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December 2, 2008

COUNCIL MINUTES

The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach met at 6:31 PM with Mayor Barrella and Council Members Mercun, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon and DiCorcia present. Councilman Loughran was absent. The Municipal Clerk read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Christina Ranuro, White Sands Resort and Spa: addressed Governing Body on the state of the tourism industry – for the first time, hotel will close during the winter – spa will remain open and restaurant will be open on Saturday and Sunday – partially economy related, but find guests are also deciding to go elsewhere – tourism tax has also impacted business – would like to see hotel/motel tax used to market town and would like Council to allow transfer of liquor license to east property to enable service of guests there.

Joseph Bilotti: parking rates and motel tax are chasing the tourists away – Council making serious mistake buying Risden’s property – no money to be made there – when Windswept Motel put addition on they did not have enough parking and were granted variance, based on Risden’s allowing them to use that lot.

Department head memos and correspondence were discussed with items moved to agenda for action.

Motion by Councilman Mercun, to enter closed session to discuss (1) contractual and (3) litigation matters, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun …YEA

Closed session started at 7:09 P.M. and ended at 7:38 P.M.

Mayor Barrella called the regular meeting to order at 7:40 P.M. Present were Council Members Mercun, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon and DiCorcia. Councilman Loughran was absent. The Municipal Clerk again read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act. The Mayor asked that those present remember Kate Pearl in their prayers.

Ordinance 2008-55 (Multi-Purpose Bond) was considered on second reading. Mayor Barrella opened hearing to the public.
Nancy Skinner: asked how much Ordinance would increase Borough’s gross debt and if Borough would be within debt limits provided by law – need to do some belt tightening and shouldn’t be locking newly-elected officials into this debt – time to reconsider this rash and ill-conceived expenditure with current financial state – this type of deficient spending is how town got into this trouble – asked Council to reconsider due to cost to taxpayers.
Councilman Mercun: explained that the departments’ requests were pared down to what was absolutely necessary and gave several examples of items, which were cut.
Anthony Lombardo: Governor has been telling municipalities to tighten their belts for almost a year, but doesn’t see that happening – doesn’t want to pay any more taxes – Open Space has gotten out of hand – should be focused on Lake of the Lillies instead of Risden’s.
Kristen Hennessy, spoke as member of First Aid Squad, but not on behalf of the Squad: Squad is a volunteer organization that relies on fund raising to meet expenses – during these difficult financial times, both membership and donations are down – Squad is in desperate need of new ambulance – those who don’t agree with ordinance should consider what a paid rescue squad would cost, compared to $135,000 for a new ambulance – asked Governing Body to consider the value of this volunteer rescue organization before voting.
Jim Delancey, member of First Aid Squad: provided Squad statistics from October 2007 through October 2008 – have two rigs that are over their life expectancy – this ordinance would replace one.
Jay Reynolds: would like to see the ordinance amended to include only essentials – ambulance is essential, but pick-up truck and tractor are not.
Stewart Fischer: asked if Council knows if this bucket truck/tractor has already been identified with a VIN number, ready to be purchased.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to close public hearing and adopt Ordinance 2008-55, was seconded by Councilman DiCorcia and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker….YEA
Councilman Mercun….Abstain

Ordinance 2008-56 (Phase I Sewer Infrastructure Bond) was considered on second reading. Public hearing was opened, held, and closed with no member of the public wishing to be heard.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-56 was adopted on second reading.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun….YEA

Ordinance 2008-57 (Bicycles on Boardwalk) was considered on second reading. The public hearing was opened by Mayor Barrella.
Stewart Fischer: ask who would enforce this Ordinance and what the penalty would be.
John Szafranski: not a good ordinance – no lanes designated for bikes because area is only 16-feet wide.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, to close the public hearing and adopt Ordinance
2008-57, was seconded by Councilman Dixon and defeated by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Dixon, Tooker….YEA
Council Members DiCorcia*, Cervino**, Mercun***….NAY
*Councilman DiCorcia: would almost have to post a Police Officer there full time – asking too much of the Police Department as it is – Public Works is up there effecting repairs all year long – potential for further problems.
**Councilman Cervino: can see potential for haphazard actions by people who may be careless – could face a major situation.
***Councilman Mercun: bike speed can’t be regulated on the Boardwalk.

