BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Governing Body Meeting Minutes
Mayor Merryfield called the meeting to Order at 7:00 p.m. and 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 2, 2016.”
Mayor Merryfield asked Clerk Santosusso for the roll call.
Under roll call, Council President Kathy Lange and Councilwomen Susan Griffith and Jackie Valvardi were present as well as Councilmen Stephen Berryhill, Vince Ceroli and Rick DiRenzo. Solicitor Albert Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Borough Clerk Katilyn Compton were also present.
Mayor Merryfield asked if any Councilmembers had anything they wanted to address before moving to the Caucus Agenda.
Councilman DiRenzo said that he will save his comments for the business session of the meeting.
Council President Lange said that she will be abstaining on a reimbursement for expenses.
Both Councilwomen Griffith and Valvardi said they will abstain on a payment to Southern New Jersey Health Insurance Fund.
Mayor Merryfield then asked Councilwoman Griffith to address her Caucus item.
Roadwork Overtime and Vehicle Rates – Councilwoman Susan Griffith and Chief Koch
Councilwoman Griffith said that the Chief reviewed the Borough’s overtime roadwork rates and noted that the last time the rates were changed was in January of 2014. Chief Koch would like to increase the roadwork rate to $75 per hour; he provided the rates for roadwork overtime and vehicle rates of surrounding towns. These rates are in line with surrounding towns that are part of the Police Benevolent Association. Councilwoman Griffith asked that it be placed on the Agenda for the next meeting which is the Reorganization Meeting. Olizi suggested that this be placed on the Agenda for the second meeting. Griffith said that the changes were done by Resolution in 2014. Councilwoman Griffith then announced the rates of the surrounding towns. Olizi said that this can go on the Agenda at the Reorganization meeting.
Update on Glover Fulling Mill Park – Rosemary Fitzgerald
Former Councilwoman Rosemary Fitzgerald reported on a grant that was applied for in 2012 for Glover Fulling Mill Park. She said the project came in under $5,000.00. She said that she will ask the State if this remaining amount can be put toward the cost of the original architectural dig which was done by A.D. Marble. She said the team consisted that Margaret Westfield, lead consultant and sign designer, Donna Ann Harris of Heritage Consulting for the tourism element; Alan Mounier, Archeologist, Steve Bach, Civil Engineer and Sandra Ragonese who created the educational component. She said she ordered 360 placemats that should cover approximately five years for children’s studies of the revolutionary war and the Mill in Haddon Heights. Fitzgerald presented a final report, a copy of which is attached to these Minutes. She said that the NJ Historic Trust Grant of $50,000 for the Glover Fulling Mill Archaeological Park will be complete by December 31st of this year. She said it was a pleasure to work with John Ellis, DPW Superintendent and ended her report by expressing her delight with the Sign for the Park which was designed by Michael and Margaret Westfield and was constructed by Paul’s Trophies. She encouraged all to go down to see the sign. Mayor and Council thanked Rose for her dedication to this project. The Dedication Ceremony will be March 25, 2017.
Mayor Merryfield called the Business Session to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE
Mayor Merryfield asked for a moment of silence. He then led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Merryfield said that we would taking up Resolution 2016:251 Resolution Appointing Michael Smollock to Sergeant of the Police Department to be voted upon now.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:251 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Council President Lange. Upon a roll call vote, all members were in favor.
SWEARING IN OF PTL. SMOLLOCK TO SERGEANT
Mayor Merryfield then asked Patrolman Smollock to come forward with his family as the Oath of Office was administered. Following the Oath, Michael thanked his wife and family and everyone in the room, his fellow officers, the Tact Team, and officers from the surrounding towns. He said that all of these people have made him what he is today.
Chief Koch commented that Mike was one of the first interviews he participated in; he said that Mike stood out right from the start and became comfortable with the job quickly. He said it has been a pleasure to watch him grow and to become comfortable in the job. Lastly, he said that he is very proud of him and wishes him well in his new position.
All posed for a photo for the RETROSPECT.
PRESENTATION OF PLAQUE TO COUNCILMAN CEROLI
Mayor Merryfield presented Councilman Vince Ceroli with a plaque for his service on the 2016 Council. Mayor read the plaque aloud and explained this is one of the nicest Plaques he has seen and it is rightfully deserved. All other councilmembers thanked Councilman Ceroli for his service and wished him luck in the future.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.
