April 18, 2017

                                                                               BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS

                                                                                                        Tuesday, April 18, 2017

                                                                                                       Governing Body Meeting Minutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

Councilwoman Kathy Lange called the meeting to Order at 7:00 p.m.  He then read the following statement:

 

“In accordance with Section 5 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board designed for that purpose and notice was transmitted to the official newspapers provided by Resolution adopted January 7, 2017.”

 

ROLL CALL:

 

Councilwoman Lange asked the Clerk for the roll call.  Solicitor Olizi asked if all agreed that both Mayor Merryfield and Council President Susan Griffith can be excused from tonight’s meeting as both are on family vacations.  All members present were in agreement.

 

Under roll call, Councilwomen Kathy Lange and Jackie Valvardi were present as well as Councilmen Stephen Berryhill, Rick DiRenzo and Bryan Schroeder.   Solicitor Albert Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Borough Clerk Katilyn Compton were also present.

 

CAUCUS SESSION:

 

Councilwoman Lange began the meeting by addressing the items on the Caucus agenda.

 

Borough Performance Evaluations

Councilwoman Valvardi said that performance evaluations will be completed and said that although many Departments conducted their own internal performance reviews, all borough employees will be reviewed and submitted to respective Directors.  She noted that Kelly Santosusso sent a template of the Performance Evaluations to all Department Heads and informed them that all employees should be reviewed even if they have not been in the past.

 

Councilman Schroeder asked whether or not all employees have been reviewed annually.  Santosusso responded that she reviewed everyone in her office last year and is aware that the Police Department conducts their internal reviews annually but said she was not entirely sure if Department of Public Works and Construction Office employees have been reviewed annually.  She added that most of the positions in the Borough are contractual and that may be the reason all employees were not reviewed annually on a consistent basis. 

 

Councilman DiRenzo asked that all Department Heads be reviewed by their Directors (Councilmembers).  

 

Councilman Berryhill said that he felt it would be difficult to review Department Heads as he feels that there is not much direct contact day to day with the job duties and procedures of Department Heads.  He said that he did not feel he would be able to give a fair critique as he does not work with them daily.  Discussion ensued.

 

Santosusso said she will inform the Department Heads that they will be reviewed by their Directors.

 

Councilwoman Lange said she would like to defer this topic to the next Council meeting so that we may determine how other Municipalities conduct their Department Head reviews.  All were in agreement.

 

Councilman DiRenzo asked why the Dedicated by Rider for Recreation Resolution was on tonight’s Agenda.  Councilwoman Lange responded that this was a previous Dedicated by Rider for Recreation Resolution that was submitted to Local Government Services but was denied by LGS at the Department of Community Affairs.  Olizi further explained that Mr. Kennedy at the state notified of us of some minute language that needed to be amended to allow for the Rider to be approved.

 

Solicitor Olizi said that all Councilmembers are reminded of the mandatory requirement to file their Financial Disclosures Statements by the deadline, April 30, 2017. 

 

Councilwoman Lange said that Caucus session has concluded and that the Business Session will convene at 7:30 p.m.

 

 

BUSINESS SESSION:

Councilwoman Lange called the Business Session to order at 7:30 p.m. 

 

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE:

 

Councilwoman Lange asked for a moment of silence and asked that all take a moment to remember the two valiant law enforcement officers, John Norcross and Detective John McLaughlin from the County Force and who died in the line of duty, twenty two years ago.  All stood for a moment of silence and she then led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING APRIL 28, 2017 AS ARBOR DAY

 

Councilwoman Lange invited Roni Olizi forward to accept a Proclamation recognizing April 28, 2017 as Arbor Day.  Lange read the Proclamation and thanked Roni Olizi for her dedication to trees.  Mrs. Olizi said that the Shade Tree Commission and Environmental Commission will be sending saplings home with children at the grade schools in town.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Councilwoman Lange called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.

 

Roni Olizi, 424 Third Avenue – She said she has no problem with the chickens Pilot but hopes that the police and Mayor and Council are aware of issues that may come up related to dogs.  She said there was an issue on Third Avenue last year with a resident who had chickens in their yard and the resident called the police often because the neighbor’s dog ran up and down the fence barking whenever he was outside.  She said that all should keep in mind that neighbors who have dogs may pose a challenge.

 

Seeing no one else come forward, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman DiRenzo.  All members were in favor.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Councilwoman Lange asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the April 4, 2017 Council meeting.

 

A motion to approve the Minutes of the April 4, 2017 Council meeting was made by Councilman DiRenzo, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.   All members present were in favor.

 

 

COUNCILMEMBERS REPORTS:

 

Councilman Schroeder reminded all that Heights in Progress (HIP) is holding the Rhythm and Brews event on Saturday, from 3 to 8 p.m.  He said that the HH Business and Professional Association met last Wednesday and noted that the Cruise Heights Event is scheduled for April 29th.  He went on to say that Down by the Station Day will be held Saturday, May 13th.

 

He said that there were questions about the Neighbors Night Out Committee which both he and Councilwoman Lange are looking into. 

 

Councilman Schroeder then reported that the Shade Tree Commission 2013 Community Stewardship Incentive Program grant paperwork has been submitted.  He said hopefully the $20,000 reimbursement for this grant will be received.  He said he hopes this money will be utilized as matching funds for the 2017 Community Stewardship Incentive Program grant which is due May 16th.  He said if it is received, it will be used for strategic hazardous tree removal. He said we are waiting on a response from NJDEP.

