Docstoc

TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE

Document Sample
TOWNSHIP COMMITTEE Powered By Docstoc
					       The Minutes of the Official Meeting of the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford,
County of Union, State of New Jersey on May 11, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. in Council Chambers.

THIS MEETING IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE “OPEN PUBLIC MEETINGS ACT” AS ADEQUATE
NOTICE OF THIS MEETING HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY MAILING THE ANNUAL SCHEDULE OF
MEETINGS TO THE CRANFORD CHRONICLE, UNION COUNTY LOCAL SOURCE, 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 Mark C. Smith
                Deputy Mayor Martha Garcia
                Commissioner Mark P. Dugan
                Commissioner David W. Robinson
                Commissioner Daniel J. Aschenbach
ABSENT:         None

There were sixty (60) members of the public present. Leslie Murray represented the Cranford Chronicle
and Patrick Sullivan represented Cranford Patch.com.

INVOCATION AND FLAG SALUTE
The invocation was led by Deputy Mayor Garcia, followed by the flag salute led by the Police
Department Honor Guard.

PAYMENT OF BILLS
On motion of Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Commissioner Aschenbach and passed, the bills were
approved for payment by recorded vote. Said bills, totaling $523,715.65 are on file in the Office of the
Township Clerk.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

MINUTE APPROVAL
On motion of Commissioner Robinson, seconded by Deputy Mayor Garcia and passed, the Workshop
Meeting of April 26, 2010, the Conference and Official Meetings of April 27, 2010, and the Special
Meeting of April 28, 2010 were approved by the indicated vote of the Township Committee:
Recorded vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

MAYORAL ANNOUNCEMENT

Police Week/Peace Officer Memorial Day
WHEREAS, the Congress and President of the United States have designated may 15th as Peace Officers
Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as Police Week; and
WHEREAS, the Cranford Police Department has grown to be a modern and scientific law enforcement
agency which unceasingly provides a vital public service, and plays an essential role in safeguarding the
rights and freedoms of the residents of Cranford; and
WHEREAS, it is important that all citizens know and understand the problems, duties and
responsibilities of their police department and that members of our police department recognize their duty
to serve the people by safeguarding life and property, by protecting them against violence or disorder, and
by protecting the innocent against deception and the weak against oppression or intimidation.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Mark C. Smith, Mayor of the Township of Cranford,
call upon all citizens of the Township of Cranford and upon all patriotic, civic and educational
organizations to observe the week of May 9 through 15, 2010 as POLICE WEEK with appropriate
ceremonies in which all of our citizens may join in commemorating police officers, past and present, who,
by their faithful and loyal devotion to their responsibilities, have rendered a dedicated service to their
communities and in doing so, have established for themselves an enviable and enduring reputation for
preserving the rights and security of all citizens.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that I call upon all citizens of the Township of Cranford to observe
Saturday, May 15, 2010 as PEACE OFFICER MEMORIAL DAY in honor of those peace officers
who, through their courageous deeds, have lost their lives or have become disabled in the performance of
duty.
05/11/2010                                                                                             2




POLICE DEPARTMENT
ANNOUNCEMENTS                  2010 Police Department Awards Ceremony
                               Sergeant Edward Davenport – Life Saving Award
                               Officer Matthew Nazzaro – Life Saving Award
                               Officer Nelson Hearns – Life Saving Award
                               Officer Christopher DiFabio – Life Saving Award
                               Sergeant Frank Williams – Departmental Citations
                               Officer Brian Lopez – Departmental Citations
                               Officer Eugene Perrotta – Departmental Citations
                               Officer Kelly Sretenovic – Departmental Citations
                               Officer Sean Holcomb – Departmental Citations
                               Officer Derek Farbanec – Departmental Citations
                               Detective Ryan Greco – Chief’s Medal
                               Officer Donald Zsak – Chief’s Medal

FIVE-MINUTE RECESS

INFORMAL MEETING
Mayor Smith opened the informal meeting portion of the meeting and asked if there were any questions
or comments. Hearing no comments, Mayor Smith closed the informal meeting portion of the meeting.