Seeing no one come forward for comment, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the December 6, 2016 Council meeting.
A motion to approve the Minutes of the December 6, 2016 Council meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.
Councilman Berryhill reported that the Community Garden is still looking for sites for additional plots. He said that he has asked John Ellis, Superintendent to make suggestions. He said if anyone has any ideas for additional plot locations, please let him know.
Berryhill said that Construction Official John Sczcerbinski provided report for the month of November. The total value of construction is $6,326,519.00. He said there were 64 construction permits for the month and 538 permits for the year. He said these figures are amazing in that during 2015 the value of construction was just over 7 million when there were 15 homes built. He said we see the projects at the Planning Board where residents are doing substantial projects on their homes.
Berryhill reported on a meeting set up by Kelly Santosusso with the County regarding vacant, abandoned properties as well as foreclosures. He said that Kelly Santosusso, Eric Fitzgerald and Katie Compton attended the meeting. He said the County has a Shared Service Agreement with a company where vacant, abandoned and foreclosure properties would be assessed a fee of $500 semi-annually. He said the advantage to this is that this would allow us to catch the problems early in that they have direct contacts with the banks. Without this, we are not notified until several months after the foreclosure process has begun. The company is notified immediately which would be an advantage to us. He said we met today so he still needs to carefully review the Shared Service. Solicitor Olizi noted that this would require amending the current ordinance we have put in place. Berryhill said that should we decide to enter into a Shared Service, our Ordinance would be reviewed and suggestions would be made to tweak it. The advantage to this is that we will be notified immediately when foreclosure process begins. Council President Lange asked a question as to who pays the fee. Councilman Berryhill said that the bank would pay the fee and the bank cannot go after the homeowner.
Councilwoman Griffith gave the Police Department report for the month of November – 6,883 miles driven on patrol, 893 calls for service, 30 arrests, 20 accidents, 41 ACS complains and 341 motor vehicle summonses issued.
She said that the PD is participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over state wide initiative. Residents are invited to “like” the HH Police Department Facebook Page.
Griffith then wished residents Happy Holidays and says she looks forward to come back to working on Council again in 2017.
Council President Lange thanked Bach for the detailed report on the Devon Avenue McCullough Field lighting project.
Lange asked Chief Koch to keep an eye on the McCullough field as kids will be off from school for about 12 days. She said she is worried that kids may want to play on the fields while off from school. She said that DPW has now blocked every single gate.
Council President thanked Rose for her report on Glover Fulling Mill Park. She said she is excited to have another Park in town. She then thanked Rose for her 20 plus years of advocacy for this historic site.
Lange then thanked Rose Fitzgerald for establishing Down by the Station Day a few years ago when she was on Council in 2007 or 2008. She said that this is a Borough project and that the Borough funds $800 of the cost of the event. She added that the HHBPA gives support by placing an Ad in the RETROSPECT and hired the Pine Barrens for about $400.
Small Explorers Park will unveil their Logo in early 2017. Once everything is finalized, and what we may receive from the capital budget, we will determine what additional fundraising will be required.
When McCullough Field is completed for the she has preliminary scheduled for a Lights On Event for parents and children.
Lange said she attended the December Board of Education meeting and said that Board Briefs are School District Website.
Councilwoman Valvardi reported that all is running well in the Clerk’s Office and all are preparing for the annual Reorganization Meeting.
Valvardi said that she attended the Haddon Heights Business and Professional Association (HHBPA) meeting on Wednesday, December 14th at the Village Cheese Shop. She announced that sadly, Margaret Westfield has resigned as Secretary to the HHBPA and she will be sorely missed. She noted that they will be looking for someone within the Association to fill the position. There are 79 businesses within the association and 66 are renewals and 13 are new memberships.
Councilwoman Valvardi reported that the 2017 Borough Calendar has been delivered to homes. The cost of the Calendar is approximately $8,000 to $10,000 to proof and print the Calendar. They sell ads in the calendar to offset this cost. 24 nonprofits listed in the calendar, two pages listing all of the 501c3 organizations.
