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Minutes of Commissioners Meeting   -   July 22, 2009

Note:  Complete Meeting Appears on Tapes #23-09 and 24-09 on File in the Borough Clerk’s Office July 22, 2009
Wildwood Crest, NJ

Prior to the opening of the meeting, Mr. Groon led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

 

The meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Borough of Wildwood Crest, Cape May County , New Jersey , was held in the Municipal Court Room at 7:00 p.m.  On roll call the following answered to their names:

Gould - Cabrera – Groon – Yes

 

Mr. Groon read the following statement:  In compliance with the Open Public Meeting Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975, the notice requirements have been satisfied as to the time, place and date of holding said meeting by posting notice on the bulletin board in the Borough Hall and by mailing same to the Gazette-Leader and The Press on November 5, 2008.

 

Mr. Groon next announced the one-way in and the one-way out method of ingress and egress in case of emergency.

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 54-09

(Authorizing request from the Director of the DLGS for approval of the insertion of a special item of revenue in the amount of $487,860 for Small Cities CDBG Program for Atlantic Avenue Storm Sewer Replacement)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 55-09

(Authorizing award of a Professional Services Contract to Planning Design Collaborative, as Planning Consultant for COAH Round Three Housing Element and Fair Share Plan requirements and related function pertaining thereto for a period of one year commencing 7/22/09 and terminating 7/21/10)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 56-09

(Authorizing re-appointment of Andrew Cafiero as Public Defender at an annual salary of $12,500 commencing immediately and terminating June 30, 2010)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 57-09

(Authorizing advertisement of Notice to Bidders for Atlantic Avenue Storm System Improvements, Cardinal Road to Cresse Avenue , with a publication date of July 29, 2009 in The Herald and a bid receipt date of August 11, 2009)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTIONS “IN GROUP FASHION” BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 58-09

(Authorizing the issuance of a special events permit to Kristy Gant and Ken Leyman for the purpose of holding a wedding ceremony at the Fern Road beach on October 11, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 59-09

(Authorizing the issuance of a special events permit to Patricia Tedeschi for the purpose of holding a wedding ceremony at the Bike Path Gazebo [Wisteria Road] on September 17, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 60-09

(Authorizing the issuance of a special events permit to Mark Swartz for the purpose of holding a wedding ceremony at the Bike Path Gazebo [Wisteria Road] on September 26, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.)

 

RESOLUTION NO. 61-09

(Authorizing the issuance of a special events permit to Life Roles On Foundation for the purpose of holding an Adaptive Surfing Program at the Rambler Road Beach on September 27, 2009 between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that Resolutions Nos. 58-09, 59-09, 60-09, and 61-09, be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 62-09

(Authorizing an agreement with CMC for the Youth Work Experience Program)

 

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 63-09

(Authorizing a professional services contract with Ralph Petrella, Jr. of Van Note Harvey Associates as Borough Engineer)

 

Mr. Cabrera motioned, seconded by Mrs. Gould, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 64-09

(Authorizing a professional services contract with Glen Ortman of Ford, Scott Associates as Borough Auditor)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that all bills properly authorized, as submitted and which appear in full on the following page, be paid.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that all reports received, from the Court Administrator, CFO, Tax Collector, Chief of Police and Recreation Supervisor for the month ending June 30, 2009 be accepted as presented and filed.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the minutes of meetings held June 24 and July 8, 2009, as well as the closed session minutes of both dates, be approved as presented.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

The Clerk reported that there were a few matters to be discussed for purposes of providing updates or consideration of action by the governing body; specifically, the Rambler Road Park Project, the Cresse Avenue beachfront ADA access facilities, the beach maintenance permit. The Clerk reported that he, Commissioner Cabrera and the Borough Engineer were scheduled to meet with representatives of the DEP on July 23, 2009 regarding the general beach maintenance permit. He added that the Environmental Commission’s request for contributions towards environmental damage in the Borough was to be discussed as well.

 

The Commissioners reviewed a rendering of the Rambler Road Park Project. There was discussion of the proposed parking lot, including a new circular ADA parking area in the center of the park. Mrs. Gould inquired as to the original cost estimate for this project. The discussion continued regarding configuration of parking, drop off area, and handicapped parking.

 

Mr. Groon inquired of the Engineer whether a grant application had been drafted for this project. The Engineer responded in the affirmative. Mr. Groon asked if it would be possible to obtain a response by November.

 

The Clerk interjected that it was his opinion that it would “greatly assist” the Borough if a determination was made as to a final product and to go out to bid. The Engineer stated that the contractor would have to hold the bid amount for sixty days. The Clerk reiterated his opinion that a determination should be made by the governing body as to what the project description should include in order to get the bid documents drafted and the permit process commenced. He added that there is a possibility of losing the funding if these decisions are not made.

 

Mr. Groon suggested that some “fine tuning” would be required and that the matter be finalized at the first meeting in August. He added that there seemed to be philosophical differences, and it had been his vision that this park be a support to the other parks and not its own park.

 

It was decided that the matter would be placed on the agenda for the first meeting in August for further discussion and final determination.

 

The next matter for discussion was the Cresse Avenue ADA beachfront access facilities intersect project. The Clerk indicated that the Engineer had received communication from the Grants coordinator and himself regarding potential application for that project. He indicated that direction would be required from the governing body. Mr. Groon inquired if there was a deadline for the grant application. The Clerk responded that the deadline is October 2009. The Clerk added that some of the decisions in conjunction with the ADA aspect of the project and the grant application should be viewed in context with some type of priority list from the Engineer as to what funding should be sought for an ADA related project based on established, bonafide needs. Mr. Groon inquired if this would be a 2010 commitment. Mr. Groon next offered that it was his opinion that this should be kept as a “maintenance type of project” for 2010, but that it was his additional opinion that the Borough should move forward more aggressively with the City of Wildwood prior to proceeding because it is unknown what Wildwood’s position was regarding this matter.