Ordinance 2008-58 (Resident Pass Use in Train Lot) was considered on second reading. The public hearing was opened by Mayor Barrella.
Dave Cavagnaro: asked Council to vote “No” or amend ordinance to include taxpayers as part of the definition of resident – taxpayers should be allowed to benefit.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman DiCorcia and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-58 was defeated on second reading.
VOTE: Council Members Tooker**, Mercun****….YEA
Council Members DiCorcia*, Dixon**, Cervino….NAY
*Councilman DiCorcia: opposed to taxing commuters – they pay a double tax.
**Councilman Dixon: need to give the non-resident taxpayers the same right as those who live in this town.
***Councilwoman Tooker: will hurt our full-time residents to pay.
****Councilman Mercun: taking a simplistic view – this is ministerial – non-resident taxpayers do need a voice, but that argument can be saved for another day and it is appropriate for it to be addressed by the incoming Council – need to develop a Borough-wide approach, in all of our areas, as to resident and non-resident taxpayers.

Ordinance 2008-59 (Amend Performance Bond Requirement for Road Openings on State Roads) was introduced on first reading.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-59 was approved on first reading. The public hearing will be held on December 16, 2008.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun….YEA

Ordinance 2008-60 (Amend Health Insurance Opt-Out) was introduced on first reading.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-60 was approved on first reading. The public hearing will be held on December 16, 2008.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun….YEA

Motion by Councilman DiCorcia, to defer vote on Ordinance 2008-53 (Regulations for Dogs on Maryland Ave Beach) until December 16, 2008, was seconded by Councilwoman Tooker and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Tooker, Mercun….YEA
Council Members Dixon, Cervino….NAY.

Ordinance 2008-61 (Create Handicap Space) was introduced on first reading. Motion by Councilwoman Tooker, seconded by Councilman DiCorcia and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-61 was approved on first reading. The public hearing will be held on December 16, 2008.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun….YEA

Ordinance 2008-62 (Establish Development Fees) was introduced on first reading. Attorney Gertner: recommended, due to third round COAH regulations, which permit municipalities to retain development fees if there are enabling ordinances – hearing set for next Planning Board meeting.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, seconded by Councilman Mercun and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2008-62 was approved on first reading. The public hearing will be held on December 16, 2008.
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun….YEA

Clerk Ellsworth added several items to Consent Resolution 2; no member of the public wished to ask questions or comment. Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman Cervino, resolutions covering the items listed below, were approved by the following roll call vote:
CONSENT RESOLUTION 1:
a) P O to Alarm Distributors for repairs ($3212.65)
b) P O to CDW-G for computer equipment ($4279.19)
c) P O to ICOP Digital for ICOP in car DVR system ($5368.42)
d) Payment to Robert Molnar for Police substation repairs through grant ($2600)
e) Payments to CMX from developer escrow and Board of Adjustment accts ($1784)
f) Approval of 2008/2009 Towing Contract
g) Payments to Galvin Law Firm from Board of Adjustment accts ($1422.50)
h) Salary adjustment for E Farrell for passage of certification course
i) Payment to Waterway for fire equipment testing ($3514.50)
j) Payment to Brick Utilities for October’s bulk water usage ($78,952.48)
k) Refund escrow balance ($394.75)
l) Correction to approval of Payroll #24 ($250,941.67)
m) Release Performance Bond – Broadway Beach Homes
n) Support S-1908 and A-2731 to expedite traffic sign approvals
o) Certify DOP List for appointment of Sal Farruggia as plumbing sub-code official
p) Refund escrow balances ($2334.62)
q) Transfer Bd of Adjustment account interest to PPB Collector Acct ($1608.23)
r) Payment to Horizon BCBS for employee health benefits ($137,764.64)
CONSENT RESOLUTION 2:
a) Transfer of funds between 2008 budget accounts
b) Change Order #1 to Lucas Const for Borden’s Lot project (-$933-96)
c) Progress Payment #3 to Lucas Const for Borden’s Lot project ($63,169.62)
d) Progress Payment #1 to C J Hesse for N Y Ave roadway and drainage improvements ($313,112.02)
e) Payment to Ahern Copy Center from Board of Adjustment escrow ($11.80)
f) Appointment of Seasonal Police Officers class II (10)
g) 3rd installment payment to PPB Parking Authority ($36,666.67)
h) Approval of computer generated vouchers ($485,127.84)
i) Support request for state legislature to hold hearings on the state of Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary
j) Reduction performance guarantee – Lucas Construction
k) P O to Parts Plus for gel cell batteries ($2604)
l) Establish Reorganization Meeting for January 1, 2009 at 1:00 pm
m) Appoint Mike Boccellar as Recreation Wrestling program coach at an annual stipend of $2,000
n) Approval of Bradshaw Beach request regarding ticket booth/shed
o) Authorization to change Rx insurance carriers – CLOSED SESSION ITEM
VOTE: Council Members DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Tooker, Mercun …YEA

