SEPTEMBER 22, 2014









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 8, 2014 and posted in the municipal building.


Mayor Happer called the meeting to order at 8:00 p.m. in the municipal building.



Ms. Reilly called the roll. All Council members were present. Also in attendance were Borough Manager Robert Tovo, Borough Attorney Martin Murphy, Borough Clerk Michele Reilly, Department of Public Works Director Mark Prusina, Police Chief Shawn Bennett, and Acting Chief Financial Officer D. Timothy Roberts.



Mayor Happer led the salute to the flag.

4.             EXECUTIVE SESSION                                                                                       NONE


Mayor Happer encouraged all residents to participate in the Food Drive; on line donations are being accepted through the end of the month and the link can be accessed via the Borough website. Mr. Tovo said that contributions benefit the Interfaith Food Pantry.


Mayor Happer offered Happy Birthday wishes to Councilman Lester.


Councilman McWilliams mentioned that the blood drive and shredding event would take place on Saturday October 25th. More details would be forthcoming.


Councilwoman Bravo said the Borough would be offering flu shots on October 15th.


Councilman McWilliams said the Police Department would be participating in Operation Take Back, to be held on September 27th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. Chief Bennett said the event is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).


Councilman Lester offered congratulations to the Ms. Reilly’s son Brett on his recent graduation from Marine Boot Camp.


6.             PUBLIC COMMENT

                Please state your name and address for the record. Each speaker is limited to one (1) comment of no more than five (5)                 minutes and no yielding of time to another person.


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


Fred Kanter – Hanover Road

Mr. Kanter quoted an article on civil discourse, stating that when a question is posed an answer is expected. He said that the Borough Council does not answer his questions. He said that the Borough Attorney gave an incorrect answer in reference to a municipality’s responsibility to install retro-reflective street signs and that he hoped the Borough Council would consider this when discussing the selection of Borough Attorney for 2015.


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





SEPTEMBER 22, 2014





7.             DISCUSSION ITEMS                                                                                          NONE


-Best Practices Worksheet Calendar Year 2014

Mr. Tovo stated that the Best Practices Worksheet was a yearly requirement designed to ensure that the Borough is following the best practices established by the Department of Community Affairs and the State of New Jersey. He said he was pleased to report that the Borough had scored well on the survey and was eligible for one hundred percent (100%) of available state aid. He presented the Council with a copy of the survey for their review, as the Borough Council is required to review the worksheet and the results at a public meeting. The Council discussed the survey and the results and their consensus was that the survey answers were acceptable, although Mayor Happer asked Mr. Roberts to review item 30 concerning guaranteeing debt and to follow up with him as to whether or not an answer of “N/A” might be more appropriate than the affirmative answer listed.


-Morris County Dispatch Agreement

Mr. Tovo said he and Mayor Happer had been discussing the shared County dispatch service and that they both had some concerns. Mr. Tovo said that in 2008, the Board of Chosen Freeholders had presented the shared dispatch service as a service that eventually would be offered to all municipalities and would eventually be covered in the County Tax base. Mr. Tovo said that currently, not all municipalities are participating and the Borough is still paying for this service. He reported that he and Mayor Happer felt that it would be an appropriate time to engage the Freeholders in a discussion about the direction of the County dispatch services. Mayor Happer stated that the Borough entered into the agreement with certain expectations and he would like the Council to authorize the Manager to send a letter to the Freeholders in order to facilitate a meeting. The consensus of the Council was that Mr. Tovo should send a letter to the Freeholders and that the administration and Council should encourage the Freeholders to fulfill the vision for County dispatch as originally presented to the Borough.


-Volunteer Recognition Program

Councilwoman Bravo led the discussion by thanking Mr. Tovo for his assistance in preparing the discussion item. Councilwoman Bravo stated that the Borough has between twenty and twenty-five (20-25) committees, commissions, and boards, amounting to several hundred residents who volunteer their time, and her opinion was that the Borough does not do enough to recognize its volunteers. Currently, the Borough recognizes two (2) volunteers a year with the Janice Hunts Lifetime Achievement and Citizen of the Year Awards. In addition, the Borough recognizes retiring committee chairs with a silver bowl. Councilwoman Bravo said she would like the Borough Council to expand its efforts to recognize volunteer service and said she was proposing a more formal and expanded volunteer program. She suggested awarding pins for years of service, possibly establishing a Mayor’s Award, issuing letters of appreciation, designing a specific web page for volunteers, and /or holding a volunteer recognition event.


