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March 2, 2010


The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach met at 6:30 PM with Mayor Barrella and Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie and Dyer present. The Municipal Clerk read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Councilman Cervino tendered his resignation as Council President. Motion by Councilman Hennessy, to appoint Councilwoman Kristine Tooker as Council President, was seconded by Councilman Dyer and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer….YEA

Department head memos, correspondence and governing body matters were discussed with items moved to agenda for action; upon questioning of fee increase by Councilman Lurie, Borough Attorney was authorized to review contract with Brick Utilities; Carol Vaccaro, Chamber Director, spoke about need to approve Jazz Fest application in an expeditious matter due to ABC licensing requirements – action held for input on cost from the Police Department; letter was authorized to be sent to property owners on Channel Drive and those businesses backing up onto Channel Drive regarding the implementation of paid parking on that street.
Motion by Councilman Dyer, to adhere to proposed meeting procedures and policies until Ordinance is drafted, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote. Councilman Lurie wanted to see clean copy first.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Dyer….YEA
Councilman Lurie…NAY

Motion by Councilman Cervino, to enter closed session to discuss one personnel, one litigation and three contractual matters and litigation updates, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

Closed session started at 7:08 P.M. and ended at 7:23 P.M.

Mayor Barrella called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. Present were Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie and Dyer. The Municipal Clerk again read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Motion by Councilman Cervino to approve the minutes of the December 1, 2009, December 15, 2009, January 1, 2010, January 5, 2010 and January 19, 2010 Council Meetings, was seconded by Councilman Lurie and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer (1/1/10, 1/5/10 and 1/19/10 meetings) ….YEA
Councilman Dyer (12/1/09 and 12/15/09 meetings)…..ABSTAIN


Anthony Morriello, Lincoln Avenue: requested ‘No Trespassing Dusk to Dawn’ sign be erected at Lincoln Avenue beach.
Attorney Riordan: can restrict juveniles, under 18, between 10pm and 6am because we have an ordinance to do so – just have to put up a sign at street end; Councilman Cervino asked that the fine amount be posted on the sign; Administrator Riehl will direct DPW to erect sign and Attorney Riordan will work on language.
John Szafranski: felt that fine amount should also be posted on Boardwalk signs.
John Wynne, 406 Woodland Road: addressed Council about using grassy area in municipal lot for bicycle rental business (if going to rent would have to put it out to bid).
Ben Dispoto, Parkway: suggested putting additional lighting by Lincoln Avenue beach (need to check cost and impact on neighbors).


Ordinance 2010-04 (Establish Geese Force) was considered on second reading. Mayor Barrella opened hearing to the public.
Dave Cavagnaro, Parkway: asked if ordinance was meant to control the geese problem or designed to improve look of public property (could exacerbate problem in other areas of town).
Kristin Hennessy, New Jersey Avenue: spoke for AWC – been much ado about geese feces over past several months – gassing them would not provide a sustainable solution – Lavallette had 90-95% success rate since passage of similar ordinance.
Motion by Councilman Dyer, to close public hearing, was seconded by Councilman Rizzo and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA
Councilman Cervino: provided contract, several meetings ago, for geese management – fecal matter is large contributor to non-point source pollution – fields around Antrim are inundated with geese as well as around the lakes – trying all these feel good measures – jeopardizing our children and pets due to fecal matter left by geese - action must be taken because the problem is getting worse – mentioned possibility of $7,000 cost being underwritten by a group of citizens.
Councilwoman Tooker: gassing the geese is not a sustainable solution – geese lights were pretty effective and will be put back once they are repaired – added that the Board of Education is, surprisingly, not receiving complaints.
Motion by Councilwoman Tooker, to adopt Ordinance 2010-04, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA
Councilman Cervino….NAY

Ordinance 2010-05 (Waste Materials & Collection) was considered on first reading. Councilman Hennessy expressed concerns with section on grass clippings and Attorney Riordan expressed concern with section on dumpsters. Council discussed and proposed amendments, which the Borough Attorney was authorized to include before publication.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, seconded by Councilman Rizzo and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2010-05 was approved on first reading as amended. The public hearing will be held on March 23, 2010.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

Ordinance 2010-06 (Council Advisory Committees) was considered on first reading.
Motion by Councilman Hennessy, seconded by Councilman Dyer and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2010-06 was approved on first reading as amended. The public hearing will be held on March 23, 2010.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

There was no motion to introduce proposed Ordinance 2010-07 (Amend Nepotism Policy as to Shared Services).

