January 7, 2017 Reorganization Meeting Minutes

                                         BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS

                                                                                                                             Saturday, January 7, 2017

                                                                                                                 Reorganization Meeting Minutes


Mayor Merryfield called the Reorganization Meeting to Order at 11:17 a.m.  He then read the following statement:




Mayor Merryfield asked all to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.  He then led the Pledge of Allegiance.





Mayor Merryfield asked Father E. Joseph Byerley to come forward for the Invocation.  Father Byerley delivered the Invocation.


“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 December 9, 2017.”


Mayor Merryfield acknowledged dignitaries present:  Assemblywoman Patricia Eagan Jones, State, Alexis Degan is here for Senator Cruz who was unable to attend, and Congressman Donald Norcross.  He noted that due to unforeseen circumstances, the Honorable Justice Lee Soloman was unable to attend this morning and Albert Olizi will now be swearing in Councilwoman-Elect Griffith.




Mayor Merryfield asked that Councilwoman-elect Susan Griffith, her family and Albert Olizi come forward along.  Following the Oath of Office, all posed for a photo for the RETROSPECT.
Mayor Merryfeld asked that Councilman-elect Bryan Schroeder, his family and the Congressman Donald Norcross come forward for the administering of the Oath of Office.  Following the Oath, all posed for a photo for the RETROSPECT.


Mayor Merryfield wished all a good morning and a happy new year.  He thanked everyone in attendance for being here this morning despite the snow.  He said that last year he explained that he is not one for long speeches and he assured everyone that nothing has changed.  He thanked Congressman Donald Norcross for being here today and congratulated him on his reelection. He explained we are all looking forward to working with him to approve our town as we did when he was senator. He then congratulated and welcomed back Council President and Former Mayor Susan Griffith who he described as a wonderful public servant and one of his best friends.  She is one of those people who goes the extra mile for our town. Whenever there is a project that needs to be done or a resident in need of help she is the first one to volunteer. Her knowledge is valuable to our town and he thanked her for all of her work.  He then thanked and welcomed Councilman Schroeder to Council.  He congratulated him and his family on his accomplishments. He is looking forward to working with him to take care of our town and keeping it the special place that it is.  He thanked all the volunteers who serve on the boards, committees and commissions.  Everyone appreciates your talents and service. Best wishes to all for a prosperous 2017.




Mayor Merryfield asked Borough Clerk Santosusso for the roll call.


Under roll call the following members were present:  Councilwoman Kathy Lange, Councilwoman Susan Griffith, Councilwoman Jacqueline Valvardi and Councilman Schroeder, and Councilman Stephen Berryhill were present as well as Solicitor, Albert J. Olizi, Jr., Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso and Deputy Clerk Katilyn Compton.  Councilman Richard DiRenzo was absent.


Councilwoman Griffith wish all a good morning and a happy new year.  She thanked the Mayor for his kind comments.  She thanked the voters of Haddon Heights for continuing to put their trust in her and allowing her the opportunity to serve another term to serve in public office.  Public service has always been part of her life and she deeply appreciates the opportunity to take on the heavy responsibility that comes with being part of this government. She thanked Congressman Donald Norcross for joining us today and welcomed new Councilman Bryan Schroeder she’s looking for getting to know him better and to work together with him. Thanked Chris Soriano and Dave Mosko for their help during the campaign. Thanked her children for being her biggest supporters.  While out campaigning, she had many interesting conversations with the residents in town.  The one thing those conversations have in common is the sense of pride in the town.  We may have differences of opinion about how exactly things get done but she assures everyone that everything we do on council and every decision we make is rooted in that same sense of pride in our town.  We are blessed with great talent in this government from our elected officials, to our staff, to our very many volunteers.  Let us keep working as a team to keep our town a place that we are all proud to call home.


Councilman Schroeder began his comments by thanking everyone for taking the time out of their weekend to come today. He especially wanted to thank Congressman Donald Norcross for attending and administering his oath of office as well as Assemblywoman Jones.  He is honored that the residents of Haddon Heights casted their vote for him to represent them on this council. On behalf of himself, the rest of council, and the mayor, he strongly encourages everyone in attendance to serve your neighbors and become involved in local government.  Whether you serve on council, committees, boards, or commissions, we need your help, knowledge, and skills.  He congratulated Councilwoman Griffith for her reelection and recognized her continued service to the borough. Over the next three years, he looks forward to working with the mayor, council president, and the rest of council to improve the borough and assist our residents as best as we can.  In particular, there are specific goals he wishes to accomplish.  First, he hopes to improve the infrastructure of the roads in town by utilizing state and county programs for these repairs to minimize costs to tax payers for unplanned or emergency repairs that can be astronomical. Second, we need to promote and improve our residential housing stock as we have a number of vacant and abandoned homes by creating tax abatement programs to strengthen home values, create incentives for homeowners to stay within the borough, and to result in residual spending for local contractors.  Third, we need to maintain and strengthen our local business community but also attract more business to Station Avenue and the White Horse Pike by incorporating commercial tax abatement programs. We should minimize the bureaucracy that local businesses and entrepreneurs have to go through.  Finally, he thanked everyone who contributed to the campaign: Holly Cass from Camden County who made all of this possible, Chris Linaris who was the best running mate possible, his mother, his daughters, and his wife.  He invited everyone in attendance to the Cooper House in Pennsauken for food and drink.