Mayor Happer said that Mr. Tovo had suggested a volunteer salute during the summer, possibly a barbeque at one of the Borough’s beaches, and that he was in favor of that idea, as well as the pins. He mentioned that letters are sent to residents who volunteer upon their appointment by the Borough Council. Mayor Happer asked Councilwoman Bravo to develop a plan for the volunteer salute event and for awarding pins and to present this information to the Borough Council at the first meeting in November. Deputy Mayor Holmberg and Mr. Tovo offered to work with Councilwoman Bravo on the plans.


8.             *RESOLUTIONS:

                R120-14                Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills


Prior to the Consent Agenda vote Deputy Mayor Holmberg asked Mr. Prusina how the Department of Public Works (DPW) had assisted the Board of Education in lighting project at Wilkins Field, as per his report. Mr. Prusina replied that the Department had assisted in pre-construction activities, such as testing the stormwater system, excavating debris, attending construction meetings, and had also assisted with the receiving of building materials by operating the front end loader. In addition, Deputy Mayor Holmberg asked Chief Bennett to explain the high number of burglaries per his Department report. The Chief stated that there were twenty-seven (27) burglaries reported; one was a residential burglary and the others were burglaries of unlocked vehicles. Chief Bennett mentioned that unlocked vehicle burglaries were an occasional issue in the Borough, and that residents were being reminded to lock their cars. Councilman McWilliams congratulated the Chief on a successful Mud Run this year, and Chief Bennett offered thanks to all the parties involved and said everyone had been very cooperative. Councilman Lester asked the Chief if he would be running the bear presentation this year and the Chief said it would be scheduled shortly. Deputy Mayor Holmberg suggested running a school event and Councilwoman Bravo asked for the placement of the presentation on the Borough website.


9.             *MINUTES:

                September 8, 2014 (Regular)



                Construction Department                                  August 2014

                Department of Public Works                             August 2014

                Fire Department                                                  August 2014

                Health Department                                             August 2014

                Police Department                                              August 2014

                Tax Department                                                   August 2014





SEPTEMBER 22, 2014




11.          *BOARD AND COMMITTEE AND COMMISSION APPOINTMENTS                       








Historic Preservation

Katherine Roberts

1 year

1st Alternate


Filling unexpired term






of Bridgid Walsh




Council Member





































































12.          ATTORNEY REPORT


Mr. Murphy had nothing to report.


13.          MANAGER’S REPORT


Mr. Tovo gave an update on road resurfacing and the 2015 State repaving grant submission. He said the 2015 grant will be submitted for resurfacing all of Lake Drive, and that he expects to have the grant application filed no later than October 15.


Mr. Tovo said that Tony Cerbo would be planting at Cove Park tomorrow afternoon and that the Department of Public Works (DPW) would be installing the hardscape once the planting was completed. In addition, Mr. Tovo said that Mr. Cerbo will be developing a watering plan and training some of the DPW employees in the care and weeding of the plants at Cove Park.


Mr. Tovo reported that Allied Biological had completed hydro-raking along the shoreline at Crystal Lake and hydro-raking would also be taking place at the Midvale boat docks.


Mr. Tovo said that the Finance Advisory Committee was reviewing the water distribution system and the gap between what is billed by the Borough versus what is pumped. Mr. Tovo reported that statistically, a gap of fifteen percent (15%) is the acceptable norm and the Borough is below that number; however, water is leaking out into the underground system and the Borough would like to lower the gap even further. Mr. Tovo said that an analysis was being prepared by the DPW and the Borough Engineer with an expected completion date of April, 2015.


Mayor Happer asked Mr. Tovo to have the Construction Official provide reports that showed a separation of the fees and inspections related to the Legacy at Mountain Lakes project.


Mr. Tovo stated that he had met with the owner of the former Bentlee’s site. The owner reported that he was renovating the building, currently applying for the appropriate permits, and planning on opening a Greek style restaurant in approximately six (6) months.


14.          COUNCIL REPORTS


Public Works Subcommittee – Councilman McWilliams said the Subcommittee had discussed the renovations at Midvale Dock. He suggested a broadcast email to remind residents to remove their boats before the dock repairs begin. Councilman McWilliams said the Subcommittee is discussing a recommendation for the vendor who will be involved in the beach renovation. In addition the Subcommittee is discussing methods for keeping recycling dry so that it maintains it value. Finally, Councilman McWilliams mentioned that the repairs would be beginning on the Midvale Playground and Mr. Prusina said these repairs should begin the week of October 6.


Traffic and Safety Advisory Committee – Councilman McWilliams said a group of Briarcliff parents had attended the meeting to voice their concerns about cars speeding and parking illegally in the vicinity of the school.








