REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 27, 2008. MAYOR KATHI FIAMINGO PRESIDED.
Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present: Salvatore Candarella, Larry Clementi, Brian Joho, Fred Pugliese and Toni Sosnosky. Councilman DeLuca was absent.
Mayor Fiamingo read the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act.
The Salute to the Flag was led by Mayor Fiamingo
It was moved by Councilman Candarella, seconded by Councilwoman Sosnosky, and carried that the minutes of the Work Session Meeting of February 12, 2008 and the Regular Meeting of February 13, 2008 be dispensed with and approved as submitted. (Copies furnished each Council Member prior to the meeting.)
COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. Packet received from “Coalition to Stop the Train” informing of recent resolutions passed by municipalities regarding breach of contracts involving the M&E Railway; Union County Freeholders and the NJ State DOT and the requests to terminate funding for this project.
2. Letter from Thomas A. Vitale, Planning Board Attorney, informing that the Planning Board has reviewed the Municipal Stormwater Management Plan prepared by PMK and at their meeting of January 24, 2008 voted unanimously to recommend adoption of the plan by the Governing Body.
3. A Joint Meeting of the Mayor and Council and the Kenilworth Board of Education has been scheduled for Monday, March 17, 2008 at 7:30 P.M. to discuss the School Budget.
1. Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority Meeting Minutes of January 17 and a Special Meeting on February 14, 2008.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
Mayor Fiamingo stated in the beginning of February she wrote a letter to the Township of Union relative to concerns that were brought to her attention by a resident concerning the Township’s Firing Range. She received a response from the Union Administrator indicating that they have reports concluding that the range is safe. She is requesting copies of those reports so the she can review them and make ourselves satisfied that our residents are safe from shots coming out of the range.
The Mayor reported there was a budget presentation by the Governor last night which does not bode well for municipalities such as Kenilworth. There is an initial indication that if this proposal is adopted that Kenilworth will lose half of its consolidated municipal property tax relief aid. She does not know what that number will be but because of Kenilworth’s size the Governor’s proposal will cut that aid in half.
The Mayor also reported that last night the Council had a brief presentation by our Borough Engineer relative to conceptual plans for locating the public safety building next door to Borough Hall. They discussed going out for requests for qualifications for architects so that they can move the project along.
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The Mayor said this is a project that is a long time in coming and we are interested in moving forward. At the next meeting they expect to have a draft of requests for qualifications for architects to go out so that they can get some qualifications in and start the project moving along.
The Mayor stated that Councilwoman Sosnosky, Councilman Pugliese and Councilman DeLuca met at the Library for their needs assessment. Their consultant was at the meeting getting information from them, as community leaders, to see what they felt is needed for the Library. There was a lot of good input from the participants and she urged anyone who has any input relative to the library to go onto the web site and complete the Library survey. They are trying to do a full study of needs and anything you can add to that project would be very helpful. Residents can go to www.kenilworthnj.com and link up to the Library’s web site and fill out the survey.
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Councilman Joho reported the Finance Committee will be meeting with the Borough Finance Officer and Auditor on March 4th to work on the proposed budget line item by line item. Preliminary review of the proposed budget by our auditor revealed that we will be starting from a position where we are $184,000.00 over the budget cap and $373,000.00 over the tax levy cap based on the proposed budget submitted by the various departments. Obviously we will need to do a lot of line item cuts and adjustments to bring the budget to the appropriate levels. A further challenge to the budget process was revealed yesterday with Governor Corzine’s proposed State Budget. In the Governor’s own words we are faced with many unpleasant choices and he proposed a 50% reduction in the consolidated municipal property tax relief aid for municipalities with a populations between 5,000 and 10,000. This effects about 136 municipalities, including the Borough of Kenilworth. Other municipal property tax relief fund cuts included a cut of 1.7 million dollars from Extraordinary Aid and Municipal Homeland Security Assistance among many others. Furthermore the Governor would like towns, like Kenilworth with populations of under 10,000, to merge with other surrounding communities and share services in an effort to reduce costs. To force this position the Governor proposes to drastically reduce state aid to the towns with fewer than 10,000 people and instead offer them a share in a 32 million dollar fund consisting of grants to help them consolidate with other towns for share services. He stated that obviously we have some challenges ahead with the budget and with the Governors proposal. On a positive note the municipal bond market seems to be recovering from its credit crunch as the major rating agencies have reaffirmed triple A ratings to certain major insurers bringing a level of confidence back to that market. Earlier in the month California was able to bring to market one of the biggest municipal bond issuances since early December and it was well subscribed and this is bringing some more liquidity to the market which is important. We will keep an eye on the situation.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Councilwoman Sosnosky reported the DPW has been cleaning the storm water basins, removing leaves and curbside brush removal. They have also updated the Trouble Log and they are striving to maintain a two hour turn around time. She asked the residents if there are any problems, questions or concerns to please call her and she will do whatever it takes to make sure that we manage the two hour turn around time. She stated that during the recent snowfall, the Borough Superintendent of Public Works, Dan Ryan and the crew were out plowing, snow was removed and they did an excellent job. She stated she appreciated all the calls and e-mails from the residents telling her that they did an outstanding job. Councilwoman Sosnosky stated she introduced to Mayor and Council at the last meeting the idea of ID cards for all Borough employees. This was very well received by Mayor and Council and she moved forward with that process. Today she met with a representative from the shared services of Union County and she reported there would be no cost to the Borough for these ID cards. There is some information she needs to gather and within the next 4-6 weeks, all Borough employees will have ID cards.
