Borough of Brielle, NJ
| May 10, 2010
May 10, 2010
MINUTES MAY 10th, 2010 WORK SESSION START: 7:30 PM
PRESENT: COUNCIL-PRESIDENT SCOTT, COUN. GARRUZZO, GORHAM, NOLAN, SHAAK & VISCEGLIA. ATTORNEY MONTENEGRO & ADMINISTRATOR NOLAN.
ABSENT: MAYOR NICOL.
Council-President Ann Scott convened the work session in compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act and recognized the Administrator who advised that he had nothing to report, but he advised Council that he needed an Executive Session to update them on the status of contract negotiations, the status of negotiations with the School Board and potential litigation. The Administrator also advised the Council that Board of Recreation Member, Stephen Speicher, was present and he was here to announce the winners of the Annual Snow Man Contest.
Mr. Speicher announced that this year the winners were Sara Devereux, and Elvis Parisi, assisted by friends Nuncio & Bauer.
There being no further comments the work session was adjourned at 7:40 p.m. on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
MINUTES MAY 10th, 2010 START: 7:32 P.M.
PRESENT: COUNCIL-PRESIDENT SCOTT, COUN. GARRUZZO, GORHAM, NOLAN, SHAAK & VISCEGLIA. ATTORNEY MONTENEGRO & ADMINISTRATOR NOLAN.
ABSENT: MAYOR NICOL
Following a moment of silent prayer, a salute to the flag and a roll call, the Minutes of the April 26th, 2010 Meeting were approved on a motion by Coun. Shaak seconded by Coun. Garruzzo; all aye; no nays. Passed.
Coun. Scott, seconded by Coun. Nolan introduced Resolution 10-45 for passage of the Consent Agenda.
A. (see insertion).
B. (see insertion).
C. To authorize the Municipal clerk to auction municipal property no longer required for a public purpose.
D. To amend the Annual Meeting Notice to reschedule the Tuesday May 25th, 2010
Meeting back to Monday, May 24th, 2010.
E. To authorize the Mayor & Clerk to execute an Employee Assistance Agreement with Mark White PH.D, P.A. for the period June 1st,, 2010 through May 31st, 2011.
F. To appoint Matthew Zahorsky as "conflict engineer" and "zoning officer" re: development application for George Harms on Ashley Avenue.
Vote: Coun. Garruzzo, Gorham, Nolan, Scott, Shaak & Visceglia; all aye. No nays. Passed.
Coun. Visceglia, seconded by Coun. Shaak introduced Resolution 10-46 for Payment of 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 for payment of the bills of May 10th, 2010, as reviewed by the Finance Committee and as listed on the Resolution and the Computer Bill List amended thereto. Vote: Coun. Garruzzo, Gorham, Nolan, Scott, Shaak & Visceglia; all aye. No nays. Passed.
Council-President Scott then announced that the time had arrived for a hearing and further consideration of "BOND ORDINANCE PROVIDING AN APPROPRIATION OF $650,000.00 FOR MISCELLANEOUS IMPROVEMENTS FOR AND BY THE BOROUGH OF BRIELLE, IN THE COUNTY OF MONMOUTH, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AND AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF $617,500.00 BONDS OR NOTES OF THE BOROUGH OF BRIELLE FOR FINANCING PART OF THE APROPRIATION".
The hearing was opened on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
The Administrator explained that the ordinance enabled the Council to implement the 2010 Capital Improvement Program. In response to an inquiry, by Coun. Visceglia he noted that, while the ordinance enabled the expenditure, ultimate approval of any expenditure still resided with the Governing Body.
The hearing was closed on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan, introduced Resolution 10-47 for passage on final reading. Vote: Coun. Garruzzo, Gorham, Nolan, Scott, Shaak & Visceglia; all aye. No nays. Passed.
Coun. Shaak, seconded by Coun. Visceglia, introduced Resolution 10-48 to authorize publication of passage and adoption of the foregoing Bond Ordinance in the Coast Star according to Local Bond Law. Vote: Coun. Garruzzo, Gorham, Nolan, Scott, Shaak & Visceglia; all aye. No nays. Passed.
Council-President Scott then read the following Proclamation (see insertion).
Council-President Scott then called for committee reports and recognized Coun. Nolan who complimented the Board of Recreation on the Snowman Contest and their numerous activities that could all be found on their web-site. Coun. Nolan also cited the success, two weeks ago, of the Brielle Library program on Local Artists & Museums and this evening's presentation of author William and his work "Gone to November".
