Regular Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission
Roxbury Recreation Office
72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876
October 14, 2015 7pm to 10pm
1. Call to Order
a. Chairman Heard called the meeting to order at 7pm
2. Pledge of Allegiance
a. Chairman Heard led the commission in the pledge of allegiance
3. NJ Open Public Meetings Law
a. Secretary Rogers stated, 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
a. The following were in attendance: Paula Danchuk, Jerry Frisco, Vincent Reilly, Chris Rogers, Stephen Sadow, Laurel Whitney, Gene Paradiso, Craig Heard, Nancy Absalon, Anthony Fernandez, George Haeuber, Roger Jinks
b. The following were absent: Maureen Castriotta, Chris Raths, Larry Millus, Fred Hall
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
8. Public Comments on Agenda Items Only (Limited To 3 Minutes Per Person)
9. Secretary’s Report
i. Secretary Rogers stated there was no correspondence
b. 2015-701 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the minutes for September 9, 2015. See attached
i. Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the minutes, Vincent Reilly seconded the motion
ii. Maureen Castriotta - Absent, Paula Danchuk – Abstain, Jerry Frisco - Y, Chris Raths - Absent, Vincent Reilly - Y, Chris Rogers - Y, Stephen Sadow - Y, Laurel Whitney - Y, Gene Paradiso - Y, Craig Heard – Y Motion passes
10. Treasurer’s Report
a. Bank Account Balance
i. Treasurer Whitney reported the following:
1. Gofundme page still hasn't had any activity since last meeting. Waiting for a Facebook or twitter page to promote and share it. In the meantime, please view and share: http://www.gofundme.com/municipal-study. We should be getting the check from our one Gofundme donation shortly for deposit (I was waiting to lump them)
2. Bank balance = $5108.84 as of 8/31 (unchanged from last three months)
3. The following contribution(s) were received
a. $16.72 from the Daily Record for 9/3 meeting notices
5. Reports available at any time
6. Gofundme: 5% + 2.9% = 7.9% plus .30 per donation
b. 2015-702 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the donations from September 9, 2015 to October 13, 2015. See attached
c. 2015-703 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the expenditures from September 9, 2015 to October 13, 2015. See attached
i. Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the treasurer's reports, Jerry Frisco seconded the motion
ii. Anthony Fernandez asked if the name of the donor is reported?
iii. Treasurer Whitney stated that donors can make themselves anonymous on the Go Fund Me website.
iv. Anthony Fernandez stated that he could not access the website
v. Chris Rogers stated that anyone who had trouble accessing the website should contact him
vi. Maureen Castriotta - Absent, Paula Danchuk – Abstain, Jerry Frisco - Y, Chris Raths - Absent, Vincent Reilly - Y, Chris Rogers - Y, Stephen Sadow - Y, Laurel Whitney - Y, Gene Paradiso - Y, Craig Heard – Y Motion passes
11. Chairman’s Report
a. Chairman Heard stated that he intends to meet with Senator Bucco regarding the consolidation legislation
b. Chairman Heard stated that everyone should sign up on the website to receive updates when they are posted to the public
c. Chairman Heard stated that he is still waiting on several data collection requests from a few committees. Then he will speak to Chris Raths and Steve Sadow to go over the language of the requests
d. George Haeuber stated that the task of completing a report from the DCA has not yet been assigned. He will report back at a future meeting
e. Gene Paradiso asked what the report would entail?
f. Anthony Fernandez asked what entity gives the information to the state?
g. Roger Jinks stated that he had a conversation with the Mount Arlington Superintendent of Schools. He will speak to the Roxbury Superintendent of Schools soon.
h. Vincent Reilly asked if he would be speaking to Assemblyman or Senator Bucco regarding the legislation?
i. Vincent Reilly stated that there was a recent article about Senator Kean supporting consolidation efforts. He asked if someone should contact Senator Kean?
j. Chairman Heard said he would find the article and reach out to Senator Kean.
k. Chairman Heard said that he would like all committees to go through the budget book that Fred Hall gave the commission.
l. Chairman Heard asked Steve Sadow if there was anything similar in Mount Arlington to get a copy of?
m. Vincent Reilly asked if the commission could make several copies of the book?
i. 2015-706 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study creates 6 copies of the Roxbury Budget Book.
1. Gene Paradiso made a motion to create copies of 6 Roxbury Budget Books, Paula Danchuk seconded the motion
2. Maureen Castriotta - Absent, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco - Y, Chris Raths - Absent, Vincent Reilly - Y, Chris Rogers - Y, Stephen Sadow - Y, Laurel Whitney - Y, Gene Paradiso - Y, Craig Heard – Y Motion passes
12. Committee Reports
a. Data Collection – Chair Craig Heard
i. Craig Heard stated that the Data Collection Committee would meet directly following the commission meeting
b. Municipal Government – Chair Laurel Whitney
i. Laurel Whitney stated the committee is working on the initial report and the final draft of the baseline comparison report
c. Education – Chair Gene Paradiso
i. Gene Paradiso stated that the committee is working on the baseline and comparison report
d. Finance/Administration – Chair Jerry Frisco
i. Jerry Frisco stated that the committee is speaking with Chris Raths about the proper wording for the requested information to give to the data collection committee. Jerry Frisco stated that the request should be done soon.
ii. Nancy Absalon offered her OPRA template to the Data Collection committee
e. DPW / Utilities – Chair Paula Danchuk
i. Paula Danchuk stated the committee had requested information from the township of Mount Arlington.