Mayor Merryfield asked the rest of council if they wanted to make comments.


Councilman Steve Berryhill thanked all of the committees he was on this year as they are the backbone of the Haddon Heights. The Board of Health is a great group of people that keeps our town healthy.  They are all involved in the health field and without them, if there was a health problem in this town, he doesn’t know where we would be. The Municipal Alliance Committee is another great group of people who help our young and elderly residents in town with drug problems. This was his first year on the Planning and Zoning Board and he is impressed by the professionalism of this group. The Community Garden is great group full of hard workers who have done a lot for the town.  The group donates food to people who are in need.  There are four people to single out who make his job as a councilman easy: Kelly Santosusso, Katie Compton, John Szczerbinski, and Ron Newell.  They all work very hard with him and make him look good.  He congratulated Susan Griffith on her reelection and welcomed Bryan Schroeder to council.  He thanked Congressman Donald Norcross for attending.  He met him about seven years ago when he spoke with his office.  He was impressed with him then and is impressed with him now.  He recognized Assemblywoman Patricia Egan Jones as his friend and he has known her for many years.  He also thanked her son, Jay Jones who is a wonderful man.  He wished all a happy new year and encouraged anyone with any suggestions to email or call him.


Mayor Merryfield recalls a personal situation where Congressman Donald Norcross quickly helped him and his family with an issue and he thanked him.


Councilwoman Kathy Lange echoed Mayor Merryfield’s appreciation for the volunteers in town.  She explained that they are the heartbeat of our hometown and their work is deeply appreciated.


Councilwoman Valvardi thanked the Mayor and Council for the past year.  She explained it has been an enlightening and educational experience but she has some great mentors on council to follow and learn from.  She hopes to continue to serve with the present council members as well as new Councilman Bryan Schroeder.  She exclaimed her love for this town and is looking forward to continue going great things for the residents.




Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only.


Seeing no one come forward, a motion to close the public comment portion of the meeting was made by Councilwoman Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members present were in favor.




Asked for a motion to appoint Councilwoman Susan Griffith to the position of Council President.  A motion was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members were in favor.


Mayor Merryfield announced that he will read the Directorship appointments and are as follows:


Councilwoman Jacqueline Valvardi, Director
Councilman Stephen Berryhill
Mayor Jack D. Merryfield

Councilwoman Jacqueline Valvardi, Director
Mayor Jack D. Merryfield


Public Works Department
Councilwoman Kathy Lange, Director
Councilman Bryan Schroeder
Council President Susan R. Griffith

Construction/Zoning Department
Councilman Stephen D. Berryhill, Director
Mayor Jack D. Merryfield


Public Safety (Police, Fire & Municipal Court)
Council President Susan R. Griffith, Director
Mayor Jack D. Merryfield


Councilwoman Kathy Lange, Director
Councilwoman Jacqueline Valvardi

Mayor Merryfield announced that he offered Councilman DiRenzo multiple appointments and he did not accept any of them. Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the directorship appointments.  A motion was made to approve the directorship appointments by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members present were in favor.








Resolution 2017:01 – Resolution Appointing Deputy Borough Clerk – Katilyn Compton, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:02 – Resolution Appointing Auditor for 2017 – Bowman & Company, 1 yr


Resolution 2017:03 –. Resolution Appointing Christie Ehret to the Position of Treasurer and Certified

Municipal Finance Officer


Resolution 2017:04 – Resolution Appointing Borough Solicitor – Mattleman, Weinroth and Miller, P.C. Albert J. Olizi, Esq., 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:05 – Resolution Appointing Borough Bond Counsel for 2017– Waters, McPherson, McNeill, P.C., 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:06 – Resolution Appointing Risk Manager – Tom Sherwin Agency, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:07 – Resolution Appointing Court Administrator for the Haddon Heights Municipal Court – Cathy Lawson, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:08 – Resolution Appointing Recycling Coordinator – John J. Ellis, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:09 – Resolution Appointing Superintendent of the Department of Public Works – John J. Ellis. 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:10 – Resolution Appointing Special Law Enforcement Officers


Resolution 2017:11 – Resolution Appointing Deputy Court Administrator – Michele Busarello, Sharon McMaster, Karen Eckert, and Cynthia White, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:12 – Resolution Appointing Tax Search Officer – Eric Fitzgerald


Resolution 2017:13 – Resolution Appointing Fire Chief – Michael Kinky, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:14Resolution Appointing Fund Commissioner and Alternate to the Garden State Municipal Joint Insurance Fund – Mayor Jack D. Merryfield, Jr. and Council President Susan R. Griffith


