BOROUGH OF HADDON HEIGHTS
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Governing Body Meeting Minutes
Mayor Merryfield 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.”
Mayor Merryfield asked the Clerk for the roll call.
Under roll call, Council President Susan Griffith and 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.
Department Head Performance Evaluations
Councilwoman Valvardi said that we need to come to a decision on Department Head performance evaluations and how they will be completed. Mayor Merryfield said that he thought the Directors should do the evaluations.
He asked if anyone was opposed. With no council members objecting, it was decided that the Directors would complete the evaluations by May 30th.
Mayor Merryfield went around the table to see if any Councilmembers had anything they wished to discuss.
Councilman Berryhill addressed the bills that were mistakenly taken out of the wrong account and removed from the bill list for the Municipal Alliance. $2,300 to the High School was put back onto the agenda.
Councilwoman Lange addressed her question regarding emissions for the installation of canisters on utility poles by Verizon Wireless. Larry Morgan of Tilson Technologies was present and provided a report to Councilwoman Lange which addressed the issue. She said she was satisfied with what was provided.
With no further caucus items to address, Mayor Merryfield concluded Caucus session at 8:10 p.m. announcing that the Business Session will convene downstairs at 7:30 p.m.
Mayor Merryfield called the Business Session to order at 7:30 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE:
All stood for the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence.
PRESENTATION OF OFFICER OF THE YEAR 2016
Mayor Merryfield then asked Patrolman Michael Selby, Council President Griffith and Chief Koch to come forward as well as Patrolman Selby’s parents. Council President Griffith read the framed Certificate naming Patrolman Selby Officer of the Year for 2016.
Chief Koch said that Patrolman Selby is deserving of this award tenacious 104 arrest and 19 motor vehicle accidents and 700 summonses. He said that out of all of the contact with the public, the Police Department has not received one complaint. Griffith said that we appreciate all that you do.
All posed for a photo for THE RETROSPECT.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on Caucus and Agenda items only. Seeing no movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. All members were in favor.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Mayor Merryfield asked for a motion to approve the Minutes of the May 2, 2017 Council meeting. Councilwoman Lange said that in her Council report, spellcheck changed the word ‘rove’ to drive. There were no other changes. A motion to approve the Minutes of the May 2, 2017 Council meeting was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
Council President Griffith reported on Haddon Heights Neighbors Soiree En Blanc. She said that this is the last week to purchase tickets; $50 a pair and are available at the Library.
Griffith thanked the Sons of South Jersey who came in to redo the benches at the VFW Memorial site. She said they did a great job and were appreciative of them being complete prior to the Memorial Day Ceremony.
Griffith gave the Police report for the month of April, a copy of which is attached to these Minutes. HHPD applied for the Click it or Ticket grant. Unfortunately, we were not approved because the state has limited the funding. Reminder strictly enforces prohibited parking laws around the schools and sports facilities and school areas. Radar enforcement has been increased in locations where potential speeding problems have been reported.
Councilwoman Lange reported that Down by the Station Day was held this past Saturday as planned. She said that all three indoor events were held but the outdoor events, the trolley and the Business Association sponsored Pine Barrons singers were cancelled due to inclement weather. All Engineer hats will be stored for next year’s event.
Lange said she attended the May Business Association meeting. Councilwoman Valvardi will report.
Councilwoman Lange said that last month, she inadvertently neglected to report that Heights in Progress (HIP) donated $2,000 toward helping a family with medical bills from the Rhythm and Brews Event.
Councilwoman Lange reported that Summer Rec Counselor interviews will be held this week. She said that Summer Rec information packets, including all emergency information forms, were mailed out to all registrants. She thanked Town hall staff for their help with this. She also thanked residents who have provided donations.
Lange went on to report that the summer Field Use Schedules were reviewed and approved for summer activities. Fall Field Use forms are due by June 1st.
Phase I of the Small Explorers Park with the arrival of the Willow Tree tunnel. This is part of the landscape and passive recreation segment of the Park.
Lange said that she would like to thank the HH Field Hockey Club for the $3,000 donation toward the cost of the electrical repair of the field lighting at Barr Complex.
