RP M&C Meeting (September 20, 2007)

On September 20, 2007, in Mayor & Council, Video, by RP Citizens

Mayor and all council members were in attendance with the exception of Councilman Dinardo who was running late. The meeting opened with a request from Associates in Podiatry to rent one parking space in the Chestnut Street Municipal Lot for the yearly cost of $280. Councilman Badillo asked if this cost was the same rate applied to World of Liquors. He was notified that the rate was the same for both. The request was voted on and passed.

Report and Recommendations of the Mayor

  • The September 11th Memorial Service. A low turnout was expected, considering the weather, but Borough Hall, the location where the memorial took place, was well attended.
  • The borough had submitted its request through a program to have professional planners redevelop the center divider that runs through Westfield Avenue. A sketch model has been requested and the planners will continue with the project with a request to have public input on the project. A public meeting will be scheduled.

Report of Standing Committees and other Mayor and Council Committees

Michael Yakubov

  • Councilman Yakubov is in talks with Councilman Dinardo for another Neighborhood Watch meeting some time before Halloween. The proposed dates are either October 19th or October 20th in Borough Hall.
  • There is a temporary work trailer that is set up by the school which is addressing clean up issues around the school.
  • The garbage container that was placed on Larch Street by the 7-11 has reduced litter in the area.
  • Televue is operational. The borough will be adding programs and working out any tweaks that occur.
  • Councilman Yakubov is in talks with Kean University, his alma mater, to set up a program for the kids of Roselle Park.
  • The mayor stated that some residents brought to his attention that there is litter and debris in the Green Acres complex. He brought it to the Councilman’s attention to see if clean up could be performed in Green Acres as is being done in the school.

Robert Rubilla

  • Councilman has one (1) matter for closed session regarding an unnamed, indicted person with regard to the Waterway Commission.
  • Councilman met with the merchants of his district on Chestnut Street regarding an article in the Star-Ledger (Reference) . The article spoke of an incorrect date for work to be performed on Chestnut Street. The Councilman called a meeting with the borough clerk and the Department of Engineering to find out the dates and scope of the project. The project will address flooding issues that residents and businesses have been experiencing. The street closure will be on Chestnut Street from Westfield Avenue to Williams Street only. Pedestrian traffic will be permitted during the project and businesses will be open, as well as the municipal parking lots. A detour plan is ready. There will be a partial closure of Chestnut street from about seven (7) to 14 days. Councilman Rubilla asked for a meeting at 6:30 p.m. before the next council meeting between county official and business owners to update everyone on the status of the project. The mayor agreed and a scheduled meeting for all interested parties will be October 4th at 6:30 p.m. in Borough Hall.

Rick Matarante

  • The Acker Park committee met and came up with a plan. The highlights of the plan involved the asphalt area (the basketball courts), new fencing, new drains, security, lighting, and new park signs. The plan will will allow the grant application process to continue. The councilman asked the committee to place their proposed plan in priority order so that any funds awarded could be put to use in order or desired importance.
  • The councilman attended a public safety meeting right before this council meeting.
  • There are three (3) matters for closed session: two are contractual in nature (PBA contract and current Boys & Girls Club contract) and one deals with possible litigation concerning the Great Northern Grass contract.

Loren Harms

  • Councilman Harms had lengthy discussions with Mr. Westlocke regarding solar panels to be better informed on the upcoming ordinance.
  • There is a change in an ordinance regarding the B2 zone to allow insurance agencies.

