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February 3, 2009

COUNCIL MINUTES

The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach met at 6:34 PM with Mayor Barrella and Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon and Rizzo present. The Municipal Clerk read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Borough Attorney reported he had met with Councilman Cervino to draft RFPs for former Risdens south parking lot – discussed whether should bid both concessions as one or separate; Mayor Barrella announced he would appoint a committee to review the trash situation.

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

Closed session started at 6:56 P.M. and ended at 7:25 P.M.

Mayor Barrella called the regular meeting to order at 7:35 P.M. Present were Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon and Rizzo. The Municipal Clerk again read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Motion by Councilman Cervino, seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote, minutes of the December 16, 2008 and January 1, 2009 Council meeting minutes were approved with the following amendments:
1. change vote on November 18, 2008 minutes to the following: Councilmen DiCorcia, Dixon, Cervino, Loughran….YEA, Council Members Tooker, Mercun.…ABSTAIN
2. amend Mayor’s statement dealing with bond ordinances by changing “will add to our opening surplus for next year “ to “can anticipate capital surplus in current fund budget.”
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Hennessy (1/1/09 minutes only), Tooker, Cervino,
Dixon, Rizzo (1/1/09 minutes only)…..YEA
Council Members Hennessy, Rizzo (12/16/08 minutes only)…..ABSTAIN