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Councilman DiCorcia: no report

Councilman Dixon: reported on Building Department activities; great job by Police Department on terrible accident that happened on Thursday night – within less than a day they found out who did it and hopefully the young lady will have a full recovery.

Councilman Cervino: Beautification Committee will judge house lighting on December 14th – extended thanks to Point Pleasant Beach High School students and Art Department for the wonderful window art at downtown businesses – Beautification will have a spring garden tour and high tea – will host bus trip to Philadelphia Flower Show on March 8th; Chamber of Commerce moving forward with June Wine Tasting and Blues/Jazz Festival – complimented the Chamber on how wonderful the town looks at night; Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC) meets twice a month – last meeting was extremely productive – Council has received hand-outs from TAC with suggestions and recommendations– asked Council to consider the issue of the hotel/motel tax and try to make the field level – suggested Council consider requiring individuals to complete, when applying for mercantile license, a New Jersey application regarding their tourist activities – then they, too, would pay the same kind of fees that the motel/hotel businesses pay (Mayor: that is something that most likely will result in litigation – Council may have to do that at some point, but that should be a measured response) TAC is working on a shuttle transportation system, which would be environmentally friendly.

Councilwoman Tooker: thanked CRAB, students from Point Pleasant and Point Pleasant Beach High Schools, and Environmental Commission for dune grass planting – thanked Jersey Mike's for providing lunch; met with Jenkinsons, along with Councilman Mercun, regarding public meeting that was brought up a few months ago – will be meeting on a regular basis – was a very productive meeting – Jenkinson’s has an open door policy with residents – let us know if you have an issue and we will bring it up; reminded all that the Shade Tree Committee has a memorial tree program in effect – would make a good Christmas gift; met with Martell's and they are on board recycling – reminded all that recycling is a tax savings; 50/50 raffle, to be drawn next week, will benefit the Animal Welfare Committee – thanked Health Matters, a local business, for letting them put a display in store – have lots of kittens to adopt which also makes nice Christmas presents; Senior Advisory Committee had first bus trip to Red Bank for dinner and show – 16 residents have signed up for computer class, which will be run at no cost to tax payers; congratulated and recognized Kyle Leach as recipient of Chamber of Commerce’s “Youth of the Year” Award; in process of putting cell tower bids out; if Council increases costs of dog and cat licenses, it could offset the cost of the geese control lights – would like them to be in place for the spring – New York Avenue residents are very happy with the paving and construction company that did it.

