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TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 6

									       The Minutes of the Workshop Meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford,
County of Union, State of New Jersey on July 16, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 108.

THIS MEETING IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE “OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT” AS ADEQUATE
NOTICE OF THIS MEETING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY FAXING THE ANNUAL SCHEDULE OF
MEETINGS TO THE CRANFORD CHRONICLE, THE CRANFORD EAGLE, AND THE STAR LEDGER, BY
POSTING SUCH ANNUAL MEETING SCHEDULE ON A BULLETIN BOARD IN THE TOWN HALL
RESERVED FOR SUCH ANNOUNCEMENTS AND THE FILING OF SAID NOTICE WITH THE TOWNSHIP
CLERK OF CRANFORD. FORMAL ACTION MAY BE TAKEN AT THIS MEETING

Present:        Mayor Michael A. Plick
                Deputy Mayor Robert I. Puhak
                Commissioner David W. Robinson
                Commissioner George T. McDonough

Absent:         Commissioner George J. Jorn


Leslie Murray represented the Cranford Chronicle and Paul Greulich represented the Cranford Eagle.
There were twenty-nine (29) members of the public present.

PUBLIC COMMENTS
Mayor Plick opened the public comments portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions or
comments.

Cindy Gallagher, 13 West Holly Street, discussed the Orchard Brook project and flooding issues that have
occurred in her neighborhood. Seeking status from the Township Committee as to whether the project
will be completed.

Mayor Plick discussed the Department of Environmental Protection’s permitting process and the delay of
the project that has resulted in connection with this process.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed the reallocation of funds from the Orchard Brook Project to the Post
Office Plaza Project, Eastman Street Parking Project, and the emergency generator. Feels the emergency
generator is a public safety concern and is not opposed to the reallocation of funds to this project.
Discussed concern with the reallocation of these funds for the Post Office Plaza and Eastman Street
Parking projects. Explained that the Orchard Brook Project needs to be re-reviewed in 2008 due to the
DEP’s permitting process. As a result, the Township Committee has decided to revisit the project in 2008.

Ms. Gallagher discussed continuous delays that have occurred with the Orchard Brook Project and major
flooding issues that have occurred. Urged the Township Committee to address this issue and to reconsider
the decision to delay the project until 2008.

Mayor Plick stated that the reevaluation of the project is necessary. Discussed difficulties the Township
had in obtaining easements from residents.

Ms. Gallagher stated that residents were told they would receive new easements, but that has not
happened.

Deputy Mayor Puhak assured residents that he understands the seriousness of the flooding issues.
Discussed funding issues and efforts that are being made by the Township Committee to obtain funding
for flood control.

Tony Mack, 225 Orchard Street, discussed the delivery of free publications such as the Suburban News
and Star Ledger circulars. Stated that these publications are unwanted and is seeking an opinion from
Township Attorney Woodward as to how to discontinue delivery.

Township Attorney Woodward explained that many municipalities have this problem. Stated that one
municipality sent a letter to the Star Ledger threatening to serve summonses if residents continued to
receive delivery of the newspaper against their will. The Star Ledger responded, indicating that it is their
first amendment right to deliver the publications. Explained that there has been discussion as to the
potential implementation of a program similar to the “do not call” list, whereby residents requesting to be
included on the list would not receive the delivery of these publications. Feels the Township could
approach the newspapers regarding the issue but feels there will not be a change unless there is someone
willing to fund a lawsuit.

Mr. Mack asked if he has the right to return the materials by unloading them on the newspaper’s property.
Seeking follow up from Township Attorney Woodward on this issue. Expressed concern for a potential
break-in to homes because unwanted newspapers are piling up outside.

Holly Phillips, 220 Columbia Avenue, discussed a petition that is being circulated by senior citizens
regarding the increase in fees for recreation programs.
07/16/07                                                                                                     2


Mayor Plick stated that the Township Committee would be discussing the potential reduction of those
fees later this evening.

Hearing no further comments, Mayor Plick closed the public comment portion of the meeting.

Presentation by Relay for Life re: request for Cranford to host event in 2008 – 7:15 PM

Kerry Murano, American Cancer Society, discussed the Relay for Life Program and presented a video to
the Township Committee. Stated that her organization is requesting that Cranford host a Relay for Life
event in 2008.

Cindy Krause, 2008 Relay for Life Chairperson, discussed the program and the significance of holding an
overnight event. Discussed the importance for finding a cure for cancer and her reasons for joining Relay
for Life. Stated that she has many family members that have been diagnosed with the disease.

Rosemary Schultz, 64 Normandie Place, discussed family members and friends she has lost to cancer.
Discussed the organization she established “Cranford for a Cure”. Also discussed the last Relay for Life
event that was held in Roselle Park, stating that it attracted over 1,200 participants. Stated that she is
hopeful that Cranford will consider hosting the 2008 event.