Superintendent of Public Works, John Trout:: “ The task of reducing the Public Works budget by 20% is truly one of the most difficult tasks I have been assigned in my short tenure as Superintendent of Public Works. This will not only affect the entire department, from the bottom up, but will affect the taxpayers, the business owners, and service organizations alike.
The only true way to achieve this insurmountable goal is by drastic reductions in service and elimination of department personnel. The first, and probably one of the most severe, would be the elimination of all weekend sanitation pick-ups: three (3) men for thirteen (13) weekends = $12,870.00, which in turn would require the complete changing of the weekday schedule and that alone is never an easy task. By not working the weekends it would mean literally tons of trash along the beach and boardwalk areas for the entire weekend until Monday pick-up. This amount of standing garbage is not only unsightly but creates many obvious health and safety issues. It will also require the elimination of summer weekend and summer holiday litter vacuuming: One (1) man for ten (10) weeks = $3,288.00, which will leave the entire boardwalk and also districts 3 and 4 a complete disaster, not to mention all the municipal properties. It also involves eliminating the weekend street sweeping: One (1) man for thirteen (13) weeks= $4,508.40, from May ‘til September through our downtown business district and along the entire beachfront areas, in addition to the municipal lots where people pay to park. Lastly, all of the holidays when recycling is picked up: Three (3) men for five (5) holidays= $5,940.00 also would be eliminated, resulting in what I think is only going to be less resident participation, which means more landfill costs and far less recycling revenue, especially during the holidays like; July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unfortunately, even after eliminating all of those services, most of which occur during the busiest tourists months, I have only cut a mere $26,604.40 from the budget.
The second form of cuts is elimination of personnel. Although the savings appear more immediate, the effects axe more far reaching then just eliminating services. The first place to start would be with our summer help which consists of five (5) men for sixteen (16) weeks totaling $33,600.00. This action would most certainly jeopardize the money the Borough receives from the state in the form of a Clean Communities Grant to assist with the paying of salaries. Next to go would be the three (3) full-time/seasonal employees. These men work eleven (11) months at $10.00 per hour or $17,600 a year, which equates to a savings of $52, 800.00 a year. In addition to all the duties these men perform, which are mirror images of our full time laborers, they also help cover the two and one half (2.5) men the department loses each nay strictly to the using of accumulated leave. This doesn’t include sick time or on the job injuries or last minute personal matters that happen in everyday life. The final cut would be the elimination of four (4) full time laborers positions, meaning a total of $261,832.00 eliminated from the budget. That brings the total jobs lost to twelve (12) in a department that never gets above 27 men. Although the four men would be hardest hit, it would necessitate the complete reassignment of men in the entire department. The first and most serious financial impact is going to come from the parking meter revenue. Right now the Public Works Department devotes one of its men on a full time basis to the collecting and more importantly repairing all of the Borough's parking machines and meters for eight (8) months a year. This means the machines could not be attended to until the end of a regular work day resulting in machines and meters sitting during the busiest time of the year either full or in need of repair or both for a majority of the day. With each of the 37 parking kiosks earning an average of $34,240.25 per machine per season, and an additional $242,141.05 from the 310 single space meters, this would be catastrophic. Aside from less revenue from the machines, the enforcement would be almost impossible if the machines are inoperable. The next type of reassignment would come in the form of our building maintenance worker and our recycling attendant respectively. These two positions would have to be eliminated so these men could be used for curbside garbage and or recycling pick-ups. This would mean the closing of our convenience center on Saturdays, resulting in the loss of even more recycling revenue. The street sweeper operator would most definitely need to be used for other things and since weekends may have already been eliminated the Borough's sixteen (16) mile of roads would rarely be swept
If after all of the cuts and reassignments the department was able to continue to at least pick up garbage and recycling (which may be futile at best depending on the season), all of the other duties would be almost non-existent. There would be no personnel to handle any of the landscaping duties on the approximately 13 acres of municipal property. Although the bulk of the line painting is done in the spring by a contractor, the painting of yellow curbs and handicapped parking stalls would suffer as well thereby impacting enforcement and parking ticket revenue would again fall. The salting and plowing during a snowstorm would also be severely hampered depending on time of day and conditions. Now that sign making is done by Borough staff instead of outside vendors, that service may also fall into a non-essential category. All of the working relationships the department has established with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, the Beautification Committee, the Shade Tree Commission and countless other volunteer organizations, would have to be severed. All of the requests received from other departments, like the police or code enforcement, would have to be prioritized and may not be able to be answered. Lastly, any directions from the governing body or administration would have to have the same triage approach as explained above.
This study has a 20% reduction equating to approximately $375, 000. 1 strongly urge you to reconsider any reduction in force. It should be obvious that the service the taxpayers and volunteer organizations have come to expect will be reduced to nearly invisible. It is with great pride that my department has served this municipality for many of the same reasons you, as a governing body, do; we care about Point Pleasant Beach. We have never shorted you with our dedication, and it is my fervent hope you will not shorten our staffs abilities to continue the family environment our towns reputation has come to enjoy.”
Police Chief, Daniel DePolo: “As per your request, I have documented my opinions as to how the Police Department and community would be impacted by a severe budget reduction. In formulating this document, I was posed with the scenario as to how the Police Department and Public Works would be affected by a theoretical 1.2 million dollar budget reduction. I met with Superintendent of Public Works John Trout and it was agreed that his department would absorb $400,000 of the reduction, while the Police Department would absorb $800,000 in theoretical reduction. The split was based merely on the size of each department’s budgets and had no bearing on importance of either department.
Plan
The following Police Department staff & equipment would be reduced:
1) Four (4) Full-Time Regular Police Officers $229,000
2) All Special Police Officers $405,000
3) All Parking Enforcement Officers $ 43,000
4) One (1) Data Entry Employee $ 49,000
5) Radio Repair Technician $ 17,000
6) One (1) Police Vehicle $ 38,500