ORDINANCES – Final Reading and Public Hearing

Ordinance No. 2010-24:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-24 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE
APPROPRIATING $50,000 AVAILABLE FROM THE COUNTY OF UNION, KIDS RECREATION
TRUST FUND, FOR VARIOUS IMPROVEMENTS IN AND BY THE TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD,
IN THE COUNTY OF UNION, NEW JERSEY”.
Said ordinance having been advertised and posted in accordance with law, Commissioner Dugan opened
the public hearing. Hearing no comments, Commissioner Dugan closed the public hearing. On motion of
Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Deputy Mayor Garcia and passed, said ordinance was adopted by the
indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

Ordinance No. 2010-25:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-25 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE OF THE
TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD, COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AMENDING THE
ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE HISTORIC PRESERVATION ADVISORY BOARD”.
Said ordinance having been advertised and posted in accordance with law, Commissioner Aschenbach
opened the public hearing. Hearing no comments, Commissioner Aschenbach closed the public hearing.
On motion of Commissioner Aschenbach, seconded by Commissioner Dugan and passed, said ordinance
was adopted by the indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

Ordinance No. 2010-26:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-26 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE
REPEALING ARTICLE VII, SECTION 38-33 OF CHAPTER 38 “REVISED ORDINANCES
OF THE TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD, NEW JERSEY (1988)”.
Said ordinance having been advertised and posted in accordance with law, Commissioner Dugan opened
the public hearing. Hearing no comments, Commissioner Dugan closed the public hearing. On motion of
Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Commissioner Robinson and passed, said ordinance was adopted by
the indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None
05/11/2010                                                                                             3




ORDINANCES – First Reading

Ordinance No. 2010-29:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-29 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE OF THE
TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD, COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, AMENDING THE
SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH AN INCREASED AREA”
Said ordinance was approved on first reading on motion of Deputy Mayor Garcia, seconded by
Commissioner Aschenbach, and passed by the indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioner Aschenbach
Nay: Commissioners Dugan and Robinson
Abstained: None
Absent: None
Final Reading and Public Hearing June 29, 2010

Ordinance No. 2010-30:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-30 entitled, “BOND ORDINANCE TO
AUTHORIZE THE ACQUISITION OF REAL PROPERTY FOR RECREATION AND OTHER
MUNICIPAL PURPOSES IN, BY AND FOR THE TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD, IN THE COUNTY
OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, TO APPROPRIATE THE SUM OF $1,925,000 TO PAY THE
COST THEREOF, TO MAKE A DOWN PAYMENT, TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS
TO FINANCE SUCH APPROPRIATION AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ISSUANCE OF BOND
ANTICIPATION NOTES IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF SUCH BONDS”
Said ordinance was approved on first reading on motion of Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Deputy
Mayor Garcia, and passed by the indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan and Robinson
Nay: Commissioner Aschenbach
Abstained: None
Absent: None
Final Reading and Public Hearing June 15, 2010

Ordinance No. 2010-31:
The Township Clerk read by title only Ordinance No. 2010-31 entitled, “AN ORDINANCE OF THE
TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD, COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY TO AUTHORIZE
THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY KNOWN AS 721 ORANGE AVENUE, BLOCK 1, LOT 251 ON
THE OFFICIAL TAX MAP OF THE TOWNSHIP OF CRANFORD”
Said ordinance was approved on first reading on motion of Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Deputy
Mayor Garcia, and passed by the indicated vote of the Township Committee.
Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan and Robinson
Nay: Commissioner Aschenbach
Abstained: None
Absent: None
Final Reading and Public Hearing June 15, 2010

RESOLUTIONS – By Consent Agenda

On motion of Commissioner Robinson, seconded by Deputy Mayor Garcia and passed, the following
resolutions were adopted by consent agenda:

