Vice President Birmingham President Yocum
Cohen, Township Attorney
Magnotti, Township Clerk
Mrs. Magnotti said, “Let the record
show that Mayor Felter and Administrator Leach are present. Also present is Chief Financial Officer,
William Eagen; Director of Public Works, Jeff Elam; and from our auditing firm,
Vice President Birmingham asked that everyone rise for the Pledge of
Vice President Birmingham said,
“This Workshop Council meeting for March 9, 2005, commencing at 7:30 p.m. has
been properly noticed in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act by notice
to the official newspapers of the Township on March 3, 2005.”
Presentation by the Jefferson Girls U14
Morris County Youth Soccer Undefeated
asked the Morris County Youth Soccer Champions to come forward and he commented
that some of the girls have been on the championship team for three years. The Coach credited the soccer program with
its training and camps for the girls’ rise as undefeated champions. The team presented their trophy to
Felter. Felter stated that it will be
an honor to place the trophy in the trophy case in the lobby. He thanked the girls, their parents and
coaches for all their hard work and sportsmanship.
Appointment of Firefighter to Fire Department No. 2
DeLoreto came forward along with his parents and Chief Cahill. Birmingham presented DeLoreto with a
Certificate of Appreciation along with a Township pin and pen. He thanked him for providing his services to
the Township as a firefighter. The
Council offered their congratulations and thanked him for his service to the
Discussion of the 2005 Municipal Budget with Jim
announced that the Council has had five budget sessions and it is a difficult
year with State aid and extra pension monies that originally the State had
provided. The town is also in the
middle of the revaluation process, which was ordered by the Courts. Birmingham stated that Cerullo will be
giving a breakdown of the Budget which will be introduced later this month.
Cerullo gave the Council the Annual
Debt Statement, the Current Fund and the (57-A)
Budget sheets for 2005. He started with the Total Net Debt as of
December 31, 2004 - $12,703,108.96, which represents amounts that have been
borrowed or debt that has been authorized for various capital projects in the
Township. Everything is on track with
the State allowing up to 3-1/2 percent of the equalized valuation, which is
almost $69 million. The debt is a
little over $12 million, which is .64 percent and last year it was .68
percent. Cerullo stated that in the
last year of the general indebtedness for general improvements, there was
permanent financing of the temporary debt.
For the water utility, since the interest rates are still low, it would
be a good time to permanently finance the water utility debt. Cerullo moved on to the second sheet, which
goes over how the Township performed last year with the surplus. He explained that the town would generate
surplus from anticipated revenues and they do better during the year or if
funds are appropriated and not expended.
The surplus is set at $1,956,000 for the year. On page 3, it was anticipated that $1,813,000 would be generated,
approximately $143,000 more was returned to surplus than anticipated in the
2004 budget. However, the ending
Surplus including Interfunds is $3,682,510 so the Surplus is down $172,624.
explained that they cannot expect the same dollar amounts in State aid that
were received in 2004. Township should
receive watershed aid but it is recommended that the Township apply for extraordinary
aid as a backup. Since the watershed
aid only affects a handful of municipalities, it may be pulled back or cut.
recommended that the town raise the cap to 3.5 and pass the Ordinance to bank
any money that is under the cap so it can be used in future years. The way the expenditures are now, they will
only be using 1 percent higher than the 2.5 cap. It will add $105,000 to the cap.
The garbage budget had some surplus.
Cerullo did not have the water utility numbers yet. The sewer utility surplus had a small
decrease and Ferraioli feels they may have to consider a rate increase in the
stated that the Budget is still a work in progress and may have to be reduced
again by the time it is introduced. He
promised that they will not be using any gimmicks because when he came into
office he was faced with situations that are still being resolved. No one wants to reduce services such as
plowing roads, recreation and senior services.
Felter reminded everyone that $800,000 involves pension, health
insurance and other items from the State that they have no control over. The town is in very good shape financially
as far as debt service and the way money is spent. Birmingham commented that debt service is dropping even with no
increase in State aid, the borrowing ratio to the ratables is lower than it was
last year. Felter stated that when he
took over, the debt service was a little over 1 percent, so it has been cut
close to half of what it was. Felter
thanked Cerullo and Ferraioli for steering the Administration in the right
direction as far as the debt service, reissuing bonds and moving to permanent
financing. The Budget will be
introduced at the March 16, 2005 meeting and the application for discretionary
aid has to be in by March 28th.
Council adjourned for recess at 8:10 p.m. and reconvened at 8:22 p.m.
Concerned Responsible Individuals
to Save Picatinny
Waibel thanked the Council for allowing them to explain the BRAC (Base
Realignments & Closures) process and how it may affect Picatinny. Jay Decker and Richard Waibel proceeded with
a Powerpoint presentation and passed out informational packets that explained
BRAC and C.R.I.S.P. Decker asked the
Council to consider a Resolution in support of Picatinny. Birmingham suggested putting a link to
C.R.I.S.P. on the Township’s website.