Clerk Ellsworth added several items to consent resolutions listed below; Item 1/j was held for separate consideration; Dave Cavagnaro, Parkway: asked about start date for Lake of Lillies dredge project and if there would be a Council liaison appointed to the project (would be Councilman Lurie as Chair of Buildings and Grounds Committee); asked if item 2/h presupposes litigation and if date had been set to complete the dredge of Lake Louise.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to adopt resolutions covering items listed below, was seconded by Councilwoman Tooker and carried by the following roll call vote:
a) Oppose legislation amending “Time of Decision” rule
b) Transfers between 2009 budget accounts
c) Approval of Payroll #3 ($239,626.07) and Payroll #4 ($273,336.14)
d) Payments to Galvin Law Firm from BOA escrow ($357.50)
e) Payment to Pitney Bowes for prepaid postage ($4500)
f) Approve interlocal agreements with County for DWI Enforcement and Fatal Accident Support Team programs
g) Approval of revisions to Payroll #2 ($255,604.74)
h) Payment to Brick Utilities for January usage ($51,198.78)
i) Authorize Police Department to conduct amusement game license owner background investigations
j) HELD FOR SEPARATE CONSIDERATION [Appointment of permanent part-time communications operators (3)]
k) P O to Metric Group parking machine supplies ($3518.08)
l) Approval of Banner Permit application for Columbus Day Parade
m) Payments to Pedroni Fuel for no-lead gasoline and diesel fuel ($22,278.71)
n) Payment to Maxor Plus for employee Rx benefit ($35,915.11)
o) Payment to Ocean county Landfill for tipping fees ($50,000)
p) Authorize Deputy Clerk to return to regular hours
q) Approval of December and January hand checks ($1,593,002.94)
r) Scheduled payment to PPB Board of Education ($805,442)
s) Payment to Schulman, Wiegmann from BOA escrow ($500)
t) Performance Bond Release – 25 Broadway Developers LLC
u) Memorialize appointment of Municipal Prosecutor and Alternate Prosecutors
v) Confirm details of EIT funding for Lake of the Lillies dredging project
w) Payment to Horizon BCBS for employee health benefits ($97,376.17)
x) Adjust fees for special DWI sessions
y) Approval of computer generated vouchers ($1,143,209.12)
z) Approval of membership in PPB Fire Co #2 (1)
aa) Payment to Woszcak Mech Contractors for emergency sewer repair ($4850)
bb) Approval of Geese Force regulations and application form
cc) Approval of water/sewer bill adjustments (5 accts)
a) Approve change order to Absolute Fire Protection for Fire Truck ($28,852)
b) Payments to CMX from escrow accts ($4800.57)
c) Water/Sewer bill adjustment (1 acct)
d) Authorization to execute cell tower leases with Verizon and Metro PCS
e) Authorize Borough Attorney to draft ordinance to increase building department fees, after meeting with Councilmen Dyer & Rizzo, Mayor Barrella, Administrator Riehl and the department head
f) Authorize Borough Engineer to apply for Barnegat Bay FY11 Grant
g) Authorize Borough Attorney to draft ordinance to effectuate any and all changes regarding parking fee increases and placement of parking machines on Ocean Avenue
h) Progress Payment #3 to Wickberg for work on Lake Louise dredging ($181,007.57) – CLOSED SESSION ITEM
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

CONSENT RESOLUTION 3: Authorization to draft ordinance establishing 2 15-minute parking spaces on Broadway, adjacent to Ralph’s Ices was considered.
Ben Dispoto, Parkway: spoke in favor of drafting ordinance.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to authorize drafting of ordinance to establish two fifteen minute parking spaces on Broadway, adjacent to Ralph’s Ices, was seconded by Councilwoman Tooker and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer….YEA
Council Members Hennessy, Rizzo….NAY

CONSENT RESOLUTION 4: Authorization to accept responsibility, from County, for River Avenue as a Borough street without exchange of any other street was considered.
Mayor Barrella: explained that there would be additional costs to maintain, but the town could put speed-limiting devices on that street that the County would not allow; Councilman Dyer asked about the life of the road; Councilman Lurie: explained the need to maintain same standard for driveways as those promulgated by the County; Attorney Riordan advised the cost of speed bumps should be part of Council’s determination.
Motion by Councilwoman Tooker, to accept responsibility from County for River Avenue as a Borough street, was seconded by Councilman Lurie and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Lurie, Dyer….YEA
Councilman Cervino….NAY

CONSENT RESOLUTION 5: Revision of annual meeting schedule was considered.
Max Gagnon, Parkway: asked that sign be posted with next meeting date.
Dave Cavagnaro, Parkway: spoke in favor of returning to 1st and 3rd Tuesday meeting dates due to conflicts with other meetings.
Ben Dispoto, Parkway: asked about additional meetings.
No action was taken on the above resolution.