Resolution No. 2010-171:
WHEREAS, on September 9, 2008 the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford approved
Resolution No. 2008-270 designating Beacon Planning & Consulting Services, L.L.C., as one of the
planning firms to provide planning services to the Township of Cranford; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary that the Township of Cranford retain said planning firm to prepare an
economic analysis of three (3) alternative development scenarios for the property known as 555 South
Avenue (Lehigh Acquisition) pertaining to ongoing COAH litigation; and
WHEREAS, the Beacon Planning and Consulting Services, L.L.P., proposal dated April 27, 2010
(#A10055) for said services is for a cost not to exceed $7,500.00; and
WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Finance have certified the availability of
funds which is on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford,
New Jersey, as follows:
        1.      Ratifies and affirms the award of a contract via issuance of a purchase order
                (PO#012538) to Beacon Planning & Consulting Services, L.L.C., 315 Highway 34,
                Suite 129, Colts Neck, New Jersey 07722.
        2.      This contract is awarded pursuant to the “fair and open” process (N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 et
                seq.).
05/11/2010                                                                                                  4




Resolution No. 2010-172:
WHEREAS, on September 9, 2008 the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford approved
Resolution No. 2008-270 designating T&M Associates, as one of the planning firms to provide planning
services to the Township of Cranford; and
WHEREAS, T&M has prepared for the Township of Cranford its Housing and Element Fair Share Plan
as previously authorized by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary that the Township of Cranford to retain said planning firm for additional
planning services and traffic studies and providing other COAH expertise in connection with Lehigh Ave
Acquisition (555 South Avenue) Cranford Development Associates (215 & 235 Birchwood Avenue,
Cranford, New Jersey in connection with ongoing COAH litigation; and
WHEREAS, T&M Associates April 29, 2010 proposal for said services is estimated not to exceed
$20,000.00; and
WHEREAS, the Chief Financial Officer and the Director of Finance have certified to the availability of
funds which is on file in the office of the Township Clerk.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford,
New Jersey, as follows:
        1.       Approves the award of a contract via issuance of a purchase order to T&M Associates, 11
                 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ 07748-2792.
        2.       This contract is awarded pursuant to the “fair and open” process (N.J.S.A. 19:44A-20.5 et
                 seq.).

Resolution No. 2010-173:
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford on this 11th day of May
2010, that the Mayor and Township Clerk be, and hereby are, authorized to sign an agreement with the
County of Union for the use of Nomahegan Park for the Fourth of July celebration.

Resolution No. 2010-174:
WHEREAS, in life, Kurt Petschow, Sr. dedicated himself to serving others and was an active volunteer
in the community as a lieutenant on the Cranford Fire Department callmen squad and as president for the
Chamber of Commerce as well as other boards and committees; and
WHEREAS, he served as a member of the Cranford Planning Board for 16 years and for the majority of
those years he served as Chairman of that Board; and
WHEREAS, Kurt has been recognized for his hard work and dedication during his career as a leader in
the community; and
WHEREAS, despite his illness he continued to be active in his community service and attended every
event he could; and
WHEREAS, a portion of Myrtle Street is to be dedicated as “Petschow Way” in remembrance of his
tireless efforts and dedication to our community.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford
hereby authorizes the dedication of a placard for a portion of Myrtle Street to be dedicated as “Petschow
Way”.

Resolution No. 2010-175:
 RESOLUTION OPPOSING S-1352, WHICH MODIFIES THE OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
WHEREAS, S-1352 makes many changes to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA); and
WHEREAS, included among these changes are the requirement that documents containing certain
information concerning criminal investigations be made available to the public within 24 hours or as soon
as practicable; and
WHEREAS, it provides that a personnel record containing certain disciplinary actions and settlement
information on lawsuits or claims is not exempt from OPRA requests; and
WHEREAS, the bill would also define “immediate access”, which must be ordinarily granted to
“budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective negotiations agreements and individual
employment contracts, and public employee salary and overtime information”, to mean “within three
hours for any request made before 2:00 PM” and it shall mean “by 10:00 AM of the next business day for
any request made after 2:00 PM”; and
WHEREAS, the bill provides that the custodian of a government record “shall grant access to a
government record or deny a request for access to a government record as soon as possible, but not later
than seven business days after receiving the request, including the business day the request was received”.
WHEREAS, these requirements fail to account for the fact that different records requests can have very
different degrees of difficulty, which could require the custodian to go through years of records on
various matters, in various media, or which could be vague and confusing; and
WHEREAS, neither do they respect the need to ensure appropriate redaction of information, in order to
protect the privacy rights of citizens and public employees.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the governing body of the Township of Cranford
hereby expresses its opposition to S-1352 in its current form.
05/11/2010                                                                                                  5