$781,500
Impact/Personnel
With implementation of the budget reductions as outlined, the Police Department would now have only twenty-one (21) full time police officers. Three (3) officers would be laid off and the proposed twenty-fifth (25th) officer would not be hired. Our Detective Bureau and Bicycle Patrol Unit would be disbanded and all officers would be assigned to patrol.
As per state and applicable case law, when a full-time officer is laid off, no Special Officers can be utilized. All Special Officers would be laid off.
Parking Enforcement Officers would all be cut from the budget as my priority would be the safety of the community as opposed to revenue.
A full-time data entry person would be eliminated. This reduction would slow down our records process, hinder the prosecution of cases, and make for lengthy waiting periods for people trying to obtain police reports.
Our radio repair technician would be eliminated. Radio repair would be outsourced which would cause delays in repairs and the significant increase in costs. Security projects involving any aspect of the municipality would be suspended.
Impact/Safety
The safety of the community would be greatly affected by this reduction of staff. We currently pride ourselves as being the “family town”. Residents feel that this is a safe community to raise their families. Visitors feel comfortable bringing their families to our community, whether it is on our boardwalk or downtown area. The Police Department’s role as a proactive, zero tolerance type organization, in which quality of life issues are aggressively enforced, would be reduced to a reactive agency. Officers working with a maximum of four (4) officers per squad would be policing a population of 50,000 plus people on busy weekends. Officers would only be answering prioritized emergency calls such as motor vehicle accidents, first aid calls, assaults, and domestic violence, and those type calls would likely be backlogged on busy summer shifts. Residents reporting incidents such as noise complaints, urinating in public, parking or traffic type complaints, may not get a police response. Subjects wanting to report thefts, criminal mischief and non emergency calls may have to wait for extended periods of time to get a police response. All officers would be assigned to patrol functions in vehicles and no officers would be on foot patrol on the boardwalk or in the residential areas. No officers will be working in an investigative or community policing capacity. Crimes that are typically solved through the use of investigators will remain open. Crime prevention through community policing will become extinct. People would be hurt as the chances of deterring or even intervening in a disturbance would be greatly reduced. Officers will be hurt as there will not be enough officers working to adequately back each other up or quell large type disturbances. Where it is now virtually non-existent, the liability exposure of the municipality for a variety of civil claims would soar to astronomical levels.
Impact/Financial
With only twenty-one (21) officers policing the entire community, there would be little or no enforcement of quality life issues such urinating in public, drinking in public, noise complaints, parking and traffic related issues, particularly during the summer months. Officers would be responding to and handling calls for service and would not have time to self initiate and enforce these types of violations. I would estimate the borough would lose $800,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 in court revenue. It is difficult to quantify what impact the lack of adequate police personnel would have on the boardwalk area businesses and other merchants, though it would obviously be detrimental if people felt less safe visiting our community.
Police overtime would increase greatly, though it is very difficult to quantify how high that number could be. Officers would be more prone to being injured while working because of not being backed up adequately, which would decrease our staffing levels even more.
Special Events
Without adequate manpower, I would request that all large “Special Events” be cancelled. This would include:
1) All Fireworks Displays
2) NJ Off-Shore Powerboat Race/Parade (Sept)
3) Seafood Festival (Sept)
4) Tube Race/Parade (Sept)
5) Autism Walk (Sept)
6) American Heart Association Walk (Oct)
7) Breast Cancer Walk (Oct)
All other special events would have to be examined, on a case by case basis, to see if they could be safely handled by the available manpower.
Alcohol Sales
In order to better protect our residents and visitors, I would recommend that the governing body take some special action to limit alcohol sales. This may include establishing earlier closing times of retail alcohol establishments or possibly prohibiting all retail sales of alcohol while we are in this reduced level of manpower. This would obviously have a catastrophic impact on those businesses, but this aggressive measure would help reduce our calls for service and reduce disorderly behavior.
The Manasquan Experience/1989
The best way of predicting behavior and events is to examine what has happened in the past. In 1989, a similar community to ours, the Borough of Manasquan, was going through a financial crisis. A decision was made to lay off four (4) of their twenty (20) officer police department. As per state law, all of their special officers were also laid off. Current Manasquan Police Chief Dan Scimeca reported it was the ‘summer from hell’. Word was spread throughout the internet, “There are no rent-a-cops in Manasquan, go party there!” Young people purposely came into town on learning that there was a diminished police presence in the community. Disorderly conduct increased dramatically. Over the course of the summer, three (3) police officers were severely hurt while quelling disturbances. The Chief relayed during one busy weekend shift, he was the only police officer responding to calls as the rest of the shift was being treated for injuries at the hospital. As the phone continued to ring for police services, and with two (2) prisoners in custody, the dispatcher was advised to inform citizens requesting the police, “I don’t know when we will get there”. Council meetings were stormed by residents complaining about the number of disturbances and crimes in the borough. The Chief reports that it took years for the borough to recover from that summer. Three (3) of the four (4) officers that were offered their job back the following year declined to return to the borough.
I have attached for your review, news articles from the Asbury Park Press which documented these events in Manasquan, which even continued well after the summer was over.
Conclusion
I am hopeful that the Police Department will never be subjected to a severe staffing reduction. As Police Chief, my primary objective is the safety and security of our residents and visitors. Any staffing reduction would have a negative impact on the safety of our community and the quality of our lives. A reduction of any staffing, whether it is twenty percent (20%) or five percent (5%), would severely compromise the Police Department’s ability to deliver the effective services we have all been accustomed to. It is paradoxal that we would potentially lose possibly $1,000,000.00 to save $800,000.00. What cannot be quantified though is losing the reputation of the ‘family town’ that people love to live and visit. Would we ever be able to recover from that?”
Mayor Barrella: thanked Police Chief and Public Works Superintendent for performance of difficult task – for informational purposes to show what the magnitude of changes would be and affect they would have; Councilman Mercun asked for copies of their reports.