CONSENT RESOLUTION 6: Authorization for Borough Attorney to draft ordinance establishing new meeting procedure policy was considered.
Dave Cavagnaro, Parkway: asked what would happen if someone violated the procedures.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to authorize the Borough Attorney to draft an ordinance establishing meeting procedure policy, which was implemented earlier this evening through resolution, was seconded by Councilman Dyer and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

CONSENT RESOLUTION 7: Appointment of three permanent, part-time Communications Operators was held for legal reasons at the request of the Borough Attorney.


Councilwoman Tooker: presented report on Fire Department activities for Councilman Hennessy who was hoarse; reported on Police Department activities – thoughts and prayers go out to officer who is in the hospital; AWC having fundraiser on March 28th – looking for vendors for vendor fair in railroad lot – trailers are empty as cats and kittens were all adopted – incident with rabid raccoon on Trenton Avenue – reminded all that rabies never really goes away; High School is selling “Beach goes Green” bags at $2/each; spoke about problems with unshoveled sidewalks in town – can't walk dogs and students can't walk to school – should at least start sending out warnings – Interact Club at High School will shovel for any seniors that need assistance.
Mayor Barrella: asked chairs of Police and Public Property Committees to meet with Administrator to come up with a reasonable solution to the problem.
Councilwoman Tooker: State will do $100,000 worth of work to renovate Rickover Park – will help with storm water run-off.

Councilman Rizzo: met with Open Space – had no quorum – looking for donations for Inlet Pavilion.

Councilman Cervino: spoke with Mr. Lacey regarding County support with acquisition of land, especially if beach became available – County would not use Natural Land Trust Fund because beach is not passive recreation; Beautification getting ready for spring plantings; reported on activities of Public Works Department.

Councilman Lurie: attended meeting with Administrator, and County Engineer and reviewed ‘wish list’ of local projects which he was amenable to doing, including the Detour Plan when resuming Lake Louise dredging; also spoke with County Engineer about putting wind turbines on Gull Island – spoke with Atlantic City Utilities Authority to review feasibility; looking into roadway site triangles; working on getting resolution regarding complaint about light at New Jersey and Bay Avenues; received memo from Code Enforcement Officer Petrillo about revising mobile vending ordinance – will put on for caucus at next council meeting.

Councilman Dyer: asked if Point Pleasant Beach would get benefit from turbines; presented Finance Committee budget update – started with increase of $1,994,000 – after going line by line for each department, except one, and with some projected increases in revenue, cut that by $531,835 – now at $1,462,165 – increasing fees in Silver Lake and former Risden’s lot – going to be changing meters on Ocean Avenue, from Parkway to Atlantic, and up the side roads to boxes, which allows us to double the revenue from those spots – already have money in place for 4 boxes – 4% allowable tax increase would generate $218,000 – must either raise revenue or cut expenses by $1,244,146 – trying to bring expenses under control via a two year plan – working on setting things up for next year – moving forward with shared services – looking at state health plan for all our employees - all union contracts would have to be opened and all must agree to go – would have saved $598,000 this year by doing so – going to have meetings with union representatives to start, then meetings with employees – State aid last yr was $743,000 – Governor Christie alerted us that State aid will not stay the same next year – going to have some more open budget meetings.
Councilman Lurie: explained that, should the Council desire, the 4% tax cap would allow a tax increase of 3.9 cents, which would eliminate about $400,000 from that upper threshold.