Coun. Garruzzo cited the crime statistics for the month of April (see insertion).
Coun. Shaak advised the public that Riverview Drive had been repaved, but added that the non-skid surface, commonly known as popcorn mix had been removed. He urged residents to use caution when approaching turns in wet weather. Coun. Shaak added that the First Aid Squad had already responded to 150 calls in 2010 for an average of one a day.
Coun. Shaak also reported that the Squad had collected 38 units of blood during its first of two annual blood drives.
In closing Coun. Shaak advised that the Bradley Avenue drainage project was completed and, so far, it appears that the problem has been remediated, but it remained a work in progress and he urged residents of the area to advise the Borough of any observed problems.
Coun. Gorham having no report, Coun. Visceglia advised the public that the Finance Committee had met and would be meeting again with the School Board to address the issue of the failed school budget prior to the May 19th deadline.
Coun. Scott informed the public that Friday, May 15th, was the last day for leaf collection. She also noted that while "shredder day" had been a success the truck was only half-full. Coun. Scott attributed that to the fact that last year the County had sponsored the event and it was opened to residents county-wide, the lines had been long, the truck was filled quickly and many local residents were turned away. That might have been a disincentive to participation. The Councilwoman mused that perhaps a joint local event such as those municipalities that represented the Manasquan High School Sending District, might be more successful.
In closing Coun. Scott cited the recent mailing from the Municipal Utility that provided State mandated data on water quality and a methodology to implement non-source pollutants from local waterways; she urged the public to read the material and be aware of its importance.
Council-President Scott then opened the meeting to the public and recognized the first of a series of Brielle Elementary School Students who collectively urged the Council to restore cuts made to the school budget as the result of the April 20th School Election.
Craig Ramsey, 14 Lebanon Drive, an 8th grader implored the Council to recognize the importance of sports and the ATP Program to the overall educational experience. His concerns were echoed by Mark Marro, 611 Locust Road, who reminded the Council that education had to be well rounded to ensure that variations in the educational experience are maintained; he added that negotiations were a "give and take" and that the reasonable expectations of teachers for a salary increase be respected.
Nicol Lauria, 530 Union Lane, advised that she was President of the Student Council, an opportunity for which was grateful, but she was not fear full that future students would be denied the opportunity to participate in an activity that taught organizational skills.
Lynn Schambach, 525 Harris Avenue, bemoaned the potential loss of programs and urged the Council and those assembled to call the Governor's Office @ 609-292-6000 to complain about the cuts to school funding that had occasioned the increase in the school budget and led to its rejection.
Steve Petrin, 615 Woodland Avenue, spoke on the value of the Drama Club that made him feel both needed and complete while, simultaneously providing entertainment to the community. The Drama Club had given him guidance and confidence and he urged its preservation.
Sharon Smith, 709 Union Lane, praised Ms. Pam Norman and the ATP Program and noted that it would be sorely missed if the proposed cuts were made.
William Moscato, 601 Brielle Avenue, informed the Council of the positive impact of soccer on his life and that of other students as it kept students healthy and physically fit. Participation in school sports had a positive impact on his life and he hoped that they would be preserved.
Matthew Brennan, 803 Schoolhouse Road, echoed Mr. Moscato regarding the basketball program and pointed out that sports taught students primary life-skill "teamwork".
Kevin Kenneally, 624 Locust Road praised the ATP Program and reminded the Council that it had enabled students like him to improve their bio-tech skills and math skills and gave them an advantage in competitive testing. Rather than cut the program; he believed that it should be expanded to all students.
Karen Piacentini, 1003 Brainard Place, stressed the fact that, without new ratable, the school was an asset to the community and the community should view it as such. The time had come for the community to pull together in the furtherance of education and she noted that the municipal budget had increased and utilized $800,000 of surplus; she asked why these funds could not be transferred to the school? She reminded the Council that Brielle Students were not competing against other local school districts, but districts state-wide and beyond as the 21st Century was a global economy.
George Sevastakis, 408 Higgins Avenue, stated that it was time to stop assessing blame and to recognize that the "well had run dry". The $800,000 surplus could not be transferred to the school as it was prohibited by state statute; he added that 70% of the teachers in the school lived outside Brielle and could care less about the community. While they claim that the budget is for the children, they refused to take a wage freeze that could have guaranteed passage of the budget. Mr. Sevastakis added that his state pension and social security had been frozen; he attributed the teacher's recalcitrance to "greed". He blamed the NJEA for the budget's failure, but he reminded the Council that two years ago they had declined to cut the budget now the time had come when you "have to do what you have to do".
