Council Minutes from 7/10/2002
 

REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, JULY 10, 2002.  MAYOR MICHAEL TRIPODI PRESIDED.

ROLL CALL

Roll call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council members present:  Carmela Colosimo, Gregg David, Kathi Fiamingo, Ed Galasso and Robert Taylor.  Councilman Richard Falcetano was absent.

Mayor Tripodi read the requirement of the Open Public Meetings Act.

The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor Tripodi.

MINUTES

It was moved by Fiamingo, seconded by Galasso and carried, that the minutes of the Work Session Meeting of June 25th and the Regular Meeting of June 26, 2002, be dispensed with and approved as submitted.  (Copies furnished each Councilmember prior to the meeting.)

HEARING ON 2002 BUDGET AMENDMENT- (Copy attached)

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that this amendment is for increases to Streets & Roads, Sewers, and Buildings & Grounds to cover emergency situations and expenditures that we did not anticipate when we drafted the budget.  She said the additional amounts will be coming out of surplus so that it will not effect the tax rate.  She also noted a change in the Clean Communities Act line to show the actual amount we received instead of the amount we anticipated. 

Mayor Tripodi opened the meeting to the public for any questions or comments on the 2002 Budget Amendment.

Fred Soos, Epping Drive, asked where the $38,000 increase came from? 

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that it came from the surplus that we have.

Tom Wycoff, Kingston Avenue, said he has just received his estimated tax bill and said by his calculations, he is figuring on at least a 16% increase.  He asked if the paving block project was

considered a prudent use of the taxpayer’s limited resources?

Mayor Tripodi explained that the project was funded by a grant and of no cost to residents.

Mr. Wycoff said the increase was steep and asked what the problem is.

HEARING ON 2002 BUDGET AMENDMENT (CONT.)

Councilwoman Fiamingo said she was not sure where Mr. Wycoff came up with that figure, but explained that this quarter includes ½ of the increase for the entire year, however, a good portion of the increase is the school.  The total increase is 3.67% for the municipal budget.  Out of the total tax bill, 67% is for the school, 17% is for the county, and 27% is for the municipality.

Mr. Wycoff said that there comes a time when the governing body has to start cutting expenses

and said he will be back when he receives the actual tax bill.

Livio Mancino, North 24th Street, asked if we are amending the budget to fund additional projects?

Mayor Tripodi explained that it was $38,000 for emergency expenses.

Mr. Mancino asked if there was anyway to generate these funds from other areas rather than adding an additional $38,000 because this is almost a ½ tax point.

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained to Mr. Mancino that this $38,000 will be coming out of surplus and will not increase the tax rate.

Mr. Mancino asked what the surplus was, as of right now.

Councilwoman Fiamingo said it was $1.6 million so now it would be $1.6 less the $38,000.

Mr. Mancino asked Councilwoman Fiamingo if more could have been taken from the surplus so that some tax points could have been saved?

Councilwoman Fiamingo replied that it was not advisable, and reminded Mr. Mancino that he suggested a month ago that too much of the surplus was being used.

Mr. Mancino explained that his suggestion was to use the surplus, leaving the amount that is necessary for the 1st quarter for operating funds.  He then asked how much is needed to operate the Borough for the 1st quarter?

Dianne Marus, Borough CFO, explained that the surplus we have is supporting the budget for the entire year.

Mr. Mancino said that was not his question.  He again asked how much does it cost to operate the Borough for 1 quarter?

Mrs. Marus said if the total budget was 8 million, then just divide that by 4.

Mr. Mancino asked Mrs. Marus how much is it to run the Borough for 3 months.

Mrs. Marus said 2 million dollars.

HEARING ON 2002 BUDGET AMENDMENT (CONT.)

Mr. Mancino said he doubts that and if that is true, then we are over extending ourselves.

He said that he is sure that it would not cost more than $1.4 million, not including extenuating circumstances.

Mrs. Marus said the payroll alone is $80,000 to $90,000 a week, for a 13  week period which is a quarter, and this does not include social security.

Mr. Mancino said Mrs. Marus is saying, that if we shut down and nobody pays their taxes for 3 months, this Borough would go into hock.

Councilwoman Fiamingo said if nobody paid their taxes, we wouldn’t be paying any bills.

No one else desiring to be heard, Mayor Tripodi closed the meeting to the public on the 2002

Budget Amendment.

COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS

  1. Letter from Teresa Zengewald, 613 Richfield Avenue, requesting that Richfield Avenue, from Faitoute to So. 25th Street, be blocked off for a Block Party on Saturday, July 27th

from 1:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M.

  1. Letter from John Zimmerman, 137 No. 20th Street, asking that a drainage problem on the

100 block of North 20th Street be corrected.

  1. Letter from David Brearley Athletic Booster Club asking Mayor and Council to take out

an ad in their “Fall Sports Program Book”.

REPORTS

  1. Construction Department Report for the month of June, 2002.
  2. Borough Clerk’s Report for the month of June, 2002.

It was moved by Galasso, seconded by Fiamingo and carried, that the above communications be received and filed and any money amounts indicated be spread over the minutes.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES

MAYOR’S REPORT

Mayor Tripodi announced that the Smart Growth Committee will meet on Monday, July 22nd at

6:30, and we will be looking at a plan which will address the downtown area.  Mayor Tripodi said he would anticipate this plan to be ready to go by the end of the year.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

 

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Councilwoman Fiamingo said that questions came up at last night’s work session after receiving and reviewing the information which came from Mr. Cerullo, as well as the actual budget itself.

She explained that the increase in the overall budget is 3.67% because of decreases in revenues, however, our actual need to raise additional revenue is approximately $780,000 or 9 points. 

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE (CONT.)

All departments are operating on 2001 budget levels, except for salaries and compensation which was an increase of $291,000 or a 3 point increase.  She explained that we now have to pick up the officers which were hired under the Cops Fast Grant and is approximately a $95,000 increase.  She said the police budget slightly increased due to the lease on the vehicles.  Solid waste increase was $75,000.  Councilwoman Fiamingo said insurances increased a total of 43%

for  $188,000 which is a 2 point increase.  We are not using as much surplus as last year, due to a significant decrease in the surplus from the ending of last year to the beginning of this year.  She said all in all, the increase in the appropriations is necessary because of the increases in the insurances, salaries and the solid waste and the decreases in the revenue side add up to a 9 point increase.  Councilwoman Fiamingo said the percentage of the County’s taxes on the overall bill is somewhere in the neighborhood of 19-20%, the school tax is about 64%, and the local is

27%.  She said the school increased by 9 points which is an increase of $164. on the average home, the County increase was $40. on the average home and the municipal increase is $150.

Councilwoman Fiamingo said it is all around the school’s increase as well as ours and it is unfortunate but most of the costs are uncontrollable and unless we get the department heads and all of the employees to go along with a concerted effort to save some money and implement some of the proposals that the Mayor did suggest, it is not going to get any better.  She said Mrs. Colosimo will be working on the recycling contract and the bulky waste so we can try to reduce the costs and increase the services and hopefully we will do the same with the DPW contract.

Councilwoman Fiamingo announced that she has been advised by Mrs. Marus that if by some chance the budget is not adopted this evening, we will have the need to hold an emergency meeting to adopt an emergency temporary budget.

Mayor Tripodi explained that we had put in an application for extraordinary aid from the State of New Jersey and with the adoption of the State’s budget being on a fiscal year for July 1st, the final numbers had been held up until this past week, which is why we are adopting it at this late date. 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

Councilwoman Colosimo thanked Councilwoman Fiamingo for getting back to her with the information.  She said the creeks were cleaned up and they are taking care of the parks.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES (CONT.)

 

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY

Councilman Galasso announced that next Thursday evening, July 18, 2002 at 8:00 pm the PBA

will be dedicating a memorial located on the front lawn to the Tobin and Kaulfers families.

He also announced that there  will be a first reading on the modification of parking between

19th and 20th Street on Washington Avenue for emergency services personnel in the Kenilworth

Fire Department.

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING AND ORDINANCES

Councilman David said he was in receipt of the Zoning Official’s report for the month of June and reported: complaints – 21; approvals – 9; denials –0; and correspondence –5.  He also read

the  Construction Official’s report for June: fees - $10,309.; trust fees – $272.; smoke detector fees -$260.; and there was a returned check fee of $20., for a total receipt of $10,861.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE

Councilman Taylor said he had nothing to report.

BILLS

­Consolidated Bill List appears on the following page.  (copy attached)

CONSENT AGENDA

Resolutions No.  1 through 7 are listed under Consent Agenda and will be enacted by one  motion in the form listed below.  All items will be recorded individually in full in the minutes.

Council Member Fiamingo moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Council Member Taylor.

RESOLUTION NO. 1

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That all bills be paid when properly audited and funds are available.

