MAYOR AND COUNCIL
November 24, 2020
CALL TO ORDER
SALUTE TO COLORS
Mayor Zdichocki invited all those present to stand in a salute to the colors.
MAYOR’S STATEMENT AS TO COMPLIANCE WITH P.L. 1975
Adequate Notice of this Meeting has been provided according to the Open Public Meetings Act, Assembly Bill 1030. Notice of this Meeting was included in the Annual Meeting Notice sent to the New Jersey Herald and the Daily Record on January 8, 2020 and was placed on the Official Bulletin Board in the Municipal Building.
Furthermore, notice of the change in the meeting location was sent to the New Jersey Herald and Daily Record on July 22, 2020 and was placed on the official website of the Borough of Stanhope.
Furthermore, notice of the change in meeting time was sent to the New Jersey Herald and Daily Record on November 2, 2020 and was placed on the official website of the Borough of Stanhope.
In the event the Mayor and Council have not addressed all items on this Agenda by 10:00 PM and they are of the opinion that they cannot complete the Agenda in a reasonable time period, the Mayor and Council may exercise their option to continue this meeting at an agreed to date, time and place. Please turn off all cell phones for the duration of this meeting.
Councilman Cipollini – present
Councilman Romano – present
Councilwoman Kuncken – present
Councilman Thornton – present
Councilman Riccardi – present
Councilman Wronko – present
Mayor Zdichocki – present
DISCUSSION (2021 Municipal Budget)
3b Mayor & Council: OE – Administrator McNeilly stated at the last meeting he was asked to obtain details for Line #10511021 Office Supplies. The expenses charged to this line item for 2020 include costs incurred due to COVID such as the purchase of the new microphone system and the recorder being used to record the meetings. These items along with some other expenses caused the overage in 2020 for this line item. These expenses have been submitted for reimbursement. Councilman Romano asked if a budget of $280 is sufficient for 2021. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 the budgeted amount has been exceeded. Administrator McNeilly stated the amounts were only slightly over budget. The $280 should be sufficient. No changes were made.
4b Computer Services – Administrator McNeilly stated at the last meeting he was asked to obtain details for Line #10514024 Internet/Website. The charges for this line item included additional costs as a result of COVID such as Zoom access, PC access, and anticipated increased costs for Cablevision. The subscription services will carry the Borough through next year and they have been submitted for reimbursement. Councilman Cipollini asked about the $4,200 amount budgeted for Line 10514031 DocuScan Maintenance. Administrator McNeilly stated he will contact the CFO for the details.
5a Legal Services (Lgl Dept):OE and Engineering Services: OE – Administrator McNeilly stated he does not have an update for these budgets at this time. This budget will be revisited at a future date.
5c Regional Planning Board – Administrator McNeilly stated he has not received the budget from the Regional Planning Board. Ellen Horak, Borough Clerk, stated the letter from the Regional Planning Board was received yesterday. The 2021 budget is the same as the 2020 budget. Administrator McNeilly stated the budget request for 2021 for Line #10518321 RPB Budget will be reduced to reflect the same amount as last year.
7c Fire Department: OE – Councilwoman Kuncken stated the Borough covers the costs for extrication training for the Fire Department and she asked if the Borough would be covering the costs of extrication training for the Ambulance Squad as well if they will be training with the Fire Department. Administrator McNeilly stated with regard to the budget for Line #10526581 Annual Training, costs for the past few months may not be recorded yet and getting together for training over the past year has had its challenges. With regard to extrication, you have to be careful if you have something that is being performed by volunteers. The training does need to be provided. The Borough may not be in charge of repair or maintenance of the equipment but the training aspect is a separate issue. Mayor Zdichocki stated Line #10526581 Annual Training is strictly for Fire Department training. Councilwoman Kuncken asked Administrator McNeilly to ask the CFO or the Fire Chief if there are any training costs from 2020 which have not been charged to the budget as yet. Administrator McNeilly stated the Fire Department has been reminded to make certain that purchase requisitions are being completed for any products or services.
7a2 Police Department: OE – Councilman Cipollini questioned the budgeted amounts for Line #10524024 Dues & Memberships and Line #10524025 Departmental Supplies. Administrator McNeilly stated the Departmental Supplies include items such as; fuses, first aid supplies, defibrillator pads & batteries, needle slips/bags/etc., misc., drug testing and cards. The budget request is less for 2021 because there are most likely enough supplies in stock. Mayor Zdichocki stated she was contacted by the Chief of Police today and was informed that the department will be getting body cameras. This item is not ready to place into the budget as this time. There is pending legislation and the Chief is looking into any grants which may be available. Councilman Romano read an article stating body cameras will be mandated but there is no funding available. Administrator McNeilly stated the mandate will most likely be challenged.
