Borough of Brielle, NJ
| October 9, 2006
October 9, 2006
MINUTES OCTOBER 9th, 2006 WORK SESSION START: 7:3OPM
PRESENT: MAYOR NICOL, COUN. GARRUZZO, NOLAN, SCOTT & SHAAK. ATTORNEY MONTENEGRO & ADMINISTRATOR NOLAN.
ABSENT: COUN BOLGER & LENZEN.
Mayor Nicol convened the work session in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act and recognized the Administrator who requested the Council to permit the addition of a Resolution “B” to the Consent Agenda. Council gave their authorization.
Mayor Nicol then made a presentation. Manasquan Inlet 75th Anniversary plaques were awarded to:
Coun. Paul Nolan
Board of Recreation Chairman John Devereux
Brielle Chamber of Commerce
Bogan’s Deep Sea Fishing
The Shoor DePalma Community Foundation
The work session was adjourned at 7:34 p.m. on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
MINUTES OCTOBER 9th, 2006 REGULAR MEETING. START: 7:32 P.M.
PRESENT: MAYOR NICOL, COUN. BOLGER, GARRUZZO, NOLAN & SCOTT. ATTORNEY MONTENEGRO & ADMINISTRATOR.
ABSENT: COUN LENZEN. (NOTE: COUN. BOLGER ARRIVED AT 7:50 P.M.)
Mayor Nicol convened the meeting in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act and asked for a motion, made by Coun. Shaak and seconded by Coun. Nolan, to accept and file the minutes of the September 25th, 2006 meeting; all aye.
Coun, Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan, introduced Resolution 06-118 for passage of the Consent Agenda.
06-118-A (see insertion).
06-118-B (see insertion).
Vote: Coun. Garruzzo, Nolan, Scott & Shaak; all aye. No nays. Passed.
Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Shaak, introduced Resolution 06-119 TO PAY BILLS: Be It Resolved, that the following bills be paid, and that the Mayor or President of Council be authorized to draw orders on the Chief Finance Officer, in the amount of same, for payment of the bills of October 9th, 2006, as reviewed by the Finance Committee and as listed on the Resolution and the Computer Bill List amended thereto. Vote: Coun. Bolger, Garruzzo, Nolan, Scott & Shaak; all aye. No nays. Passed.
(Note: Coun. Shaak was appointed to the Finance Committee for purposes of this meeting.)
Resolution No: 06-118-A Date: October 9th, 2006
APPROVING THE BYLAWS
CENTRAL JERSEY HEALTH INSURANCE FUND
WHEREAS, The Borough of Brielle a member of the Central Jersey Health Insurance und. hereinafter the “FUND” and;
WHEREAS, Recent changes in the state regulations and Fund practices require the FUND’s bylaws to be revised; and
WHEREAS, After a public hearing conducted on September 20th, 2006 the Board of Commissioners of the FUND recommends revised bylaws to the membership; and
WHEREAS, These revised bylaws must be ratified by at least three fourths of the members before they can become effective.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, by the governing body of the Borough of Brielle that the revised bylaws are hereby ratified.
The foregoing is a true copy of a Resolution passed by the Brielle Mayor & Council at a meeting held on October 9th, 2006.
Witness my hand and seal of the Borough of Brielle this 10th day of October 2006.
Thomas F. Nolan
Resolution No: 06-118-B Date: October 9th, 2006
Borough of Brielle Resolution
WHEREAS, a check has been received from the State of N.J. for Homestead Rebate money to be applied to tax delinquencies, and
WHEREAS, one of the payments are to taxes that are now current and should be refunded back to the property owner,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that a check be drawn in the amount of $200.00 and sent to Bryan and Stephanie Smith for the Homestead Rebate on 709 Union Lane, Block 63.01, Lot 11.
Approved: October 9th, 2006
Mayor Nicol then called for committee reports and recognized Coun. Scott who cited her attendance at a County Shade Tree Commission meeting on pest management with a particular focus on the gypsy moth. Coun. Scott explained that there is a criteria regarding aerial spraying and there must be a major infestation to justify that approach. Should it become necessary to spray the commission adheres to strict safety standards. Homeowners can address the problem on an individual basis and the Brielle Shade Tree Commission has information on how to address the problem.