 

Councilwoman Valvardi reported that the Service Operations Facility Assistant position was offered to an applicant but she turned down the positon.  Valvardi said that the Clerk re-advertised the position in the official newspapers and on the website.  Candidates were interviewed and a resolution is on tonight’s agenda to hire a candidate. Valvardi then said that our current Construction Official is retiring.  She added that the Construction Official position was posted and advertised in the official newspapers and on the website. She said that both Councilman Berryhill and the Clerk, Kelly Santosusso interviewed the only applicant who applied for the Construction Official position.  She noted that the candidate and position will be discussed in the Closed Session this evening.     

 

Councilman Berryhill complimented retiring Construction Official John Sczerbinski for his years of service to the Borough, specifically mentioning how he enjoyed working with him and how effective he was at running the  Construction Office making it one of efficiency and excellent customer service.

 

Councilman Berryhill then reported that the Local Board of Health met recently.  He said that a free Rabies Clinic will be held on Saturday, April 29th from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Fire Station.  He added that all should arrive early as there are often many who attend. 

 

Berryhill then commented on the secondary location for the Community Garden.  He said the Committee is still waiting for applicants or the additional plots so it is not being utilized yet.  He says he has been advised that the soil should be tested.  He said he thinks he may be able to get Rutgers to test the soil.

 

Berryhill said he is strongly in favor of Hens in Heights.  He said he is confident that the Hens in Heights Advisory Board will be an effective at monitoring the Pilot.  He expressed interest in being appointed as Council Liaison to the Advisory Board but said that this is not his decision. 

 

Berryhill said that he is liaison to the Planning and Zoning Board and he said he believes the sign ordinance is on the Agenda for this Thursday.  He said this will be an ongoing process that may take some time to resolve.  He said that he has many people contact him regarding the recent sign issue.  He said some were happy and some were not.  Finally, he commented that he has enjoyed all of the communication on the topic.

 

She then announced Down by the Station Day is a Borough project and is one of our civic events.  She said she is happy to report that HH Business and Professional Association and Heights in Progress are helping to defray the cost of the train engineer’s hats for the children.

 

Lange then said that the Easter Egg Hunt was held noting that the Egg Hunt is a Borough event as well.   Lange said that Trish Sheilds deserves a lot of public accolades for volunteering her services for the last several years.  She said she even purchased her own Bunny costume.  She and her daughter filled approximately 3,000 eggs.  She thanked both the Neighbors Night Out and HH Business and Professional Association for donating money toward the purchase of the candy and the eggs.

 

Councilwoman Lange attended the Board of Education meeting last week and said that the parents who attended our last meeting, the Parents for Libraries, presented some research and data to the Board.

 

Lange gave a quarterly report on the Department of Public Works, a copy of which is attached to these Minutes. 

 

Lastly, she said that seasonal work has been completed.  Playgrounds have and will be inspected every month.  Devon and Barr Complexes have been cleaned up for the season.  Fire extinguishers have been inspected and the Borough buildings have been painted.     

 

Councilman DiRenzo said he had no report.

 

BOROUGH ENGINEER’S REPORT:

 

Steve Bach, White Horse Pike – Mr. Bach said that he wished to rely on his written report unless anyone had a questions.

 

 

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

 

Resolution 2017:101 – Resolution Authorizing the Budget to be Read by Title Only

 

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:101 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.   

 

Upon a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

 

Councilwoman Lange then opened the Public Hearing on the 2017 Municipal Budget.

 

Seeing no one come forward for comment, a motion to close the Public Hearing was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.  All members were in favor

 

Both Councilman DiRenzo and Councilwoman Lange thanked Councilwoman Valvardi and Christie Ehret, CFO for their work in preparation of the budget. 

 

Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

A motion to adopt the 2017 Municipal Budget was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  Under a roll call vote, all members voted yes.

 

Public Hearing on Ordinance 2017:1442 – Ordinance Establishing a Pilot Program for Keeping Backyard Hens in the   

Borough of Haddon Heights

Councilwoman Lange opened the Public Hearing on Ordinance 2017:1442.  Seeing no movement, a motion to close the Public Hearing was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.  All members present were in favor.

A motion to adopt Ordinance 2017:1442 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.  Upon a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

 

NEW BUSINESS:

 

Resolution 2017:102 – Resolution Establishing Request for Permission from the Director of Local Government Services to Establish a Dedicated By Rider For Recreation Trust Fund as Required by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.56 (P.L. 1999, Chapter 292, Approved December 23, 1999)

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:102 was made by Council President Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.  Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.

Resolution 2017:103 – Resolution Authorizing the Hiring of a Service Operations Facility Assistant

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:103 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.

Resolution 2017:104 – Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills and Claims for the Second Half of April

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:104 was made by Councilman DiRenzo, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi who abstained from Bollinger and Councilman Schroeder who voted no on the Duane Morris bill.

Resolution 2017:105 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Community Garden Plot Rental Fees

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:105 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2017:106 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Program Fees

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:106 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.

Resolution 2017:107 – A Resolution Providing for a Meeting Not Open to the Public in Accordance with the Provisions of the New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-12.  Matter related to the Construction Office.  Discussion expected to be ½ hr. in duration.  Formal Action May Be Taken.

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:107 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.  Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT:

 

Councilwoman Lange called for Public Comment on anything anyone may wish to address.
Seeing no movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.  All members present were in favor.

 

Councilwoman Lange announced that Council would be going into Executive Session.

 

ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS SESSION:

 

7:55 p.m.

 

OPENING OF EXECUTIVE SESSION TO THE PUBLIC:

 

A motion was made to open the meeting to the public by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilman DiRenzo.  All members present were in favor.

 

A motion was made to adopt Resolution 2017:108 – A Resolution Authorizing the Hiring and Appointment of a Construction Official

 

A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:108 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilman Schroeder.

 

Upon a roll call vote, all members present voted yes.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION:

 

A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members present were in favor. 

 

8:33 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted:

 

 

Kelly Santosusso, RMC Borough Clerk

 

 

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