Mayor Barrella: appointed Peter Gelinas to the Safety Council and Karen Mills as Class II Planning Board member; explained that $736,000 of the State aid figure was the town’s energy receipts tax – actual Contra aid was $7606 – there are some significant restrictions on energy receipts tax that should protect us; “Last October I submitted an opinion piece to the Newark Star Ledger. That piece began as follows:
‘Conventional wisdom, at least in my home county of Ocean, is that a Governor Christie will be good for smaller shore and rural municipalities. Recent statements by Candidate Christie have, however, cast a shadow of a doubt on that prevailing wisdom.’
Having listened to now Governor Christie speak last Wednesday in Trenton, I am convinced that my concerns were well founded. No one can seriously doubt that he has attempted to solve the problems at the state level by shifting those problems to New Jersey’s municipalities and by demonizing New Jersey’s public employees. Sadly, I believe that a majority of this council may be drinking the same Kool-Aide. Just as I hope that the Governor will come to his senses, so to do I hope that my colleagues on this governing body will as well.
The Governor began his speech by complaining about inheriting an artificially balanced election year budget. Unfortunately, here in the Beach we have consistently followed the practice of budgeting to the next election cycle regardless of which party is in control. The only year where I can state with certainty that did not happen was 2008. In 2008, the council took bold steps to try to bring financial stability to the Beach. For example, it did not use the entire deferred school tax of $1.1 million available to it to make that year’s tax increase go away. Instead, it recognized the need to engage in long-term budgeting by leaving approximately $400,000 for 2009 and $400,000 for 2010. Unfortunately, last year the council squandered the 2009 piece and appears ready to do the same with the 2010 portion.
At our last meeting, Mr. Lombardo acknowledged that the problem in 2008 was the result of budget practices employed in 2005 through 2007, where spending was increased by $2.2 million, and property taxes were increased by only $160,000. Councilman Lurie expressed similar views in an October 2007 letter to the editor of The Ocean Star. These practices did not, however, originate in 2005, 2006 or 2007, but rather have been the norm dating back at least to the early nineties. It is not a coincidence, for example, that taxes went down in 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2003 each of which happens to have been a Mayoral election year.
In 2009 the council abandoned long-term budgeting and returned to the practice of budgeting to the next election cycle. Some have tried to blame the mistakes of last year on former Councilman Mercun. John was willing to listen to the opinion of our professionals, but unfortunately he eventually gave in to the desires of another. I am convinced that the recall effort had a lot to do with that as one member of the finance committee thought that they would be running for Mayor in 2009. I believe that same person thinks that they will be running for Mayor this year and budget decisions are being made based upon that belief. Thus, repeating the same mistake that Governor Christie was heard to complain about on Wednesday not once, but twice. Last year I referred to the 2009 budget as one which would lead to a train wreck in 2010. I indicated that I thought it was destined to fail. On Wednesday, the Governor referred to last year’s state budget as an “Alice-in-Wonderland” budget. It seems that we were both right.
Last year the council rummaged through the cushions for every nickel, dime and quarter in a misplaced effort to deliver a negligible tax increase. The effect of that myopic approach is a 2010 budget that will deliver a huge tax increase and/or gut the municipal services provided to our residents and visitors alike. Last year we did not appropriate for property tax appeals, this year we paid the price. Last year we robbed our water and sewer surplus, this year we are on a path to experience a 10% or more increase in water and sewer tax. I could go on but there is little sense in doing so.
This year the majority of this council seems poised to try and correct last year’s mistakes by placing the burden on the backs of our employees. This is the same tactic the Governor has embraced. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of problems with public sector employment that need to be addressed and the legislature has taken some good first steps. For example, let’s start looking at the double and triple dipping at the local, county and state level and a political system that has allowed at least one former elected official to collect a taxpayer funded pension in excess of $65,000.
The Governor and a majority of this council appear committed to “ginning up” the populace to a point where they embrace a “Madame Defarge” approach to our problems. For those like me whose Dickens may be a little weak, Madame Defarge is the woman who in a Tale of Two Cities his classic work set in the French Revolution sat in front of the guillotine knitting as the heads of the guilty and innocent alike rolled in a bloody orgy.
Don’t get me wrong, we are not going to solve our financial problems without help and sacrifice from our employees, but to expect that they bear the full burden of solving the problem is not realistic, nor fair and more importantly is wrong for Point Pleasant Beach.
Anyone who has read the Asbury Park Press recently knows that Point Boro is talking about laying off six police officers. Does anybody think that given the way some members of this council follow Point Boro’s lead that such an approach is outside the realm of possibility here in the Beach?
Had the council in 2009 delivered a 2 cent or 2½ cent tax increase last year we would not be looking at a $1.4 or $1.5 million deficit this year, or a 5½ to 6 cent tax increase. More importantly, the Beach would have continued on the path to financial stability we set out on back in 2008. Let’s be clear about one thing, it will only take about $400,000 reduction in our projected deficit to get us below the tax levy cap, or approximately a 2 cent reduction in the projected tax increase. The waiver that some were unwilling to seek last year will not be necessary this year. We don’t need to get down to a half a cent increase like last year or, as some foolishly seem to be advocating, no increase at all.
In putting together a budget this year the finance committee needs to think long-term. Effectuating savings by gutting our workforce without an eye on 2011 and beyond is not an acceptable approach. The taxpayers of Point Pleasant Beach cannot afford to have this council resort to the tired old tricks of the past 30 years and simply budget to the next election cycle.
I will say it one more time. In Point Pleasant Beach we have a revenue problem, not a spending problem. Last year we were more than $800,000 below what the state would have allowed us to spend, this year there is a strong likelihood that we will be a million dollars or more below the spending cap. Our problem is that we don’t have enough non-property tax revenue. What have members of this council done to address that problem? The time has come for the majority of this council to demand that our tourists pay their fair share of the costs associated with supporting that industry. Just to be clear, I am not talking about an expansion of paid parking. That ship has sailed and as I have pledged on a number of occasions, I will not again advocate it.
The time has come for certain members of this council to let our local legislators know that they must no longer protect the special interests. For my part, I will once again reach out to our major business owners to try and impress upon them the need for them to support local impact fees and at least temporarily step up to the plate with a significant no strings attached contribution to our budget.
Thus far I have identified two stakeholders who must share the burden – our employees and our tourism industry, the third group is our taxpayers. Their sacrifice will be an equally important part of returning financial stability to Point Pleasant Beach. It may not be the message that our taxpayers want to hear, but it is an essential message nonetheless. For example, a 4 cent tax increase on an average house, which will put us in compliance with the tax levy cap, will cost the owner of that house approximately $280. More than anyone would like, but an amount which if it had been spread over last year and this year would have been much more palatable.
Anyone telling you that the financial crisis facing us can be solved without the help and sacrifice of our taxpayers is simply not being truthful, because all that will happen is that the “can” will get kicked another year down the road and Point Beach will get financially sicker as opposed to recovering. I have never opted for the politically expedient approach, and I do not intend to start now. I pledge here tonight to our employees, our tourism industry, our taxpayers and to my colleagues on this governing body that I will be as steadfast in my opposition to budgeting to the 2011 Mayoral election cycle as I have been in my opposition to budgeting to the 2009 and 2010 election cycles.
I want to thank you all for listening and will be happy to answer any questions any member of the council may have at this time and of course answer those questions the public may have later this evening.”
Councilman Dyer: asked if the Mayor was proposing that the Council just increase taxes.
Mayor Barrella: need to bring three stakeholders together (employees, tourism industry and tax payers) to get us back on track to financial stability – need to go to the Boardwalk and ask them to contribute – need to work with our unions in order to effectuate the savings we have to effectuate – and our taxpayers have to kick in too – will not work if it’s not a group effort, need to have shared sacrifice.
Councilman Dyer: cannot count on the generosity of businesses in town when putting the budget together – cannot count on local option taxes – if we don’t get expenses under control, even with the maximum tax increase, we will not be in good shape next year.

