Meeting Agendas & Minutes

Regular Council Meeting Minutes 01/06/11

Minutes of the Organization Meeting of the Borough Council held January 6, 2011, 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 JANUARY 8TH 2010, 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.

 

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PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Mayor Druetzler asked everyone to join in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

INVOCATION

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 second day of November 2010.

 

The said Board does determine that at the end of the said election

 

Name Office Term

 

Frank J. Druetzler Mayor Four year term

 

Jason C. Karr Borough Council Three year term

 

Suzanne B. McCluskey Borough Council Three year term

 

Raymond Zabihach Borough Council Unexpired Two year term

 

Were duly elected to the office and for the term set forth above."

 

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INTRODUCTION OF COUNCILMEMBERS-ELECT AND OATH OF OFFICE

 

Mayor Druetzler invited his sister, Kathryn, to come forward and hold the Bible as The Honorable Michael Carlucci administered the Oath of Office.

 

Mayor Druetzler expressed his gratitude and appreciation for being elected to another four year term. Mayor Druetzler’s goal since he was first elected Mayor is the same goal he has today, and that is to act more than he talks and to accomplish more than he promises.

 

Mayor Druetzler invited Suzanne B. McCluskey to come forward so that The Honorable Michael Carlucci could administer the Oath of Office. Her son, Brendan, and his wife Christine, her daughter, Meghan and four grandchildren, Thomas, Wiss, Roisin and Maebh
were present. Councilmember McCluskey thanked the public for the honor of serving them and stated it is a privilege to be re-elected. She thanked the governing body and her family for their support.

 

Mayor Druetzler invited Jason C. Karr to come forward to take the Oath of Office. His wife, Donna, came forward to hold the Bible as The Honorable Michael Carlucci administered the Oath of Office. Also in attendance were Councilmember Karr’s sons, Mathew and Nicholas, his wife’s parents, his brother, Mark, and his wife, Andrea, and their children. Councilmember Karr said he is grateful for being elected to a second term as it shows the voters have enough trust and confidence in him to keep him in office for another term. He thanked his wife, Donna, for her support and his family members as well.

 

Mayor Druetzler invited Roman Zabihach to come forward to take the Oath of Office. His wife, Nadia, came forward to hold the Bible as The Honorable Michael Carlucci administered the Oath of Office. Councilmember Zabihach said this is a special night for him and he thanked the governing body for helping him through the election process. He extended a warm appreciation to his wife for all her support and understanding in preparation for the election. He thanked the voters for having confidence in him.

 

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Present on Roll Call:

Mayor Frank J. Druetzler

Councilmembers: Jason C. Karr

Joseph Cecala, Jr.

George J. Coogan

Laurie J. Fu

Suzanne B. McCluskey

Roman Zabihach

 

Present: Gail H. Fraser, Esq., Borough Attorney

Leon C. Hall, Borough Engineer

 

Mayor Druetzler recognized dignitaries from the public and thanked them for attending this meeting: Senator Joe Pennacchio, Sheriff Ed Rochford, Freeholder Gene Feyl, former colleague on the Freeholder Board Jack Schrier, Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo, Morris County Fire Service Director, Jack Alderman,
Morris Township Mayor Scott Rosenbush, John Cesare representing Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, former Mayor of Mendham Township, Phyllis Florek, and former Mayor of Hanover Township, Len Farrielo. Mayor Druetzler acknowledged former Councilmembers including Peg Adams, Rosemary Lopez, Ralph Rotando, Bob Carroll, Mike Carlucci, Vince Novak, Howard Leach, and Don Underhill. Mayor Druetzler identified School Board Members Wayne Marek, Lee Connors and Dennis Reilly, who just became Chief of Police in Morris Township.

 

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ADDRESS BY MAYOR FRANK J. DRUETZLER

 

Tonight, My Fellow Citizens, as is our custom at Reorganization, we report very briefly on the results of 2010 and some of our plans and goals for our town in 2011.

 

As always we continue to work on improving our Borough infrastructure. In 2010, we paved Thompson Way, Cornine Lane and Central Avenue. The downtown Beautification program continued in 2010 with the installation of new lights and brick pavers on Speedwell Avenue between Allen Place and Morris Plains Avenue.

 

In 2011 the downtown Beautification program will continue on Speedwell Avenue between Morris Plains Avenue and Academy Road and it will also include the Train Station.

 

The State of New Jersey’s Intersection Improvement at Routes 10 & 53 is 95% complete and the County has completed the improved signalization at West Hanover and Stiles Avenues. We are very pleased with the results of both projects.