8a Road Maintenance: OE – Mayor Zdichocki stated Line #10529023 Dues & Membership has been updated to show $75 charged for 2020 and $75 requested for 2021 budget.
8a2 Road Maintenance – Administrator McNeilly stated the DPW Superintendent is still waiting for a third quote for the proposed street sweeper rental which is budgeted on Line #10529050 Equipment Rental. The first two quotes are almost identical. Mayor Zdichocki stated the reason for the request is that the Borough’s street sweeper is extremely old and not working well. Renting a street sweeper will be cheaper than purchasing a new sweeper. Administrator McNeilly stated the sweeper would be rented a minimum of twice a year; once in spring and once in the fall. The budget would provide for one additional rental in the case of a weather incident or if the streets need to be cleaned up. The $20,000 listed in the 2021 budget at this time is a place holder. The exact amounts will be provided when available. Councilman Thornton stated it is his understanding that the current quote is for $3,500 per week for the rental. Administrator McNeilly stated the rental may be for a week or a week and a half. The timeframe will be clarified. Co-op pricing will be checked and a third quote is pending. Councilman Thornton asked for a breakdown on the figures when they are available. Mayor Zdichocki stated the total for the page was updated to be $112,480.00. The previous total was $112,405.00 but none of the figures have been changed. Administrator McNeilly stated he can only guess that the first calculation had a mathematical error. Mayor Zdichocki stated the percentage has increased from 22.4% to 22.3%. Administrator McNeilly will ask the CFO to check the calculations.
8c Bldg. & Grounds: OE – Administrator McNeilly stated the governing body needs to determine if Line 10531037 Crosswalk Sign-Brooklyn should be included in the budget. Mayor Zdichocki asked if the $10,000 amount is half the cost of the crosswalk. Administrator McNeilly confirmed this and stated there is a partnership with the County and they will pay for the other half. Councilwoman Kuncken stated a precedent has been set. A crosswalk is going to be installed at Maple Terrace and therefore, how can we not do Lloyd Avenue. Councilman Romano stated the amount should be factored in at this time and he agrees with Councilwoman Kuncken that it will be hard to justify if a decision is made not to install the crosswalk. Councilman Thornton stated he is of the opinion this is not a case of not installing the crosswalk but it may not be feasible to do this year. Councilwoman Kuncken stated if that is the case, the governing body needs to know how long the partnership with the County will be honored. Mayor Zdichocki stated the crosswalk for Maple Terrace is already approved and there may be some benefit to installing both crosswalks at the same time. Councilman Thornton asked if there is an agreement in writing with the County. Administrator McNeilly replied there is not a written agreement. Councilman Thornton suggested the County be contacted to determine the timeframe for the offer. Mayor Zdichocki asked the governing body if the $10,000 should be added to the budget at this time while inquiries are made. The governing body agreed to add the crosswalk funds to the budget. Administrator McNeilly explained how funds not used in the prior year become surplus and how those funds can and cannot be used going forward.
10a Recreation: OE – There have been no changes made to this budget for 2021. Administrator McNeilly stated an actual budget request was not received from the Recreation Commission and therefore the amounts stay the same as the prior year. Mayor Zdichocki stated she has asked the Recreation Commission for a status update regarding the tree lighting ceremony. Administrator McNeilly stated he is also waiting for a reply back from the commission.
10b Celebration of Public Events – This line item includes the expenses for events such as; the Miss Stanhope contest and the donation to the American Legion for the parade. Councilwoman Kuncken stated the 911 Memorial needs to be spruced up for the 20th anniversary which is coming up. No changes were made.
10c Environmental Commission: OE – Mayor Zdichocki stated Line #10542523 Outdoor Supplies had a charge in 2020 of $158.45. There is no budget amount requested for 2021. Councilman Riccardi stated the commission has requested $2,000 for Line 10542528 Prof. Services. The funds will be needed to cover the costs for the DEP application fees and permit fees for Furnace Pond Park.
11a Electricity – All Departments and Telephone – No changes were made.
