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January 1, 2010


The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Point Pleasant Beach met at 1:05 PM. with Mayor Barrella; Council Members Cervino, Hennessy, and Rizzo; and Councilmen-Elect Dyer and Lurie present. Councilwoman Tooker was absent. The Municipal Clerk read the notice indicating compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

Father Curt Kreml of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church delivered the Invocation.

Municipal Clerk Ellsworth administered the Oath of Office to Councilmen-Elect Jeffrey Dyer and Tim Lurie.

Municipal Clerk Ellsworth administered the Oath of Office to Fire Chief Michael Brodeur, Assistant Fire Chief Mark Drew and Deputy Fire Chiefs William Leonard and Frank Finn.

Mayor Barrella: thanked Messrs Brodeur, Drew, Leonard and Finn for their service to the community and thanked former Chief Storino for his professionalism and efforts on behalf of Point Pleasant Beach.

Councilman Dyer: thanked his wife and family for their support, those who voted for him and the Republican Club for nominating him - represent all the residents and will work hard for them - significant challenges facing country, state, municipalities and our town too - need to work together to move this town forward – Point Pleasant Beach used to be the envy of many towns around us - in last couple of years, it has become divisive – Father Kreml’s prayer said it all - can disagree at times but it shouldn’t become personal - need to respect each other and each others opinions – we’re all neighbors and need to work together with the best interests of the town at heart - so many volunteers that work on various committees and are passionate about this town - will work hard to put the pleasant back in Point Pleasant Beach.
Councilman Lurie: thanked family and others in attendance for coming – been elected 3 times and appreciate the opportunity to serve on Council - hope to bring common sense and civility to this Council - been working on revamping RFP process for professionals by capping fees with savings between 5% and 15% - need to leave politics at door, work together to solve the problems of Point Pleasant Beach, and come up with the best solutions for the benefit of this town; should have Council consent to authorize the attorney to draft ordinances because it is expensive – asked Councilman Cervino to work with him.
Councilman Cervino: thanked Council for opportunity to serve as Council President – was an enjoyable experience.
Councilman Rizzo: welcomed all - should all be working together regardless of party affiliations.
Councilman Hennessy: look forward to working with Councilmen Dyer and Lurie on Finance Committee, and with entire Council on making this town a better and more affordable place to live and visit.

Motion by Councilman Hennessy, to appoint Councilman Cervino as Council President, was seconded by Councilman Rizzo and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA
Motion by Councilman Hennessy, to appoint Councilwoman Tooker as Class II Planning Board member, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote:
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

Two versions of agreement with Point Pleasant (Boro), referenced in CONSENT RESOLUTION 1, to use Point Pleasant Beach (Beach) facilities were considered – Version 1 was amended by Mayor Barrella to include charges for use of facilities - Version 2 was drafted by the Boro, with input from the Beach attorney, and does not include charges for facility use.
Dave Cavagnaro: asked for duration of agreement and what facilities were affected – asked that agreement be made effective for one month so public can hear details and comment.
Boro Councilwoman Rogers: appreciate opportunity to come before you – thanked Beach for the consideration as Boro will be displaced on January 4th for its court services and jail – this is the ground level to procure and move forward on shared services – thanked Messrs Mercun and Hennessy who were in on the ground level along with Mayor Barrella - have two pending grant applications with the DCA to move forward with consolidation feasibility studies of construction, sub-code, court and police services - Boro would reciprocate should Beach ever be in same circumstance.
Mayor Barrella: definitely in favor of shared services - willing to work with the Boro to accomplish that – not a question of facility availability - just an issue of whether or not there should be an agreed upon rental payment – not a shared services agreement but rather an inter-local rental agreement - appreciate offer of reciprocity, but a current Council cannot bind a future Council.
Stewart Fischer, Harvard Avenue: our construction official works here and in the Boro – compared salaries in both locales - agree they should be using our services but should equalize the fairness through equity in sharing salary - Beach has been getting the short end of the stick from the Boro - don't do this agreement.
Motion by Councilman Dyer, to close public discussion, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to approve Version 1 of agreement for use of Beach facilities, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy (See vote defeating motion listed below).
Mayor Barrella: troubled that agreement, without facility use charges, was approved at the 12/15 meeting of the Boro Council during simultaneous Shared Services presentation, but not un-veiled at the Beach that evening.
Motion by Councilman Lurie, to amend agreement to be effective for duration of 30 days – questioned costs from our Attorney and would like to see them reimbursed. Motion died for lack of second.
VOTE (to approved Version 1): Councilman Lurie….YEA
Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Rizzo….NAY
Motion by Councilman Cervino, to approve Version 2 of agreement for facility use with the use of the word Inter-local instead of Shared Service, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Rizzo….YEA
Councilman Lurie….NAY