Motion by Councilman Dixon, to appoint Councilman Cervino as Council President, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Cervino, Dixon, Rizzo….YEA
Councilman Members Hennessy, Tooker….ABSTAIN

Ordinance 2009-02 (Amend 2008-21 establishing electrical fees) 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 Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote, Ordinance 2009-02 was adopted on second reading.
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon, Rizzo.….YEA

Ordinance 2009-03 (Establish meter operation to begin March 1/Add Parking Machines in New Jersey/Ocean Avenue Lot) was introduced on first reading.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, to approve Ordinance 2009-03 on first reading, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote. The public hearing will be held on February 17, 2009.
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon.….YEA
Councilman Rizzo…..ABSTAIN

Ordinance 2009-04 (New Jersey/Ocean Avenue Parking Lot) was introduced on first reading. Attorney Gertner announced that the audience had received the draft copy of the ordinance – on that copy, in section 2, the paragraph starting with "10-2.1(b) The use of" should be stricken.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, to approve Ordinance 2009-04 on first reading, was seconded by Councilman Tooker and carried by the following roll call vote. The public hearing will be held on February 17, 2009.
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Cervino, Dixon, Rizzo….YEA
Councilman Rizzo…..ABSTAIN

Councilman Cervino asked Council to consider reducing the Open Space tax.

Clerk Ellsworth added several items to Consent Resolution. Vince Castin: asked about Consent Resolution 1, item cc – cost of energy audit; Councilman Cervino: asked Council to consider a call for employees to make suggestions about how to save energy, rather than incur the cost of the audit.
Motion by Councilman Mercun, seconded by Councilman Hennessy, resolutions covering the items listed below, were approved by the following roll call vote:
CONSENT RESOLUTION 1:
a) Memorialize approval of resolution to transfer funds between 2008 budget accounts dated 12/16/08
b) Refund unexpended balance of Board of Adjustment escrow acct ($1930.50)
c) Payment to Horizon BCBS for employee health benefits ($65,923.27)
d) Payments to CMX from escrow accts ($1242.50)
e) Reimburse college tuition and fees @PBA contract ($3204.37)
f) Payment to Selective for flood insurance ($2353)
g) Scheduled payment to PPB Board of Education ($774,463)
h) Payments to Edmunds & Associates for finance office software maintenance ($9719)
i) Change Order #3 to F & P Contractors for downtown revitalization (-67,386.21)
j) Payment of 1st Quarter Tax allocation to Ocean County ($1,803,165.83)
k) Approval of Schedule C Agreement with County of Ocean
l) Payments to All Hands Fire Equipment for fire equipment ($4825.96)
m) Approval of Payroll #3 ($225,949.11)
n) Approval of Project Graduation spring town-wide garage sale on 5/30/09
o) Payment to CDW-G for Panasonic toughbook ($4279.19)
p) Payment to Spiezle Group for Shared Services Grant prep ($6000)
q) Payments to CMX from Board of Adjustment escrow accts ($1216)
r) Proclaim March as Women’s History Month
s) Transfer of funds between 2008 Budget Accounts
t) Payment to Ocean County for added and omitted assessments ($29,392.08)
u) Approval of January hand checks ($1,613,559.95)
v) Payment to Pedroni Fuel for diesel fuel and gasoline ($15,027.37)
w) Payment to Plainfield Consultation Ctr for recruit evaluations ($2065)
x) P O to Woszczak for water main repair ($4950)
y) Progress payment #1 to Wallace Contracting for basement shoring at Borough Hall ($22,500)
z) Payments of computer generated vouchers ($2,130,533.54)
aa) Authorization to apply for PARIS grant for document imaging and software
bb) Approval of snack machine in vestibule at Borough Hall
cc) Authorization to prepare/submit Energy Audit grant application
CONSENT RESOLUTION 2:
a) Correction to 12/2/08 Minutes to reflect deferral of vote on Ordinance 2008-53
b) Rescind approval of P O to APC for UPS 8000VA ($4160) and approve P O to CDW-G for UPS 8000VA ($3782.53)
c) Progress Payment #2 to Earle Asphalt for roadway improvements to Water St and Sanborn Ave
($37,765.71)
d) P O to Motorola for XTS1500s for fire dept ($14,328)
e) Payment to NJ DOT for utility opening permits ($350)
f) Payment to CMX from Board of Adjustment escrow ($1199)
g) Appt of Tom Spader to the Board of Adjustment effective 2/5/09
h) Approval of Code Book updates with change recommendations
i) Approval of Little League S/E application for Opening Day Parade with waiver of
fees
j) Authorize Borough Attorney to amend grease trap ordinance – CLOSED SESSION ITEM
VOTE: Council Members Mercun, Hennessy, Tooker, Dixon…..YEA
Council Members Cervino, Rizzo…..NAY