Councilwoman Valvardi said that she had questions from residents regarding the quotes in the calendar. She said that the HHBPA explained that when an ad isn’t sold, they fill it in with quotes so there is not a blank block. She mentioned that birthdays can be noted on the Calendar for $5. This allows for gifts from local merchants. Valvardi added that anniversaries can be listed for $5.
Valvardi announced that Cruise Heights is scheduled for Saturday, April 29th, with a rain date of April 30th. She said that Shop Small on Station Avenue seemed to be successful.
Valvardi mentioned that Brett and Ethel Harrison were congratulated for being in business for thirty years, twenty of which have been in Haddon Heights.
Lastly, she noted that Brett Harrison passed along some information to her for the Borough’s consideration with respect to cyber security.
Councilman Ceroli said that that he had no report tonight but said that it has been an honor to serve the town. He said that it has been a lot of work but also a lot of fun. He said that he met a lot of great people and made some good friends. He thanked everyone for being so supportive of him. He said he will miss being part of Council. Mayor Merryfield said that Councilman Ceroli will be missed.
Councilman DiRenzo had no report.
BOROUGH ENGINEER’S REPORT:
Steve Bach, Borough Engineer said that he would rely on his written report unless anyone had any questions. A copy of the report is attached to these minutes.
Public Hearing and final adoption of Ordinance 2016:1436 – Establishing the Borough Publication Heights Report and Establishing Advertising Rates
Mayor Merryfield opened the Public Hearing on Ordinance 2016:1436. Seeing no one come forward for comment, a motion to close the Public Hearing was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
A motion to adopt Ordinance 2016:1436 was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Upon a roll call vote, all members were in favor with the exception of Councilman Ceroli who abstained.
Resolution 2016:252 – Resolution Authorizing Transfers of Appropriations
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:252 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Councilman DiRenzo questioned the amounts of the transfers and asked specific questions. Solicitor Olizi said that the CFO has certified that the money is in the budget and that it is permissible to transfer funds at this point during the year. Olizi said that legal fees have been incurred due to a lawsuit that was not anticipated. Olizi said that we budget enough so that there is enough money in the municipal budget overall to allow for transfers which is permissible under the Local Budget Law. Council President Lange explained that she attended a workshop at the League of Municipalities which explained that a budget is a flexible document and transfers are a part of the budget process.
Under a roll call vote, all members were in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who voted no.
Resolution 2016:253 – Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Execute the National Joint Powers Alliance Joint Powers Agreement
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:253 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. Upon a roll call vote, all members were in favor.
Resolution 2016:254 – Resolution Authorizing Payment of Bills and Claims for Second Half of December
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:254 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Ceroli. Upon a roll call vote, all members were in favor with the exception of both Councilwoman Griffith and Councilwoman Valvardi who abstained from the payment to the Southern NJ Regional Health Insurance Fund payment, Council President voted yes with the abstention of a reimbursement to her.
Resolution 2016:255 – Resolution Authorizing Mayor to Execute Addendum to Extend Contract for Private
Collection Agency Penn Credit for Municipal Court Debt
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:255 was made by Councilman Ceroli, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members were in favor.
Resolution 2016:256 – 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 – Employment Matter related to the Police Department. Formal Action May be Taken.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:256 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
Resolution 2016:257 – Resolution Approving Active Membership of Tyler Jackson and Richard Leadbeater in the Haddon Heights Fire Department
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:257 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members were in favor.
Resolution 2016:258 – Resolution Authorizing Submission of a Grant Application for Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
A motion to adopt Resolution 2016:258 was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members were in favor.
Seeing no one come forward, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Council President Lange, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members present were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield said that Council would be going into Executive Session and may take formal action.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS SESSION:
The Business Session was adjourned at 8:03 p.m.
Council went into Executive Session at 8:10 p.m.
Executive Session was opened to the Public with a motion by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members were in favor.
Council went back on the record to consider Resolutions 2016:259 & 2016:260.
Resolution 2016:259 – Resolution Authorizing the Hiring and Appointment of Chris Lessig Class II Officer
A motion adopting Resolution 2016:259 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2016:260 – Resolution Authorizing the Chief of Police to Advertise a Class I Officer for the Haddon Heights Police Department
A motion adopting Resolution 2016:260 was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
A motion to adjourn the Executive Session was made by Councilman Berryhill, seconded by Councilwoman Griffith. All members were in favor. 9:00 p.m.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC, Borough Clerk