Item ‘d’ of consent resolution below was held for separate consideration and item ‘o’ was changed to establish one new meeting date only.
Motion by Councilman Cervino, seconded by Councilman Hennessy, resolutions covering the items listed below, were approved by the following roll call vote:
a) Approval of Temporary Budget for 2010
b) Establishment of Interest to be charged on delinquent taxes and water-sewer utility bills
c) Establishment of 6% penalty for Tax Delinquencies over $10,000.00
d) Establishment meeting date on 1/19/10
e) Authorize Council to administer ABC licenses & enforce state statutes
f) Appointment of Tax Assessor to act as agent on Tax Appeals and Execute Settlements
g) Designation of newspapers to be used for legal ads during 2010
h) Designation of depositories for municipal funds during 2010
i) Establish 2010 salaries for certain Borough employees in accordance with union agreements
k) Appointment of Christine Riehl as Tax Search Officer & Maryann Ellsworth as Assessment Search Officer for 2010
l) Appointment of Kathryn Beno as Deputy Finance Officer for 2010
m) Appointment of Eileen Farrell as Deputy Municipal Clerk for 2010
n) Approval of Application for Safe & Secure Communities Program for 2010 and appointment of Lt. DiCorcia as grant coordinator
o) Appointment of Councilman Lurie as Liaison to the Chamber of Commerce (VOTED ON SEPARATELY)
p) Appointment of Councilmen Hennessy & Rizzo as Liaisons to the Board of Education
q) Appointment of Eileen Farrell and Karen Mills as Deputy Registrars for 2010
r) Appointment of Guy Dempsey as Deputy Emergency Mgt Coordinator for 2010
s) Appointment of Kyle Grace as Deputy Emergency Mgt Coordinator for Operations for 2010
t) Appointment of Municipal Representative (Christine Riehl) and Alternate (Raymond Savacool) to Ocean County Community Development Block Grant Committee for 2010
u) Appointment of Christine Riehl as Public Agency Compliance Officer for 2010
v) Authorization for Mayor and CFO to act as signatories on Borough accounts
w) Appointment of School Crossing Guards, Police Matrons, Parking Enforcement Officers and part-time Communications Operators for 2010
x) Appointment of Class I and Class II Special Police Officers for 2010
y) Approval of revised Holiday schedule
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

Appointment of Liaison to the Chamber of Commerce was considered. After Council discussion, motion by Councilman Cervino, to appoint Councilmen Dyer and Lurie as liaisons to the Chamber of Commerce, was carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

Item ‘a’ of consent resolution below was held for consideration, with reduced fees, at January 5th Council meeting. Motion by Councilman Dyer, seconded by Councilman Cervino, resolutions covering the items listed below, were approved by the following roll call vote:
a) HELD (Set fees for special DWI sessions)
b) Re-establishment of Petty Cash Funds for 2010
c) Designation of CFO to act as Governing Body Secretary during Budget Workshop sessions
d) Establish $10 late fee for late payment of dog license fees
e) Establish annual Halloween curfew
f) Approval of exemption from municipal portion of dog/cat license fees for volunteer fire/first aid personnel
g) Approval of exemption for one bulk pick-up fee per annum for volunteer
fire/first aid personnel
h) Set mileage reimbursement rate for 2010
i) Program Payment of annual lease fee to State of NJ for Rickover Park and open space at junction of Routes 35 and 88
j) Set clerk stipend for special Board of Adjustment meetings
k) Appointment of Christine Riehl as PERMA Fund Commissioner
l) Appointment of Christine Riehl as Insurance Fund Commissioner and Maryann Ellsworth as Insurance Fund Personnel Administrator
m) Appointment of Maryann Ellsworth as NJ DOP Systems Administrator
n) Appointment of Karen Mills as Board of Health Officer
o) Appointment of John Trout as Principal Public Works Manager
p) Re-establish OPRA administrative fees for 2010
q) Re-establish property tax exemption policy for disabled veterans
r) Designate Fire Chief to sign documents and act as liaison for Firefighter Certification
s) Re-establish Condo Conversion Fee Schedule for 2010
t) Re-authorization for CFO to issue hand written checks prior to Governing Body approval
u) Appointment of Karen Mills as Dog Warden for 2010
v) Transfer of Sandra Petersen to the position of Water/Sewer account clerk
w) Appointment of Scarlett Johnson to the position of part/time payroll clerk
x) Re-establish Parking Machine Refund Policy
y) Appt. of Susan Burch to fill-in as Deputy Court Administrator
z) Designation of records custodians for each department
aa) Appointment of Peter Ritchings as Dune Inspector
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