Robert Houseal, 608 Rankin Road, pointed out that Question #2 had gone done; it was off the table. The teachers should accept a wage freeze and he deplored the fact that they received compensation for not taking health benefits. He believed that the practice should be terminated and the funds returned to benefit the school budget.
Mr. Houseal added that the second question should never have appeared on the ballot. He termed it "a gun to our head" and he believed that was why so many residents voted no.
Brielle Taxpayers had been asked to support an ever increasing school budget on the grounds that it would improve education and yet test scores declined. He also asked if the claim that the cost per pupil was the lowest in the county had been manipulated. Were the tuition costs to Manasquan High School included in that figure?
In closing he noted that the burden had been shifted to the Council and he urged them to consider that increased taxes were forcing out couples like he and his wife who would sell their four bedroom home to a younger family with children thus adding to the increased cost of the school.
Coun. Visceglia interjected that the Council was looking at the health care option, but he reminded those assembled that the Council could only consider the School Budget. The "Second Question" was not a matter for consideration by the Council.
Mr. Houseal responded that the Council should consider passing the budget onto the next level, the County Superintendent of Schools, but he agreed that Question #2 cannot be appealed.
Gary Abadrabo, 10 Sequoia Court, said that the Board of Education had taken the approach that the budget should fund the mandated expenditures and the people should vote on the extra-curricular activities. The Governor had taken away school funding and thereby jeopardized the Boards ability to fund a thorough and efficient educational system. The people of Brielle must realize that the school is an asset, it provides innumerable services and makes Brielle a desirable community to live in; it is the cornerstone of the community and it should be funded.
Jim Mannion, , 624 Harris Avenue, felt that both sides should seek common ground and he lamented the fact that a great deal of misinformation was being bantered back and forth; he felt that the time had come to think outside the box and urged the creation of a Special Advocate to work through the problem.
Coun. Visceglia replied that the Council was, by law, limited to addressing the first question and that the issues contained in Question #2 were strictly a School Board issue.
Joe Harriman, 522 Harris Avenue, urged the Council to forego the $250,000 grant received from Monmouth County for park improvements and to transfer the Borough's matching share to the school. The Administrator, seconded by the Borough Attorney, explained that the statues did not permit that action.
Karen Piacentini asked why the Borough could not reduce their percentage of the overall budget to permit the school to increase their share? Coun. Garruzzo & Coun. Visceglia both advised that the budgets were separate and the funds could not be co-mingled.
Mary K. Roberts, 1002 Forrest Road, voiced her concerns over the elimination of full-day kinder-garden. She felt that it would adversely impact on her children and given the amount of property taxes she paid it should be preserved as the alternative was for her, as an individual, to seek such a program outside of Brielle and at her cost.
Mary Lou Bolger, 2 Water's Edge, urged the community not to become involved in the "blame game". She reminded the public that the Council did not create the problem, the Board of Education created the problem and they should fix it. She noted that, since 2003, the Board had received 99.47% of the funds they had requested, and yet they cannot fund their activities.
In 2008 the budget failed, but not a penny was cut. Included in that amount was $12,500 for a playground that was a necessity; it had to be replaced, it was unsafe and despite the funds being provided it was never constructed. Between 2008 and 2010 the budget rose 16.3% the average for the other communities in the sending districts was 1%. Ms. Bolger added that
Spring Lake's budget had actually declined. The highest increase was Manasquan at 7%, but that included the High School. Ms. Bolger offered that money was not the answer. She suggested that the Council entertain a referendum to change to an appointed School Board that would be more accountable to the electorate. In Ms. Bolger's opinion, the budgetary problems were not the fault of the teachers, the students, the parents or the voters, but the Board of Education's lack of responsible leadership.
William Brannick, 805 School House Road, asked if the discussions to be held in Executive Session would result in action by the Council?
The Administrator stated that the potential litigation and update on the status of school negotiations would not, but the contract negotiations could result in action being taken.
Edward McManus, 528 Woodland Avenue, was recognized and he advised those assembled that he was the Business Administrator for the Brielle Elementary School. He addressed three issues. First, the calculation of cost per pupil he explained that it was based on a state calculation that subtracted the cost of transportation and the cost of outside tuition in order to provide for a state-wide comparison. He added that Brielle had the lowest administrative costs and benefit costs as per the state guidelines. These costs were the lowest in Monmouth County.