11b Petroleum Products – No changes were made.
12a Condo Services – No changes were made.
12a PERS, Social Security & PFRS – No changes were made.
12b Stormwater Management – No changes were made.
12c Municipal Court: OE – Councilman Thornton asked if the Borough still had to pay the court when court was not being held. Administrator McNeilly stated there was a very short period of time when court was not held. Court has been being held online. No changes were made.
12c Grant Expenditures – Mayor Zdichocki asked Administrator McNeilly to check with the CFO regarding Line #10700027 Clean Communities Program to determine if funds will be received this year. Councilwoman Kuncken asked why Line #10700032 Click It or Ticket still shows $0 for 2020. Administrator McNeilly stated the funding from the grant may not have come through as yet. The Click It or Ticket Program was held in June. No changes were made.
13a Reserve for Uncollected Taxes and Debt Service – Administrator McNeilly stated the bond payoff figure increasing to $400,000 was discussed last year. The Borough Auditor will be present at the next Mayor and Council meeting and he will be able to answer any questions.
Administrator McNeilly stated the Water & Sewer Utility Budgets are not available at this time. Mayor Zdichocki stated the discussions on the budget have gone very well. The Administrator will gather the answers to the additional questions and will be discussed at the next meeting.
CITIZENS TO BE HEARD
Mayor Zdichocki opened the meeting to the public after advising attendees that there is a five (5) minute time limit for each speaker.
Mayor Zdichocki welcomed the Girl Scout Troop who are attending this evenings meeting and invited them to ask any questions they may have.
Seeing no one from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Zdichocki closed the public portion of the meeting.
Mayor Zdichocki amended the agenda by moving the Presentation to later in the meeting.
MINUTES FOR APPROVAL
Mayor Zdichocki read aloud the list of minutes being presented for approval:
October 13, 2020 Work Session/Agenda Meeting
October 27, 2020 Business Meeting
On motion by Councilman Wronko, seconded by Councilman Romano and unanimously carried by voice vote, the above listed minutes were approved.
CORRESPONDENCE (List Attached)
On motion by Councilwoman Kuncken, seconded by Councilman Riccardi and unanimously carried by voice vote, the list of correspondence was accepted and ordered placed on file.
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS
Public Safety – Councilwoman Kuncken/CouncilmanThornton
(Police, Fire, Ambulance, Court & Violations Bureau, Emergency Management)
Councilwoman Kuncken stated the Sussex County Fire Marshal for the month of October reported 16 inspections were completed. There were no incidents or complaints responded to for the month. There was one violation and that will be abated in November. The other inspections all passed.
Councilwoman Kuncken stated the Ambulance Squad for the month of August has 14 calls in Stanhope and 23 calls in Netcong for a total of 37 calls. There was 1 out of town call to Byram and 4 to Hopatcong for a total of 5. The squad treated 28 patients. They made 18 trips to the hospital and there was 1 request made for a helicopter. They travelled 663 miles and there were 140 hours of volunteer hours.
Councilwoman Kuncken stated the Police Department for the month of October had 94 motor vehicle stops and a total of 262 calls.
Councilwoman Kunken stated she does not have a report from the Fire Department which is unusual.
Mayor Zdichocki asked if any of the departments need additional PPE supplies. More disposable PPE gowns have been made. Councilwoman Kuncken stated right now the departments are well stocked.
Mayor Zdichocki asked if the tent inspections for the businesses have been started. Administrator McNeilly stated the tent inspections have not been done as yet and they will be done by the Construction Department.
Finance & Administration – Councilman Romano/Councilwoman Kuncken
Councilman Romano stated the tax collections for October totaled $977,911.50. The year to date total is $10,291,134.99 which is slightly more than last year’s year to date. The delinquencies are slightly higher this year at $217,114.85 compared to last years total of $209,125.66. The Borough is doing well in terms of percentages. The third quarter collection percentage is 97% and the fourth quarter percentage is 30%. In both cases these percentages are ahead of last year. The overall collection rate at this time is 80% and last year it was 79%.
Councilman Romano stated the water collections for October totaled $53,898.79 and the year to date total is $596,743.97. The sewer collections totaled $65,792.57 and the year to date total is $716,031.48. The water and sewer collections are in good order.
Community Development – Councilman Wronko/Councilman Riccardi
(Zoning, Construction, Code Enforcement, Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Revitalization)
Councilman Wronko stated the State of NJ has open enrollment now until January 31, 2021 for health insurance. The information is posted on the Borough website.