RESOLUTION NO. 2

Be It Hereby Resolved:  That the Chief Finance Officer be authorized to make payments for necessary obligations prior to the next regularly scheduled Council Meeting on August 28, 2002.

 

CONSENT AGENDA (CONT.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 3

Be It Hereby Resolved:   WHEREAS,  The Pride in Kenilworth Committee and the Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce are planning to hold their annual Octoberfest Street Fair on the Boulevard on Sunday, October 20, 2002 (Raindate: Sunday, October 27, 2002); and

                                         WHEREAS,  The Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth and

Kenilworth Police Chief William Dowd have approved this event which will necessitate the closing of the Boulevard from 23rd Street to 18th Street on Sunday, October 20, 2002 from

8:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. (Raindate: Sunday, October 27, 2002).

                                         NOW, THEREFORE, Be It Hereby Resolved:   that the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth request the approval of the Union County Board of

Chosen Freeholders for the closing of the Boulevard for the Octoberfest Street Fair.

RESOLUTION NO. 4

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Kimberly Grant be employed as a Part Time Clerk for the Fire Department and Fire Prevention Bureau at a rate of $8.50 per hour as of June 1, 2002.

RESOLUTION NO. 5

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That the Borough Clerk be authorized to issue the following Raffle License:  #756 – To the Children’s Specialized Hospital Foundation for an Off-Premise

                           50/50 to be held on November 7, 2002 at Schering-Plough Worldwide

                           Headquarters

RESOLUTION NO. 6

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Awarding the bid for “Reconstruction of Sanitary

                                                                        Sewers on Various Streets” to Montana

                                                                        Construction Corp. - $155,811.35)

RESOLUTION NO. 7

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Supporting A-273 which would return polling

                                                                        hours to the original times of 7 A.M. to 8:00 P.M.)

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES

RESOLUTION NO. 8

Introduced by Fiamingo who also moved its adoption. 

Be It Hereby Resolved:  2002 MUNICIPAL BUDGET  - ADOPTION ATTACHED

Seconded by Galasso and on roll call the vote was as follows:  Colosimo, David, “NO”;

Fiamingo, Galasso, “YES”; Taylor, “NO”.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-11 was read for a second reading as follows:  (copy appears in the

                                                                                                            minutes of June 12, 2002)

                                                            ORDINANCE NO. 2002-11

CAPITAL ORDINANCE TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $9,000. FOR THE RENOVATION OF THE MUNICIPAL BUILDING CUPOLA IN, BY AND FOR THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH, IN THE COUNTY OF UNION, NEW JERSEY AND TO TRANSFER UNEXPENDED BOND ORDINANCE BALANCES AND REAPPROPRIATE SAME TO FINANCE SUCH APPROPRIATION

Mayor Tripodi explained that this is an additional appropriation for $9,000 from an expired ordinance to cover the cupola improvement.

Mayor Tripodi opened the meeting to the public for any questions or comments on proposed

Ordinance No. 2002-11.

Livio Mancino, North 24th Street, asked if we are increasing the municipal needs by $9,000 to renovate the building?

Mayor Tripodi said yes, for the cupola.

Mr. Mancino asked why this was not included in the capital improvement?

Mayor Tripodi explained that an additional $9,000 was needed when the bids came in.

No one else desiring to be heard, Mayor Tripodi closed the meeting to the public.

RESOLUTION NO.  9

Introduced by Fiamingo who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-11, be and the same is hereby  

passed on second and final reading and ordered published according to law.

Seconded by Galasso and on roll call unanimously carried.

RESOLUTIONS AND ORDINANCES (CONT.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 10

Introduced by Fiamingo who also moved its adoption.

Resolution appears on the following page.  (Awarding the bid for “Improvements to the

                                                                        Cupola at the Municipal Building” to Ward &

                                                                        O’Donnell - $53,790.)

Seconded by Galasso and on roll call unanimously carried.

Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-14 was read for a first reading as follows:  (copy attached)

                                                ORDINANCE NO. 2002-14

ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 190 OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH

Mayor Tripodi explained that this ordinance will allow for the parking of the members of the

Kenilworth Volunteer Rescue and Fire Departments and also Emergency Management personnel along the front of the fire house on Washington Avenue, however, there is an amendment to this ordinance.

Councilman Galasso moved to amend the language on the ordinance to add “the North side of

Washington Avenue from the corner of 20th Street and Washington Avenue to a point 60 feet

in the westerly direction”.