 

In 2011 we plan to repave Layer Drive, Harrison Avenue and a portion of Downtown Parking Lot #1. We will also be doing drainage work on Old Wood Road and some sidewalk improvements.

 

As we did last year we will continue to advocate along with neighboring towns, County Freeholders, State Legislators and Citizen Groups to see that the State of New Jersey does not sell the 130 acres of Greystone Property to developers but keep it as Open Space. Hopefully we will see some progress this year. And isn’t the new Dog Park at Greystone great?

 

Change came to the Borough in 2010 as our emergency dispatch services are now managed by Morris County. We are very pleased with this arrangement. You will see further change in 2011 as we have reduced the hours of our Tax Collection and Tax Assessor Departments. In a shared services agreement Denville Township will take over Animal Control from St. Huberts’ Giralda.

 

We anticipate change on Speedwell Avenue as well as we are told that Chase Bank purchased Ronnie’s Deli and will be demolishing the building as well as the current Chase Bank building located on the corner of Morris Plains Avenue; in order to construct a larger Chase Bank facility.

 

An application is pending before the Planning Board for construction of 70 townhouses on Rt. 202 at the site of the recently demolished Day Care Center and 4 homes.

 

We regret to see that Pfizer will be leaving the Borough in the middle of 2011.

 

Despite the worst economic climate since the Great Depression we have been able to maintain services and we plan to continue this policy in the New Year.

 

A group of dedicated citizens led by Bob Webster have formed a 9-11 Memorial Committee; having secured a huge piece of steel from the former Trade Towers, their plan is to construct the 9-11 Memorial on Rt. 53, 200 feet North of Route 202. Dedication of the Memorial will be September 11, 2011. (The proposed rendering of the Memorial is on the Bulletin Board….take a look at it tonight.) Donations are gratefully being accepted.

 

And also in 2010 even the New York Yankees walked the streets of Morris Plans in honor of Jane Lang…

 

Councilman George Coogan, we call him our "Green Team" has secured $50,000 Green Grant to improve the energy efficiency of Town Hall; thusly saving tax dollars. George is also seeking another $50,000 grant for other town facilities. He is also liaison to the Beautification Committee who are preparing for the opening of our Community Garden this spring. We thank Garden Chairman, George Ross and the volunteers of the Beautification Committee for all of their efforts.

 

2011 will mark the 25th Anniversary of the Memorial Day Parade. It is Morris County’s largest Memorial Day Parade. Chairman Steve Welsh and the Committee are planning a grand event.

 

Our Municipal Alliance, Teen Center, Library, Museum, Recreation Programs and Community Center continue to flourish. With changes in the law, you can now become a Junior Fireman at 14 years of age.

 

And our all Volunteer Fire Department immediately enlisted nine new members as Junior Firemen. How wonderful is that? Congratulations to all.

 

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.

 

Your Governing Body thanks you for your support, and we always, always welcome your thoughts.

 

As we move into the New Year we all know we are in tough times, and there will be challenges in the future, but the spirit of the people of the "Community of Caring" continues unabated. Challenges will present new opportunities. Together we will seize these new opportunities and become an even better Community.

 

God Bless you and God Bless America. Thank you.

 

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ELECTION OF PRESIDENT OF BOROUGH COUNCIL FOR THE YEAR 2011

 

Councilmember Karr placed in nomination the name of Suzanne B. McCluskey as Council President for the year 2011.

 

Seconded by Councilmember Fu.

 

There were no further nominations, the Mayor closed the nominations and asked for a vote.

 

Yeas: Councilmembers Cecala, Coogan, Fu, Karr and Zabihach

Nays: None

Abstain: Councilmember McCluskey

Absent: None

 

Mayor Druetzler congratulated Council President McCluskey.

 

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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

Vincent Novak, Class IV 4 years

Henry Sawoski, Class IV 4 years

 

Recreation Commission Michael Breslin 5 years

 

Shade Tree Commission Donald Salerno 5 years

 

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ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS

 

Councilmember McCluskey moved:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the following resolutions be adopted:

 