Councilman Wronko asked if the holiday tree lighting will be taking place this year. Mayor Zdichocki replied she and Administrator McNeilly have reached out to the Recreation Commission regarding the tree lighting. Mayor Zdichocki stated she will make another phone call tomorrow. The initial conversation which was held with the chairperson from the Recreation Commission was to hold the tree lighting but not have any activities or gathering afterwards. Councilman Wronko asked for a message to be sent out once a decision is made.
Mayor Zdichocki stated she was contacted approximately a year ago about obtaining a seedling from a tree which survived 911. A letter from the Borough was sent indicating we would like to receive a seedling. Notification was just received stating the Borough will receive one of the seedlings. The tree will be planted at the 911 Memorial which is located at Musconetcong Park.
Municipal Infrastructure – Councilman Thornton/Councilman Wronko
(Water Distribution, Sewer Collection System, Road Construction & Maintenance, Buildings & Grounds)
Councilman Thornton stated the Infrastructure Committee met earlier this month and discussed the street sweeper. The infrastructure requirements for 2021 were discussed. The area identified by the Borough Engineer which has the most crucial need for a water system upgrade is located at Baker Place, Overhill Road, Ridge Road and Sunset Avenue. This would be a large undertaking but it has been identified as a need. The Borough will have to find a way to fund the project.
Administrator McNeilly stated the Local Aid Grant has been awarded to the Borough in the amount of $180,000. This will be applied to the milling, resurface and repaving project for Delaware Avenue and Valley Road. The Borough’s portion will include curbing repair, spot sidewalk repair and restriping, similar to what was done on Young Drive. Mayor Zdichocki stated the grants help to save the residents money. Administrator McNeilly stated grants have been received for the milling and paving work on Sparta Road and for the milling and paving for Kelly Place.
Information Technology – Councilman Riccardi/Councilman Cipollini
Councilman Riccardi stated he had no report this evening.
Boards/Commissions – Councilman Cipollini/Councilman Romano
Councilman Cipollini stated the Land Use Board met and memorialized two applications and a third was deemed complete.
Councilman Cipollini stated the Shade Tree Commission met and their budget for next year remains the same as last year.
Councilman Cipollini stated the Environmental Commission met and they are planning a trail maintenance project.
Mayor Zdichocki asked Councilman Cipollini to contact the Recreation Commission to try and obtain an answer regarding the tree lighting.
Councilman Romano stated the Board of Health Commission met and a decision has been made regarding the annual rabies clinic. The rabies clinic will be held on April 16th.
Dell Road Milling and Paving – Administrator McNeilly stated unfortunately the paving window for Dell Road has closed for this year. A combination of issues outside of the Borough’s control has caused the delay. The milling and paving are anticipated to take place in the early spring of 2021. The Borough Engineer will be attending the December 15th meeting to provide an update.
JCP&L – Administrator McNeilly stated he has been in contact with Jose Ortiz. Mr. Ortiz is the Borough’s area representative from JCP&L and he will be attending the business meeting in January. JCP&L are only doing meetings remotely. The Mayor and Council meetings are not set up for partial virtual and partial in person meetings. If that is still the case in January, the meeting can be rescheduled or an accommodation can be made utilizing the iPads at the meeting.
Waterloo Bridge – Administrator McNeilly stated he has received word from Morris County that the Waterloo Bridge should be completed by the end of the year. The trusses from the old bridge have been restored and are scheduled to be installed the week of December 7th, weather permitting. The walkway and the landscaping are done.
DPW – Administrator McNeilly stated the DPW is still working on Christmas decorations at Borough Hall. The tree lights will be installed. Administrator McNeilly stated he will reach out to the Recreation Commission regarding the tree lighting.
DPW EJIF Site Inspection – Administrator McNeilly stated EJIF performed the yearly environmental site inspection of the Borough facilities. There are a couple of recommendations which the DPW Superintendent will address. Overall, the Borough scored 94 out of 100.
Fire Department – Administrator McNeilly stated the Fire Department has asked if they would still be allowed to have the annual Santa Run around town and to also take part in the Netcong Santa Parade. Both activities would follow CDC guidelines. The governing body had no objections. Administrator McNeilly stated he will inform the Fire Chief that they can proceed with these plans.