List of Standing Committees for 2010 (CONSENT RESOLUTION #4) was considered. Mayor Barrella explained list was his nominations and suggestions as required of him by Borough Ordinance – explained his rationale for appointments and that all committees were a mix of democrats and republicans.
Motion by Councilman Hennessy, to approved Mayor’s nominations for Standing Committees for 2010, was seconded by Councilman Dyer and defeated by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Rizzo….NAY
Councilman Lurie….Abstain
Councilman Cervino presented alternate list of Standing Committees for 2010.
Motion by Councilman Hennessy, to approve alternate list of Standing Committees for 2010, was seconded by Councilman Cervino and carried by the following roll call vote..
Mayor Barrella objected to nomination of Building Department Committee chair – entirely inappropriate to place ex-employee of that department, with vendetta against it, as Committee chair.
VOTE: Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

Motion by Councilman Hennessy, seconded by Councilman Cervino, resolutions covering the items listed below, were approved by the following roll call vote:
a) Appointments to Environmental Commission/Council Liaison Kristine Tooker
b) Appointment to Shade Tree Advisory Committee/Council Liaison Sean Hennessy
c) Appointment to Community Endowment Fund
VOTE: Council Members Cervino*, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA
*Councilman Cervino: questioned appropriateness of appointing Councilman Hennessy as liaison to Committee on which his mother served (Mayor Barrella: did not foresee a problem)

Motion by Councilman Dyer, to table all Mayoral appointments until legality of how those appointments are made can be reviewed, was seconded by Councilman Hennessy and carried by the following roll call vote.
VOTE: Council Members Council Members Cervino, Dyer, Hennessy, Lurie, Rizzo….YEA