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Mayor Fiamingo added that the DPW is forging ahead with working with Shared Services. They are working on a couple of different projects to work with the Township of Union with shared services. One project is with the street sweeper and the other is with a backhoe. She stated that the Borough is attempting to use shared services on small and large levels because we need to call on other municipalities to help us along.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Pugliese had nothing new to report.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING & ORDINANCES
Councilman Candarella stated he had a meeting with Mazur Engineering regarding the Borough Master Plan. They will be forwarding a dollars and cents proposal on how we should handle the program and how we get into it and the time frame of when it will get done. Next week they are meeting with Heyer-Gruel & Associates for a separate proposal. The building department and the Zoning Official have settled in and things are working smooth. The Planning Board has their second meeting this year and there are a couple of interesting cases coming up. The Handyman Program has spent about 1/3 of the money. They still have some money left over. He is asking residents if they know any seniors that can use a hand to please tell them about the Handyman Program. Applications are available at Borough Hall and the Senior Citizen Building.
DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND FIRE
Councilman Clement had nothing new to report on the Fire Department. The next meeting for the Recreation Department is March 13th, at 7:00.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE
Councilman Deluca was absent.
Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages. (copy attached)
Resolutions No. 1 thru 6 are listed on 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.
Councilman Clementi moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Councilman Candarella. Upon roll call the vote was unanimous.
Mayor Fiamingo reported that last week she presented a Proclamation to the Boy Scouts. They also performed a very nice flag ceremony. This week the Borough received correspondence from the Girl Scouts relative to Girl Scout Week. Mayor Fiamingo read a Proclamation honoring the Girl Scouts. The Proclamation is listed on the Consent Agenda, Resolution No. 6.
RESOLUTION NO. 1
Be It Hereby Resolved: That all bills be paid when properly audited and funds are available
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RESOLUTION N0. 2
WHEREAS, the following property was issued a certificate of compliance permit, and fees were received by the Building Department;
WHEREAS, it has been determined that the application will be cancelled.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Treasure be and is hereby authorized to draw a warrant to refund the following amount to:
Amount of $120.00 to:
303 North 17th Street
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
for the following property: 637 Boulevard
Kenilworth, NJ 07033
Block 120, Lot 5
RESOLUTION NO. 3
BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH
COUNTY OF UNION
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING ASSIGNMENT
WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 54:5-113 authorizes assignment by a municipality of tax sale certificates for the full amount of the certificate, including all subsequent municipal taxes and other municipal charges; and,
WHEREAS, Juztino Construction, LLC has presented an offer to purchase, by assignment, Certificate of Sale No. 76-3 which was issued to the Municipality of Kenilworth at a tax sale held on September 28, 1983, on Block 164, Lot 8, known as 623 Fairfield Avenue, Kenilworth, New Jersey, in the amount of $22,462.28, being the full amount of the certificate, including all subsequent municipal taxes and other municipal charges as of March 3, 2008.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED on this 27th day of February, 2008 that the Municipality of Kenilworth hereby authorizes the Mayor and the Municipal Clerk to execute the necessary assignment document to effect assignment of the above-referenced Certificate of Sale provided said amount is paid in full by Certified, Cashier’s or Bank Check by 1:00 p.m. on March 3, 2008 plus the cost of publication.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of the resolution be forwarded to the Tax Collector and published in the Star Ledger.