Councilman Mercun: gave Councilman Loughran’s report, commending Police Officers, who worked on the November 26, 2008 hit and run accident – Detectives Robert Dikun, Pat Petruzziello and Clint Daniel worked around the clock over the Thanksgiving weekend in pursuit of this offender – special acknowledgement by the victim’s family for Detective Dikun’s efforts in working with their family and all the Police Officers for their representation of the Police Department – thanked Officers for their professionalism – commended First Aid Squad for their life saving, quick responses to this trauma accident – thanked all emergency responders involved; noted three issues that occupy his time: budget, ethics and Lake of the Lillies/Open Space; discussed correspondence from Open Space on RFP for architectural services for (Inlet) site restoration – Council needs to address whether its appropriate to charge a full 1% Open Space tax on the value of a person’s property – all agree on the need for Open Space and funding, but need to give consideration to the taxpayer – primary obligation is the lakes and that needs to be prioritized – Inlet sea wall needs work – that is something that needs to be done right away – concerned about getting into new projects without addressing the projects that presently exist; had Borough Administrator prepare a list of those bonds with outstanding balances – met with all department heads – requested that budgets be submitted by yesterday – there is an ethical obligation for department heads to be responsive to requests by elected officials – noted that it is a crime in the State of New Jersey to knowingly over expend budgeted funds – discussed centralized purchasing with Clerk Ellsworth – it’s a good idea and a way to save the town money – would like to implement a program, started in Union, where all department heads get together and discuss own problems and ethical issues on how they discharge their duties – economy is not turning around next year and tourism industry will get hit first – people won’t be traveling – will need to develop an incentive to get them here – need a budget that won’t burden the taxpayer – time to bite the bullet.

Mayor Barrella: appointed Sue Dietz to Beautification Committee; appointed Diana Bulkley as a replacement for Mary Lou Halvorsen on TAC; at last meeting, Mr. Fischer made a statement regarding a discussion between the Mayor and Dan Hennessy that took place at 7:40pm on election night – clarified that Mr. Fisher did see him that evening, but that he was not factually correct as to when and what time; spoke with Point Pleasant Council Members Susan Rogers and John Kaklamanis about a feasibility study on consolidating services such as Building and Police Departments – both Point Pleasant and Point Pleasant Beach have indicated desire to explore, given the fiscal situation; the issue of layoffs is an ugly spectre, but asking Finance Committee to come up with a contingency plan, where all Borough employees are affected, with no one being exempt from consideration, if the need arises to engage in layoffs – sometimes seniority has to matter and this, perhaps, is one of those cases – the option would be to raise taxes, which Councilman Mercun has indicated isn’t an option – unfortunately, it may be – will need to study the economic effects of layoffs, and how many, to make some sense – other option is to develop additional revenue streams, which Council will continue to explore; didn’t mean to indicate that it was a bad idea to extend hotel/motel tax to group/seasonal rentals – point was that taking unilateral action at this time is a bit premature; ordinance defeated this evening was a ministerial ordinance – not opposed to other solutions for an overall parking plan for the town; need some clean up in the code book to eliminate duplications/dead wood, and make it more streamlined.

Administrator Riehl: scheduled a walk through on Risden’s property in anticipation of the closing – both engineer and representatives of Green Acres will be there.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD OPENED AT 9:44 PM

Stewart Fischer: regarding spending, spoke about town newsletter and progression from having it put together by students to town paying for publication and mailing (Board of Education picked-up half of the cost – about $800), called it political propaganda at taxpayers’ expense; claimed town spent $68,500 for 15 employees to clean toilets at Boardwalk hospitality station and offered “gift” to the town by doing it for $30,000 (Jenkinsons operated Boardwalk restrooms this summer).
Mayor Barrella: asked Administrator Riehl to check into having meetings televised.
Dave Cavagnaro: special assessments for Boardwalk businesses were brought up by candidates as a potential revenue stream – asked about withholding additional services, such as additional Police at bars, instead; asked about whether town would be taking River Road over from County; asked for update on cuttings at Lake of the Lillies.
Anthony Lombardo: thanked Councilman Mercun for taking care of lakes; existing ordinances aren’t enforced enough; asked about the issuing of performance bonds; Open Space should be put back on the ballot at 1/4% or 1/2%.
John Szafranski: refered to notice from Board of Adjustment, regarding work to be done on the North Pavilion – asked about restrictions – they want to expand not improve it.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD ENDED AT 10:10 PM

Meeting was adjourned at 10:11 PM


Published February06, 2009 | Council Minutes | 736


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