7:30 p.m.


M I N U T E S 




1.     CALL TO ORDER; OPENING STATEMENT: This meeting is being held in compliance

with Public Law 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 and 13, as notice of this meeting and the agenda thereof had been reported to The Citizen and the Morris County Daily Record and The Star Ledger on January 6, 2009 and posted in the municipal building.


      Mayor Shaw called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.



      All Council members were present except for Councilwoman Bravo who was out of the Country and

      Deputy Mayor Gormally who was expected to attend.                                                                             


     Also in attendance were Borough Attorney Marty Murphy, Borough Manager Barry Lewis and

     Borough Clerk Christina Whitaker.



                 Resolution 128-09

                 WHEREAS, the Borough Council of the Borough of Mountain Lakes, County of Morris,

                 State of New Jersey finds it necessary to discuss matters relating to:


·        Negotiations with Denville Shared Courts

·        DEP Violation/Dams

·        Contract with Morris County/Dispatching

·        Other Potential Shared Service Options


                        WHEREAS, the Borough Council believes it to be in the best interest of the

         public to discuss such matters in closed session.


                        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Borough Council of the Borough         

        of Mountain Lakes, that it shall enter Executive Session to discuss only those matters 

        mentioned above; the results of which will be disclosed when the matters are resolved and

        upon vote of the Governing Body to release the minutes.


Motion by Councilman Happer, second by Councilman McWilliams, to enter into Executive Session, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


Deputy Mayor Gormally arrived at 7:35 p.m.


Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Deputy Mayor Gormally, to return to

the public portion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”



Mayor Shaw thanked everyone who participated in the UN Weekend and the Medical Needs SPIRIT 5K RUN/WALK.


The Mayor said he attended the grand opening of a new medical center on Rt. 46 in the Borough.  


Councilwoman Emr, Councilman McWilliams, Borough Manager Barry Lewis and the Mayor attended the ground breaking ceremony of Weber Homes Park Place Development on Fanny Road and Morris Avenue.


The Fire and Police Department will donate $380 to the Halloween program and Kiwanis. The money was collected through the Department’s 1st paper shredding event that took place on October 24.

The money will be used for the Halloween program and some will be donated to the Kiwanis


The Mayor reported that October 21 was the deadline for response to the shared service survey. It is estimated that 25% of residents responded.   



       Mayor Shaw explained the Council’s policy of limiting each speaker to five (5) minutes and no

       yielding of time to another person.


       Mayor Shaw opened the public comment portion of the meeting with the consent of the Council.


Michael Feigeles – Boulevard

Mr. Feigeles said a grass roots campaign has been started called Lakers 4 Lakers, which plans to present the Council with a petition asking the governing body not to move forward on construction of a new town hall. He said that based on information provided at the High School public presentation and at various Borough Council meetings, it was the group’s understanding that the cost of this project could be as much as $5,000,000. He said taxes in Mountain Lakes were already among the highest in the state and raising taxes further for the Town Hall project would put a significant burden on the residents, especially in today’s economic environment.


Mr. Feigeles urged the Council to consider the following: 


·        Right-size the total workforce relative to our community needs

·        Outsource to a greater degree

·        Share services where practical with other communities

·        Use technology to cut costs


      He told the Borough Council that if it decided to pursue the Town Hall project there should be a

      referendum voted on by Mountain Lakes' residents.


Bill Bethke – Lake Drive

Mr. Bethke said the spruce trees planted between the recycling areas at the DPW yard are overgrown with vines and should be cleared before the trees die.

He said the Council should not be basing each year’s budget on the previous year’s budget and suggested the Council come up with a three-year plan that would cut costs.


With no one else wishing to be heard the Mayor closed the public comment portion of the budget.


Mayor Shaw addressed some of the public’s comments.


Mayor Shaw said the Council applauded free speech and was looking forward to engaging in a constructive dialogue with residents.


