REGULAR MEETING OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF KENILWORTH HELD ON WEDNESDAY EVENING, JANUARY 28, 2009. MAYOR KATHI FIAMINGO PRESIDED.
Roll Call at 8:00 P.M. showed the following Council Members present: Salvatore Candarella, Brian Joho, Scott Klinder, Kevin Leary, Jr., Fred Pugliese and Toni Sosnosky.
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 Joho, seconded by Councilman Klinder, and carried that the minutes of the Work Session Meeting of January 13, 2009 and the Regular Meeting of January 14, 2009, be dispensed with and approved as submitted. (Copies furnished each Council Member prior to the meeting.)
COMMUNICATIONS AND PETITIONS
1. Report of Transportation Advisory Board Meeting of January 7, 2009 submitted by Carol Westervelt.
2. Check received from Comcast for municipal rights-of-way for the Year 2009 in the amount of $54,713.22.
3. 2009 Assessment received from Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority in the amount of $1,504,898.
1. Rahway Valley Sewerage Authority Meeting Minutes of December 18, 2008 and January 24, 2009.
It was moved by Councilman Candarella, seconded by Councilman Leary and carried that the above communications be received and filed and any money amounts indicated be spread over the minutes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
Mayor Fiamingo reported the committee for the new public safety building will be meeting to review certain space proposals that were submitted by the architects in connection with the “wish list” presented by the Police Department and the Court Department. The architects came up with an estimate of what space requirements would be needed if we did everything that was requested. We are going to be going over that plan very carefully to see what needs are necessary as opposed to a “wish list”. Once all those items are put together we will have a public meeting so that everyone knows what is going on. The Mayor has a meeting scheduled for February 4, 2009 with the Census Bureau to review the mythology for the census that will take place in 2010. Also on February 10, 2009 the Mayor will be meeting with the Community Development Sharing Committee that oversees the funding for the Handyman Program. She said she is on that committee and she is hoping that the Borough will be able to get as much
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funding as possible. The Mayor stated as per the Communications on the agenda, the Borough received notification from the RVSA that our assessment for this year was $1,504,898.00 which is about a $350,000.00 increase for this year alone and a four tax point increase.
DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
Councilman Joho reported the increase on the RVSA was $377,000.00 and more than four points, which is not good news. The Finance Committee has met with 8 of the department heads to date to review their 2009 proposed budgets. The committee has scheduled additional meetings with the remaining department heads for February 2nd and 10th. The Finance Committee has issued a memo to all department heads challenging each department head to investigate grant opportunities for 2009 to help the town find new sources of funding to offset increasing operating expenses for obtaining capital items. We have requested that the preliminary findings be submitted to the Finance Officer by February 27th. This will be an on-going process to investigate grant opportunities throughout 2009.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Councilwoman Sosnosky had nothing to report.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
Councilman Pugliese reported the Police Department received approximately $8,000.00 in grants and funds. Approximately $4,000.00 was a result of Officer Sims participation in a narcotic strike force late last year. The Strike Force was successful in seizing not only drugs but forfeited funds and Kenilworth’s share of those funds came out to about $4,000.00. In addition, Chief Dowd was able to receive a grant in the amount of $4,000.00 as part of the State’s Hang-Up and Drive Program which will be put into effect sometime in March. Councilman Pugliese read an e-mail from Betty Cox (not a local resident but a resident of Union County) to Mayor Fiamingo praising one of Kenilworth’s Police Officers. The e-mail stated how great Kenilworth Police Officers are. Ms. Cox said she was in Kenilworth for a Stop The Train Meeting which turned out not to be. She was sent to the Kenilworth Police Department and was met by Officer Valarie Smith who was most accommodating. She brought Ms. Cox into the office and called Access Link who came early to pick her up. She said she was most impressed with Officer Smith and how hospitable she was. Officer Smith told her that before becoming a police officer she was working as a security officer. Ms. Cox said she is glad to see Kenilworth has female officers, particularly one as nice as Officer Smith.
DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, ZONING & ORDINANCES
Councilman Candarella reported the Handyman Program is up and running. The Borough was cut by the County about 30% but they still have money out there and people should get their requests in. All is well in the Planning Board and Board of Adjustments and Construction Department. The State has put out some changes in the COAH regulations and they will be watching the upcoming changes.
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DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND FIRE
Councilman Leary reported a correction from last month’s report. He said last month he reported the sign-up dates for Girls Softball would be the 7th and the 9th. He said that date is going to be pushed back to a date that has yet to be decided.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE
Councilman Klinder stated the Health Department has renewed their contract with nursing services with Holy Redeemer for 2009. He also said there is a State ban on flavored cigarettes. The only flavors that are allowed to be sold are clove and menthol. Vendors should not be selling flavored cigarettes. The Board of Education Meeting was held on Monday regarding their budget and the next budget meeting will be February 9th.
