What is consolidation all about?

Monday, August 31, 2015

Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission Meeting - September 9, 2015



NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING

Notice is hereby given pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:65-25(d)(1) that the Regular Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission scheduled for September 9, 2015 will be held at the Roxbury Recreation Office, 72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, New Jersey 07876. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm. Formal action may be taken.

A copy of the agenda may be viewed in advance at the Roxbury Town Hall, the Mount Arlington Town Hall or online at www.roxburymountarlingtonstudy.org

Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission Dated: August 31, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Minutes - May 6, 2015

Regular Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission
Roxbury Recreation Office
72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876
7:00pm, Wednesday, May 6
MINUTES

1. CALL TO ORDER

  • Chairperson Craig Heard called the meeting to order at 7pm
  • The following members were present: Nancy Absalon, Maureen Castriotta, Paula Danchuk, Anthony Fernandez, Jerry Frisco, Craig Heard, Gene Paradiso, Chris Raths, Vincent Reilly, Chris Rogers, Laurel Whitney, George Haeuber and Rosalie Lamonte
  • The following members were absent: Fred Hall, Larry Millus and Steven Sadow.

2. OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT

  • Chris Rogers read - This meeting has been advertised and is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of the “Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act,” P.L. 1975, c. 231.

3. FLAG SALUTE

  • Craig Heard led the commission in the flag salute

4. OATH

  • Paula Danchuk was sworn in by Gene Paradiso
  • George Haeuber stated that he and Rosalie Lamonte were non voting members and were not required to be sworn in
  • Chairperson Craig Heard asked that Resolution 2015-7 be presented and discussed as it would impact the voting of the remainder of the evening.
  • Gene Paradiso motioned and Chris Rogers made a second that:

2015-7 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approves alternate commission members to participate in all commission activities except for the final vote to recommend or not recommend consolidation.

  • Anthony Fernandez stated that he thought he would only be voting when Steven Sadow was not present
  • Chris Raths spoke about the need for a balance of Mount Arlington and Roxbury residents on the commission
  • After further discussion Gene Paradiso withdrew his motion and Craig Heard asked that the topic be sent to an Agenda committee for further discussion