Resolution No. 2010-176:
WHEREAS, Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco signed the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A.
47A:1A-1 et seq., into law on January 8, 2002 to increase public access to state government records,
stating that the bill is about access and what open government should be: Government of the people; and
WHEREAS, Governor DiFrancesco stated at the bill signing that the bill was not perfect, and
acknowledged the hard work and negotiations between legislators and the many interested parties,
including the New Jersey League of Municipalities, that went into the compromise; and
WHEREAS, elected and appointed municipal officials recognize the importance and virtue of access to
public records for all citizens, as it encourages openness and transparency in government and increases
confidence in the operation of government; and
WHEREAS, along with transparency of government comes the responsibility to safeguard citizens’
reasonable expectation of privacy; and
WHEREAS, the law granting access to public records also created a 13-member Privacy Study
Commission whose mission was to study the privacy issues raised by the collection, processing, use, and
dissemination of information by public agencies in light of the recognized need for openness in
government, and to recommend specific measures, including legislation, the commission may deem
appropriate to deal with these issues and to safeguard the privacy rights of individuals; and
WHEREAS, in the course of its study, the commission reviewed the current and proposed means used
for the collection, processing, use and dissemination of information by state and local government
agencies; and
WHEREAS, the Privacy Study Commission studied three (3) specific areas: the disclosure of home
addresses and telephone numbers, commercial use of public information held by public agencies and the
impact of technology on privacy concerns; and
WHEREAS, although municipal officials and municipal clerks have embraced OPRA and support the
fundamental purpose of OPRA, compliance with OPRA is a problem for municipalities due to conflicting
decisions, requestors testing both the records custodian and OPRA, and a loss of efficiency and out-of-
pocket costs to municipalities; and
WHEREAS, municipal officials and municipal clerks believe that OPRA needs to be reformed to create
standardization in providing records to the public while protecting citizens’ reasonable expectation of
privacy and to prevent individuals, attorneys and businesses from profiting from the provisions of OPRA
where they have no legitimate interest in the records they are requesting.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Governing Body of the Township of Cranford, that
the Governor and State Legislature are urged to review the provisions of OPRA and consult with
municipal officials, municipal clerks, the Government Records Council, the New Jersey Press Association
and the New Jersey League of Municipalities to reform OPRA to: AR-306-09
     1. Adoption of the following recommendations of the Privacy Study Commission:
         a. Home telephone number, including cell phone numbers, should not be disclosed.
         b. Individuals should be permitted to opt-out of disclosure of their home addresses.
         c. E-mail addresses provided by individuals to government entities should be accorded the same
              protection as telephone numbers and remain confidential.
         d. Exemption from access from the commercial use of information should be contained in
              legislation, regulations or by Executive Order.
         e. Consideration of the proposition that when the secondary or derivative use of a public record
              is a commercial/profit-making use, the commercial user should be expected to contribute to
              the cost of recovery of developing and maintaining such records.
     2. Amending the current fee schedule to a uniform per page rate and clarifying the term “actual
         costs” for Special Service Charge to include the cost of labor.
     3. When agencies adopt regulations exempting certain records from disclosure, those agencies need
         to recognize the impact of technology on the ability to search records and make the regulations
         comprehensive enough to ensure that the adopted regulation cannot be circumvented by
         technology.
     4. The Governor should immediately fill the two vacant public seats on the Government Records
         Council in order to best protect the interest of all parties involved in the proper implementation of
         the OPRA statute, and the Governor should consider the appointment of a Municipal Clerk to one
         of those vacant seats.
     5. Clear authorization for the Records Custodian to bill for time spent organizing data, researching
         documents or translating documents to a different medium. An example is scanning documents
         to provide them electronic copies. Records Custodians should not be required to create a
         document that is not typically maintained by the municipality.
     6. The requestor should be required to pick up their records within a week so that the Records
         Custodian does not have to keep them indefinitely. If the records are not picked up within one
         week, the request should be considered fulfilled.
     7. Direct the Government Records Council or Office of Administrative Law as to when attorney’s
         fees should be awarded to requestors under OPRA to limit the award of attorney’s fees to
         situations where there was a willful violation of OPRA that resulted in the requestor failing to
         receive a legitimately requested document.
     8. Documents which are already available to the public on a municipality’s website should be
         excluded from OPRA.
05/11/2010                                                                                                6




BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of the
Department of Community Affairs, the Government Records Council, the members of the New Jersey
State Legislature, the Governor of the State of New Jersey, Union County Municipal Clerks and the New
Jersey League of Municipalities.

Resolution No. 2010-177:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford on the 11th day of May
2010 that the Tax Collector be and hereby is authorized to expunge the following 2010 real estate taxes
for reasons noted and to refund overpayments if warranted:
Overpayments/Refunds 2010
Block: 0486 Lot: 028                                     $ 2,973.62
BAC Tax Services Corporation
1757 Tapo Canyon Road
Simi Valley, Ca. 93063

Block: 0514 Lot: 026                                     $ 1,307.04
Pauline Weakland
c/o Margaret Morrissey
1155 West Chestnut Street
Union, N.J. 07083

Resolution No. 2010-178:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford on the 11th day of May
2010 that the Tax Collector be and hereby is authorized to expunge the following 2010 real estate taxes
for reasons noted and to refund overpayments if warranted:
100% Disabled Veteran-As of March 3, 2010

                                To Be Expunged                   Amount of Refund
Block 523 / Lot 16              $1922.74                         $576.72
Andrews, Jerome M.
32 Stratford Terrace

Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, Commissioners Dugan, Robinson and Aschenbach
Nay: None
Abstained: None
Absent: None

RESOLUTION – By Roll Call Vote

On motion of Deputy Mayor Garcia, seconded by Commissioner Aschenbach and passed, the following
resolution was adopted by Roll Call Vote:

Resolution No. 2010-179:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Township Committee of the Township of Cranford at a meeting held May 11,
2010 that Carlos Atuncar be and hereby is appointed to the position of Engineering Aide II within the
Engineering Department effective May 17, 2010.

Recorded Vote:
Aye: Mayor Smith, Deputy Mayor Garcia, and Commissioner Aschenbach
Nay: Commissioners Dugan and Robinson
Abstained: None
Absent: None

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

Kevin Campbell, 7 Berkeley Place, requested information regarding the Township’s debt. Also requested
information regarding the Township’s bond rating.

Commissioner Dugan responded, stating that he believes the Township’s debt is approximately $30
million. Informed Mr. Campbell that he is uncertain as to the Township’s bond rating and would provide
that information at the next Township Committee meeting.

Mr. Campbell discussed the acquisition of the Solomon Schechter School and the proposed use of the
property. Also discussed the Township’s COAH obligation as it relates to the purchase of this property.
05/11/2010                                                                                                  7




Frank Krause, 20 Pittsfield Street, discussed the expansion of the Special Improvement District (SID).
Stated that he has observed various new developments along South Avenue. Although these
developments are not located within the SID, he feels the design of the buildings and its parking lots
conform to SID standards. However, feels the design for the proposed Investors Savings Bank, which will
be located in the SID, does not comply with SID standards. Stated that he would support the SID
expansion if it resulted in changes in zoning regulations.

Commissioner Aschenbach suggested that Dr. Krause provide the Township with specific design changes
he would recommend for the proposed bank development.

Mayor Smith discussed the need for the Township’s zoning ordinances to comply with the new Master
Plan. Assured Dr. Krause that the Township Committee would consider his recommendations.

