APRIL 9, 2012

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 4, 2012 and posted in the municipal building.


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




All Council members were present. Also in attendance were Borough Attorney Marty Murphy, Borough Manager Robert Tovo, and Deputy Borough Clerk Michele Reilly.




·         Matters Relating to Litigation, Negotiations and the Attorney-Client Privilege

-       Request for Release of a Deed Restriction, 74 Route 46


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


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



-Sustainable Jersey

Mayor Gormally announced that the Borough of Mountain Lakes had been recognized as a sustainable New Jersey community by the State, thereby acknowledging something that Borough residents have known for a long time. Councilman Bravo said this recognition shows the extent of residents’ investment in the community.


Deputy Mayor Happer said the Easter parade, run by the Recreation Department, had been very well attended.


Councilman Holmberg recognized the passing of Briarcliff Principal Marco Cera. He commented that Mr. Cera had made a significant impact in the short period of time he worked at the school and that he would be sorely missed.


Councilman McWilliams promoted Shredding Day on April 28th, which presents an opportunity for residents to safely dispose of sensitive documents.




Mayor Gormally read the proclamation and presented it to Joan Best, co-chair of the Shade Tree Committee. Mayor Gormally will visit Wildwood School on April 27th and re-read the proclamation to the students during their Arbor Day celebration.





Mayor Gormally opened the public comment portion of the meeting with the consent of the Council. Mayor Gormally explained the Council’s policy of limiting each speaker to five (5) minutes and no yielding of time to another person.


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


7.         ORDINANCE 03-12




The introduction of the Ordinance was discussed and the consensus of the Council was not to introduce the Ordinance, but to carry over the discussion at a subsequent meeting.


Tom Dagger and Martin Kane, co-chairs of the Historic Preservation Ordinance Committee, gave an overview to the Borough Council. Mr. Dagger said the Ordinance was fairly consistent with what had been discussed with the Council in November, detailing incentives offered to residents who choose to renovate rather than demolish historic homes. The Ordinance would also require more time and notice for the approval of demolition permits, thus giving the Commission the opportunity to document a historic home, and included a slight addition to the cost of the demolition permit in order to cover the cost of the documentation.  In addition, the Ordinance included a provision that the Historic Preservation Committee (HPC) become a Commission. Mr. Dagger stated that the Commission would be a “weak” form of Commission and would only be able to offer advisory opinions and/or advice to the Planning Board, not issue binding decisions.


Councilman Shaw said he was wholeheartedly in favor of the concept of the Ordinance; however, he was uncomfortable with certain details, particularly the use of the broad term “objects” in the Intended Purposes and Objectives section. Additionally, he felt the role of the Commission was somewhat foggy and that a ninety (90) day wait period for a demolition permit was too lengthy. He also pointed out some procedural corrections and the need to better define the process.


Mayor Gormally questioned the necessity of the establishment of a Commission and how that related to offering bulk incentives. Mr. Kane said there were concerns about the constitutionality of treating homes differently and that the establishment of a Commission was written in the State statue concerning historic preservation. Mr. Murphy was tasked with researching whether or not a Commission was necessary in order to implement the bulk incentives and reporting this information to the Council.


Councilman Jackson suggested another incentive which he thought should be considered for addition to the Ordinance. He felt the Ordinance could be flexible regarding rear setbacks. Mr. Kane and Mr. Dagger said they would consider this recommendation.


The Council offered their appreciation to Mr. Kane, Mr. Dagger, and the Committee for a job well done. The consensus of the Council was that they supported the ninety (90) day wait period on demolition permit approval. The Council requested that Mr. Kane and Mr. Dagger review the recommendations made with the Ordinance Committee and amend the proposed Ordinance as necessary. In addition, Mr. Kane and Mr. Dagger will discuss the Commission issue with the Borough attorney and present the proposed Ordinance for attorney review before it is introduced at a subsequent Council meeting.


Mr. Kane and Mr. Dagger will report any changes to the Council with their target date the meeting to be held April 23rd. Once the proposed Ordinance is introduced, it will be referred to the Borough’s Planning Board for comment, as is required with a Land Use Ordinance. The Planning Board will have a thirty-five (35) day time frame for review, which may be extended by the Borough Council per Mr. Murphy.