ii. Craig Heard stated the data collection has the request and the partial denial. He plans to clean up the request and submit again.
iii. Paula stated that Mount Arlington is reporting the request cost the township $400
iv. Steve Sadow stated Mount Arlington has a process to reduce litigation. Requests go to the clerk and then to the borough attorney. That is the path that OPRA requests take in Mount Arlington.
v. Steve Sadow stated that if documents do not exist, the clerk is not required to create them. However, the clerk is required to help the requestor if it is unclear what documents exist.
f. Police/Fire/EMS – Chair Larry Millus
i. No report
ii. Chairman Heard stated a list in information was sent to him by the committee chair
g. Personnel – Chair Vincent Reilly
i. Vincent Reilly stated that he was in receipt of the Roxbury budget book from Fred Hall. There are approximately 35 sections. Approximately 40 percent of the budget is the police force. Benefits costs were approximately 4.8 million and the remainder was pension payments.
ii. Vincent Reilly stated he would work with Steve Sadow between now and December to obtain the Mount Arlington data.
iii. Anthony Fernandez asked if a forensic accountant will look at the budgets?
iv. Gene Paradiso stated the commission would review the findings and then the commission will decide if a professional will review the findings.
v. A back and forth discussion took place without the chair’s recognition.
vi. Anthony Fernandez stated that sometimes numbers are padded but he was not specifically accusing anyone of anything improper
vii. Craig Heard stated that a determination would be made once the information has been gathered and reviewed
viii. Chris Rogers asked for clarification if either town currently used a forensic auditor normally.
ix. Anthony Fernandez stated that forensic auditor was the wrong term.
h. Shared / Social Services – Chair Fred Hall
i. No report given
i. Grants Committee – Chair Jerry Frisco
i. Jerry Frisco stated that he has done some research on other government entities who are studying consolidation. Duchess County, New York has budgeted funds for consolidation studies. Also Cornell University has a Professor who has a great deal of knowledge on the topic. Her name is Margaret Warner.
ii. Jerry Frisco stated that the committee is currently talking about meeting with the Morris County Freeholders, Don Parisi from the Scotch Plains Fanwood effort, Freeholder Rob Walton from Hunterdon County as well as several Universities and Schools in the area.
iii. Jerry Frisco suggested that we may want to seek 501c3 status
iv. Laurel Whitney stated our current government status would allow us to apply without incorporating. She also stated concern for spending $500 to see the process through considering our current bank account balance.
v. Jerry Frisco stated that we should wait until we have a grant ready to write
vi. Craig Heard asked if the process will require personal information from the commissioners
vii. Laurel Whitney stated that she would gather information on how to form a 501c3 and report back
viii. Chris Rogers stated that all committees should suggest where the money could be used during the study to help identify grant sources
ix. Chris Rogers stated he would call Rutgers Newark and report back
x. The committee will meet again this Friday
a. 2015-704 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the video prepared by Courage to Connect New Jersey. The video will be used to educate the public and raise funds for the consolidation study of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission.
i. A recess was taken to allow all parties to view the current video.
ii. Gene Paradiso made a motion to approve the video created by Courage to Connect NJ, Chris Rogers seconded the motion
iii. Craig Heard read a letter aloud from Gina Genovese
iv. Steve Sadow apologized for not seeing the email with the current video
v. Laurel Whitney stated that the animation may trivialize what we intended to do
vi. Steve Sadow stated the video was juvenile
vii. Chris Rogers stated that the video was to be used by Courage to Connect to raise money on our behalf and we should be thankful for the effort
viii. Vincent Reilly said he would like to hear from Butch (Anthony Fernandez)
ix. Anthony Fernandez stated he did not like it but he understands it is CTC’s video and not the work of the commission
x. Steve Sadow stated the video trivializes what we are doing
xi. Craig Heard asked that the vote on the video be tabled
b. 2015-705 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study approves the meeting schedule for 2016. See attached
i. Gene Paradiso made a motion to accept the 2016 schedule of meetings, Paula Danchuk seconded the motion
ii. Laurel Whitney stated that October 12th is Yom Kippur and asked if would could move the October 2016 meeting to October 5th
iii. Motion amended to approve October 5th as the meeting date as long as it is available
iv. Maureen Castriotta - Absent, Paula Danchuk – Y, Jerry Frisco - Y, Chris Raths - Absent, Vincent Reilly - Y, Chris Rogers - Y, Stephen Sadow - Y, Laurel Whitney - Y, Gene Paradiso - Y, Craig Heard – Y Motion passes
14. Old/Unfinished Business
i. No update given
15. New Business
a. Steve Sadow reported that Mayor Ondish is home from the hospital
16. Public Comment
a. Ralph Nappi asked if the Roxbury budget book was given to the commission?
b. Craig Heard stated that it was
c. Ralph Nappi asked if the same request had been made of Mount Arlington?
d. Craig Heard stated it was not yet made
e. Ralph Nappi stated he did not think the process was moving quickly and had serious doubts that the study would come together
f. Jerry Frisco stated the committees are currently giving their information requests to the chair
g. Craig Heard stated the commission was still on schedule
h. Anthony Fernandez stated that Mount Arlington was slammed with OPRA requests and that the procedure was put in place to avoid litigation
a. Chairman Heard adjourned the meeting at 8:40pm