Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Regular Council Meeting Minutes 01/08/10
Minutes of the Organization Meeting of the Borough Council held January 8, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Borough Hall, 531 Speedwell Avenue, Morris Plains, New Jersey.
Mayor Frank J. Druetzler called the meeting to order and read the following notice:
I HEREBY ANNOUNCE AND STATE THAT ADEQUATE NOTICE OF THIS MEETING WAS PROVIDED BY VIRTUE OF A RESOLUTION SCHEDULING THE TIME, DATE, AND PLACE OF MEETINGS OF THE BOROUGH COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF MORRIS PLAINS FOR THE YEAR 2009; WHICH RESOLUTION WAS ADOPTED BY THE BOROUGH COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 5th 2009, AND WAS PUBLISHED IN THE MORRIS NEWSBEE AND IN THE DAILY RECORD AND BY THE FORWARDING OF SUCH RESOLUTION TO ALL PERSONS ON THE REQUEST LIST; BY THE POSTING OF SUCH RESOLUTION ON THE BULLETIN BOARD IN THE BOROUGH HALL; ALL OF THE ABOVE ACTIONS BEING IN ACCORDANCE WITH N.J.S.A. 10:4-6, ET SEQ.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Druetzler asked everyone to join in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The invocation was presented by the Rev. Edward Obermueller from the Trinity Lutheran Church.
STATEMENT OF DETERMINATION OF MUNICIPAL ELECTION
June R. Uhrin, Borough Clerk, read the following statement:
"A Statement of Determination of the Board of County Canvassers, relative to an election held in the Borough of Morris Plains in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, for the election of certain municipal officers for the municipality on the third day of November 2009.
The said Board does determine that at the end of the said election
Name Office Term
Laurie J. Fu Borough Council Three year term
Stephen S. Welsh Borough Council Three year term
Were duly elected to the office and for the term set forth above."
A letter of resignation, submitted by Stephen S. Welsh, was read into the record by the Borough Clerk.
INTRODUCTION OF COUNCILMEMBERS-ELECT AND OATH OF OFFICE
Mayor Druetzler invited Councilmember Laurie J. Fu to come forward to take the Oath of Office, as her husband, Alan, held the Bible. She was also joined by her son, Chad, and daughter, Lindsey.
Councilmember Fu stated that it was an honor to be supported by the members of this community to serve on this council. Councilmember Fu thanked her husband and family for their support, and extended thanks to all the people who helped her during her campaign.
Present on Roll Call:
Mayor Frank J. Druetzler
Councilmembers: Joseph Cecala, Jr.
George J. Coogan
Present: Gail H. Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney
Leon C. Hall, Borough Engineer
Mayor Druetzler recognized some of the individuals from the public: Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, Freeholders Jack Schrier and Jim Murray, Morris County Prosecutor Bob Bianchi, Morris Township Mayor Scott Rosenbush, Hanover Township Mayor John Sheridan, Deputy Mayor Ken Schleifer and Former Mayor Lenny Fariello, Director of Morris County Fire Services, Jack Alderan, Parsippany Councilman John Cesaro, Morris Plains former Mayor Al Florin, and former Morris Plains Councilmembers Peg Adams, Rosemary Lopez, Ralph Rotando, Bob Carroll, Mike Carlucci and Vince Novak. Mayor Druetzler also introduced Board of Education Members Lee Lusardi, Dennis Reilly, and Wayne Marek, and former members Tina Genest and Terry Kaag.
ADDRESS BY MAYOR FRANK J. DRUETZLER
Tonight, My Fellow Citizens, as is our custom at Reorganization, we report very briefly on the results of 2009 and some of our plans and goals for our town in 2010.
As always we continue to work on improving our Borough infrastructure. In 2009, we paved Foxwood Drive (phase 2), Simons Park parking lot and with a $100,000. State Grant we paved Hawthorne Avenue, and the State of New Jersey paved Speedwell Avenue. On November 4th the State started a $17 million, 18 month long intersection upgrade at Route 53 and Route 10. For your information, a diagram is posted on the bulletin board illustrating the project.
In 2010 we expect to pave Thompson Way and Cornine Lane and with a $175,000. Grant from the State of New Jersey Central Avenue will be paved.
In 2009 we along with the Beautification Committee continued to upgrade our town. We put in new lights and brick pavers between Franklin Place and Glenbrook Road. In 2010 we will do the same work between Allen Place and Morris Plains Avenue.