8.         *RESOLUTIONS     

R 63-12           Fireman’s Application: Palazzi

     R 64-12           Payment of Bills


9.         *MINUTES

     March 12, 2012 (Executive)

     March 24, 2012 (Special Meeting)

     March 26, 2012 (Regular)

     March 26, 2012 (Executive)



     Construction Official

     Department of Public Works

     Fire Department

     Health Officer

     Police Department


Council Member





































































*Councilman Shaw recused himself on the reimbursement to Cynthia Shaw, which was listed on Resolution 64-12, Payment of Bills.




Mr. Murphy had nothing to report.


Councilman Jackson asked Mr. Murphy to follow up with the Council on the King of Kings contract at the next meeting.


12.       MANAGER REPORT (written)


Mr. Tovo offered thanks to the Girl Scouts for their clean-up of Borough property.


Mr. Tovo reported he was working with Patty McElduff on utilizing the High School’s Key Club to change the Borough message board. Some of the details to be worked out include whether or not the members would be able to change the board all year or only during the school year, and how the members would access the key during the weekend and other hours when the Borough Hall was closed.


Mr. Tovo said the Borough would be switching phone services providers to Earthlink and he expected to realize some very substantial savings. Additionally, the Borough and the Board of Education would be sharing the service, thereby increasing the savings.  Mayor Gormally asked if there would be a capital cost involved and Mr. Tovo said no. The Borough would be purchasing new phones but that was a separate issue from the service. The length of the agreement with Earthlink would be one year. Mayor Gormally also asked if Earthlink was an internet based phone provider and Mr. Tovo said it was not; however, Earthlink offers a redundancy feature, meaning that if the current internet provider’s service was interrupted, Earthlink would be able to provide internet services.


Mr. Tovo commended Mr. Prusina and the Department of Public Works for their efforts earlier in the day to repair a substantial water main break. Councilwoman Bravo said the broadcast email was sent in a timely fashion, and Mr. Tovo said he felt the broadcast was successful since the Borough Hall did not report many calls from residents. Councilman McWilliams asked about the use of the reverse 911 system available through the County and Mr. Tovo said the County would not qualify this as an emergency situation.


Mr. Tovo discussed the preliminary budget figures and introduced Tim Roberts, who is assisting with reconciliations and the budgeting process. Councilman Jackson felt the preliminary figures were too high and he would like to see taxes increase no more than two percent (2%).


Mr. Tovo and Mr. Roberts explained the option of using funds from cancelled ordinances to reduce the tax levy. Unexpended balances may be anticipated in the budget as items of revenue in order to maintain a lower tax rate. Or, the unexpended balances may be used to reduce debt. Much discussion ensued, with Councilman Jackson and Deputy Mayor Happer offering their opinion that it was inappropriate to use unexpended balances for anything other then paying down debt service, which Mr. Roberts said totaled approximately $65,000.


Mayor Gormally said that Mr. Tovo would be meeting with the Finance Committee next week. Mr. Tovo mentioned that the Finance Committee was willing to call an emergency meeting regarding the budget if necessary. Councilman Shaw commended Mr. Tovo on providing much more detailed information than was given to the Council last year.




Councilman Shaw reminded the Council about participating in government day at Briarcliff School on April 27th. He will investigate a possible conflict with Wildwood School’s Arbor Day function.


Shared Services Committee – Councilman Shaw said the Committee was in the process of determining another meeting date.


Environmental Commission - Deputy Mayor Happer said the Commission was working on a well-head protection Ordinance for presentation to the Council.


Recreation Commission – Councilman Shaw made a motion, second by Deputy Mayor Happer, to appoint Mark Caputo and Lydia Spoto to fill vacancies on the Recreation Commission, with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.


Mayor Gormally reminded the Council members to submit their nominations for the Citizen of the Year and Janice Hunts Awards. The deadline for the public to submit nominations was April 4th. The Borough Council will discuss the awards at the next meeting.


Mayor Gormally also mentioned that Mountain Lakes Day does not have a chairperson. Although this is not a Borough sponsored event, he is hopeful a resident will volunteer.



14.       PUBLIC COMMENT                                                                        


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


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


15.       ADJOURNMENT at 10:27 p.m.

Motion made by Councilman Shaw, second by Councilman McWilliams, to adjourn the meeting at 10:27 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.


Attest: April 9, 2012




___________________________                              _____________________________

Michele Reilly, RMC, Deputy Clerk                           Charles X. Gormally, Mayor