RESOLUTION N0. 4
REQUEST NO PORT AUTHORITY FUNDING FOR RAHWAY RAILROAD REACTIVATION THROUGH KENILWORTH
WHEREAS, the Operating Agreement between Union County and the Morristown & Erie Railway (M&E) dated May 9, 2002 to reactivate the century old single-track Rahway Valley Railroad (RVA) specifically requires a Business and Operating Plan that minimally includes objectives and procedures in nine key areas (corporate structure; capitalization; marketing; operations; safety and emergency management; maintenance; landscape; capital spending; interim service for Byway Refining customer needs, and
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WHEREAS, six years into the ten year Operating Agreement M&E has not furnished a Business and Operating Plan covering the final 5-mile section of track between Cranford and Summit known as “Phase IV” of the project, and as a result the Union County Freeholders cannot provide any assurances to the Borough of Kenilworth.
WHEREAS, traditional sources for funding construction of railroads have temporarily dried up and the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey has recently provided Twenty-Five (25) million dollars for a second freight line from Edison to Bound Brook, which on the part of the Authority activated and transfer freight, and
WHEREAS, prohibiting Port Authority funding of Phase IV would not allow Union County and M&E Railroad to continue with the construction of Phase IV of the project.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH.
1. that Governor Corzine be and he is requested to take action to have the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey be prohibited from providing funds, directly or indirectly, to reactivate the Rahway Valley Railroad section in the Borough of Kenilworth, currently referred to as a section of Phase IV, of the Union County Project.
2. That copies of this Resolution be forwarded to Congressman Michael Ferguson, Governor Corzine, State Senator Raymond Lesniak, Assemblymen Joseph Cryan and Neil Cohen , Union County Freeholders, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Members of the Stop the Train Coalition, Summit, Roselle, Roselle Park and Springfield and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
Dated: February 27, 2008
I, Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk of the Borough of Kenilworth, do hereby certify that the above is a true copy of a resolution adopted by the Governing Body of the Borough of Kenilworth at a meeting held on February 27, 2008.
RESOLUTION NO. 5
WHEREAS, Governor Jon Corzine recently unveiled a financial plan that includes significant toll increases for the Garden State Parkway, New Jersey Turnpike and Atlantic City Expressway and
WHEREAS, under the Governor’s plan tolls on these essential and vital roads would increase 50% in 2010, 2014, 2018 and 2022 and continue to increase every four years to reflect inflation until 2085; and
WHEREAS, the toll increases will have a profound negative impact on communities whose residents rely heavily on these roads including the Borough of Kenilworth; and
WHEREAS, the Borough of Kenilworth has a significant population of commuters who enjoy our community’s convenient access to the Garden State Parkway; and
WHEREAS, according to the 2000 Census, of Kenilworth, there is a significant population of workers over the age of 16, who work within Union County and a larger population of workers outside the County of Union; and
WHEREAS, in addition to the significant number of workers within and without the County who commute to their places of employment a very small percentage utilize public transportation and the majority of commuters drive alone; and
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WHEREAS, under Governor Corzine’s current plan, these residents, as well as all other residents who use the Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike regularly, would see significantly more of their hard-earned dollars go towards their commuting costs which will impact their quality of life and financial well-being; and
WHEREAS, the toll increase plan will place the burden of the State’s financial problems inequitably on residents of communities like Kenilworth that are in the corridor of these roads.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH, COUNTY OF UNION AND THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, as follows:
I, the undersigned, duly appointed Municipal Clerk of the Borough of Kenilworth, certify the within to be a true copy of a Resolution adopted by Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth at a Regular Meeting held on the 27th day of February 2008
RESOLUTION NO. 6
WHEREAS, march 9-15, 2008 marks Girl Scout Week as a designated by Girl Scouts of the USA, a movement founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia; and
WHEREAS, throughout its long and distinguished history, Girl Scouting has inspired more than 50 million girls and women to strive for the highest ideals of courage, confidence and character; and
WHEREAS, through Girl Scouts, girls grow strong, gain self-confidence, develop leadership skills and learn the lifelong lesson of contributing back to their communities; and
WHEREAS, Girl Scouting helps girls achieve their potential by increasing awareness of opportunities existent in the fields of math, science, sports, technology and other professional pursuits; and
WHEREAS, the Girl Scouts of Washington Rock council was formed in 1957 and has capably delivered the optimal Girl Scout experience to over 750,000 young women and adults in Union, Middlesex and Somerset counties; and
WHEREAS, more than 3.8 million Girl Scouts nationwide, including excess of 100,000 in the State of New Jersey, join in celebrating and rejoicing in this great American tradition.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kathi Fiamingo, Mayor of the Borough of Kenilworth, do hereby proclaim March 9-14, 2008 as GIRLS SCOUT WEEK in the Borough of Kenilworth.