Councilwoman Colosimo seconded the amendment to Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-14 and it was unanimously carried.

RESOLUTION NO. 11

Introduced by Galasso who also moved its adoption.

Be It Hereby Resolved:   That Proposed Ordinance No. 2002-14, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on August 28, 2002.

Seconded by Colosimo and on roll call unanimously carried.

GENERAL BUSINESS

 

Mayor Tripodi asked the Borough CFO if we would need a special meeting to approve emergency appropriations by the end of the month?

Mrs. Marus said it needs to be done before the end of the month.

Mayor Tripodi said he was upset that the budget was not approved this evening, and although there were issues, it was introduced in March.  He read a memo he presented  to the Council on February 26, 2002 regarding cost cuts.  He said he realizes we had some emergencies, however, he said it was their statutory obligation and fiduciary duty to the residents of our Borough to adopt the budget.   Mayor Tripodi said unfortunately he will be on vacation next week but will schedule a meeting for Wednesday, July 24th for two purposes.  One will be to adopt an emergency temporary appropriations and also to hear concerns about the budget because it needs to be adopted.  Mayor Tripodi asked Mrs. Marus if we have to go through the whole re-advertising process and she said we would if there are any big changes to the budget.  Mrs. Marus informed the Governing Body that they are allowed, by statute, to have a temporary budget in January which is 25% of the previous year’s expenditures.  After that, anything from

February 1st on that you do is an emergency temporary appropriation and by law must be included in the adopted budget.  She said anything that is in there now must be in the adopted budget.

Councilman David asked Mrs. Marus if there is a deadline given by the State?

Mrs. Marus explained that things may get sticky now with the state because we did not get the extraordinary aid.  She said she spoke to Judy Tripodi, the Deputy Director, in Trenton  today who said we must adopt a budget with expedience.  

Mayor Tripodi said for the record, Judy Tripodi is no relation to him.

Councilwoman Colosimo explained her no vote by saying that she is aware that the budget was introduced in March and she is concerned with the tax rate going up and services to the residents going down, especially affected are the services provided by the DPW.  She said she has never been comfortable with the tremendous amount of increase, however, she must feel comfortable with what she has to do for the residents of Kenilworth.  Councilwoman Colosimo said she spoke with Dan Ryan, Superintendent of Public Works, this morning asked him if there were any cuts he could recommend which would not cut services and which may help to shave even a ¼  point and then if other departments could do the same, maybe combined they could cut a whole point off.  He said he was not sure, however, when he comes back from vacation she is going to sit with him and go over the budget.  She said the likelihood of having to stay with a

9 point increase is very high, however, for her own piece of mind this is something she has to do. 

GENERAL BUSINESS (CONT.)

Councilwoman Fiamingo said as the head of the Finance Committee, she  has asked the Council to come to her with suggestions and now it is literally the 11 ½ hour and if the department heads had suggestions on proposed cuts, it would have been nice to hear from them 2 months ago.  She

said she wonders how Dan will be able to cut a budget which was just increased by $38,000 for items which he cannot control.  She stated that she was not happy and made this clear the last time.  She added that she cannot understand how a budget can be decreased when almost all of the increases are for matters which are beyond control.  She said she will be here on the 24th and ready to do what she has to do because the governing body has an obligation to get a budget adopted, or at least emergency appropriations, so that the town does not stop running as Mr. Mancino suggested would happen if residents decide to stop paying their taxes, not that it would ever happen.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Mr. Mancino, North 24th Street, said it is nice that the budget was introduced in February, however, it is incumbent upon this governing body to lead this community and say that we cannot afford to give the residents a 9 point increase .  He asked how many suggestions to cut the  budget were actually made?

Mayor Tripodi read his memo to the Council dated February 26, 2002:

            Based upon preliminary figures provided by Councilwoman Kathi Fiamingo, it appears that the Borough

                is facing a larger than usual property tax increase.  During our reorganization meeting in January, I advised

                Kenilworth residents that the budget would be our greatest challenge in the upcoming year.  Clearly

                controlling spiraling property tax increases is now our primary focus.  Although there are various factors

                outside the control of the Governing Body that have contributed to budgetary increases, ex: national

                recession, state budget deficit, freeze in local state aid, insurance increases resulting from September 11th,

                and other large increases and fixed costs, the Council must be proactive in scrutinizing the budget and

                looking for further reductions.  For your consideration I have undertaken a review and offer the following

                suggestions:  1.   Hiring freeze for all new employees or positions, excluding the school resource officer