Ms. Murano discussed statistics related to people diagnosed with cancer.

Commissioner McDonough asked how the Township Committee could become involved with the
program.

Ms. Murano explained that the organization is seeking members and they also need to establish more
committees. Suggested that those who wish to become involved with the event join one of the
committees. Discussed the organization’s desire to build this event as a community event by seeking
support from all areas of the Township.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed his attendance at the Roselle Park Relay for Life. Feels the Township
Committee could assist by finding a location for the 2008 event. Stated that the American Cancer Society
would be responsible for all liability in connection with the event.

Ms. Murano discussed efforts to have everyone in the community involved including the Police and Fire
Departments. Stated that the American Cancer Society may request a letter of support from the Township
Committee. Ms. Murano also discussed the use of proceeds.

Mayor Plick thanked Ms. Murano and other Relay for Life representatives for their comments and
presentation.

Review July 17, 2007 Official Meeting Agenda

Ordinance 2007-26
Deputy Mayor Puhak seeking clarification as to Ordinance No. 2007-26, which would prohibit left turns
onto Chippewa Way at Springfield Avenue. Stated that it was his understanding that this ordinance was
adopted in 2006.

Township Clerk Rowley explained that this ordinance was introduced in 2006 but was not adopted
because it was pending approval by the New Jersey Department of Transportation. Approval from NJ
DOT was received on July 5, 2007, but the ordinance must be reintroduced as the governing body is not
permitted to adopt an ordinance that was introduced during a prior calendar year.

Ordinance 2007-25
Deputy Mayor Puhak seeking clarification as to the language within Ordinance No. 2007-25 regarding the
reallocation of funds from the Orchard Brook Project to the Post Office Plaza, Eastman Street Parking
and emergency generator. Concerned with the language which indicates that the unexpended bond
proceeds are not necessary for the purposes for which such bonds were issued.

Township Attorney Woodward provided clarification, explaining that the original purpose of the bond
issue has changed and funds are now being reallocated. Feels the language is appropriate.

Resolution 2007-258
Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed the resolution authorizing the Township Clerk to advertise for bids for a
cell antenna at the Cranford Crossing Parking Garage. Feels the proposed rental fee is too low and
suggested it be increased. Seeking input from Cranford resident Jackie McDermott, stating that she has
experience with these types of proposals.

Ms. McDermott explained that she is employed by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Based on her
experience with these types of proposals, feels the Township could request a minimum monthly rental fee
of $2,500.
07/16/07                                                                                                  3

Township Attorney Woodward explained that the proposed fee is comparative to those that are charged
by other municipalities. Also discussed the need for the Planning Board to be involved with the
installation of the facility.

Ms. McDermott suggested the Township allow co-locaters.

Township Attorney Woodward explained that the equipment to be used would occupy (2) parking spaces
in the garage and the facility is not designed for co-locators. Stated that the Township Committee would
have to go through a separate bid process in order to allow additional co-locators.

Ms. McDermott asked if an annual increase in revenue was included in the bid specifications.

Township Attorney Woodward discussed the fee increase that was included in the bid specifications.

Ms. McDermott suggested the bid specifications allow for an annual fee increase of three (3%) percent.

Township Committee agreeable to the proposed fee increase.

Deputy Mayor Puhak feels the Township Committee should include a higher fee in the specifications to
start, and reduce it if necessary.

Township Attorney Woodward discussed the need for the Township to comply with the Local Lands and
Building Law, explaining that the Township Committee cannot negotiate fees. Bids must be requested
and an award must be made to the highest bidder. Also explained that the Township Committee does not
need to specify a fee in the specifications.

Township Committee consensus to charge a $2,400 per month fee with a three (3%) percent annual
increase.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed his concerns regarding the inability to camouflage the facility. Seeking
clarification as to whether this would be addressed when the bids are received. Concerned that the
antenna will be higher than originally anticipated and may be unsightly.

Township Attorney Woodward discussed the drawings that were included in the specifications, which
indicate that the antenna would be between eight (8) to twelve (12) feet above the parapet. Explained that
this is the reason Planning Board input is needed.

Township Administrator Schmid recommended that the Township Committee finalize the specifications
and address these issues when proposals are received.

Deputy Mayor Puhak agreed that the Township Committee needs to move forward on this item but wants
to ensure that the Township is satisfied with what it receives.

Township Administrator Schmid feels the Township may not know until proposals are received.

Township Attorney Woodward to revise the specifications. Notice to bidders to be advertised.

Appointment to the Environmental Commission
Commissioner McDonough seeking information as to the appointment to the vacancy on the
Environmental Commission.