Resolution 2017:15 – Resolution Appointing Municipal Court Prosecutor – Richard A. DeMichele, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:16 – Resolution Appointing Municipal Court Public Defender – William J. Stopper, Esq., 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:17 – Resolution Appointing Zoning Code Enforcement Officer – Ron Newell, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:18 – Resolution of the Mayor and Borough Council of the Borough of Haddon Heights in the County of Camden and State of New Jersey Designating Delegates to the Camden County Community Development Block Grant Program – Councilwoman Susan R. Griffith and Borough Clerk Kelly Santosusso, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:19 – Resolution Appointing Broker of Record – Hardenbergh Insurance Group, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:20 – Resolution Appointing Fire Inspectors for the Haddon Heights Fire Department –Judith Reiss, Joe Hales, Jim Burleigh, Ralph Jones, Ernie Busch and Stephen DePierri, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:21 – Resolution Appointing Members of the Haddon Heights Fire Department


Resolution 2017:22Resolution Appointing Deputy Coordinator of Emergency Management – Judith Reiss, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:23 – Resolution Authorizing Chief of Police to Issue Gun Permits – Chief Bruce Koch


Resolution 2017:24 – Resolution Appointing Crossing Guards for the Haddon Heights Police Department, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:25 – Resolution Appointing Borough Arborist – Steve Dorsey, 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:26 – Resolution Appointing Frank Spadea to the Position of Licensed Collection System Operator (C-2 License), 1 yr.


Resolution 2017:27 – Resolution Concerning Attached 2017 Appointments

Resolution 2017:28 – Resolution Designating a Public Agency Compliance Officer

Resolution 2017:40Resolution Appointing a Conflict Municipal Court Prosecutor- Matt Rooney, Esq.

Resolution 2017:41 Resolution Appointing a Conflict Public Defender for the Borough of Haddon Heights Municipal Court- Charles Wigginton. Esq.

MOTION TO ADOPT RESOLUTION 2017:01 THROUGH 2017:28 and 2017:40 THROUGH 2017:41. 

Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve Resolutions 2017:01 through 2017:28 and 2017:40 through 2014:41. A motion to adopt Resolutions 2017:01 through 2017:28 and 2017:40 through 2014:41 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi.  Upon a roll call vote, all members present were in favor with the exception of Councilman Schroeder who voted no on Resolution 2017:06.

Mayor Merryfield then asked all appointees to stand for the administering of the Oath of Office.  All stood, raised their right hand and repeated the Oath of Office after the Mayor.

Council President Griffith read the following resolutions:

Resolution 2017:29 – Resolution Regarding Rules of Council

Resolution 2017:30 – Resolution Regarding Interest Rate for 2017

Resolution 2017:31 – Resolution Establishing a Petty Cash Fund for 2017

Resolution 2017:32 – Resolution Authorizing Use of a Cash Management Plan

Resolution 2017:33 – Resolution Designating Newspapers to Receive Notices of Meetings as Required Under the Open Public Meetings Act

Resolution 2017:34 – Resolution Establishing 2017 Council Meeting Dates

Resolution 2017:35 – Resolution Approving Temporary Budget Appropriations for 2017

Resolution 2017:36 – Resolution Approving Payment of Bills and Claims for First Half of January 2017

Resolution 2017:37Resolution Designating Depositories of Funds for Various Accounts for 2017

Resolution 2017:38 – Resolution Authorizing the Cancellation of Small Tax Balances for the Year 2016

Resolution 2017:39 – Resolution Authorizing the Utilization of State Contract Vendors

Resolution 2017:42 – Resolution Appointing Licensed Site Remediation Professional

Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve Resolutions 2017:29 THROUGH 2017:39 and 2017:42. A motion to adopt Resolutions 2017:29 THROUGH 2017:39 and 2017:42 was made by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members present were in favor with the exception of Councilwoman Valvardi and Council President Griffith who both abstained from the payments on 2017:36 to VSP, Horizon Dental, and Bollinger Prescription. Councilman Schroeder also abstained from the payment to Jaclyn Schroeder in Resolution 2017:36.



Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any matter the public wishes to address.


Congressman Donald Norcross- The Congressman wished all a happy new year and congratulated Council President Susan Griffith and Councilman Schroeder and families on their successful election.  He asked for all to keep those who wear uniforms your prayers as well as the families affected by the recent mass shooting in Florida. He explains that he loves coming to Haddon Heights each year because he loves watching people participate in the democracy of this town.  Norcross describes the election held the day before at the House of Representatives meeting where we elected a new president. It’s the peaceful transfer of power that is one of the great hallmarks of our democracy.  Although many people may have hoped for s different outcome, we are all here now to serve you as Americans. As long as we keep that focus and keep coming together as a community, and he hopes we can move on as a country.


Seeing none, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange.  All members present were in favor.


Mayor Merryfield asked Fire Chief Michael Kinky and his family to come forward for the administering of the Oath of Office.


Mayor Merryfield asked Father Byerley to come forward to deliver the Benediction.


Rev. E. Joseph Byerley delivered the Benediction.



Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to adjourn.  A motion to adjourn was made by Councilwoman Griffith,

seconded by Councilman Berryhill.  All members present were in favor.  11:55 a.m.


Mayor Merryfield invited all present to Anthony’s Ristorante for a luncheon.



Respectfully submitted:


Kelly Santosusso, RMC, Borough Clerk

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