5. PRESENTATIONS

  • Gina Genovese, Courage to Connect
  • Gina spoke about Courage to Connect and the history of consolidation efforts in New Jersey. Gina introduced Anton Lahnston who was the Chairperson of the Princeton Consolidation Study Commission
  • Anton Lahnston, former chairperson of the Princeton Consolidation Commission
  • Anton spoke about the Princeton Consolidation Study Commission
  • He made the following suggestions which he stressed should only be taken as suggestions
  • As the Chair, he held himself accountable for the success of the commission
  • He urged the commission to listen to community members and acknowledge differences. He made a request for the process to be transparent
  • He urged the commission to keep discussion s on the future, not the past
  • He urged the commission to give the chairperson permission to move forward when wordsmithing a documents becomes arduous
  • He urged the commission to develop a relationship with the press
  • Use subcommittees, acknowledging that the Princeton study did not focus on schools
  • Police
  • Governance
  • Finance – taxes, debt, etc
  • Department of Public Works
  • Community Engagement
  • He stated he was a nonvoting member of each subcommittee
  • Each had at least 4 members
  • Community Engagement – Meet with anyone, anytime
  • Met with over 70 organizations
  • Go and speak to the community even if you don’t have anything to say
  • This was the 4th effort in Princeton. The first was in the 50’s, the second was in the 70’s and the 3rd was in the 90’s
  • Waiting to connect to the public is the wrong way to go. Don’t wait. Even if you don’t have all of the information
  • Subcommittees did most of the work\
  • Do a good job connecting with the current staff
  • Subcommittees should be led by an organizer to link committees
  • Know when you plan to present the vote to the public. Schedule backwards from that point.
  • Work with organized opposition
  • He is happy to be a resource to the commission going forward
  • Gene Paradiso asked Anton what not to do again? Anton responded that he would have approached transition costs differently. He thought the state would have been more supportive. After the vote, the commission exists for 6 months to advise the transition. Stay transparent. The documents for the Princeton consolidation are still on www.cgr.org
  • Gene Paradiso asked about the dissemination of preliminary reports? Anton said that after they were approved in committee, they posted right away. Anton also stated that they creation of a baseline report is crucial before starting anything else.
  • Craig Heard asked if there should be a flow of information? Anton stated that you should tell the public what you know when you know it.
  • Jerry Frisco asked about how you handle the bad press? Anton said to work through the process and keep and open mind. Does the data support what you are doing?
  • Vincent Reilly asked about the differences between what we are doing – Citizens Petition and what Princeton did – Municipal Resolution? Anton explained how the Princeton commission was formed. The mayors of each town asked for applications.
  • Chris Raths spoke about his dealings in Massachusetts with efficiencies and quality of service. He asked how the differences in identity were addressed? Anton spoke about how they tried to bring differences together when possible.
  • Anthony Fernandez asked about Anton’s quote – If the effort failed, I failed. He asked Anton what he meant? Anton replied that the effort was sanctions by both towns and the towns cooperated. The goal was not to consolidate, but to see the process through. The goal was to consolidate once the information showed this was the right way to go.
  • Laurel Whitney asked where the funding came from? Anton said that 36K came from the state. 120K came from both communities. There was no outside fundraising. Discussion continued about funding sources from multiple commissioners.
  • Craig Heard asked about the cost of the consultant and the overall savings. Anton said the consultant cost 76K and the overall annual savings was 3.1 million dollars.
  • Nancy Absalon asked if the towns were happy now? Anton said generally.
  • Chris Rogers asked if the commission came across any confidential information during the process? Anton said they never reviewed any confidential information from the towns. They never held an executive session. You are not looking at people, you are looking at data.
  • Laurel Whitney asked how alternate commission members were handled? Anton said any vote needed at least 3 votes from each town. The alternate filled in when the town representative was not present.
  • Gina Genovese stated that the Princeton’s already had 13 shared services and trash collection was public in one town and private in the other. The final result was a benefit to the taxpayers not originally in the budget.
  • Gina Genovese stated there is pending legislation to change the process of the commission continuing to work after the public vote. Also tax equalization is an issue addressed in the legislation. The new legislation would give the towns latitude to allow both towns to “win” during the process.
  • Gina Genovese stated that other speakers are available including Chad Goerner, former mayor of Princeton and Liz Lampert, current mayor of Princeton
  • Gina Genovese presented the commission with a check for $5000.00 from the Courage to Connect Board.

2015-11 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission accepts a donation from Courage to Connect New Jersey in the amount of $5000

  • Chris Raths made a motion to accept the donation. Gene Paradiso made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

5. SECRETARY’S REPORT

  • Minutes

2015- 17 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission accepts the minutes from April 1, 2015

  • Laurel Whitney asked that the following be added to the minutes. “Consensus was made to wait to create email accounts until the next meeting”
  • Chris Rogers made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. Laurel Whitney made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes
  • Correspondence
  • Chris Rogers reported that the following documents have been received:
  •  Letter from the Department of Community Affairs approving Mr. Haeuber as the DCA appointment to the commission
  • Letter from the IRS assigning an EIN number to the commission
  • Bill from New Jersey Hills Media Group for Legal Notices
  • Bill from Daily Record for Legal Notices
  • Email communication from Craig Heard and Linda DeSantis regarding proposed meeting places within Mount Arlington
  • Email communication from Veronica Silkes notifying the commission of her intent to video tape the meetings
  • Gene Paradiso commented that he spoke with Steven Sadow about meeting at the Mount Arlington Library. The request was denied by the library board due to politics.
  • Gene Paradiso spoke about the value of the meetings being recorded.
  • Chris Rogers clarified that the commission is not recording the meetings. The request was made from a member of the public.

6. TREASURER’S REPORT

  • Bank Account Balance
  • Laurel Whitney reported that the current bank account balance was $267.72
  • Chris Raths suggested that the bank account should have two signatures for every expenditure. It was agreed that the chairperson would receive an email every time an expense was to be paid.
  • Chris Raths inquired about our tax exempt status. Laurel Whitney explained that she was holding on this until we had a sufficient balance to pay the fee
  • Donations

2015-13 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approves the donations as listed on the treasurer’s report dated 5/6/15 in the total amount of $300.00

  • Chris Raths made a motion to approve the donations. Maureen Castriotta made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes
  • Expenditures

2015-14 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approves the expenses as listed on the treasurer’s report dated 5/6/15 in the total amount of $32.28

  • Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the donations. Maureen Castriotta made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

7. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT

  • New Committees
  • Chairperson Craig Heard created an Agenda, Information & Data Collection Committee . The members are Craig Heard, Gene Paradiso, Laurel Whitney and Chris Rogers. At a future committee meeting, they will discuss the following months agenda and bring recommendations to the full commission.
  • Chairperson Craig Heard created a Fundraising Committee. Members included Jerry Frisco and Laurel Whitney.
  • Laurel Whitney brought up the need for a dissemination of information policy. Members of the commission debated the issue. Chris Raths suggested amended wording.