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

Councilman Mercun: finished first draft of Code of Conduct for public officials and employees – asked all to review and provide, individually, comments or suggestions; will meet Thursday with Point Pleasant Finance Committee to discuss potential resolution of common problems; listened to very dire predictions from Public Works and Police Department – certain all other departments would show how 20% cuts would affect efficiency and almost negate their existences – reality is, we are not in a fortunate economic situation – union employees are all getting raises this year – many of the people that are paying their salaries are losing their jobs – those who are getting laid off or taking a cut in pay can’t afford for this Council to raise their taxes – asked Council members to take voluntary salary cuts of 10% to 20% – personally willing to take 20% cut – need to make a statement that we are serious about this – don’t want to layoff anyone – don’t want to see any department working under a yoke – need to engage in discussions on how to improve services, maximize what we have and minimize adverse effects – Howell is experimenting with furloughs – any reduction in public service is going to start out as an inconvenience and rise rapidly, maybe to a public danger – not looking to get re-elected or become politically popular by keeping tax rates down – also, don’t want to see the tax paying resident or public employees hurt – either a line will be drawn in the sand or a bridge that we cross together – will be hoping for the latter.

Councilman Hennessy: Recreation Committee advertising for Director of Park Program within next two weeks – thanked Bill Cleary for donating time and money to paint shed at Pleasure Park – Senior Computer Class will be held on March 4th – thanked Karen Mills for her efforts with class and thanked her for working through dog licensing on inoculations;. Safety Council meeting was canceled this month, will contact Sergeant Otto about rescheduling in February; suggested lowering of speed limits in town and looking into four-way stops; thanked Mr. Ravally and Mr. Savage for school budget meeting – good to see 15-20 residents in attendance; Republican Club will host them at 6PM on February 26th; there’s trash all over the place at southern end of town coming over train tracks on Route 35 – asked Administrator to contact NJ Transit to clean up this eyesore.

Councilwoman Tooker: Fire Department responded to 33calls in January; perused Councilman Mercun’s Code of Conduct draft and liked what was there; thanked Chief DePolo and Public Works Superintendent Trout for their reports – to cut enough out of the budget to balance it is just not possible – would be tragic – when Council tries to raise revenue, public needs to have an open mind.

Councilman Cervino: thanked Chief DePolo and DPW Superintendent Trout for report – difficult to do and decisions Council will have to make will be difficult as well; Open Space is considering a rendition of a drawing for the Inlet pavilion, discussing possibility of contest involving High School students; concerned that hole in sea wall could cause major problems if town experiences a nor’easter – have calls into individuals who are reaching out to Representative Smith’s office – working to get this addressed – Army Corps of Engineers need to pick up the ball – thanked Mr. Gagnon and other Open Space Committee members for their efforts; thanked Beautification Committee for taking down holiday decorations during extremely cold weather – congratulated Sherlock family who won the Christmas Lighting contest – Garden tour is still scheduled for July 11th – plans still in the works for bus trip to Philadelphia Garden Show – Beautification Committee appreciates all the Borough does – Committee may have trip to taping of Martha Stewart show; reported that Building Department had revenues of $84,432 for month of January; asked Council to consider finding someone (shared service) who can be called to respond to weekend emergencies.

Councilman Dixon: thanked Chief DePolo and DPW Superintendent Trout for their reports, took time to do – enlightens Council and public; asked about negotiation with NJ Transit for possession of western train lot, section along Rte.35 – Council had no objections to reopening negotiations; passing of bicycle ordinance initially seemed to clear up problem at the train station, but now seems to be getting worse.

Councilman Rizzo: noted dedication of members and great job performed by Animal Welfare Committee; although was not initially in favor of Open Space, hopes that former Risden’s property raises a substantial amount of money to recoup expenses; Board of Education meeting was very informative – a lot of questions raised – Superintendent Ravally works full time here and part time in Bay Head – suggested, in order to cut costs, Council should look at a part-time Superintendent (purview of Board of Education – not under Council’s authority); thanked Chief DePolo and DPW Superintendent Trout for their reports; regarding Public Works, asked about emergencies in last two years – in reference to saving money, employees shouldn’t take vehicles home – asked about employees who punch in at 6 o’clock and leave at 9 o’clock or 10 o’clock and are paid for the full eight hours.