Administrator Riehl: No Report


Max Gagnon, Parkway: spoke regarding Ordinance 2010-05, including collecting appliances with freon and picking up dead cats and other animals – complained that no one did a cost factor analysis on this plan – going to cost Borough a lot more for garbage pick-up at commercial establishments.
John Szafranski, Yale Avenue: spoke about Lake Como grants; complained that Ordinance 2010-05 was not thought out as to cost effectiveness.
Dave Cavagnaro, Parkway: asked about authorization to draft Ordinance 2010-05 – complained about grass clippings and giveaways to businesses; spoke regarding geese inundation of residential area, where they had not been previously – excrement on all my neighborhood streets has become a health issue – asked for help last May – been patient, but measures aren’t working – presented paperwork from USDA, after inspection by them, and would like Council to consider signing – once this is done, the other measures should work at containing this problem.
Ben Dispoto, Parkway: suggested that Ordinance 2010-05 should reference motels instead of just hotels – don't want to get into commercial garbage pick-up as we will fall behind the cost curve; asked for clarification on streets for proposed parking ordinance; asked if train lot fees would be increased; asked why the town hasn’t gone to the state health benefits plan before this.
Bill Knapp, Harvard Avenue: thanked Mayor Barrella for explaining budget – disturbed that nothings been done to reach out to Boardwalk; should go back to old meeting schedule.
Lee Kelly, Washington Avenue: complained about grass handling in Ordinance 2010-05; over past several weeks, his section of town was severely hit with lack of pick-up due to holiday and snow; summer residents need to be educated; complained about lack of personnel at recycling center – new rules will almost generate another position.
Mayor Barrella: asked about getting new collection information out to all property owners.


Motion by Councilman Dyer, to re-enter closed session to discuss 1 personnel and 2 contractual matters and litigation update, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

Closed session started at 10:21 P.M. and ended at 10:52 P.M.

Motion by Councilman Dyer, to come out of closed session, was seconded by Councilman Lurie and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie, Dyer ….YEA

The meeting was adjourned at 10:54 P.M.

Published April16, 2010 | Council Minutes | 1000

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