Mayor Plick informed the Township Committee that Vance Merolla would be appointed to replace Joseph
Musillo.

Resolution 2007-254
Health Officer Hehl discussed the bid received for bulky waste pickup. Based on the proposal, suggested
the permit fee remain at ninety-five ($95) dollars. Seeking approval of the Township Committee.

Commissioner Robinson seeking cost to the Township if the fee for bulky waste pickup remains the same.

Health Officer Hehl feels the current fee can remain at no cost to the Township.

Commissioner McDonough asked Health Officer Hehl if he anticipates the same number of permits being
sold this year.

Health Officer Hehl feels that the sale of permits will decrease as a result of the flood clean up.

On motion of Deputy Mayor Puhak, seconded by Commissioner McDonough and passed, the
following resolution was adopted by roll call vote.
07/16/07                                                                                                  4

Resolution No. 2007-92.20
BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee will go into closed session at 8:00 PM to discuss
personnel matters concerning the Office of Construction Code and contractual matters regarding the
Cranford Crossing Redevelopment Project, the minutes of which will be released at some time in the
future at the discretion of the Township Committee.

Recorded vote:
Aye: Mayor Plick, Deputy Mayor Puhak, Commissioners Robinson and McDonough
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: Commissioner Jorn

On motion of Deputy Mayor Puhak, seconded by Commissioner McDonough and passed, the
Township Committee returned to open session at 9:15 PM.

Request to post rates of the Hyatt Hills Golf Course on TV 35 (continued discussion)
Item carried to the August 14, 2007 Official Meeting.

Update regarding the reactivation of the Staten Island Railway
Township Administrator Schmid explained that she contacted the Union County Department of Economic
Development on three (3) separate occasions in an effort to have representation attend the Workshop
Meeting and provide an update on the issue, but did not receive a response.

Deputy Mayor Puhak expressed concern regarding the items that may be transported by the Staten Island
Railway. Also expressed concern regarding a truck-to-train depot that is being proposed for Cranford.

Commissioner Robinson feels the problem goes beyond the Staten Island Railway. Discussed how
Cranford is a hub for the Raritan Valley Railroad and the impact truck traffic would have on the
Township.

Township Administrator Schmid feels that Union County needs to pressure the State regarding the
installation of gates at the railroad crossing.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed the impact the reactivation of the railroad would have on the Township’s
infrastructure.

Township Administrator Schmid feels there is a great deal of misinformation being circulated on this
issue.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed concern with the railway being on grade as opposed to the railway that is
elevated. Feels there are safety concerns.

Commissioner McDonough seeking clarification as to the rail route.

Township Attorney Woodward provided clarification.

Mayor Plick discussed concerns regarding the truck-to-train depot being proposed for Cranford.
Suggested that two (2) Commissioners be designated to obtain information on this matter and report back
to the Township Committee.

The Township Committee designated Commissioners Robinson and McDonough to follow up on this
matter.

Request to amend ordinance to allow for a reduction of Recreation and Parks fees for various
senior citizen programs, Commissioner McDonough
Discussion held as to the increase in recreation fees for senior citizen programs and the impact to the
budget if the fees were eliminated.

Mayor Plick discussed County grants that may cover the cost of these programs. Seeking potential for
discounted rates if senior citizens were to register for more than one (1) program.

Township Attorney Woodward confirmed that the Township could provide a discount.

Commissioner Robinson feels the program costs should be paid by its users rather than being subsidized
by the Township.

Commissioner McDonough feels that senior citizens provide a great service to the Township.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed the challenge of the budget process and the responsibility of the
Township Committee. Also discussed the concept of incremental fee increases. Suggested the concept of
setting a “required” fee and a “requested” fee whereby the resident would choose the amount when
registering for the program.
07/16/07                                                                                                    5


Commissioner McDonough feels this would be embarrassing to those senior citizens who choose to pay
the lower fee.

Deputy Mayor Puhak discussed his previous suggestion in which he stated that senior citizens who are
unable to afford the fee speak to a member of the Township Committee privately.

Discussion held as to the reduction of Cranford West fees.

Deputy Mayor Puhak explained that the increase for the Cranford West fee was rescinded because it was
not incremental. Also discussed efforts the Cranford West Committee made to subsidize costs through
fundraising efforts.

Mayor Plick also explained that the Cranford West fee increase resulted in a higher charge as compared to
other campsites.

Holly Phillips, 220 Columbia Avenue, discussed senior citizen programs that are offered free of charge by
Union County College. Feels these programs are a necessity for senior citizens.

Commissioner McDonough discussed how crucial these programs are to senior citizens and feels the
revenue brought in from the fee increase would be minimal.

Mayor Plick asked Ms. Phillips if she was aware of how many senior citizens take advantage of the
programs. Seeking her opinion as to whether it would be beneficial to provide a discount for those senior
citizens who register for more than one program.