To clarify, Mayor Shaw explained the mission of the Facility Committee and explained that it did not look at shared services when providing information to the public. The Shared Services Task Force was created to examine that issue. 


The Manager was instructed to speak with DPW regarding the trees. The Mayor explained that employees have been spending time cleaning up the area around the recycling bins. The new cameras at the recycling center have resulted in several people being issued summonses for illegally dumping.


Mayor Shaw explained the budget process.  He told the public that last year the Borough Manager worked on “right sizing” the staff and was able to save the Borough over $100,000.

He explained that cutting services would be necessary if budget cuts were made.


Councilman Jackson suggested that the grass roots effort of the Lakers 4 Lakers should be geared to coming up with what they consider an acceptable tax figure and then provide solutions on how that amount could be achieved.


Deputy Mayor Gormally said the group was a good idea if it provided the Council with information regarding the community’s concerns.

He explained that it was necessary to maintain the infrastructure of the Borough and it cost the Borough $600,000 - $700,000 a year to maintain those essential items. He said fixed costs would continue to go up no matter what the Council did. Revenue growth versus expense growth is a constant problem. He suggested the group come up with some ideas on how to increase revenues.  He suggested that the Council might want to reexamine the possible sale of borough property noting that 1/3 of the property in Mountain Lakes is Borough owned. 


Councilwoman Emr said that if a greater number of people attended meetings and got involved in the discussion process, more accurate information would be passed along to those who want to know what is happening in the Borough.



       R124-09 - Appointment to JIF

       R125-09 – Education Cooperative Pricing/Agreement

       R126-09 – Refund/Stansfield

       R127-09 – Payment of Bills 



       October 13, 2009 - Regular

       October 13, 2009 - Executive

Council Member








































































Mr. Lewis said he was just now looking at budget preparation.

He said he noticed the Borough’s utilities bills were high and he was exploring a program that would pay for 75% of the cost of an energy audit.


He told the Council he knew of grant money for sidewalks that connected to elementary schools and would be reviewing that option for other sidewalk projects.


He will be reviewing proposals for animal shelters from Denville and Rockaway Township.


He met with Fire Chief Steve Butera and Borough Engineer Bill Ryden to go over specs for the new fire truck.


He attended the Woodlands Committee meeting and introduced himself.


He attended his first Planning Board meeting.


Councilman Jackson asked that the manager look at all options associated with health benefits as soon as possible.



Councilwoman Emr updated the Council on a meeting with Steve Rice from the County Planning Board. Also in attendance at the meeting were: Cathy Harvey and Corey Nachshen from the Environmental Commission, Andy Bulfer, Web Site Committee, Borough Engineer Bill Ryden, Borough Manager Barry Lewis, Mayor Shaw and Councilwoman Emr.


Bill Ryden has proposed a conversion of local maps into GIS format for about $5,000 (ANJEC would provide $2500 and EC would provide $2500).


Councilwoman Emr said he Morris County Planning Department has agreed to offer Mountain

Lakes a free “pilot program” through which the County IT specialists and cartographers will work with

the GIS mapping provided by Mountain Lakes to build an “Interactive Mapping” web site.  This will

include using an aerial “base map” of Mountain Lakes over which could be layered any of the local

mapping (i.e., zoning, bedrock, wetlands, parcel lots, recharge areas, shade tree maps,

slopes maps, historic sites maps, etc.,).

     The layers could be switched on and off using toggle switches created by the IT department. 

     The maps would have to be formatted to the County’s software.

     The mapping section of the NRI would be hosted for at least one year by the County for



Councilwoman Emr said Lakes Management would like to map the bottoms of the lakes and hoped to use Environmental Commission grant money.


Mayor Shaw said the Planning Board has determined that the ordinances submitted to the Board are consistent with the Master Plan. However, the Board is not happy with the wording in the ordinances and would like changes to be made.  The public hearing is scheduled for November 9, 2009.


The Shade Tree and Environmental Commissions have vacancies.


Mayor Shaw told the Council liaisons to remind their committees of any vacancies or reappointments that will need to be done at the first of the year.