As we did last year we will continue to advocate along with neighboring towns, County Freeholders, State Legislatures and Citizen Groups to see that the State of New Jersey not sell the 130 acres of Greystone Property to developers but keep it as Open Space. We are hopeful that our new Governor will support our efforts.
In 2009 a partnership was formed with the County Park Commission, County Freeholders, Morris Township, Parsippany and Morris United Soccer League to share in the cost and use of playing fields for soccer and lacrosse. These fields will have artificial turf and lights. The fields will be located at Morris County’s Central Park which is the Open Space at Greystone.
Change came to the Borough in 2009 and here in 2010. Chief Jim Abbondanzo has retired after 28 years of service and Sgt. Frank Rybasack will be retiring on January 31st after 30 years of service as a Police Officer.
Also, after 24 years as a Councilman, Don Underhill is retiring and after 28 years, Councilman Steve Welsh has also left the Council. They will all be missed……..A round of applause for four great public servants.
Another change in the Borough became reality on Tuesday, January 5th. Our dispatch services are now being handled by the County of Morris. A change that was made for several reasons. They are……..
1. The County’s technology is superior to our current system
2. We would have had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on upgrades
3. We will save on operation costs
Further in 2010, a group of citizens led by Bob Webster are planning a 9-11 Memorial in our town. You will be hearing more about this project as it progresses this year. We ask all the people of Morris Plains to get behind this great idea and if you have any thoughts, please speak to Bob.
On behalf of the Borough Council, I want to thank the Borough employees, all of the many, many volunteers on Boards, Commissions, Committees and all Citizens for your devotion to our town.
It is the spirit of the people of Morris Plains that keeps this town……. "The Community of Caring."
Your Governing Body thanks you for your support, and we always, always welcome your thoughts.
And Lastly, in the upcoming year :
1. Let us extend our hand to our Neighbor in a helping way.
2. Open our hearts to those in need.
3. Fill our heads with dreams of peace.
4. Cherish our health and the health of our Community.
Thank you and God Bless all of you.
ELECTION OF PRESIDENT OF BOROUGH COUNCIL FOR THE YEAR 2009
Councilmember Coogan placed in nomination the name of Jason C. Karr as Council President for the year 2010.
Seconded by Councilmember McCluskey.
There were no further nominations, the Mayor closed the nominations and asked for a vote.
Yeas: Councilmembers Cecala, Coogan, Fu and McCluskey
Abstain: Councilmember Karr
Mayor Druetzler congratulated Council President Karr.
APPOINTMENTS BY MAYOR
Mayor Druetzler appointed the following persons to the offices stated and the terms specified:
Office Name Term
Planning Board Donald Underhill, Class II 1 year
Sydney Joan Leach, Class IV 4 years
Recreation Commission Eleanor (Jan) McCabe 5 years
Shade Tree Commission Margaret Law 5 years
ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS
Councilmember Karr moved:
BE IT RESOLVED that the following resolutions be adopted:
No. 2010-1 By-Laws
No. 2010-2 Planning Board Representative
No. 2010-3 Standing Committees
No. 2010-4 Appointments
No. 2010-5 Notice of Meetings
No. 2010-6 Adequate Notice of Meetings
No. 2010-7 Request for Notice of Meetings
No. 2010-8 Minutes of Meetings
No. 2010-9 Conference Meetings
No. 2010-10 Depositories for Borough Funds
No. 2010-11 Authorizing Officers to Sign Approved Checks
No. 2010-12 Delinquent Taxes and Tax Installments
No. 2010-13 Time Capsule – Community Park
No. 2999-14 Time Capsule – Morris Plains Library
No. 2010-15 Professional Services
No. 2010-16 Execution of Vouchers
No. 2010-17 Designating Official Newspaper
No. 2010-18 Fixing Holidays – Borough Employees
No. 2010-19 Fixing Holidays – Police Officers
No. 2010-20 Council Appointments
No. 2010-21 Temporary Appropriations for Operating Purposes
No. 2010-22 Waiving Interest on Delinquent Taxes for Senior
No. 2010-23 Waiving Interest on Delinquent Taxes for Disabled
No. 2010-24 Authorizing Tax Collector to Process Property Tax
In Amount Less Than $10.00
No. 2010-25 Authorizing Borough Clerk to Execute Hold
No. 2010-26 Resolution Reappointing Robert Carroll as a
Member of the Southeast Morris County
Municipal Utilities Authority
Seconded by Councilmember Fu.