Tina Renna, 202 Walnut Avenue, discussed the Union County Citizens Forum that was recently held and
broadcasted on TV 35. Explained the objective of the program, stating that formal action taken by the
Board of Chosen Freeholders, such as resolutions, are read in full and opinions are not offered.

Ms. Renna also discussed the Freeholder Forum program that is broadcast and explained how it differs
from Freeholder meetings. Discussed her involvement with the Union County Watchdog Association and
this organization’s efforts to ensure that Freeholder meetings are broadcasted. Also stated that the Union
County Watchdog Association uploads Union County Freeholder meetings and Union County budget
hearings to its website. Discussed allegations of a conspiracy involving TV35 to prevent Union County
meetings from being broadcast. Stated that the Union County Watchdog Association has gone through
considerable effort and expense to ensure that residents have access to Freeholder meetings and budget
hearings.

Ms. Renna also discussed the Union County Citizens Budget Review program and explained how it
differs from the Union County Citizens Forum. Explained that it was not produced by TV35, but TV35
was paid a fee to tape the program. Stated that Union County representatives were invited to participate in
this program but declined. Explained that those involved in the program attempted to provide information
as accurately as possible. Assured residents that if anything was inaccurately reported it was not
intentional. Stated that anyone wishing to submit corrections of any misstated information are welcome to
do so.

Ms. Renna then discussed another program that is produced and uploaded on the internet. Explained that
this program encourages residents to speak frankly about Union County government and government in
general, however it is not broadcasted or affiliated with TV35.

Ms. Renna also discussed various issues brought forth by Union County representatives with respect to
TV35. Explained that these issues/complaints were not made in writing and suggested that the Township
Committee adopt a policy which requires that all complaints/issues be made in writing or they will not be
accepted.

Lastly, Ms. Renna provided additional information concerning the Union County Citizens Forum, stating
that recordings are provided to Comcast and several local access channels for broadcasting. Explained
that while this program began its production in Cranford, it has expanded to other municipalities and has a
large audience. Also informed the Township Committee that she has met with open government activists
who feel the broadcasting of these programs could be used as an educational tool around the nation.

Mayor Smith thanked Ms. Renna for her efforts to provide information to residents of Union County.

Commissioner Aschenbach responded to Ms. Renna’s comments. Feels Ms. Renna has a constitutional
right to express her opinion, but is concerned with her programs because he feels there is no opposing
view or counterpoint. Agreed with Ms. Renna that Freeholder meetings should be broadcasted on TV35.
Feels transparency in government is important. Also feels that TV35 has always provided transparency,
but believes the Township Committee needs to review the newly adopted bylaws to ensure that a fair
balance exists. Addressed Ms. Renna’s comments concerning an alleged conspiracy involving TV35.
Discussed the fact that TV35 has a volunteer staff and expressed appreciation for their service. However,
feels people have the right to ask questions concerning TV35’s policies. Also expressed concern with the
views expressed in Ms. Renna’s programs and the perception that these are the views of Cranford.

John Bury, 417 North 15th Street, Kenilworth, discussed the Union County Citizens Forum, stating that
opinions are not provided during this program. Also discussed the Union County Citizens Budget
Review, stating that every effort was made to keep this program void of opinion. Provided examples of
information provided during the Union County Citizens Budget Review which he feels should be brought
forward by Union County. Feels it is helpful for residents to be made aware of these matters. Also
discussed the percentage increase in County taxes in the past decade and the County’s accumulated debt.
05/11/2010                                                                                                   8




Commissioner Aschenbach informed Mr. Bury that this financial information is available in the County’s
Annual Financial Statement. Feels it is unfair to imply that this information is not available to the public.
Feels these implications are the same as offering an opinion. Explained that he is not opposed to opinions
being offered, but feels there must be a counterpoint. Expressed concern with TV35’s ability to prevent
certain unwanted programs from being broadcasted. Also discussed a constitutional article he read related
to public access stations. Feels there was always a fair balance concerning the programs broadcast on
TV35 and feels TV35 needs to “get back” to that balance.