Lange reported that the Run Like it’s Recess event is this Sunday. All can register up until this Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Seventh Avenue School. She said that details are online.
Councilman DiRenzo had no report this evening.
Councilman Berryhill reported on the Municipal Alliance Commission. He said that the Mock Car Crash will be held prior to the Prom. This is to exhibit the dangers related to drinking/drugs and driving. The Police Department will be providing trading cards for young people in town to assist in developing good relationships between the Police and our young people in town. He went on to say that a Senior Luncheon will be held in October. They are seeking a speaker to discuss issues related to alcohol dependence. Will be announced when details have been finalized.
Berryhill added that Municipal Alliance member Chris Linaris and the Parent Teacher Group has brought forth an Anti-Bullying Program in combination with the Walnut Street Theatre Program. He said no decision has been finalized but if they decide to move forward on it, the idea would be to present it to the three elementary schools.
Berryhill said that the Hens in Heights Advisory Board is meeting on Monday, May 22nd at Borough Hall if anyone would like to attend.
Berryhill mentioned that at the last meeting, concerned citizens spoke about a property on 2nd Avenue that has been in disrepair. He said that he has checked with the Construction Office who advised that permits for the home are ready to be picked up. He said that he followed up with the Zoning Officer who spoke with the contractor working on the project. Berryhill said that he then followed up with the concerned residents.
Berryhill said that he and Solicitor Olizi will be meeting this Friday with the Camden County Improvement Authority manger to discuss a potential Shared Service with the County to manage vacant/abandoned properties in Haddon Heights.
Councilwoman Valvardi said there is nothing new to report for Administration; all is going well.
Councilwoman Valvardi reported that she, Councilwoman Lange and Councilman Schroeder attended the Haddon Heights Business and Professional Association Meeting (HHBPA) at the Village Cheese Shop. She said that they did not have enough members present to have a quorum but said the following items were discussed. HHBPA has added two members. Cruise Heights was held April 19th and went well; discussions are taking place regarding moving the event to a different venue – possibly back to Station Avenue. Requests and payments are coming in for the Fall Festival which is scheduled for Saturday, October 7th with a rain date of October 8th .
Councilwoman Valvardi said that she attended the Exit Conference on the 2016 Audit – an update will be given at the next Council meeting.
Councilman Schroeder reported that the Environmental Commission is meeting tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. Discussion will be held regarding Haddon Heights entering a State program for an energy audit on our public buildings. He said he will be reaching out to the School Board on this. Schroeder said that this may be a Caucus topic for discussion at the next Council meeting. He added that there may also be a resolution on the Agenda supporting our application.
Councilman Schroeder went on to report that the Shade Tree Commission meeting will be held in two weeks. He said that a Community Stewardship Incentive Program (CSIP) grant application was filed today with the State in the amount of $23,000 with the DEP and Forestry Service. He said that Chairwoman Roni Olizi prepared this very detailed application. He thanked Chairwoman Olizi, Clerk Santosusso, Superintendent Ellis and CFO Ehret for their work in assisting with the compiling and completing of the filing of this grant.
Schroeder reported on another opportunity: a Safe Route to School grant which is conducted through the Department of Transportation. He said this involves promoting safe walking paths to school. He said he is looking into this and has reached out to a local contact in Marlton. He said there is information and brochures about points that can be submitted to the State along with the grant application. He said he will present some information at the next meeting to see if this is something Council can move forward on or whether this is something that should be passed on to the Board of Education.
Councilman Schroeder commented on Bond Ordinance 2017:1441 that is on tonight’s Agenda. He said that he prepared a document that is part of the official record. He said that although he agreed with 80% of the items that are included in the Ordinance however, he said he did not agree with 20%. He said that, in his opinion, the amounts included in the 20% of the Ordinance could be better spent toward impacting the tax payer directly. Lastly, he said being that there is no way to vote “no” on a particular item in the Ordinance, he will support the Ordinance by voting “yes.”
BOROUGH ENGINEER’S REPORT:
Steve Bach came forward and stated that he submitted his report and will rely on the report unless anyone has any questions. Mayor Merryfield asked if anyone had any questions. There were none. A copy of the report will be attached to these Minutes.
