Saturday, November 16, 2019

Minutes October 23, 2019 Meeting with State Officials

SPECIAL Meeting of the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission
Roxbury Recreation Office
72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876
Wednesday, October 23, 2019
7pm to 10pm
1. Call to Order
2. Pledge of Allegiance
3. NJ Open Public Meetings Law
a. 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
Paula D.    Fran D.   Melissa F.    Jerry F.   Craig H.   Larry M.   Gene P.   Vincent R.   Laurel W.   Dan K.    Bob D.   Nancy A.    Lee L.  
  1. Introduction of Guest Speaker or Presentation, If Applicable
    Rick Richardella, Local Assistance Bureau Chief – DCA
    Jordan Glatt, Co-Czar Shared Services
    Phil Gonzales
    Even though we advertised this meeting as having only an Executive Session to meet with Rick from the DCA as he requested via email to Craig, I neglected to put the 2019-20 resolution up for action by the Commission.
    2019-20 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission go into Executive Session at the request from Rick Richardella, Local Assistance Bureau Chief - DCA 
    Motion:            seconded:                
    Paula D. ___   Fran D. ___  Melissa F. ___  Jerry F. ___  Larry M. ___   Vincent R. ___  Laurel W. ___       Dan K. ___  Bob D. ___   Nancy A. ___    Lee L. ___  Gene P. ___  Craig H. ___
    Yeas: _  ___ Nays: _______   Abstain:
Discussion with the DCA representatives followed after they introduced themselves and provided some resume details.  Chairman Heard opened the discussion followed by Chief Richardella’s presentation and then comments by the Commissioners. Chairman Heard’s comments were:
  • We are meeting in Executive Session at Chief Richardella’s request, as this is how he conducts this process
  • Provided some history of the Commission, the qualifications, experience and areas of expertise of the Commissioners – contrary to what was stated by the 2 mayors at the 9/13 DCA meeting
  • The fact that the DCA was not compliant with the Statute as their required report has not been finalized and provided to the Commission, nor was there representation by them for the past 2 years.  The DOE was also not compliant with the Statute as it applied to the required Report and Representative
  • The flaw in the Statute is that equalization has prevented Mount Arlington to benefit from a 10-million-dollar yearly savings from consolidation, the DCA should have made an effort to find a remedy to that hurdle
  • Chairperson Heard read email from Spencer Clayton, Ph.D., Research Economist, Division of Local Government Services - DCA ) where he stated the report was very well done
  • He disagreed with the DCA’s request at the 9/11/19 meeting that the Commission work with the towns on possible shared services, as that is not within our authority under the Statute nor what the Commissioner’s signed up for
  • That Roxbury Mayor, Bob Defilippo, who is also a Commissioner said at a Council meeting that our report was flawed yet, to that point had not commented on any drafts he received, and he missed 58% of our meetings
  • Stated that some volunteers were attacked online, publicly and had their businesses attacked
        Chief Richardella’s presentation remarks:
  • He was directed by the DCA director to pursue possible shared services between Roxbury and Mount Arlington
  • He has already meet with the Mayors and BAs from both towns prior to our meeting, both governing bodies need to commit to the process through a resolution before their group can get involved
  • The process to obtain their bureau’s assistance with shared services stating both towns would need to do a resolution, the state would do a PowerPoint presentation of options/savings for the council, the council would vote to put on a public referendum and public would vote. If the council decides not to proceed, they are not obligated to share the presentation with the public. Chief Richardella said they provided a template of the resolution to both mayors and BAs in their initial meetings. 
  • The Commission will not have any role in his efforts working with the towns on possible shared services, his purpose is to listen to our findings and use our reports as a road map for their efforts
  • shared services could be a prerequisite for Consolidation as it gets the towns working together, along with them (the DCA) helping to offset the cost associated with developing shared services contracts
  • The Mount Arlington School District is on the list for “forced” consolidation
  • Chief Richardella also stated the study the Commission did, after 4 years of research, and reports submitted to the DCA are a blueprint and roadmap that will be used as a starting point. He thanked the commission for their work
        Remarks by Commissioners:
  • It was stated again, that the Commission is stacked with a variety of very talented and experienced volunteers
  • It was stated that they have available to them our Commission Study reports that details many aspects of shared services possibilities in Personnel and Government Services, better then what they would get from professionals
  • Commissioners were pleased that their efforts could be helpful in the DCA’s efforts in establishing some shared services between the towns
  • It was stated by one Commissioner that you should not expect shared services between these towns as there has not been any for decades, even though they stated so in their resolutions to the DCA. They are getting along now because they have someone common to dislike – us
  • Mayor DeFillipo stated that he is on board with shared services. When asked if he is working on the resolution to begin the process, he said “no”. 
  • When asked if the respective town Councils were aware / agreed to the meetings with the DCA, Bob Defilippo said “yes” – to the surprise of Roxbury Councilman Kline.
    2019-21 RESOLVED, that the Roxbury Mount Arlington Consolidation Study Commission exit from Executive Session
    Motion:            seconded:                    Time:
    Paula D. ___   Fran D. ___  Melissa F. ___  Jerry F. ___  Larry M. ___   Vincent R. ___  Laurel W. ___       Dan K. ___  Bob D. ___   Nancy A. ___    Lee L. ___  Gene P. ___  Craig H. ___
    Yeas: _  ___ Nays: _______   Abstain:
6. New Business
7. Adjournment      9:15     pm
Motion:    Paula           seconded:    Jerry      
Paula D. ___   Fran D. ___ Melissa F. ___ Jerry F. ___ Larry M. ___ Vincent R. ___ Laurel W. ___ Dan K. ___ Bob D. ___   Nancy A. ___    Lee L. ___ Gene P. ___ Craig H. ___
Yeas: _ALL___ Nays: _______   Abstain:

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