2015-15 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approves the chairperson or his designee to act as spokesperson and point of contact for the dissemination and requests for information, until such time that the bylaws address the issue further.

  • ChrisRaths made a motion to approve the donations. Laurel Whitney made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

9. PUBLIC COMMENT (AGENDA ITEMS)

  • Ralph Nappi spoke about the schedule of meetings. November 11th is Veteran’s Day. The commission members stated they will change the date if it should become a scheduling issue. Ralph Nappi also asked where we opened a bank account. Laurel Whitney replied that it was Highlands State Bank

10. RESOLUTIONS
2015-1 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approve the 2015 meeting schedule and location. See exhibit A.

  • Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the resolution. Paula Danchuk made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

2015-2 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approve the 2015 commissioner information roster. See exhibit B.

  • Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the resolution. Maureen Castriotta made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

2015-3 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Secretary / Treasurer to place legal notices with the Roxbury Register and Daily Record notifying the public about regular meetings of the commission. The approved cost of the legal notices is up to $50.00 per month. See exhibit C.

2015-4 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Treasurer to open a bank account with Highlands State Bank.

  • Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve resolution 2015-3 and 2015-4. Maureen Castriotta made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Both Motions Pass

2015-5 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Technology Committee to create a website with GoDaddy and Blogger, and email accounts with Network Solutions. The approved annual cost of the website and email service is up to $150.00 per year.

  • Chris Rogers made a motion to approve the resolution. Laurel Whitney made a second.
  • Chris Raths commented that he would like to keep his own personal email address. Anthony Fernandez stated that he and Steven Sadow have a personal email account they have been corresponding with. Chris Rogers stated that personal email addresses should be debated further, but should not stop this resolution from being passed.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

2015-6 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Chairperson to inquire about the scope of volunteer services offered at by Walter M. Luers, Esq. See exhibit D.

  • Chris Rogers made a motion to approve the resolution. Gene Paradiso made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

2015-8 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Technology Committee to create a Facebook page. Use policies shall be discussed at the next Technology Committee meeting and presented to the commission for approval.

2015-9 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Technology Committee to create a Twitter page. Use policies shall be discussed at the next Technology Committee meeting and presented to the commission for approval.

2015-10 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission directs the Technology Committee to create a Go Fund Me account.


  • Chris Rogers made a motion to approve resolutions 2015-8, 2015-9, 2015-10. Gene Paradiso made a second.
  • After discussion by commission, it was agreed to table 2015-8 and 2015-9 and send them back to the technology committee for further clarification of the use policy. Chris Raths was concerned about voting to create social media accounts without a use policy in place first. A vote took place on 2015-10 only.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes

11. COMMITTEE REPORTS

  • Bylaws Committee
  • Gene Paradiso reported on questions the committee had before presenting a draft of the proposed bylaws. He asked the commission about issues pertaining to confidentiality, vacancies and commissioner removal. George Haeuber suggested to keep any policies specific to something measurable and not subjective. Nancy Absalon suggested following Roberts Rules of Order. The committee will present a draft of the bylaws to the commissioners at the next meeting.
  • Mission Statement Committee

2015-16 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission approves the following mission statement:
The Roxbury and Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission has been established to work in partnership and provide residents of Roxbury and Mount Arlington information about municipal consolidation. We shall pursue the objective of gathering and analyzing information for the public.
The commission will do this in an open an inclusive manner and will thoroughly review all benefits and detriments of consolidation. The commission may develop a public report and disseminate said report for consideration by the residents of both communities to create an informed public with an understanding of consolidation.
The commission shall determine if the matter should be presented to the voters in a referendum.