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Proposed Ordinance No. 2008-03 was read for the first reading as follows: (Copy attached)
ORDINANCE AMENDING KENILWORTH CODE-ZONING
CHAPTER 197, ARTICLE III, SUBSECTION 197-25
(TEMPORARY MOBILE HOMES/TRAILERS AND STORAGE UNITS)
Mayor Fiamingo stated this Ordinance amends the Zoning Code to permit the usage of PODS, Trailers and storage units. Previously the Borough Code did not have any reference to those kinds of units. The second reading for this Ordinance will be on March 26, 2008 at which time comments from the public will be welcomed.
RESOLUTION NO. 7
Introduced by Sal Candarella who also moved its adoption
Be It Hereby Resolved: That proposed Ordinance No. 2008-03, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on March 26, 2008.
Seconded by Lawrence Clementi, and on roll call unanimously carried.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2008-04 was read for the first reading as follows: (Copy attached)
AN ORDINANCE TO ADDRESS STORMWATER CONTROL IN CHAPTER 159 OF THE CODE OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH SO AS TO ENACT STORMWATER CONTROL REGULATIONS
Mayor Fiamingo stated this Ordinance is required to be part of our Master Plan. The second reading for this Ordinance will be held on March 26, 2008 at which time comments from the public will be welcomed.
RESOLUTION NO. 8
Introduced by Sal Candarella who also moved its adoption
Be It Hereby Resolved: That proposed Ordinance No. 2008-04, be and the same is hereby passed on first reading and ordered published for final hearing on March 26, 2008.
Seconded by Toni Sosnosky and on roll call unanimously carried.
Mayor Fiamingo commented that the meeting was being video taped. She asked if anyone wishes to speak tonight to please speak loudly so that the microphone will pick up their voice.
Motion was made by Councilman Clementi, seconded by Councilman Clementi to open the meeting to the public.
MEETING OPENED TO THE PUBLIC
Livio Mancino, 102 North 24th Street – Mr. Mancino stated he was going to speak about the illegal street opening on North 19th , the height of the buildings going from 30 to 35 feet and the Rahway Valley Sewage Authority matter but he will not because there is a more important matter at hand. Mr. Mancino stated that he has many people come to his office, call him on his phone and complained that Councilwoman Sosnosky is a busy body. Mr. Mancino stated that he asked those same people to go to Councilwoman Sosnosky and tell her to her face as he would like anyone who had anything to say about him to his face. He asked Councilwoman Sosnosky to let him know if the following statements regarding
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the Famigletti Family are true. He stated the Famigletti’s Family was having work done on their house two weeks on Sunday and the police were called. For anyone in the audience who doesn’t know, this family, who has four small children, has gone through hell in the last 10 months because they were forced to move from their house due to structural defects. Mr. Mancino stated that allegedly Councilwoman Sosnosky was the person who called the police. He stated he has not seen the police report yet. He said the Ordinance allows work to be done and the police verified this. He asked why Councilwoman Sosnosky or anyone would call the police knowing what this family has gone through? Mayor Fiamingo stated to Mr. Mancino that this was not a matter for council. Mr. Mancino responded by stating that if a Councilwoman participated in this, she was totally out of order and she should have checked the Ordinance that allows this to be done. He said to Councilwoman Sosnosky that if she needs something to do she can show the DPW where all the potholes are in town and if she needs help doing that he can show her where the potholes are. He stated he is fit to be tied if she participated in the phone call to the police. He stated that instead of extending your heart to this woman who has been living all over for the past eight months, you call the police? He asked Councilwoman Sosnosky if she participated in the phone call in any way? Mayor Fiamingo stated to Councilwoman Sosnosky that this is not a Borough matter and if she did have any participation as a citizen then that is her business. She said Mr. Mancino can discuss the matter with you but she does not believe that this is Borough business. Mr. Mancino responded that Councilwoman Sosnosky should know the Ordinance before she makes a phone call to the police. Mayor Fiamingo stated that elected officials do not give up their rights as a private citizen just because they are elected. Mr. Mancino stated that Councilwoman Sosnosky should have