Mayor Barrella: “I want to thank everyone for coming and extend my best wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year. I want to congratulate Councilmen Lurie and Dyer and welcome them both back to the Council.
At last year’s reorganization meeting, I indicated we had reached an agreement with DEP that would allow for dredging of Lake Louise and that we had begun to develop a dredge plan for Lake of the Lilies.
I am proud to report today that Lake Louise is in the process of being dredged and that work should be completed by mid-January. Thus, the curtain is about to close on what has been a nearly 15-year saga. In speaking with Freeholder Lacey, I was able to get the County to agree to contribute $100,000 to this project and much of the cost of this project is being funded through cancellation of bonds that occurred at the end of the 2008 year.
With respect to Lake of the Lilies, the dredge plan that was being worked on a year ago was finalized and after numerous phone calls by myself to the Governor’s Chief of Staff and DEP Commissioner Mark Mauriello and members of their respective staffs, we were able to coordinate the timing of our dredge permit with the award of favorable EIT funding.
Some had suggested that we wait until litigation, with the County and the State regarding their share of the costs associated with the project, was resolved before moving forward. Upon the advice of our Borough Engineer I pushed the Council for approval now rather than later feeling that the current economic crisis gave us a tremendous opportunity to accomplish the project for substantially less than the budgeted, 2.7 to 3.5 million dollars for the two options.
I am pleased to report that bids were opened yesterday and that the low bid recommended for acceptance by our Borough Engineer is slightly under 1.5 million dollars. That bid will be submitted to the Council for approval next Tuesday and it is anticipated that work will begin on the Lake of the Lillies dredge project on or about February 1st. The financial news with respect to this project is actually better than that.
Through the hard work of Borough Attorney, Sean Gertner, who negotiated a settlement of our litigation with Ocean County, the County has agreed to contribute approximately 20% towards the cost of the project up to a maximum of $250,000. I am certain that everyone joins with me in extending our thanks to Mr. Gertner for his efforts on behalf of Point Pleasant Beach; we truly owe him a debt of gratitude. Following these efforts, Councilman Hennessy spoke with Freeholder Kelly who agreed to increase the County’s maximum contribution. Based upon our current bid we are going to be getting an additional $50,000 from the County. I want to take this opportunity to thank Freeholder Kelly and Councilman Hennessy.
Last year, at the reorganization meeting, I quoted Councilman Mercun who in his remarks following his swearing in indicated that being a member of the Governing Body ‘is just about doing the right thing.’ I have been consistently guided by that principle in advancing ideas that I campaigned on. Political expediency has never been a guiding principle that I have embraced.
Consequently, in an effort to fulfill my campaign promise to come up with a plan to generate additional revenue from parking, I did not attempt the members of the bipartisan committee appointed in the Spring of 2008 from putting forth their proposed plan this year even though I knew that there were those out there who would use that as a catalyst to advance their own personal agenda.
The Committee’s plan was presented to the Governing Body in February. After a number of meetings where public comment was heard, the Governing Body determined that the Committee’s plan, or a variation of it, should not be advanced. That these efforts failed is disappointing because the additional revenue, that expanded paid parking would have produced, would have been a major help as the Council seeks to construct for this year’s budget. However, in the face of lack of support for these efforts I pledge that I will not again advocate this idea.
I expect that once again, the budget will be front and center as the principle issue this Council will need to address. The 2008 budget embraced the concept of budgeting beyond the next election cycle and because of the need to make up for short falls occasioned by budget practices in 2005 through 2007 that 2008 budget contained a significant tax increase.
Last year the finance committee took a step back from longer term budgeting to focus primarily on 2009. A number of one-year fixes were employed to get the budget within the tax levy cap and minimize last year’s tax increase. As many of you will recall, this decision was the subject of lively debate with Councilman Hennessy arguing for a shorter-term approach while I continued to maintain that a long-term approach was needed. As control of the budget is solely within the authority of the Council, Councilman Hennessy won that debate as the Council voted to adopt his recommendation. Many of the same financial issues remain, and decisions likely to be made by incoming Governor Christie do not seem to hold out much hope for assistance from the State. I wish the Finance Committee well and would like to meet with Chairman Dyer and Ms. Riehl to establish a series of benchmarks and a timeline for the completion of various phases of their work.
In New Jersey, we all too often hear the words ‘corrupt’ or ‘corruption’ used in describing criminal behavior on the part of elected officials, but those words have a broader meaning outside of the criminal context. For example, Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary offers the following as other definitions of ‘corrupt’ – to change from good to bad in morals, manner, or actions - to degrade with unsound principles or moral values - to alter from the original or correct form or version. Similarly ‘corruption,’ the following are offered as definitions – impairment of integrity, virtue or moral principle - a departure from what is pure and correct.
Who can reasonably question that the political system as it now exists in Point Pleasant Beach has been corrupted and that the corruption of that system is threatening the confidence of our citizens in government? How did we arrive at this point?
On one level, the current political hostility can be traced to the decision on the part of my opponent in the 2007 election to get involved in the political process. Before anyone thinks that this is intended as a criticism of Mike DiCicco, it is not. The Beach owes Mike a huge debt of gratitude, because he more than anyone brought two-party government to Point Pleasant Beach. Through his efforts it became acceptable to challenge the decisions made by a previously unchallenged Republican controlled Governing Body. Similarly, it is a good thing when Republicans challenge the decisions made by Democrats. Two-party government is a lot harder than single party control, because it requires elected officials to put aside partisan positions and personal self-interest in order to do what is best for the public. We also need to recognize the danger of outsiders with a personal, financial or political agenda, but I will not speak to that point at this time.