Consolidated Bill List appears on the following pages. (copy attached)
Resolutions No. 1 thru 8 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 Joho moved that all items under Consent Agenda be approved, seconded by Councilman Candarella. Upon roll call the vote was unanimous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
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 Borough of Kenilworth enter into a contract with CHAPMAN, INC., P.O. Box 608, 25 W. Highland Avenue, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716-0608, for C-2 Licensed Operator Services (Collection System Operator) as of January 1, 2009 for the year 2009 at a cost of $575 per month.
Be It Further Resolved that the Mayor be authorized to sign said contract.
Certification of Funds
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RESOLUTION NO. 3
WHEREAS, it shall become necessary to expend for some of the purposes specified in the budget appropriation of the respective sums appropriated, and
WHEREAS, there is an excess in one or more appropriations over and above the amount deemed necessary to fulfill the purpose of such appropriation, and
WHEREAS, N.J.S. 40A:4-58 provides for the transfer of such amounts deemed in excess to appropriation for the amount of which are deemed to be insufficient to fulfill purposes of such appropriation, and
WHEREAS, the transfers about to be authorized do not affect any appropriations to which or from transfers are prohibited under statute,
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the following be approved and the Chief Financial Officer is hereby authorized to make the following transfers in the 2008 Municipal Budget:
Other Expenses AMOUNT
Tax Collector 7,800.00
Building Inspector 2,900.00
Public Works 3,750.00
Leaves & Brush 11,000.00
Adm. Public Assistance 700.00
Salary & Wages
Police O/T 10.000.00
Buildings & Grounds 3,000.00
Grand Total 58,150.00
Auditing & Acctng Services 16,000.00
Fire Prevention 850.00
Snow Removal 550.00
Buildings & Grounds 2,300.00
Dog & Cat Licensing 1,250.00
Fire Hydrant Service 7,750.00
Street Lighting 10,000.00
Garbage Disposal Fees 11,300.00
Sr. Citizen Director 700.00
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Salaries & Wages
Streets & Roads 1,750.00
Grand Total $58,150.00
RESOLUTION NO 4.
RESOLUTION NO. 5
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey has launched its pioneering Public Archives and Records Infrastructure Support (PARIS) grant program to meet the strategic records management, preservation and storage needs of county of municipal governments; and
WHEREAS, a top priority of the PARIS grants program is to achieve efficiencies of cost and operation through shared services and to create a service structure for municipalities that do not have the resources to create one for themselves; and
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WHEREAS, the Borough of Kenilworth desires to collaborate with the County of Union in the performance of a Shared Services Project; and
WHERAS, the Borough of Kenilworth is acknowledging that this is a true shared service and the County of Union will be applying for funds of $40,000 on our behalf; and
WHEREAS, the Borough of Kenilworth is acknowledging that the County of Union would be both the lead agency and the applicant for such a proposal; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Kenilworth that the Borough of Kenilworth does support and commit to cooperation and participation in the PARIS grant for the purposes set forth above.
RESOLUTION NO. 6
WHEREAS, the Treasurer had outstanding checks on the records in the Payroll account which were issued over one year ago, and:
WHEREAS, letters were written in February 2008 and in July 2008 to the businesses/individuals asking them to cash these checks or sign affidavits to have them replaced;
WHEREAS, the individuals/businesses did not respond to our request by the end of 2008;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council that the Treasurer is authorized to cancel the below listed checks:
Check # Dated Payee Amount
39412 11/23/05 Glen Castello $651.81
38573 9/8/05 Robert Kahl $ 10.85
15506 Unknown Unknown $ 90.42
RESOLUTION NO. 7
Be It Hereby Resolved: That Adeena Lee be appointed to the Board of Health as Alternate #1 for a one year unexpired term.
RESOLUTION NO. 8
Be It Hereby Resolved: That the proposed Contract between the Borough of Kenilworth and International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 11 and the Department of Public Works for the period of January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2011 be ratified and that the Mayor be authorized to execute said contract.
Motion was made by Councilwoman Sosnosky, seconded by Councilman Leary to open the meeting to the public. All in favor.