                                              which was previously approved by council

                                       2.   Reduce work force through attrition

                              3.   Implement proposed increase prescription drug deductibles

                                       4.   Adopt lower annual salary increases for pending labor contracts

                                       5.   Secure employee contributions for health benefits

                              6.   Audit all overtime costs

                              7.   Audit the Borough’s vehicle fleet and eliminate all unnecessary vehicles

8.   Audit cell phone usage for non-emergency personnel (I will gladly give up my cell phone

      if warranted

9.        Adopt written shared services agreements between the Borough and Board of Education

for existing shared services.  These agreements would allow the Borough to apply for a

refund from the State

10.     Adopt guidelines for the Borough’s Safety Committee to reduce automobile loss claims

(Our automobile insurance policy has increased due to the frequency of claims)

11.     Explore the feasibility of reimbursement for first aid calls through Dynamic Claims

Management

12.     Explore alternative plans for bulky waste pickup

13.     Aggressively pursue grant funding for various operational expenses and capital improvements

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

In addition to the above recommendations, I encourage the members of Council to propose further cost saving measures.  Unless the Governing Body exhausts all possible cost savings, I will not approve of the

budget as currently proposed. 

Mayor Tripodi said to Mr. Mancino that it takes four people to get anything done up here.

Mr. Mancino asked the Mayor if he followed up on any of the suggestions or if they were implemented?  He said actions speak louder than words.  He said with all of the new ratables, why do we have  a decrease in the collections?

Councilwoman Fiamingo said there is no decrease in collections.

Mrs. Marus said the collection percentage is 99.2%.

Mr. Mancino asked why we are hiring an employee in the fire department for $8.50 an hour?

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that this new employee will be replacing one that left.

Mr. Mancino said that maybe it was time to revisit the $8.50 per hour.  He asked how much the Borough of Kenilworth brought in for ratables from new construction in the year 2001?

Mrs. Marus said approximately $60,000.

Mr. Mancino said $60,000 is nothing considering all of the new construction, Schering-Plough and all of the improvements being done.  He said he disagrees with that figure.  He said he would

like the assessor to ratify that number.  Mr. Mancino said that maybe it was time that Councilman David should get on top of Frank Rica, the Zoning Officer, and have him inspect the homes and where changes are made, get the assessor to assess them.  Mr. Mancino asked what type of increases were given to the Borough employees this year?

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that we do not have a budget, so therefore the salary ordinance has not been addressed, however, they did budget for 4%.

Mr. Mancino suggested 2% increase for employees.

Councilwoman Fiamingo said maybe it will be 2%.  She wished to make it clear that the recycling was an issue that she knows she tried very hard to find alternatives.  Councilwoman Colosimo, with the help of Dan Ryan, came up with alternatives but they cannot be implemented tomorrow.

Mr. Mancino said that he is more familiar with the effects of 9/11 on insurances and feels 43% is

very strange.

Councilwoman Fiamingo explained that the health insurance went up 24%, the other insurance was 18%.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Mr. Mancino said that had we built up a couple of points over the years, we wouldn’t be in this situation now.  He said he commends the members who voted no on the budget.

Tom Wycoff, Kingston Avenue said that all he is hearing this evening is talk about  saving money when you are just throwing away $60,000 on the cupola.  The worst that could happen to it is if it blows off the roof and lands on a police car and that would only cost you $20,000.

Mayor Tripodi explained that the $60,000 for the cupola is not for esthetic purposes, it is a necessity as the roof leaks and it is a structural issue.

Mr. Mancino asked who is doing the work in front of Repetti’s?

Mayor Tripodi said T. Grosso & Sons.

Mr. Mancino said he took all of the pavers that were there and there was nothing wrong with them, and now you are putting new ones back in.  The kids are now hanging all over the benches.

Councilman David said he cannot be sure, but thinks it was because the pattern did not match.

Mr. Mancino said he was told that Joe Crisci received a letter from the Building Dept. stating that his neighbor is building a two family house.  He asked why the Borough would send a

letter to a neighbor?

Councilman David said he would have to re-read the letter but when he read it the first time he

assumed Mr. Crisci was owner and he was trying to build a two family house.  The house in question did go before the Planning Board and was rejected.

Mr. Mancino asked if anything is being done to correct the trenches left in the Boulevard since the utility company dug it up?

Councilman Galasso said it is not our jurisdiction because it is a county road.

Mr. Mancino said the Borough has primary jurisdiction.