COVID-19 Discussion – Administrator McNeilly stated the numbers are on the rise again. The Borough office is in good shape with plenty of PPE supplies. Borough Hall is open everyday for business although public access to the building is restricted. The office staff, police, DPW are all available for all public needs. We are available by phone, fax, mail, email, social media and the drop box on the front door which is getting a tremendous amount of use. Residents are encouraged to make their payments using the Municipay feature on the Borough website. Recycling is being picked up curbside and animal licensing is being done. Everything is being accomplished Monday through Friday. The staff is in good shape and following the state separation guidelines set by the Executive Orders. Split shifts are not necessary at this time.
Repair Shop Across from Borough Hall – Administrator McNeilly stated he spoke with the Zoning and Code Enforcement Official regarding the situation with the repair shop located across from Borough Hall. The owner of the business and the property owner have both received a summons. The court date was last week and the property owner was present and plead not guilty. The business owner did not appear in court and a second court date has been set. If the business owner does not appear for the second time, there is the possibility of a warrant being issued.
2021 Reorganization Meeting – Mayor Zdichocki stated the reorganization meeting for 2021 cannot be held as they have been in the past due to COVID. Administrator McNeilly suggested cancelling the January 5th reorganization meeting due to the fact the usual ceremonies cannot be held. There is a Mayor and Council meeting scheduled to be held on January 12th. The reorganization meeting could take place first and then the regular work/session agenda meeting would immediately follow. If for some reason the use of the school becomes unavailable and the meetings must be held virtually, those people needing to be sworn in will have to contact the Clerk to be sworn in. The governing body had no objections. The reorganization meeting will be held on January 12th with the work/session agenda meeting immediately following.
Juneteenth Holiday – Mayor Zdichocki stated at the last meeting the Administrator was asked to contact the other local municipalities to find out if they will be adding Juneteenth to their holiday schedule. Mayor Zdichocki stated she was informed by the Administrator that none of the other municipalities will be adding Juneteenth to their holiday schedule. If an employee would like to take this date off, they could do so using time they have accumulated. Councilman Riccardi stated Juneteenth is now a state holiday and he provided some background for those in the audience who may not be familiar with the new holiday. Juneteenth is the date when news of the proclamation freeing the slaves finally reached the last of the slaves to be notified. It took two years for the news to reach across all the states. Unfortunately, in America there are still many barriers and unfairness which exists between races. Councilman Riccardi stated he is of the opinion the State schedule should be recognized for people to contemplate on the events which occurred. Mayor Zdichocki stated Juneteenth has been talked about for the past two years but prior to that it was not spoken about. Councilman Wronko stated the majority of holidays observed by the municipality are non- gender or race specific. Councilman Romano stated he disagrees with Councilman Riccardi. Holidays are time off and are not taken to contemplate these events. Mayor Zdichocki stated the governing body is not saying Juneteenth should not be celebrated just that there are many holidays in the United States and those who wish to celebrate them have the right to do so. Councilwoman Kuncken stated many Americans celebrate the beginning of summer on Memorial Day and the end of summer on Labor Day but many people do not recognize the actual meaning of Memorial Day. To that point, Councilwoman Kuncken stated she agrees with what Councilman Romano was saying. Just to declare something a holiday does not mean that the true message of what that day is about reaches the people. Something like this needs to be done more as an educational point. The schools should be teaching this. More educating should be done as opposed to more celebrating. Administrator McNeilly stated the discussion needed to be held prior to the Borough calendar being sent to print in case the subject were to be brought up later. Councilman Cipollini asked what the financial impact on the Borough would be. Administrator McNeilly stated he would have no way to capture that number. Mayor Zdichocki stated at this time Juneteenth will not be added to the Borough’s holiday schedule. Anyone wanting to take the day off can do so with the time they have accumulated. This would be an added expense to the Borough at this time. Mayor Zdichocki stated in her opinion the Borough is generous with the time off for the employees and another should not be added. Councilman Thornton stated he agrees with Councilman Romano but as a Councilman he is of the opinion it is not for him to decide what holidays should be celebrated or not celebrated. Councilman Cipollini stated personal days could be used for such occasions. Administrator McNeilly stated the employees do not have personal days. Ursula Leo, Borough Attorney, stated the Employee Handbook states employees can take time off for a holiday of their choice. Vacation time can be used when employees do not have personal days.