       Mayor Shaw opened a second public comment portion with the consent of the Council.


Michael Feigeles – Boulevard

Mr. Feigeles asked the Council to comment on the irregularity in green bag sales from a vendor.

He asked about the increase in water billing. 

Mr. Feigles suggested the Council rethink its policy on not selling Borough owned property if it would benefit the taxpayers. 


Steve Castellucci – Laurel Drive

Mr. Castellucci suggested the Borough Manager consider hiring an agency to do a routine audit of each department.


Alan La Fiura -Boulevard

Mr. La Fiura asked if he could make arrangements to talk with the Manager to share ideas.


Mr. Lewis said he had an open door policy and that Mr. La Fiura should contact his assistant Michele Reilly to make an appointment.


Mimi Kaplan - Lake Drive

Ms. Kaplan urged the Manager to seriously look at the portion of sidewalk on Larchdell Way and Briarcliff Road. She said the sidewalks are very uneven.

She also noted that sidewalks on Lake Drive were pitting.


Bill Bethke – Lake Drive

Mr. Bethke said that he recognized the Council had a challenge in front of it next year but had to take responsibility for the problem of high taxes.

He also asked why 12 police officers were needed in the Borough.


Steve Marzano - 25 Sherwood Drive

Mr. Marzano asked how the Council planned to respond to the Shared Service survey.


With no one else wishing to be heard, Mayor Shaw closed the public portion of the meeting.


Mayor Shaw said the green bag issue was in litigation and therefore he could not comment at this time.


Mayor Shaw explained that the Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) regulation of mandatory conservation measures for Mountain Lakes and how it came about. He noted that the ordinance restricting the use of water during summer months indicates that the Borough is meeting the DEP’s requirement.


The DPW continues to monitor leaks in the system.   


The Borough is considering improving the water meters by replacing them with newer technology.


The assets of the Borough include Borough owned property. Mayor Shaw said it was an issue that needed public discussion before changing the yearly resolution prohibiting the sale of Borough property.


Mr. Lewis will review the sidewalk situation on Larchdell Way, Briarcliff Road and Lake Drive.


Mayor Shaw said that former manager Joe Tempesta had reviewed staffing and it was determined that for the safety of the public and police the number of officers on duty was the correct number.


Mayor Shaw assured the public that the Council had no preconceived ideas regarding the expansion of Borough Hall and it was waiting on the results of the survey.


Councilman Jackson stated that police departments in every municipality are expensive to run. He said the bargaining process has a great deal to do with the problem.


Councilman McWilliams said the Borough has a detective for investigation purposes. Some towns do not have anyone to do that job.  He agreed that the number of police officers on the force was necessary to achieve optimal protection for the Borough.  He noted that the taxes in Denville and Rockaway were very high when compared to what Mountain Lakes’ residents were getting for their tax dollar.


Councilwoman Emr said residential housing was not a true ratable when compared to the cost of services that must be provided.

She said that in 1924 Mountain Lakes had 13 police officers; two were paid and the other 11 were volunteer deputies. The Borough has historically had a similar number of police officers at any given time.


Deputy Mayor Gormally said the council needed to revisit its position on selling Borough property. He said that if this asset could be used, without changing the character of the town, then it was time to think about this option. 


Councilman Jackson noted that if land were sold, the Borough’s affordable housing requirement would change. He also reminded the public that there was a moratorium on water hookups at this time.


Councilman Happer said a great deal was discussed tonight and he heard a lot of different ideas that the Council would take the opportunity to review.


Motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilman McWilliams, to close the public portion of the meeting and return to Executive Session to discuss the items listed in Resolution 128-09 with

all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Councilman Happer, to close the Executive Session and return to the public portion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”



      Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Councilman Jackson, to adjourn the meeting at 10:07 p.m. with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”



                Attest:___________________________                       ________________________

                  Christina Whitaker, Clerk                                       Stephen H. Shaw, Mayor