Coun. Scott also attended a seminar on composting and she recalled the enthusiasm Brielle residents had shown for the pilot program some years ago and the original “earth machines” provided by the county for that pilot project. Coun. Scott advised the public that the existing landfill will be full by 2015, and given the difficulty of finding a host community and the cost of construction, it is vital that residents recognize the importance of recycling and limiting the waster stream.
Coun. Scott also attended a meeting at the Monmouth County Office on Aging and informed the public that Monmouth & Ocean County provided free legal advice to seniors in civil matters. The program offered a myriad of information and Coun. Scott had made those information sheets available at Borough Hall along with copies of the most recent newsletter.
In closing Coun. Scott noted that clean-up week had run smoothly and brush collection would end on October 15th as the Public Works Department geared up for leaf collection.
Coun. Shaak cited his attendance as Emergency Management Coordinator at a safety program held at the Brielle Elementary School earlier today. The teachers had an in-service day and in light of recent tragic events the administration and staff had reviewed their safety plan. The intention was to hold a mock exercise for teachers only early next year and then, in the Spring of 2007, a second exercise with the children present. Coun. Shaak was gratified at the faculty’s acceptance of the plan.
Coun. Nolan announced that the web-site upgrade was in the final stage and should be up and running by the next meeting. Coun. Nolan thanked Carol Stark and Coun. Scott for their assistance in the project.
Coun. Nolan was also pleased to report that the MRHC #1 had informed him that no new dead crows had been found in the Borough.
Coun. Garruzzo having no report, Mayor Nicol opened the meeting to the public and recognized Barbara Duska, 1023 Riverview Drive.
Ms. Duska advised the Council that she was the Chairman of the Riverview Drive Coalition and that group had gathered signatures in an effort to lower the speed limit on the road to 25 mph. Ms. Duska added that she had opened the lines of communication with Coun. Lenzen and had also spoken with Councilmen Bolger and Nolan. Ms. Duska urged all the members of the
Governing Body to feel free to contact her.
Ms. Duska noted that she had met with Assemblyman Sean Kean and he will be contacting the Mayor. Ms. Duska had also provided Chief Palmer with copies of the petition and all the related information.
In closing Ms. Duska advised the Council that she had refrained from communicating with them initially as she wished to be sure that her plan was well grounded and worth pursuing.
The Chair then recognized Greg Deppeler, 519 Harris Avenue, who was attending as President of the Brielle Library Association. Mr. Deppeler noted that the Borough had always funded the Library Association on an annual basis. This had been changed to a quarterly allotment and the Association was still awaiting the fourth quarter payment. Meantime they had lost interest income while the Borough “re-audited its own audit”. Mr. Deppeler termed this “a waste of taxpayer’s money”. He added that the Association will not mix public and private money.
Mayor Nicol advised that the Council had formulated an “Ad Hoc” Committee to address this issue and he advised Mr. Deppeler to work with that committee to resolve the issue.
Mr. Deppeler said it was unfair to expect the Library to rely on privately provided money.
Mayor Nicol reiterated that Mr. Deppeler should work through the committee and committee member Coun. Garruzzo interjected that the committee was reviewing data relative to the Association’s finances. Mr. Deppeler asked if the fourth quarter payment could be released pending a meeting and Coun. Garruzzo replied that the committee preferred to hold the meeting prior to any disbursement.
Mr. Deppeler replied that, in the absence of the funds, the Association was prepared to close the Library.
Shirley Norby, 306 Brielle Avenue, asked the Council to explain why the funds were being withheld?
Coun. Garruzzo replied that the Council was addressing a number of concerns that had been raised by Coun. Bolger. To that end an audit had been conducted and the committee was ready to meet with the Association.
Ms. Norby stated that she had been a school librarian for thirty-five years. She said that the people wanted the library maintained and she feared that withholding the funds was a personal thing and referenced letters to the editor of the Coast Star regarding the Library. She felt that the Council was not being professional and thought that the community could be better served.
Coun Garruzzo said it was not personal. The Council simply wanted a clear picture of the Library’s finances.
(At this juncture 7:50 p.m. Coun. Bolger arrived and took his seat on the dais.)
Mayor Nicol interjected that he and other members of the Council had supported the Library since 1984. The current matter was being handled professionally and he reminded the public that given current budgetary needs the Council had to review all avenues where savings could be realized.