No. 2011-1 By-Laws

No. 2011-2 Planning Board Representative

No. 2011-3 Standing Committees

No. 2011-4 Appointments

No. 2011-5 Notice of Meetings

No. 2011-6 Adequate Notice of Meetings

No. 2011-7 Request for Notice of Meetings

No. 2011-8 Minutes of Meetings

No. 2011-9 Conference Meetings

No. 2011-10 Depositories for Borough Funds

No. 2011-11 Authorizing Officers to Sign Approved Checks

No. 2011-12 Delinquent Taxes and Tax Installments

No. 2011-13 Time Capsule – Community Park

No. 2999-14 Time Capsule – Morris Plains Library

No. 2011-15 Professional Services

No. 2011-16 Execution of Vouchers

No. 2011-17 Designating Official Newspaper

No. 2011-18 Fixing Holidays – Borough Employees

No. 2011-19 Fixing Holidays – Police Officers

No. 2011-20 Council Appointments

No. 2011-21 Temporary Appropriations for Operating Purposes

No. 2011-22 Waiving Interest on Delinquent Taxes for Senior

Citizens

No. 2011-23 Waiving Interest on Delinquent Taxes for Disabled

Persons

No. 2011-24 Authorizing Tax Collector to Process Property Tax

In Amount Less Than $10.00

No. 2011-25 Authorizing Borough Clerk to Execute Hold

Harmless Agreements

 

Seconded by Councilmember Zabihach.

 

Mayor Druetzler stated that these are routine Resolutions that need to be adopted every year.

 

Yeas: Councilmembers Karr, Cecala, Coogan, Fu, McCluskey & Zabihach

Nays: None

Abstain: None

Absent: None

 

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PRESENTATION OF BADGES TO FIRE DEPARTMENT OFFICERS

 

Mayor Druetzler and Councilmember Cecala presented badges to the following Officers of the Fire Department for the year 2011.

 

Fire Prevention Chief John Boudreau

Assistant Engineer John Downs

Engineer Bob Webster

2nd Assistant Chief Kevin Rongo

1st Assistant Chief Don Geary

Chief Michael Geary

 

Mayor Druetzler stated that our Fire Department is run by all volunteer firemen. He added that we are fortunate that we do not have to advertise to recruit volunteers. Mayor Druetzler added that it is the leadership of the men standing here that makes for such a successful Fire Department. Chief Geary thanked the officers for 2011 for their continuing service to the Borough. He also thanked his wife and family for their ongoing support.

 

Councilmember Cecala added that he goes out on calls and has witnessed our Volunteer Firemen act like paid professionals.

 

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PRESENTATION OF AWARDS FOR 2011

Mayor Druetzler stated that the Community Service Award began 25 years ago and it is the highest award that can be presented to any individual or group. It is awarded to an individual or group who have made a notable contribution over a substantial period of time for the betterment of our Community. At the Award’s inception, it was agreed that no individual or group would be a recipient twice; however, an exception has to be made for the Morris Minute Men. They have been chosen by our country as the recipients of the best Volunteer Emergency Medical Service in the nation. Linda Omaggio, President of the Morris Minute Men, accepted the award on behalf of her fellow EMT’s. In addition, Captain of the Morris Minute Men, Mark Wintle, was also presented the Community Service Award for being chosen by our country as the recipient of the best Emergency Medical Technician Award in the nation. Linda and Mark expressed their gratitude for receiving such awards.

 

Mayor Druetzler stated that the Borough is also acknowledging three educators, individuals who have taught many people present this evening, and possibly their children as well. They have personified excellence in education, and will retire in 2011. Mayor Druetzler presented Community Service Awards to Cathie Kelly, 43 years of service, Sue Vigilante, 44 years of service, and Paul Waldek, 42 years of service. Ms. Kelly, Ms. Vigilante and Mr. Waldek stated that their years of service went very fast and they have enjoyed their careers in the Morris Plains School District.

 

Mayor Druetzler stated that the Community Service Award recipients will be the 2011 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshals.

 

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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.

 

Mayor Druetzler made the following announcements:

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    • Saturday, January 8th, there will be a Blood Drive at Morris Plains Presbyterian Church;
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    • Saturday, January 15th, there will be the Rabies Clinic 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the Borough Garage;
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    • Oaths of Office are ready for signature at the Clerk’s Office; and
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    • Please note the picture of the proposed 9-11 Memorial site is posted on the first and second floor bulletin boards.
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Mayor Druetzler also recognized Bob Heiser, President of the Board of Health as he steps down after 32 years of service.

 

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MEETING OPEN FOR REMARKS AND COMMENTS BY CITIZENS

Mayor Druetzler opened the meeting to the public. Hearing no one, Mayor Druetzler closed the public portion.

 

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BENEDICTION

 

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 for refreshments in the Fire Association room.

 

Councilmember Zabihach moved that the meeting be adjourned at 8:04 P.M.

 

Seconded by Councilmember Coogan. So ordered.

 

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____________________________________

Frank J. Druetzler, Mayor

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____________________________________

June R. Uhrin, Clerk

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