Ricky Badillo

  • Construction on the Laurel firehouse bathroom is continuing. once complete, there will be a handicap-accessible area.
  • Councilman Badillo has notified DPW that the bike path is overgrown and needs to be addressed.
  • Councilman requested that the borough clerk should place a call to Mr. Nydick regarding the status of the Sherman Avenue storm drains.
  • The Dad’s Club met last night and the councilman asked new residents and dads in general to join the club for their weekly meetings, held every third Wednesday of the month at Frenchy’s Bar & Grille.
  • Councilman asked for a Little League update.
  • Councilman Badillo, after speaking with Councilman Yakubov, talked to Union County DPW to clean up the area of Valley Road train tracks. Councilman Yakubov asked if there were any specifics regarding the clean up. Councilman Badillo stated he will call to find out. The mayor stated that although it is a good thing that the county will clean up the area, it is actually the responsibility of the property owner, M&E Railroad. He wanted to make no further comment on it, seeing that the county is willing to clean it up. The mayor and councilmen stated they appreciated the efforts of the county. Councilman Yakubov stated that he was told by M&E that the county has placed a restraint on doing anything with the area. The mayor stated that council can relay to Gordon Fuller, CEO of Eerie Railroad that he “does not believe one word coming out of his mouth” and left it at that.

Reports Of Departments

  • The Treasury Report was approved.
  • Borough Attorney Report. William Lane mentioned the ordinances on the table for this evening. Separately, Mr. Lane will look into the graffiti ordinance and have something ready for the next meeting. At the last Municipal Services Meeting, Mr. lane wanted to look into an ordinance which would permit outside dining. The mayor notified Mr. Lane that an ordinance already exists, and that the ordinance is seasonal in nature. Mr. Lane withdrew this item. There were two (2) items for closed session. One dealt with litigation regarding Guarriello & Deck vs. Roselle Park. The second matter was a notice of tort regarding Monica Montoya.
  • The Borough Clerk had nothing to report to the council.
  • Kenneth Blum had nothing of note to to report to the borough at thins time.

Bills & Payroll were not read and passed for payment.

Ordinances

  • Ordinances 2218 through 2222 were adopted on first reading, set to be advertised for second reading, and introduced.

Resolutions

  • Resolutions 202-07 through 207-07 (with the exception of Resolution 206-07)were read, moved, accepted, voted on, and passed. resolution 206-07 was pulled by Councilman Matarante. The resolution was read with and amendment added by Councilman Matarante to include the date of September 21, 2007. Councilman Matarante also mentioned that the borough received notification from Chief Wielgus that he will be out for a significant period of time on a health issue. The borough has asked Lt. Paul Morrison to step up as acting Chief until there is more information regarding Chief Wielgus’ situation. The resolution was voted on and passed. Lt. Paul Morrison, who was in the audience, was sworn in. He thanked the mayor, council, and the borough for the opportunity to serve under the capacity of Police Chief.

There were no Matters for Referral to Committee or Council.

Public Portion

Jacob Magiera

  • Mr. Magiera congratulated the mayor on his new position as CFO of Essex Fells.
  • Mr. Magiera asked the mayor to elaborate on the senior tax freeze program. the mayor stated there are three (3) programs: The Homestead Rebate, the Freeze on Property taxes, and the $250 deduction credit. There are various eligibility and income requirements for each but the plans have been extended until October 31st. If any senior is not sure if they qualify, or unsure if they filed for one but not the other (filing for one does not mean filing for both) , they should either contact the Tax & Finance Office or call their Legislature Office. They should avoid using the Public Phone Number of the Program.
  • Mr. Magiera asked the mayor to explain the Community Resolution Dispute Board. The mayor stated that, in order to avoid the lengthy process of addressing citizen complaints, a Mediation Board exists so that neighbors who may have a dispute could get together and negotiate an agreement in writing.
  • Mr. Magiera stated he was going to ask about an update on Chief Wielgus but it was addressed through the resolution tonight.
  • Solardo Minho appears that it will be ready to open for business in September. Mr. Magiera was notified that the establishment did open up on day for one affair already and wanted to know how that happened. The mayor notified Mr. Magiera that Solar do Minho had booked a wedding and met the requirements for the area that the wedding reception will take place.
  • Resolution 207-07 needed clarification. The resolution deals with the Romerovski lawsuit. Mr. Surenian is representing the borough in the matter.
  • Mr. Magiera requested an update on Roselle Park being a party to a lawsuit with NJCAAN against the FAA. Mr. Lane stated that he was in contact with the city of Elizabeth (mayor and municipal attorney) and the borough is exploring the issue.
  • The pigeon dropping under the Locust Street bridge that borders Roselle Park and Roselle needs to be addressed. Mr. Magiera, as a private citizen, spoke with the Roselle Health Inspector. The inspector gave him contact information for Joe Bender from ConRail and Mr. Magiera will offer that information to the council.
  • At the last meeting, Mr. Magiera was asked to identify stop, yield, and other street signs that he mentioned were being obstructed. He has identified 30 of them and turned them over to Borough Clerk Doreen Cali.
  • Mr. Magiera gave his report as a representative of UCATAN (Union County Air Traffic and Noise Advisory Board). He stated that all 16 municipalities, as well as the Union County freeholders, are all favorable to join in a lawsuit against the FAA.
  • Mr. Magiera asked if there was going to be talk of the amended budget this evening. he was notified by Kenneth Blum that the bond ordinance will be tabled for discussion at the next meeting.
  • Bulk Waste Pickup concerns from citizens were brought to Mr. Magiera’s attention. The mayor stated that in November, when it is legal to transfer monies from one line item to another, the borough will look to see if there is a way to have one last pick up before year’s end. Mr. Magiera stated that if funds could not be found, perhaps council and mayor could take a $2,000 pay cut.