 

Mr. Cabrera said that presently the configuration of the end of the Wildwood Boardwalk, where it meets the Wildwood Crest bike path, is a dangerous situation. He added that the Boardwalk ramp turns west along Cresse and people must cross Cresse Avenue in the middle of the block to proceed on the Wildwood Crest bike path. He suggested a ramp to directly connect the boardwalk and the bike path. Mr. Groon indicated that it was his opinion that Wildwood will not approve that. The Clerk interjected that trucks enter the beach at that point and that “virtually the entire project would be in Wildwood City with the exception of some concrete crossing over into Wildwood Crest.”

 

Mr. Groon agreed with Mr. Cabrera that it is a bad area. The Clerk interjected that Wildwood will have to agree to the project. Mr. Groon advised that he was aware that there is some interest from Wildwood to be a part of the project, but he did not know to what extent.

 

Nancy Pietropaoli, 6002 Seaview Avenue, voiced concern that handicapped drivers were being required to pay the meters. The Chief of Police responded that the statute provides that handicapped drivers must pay the meters, but they are not required to return to pay again if the meter expires.

 

An unidentified member of the public questioned why the public was not permitted to utilize the recreation center during the day to play cards or other activities. He indicated that he had been turned away recently. Mr. Groon and Mrs. Gould both responded that there was a day camp at the recreation center. The member of the public stated that North Wildwood has a day camp and permits members of the public into the recreation center. Mr. Cabrera stated that all of the rooms at the Wildwood Crest recreation center are utilized for the day camp. The Chief of Police interjected that for safety purposes, members of the public are not permitted into the recreation center while the children are there. Mrs. Gould stated that even she, as a Commissioner, cannot obtain access to the recreation center while the children are present. The member of the public reiterated that North Wildwood permits members of the public while the day camp is in progress. Mr. Groon and the Clerk both responded that North Wildwood has two separate buildings and access can be strictly controlled.

 

John Dana inquired about the sign ordinance and, in particular, signs he has seen on Newark and on Washington Avenues. Mrs. Gould asked if he was referring to signs regarding John 3:15. He responded in the affirmative. Mr. Groon stated that he would speak to the Zoning Officer and have him call Mr. Dana regarding his complaints.

 

Mr. Dana then inquired about the walkway on Washington, and asked why it is shorter than the walkway on Jefferson. Mr. Cabrera responded that Washington Avenue is one of the major access areas for the Borough’s beach equipment.

 

There being no further public comments, Stephen Ritchie, the Borough’s CFO, appeared before the governing body to present a request for re-negotiation of his employment contract. Specifically, Mr. Ritchie requested a review of his post-retirement medical benefits in conjunction with NJSHBP authorized eligibility.  He additionally requested authorization to work part-time in another municipality.

 

Mr. Ritchie indicated that presently Wildwood Crest provides post-retirement medical benefits to those who serve twenty-five years with the Borough and reach the age of 55, or serve fifteen years with the Borough and reach the age of 62. He asked the governing body to consider providing post-retirement medical benefits for those with fifteen years of service who meet all other criteria, but not based on age. He indicated that the current provisions are biased against younger workers.

 

Mr. Groon indicated that he and the rest of the governing body had not read Mr. Ritchie’s agreement, nor had an opportunity to discuss his proposals. He indicated that they would like an opportunity to review and discuss the proposals, and they would get back to him with their response.

 

The Solicitor inquired of Mr. Ritchie whether he was requesting to renegotiate his entire employment contract. Mr. Ritchie responded that in his mind he did not have one. He went on to state that the agreement to which the Solicitor was referring stated that he was entitled to post-retirement health benefits in accordance with state statute, and the statute as it existed when he signed the agreement has since been amended to provide that the municipality can provide post-retirement medical benefits at their discretion. He questioned why someone who started at age 47 can retire with benefits after fifteen years, but because he started at age 43 he must work four more years. Mr. Groon stated that the state requires that the fifteen years of service provision be based upon age, and that age is 62. The Solicitor added that the fifteen years of service provision is at the discretion of the municipality. Mr. Ritchie agreed. He added that his issue is that the Borough does not equitably give credit for the same fifteen years of service.

 

With regard to Mr. Ritchie’s request for authorization to work part-time for another municipality, he indicated that at the time he was hired, he was working part-time for another municipality and he was permitted to continue with that employment at that time. He argued that his current request was the same situation, so long as the Borough “remains whole.” The Solicitor inquired as to how much time the proposed outside employment would require from the Borough. Mr. Ritchie could not provide a concrete response.

 

Mr. Groon summarized by stating that there were two issues to consider, i.e., the contract issue in conjunction with the value of Mr. Ritchie’s fifteen years of service and the issue of outside employment. He stated that a response would be provided after review of all conditions by the commissioners with members of staff.

 

There being no further matters for discussion, THE CLERK READ THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION BY TITLE ONLY:

RESOLUTION NO. 65-09

(Closed session: Personnel matters)

 

Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Cabrera, that the foregoing Resolution be adopted.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Upon returning from closed session, there being no further matters for discussion, Mrs. Gould motioned, seconded by Mr. Groon, that the meeting be adjourned.

Vote:          Gould-Cabrera-Groon-Yes

 

Dated:        August 26, 2009

Kevin M. Yecco, Borough Clerk

MINUTES OF MEETINGS INDEX