Councilman Romano stated he and Administrator McNeilly have to leave the meeting at this time to attend the MSA meeting and asked if the meeting could move ahead. Mayor Zdichocki stated the topic of Juneteenth will be carried to the next meeting.
PRESENTATION (Jason Laliker, Borough Tax Assessor)
Administrator McNeilly stated due to a family emergency, Jason Laliker is not able to attend this meeting. His presentation will be rescheduled to the December 15th meeting.
CONSENT AGENDA (All items listed on the Consent Agenda are considered routine by the Borough Council and were enacted by one motion of the Borough Council with no separate discussion.)
Resolution 164-20 RESOLUTION ACCEPTING FRUIT BASKET DONATIONS FOR STANHOPE BOROUGH POLICE DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES FROM JOHN PITTELLO, A STANHOPE RESIDENT
WHEREAS, John Pittello, a Stanhope resident, has graciously donated a fruit basket to the Stanhope Borough Police Department as a token of his appreciation and support for law enforcement;
WHEREAS, N.J.S.A. 40A:12-5 and N.J.S.A. 40A:5-29 authorizes the acceptance of bequests, legacies and gifts.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Borough of Stanhope authorizes acceptance of the donation of a fruit basket from John Pittello to the Stanhope Borough Police Department with an estimated value amount of $50.00.
Resolution 165-20 RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE A SHARED SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH THE BOROUGH OF NETCONG FOR AN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COORDINATOR
WHEREAS, the Borough of Stanhope is required to have a Municipal Emergency Management Coordinator pursuant to the provisions of New Jersey Law App. A:9-40.1; and
WHEREAS, the Borough of Netcong currently employs an Emergency Management Coordinator pursuant to law; and
WHEREAS, the Borough of Netcong has offered a Shared Services Agreement to the Borough of Stanhope to share the services of Netcong’s Emergency Management Coordinator; and
WHEREAS, shared services are both authorized and encouraged by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40A:65-1, the Uniform Shared Services and Consolidation Act; and
WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the Borough of Stanhope to enter into the Shared Services Agreement.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope that the Shared Services Agreement for Emergency Management Coordinator between the Borough of Netcong and the Borough of Stanhope be and the same as hereby approved; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Mayor and Clerk are hereby authorized to execute said Agreement on behalf of the Borough of Stanhope.
Resolution 166-20 RESOLUTION REFUNDING OVERPAYMENT OF TAXES DUE TO SUCCESSFUL COUNTY TAX APPEAL
WHEREAS, the following homeowner has had a successful County Tax Appeal for the year 2020, which has resulted in a credit on the homeowner’s 2020 property taxes; and
WHEREAS, the homeowner owes no further 2020 property taxes and has requested a refund,
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope that a warrant be drawn to Normandie Lane, LLC, representing a refund of an overpayment of property taxes due to a successful Sussex County tax court judgment as follows:
Block Lot Name & Address Tax Year Amount
11302 7 Normandie Lane, LLC 2020 $3,616.72
110 Main Street
Stanhope, New Jersey 07874
Resolution 167-20 RESOLUTION WAIVING CHARGES AND FEES FOR UNTIMELY WATER AND SEWER ACCOUNT PAYMENTS DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
WHEREAS, on October 15, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 190, banning the imposition of charges and late fees by municipal utilities for water accounts that are delinquent during the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency; and
WHEREAS, according to Executive Order No. 190, this ban shall remain in effect through March 15, 2021; and
WHEREAS, Stanhope Borough desires to include the temporary waiver of fees and charges for late payments related to sewer accounts also.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency and in consideration of Executive Order No. 190, the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope hereby waives any charges and late fees on all municipal water and sewer accounts that are delinquent during the COVID-19 pandemic and emergency through March 15, 2021.
This Resolution shall take effect immediately. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase in this Resolution is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such decision shall not affect the remaining portions of this resolution.
On motion by Councilwoman Kuncken, seconded by Councilman Cipollini and unanimously carried by the following roll call vote, the foregoing resolutions were duly adopted.
Councilman Cipollini – yes
Councilman Romano – yes
Councilwoman Kuncken – yes
Councilman Thornton – yes
Councilman Riccardi – yes
Councilman Wronko – yes
PAYMENT OF BILLS
Resolution 168-20 RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF STANHOPE AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF BILLS
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has certified that funds are available in the proper account; and
WHEREAS, the Chief Finance Officer has approved payment upon certification from the Borough Department Heads that the goods and/or services have been rendered to the Borough;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope that the current bills list, dated November 24, 2020 and on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief Finance Officer and approved by the Chief Finance Officer for payment, be paid.
