DECEMBER 14, 2009

7:30 p.m.






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 Stephen Shaw opened the meeting at 7:30 p.m.



      All Council Members were present except for Councilman Jackson who arrived at 7:33 p.m., Deputy

      Mayor Gormally, who arrived at 7:38 p.m. and Councilman Happer who is out of the State.


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

      Borough Clerk Christina Whitaker.           



                 Resolution 144-09

                 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:


·        JIF Litigation/James Kickham

·        Potential Litigation/Tax Ratio


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


Motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilwoman Bravo, to close the Executive Session and return to the public portion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”



Mayor Shaw announced the Herd’s victory over Butler at Giants Stadium to earn a second straight State Title.

He thanked Recreation and DPW for organizing the Tree and Menorah lighting.

The Reorganization meeting is scheduled for January 4, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.



Recreation/End-of-Year Report (hereto attached)

Cilia Flynn – Recreation Director

Ms. Flynn said the recreation programs were going well and participation has improved over last year.

She said the Recreation Commission and Centennial Committee will be working together on some projects.  The Commission plans to review facilities and make suggestions for capital projects and facilities maintenance projects.


The Council said Ms. Flynn had done a remarkable job in making the programs so successful.


The Council asked the Manager to do a comparison of recreation revenues collected last year and this year.


Highlands/COAH Interim Report (hereto attached)

Cathy Harvey – Committee Chair

Ms. Harvey explained that the Highland/COAH Committee had been working with the Borough Manager, Engineer, and Planner in evaluating the Borough’s participation in COAH’s 3rd round and opting into the Highlands Regional Master Plan. The information is contained in the Interim Report presented to the Council.


Borough Planner Susan Kimball updated the Council on the issue of the Borough’s fair share COAH affordable housing obligation and how it was calculated.  She explained what the Council would need to do if it decided to participate in COAH’s third round substantive certification process and how it is linked to participation in the Highlands Regional Master Plan. The Council still has the option of creating its own housing plan.

Following questions and discussion the Council agreed to follow the recommendations contained in the Highlands/COAH committee’s interim report. Specifically that Ms. Kimball should continue the present non binding conformance process since it does not obligate the Borough in any way but would provide the information necessary to better evaluate options in early spring.



       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.


Cathy Harvey

Speaking on behalf of the Environmental and Shade Tree Commission, Ms. Harvey said the groups did not support the Council selling Borough owned land, but rather to hold it in trust for future residents.


Margaret Gossett – Glen Road

Ms. Gossett said the League of Women Voters objected to any consideration by the Council to sell Borough owned property.


Nancy O’Reilly - Pocono Road

Ms. O’Reilly said that natural resources were not marketable goods and were more important than any money that selling it would bring into the Borough.


Steve Levitt - Sherwood Drive

Mr. Levitt said the value of Borough land protects property values and taxpayers investments.


Phil Notestine – Woodlands Committee Chair

Mr. Notestine said the Committee would not like to see Borough owned property sold, stating that the woodlands were just as important and unique to the town as were the lakes. He noted that deer herds have been managed to a good level and undergrowth was coming back. Removing invasive plants was still an ongoing project.


Lynn Uhrig – Sunset Road

Ms. Uhrig said she was alarmed to hear that the Council might consider selling Borough owned land. She urged the Council to protect the woodlands in order to protect Mountain Lakes’ character.


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


Mayor Shaw thanked the public for taking the time to come out to a Council meeting and sharing their views and opinions. He assured the public that the Council was not considering selling Borough land.


The Mayor explained that the Borough has a very strong conservation element in the Master Plan. He then gave an overview of work that was done during the fields discussion to better define and protect borough owned lands. The large tracts of borough land have been placed into two well defined conservation zones and other lands have been designated as parkland with conservation easements. He noted that no one can predict the future but with the protections in place any changes would have to be done very deliberately and over a period of time that would provide for ample public notice and debate.


Councilwoman Emr said the public was responding to proposals made at Council meetings which would allow for Borough property to be sold. She said there were residents who supported the sale of the properties to offset taxes. She noted the importance of open space for recharge purposes. She said that in the past the predictability of zoning in the Borough has given homeowners a sense of security.


Councilman Jackson said it was wrong to characterize what was discussed at recent Council meetings as proposals. The discussion revolved around the Borough Hall and was presented as a possible way of funding a new expansion of Borough Hall.  The consensus of the majority of Council members was not in favor of the suggestion.


Councilwoman Bravo agreed with Councilman Jackson and added that the Council was comfortable with throwing out ideas, even unpopular ones, for the sake of generating a free flowing discussion.


Deputy Mayor Gormally said the publics’ concerns were unwarranted and that no proposal was made.


Councilman McWilliams agreed that the word proposal was a strong word to use because the idea was only brought up in response to questions revolving around the borough hall expansion.


Mayor Shaw read a portion of the resolution that is passed each year concerning borough owned lands and said as an individual council member he would continue to support the adoption of the resolution.



 A. 2010 Council Priorities

The Council reviewed the list that included shared services, the borough hall facility, fiscal management and the completion of initiatives from prior years.

After the discussion, some changes were made and a new list will be prepared by the Mayor.


The Council discussed the lack of access to one of the lakes for cleaning purposes. The Council agreed

that access must be obtained. 



       R139-09 – Overpayment of Taxes

       R140-09 – Health Insurance Coverage

       R141-09 – Water Utility Cancellations

       R142-09 – Appropriation Transfer

       R143-09 – Payment of Bills   



      November 23, 2009 – Regular

      November 23, 2009 – Executive



A.     Construction Office

B.     DPW

C.    Health Officer

D.    Fire


Council Member






































































       Mr. Murphy will have of list of pending tax appeals ready for the next regular Council meeting.



Mr. Lewis suggested the Council make January 19 its next meeting date following reorganization. The Council agreed.


The Manager said money was available for the mapping of the lake beds in Wildwood, Birchwood and Mountain Lake. He explained that one-half of the amounts would be paid through leftover grant money and one-half from the lakes management account.


The paper work for the energy audit has been filed.


He is presently reviewing employees’ benefits.


The bid opening for the new fire truck is 10 a.m. on December 22.


Mr. Lewis informed the Council he would be away at the end of December and Police Chief Tovo would be covering for him.  He also recommended formalizing the arrangement by appointing Chief Tovo Deputy Manager for 2010 with no additional compensation. All council members were in agreement with the recomendation.



Appointment List for 2010 (hereto attached)


Motion by Councilman Jackson, second by Deputy Mayor Gormally, to go back into Executive Session at 10:05 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


Motion by Deputy Mayor Gormally, second by Councilwoman Bravo to return to the public portion of the meeting, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


      Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Deputy Mayor Gormally, to approve the request by the 
      Assessor to authorize Mr. Murphy to file an appeal with the Tax Court against the State of New Jersey 
      Division of Taxation to challenge the Division's calculation of the 2010 Directors Ratio for the Borough of 
      Mountain Lakes, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.” 



     Motion by Councilman McWilliams, second by Deputy Mayor Gormally, to adjourn the meeting at 10:13

     p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye.”


*Consent Agenda



                Attest:___________________________                       ________________________

                  Christina Whitaker, Clerk                                       Stephen H. Shaw, Mayor