Felter suggested having the presentation for C.R.I.S.P. put on the
Jefferson Highlights cablevision show.
He stated that Picatinny is very important to the future and it is the
base for the New Jersey Center of Excellence for Homeland Defense. Felter added that it contributes $2 to
$2-1/2 billion to the economy of New Jersey.
He thanked Decker and Waibel for spearheading this organization as well
as Congressman Frelinghuysen. The local
freeholders have been involved as well as Senator Bucco and the Chamber of
Commerce, so the more the Administration and Council can do the better. Decker stated that Secretary Rumsfeld is a
key player in the decision of whether or not Picatinny is on the list. Sanchelli stated that since Picatinny is
unique and has such advanced technology, it seems unlikely that they would
close it. Waibel stated that there have
been closure recommendations in the past that have been waived off at the last
minute. Sanchelli asked if Picatinny is
working with C.R.I.S.P. and Waibel stated that the base is not permitted to
participate with C.R.I.S.P. Cohen
stated that his partner, Jim Courter, was the Chairman of BRAC in 1997. He saw firsthand the political pressures
that come into play anytime a facility is in danger of foreclosure in a state
because it is detrimental to that state.
Governor Cuomo came to their office at that time because there were two
bases that were vital to the economy of New York State that were on the
list. Every facility that was on the
list that was recommended for closure ended up closing except for one. The key point is to avoid that list because
once you are on it, it is an extremely difficult and political fight. Decker stated that this time the analysis is
going to focus on virtual movements, meaning that installations may change who
they report to or who they are linked with.
Today you do not have to move people in order to have them as part of an
organization. Things can be done
virtually. Cohen stated that there may
be some consolidations but everyone may realize that Picatinny is on the
cutting edge of development for weaponry.
Waibel stated that there are many speculative lists and some include
Picatinny, Monmouth, Aberdeen, Huntsville.
All those bases cannot be closed and one or two would have to stay
open. Cohen stated that the base has a
right to make a full presentation before the commission and a portion of the
commission must visit the facility and they will also listen to governmental
leaders of the State. Hardy asked if
they have met with any other towns and they stated that they have been to Dover
and they will be in Wharton next week.
Waibel offered the Council a sample Resolution and he stated that if
they cannot visit certain towns, they will be sending a letter and sample
left the meeting at 9:03 p.m.
commented that an article in the local newspaper should educate about exactly
what Picatinny is and how a closure will adversely affect the area. People should also hear about how they have
avoided being closed in previous years.
The letter writing process is very important for average citizens of the
municipality. Waibel left the Council
sample letters that can be reproduced and distributed for Secretary Rumsfeld
and the President of the United States.
Merz asked if there is any reason why the people that work at Picatinny
cannot send letters as residents of the municipality and Waibel stated that
they may. Felter stated that they will
distribute the letters to the Legions, VFW Posts and Senior Centers. Magnotti stated that she can send the
letters and the Resolution via email to all the Morris County Clerks. The Resolution will be placed on the March
left the meeting at 9:13 p.m.
Passage of Consent Agenda (59-A)
with removal of Award of Contract to Specialty Automotive. Cohen must prepare a special Resolution
since bids were rejected. Cohen
reported that he will have the Resolution at the next meeting.
Motion: Merz, second Hardy
President Birmingham Aye
Conservation Easement Ordinance (Planning Board Response)
reported that because of the snow the Planning Board did not meet. There was no discussion of this matter.
S1701 New Law for School
Budget District Caps (Chapter 73)
asked that this matter be placed on the next work session on April 13th
because he will not oppose this until there has been a discussion. Cohen stated that this would be to amend the
law in certain areas. The Council
received and read the Minutes from the Board of Education. Magnotti stated that she will ask Sanchelli
if he has information about the proposed amendments.
S1702 – Establishes
Lower Limits for Yearly Municipal Budget Appropriations Increase
stated that he has no problem with this right now although there may be some
fine tuning eventually. He feels that
Jefferson can be an example for many districts. Birmingham asked the Council if they all concur with Felter that
they can all live within the cap. Merz
stated that she likes the idea of being a model municipality and living within
asked if there were any members of the public that would like to come forward
with a question or comment and Mr. Bagnati of 30 Summit Road came forward. He told the Council that when he crossed the
bridge on Oak Ridge Road into Jefferson yesterday during the storm, the roads
were clear. The DPW did a wonderful job
clearing the roads. He then stated that
Oak Ridge Road in Passaic County is in horrible condition. Birmingham commented that the Administrator
is in contact with officials in Passaic County to do something about the
condition of the road.
asked if there were any other members of the public that would like to come
forward and seeing no one, he closed the public portion of the meeting.
Adjournment at 9:22
Motion: Merz, second Hardy
President Birmingham Aye
Dated: March 9, 2005
Maria E. Pivirotto, Deputy Clerk Richard
W. Yocum, Council President