On motion by Councilman Romano, seconded by Councilwoman Kuncken and unanimously carried by the following roll call vote the foregoing resolution was duly adopted.
Attorney Ursula Leo stated she had no report.
CITIZENS TO BE HEARD
Mayor Zdichocki opened the meeting to the public after advising attendees that there is a five (5) minute time limit for each speaker.
Angela Migliaccio, 912 Stonegate Lane, stated she has listened to what has been said regarding the holiday and she disagrees with the decision. Mayor Zdichocki stated a decision has not been made as yet. Ms. Migliaccio stated we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day which is not a national holiday, it should be considered a holiday. There is Patriot’s Day. Unfortunately, this town does not have the ample number of minorities to speak to this council. It is not the school’s decision to decide what holidays to celebrate. This is a date that should be honored for African Americans because it is a national holiday. This date not only recognizes that the end of slavery in Texas was delayed two years but it also a time to remember that the country and white people have completely decimated the black towns and black businesses. This town should lead by example and not worry about having a significant minority group and you should teach our children that we are doing the right things by giving people this holiday. Take away President’s Day, it is not necessary unless you are going to acknowledge all the presidents. Mayor Zdichocki stated the governing body is not taking away the right of individuals to take off that day. It is a day to be celebrated and talked about. At this time the Borough cannot afford to add another holiday. The Borough cannot close for every holiday which is not a federal holiday. The employees do have the option to take this day off. Councilwoman Kuncken stated she appreciates Ms. Migliaccio’s comments about this and respects her right to do so. Councilwoman Kuncken stated she feels personally offended because it seems that Ms. Migliaccio is trying to paint them as people who do not recognize or believe that this is a worthy cause or that we have no feelings. This is not what is happening. Councilwoman Kuncken is of the opinion Ms. Migliaccio is reading things into the decision and making it personal and about the community which should not be. It is not true. Ms. Migliaccio stated it is not about community. It is about leading by example and taking the first steps to be accepting of everyone. As the Councilman said we do not celebrate black or white holiday, we celebrate American holidays. That is not true across the board. That is why she feels the holiday should not have to be taken at the expense of the people. Ms. Migliaccio understands the financial impact but is of the opinion this is only one day. Councilman Wronko stated he supports the right of anyone to celebrate this holiday but the federal holidays like Independence Day, Memorial Day, they are not race or gender specific. They embody the American population collective. Ms Migliaccio stated Martin Luther King, Jr. is a holiday. Councilman Wronko stated yes and the black people benefitted from that but Martin Luther King, Jr. was about civil rights for all. Women were also part of that movement. Things have continued to progress and he hopes that continues. The governing body has to look at things objectively. Mayor Zdichocki stated the five-minute time limit is nearing the end. In closing, Mayor Zdichocki stated she appreciates that Ms. Migliaccio came to speak tonight. Ms Migliaccio stated she disagrees with an employee having to take a personal day to celebrate this holiday. Mayor Zdichocki thanked Ms. Migliaccio and appreciates hearing the publics opinions.
Seeing no one further from the public wishing to speak, Mayor Zdichocki closed the public portion of the meeting.
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231 P.L. 1975 permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting in certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently existing;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Stanhope, County of Sussex, State of New Jersey, as follows:
- The public shall be excluded from discussion of and action upon the hereinafter specified subject matter(s).
2. The general nature of the subject matter(s) to be discussed is as follows:
2 – Contract (1-PBA and Byram)
3. It is anticipated at this time that the above stated subject matter(s) will be made public at the conclusion of each individual specified subject matter.
4. This resolution shall take effect immediately.
On motion by Councilwoman Kuncken, seconded by Councilman Wronko, and unanimously carried by voice vote, the foregoing resolution was adopted.
The Mayor and Council went into Closed Session at 7:30 P.M.
RETURN TO OPEN SESSION
At the conclusion of the Closed Session, the Mayor and Council reconvened the public meeting at 8:30 P.M. with all present.
On motion by Councilman Riccardi, seconded by Councilwoman Kuncken, and unanimously carried by voice vote the meeting was adjourned at 8:32 P.M.
Approved: Linda Chirip
Deputy Clerk for
Ellen Horak, RMC