Secondly, Mr. McManus cited a February 11th, 2010 article in the Asbury Park Press that cited Brielle's improvement in test scores for math and literacy; he added that it varied through the grades, but scores had improved.
Finally, Mr. McManus cited his delight at the number of people who had turned out for this meeting and urged them to attend Board of Education Meetings as their input would be valued. He also explained that the $12,500 budgeted for the playground had been transferred to technology costs to permit the purchase of additional smart boards.
He reminded the public that the Board had the discretion to transfer funds for what he termed as "optimum results".
Mary Wilderotter, 922 Cole Drive, offered that the time had arrived to stop the blame game and to move forward. She cited comments made about Superintendent Carlson and she praised her efforts on behalf of the children. She chided those parents who, angry at the teachers’ refusal to accept a wage freeze, had voted down the budget. She urged them to stop being critics and to become involved in the PTO and to attend Board of Education Meetings to strive to improve the situation. In closing she added that Ms. Carlson receives a salary of $144,000 and had taken a pay freeze for 2010.
Mary Lou Bolger stated that Ms. Carlson was the highest paid Superintendant in the District@ $150,000, the information was on the School web-site. Salaries remained the driving force for budget increases and not the number of students.
Ms. Wilderotter reminded the public of Ms. Carlson's commitment to increased professional development, a revised curriculum and an upgrade of computers all of which contributed to a though and efficient education for the students.
Page 50 10th May 2010
There being no further questions, Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan introduced Resolution 10-49 to authorize an Executive Session. (see insertion).
Whereas, the Open Public Meetings Act permits the exclusion of the Public from a meeting in certain circumstances; and Whereas, the Borough Council of the Borough of Brielle is of the opinion that such circumstances currently exist. Now Therefore Be It Resolved, by the Borough Council of the Borough of Brielle, County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey, on May 10th, 2010, as follows:
1. The Public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matters.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows: "Pending Litigation, School Board Budget Negotiations, Union Negotiations)".
3. It is anticipated at this time that the above stated subject matters will be made public when the need for confidentiality no longer exists.
The Executive Session began at 9:15p.m. and ended at 10:29p.m. The session was adjourned on a motion by Coun. Nolan, seconded by Coun. Garruzzo.
The Administrator noted that, while these issues were discussed, none of the items were actionable at this time. Attorney Montenegro added that the maters would be made public when the need for confidentiality no longer existed.
The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m. on a motion by Coun. Garruzzo, seconded by Coun. Nolan.
Approved: May 24th, 2010. _______________________ Thomas F. Nolan
Resolution No: 10-44-A
Date: May 10th, 2010
Borough of Brielle Resolution
Whereas, application has been made for the renewal of Liquor License #1308-33004-007, and
Whereas, the application is complete, the $2,225.00 fee due to the municipality, has been received, along with the $200.00 fee due to the State Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and
Whereas, all municipal requirements have been met and no objections to the renewal of this license have been lodged.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved that the application of Simko’s Bar & Restaurant, LLC. T/A Simko’s for premises located at 403 Higgins Avenue, Brielle, New Jersey, is hereby approved and the Municipal Clerk is hereby authorized to issue said license for the period July 1st, 2010 through June 30th, 2011.
The foregoing is a true copy of a Resolution passed by the Brielle Mayor & Council at a meeting held on May 10th, 2010.
Witness my hand and seal of the Borough of Brielle this 11th day of May, 2010.
Date: May 10th, 2009
Resolution of the Borough of Brielle
Whereas, an application has been received for the renewal of Plenary Retail Consumption License #1308-33-012-010, Charlie Browns of Brielle, Inc. T/A Charlie Browns, and
Whereas, the submitted application form is complete in all respects, the renewal fees for the Borough of Brielle and the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control have been paid, and
Whereas, the applicant is qualified to be licensed according to all standards established by Title 33 of New Jersey Statutes, regulations promulgated thereunder, as well as pertinent local ordinances and conditions.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Governing Body of the Borough of Brielle does hereby approve, effective this date, the renewal of License #1308-33-012-010 T/A Charlie Browns for the license year July 1st, 2010 through June 30th, 2011, subject to the following special conditions which were imposed by the Brielle Planning Board to wit:
The foregoing is a true copy of a Resolution passed by the Brielle Mayor & Council, at a meeting held on May 11th, 2010.
Witness my hand and seal of the Borough of Brielle this 11th day of May 2010.
Thomas F. Nolan SEAL Municipal Clerk