extended her hand to a family who is in desperate need instead of calling the police. He stated the Councilwoman, after being in office for two months has an obligation to this community to help and follow in the footsteps of Mary Kelly, Carmela Colosimo. He stated Councilwoman Sosnosky owes this community and should answer to them if she did this. She was elected to serve the public and he is a member of the public and he has a right to address her. Mayor Fiamingo stated that whatever action Councilwoman Sosnosky took was taken as a private citizen, assuming it was taken in the first place. Mayor Fiamingo stated she did not want the Borough meeting to be taken up with personal business and the Chair says that this is not an appropriate question. Mr. Mancino asked the attorney if that was true. Attorney Fruchter stated that this was not within the confines of council business if, in fact, a call was made. If the request was made as a councilperson in the confines of her duties as a councilmember then possibly. He stated the Chair has ruled accordingly and it is not council business at this point. Mr. Mancino stated that he feels Councilwoman Sosnosky is hiding and if he finds out from the police report that she made the call, that is a vengeful thing to do to this family. He stated he is shocked and offended that the Mayor is defending Councilwoman Sosnosky. Mayor Fiamingo reiterated that this is not Borough business and Councilwoman Sosnosky has not indicated one way or the other whether she wants to respond. The Mayor asked Councilwoman Sosnosky if she wanted to respond? Councilwoman Sosnosky stated that she feels as a resident she has a right to make a phone call when we have an Ordinance, which is Ordinance 134-7 regarding nuisances where a contractor cannot work on a Sunday at anytime. All residents need to be treated the same. She stated she made the phone to the police as a resident. The situation was brought to her attention by her neighbors. Mr. Mancino asked Councilwoman Sosnosky to read the Ordinance. He stated that you can use heavy equipment on Sundays. Ms. Sosnosky read part of the Ordinance that stated as long as there is no noise that is loud to your neighbors. Mr. Mancino stated the police could not enforce the complaint because the noise was not loud. Councilwoman Sosnosky stated that Mr. Mancino keeps referring to the woman and there was no woman there, it was only the husband. She stated that Mr. Mancino was not there. Mr. Mancino stated that the police stated that the complaint was not warranted. Councilwoman Sosnosky read part of the Ordinance that stated contractors cannot work on Sundays at any time. Mayor Fiamingo said this is an issue for another time and it should have been a private matter but Mr. Mancino chose to make it a public one.
Vince Grimaldi – 32 North 11th Street – Mr. Grimaldi stated he has been in town for 30 years and the north side of Kenilworth has not been as meticulously plowed since he can remember. He stated the DPW did an excellent job. He asked if the Ordinance for off the street parking is still in effect? Mayor Fiamingo stated she does not know what the status of that Ordinance is but she believes it has been rescinded but it is something to be reconsidered.
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Trudy Neuhauser – South 17th Street – Ms. Neuhauser responded to Mr. Mancino’s accusations. She said there was heavy equipment being used like a dump truck, and something that scoops up the dirt. There was noise on that Sunday. She stated she thought there was an Ordinance against contractors working on Sundays. They continued to work because the owner was working with the contractors.
Mel Harris – 710 Newark Ave. – Ms. Harris asked if there was an Ordinance or statue regarding shoveling walkways after snow? Some of the sidewalks were not cleared and people had to walk in the street. Mayor Fiamingo stated she thinks there is an Ordinance and Mr. Herbert indicated to her there were some individuals that he noted were in violation. She said it is tough to enforce because you have to give residents an opportunity to do the shoveling.
Frank Pugliese – 235 North 13th Street – Mr. Pugliese praised Councilwoman Sosnosky for the great job she is doing. He has heard nothing but good things.
Councilman Joho made a motion to close the meeting to the public, seconded by Councilman Pugliese.
There being no further business to come before the Council it was moved by Councilman Clementi, seconded by Councilman Joho and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair. All in favor.
8:40 P.M. Respectfully submitted,
Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk
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