Councilman Galasso said that he did speak to someone from the Gas Co. who will be getting back to him.

Mr. Mancino said he recommended that the balance of North 24th Street be paved next year so as not to increase the budget.  Mr. Mancino told Councilwoman Colosimo that if she could get this budget down one point, she is doing a good job.  He said if she could get it down three or four points, she will be doing a great job.  He said something is wrong when the Board of Education is allowed to take 60% of our taxes.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Councilwoman Fiamingo said unfortunately, the residents vote for the school budget.

Fred Soos, Epping Drive, asked if the Boulevard is the county’s jurisdiction, than how come when there is an accident or a traffic light goes down the county is not around?  In Cranford where they did the same utility work the trench was paved over because the engineer put his foot down and said he wants it paved to the top.  He said it can cause a big accident.  Mr. Soos said the engineer should contact the county and say that it needs to be paved.  We pay big bucks for the people to work for us and it is their job.  He asked why the cupola job was off by so much money?  He said the Borough engineer was not doing his job. Mr. Soos said the buildings at the end of the Boulevard are empty and the owner is writing them off every year and making money.

We need to start collecting taxes on that property.  Mr. Soos said he knows that more than 10 new houses were built this year, and they are all bigger than his and he is paying almost $5,000

a year, so that alone is almost $50,000.  He said something is wrong.

Mayor Tripodi thanked Mr. Soos for his comments and said we would get an update on the ratables.

Mr. Boesgaard, Commonwealth Road, asked if anyone knew what is going on at the end of Commonwealth Road?  He stated that a year ago, and now a month ago he received letters stating that someone was going around looking at the property.  He said two weeks ago someone was out there surveying the area.  He cannot recall who the letter came from, but the property is actually Cranford’s.

Councilwoman Fiamingo and Councilman David said that they thought that it was due to the fact that Cranford is revising their Master Plan.

Mr. Boesgaard said he was told that Cranford will be installing a retention basin.  He said a lot of the trees are marked to be taken down. 

Mayor Tripodi said that he will contact Cranford Township and find out.

Mr. Mancino said the county has just increased their fees.  He recommended that the Borough look into increasing fees for various things, such as Planning Board applications.  Mr. Mancino said the Borough should be getting a performance bond from the utility companies in addition to the fee.  He said the Borough Engineer should oversee these street opening permits and check to make sure everything was done properly. Mr. Mancino said the street which was just paved is already breaking down which means the Engineer did not do a good job.

MEETING OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (CONT.)

Mr. Soos said the reason for the newly paved street to start breaking down is because the contractor used a new “cold” material which is cheaper but looks the same.  Mr. Soos said that he spends more time looking at the projects in town than Dr. Disko does.  Mr. Soos said he is not down on this budget, as we are still a lot better off than towns around us, however, there are a lot

of residents who live on fixed incomes.  He said we have to make sure that residents are being assessed for the work they do.  Mr. Soos recommended that other departments pitch in and work together, such as the DPW or the Police, while they are driving around town, they could check to see if there are permits in the windows.

Brian Joho, Boulevard, asked if the Council had a contingency plan in the case that we did not receive the extraordinary aid?

Mayor Tripodi replied no.

Mr. Joho said it seems as though it was an assumption of the Council to wait for this aid, even though we have been in a recession and are aware that the new administration in Trenton is cutting every angle they can.  He said a 4% increase in a recessionary year is a steep increase

and in his business they have issued a salary freeze.  He said he hopes every person on the Council is keeping the taxpayers as their primary concern and hopes there is no politics involved in these votes.

Councilwoman Colosimo asked Borough Attorney Tom Vitale if they were able to go into executive session for a few minutes to discuss a personnel matter?

Tom Vitale said yes.

It was moved by David, seconded by Colosimo and carried, that the Council go into recess.

It was moved by David, seconded by Galasso and carried, that the Council go into Executive Session.

9: 25 P.M.

Mayor Tripodi announced “Whereby the Governing Body is about to go into Closed Executive Session to discuss matters of personnel as it is in the best interest of the public to be excluded at this time from discussion and when the information can revealed to the public it will be done so at a later time.

9:30 P.M.

It was moved by Fiamingo, seconded by Galasso and carried, that the Council come out of

Executive Session.

Councilman David reported that in Executive Session litigation was discussed but there was no action taken.

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Council, it was moved by David, seconded by Colosimo and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair.

9:35 P.M.

                                                                                                            Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                            Hedy Lipke

                                                                                                            Borough Clerk



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