SEPTEMBER 22, 2014



Public Safety Subcommittee – Mr. Tovo gave the report at Councilman McWilliams request. He said that he planned on using the CERT team and other volunteers to help with the Halloween Safe Zone event. He said he had received requests to open up a second Safe Zone but since the Borough had limited resources only one Safe Zone would be operated and the Subcommittee supported these recommendations. Deputy Mayor Holmberg mentioned the High School football game on the night of Halloween and suggested a trunk of treat event but Mr. Tovo said this idea had been tried once before and was not well received in the Borough. Councilman Borin said the Recreation Commission would be sponsoring some Halloween related events at the football game.


Recreation Advisory Commission – Councilman Borin said the recent concert at Island Beach was successful. He said the Christmas tree lighting was scheduled for December 7th and the Menorah lighting would be held December 21st.


Shade Tree Commission – Deputy Mayor Holmberg reported that Commission members were walking around their Borough and completing their annual tree assessments. In addition, he said the five (5) year plan was almost complete. Finally, Deputy Mayor Holmberg said the Commission is in need of members and is trying to recruit volunteers.


Shared Services Subcommittee – Councilwoman Bravo mentioned that the Manager is looking into options for animal, health, and court services and is in the discussion stage with some surrounding municipalities.


Health Commission – Councilwoman Bravo said the Health Officer will be retiring effective November 1.


Woodlands Advisory Committee – Councilwoman Bravo reported that the Committee has been very busy with the chestnut tree project at Halsey Frederick Park, a project that began in 2011 with the planting of two hundred (200) seedlings. She reported there are now thirty-one (31) viable trees thanks to the Committee’s efforts. She said the Committee is working with the school to continue the tree planting program in the school courtyard. Councilwoman Bravo said the Committee recently partnered with a group of corporate volunteers and they fixed deer enclosures and removed invasive plants found on Borough property.  She said the Committee is working with an Eagle Scout who will assist in replanting seedlings. In addition the Committee is hoping to encourage residents to replant unwanted seedlings located on private property to the woods and is excited to use the new website for educational efforts.  


Zoning Board of Adjustment – Councilwoman Bravo said the Board will have a brief meeting next week.


Communications Advisory Committee – Councilman Lester handed out a status report detailing the efforts of the Committee and their interface with current committees, commissions, boards, and community groups. He said the Committee was hoping to have all the requested information from the various groups by October 1st. He requested that Council liaisons reach out to their committee chairs in order to facilitate the exchange of information. Councilman Lester also asked Council members to encourage photo submissions.


Finance Advisory Committee – Mayor Happer said the Borough had recently completed a successful Bond Anticipation Note (BAN) sale. He said notes were sold to finance the completion of capital projects for both this year and last year. He said the notes were issued for one year at very favorable rates of under seventy (70) basis points. Mayor Happer said the Committee discussed the requirements for municipal disclosure established by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) relative to bond sales. He said that many municipalities across the country had failed to report in a timely fashion and that the SEC had set a deadline of December 1st for municipalities to complete any missed reporting requirements. Mayor Happer said the SEC is not imposing any fines or penalties and that the Borough would be hiring a specialist to ensure compliance with the SEC. Finally, Mayor Happer said the Committee was conducting a water rate review and that the last time the water rates were increased was in 2007. Mayor Happer said he expects the Committee to recommend new rates to be effective in January 2015.



15.          PUBLIC COMMENT

                Please state your name and address for the record. Each speaker is limited to one (1) comment of no more than five (5)                 minutes and no yielding of time to another person.


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


Fred Kanter – Hanover Road

Mr. Kanter expressed his displeasure that Councilman Lester’s information was not made available to him in the Council packet. Mayor Happer offered an apology to Mr. Kanter for this unintentional error. Mr. Kanter also talked about the errors made by the Borough Engineer and Borough Attorney and said these errors have cost the Borough money. Mr. Kanter asked why Mr. Cerbo had been invited to replant at the Cove, as he was involved in the original plant choices and those plants had failed.


Natalie Frank – Morris Avenue

Ms. Frank spoke about public safety and street light outages and encouraged the Council to educate residents regarding the method for reporting a street light outage.


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






SEPTEMBER 22, 2014





16.          ADJOURNMENT at 9:43 PM


Motion made by Deputy Mayor Holmberg, second by Councilman Lester, to adjourn the meeting at 9:43 p.m., with all members in favor signifying by “Aye”.


*Indicates Consent Agenda Item

Matters listed as Consent Agenda Items are considered routine and will be enacted by one motion of the Council and one roll call vote. There will be no separate discussion of these items unless a Council member requests an item be removed for consideration.


ATTEST:                SEPTEMBER 22, 2014



Michele Reilly, RMC, Borough Clerk                                               Daniel J. Happer, Mayor