Public Hearing and Final Adoption of Bond Ordinance 2017:1441 – Bond Ordinance Providing For Various Capital Improvements by the Borough of Haddon Heights, Appropriating the Aggregate Amount of $827,000 Therefor and Authorizing the Issuance of $787,600 Bonds or Notes of the Borough to Finance Part of the Cost Thereof
Mayor Merryfield opened the Public Hearing on Bond Ordinance 2017:1441. No one from the public came forward for comment. A motion to close the Public Hearing was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
A motion to adopt Ordinance 2017:1441 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Council President Griffith. Upon a roll call vote, all members voted yes with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who abstained.
Resolution 2017:116 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund Program Fee
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:116 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:117 – Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills and Claims for the Second Half of May
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:117 as amended was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Council President Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor with the exception of Councilman DiRenzo who voted no on payments for Open Gym at the High School and Duane Morris and Councilman Schroeder who voted no on payment to Duane Morris; Council President Griffith and Councilwoman Valvardi both abstained from payments to South Jersey Regional Health Benefits and Bollinger Prescription payments.
Resolution 2017:118 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Tax Overpayment to Walter
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:118 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Lange. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:119 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Tax Overpayments to Haddon Savings Bank
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:119 was made by Councilwoman Lange, seconded by Council President Griffith. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:120 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Tax Overpayments to Audubon Savings Bank
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:120 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:121 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Tax Overpayments to Corelogic Tax Services
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:121 was made by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman Schroeder. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:122 – Resolution Authorizing the Refund of Tax Overpayment to Lereta, LLC
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:122 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. Under a roll call vote, all members present voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:123 – Resolution Granting Verizon Wireless Right-of-Way Access for the Purpose of Planning Maintenance of Utility Poles to Increase Wireless Signal Strength
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:123 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Resolution 2017:124 – 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 Fire Department. Discussion expected to be ½ hr. in duration. Formal action may be taken.
A motion to adopt Resolution 2017:124 was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. Under a roll call vote, all members voted in favor.
Mayor Merryfield called for Public Comment on any topic anyone may wish to address.
Ginger Samuels, 738 Taylor Street, Collingswood, NJ – Ms. Samuels said that her grandchildren attend Glenview Avenue School. She said she wanted to address Ordinance 2017:1438. She said she heart that the stop sign was to be installed over the spring break but it did not. She asked when it will be installed. Mayor Merryfield said that that everything necessary for the installation was ordered but the specialty signs take a while to come in. Superintendent John Ellis said that the poles for the sign are also a special order. He did note that the curbs were painted yesterday and today. He said they should be in by the end of this week or next week. Ms. Samuels thanked everyone for their help.
Judy Bueker, Stanfill Towers- She now lives in Stanfill Tower but lived all of her life at 906 Station Avenue. She said she is the person who presents the wreaths on Memorial Day. She went on to ask why 906 Station Avenue, her childhood home, is being torn apart and when it will be completed. Mayor Merryfield responded that he believes there was an oil tank that leaked. Councilwoman Griffith said that she knows the people who have bought the home and said they are totally gutting the house and will be rehabbing it. She said the owners are thrilled to be there. Griffith said she is not sure when it will be complete but knows they are working just about every day of the week. She said it is a nice young family who will be moving in.
Seeing no further movement, a motion to close the Public Comment portion of the meeting was made by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilman Berryhill. All members were in favor.
Mayor Merryfield announced that Council would be going into Executive Session.
ADJOURNMENT OF BUSINESS SESSION:
Council went into Executive Session at 8:10 p.m.
OPENING OF EXECUTIVE SESSION TO THE PUBLIC:
A motion was made to open the meeting to the public by Council President Griffith, seconded by Councilwoman Valvardi. All members present were in favor.
Upon a roll call vote, all members present were in favor.
ADJOURNMENT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION:
A motion was made to adjourn the meeting by Councilwoman Valvardi, seconded by Councilman DiRenzo. All members were in favor.
Kelly Santosusso, RMC