Ms. Phillips feels that enrollment will decrease if the fee increase is implemented.

Discussion held as to the physical benefit these programs provide to senior citizens.

Mayor Plick asked Township Administrator Schmid to follow up with Recreation and Parks Director
D’Antonio as to whether programs that generate little or no interest by residents are cancelled.

Township Administrator Schmid feels that Recreation and Parks Director D’Antonio does cancel
programs that have little to no registrants.

Commissioner McDonough seeking amendment to the ordinance to provide programs to senior citizens
free of charge.

Deputy Mayor Puhak feels it is reasonable to amend the ordinance and revert back to the previous fee
structure.

Mayor Plick seeking the cost that is incurred to administer the programs.

Township Administrator Schmid to obtain the cost information and report back to the Township
Committee at the July 17, 2007 Conference Meeting. Further discussion on July 17, 2007.

Proposed ordinance re: Roadway solicitation
Discussion held as to Police Chief Mason’s recommendation that the Township Committee adopt an
ordinance prohibiting roadway solicitation.

Commissioner McDonough feels the Township Committee should consider adopting an ordinance similar
to the ordinance being proposed by the City of Linden.

Township Attorney Woodward feels that roadway solicitation is dangerous.

Commissioner McDonough discussed the VFW’s annual sale of poppies and expressed concern as to the
impact this ordinance would have on those fundraising efforts.

Township Committee consensus to adopt an ordinance as recommended by Chief Mason.

Ordinance to be introduced at the August 14, 2007 Official Meeting.

Email/Correspondence

Flood damage to residences
Mayor Plick stated that residents who sustained damage to their homes as a result of the 2007 Nor’easter
have not yet been reimbursed by insurance companies. Suggested the Township Committee consider
extending the deadline for the waiver of construction permit fees.

Resolution authorizing an extension of the deadline to waive permit fees for residents who incurred
property damage as a result of the 2007 Nor’easter to be adopted on July 17, 2007.
07/16/07                                                                                                6


Presbyterian Church Bells
Mayor Plick discussed a complaint by resident Lynne Jacks regarding noise generated throughout the
evening by the bells of the Presbyterian Church. Explained that, per Health Officer Hehl, the noise
decibels fall within the legal noise level.

Lynne Jacks, 217 Prospect Avenue, explained that she spoke with representatives of the Presbyterian
Church and was told that the clock is an antique and does not contain a mechanism to stop chiming during
the evening hours. Feels there must be some way to reduce the sound.

Township Attorney Woodward feels the only resolution would be to request that the church buffer or
muffle the sound. Suggested that someone approach the church in this regard. Explained that the
Township cannot regulate the sound, as it falls within the legal decibel limit.

Commissioner McDonough to contact a member of the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Church to
determine whether the sound could be muffled.

PUBLIC COMMENTS - None

On motion of Commissioner McDonough, seconded by Deputy Mayor Puhak and passed, the
following resolution was adopted by roll call vote.

Resolution No. 2007-92.20
BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee will go into closed session to discuss contractual
matters regarding the Riverfront Redevelopment Project, a request for access to Township property and a
request by a non-profit organization for a PILOT agreement; a legal matter concerning litigation entitled
Calella v. the Township of Cranford; real estate matters in connection with 235 Cranford Avenue and the
proposed sale of Township property; and for the review of the closed session minutes of June 25 and June
26, 2007, the minutes of which will be released at some time in the future at the discretion of the
Township Committee.

Recorded vote:
Aye: Mayor Plick, Deputy Mayor Puhak, Commissioners Robinson and McDonough
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: Commissioner Jorn

On motion of Commissioner McDonough, seconded by Commissioner Robinson and passed, the
Township Committee returned to open session at 11:15 PM.

Minute Approval
On motion of Commissioner McDonough, seconded by Commissioner Robinson and passed, the
Closed Session Minutes of June 25, and June 26, 2007 were approved by indicated vote of the
Township Committee.
Recorded vote:
Aye: Mayor Plick, Deputy Mayor Puhak, Commissioners Robinson and McDonough
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: Commissioner Jorn

Budget Amendment
Commissioner Robinson questioned the need to amend the budget at the Official Meeting on July 17,
2007. Feels this action is premature and suggested the item be carried to the Official Meeting in
August, when the Township might have a response concerning its application for Extraordinary Aid.

Budget Amendment resolution carried to the August 14, 2007 Official Meeting.

On motion of Commissioner Robinson, seconded by Deputy Mayor Puhak and passed, the Township
Committee adjourned at 11:20 PM.

                                                Respectfully submitted,



                                                Tara Rowley, RMC
Dated: July 16, 2007                            Municipal Clerk

								
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