues. Mrs. Cali stated that the county will be contacting her before the end of the month with a meeting date.
  • Councilwoman Chen-Hoerning asked for a brief explanation of the bid process. She was notified there are sealed bids, quotes, and open bids. There are bid thresholds of $21,000 but the municipality can use a threshold of $17,500. Bids over the threshold require bid specs. For quotes, three vendors are found with quotes and the Borough takes the lowest responsible one.
  • The mayor stated that October 21st is CAASA’s Movie Night.
  • The mayor made a statement regarding Carl Hokanson with regard to transparency in government. In this political season, Carl Hokanson talks about having openness in government but fails to mention his own inability to discuss his own gag order from March 21, 2005. The mayor is asking for Mr. Carl Hokanson to display transparency and disclose the issue regarding the gag order. He finished by stating that he awaits Mr. Hokanson’s reply and that he apologizes to the public for what might be found as inappropriate with regard to his statement.

The meeting went into closed session at 10 p.m.