The Chair recognized Mary Lou Bolger, 2 Water’s Edge, who advised Ms. Norby that she had written a number of letters to the Coast Star over the past twelve years. She stated that she has a problem with what she called “over-funding” of the Library and added that this was her opinion. Her husband, Coun. Bolger, had no problem with the Library and his views were totally independent of hers.
Ms. Bolger went on to say that she had every right to be concerned over the lack of fund raising by the Library and its over-funding by the Borough with public money. She cited her tax bill which showed $114.06 billed for county library tax. Even though she pays library taxes and those taxes help support the Library, she cannot attend the annual meeting of the Brielle Library Association. In closing Ms. Bolger observed that the Library needed to help itself through fund raising and this in turn would benefit the taxpayers.
Anita Kneeley, 605 Locust Road, advised that she was a former President of the Association and it was a 503G Corporation which meant that it was “non-public/not for profit”. The Library depended on the funds provided by the Borough and she urged the Council to deal with this problem in a timely manner. She added that this “issue” had been “bubbling” since May and offered a quote from POGO that “we have met the enemy and it’s us”.
Mayor Nicol recognized Ms. Kneeley’s concerns and advised that Council was working through the Ad Hoc committee to resolve the issue, but he reminded her that if the solution doesn’t work for both of us, it won’t work.
Coun. Bolger was recognized and he advised Ms. Kneeley that she misunderstood the Library’s financial position. He understood that Mr. Deppeler had threatened to close the Library, but there was no financial problem.
Coun. Bolger stated that the alleged financial crisis is not supported by the facts in evidence and any threat to close the Library clearly represents an abrogation of the Board’s responsibility. If the Library was to close, he said, he would regard it as a disappointing charade as he had personally taken the lead in an effort to work out the differences.
Coun. Bolger cited his attempts over the past five months to obtain information from the Library Director to whom he attributed any delay in the process. He also expressed the committee’s willingness to meet with the Trustees to discuss a fourth quarter payment and if there is to be one.
Coun. Bolger advised the public that the idea that there was a difference between public and private library funding was an invention of the Library Director Richard Bidnick. Coun. Bolger explained his concerns over the transfer of surplus funds from the operating account into an investment account under the caption “miscellaneous expense”. As a result of this concern the Borough Auditor was directed to review the Library’s finances and to report to the committee.
Meantime, the Library received some $200,000 from Monmouth County for books, periodicals and videos. In addition, the Borough provided $127,500 in funding. The Borough also provides the building at no charge, all the utilities, and maintenance. In addition Brielle children have the option to use the school library.
Coun. Bolger compared the amount of funding the Library receives to the amounts allocated to the Fire Company & First Aid. Both organizations receive less and fund raise more.
In closing, Coun. Bolger reminded the assembly that he had been barred from attending a number of Association meetings and he stated that this was not a personal issue, but the climate has to change. While he would not impede the Library, he believed that tax dollars were being wasted and it was time to “even things out”.
Peter Daly, 20-C Maple Lane, a Trustee stated his concerns over the growing acrimony that was dividing the community. Individuals with personal agendas were creating sharp divisions within the town and he didn’t know why.
He added that the Borough had always appropriated funds for the Library and it was never an issue. In 2006 the Borough audited its audit. He said that had a recent meeting of the trustees he asked Coun. Bolger what the audit had cost and he didn’t know.
Coun. Bolger replied that he was aware of Mr. Daly’s concern over “acrimony”, but he had seen no evidence of it and he added that there would not have been a need for an additional audit if the Library had cooperated and provided the financial information he’d requested. He also noted that the existence of surplus funds had been verified.
Greg Deppeler was recognized and he said that he was personally and professionally offended by Coun. Bolger’s remarks. Mr. Deppeler reiterated that the Trustees would not mix public and private funds and unless they received the fourth quarter payment the Library would have to close.
The dialogue between Coun. Bolger and Board President Deppeler continued and the essential disagreement centered on Mr. Deppeler’s refusal to use what he classified as private funds to keep the Library open and Coun. Bolger’s position that, given at a minimum that $32,000 had been transferred to an investment account at the end of 2005, the Association had sufficient revenue to maintain its operations pending a meeting between the Ad Hoc committee and the Board of Trustees. In conclusion both parties agreed to disagree.
Page 136 9th October 2006
The Mayor encouraged the Trustees to meet with the committee as soon as possible and to make
every effort to work it out.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m. on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
Approved: October 23rd, 2006. _____________________
Thomas F. Nolan