Unfortunately, in Point Pleasant Beach what some cannot grasp is that it is also a good thing when Republicans challenge the positions held by fellow Republicans and Democrats challenge those held by fellow Democrats. Those who would seek to stifle debate by invoking words like unity are doing the electorate a disservice. Government benefits from free and open debate and the exchange of ideas, but only if that debate has as its ultimate goal the making of decisions that are in the best interest of Point Pleasant Beach and not the political ambition or personal interests of those holding office or their supporters. When the latter occurs, it is not the political process that is corrupted, but rather government itself.
The word ‘civility’ has been bandied about a lot lately, even remarkably being elevated by some to the level of a campaign issue. What is civility? Webster defines it as ‘courtesy’ or a ‘polite act or expression.’ It would therefore seem that ‘civility’ is the antithesis of ‘criticism,’ which is defined as ‘the act of criticizing usually unfavorably.’ For some, the emphasis on perceived absence of civility is in reality nothing more than a means of stifling criticism. If we stifle criticism, we stifle debate and if we stifle debate the public as a whole suffers. This we must never allow to happen, because if we do we might as well change the name of Point Pleasant Beach to Stepford.
I suspect that no other elected official in the history of Point Pleasant Beach has been subjected to more criticism than I have. I can live with that, because I know that what I have been criticized for are my efforts to fulfill those promises that I made during my campaign for Mayor. Perhaps I am naive, but unlike some, I believe that you make campaign promises about things you intend to accomplish if elected, and that those promises that you make are not simply words used to get elected, which are then quickly forgotten once you take office.
I am also aware that many are critical of my delivery and some believe that I have been too harsh on our boardwalk businesses. I truly want nothing more than to work with them in a partnership for a better Point Pleasant Beach. To date, they have not given me any indication that they want to do so, but I will keep trying. I simply need to do a better job convincing them that it is in their best interest to at least meet half-way.
Change is not something easily accomplished. While it may currently be in their best interests to try and prevent change, ultimately that approach will work against them and Point Pleasant Beach. I believe that I have an obligation to do everything in my power to legally effectuate the change that is necessary for the future financial well being of Point Pleasant Beach. I will continue to fight to fulfill those campaign promises that I made with respect to reducing our property tax burden by raising additional revenue from tourism. I would hope that in the face of economic circumstances we face, those who have benefited from the status quo will reconsider their opposition to shifting the cost of services that we provide away from our taxpayers and onto those tourists who benefit from those services. The Governing Body needs the resources to run Point Pleasant Beach, if it does not come from tourism, it will come from our taxpayers or we will experience dramatic cuts in those services we are able to provide.
There are things that I have experienced and seen during the past two years that have caused me disappointment or concern.
To begin with, I understand the concept of party politics but the corruption of the system in Ocean County is deeply disturbing. I have no basis to comment about Democratic Party politics. On the Republican side, leadership needs to dramatically change its approach or it must give way to new leadership so that the corruption of the political system does not ultimately corrupt government.
I have been criticized by some members of my party for being too hard on our state representatives. I fully acknowledge that I have been critical of our local Republican legislators. In Ocean County, this is the equivalent of breaking all Ten Commandments at the same time. It is, however, extremely frustrating to be told in private meetings that I am right and that our taxpayers should not be forced to shoulder the burden of paying for services we provide, only to have that same legislator publicly oppose those efforts out of self-interest or the interest of his benefactor.
One of the more remarkable things I have discovered is that in Ocean County Republican politics it is possible for an entire family to profit through politics and how much potential the thirst for political power has to cause corruption.
Some may consider it reflective of a lack of civility to bring up the fact that my colleagues on the Governing Body have chosen to engage in secret meetings and negotiations with their counterparts in neighboring towns. Everyone understands that not everyone can attend a meeting without violating the sunshine laws; however, transparency is crucial especially when the future of the Beach is at stake. The important thing is that the Beach’s interests be protected and to exclude the Mayor from negotiations that affect the Beach’s workforce is, in my opinion, entirely inappropriate. The excuse offered by Councilman Cervino that I had enough on my plate with the recall and the trial is nothing more than the excuse of someone whose hand was caught in the cookie jar. It is insulting and pure political garbage offered up by those whose political ambition has blinded them to their obligation to the residents and taxpayers of Point Pleasant Beach.
I suspect there are other political reasons why these meetings were kept secret and I will endeavor to uncover those reasons. Given the deference showed to the Boro by a block of Beach Councilmen and the fact that the Boro’s professionals have been allowed to call the shots here, I have some real concerns,
There are other things that go to the heart of integrity of government; however, these will be part of our executive session on Tuesday, January 5th. Suffice it to say that I will be asking Mr. Gertner, Mr. Korecky and Ms. Riehl to examine certain conduct to determine its effect on the integrity of government in Point Pleasant Beach.
I have learned that a town’s employees and professional staff are much like the line-up of a good team. It is important to have people in place who work well together and who understand what others need to succeed. This level of teamwork has existed in 2008 and 2009. Whether it continues on in 2010 will be a decision made after the review of the RFP’s we received. Although I do understand that at least one of the new applicants for Borough Attorney’s position may have reason to feel confident, since it is rumored that four members of this Council have already made their mind up. I would like to ask Ms. Riehl to ask those attorneys who have applied for the Borough Attorney position to attend the January 5th Council meeting and to arrive around 6:30 so that they can participate in the first round of interviews which most likely will be conducted in closed session.
Once again, I want to thank everyone for coming. For all those who are heading up to Martell’s, have fun. For those, like myself, who are going home to have dinner with his wife and children, I also wish you all well and I hope to see you all on the 5th.
Thank you very much.“

Father Curt Kreml of St. Peter Roman Catholic Church gave the Benediction.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:44 p.m.

Published March03, 2010 | Council Minutes | 969

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