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May 18, 2010

COUNCIL MINUTES

The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach met at 7:02 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.

A moment of silence was observed for former Borough Employee Claire Beno.

Motion by Councilman Cervino, to enter closed session to discuss bargaining unit agreement, 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 7:05 P.M. and ended at 8:15 P.M.

Mayor Barrella called the regular meeting to order at 8:18 P.M. Present were Council Members Tooker, Hennessy, Rizzo, Cervino, Lurie and Dyer.

Attorney Gannon made the following statement, per Council’s authorization: at this time, the Borough has decided to exercise its authority to move all employees, and those subject to collective bargaining agreements, into the State Health Benefit Plan - this will achieve a savings of approximately $350,000, as of June 1st, and that would have an impact on the budget - that was the determination, given the status of the reopen of negotiations – advised Council not to entertain any further questions - if there are questions you need to ask or are asked, put them to me and I’ll be glad to pass them along.

The 2010 Municipal Budget was discussed.
Councilman Dyer: at this point, about $307,202 is what the tax increase would be – will be able to put $85,000 more into the Specials budget – tax would be approximately 1.25 to 1.3 cents at this point – need to finalize a couple of things, including water/sewer – have a meeting this week will introduce budget at next Council Meeting.
Councilman Lurie: asked how much that brings the Specials budget to.
Councilman Dyer: $250,000 at this time.
Mayor Barrella: so, we’re $115,000 under the requested amount?
Councilman Dyer: we’re $50,000 under what the chief has requested at this time – in recent discussions, he said he could work it through with $300,000 – Administrator Riehl will be letting Chief know by the end of the week, what the Specials expenditures were from October 1st through the end of the year – need to look at that and what we were tracking year-to-date on the Specials.
Chief O’Hara: told the Mayor, at discussions a couple of weeks ago, that a bare minimum of $300,000 was needed for Specials, and right now we’re at $250,000 – it’s going to affect coverage if we can’t get that extra $50,000 at bare minimum to get through the summer.
Councilman Dyer: will take a look at that this week and see what can be done.
Mayor Barrella opened discussion to the public.
Dave Cavagnaro, Pt. Pleasant Beach: asked for clarification from Atty. Gannon whether it was decided to move all employees, or all employees were asked to move (Atty. Gannon: decided to move, based on our ability to do so under the contract); if water/sewer meeting would be open to the public (just Mayor, Councilman Dyer and Administrator Riehl – to see if they can’t reconcile their differences); if Chief has an idea of what type of revenue shortfall the $50,000 less in funding will create (if there’s a possibility of getting more funding, would rather wait and answer that next Tuesday).
Ben Dispoto, Pt. Pleasant Beach: asked how realistic the revenue assumptions are – is Council being optimistic or conservative (Mayor Barrella: would need to poll the Council – thinks there is a strong level of disagreement – has very serious concerns that projected revenue has been overstated – but he doesn’t get to vote on the budget); asked Councilwoman Tooker for her view (unless we get more money back in the Specials budget, thinks there will be trouble); asked Councilman Dyer when the budget stops changing (things are changing every week – can’t control all the changes – thinks, from a business standpoint, the whole process is ridiculous – to do a budget half way through the year – thinks revenue projections are realistic, based on mathematical calculations, as long as we have a similar season to last year – we’re dealing with fluctuating weather and projected revenue is based on last year); asked about taking an average of 5 years (Councilman Dyer: feels it would be roughly around number projected, maybe slightly less; Attorney Riordan: there are statutes that govern the way revenue is projected; Mayor Barrella: we have room under the levy cap this year – did things last year that I thought were not good practices – will talk to Councilman Dyer about reversing some things that were done last year – we’re about $500,000 under the levy cap – talked about the fact that Governor wants to lower the cap – will affect the surplus – believes there will be real problems if we go with current revenue projections – could be looking at the end of Point Pleasant Beach); asked if anything in contracts is negotiable (Atty. Riordan: advised it not be discussed in public – always difficult to renegotiate contracts; Mayor Barrella: it’s going to be tough for Pt. Pleasant Beach to survive the next couple of years; Councilwoman Tooker: acknowledged the hours being put in on the budget – not being critical – reiterated that she would like to see more of the Special money restored).
Bill Knapp, Pt. Pleasant Beach: asked how the same amount of revenue can be expected from Specials when their budget is being cut (Councilman Dyer: explained that he’s going to be looking at their seasonal expenditures); suggested, if veto on the decrease in hotel/motel tax is successful, that the money be given to the police.
Anne Lightburn, Pt. Pleasant Beach: echoed Mr. Knapp’s comments on hotel/motel tax – asked Council to reconsider – hasn’t spoken to one person who thinks it was a wise move on part of the Council; asked if Council has taken a decrease in remuneration (Councilman Cervino: suggested that last year; Mayor Barrella: had asked all employees to take 5% salary reduction – proposed that Council would do the same) - realizes they don’t make much money, but it would be a symbolic sharing of the pain; Open Space Committee sent memo to Council questioning ordinance establishing trust fund and use of the money – asked if using money for police is legitimate and allowable use of the funds (Atty. Riordan: state statute allows the expenditures – will look at the ordinance, which could be amended to conform to state statute) - it’s taxpayer money – Committee feels that using it for routine things, depletes it’s effectiveness – would be wiser to put the money against debt.
Mike Ramos, Pt. Pleasant Beach: thanked Mayor for vetoing hotel/motel tax decrease – asked Council to give it a second thought – speaking as a resident, but has been in the hotel/motel industry for 22 years – the tax has no effect on the business, the economy does – just giving back money that the town could use.

Councilman Cervino: asked for a motion to override the veto on the hotel/motel tax (Atty. Riordan: advised that it could be challenged since it was not specifically advertised for this meeting). Mayor Barrella: announced that Councilman Cervino’s request to override this veto will be on the May 25th agenda.

Motion by Councilwoman Tooker to adjourn, was seconded by Councilman Dyer and carried by consensus.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 P.M.


Transcribed by: Eileen Farrell, Deputy Clerk


Attest: Maryann Ellsworth, Municipal Clerk


Published December17, 2010 | Council Minutes | 1124


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