  • Jerry Frisco made a motion to approve the resolution. Chris Raths made a second.
  • Maureen Castriotta – Y, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco – Y, Craig Heard – Y, Gene Paradiso – Y, Chris Raths – Y, Vincent Reilly – Y, Chris Rogers – Y, Steven Sadow – Absent, Laurel Whitney – Y Motion Passes
  • Technology Committee
  • Chris Rogers stated that the Website, Email and Social Media were discussed during the resolutions. The committee will report back on social media at the next meeting

12. OLD OR UNFINISHED BUSINESS

  • Impact Report from DCA
  • Chairperson Craig Heard asked George Haeuber as to the status of the DCA impact report. George Haeuber said he would relay our desire to the DCA, but the study has not been assigned to anyone yet
  • Impact Report from DOE
  • Rosalie Lamonte presented an impact report which was created by her office. She stated the report only looks at what would happen if the existing districts were merged. It does not take into account any duplication of efforts.
  • Gene Paradiso asked about any further reports that would be provided. Rosalie Lamonte explained there was no money for any further reports. Gene Paradiso asked about the merging of union contracts. Rosalie Lamonte explained that the higher of the two contracts would prevail.
  • Chris Raths asked if the report included the payment to Roxbury from Mount Arlington for the sending receiving relationship. Rosalie Lamonte said that it did not break that payment out.
  • Chris Rogers clarified that the higher of the two contracts would prevail, being Mount Arlington. Rosalie Lamonte verified it would be the higher of the two contracts.
  • Insurance
  • Gene Paradiso spoke about the need for the consolidation commission to obtain insurance. Chris Raths stated that he would check with a few of his contacts about pricing.

13. NEW BUSINESS

  • Craig Heard said that he was going to postpone his areas of study workshop as it was getting late. He asked that all commissioners send him an email regarding their thoughts on committee appointments, volunteers and study timeframe.
  • George Haeuber stated that he will not be at the June 10th meeting
  • Rosalie Lamonte requested that we OPRA the Mount Arlington School Study that was completed by the Mount Arlington School District.

14. PUBLIC COMMENT

  • No public comments

15. ADJOURN

  • Chris Raths made a motion and Craig Heard made a second to adjourn the meeting at 11:10pm

Agenda - August 12, 2015

Regular Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission
Roxbury Recreation Office
72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876
7:00pm, August 12, 2015

AGENDA

1.      Call to Order

2.      Pledge of Allegiance

3.      NJ Open Public Meetings Law
·         This meeting has been advertised and is being conducted in accordance with the provisions of the “Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act,” P.L. 1975, c. 231

4.      Roll Call

5.      Introduction of Elected Officials and/or Recognition of Their Representatives

6.      Election and Installation of Officers, If Applicable

7.      Introduction of Guest Speaker or Presentation, If Applicable
·         Gina Genovese, Courage to Connect NJ – Fundraising Video Presentation

8.      Public Comments on Agenda Items Only (Limited To 3 Minutes Per Person)

9.    Secretary’s Report
·         Correspondence
·         2015-401     RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the minutes for July 8, 2015.  See attached
·         2015-402     RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the updated commissioner roster for August 12, 2015.  See attached

10.   Treasurer’s Report
·         Bank Account Balance
·         2015- 403    RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the donations from July 9, 2015 to August 12, 2015.  See attached
·         2015- 404    RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the expenditures from July 9, 2015 to August 12, 2015.  See attached

11.   Chairman’s Report

12.   Committee Reports
·         Bylaws Committee (ADHOC)
·         2015-405     RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the proposed Bylaws. See attached

·         Technology Committee (ADHOC)
·         Fundraising Committee (ADHOC)

13.   Resolutions

14.   Old/Unfinished Business
·         Insurance

15.   New Business
·         Sub Committee Meetings
o   Data Collection, Craig Heard
o   Municipal Government, Laurel Whitney
o   Education, Gene Paradiso
o   *Finance/Administration
o   DPW / Utilities, Paula Danchuk
o   *Police/Fire/EMS
o   *Personnel
o   *Shared / Social Services

16.   Public Comment

17.   Adjournment


Thursday, August 6, 2015

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - August 12, 2015

Notice is hereby given pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:65-25(d)(1) that the Regular Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission scheduled for August 12, 2015 will be held at the Roxbury Recreation Office, 72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, New Jersey 07876. The meeting will begin at 7:00pm. Formal action may be taken.

A copy of the agenda may be viewed in advance at the Roxbury Town Hall, the Mount Arlington Town Hall or online at www.roxburymountarlingtonstudy.org

Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission Dated: August 6, 2015
CR 8/6/15