Glen Marcheski

  • Mr. Marcheski thanked council for addressing his issue with trees and tree branches on his block.
  • Glen also asked about bulk pick ups for 2008. He was notified that bulk pic up will continue in 2008.
  • Mr. Marcheski asked what was a councilman’s annual salary. He was told that it was around $8,993 and that salary has remained the same for the last two (2) years. Mr. Marcheski asked because he heard that other municipalities are higher.
  • Glen asked about leaf pick up and if they still need to be placed in separate bags. He was told that they still need to meet state requirements.
  • Mr. Marcheski asked why bills are not read during meetings. The mayor notified Glen that bills are available to the public through a bill list, prepared by Kenneth Blum. If the bills were read publicly, the meetings would last, at least, an extra hour.
  • Glen closed with the situation he heard about the resident having problems with pigeon dropping on his property at a previous meeting. Glen suggested that the resident take photos and document what he witnessed. The mayor thanked him for his good suggestion. Mr. Marcheski also stated that cap guns also deter pigeon, seeing as they hate loud noises.

Resident X

(Side note: I use this term for the resident because I could not honestly understand his name. he left the meeting before I could get the spelling of his name. if anyone has this resident’s information, I would be more than happy to add it to these notes.)

  • Resident X requested a handicap parking space near his residence. He has marked on the map where he would like the space on a map and would be willing to pay for the space. The mayor stated that he will refer the matter to the acting police chief but wanted the resident to know that the handicap space will not be exclusive to him, but be available to any person with appropriate handicap decals and/or tags.

Al Costanzo

  • The Roselle Park Post Office presently has only one full-time employee. This employee is responsible for handling customers, sorting mail for delivery, sorting post office box mail, and all other pertinent duties. Some days there are two (2) people but, for the most part, there is only one employee. A few weekends ago, the post office was closed on Saturday. The Post Office has downsized their workload and presently Roselle Park residents are having their mail delivered by Elizabeth carriers. Mr. Costanzo experienced waiting in line from 20 minutes to one hour. Mr. Costanzo has been diligent in notifying the Postmaster in Elizabeth of the problems in Roselle Park. Mr. Costanzo does not fault the employee at the post office but the Postmaster, who is not seem to be addressing the issues raised by Mr. Costanzo. In his diligence, Mr. Costanzo was notified that a letter from a borough or municipal office carries more weight than letters of complaint from private residents. Mr. Costanzo gave information on how to contact the Post Office by phone (1-800-275-8777) and by mail: Jack Potter, Postmaster General, 475 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20260-0010. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed and resolved. The mayor thanked Al for his efforts and will look into the matter. Councilman Badillo stated he would contact Mike Ferguson to see if he could help, as he has done before with regard to this matter.

Councilman Dinardo arrived during the public portion. He was asked if there was anything of note he had for the council. He stated he did not but wanted to apologize for being late but he was attending his child’s Back to School Night.

With no other matters for open session, a closed session was called and the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 p.m.