Yeas: Councilmembers Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr and McCluskey
PRESENTATION OF BADGES TO FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS
Mayor Druetzler commented that the Borough’s Fire Department is going into its 103rd year of existence in 2010.
Mayor Druetzler and Councilmember Cecala presented badges to the following Officers of the Fire Department for the year 2010. Mayor Druetzler asked the following officers to come forward and receive their badges while stating that Morris Plains has been blessed with committed young men.
Chief Michael Geary
1st Assistant Chief Don Geary
2nd Assistant Chief Kevin Rongo
Engineer Bob Webster
Assistant Engineer John Downs
Fire Prevention Chief John Boudreau
Chief Geary thanked the officers for 2010 for their continuing service to the Borough. He also thanked his wife and family for their ongoing support.
Mayor Druetzler introduced Chief Scott Thompson to the public.
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Mayor Druetzler invited Jim Abbondanzo and Frank Rybasack to come forward. Mayor Druetzler stated Jim Abbondanzo served the Morris Plains Police Department for 28 years and Frank Rybasack served for 30 years. Mayor Druetzler stated that he recalls when they were hired and added that they have been outstanding police officers. Mayor Druetzler presented each with a rocking chair with a commemorative name plate identifying their years of service.
Jim Abbondanzo expressed appreciation to the Morris Plains Police Department, the Borough Council, Fire Department, Minutemen, Sheriff’s Office, Prosecutor’s Office and many other agencies for the support.
Frank Ryasack conveyed that this was the best job for 30 years, and he will miss the job, the town, and his coworkers who are family, not just friends.
Mayor Druetzler invited Donald Underhill and Stephen Welsh to come forward, and stated that Don Underhill served on the Council for 24 years, and Steve Welsh served 28 years. Mayor Druetzler presented each with a rocking chair with a commemorative name plate identifying their years of service. Mayor Druetzler stated that Don Underhill was very involved years ago with the plans for and the building of a new Borough Hall, which was a very large task. Mayor Druetzler stated that Steve Welsh pre-dates everyone as he was elected to serve on council when he was a young man. He will always remember Steve as the co-chairman of the Parade Committee.
Don Underhill thanked all the residents who elected him every time he ran for office. He thanked Mayor, Council and Borough Officials. He said he looks at all the changes in the town that he has been a part of and he will miss being involved.
Steve Welsh introduced his wife, Claudia, son, Tim and his fiancé, Jaime, and daughters, Courtney and Casey, and provided a detailed history of his career as a councilman. Tim, Courtney and Casey read a statement into the record about their father’s career as a member of the Governing Body.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD FOR 2010
Mayor Druetzler stated that the Community Service Award is presented to an individual or group of people who have made a positive contribution to the community. This year, the Community Service Award is being presented to Ralph Rotando, Don Underhill and Steve Welsh. They will be the Grand Marshalls in our 24th Annual Memorial Day Parade in May 2010.
ADMINISTRATION OF OATH OF OFFICE TO APPOINTEES
Mayor Druetzler asked those present who have been appointed to any Board, Committee or Borough position to please rise while he administers the Oath of Office. Mayor Druetzler thanked the volunteers and staff. He requested that the Oaths of Office be signed as appropriate.
Mayor Druetzler stated that there will be an H1N1 Clinic on Monday, January 11, 2010 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday, January 12, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Community Center. These clinics are open to everyone.
Mayor Druetzler stated that the Rabies Clinic will be held Saturday, January 16th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Borough Garage.
MEETING OPEN FOR REMARKS AND COMMENTS BY CITIZENS
Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public.
- Bob Heiser, Board of Health President, said he expects a very large turnout at the Rabies Clinic and suggested people get there around 2:00 when the crowd lessens. He added that the H1N1 Clinic is being held at the Community Center and the building will be opened 15 minutes prior to the start of the clinic, so it would be unwise to get there any earlier.
Hearing no one else, Mayor Druetzler closed the public portion.
The Benediction was offered by the Reverend Carie Morgan, Interim Pastor at the Morris Plains Presbyterian Parish.
Mayor Druetzler thanked everyone for attending and extended an invitation to join in the firemen association room for refreshments.
Councilmember Fu moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:04 P.M.
Seconded by Councilmember McCluskey. So ordered.
Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor
June R. Uhrin, Clerk