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MEETING OPENED TO THE PUBLIC
Bob Herbert, 363 Coolidge Drive - Mr. Herbert asked if the RVSA is run by the State? The Mayor responded that 11 municipalities participate in the sewer authority and it is not run by the State. Mr. Herbert asked if the Borough could ask the RSVA’s board of directors to work out a payment plan. The Mayor responded by stating that unfortunately this is just one of the increases the Borough has been told about and it is not even the worse one that is coming down the road. She said this arises from mandated improvements to the infrastructure of the Sewer Authority because of a law suit instituted by the Environmental Law Clinic at Rutgers Law School. This has been going on for over ten years in the making and we are just now getting the bills for the bonds that need to be paid for the infrastructure improvements which is more than 200 million dollars worth of bills. Mr. Herbert asked if the increase to the taxpayers would be $50 or $500.00? The Mayor responded by stating that even though it is more than a four point increase it does not necessarily mean that is going to be passed down to the taxpayers because the Council is going to do their best to take from here and there to try and reduce the impact. She said at this point they do not know what the tax impact will be.
Bob Beiner,36 South 24th St. – Mr. Beiner said with regard to the RVSA the Borough has to assume State Aid will be cut not just because of the economy but also the pension situation. Mr. Beiner asked if the Borough was going to be doing anything different this year from last year? For instance pay raises for non-union employees. He said other towns and counties have already said no pay raises. He said Jackson Township said no pay raises for the next two years. He asked if that has been discussed? Councilman Joho responded by stating the Finance Committee is still meeting on the budget but they will take that issue up during their discussions as far as pay raises for non contractual obligated employees. Councilman Joho stated, as he mentioned earlier, they have challenged the department heads to go out and look for grant opportunities to try everywhere they can to reduce the tax burden. They are aware that the RVSA is a fairly significant hit and they will try to make it up where they can. Mr. Beiner stated he thinks the Borough should do it. He said the Borough cannot afford to give 3 ½% raises to their non-union employees because it is just to much. He said we gave bigger raises to our non-union employees then some unionized police officers in Scotch Plains. He also said we should eliminate the Longevity pay. He said how do you justify giving an employee 7 ½% to 13 ½% pay raises like the Borough gave out last year. He said the department heads should not be given a raise and then another raise on top of that. He said they should be judged on an individual basis and their salary should reflect their department head status. If they are doing a great job then they should get a raise but not two raises. Mr. Beiner asked if the Borough was considering layoffs of union and non-union employees? Councilman Joho said they have not discussed that issue. He said as their due diligence, they will look at all options but at this point it is not something they want to do. Mr. Beiner said it is not something anyone wants to do but he said he thinks it should be on the table. He said we are in a fiscal crisis and everything the Borough spends money on should be on the table. He said Union County said they are looking at layoffs. Mr. Beiner asked if the Borough was looking at cutting the bulky waste service like other towns have? He suggested if residents want their bulk picked up maybe they should pay for it instead of the Borough. Councilman Joho said the bulk pick up was reduced to twice a
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year and they will look at that cost. He said as far as the department head pay, there is a State Statute that requires the Borough to provide pay raises for department heads in line with the highest percentage given to any one of the department heads and regular employees. He said there are some contractual obligations that we walked into last year and will continue this year. Mr. Beiner said that five Morris County towns signed a shared service agreement and saved a million dollars. He asked if the Borough has planned to do that? He asked if the Borough was looking at every single position in the Borough and asking if we can get together with Roselle Park or Cranford and secure a shared service agreement? Councilman Joho said the Borough will be open minded and look at those possibilities. Mr. Beiner said this is a serious crisis and everything should be on the table and we should be looking at what other towns are doing like shared services.
Motion was made by Councilman Pugliese, seconded by Councilman Klinder to close the meeting to the public. All in favor.
Mayor Fiamingo reported that on February 7th the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is having a fund raiser Celebrity Bartender event at the VFW from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. The Mayor said it should be a fun event and there is a $5.00 admission charge.
The Mayor stated the Borough is looking into shared services. She said she recently discussed with Councilman Joho certain possibilities relative to shared services. She said it is not something you go into without a careful study of what that means to our residents and what the services reduction would be. The Mayor said she hesitates whenever there is talk that involves reducing services to our residents. The Mayor said taxes are outrageous, not necessarily in Kenilworth, but they continue to climb. She said a lot of our increases are due to things that we have absolutely no control over including the RVSA. She said we do have large obligations but that should not be put on the backs of our hardworking employees by not giving them a living wage or raises. She said she has faith in Councilman Joho and the rest of the committee who will do everything they can to see that taxes are not increased unnecessarily and the increases kept to a minimum.
There being no further business to come before the Council it was moved by Councilman Candarella, seconded by Councilman Joho and carried, that the meeting be adjourned to the call of the chair. All in favor.
8:21 P.M. Respectfully submitted,
Hedy Lipke, Borough Clerk
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