Mayor Barrella: re-appointed John Hurler to Tourism Advisory Committee; established committee to address trash services, appointing Councilman Mercun and Councilwoman Tooker and asking Guy Dempsey, Ben Dispoto, Anthony Lombardo, John Hurler, and Patrick English to serve – asked that a representative be assigned from Chamber of Commerce (if Mr.English isn’t available), Jenkinsons, Public Works and the Police Department; Borough Engineer expects to have a dredging plan for Lake of the Lillies in hand by next council meeting – Lake Louise was already approved with Birdsall appointed to proceed; asked Administrator to talk to State DOT about possibly taking over Rickover Park; asked for Councils input about scheduling of meeting’s caucus, regular and executive sessions for the most productive use of time.
Councilman Mercun: most efficient scheduling of our time is to follow the procedure currently employed - if Council conducts executive session after the public session, can guarantee no one will be here afterwards and Council may be voting on something the public is entitled to hear - no one on this Council intends to be disrespectful to any citizen, public servant or employee, but Council is in closed session trying to do its job - will not be forced to rush through serious decisions affecting people’s lives, contract negotiations or litigation because somebody may have to wait out here fifteen minutes - asked Council to consider, in an effort to expedite, if administrator and/or clerk could give Council a heads up on issues to be addressed in closed session –no intention to offend anyone, but will not compromise his duty to this town.
Mayor Barrella: Saturday night benefit for Caitlin Pirl demonstrated what Point Pleasant Beach is all about - young girl is still in a coma and still in need of our prayers; thanked Chief DePolo and Mr. Trout - tough task to accomplish in two weeks and job is greatly appreciated; going to be a lot great deal of sacrifice needed in town from Governing Body, employees, residents, business interests and also those people, from outside of this town that are largely responsible for size of our Police and Public Works Departments – distinct differences between the summers and winters in Point Pleasant Beach – need to work together and focus on shrinking the size of government and growing town’s revenues in order to get through this (financial crisis) in an orderly fashion without doing damage to Point Pleasant Beach.
Councilman Cervino: echoed comments regarding salaries, agreeing that Council should seriously consider salary reduction - encouraged all to support Mayor’s ideas with respect to revenue - other alternative is not pleasant; reminded all to contact their flood insurance companies for reduction as town was approved for CRS rating which equated to 5% reduction in resident’s flood insurance bills.
Administrator Riehl: have dive team video, regarding Inlet sea wall integrity –obtaining price quotes to fix it, as it needs to be repaired – then, will actively seek redress from Army Corps of Engineers; spoke with Freeholder Lacey regarding River Avenue – would be helpful if Council could name another street to swap or trade; reminded all about newsletter articles.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD OPENED AT 8:55 P.M.

Stewart Fisher: spoke about union contracts, requirement for union personnel to use time clocks, nepotism and disciplinary procedures.
John Szafranski: thanked Chief DePolo and DPW Superintendent Trout for reports, which shed more light on town problems – doesn’t want his taxes to support tourism.
Dave Cavagnaro: congratulated Councilman Cervino on election as Council President; thanked Councilman Hennessy for getting information to him about re- assessments – spoke about revaluations – much less expense than reassessments and may benefit the town more in the long run; thanked Administrator Riehl for information on River Avenue; arborist will be at February 8th meeting at Masonic Lodge, 8PM; asked about the geese situation and the lights.
Anthony Lombardo: thanked Chief DePolo and DPW Superintendent Trout for reports; spoke about unions, people being laid off, deferring of payments to pension funds and budget concerns – suggested town’s professionals take a 20% pay cut.
Kristin Hennessy: asked for clarification of taking over Rickover Park; spoke about garbage on railroad tracks by Ark Restaurant – expressed concern about waiting for NJ Transit to clean up and inquired about other options.
Vince Castin, 15 Trenton Avenue: asked about snow removal when homeowners aren’t here and what can be done about it.
Marilyn Burke: critical that Mayor and Council look over budget.
Craig Jones: asked about RFP’s.
Ben Dispoto: attended Board of Education Meeting and asked about regionalization – didn’t want to hear it – cost per student is too high.

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION PERIOD ENDED AT 9:37 P.M.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:38 P.M.

Transcribed By: Scarlett Johnson
Attest: Maryann Ellsworth, Municipal Clerk


Published February24, 2009 | Council Minutes | 749


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