Mr. Bury feels this is not a political issue. Stated that both democrats and republicans are losing their jobs
and their homes, primarily due to increasing property taxes. Explained that the objective of these
programs is to make the information available and then let people decide for themselves. Encouraged
feedback regarding the information provided, but feels questioning the existence or dissemination of this
information is not helpful.

Hearing no further comments, Mayor Smith closed the informal meeting portion of the meeting.

PROFESSIONAL COMMENTS - None

COMMISSIONER REPORTS/COMMENTS

Commissioner Daniel J. Aschenbach
   Discussed the challenges facing local government and the difficulty in balancing services and
     costs;
   Announced that Union County has installed benches at Sperry Park and discussed additional
     improvements to be made to the park;
   Discussed the expansion of the SID. Feels a task force should be established to address the
     redevelopment of North Avenue;
   Discussed the proposed ordinance to establish a sewer rate structure. Stated that he does not
     support the ordinance and is concerned with how the budget will be addressed if there is
     insufficient support for the adoption of this ordinance. Discussed services provided by public
     employees and reiterated the need to balance cost with service.

Commissioner Mark P. Dugan
   Wished everyone a Happy Mother’s Day.

Commissioner David W. Robinson
   Discussed the expansion of the SID. Explained that he is opposed to this ordinance because he
     feels it merely expands a tax. Questioned the benefits that would be provided to property owners
     in the expanded area. Feels development occurring outside of the SID is conforming to SID
     standards;
   Discussed the resolution which authorized the dedication of a portion of Myrtle Street in memory
     of Kurt Petschow. Discussed the many years of service Mr. Petschow dedicated to Cranford and
     feels this is one small way for the community to recognize these efforts;
   Discussed the Special Meeting scheduled for May 18, 2010 to discuss the budget;
   Discussed the Relay for Life Event scheduled for May 21, 2010. Also mentioned that a local artist
     would be holding an art show on May 22, 2010 to benefit the Cancer Center;
   Discussed the Cranford Fund for Excellence fundraiser to be held May 22, 2010;
   Congratulated the Police Department members recognized this evening. Discussed the many
     accomplishments of the Police Department and the upcoming installation of Police Chief Mason
     as President of the NJ Chiefs of Police Association;
   Discussed the special service that was held on May 1, 2010 at Trinity Church in honor of
     Cranford firefighters, and discussed the upcoming service to be held in September to honor police
     officers.

Deputy Mayor Martha Garcia
    Announced that the Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 31, 2010. Provided
       information for those interested in participating in the parade;
    Discussed the magazine recently mailed to households that includes the brochure for Recreation
       and Parks programs. Stated that additional magazines are available at the Community Center and
       information is also available on the Township’s website;
    Announced that the 2nd Annual Dodge Ball Challenge organized by the Teen Advisory Board will
       be held on May 15, 2010 and provided information for those interested in participating;
    Discussed the Historical Preservation Advisory Board’s “Historic Scavenger Hunt”. Provided
       information for those interested in participating;
    Discussed the Spring Street Fair that recently took place and thanked the Chamber of Commerce
       for organizing this event. Also announced that Cranford Cruisers Night will be held on May 13,
       2010;
    Discussed the recent installation of bicycle racks in the downtown area.
05/11/2010                                                                                             9




Mayor Mark C. Smith
   Discussed the Plein Air event being organized by the Jersey Central Art Studios (JCAS).
      Expressed appreciation to Morgan Properties, the owner of Cranford Crossing, for allowing JCAS
      to utilize space at the Cranford Crossing site for this event;
   Discussed the SID expansion and his support for the initiative. Explained that this is one step in
      the Township’s efforts to enhance the downtown. Stated that he respects the opinion of those who
      disagree with the expansion, but feels it is the right thing to do;
   Announced that a Special Budget Meeting will be held on May 18, 2010. Stated that a key piece
      to this year’s budget is the removal of sewer charges from the tax bill. Explained that it is not a
      new charge, as residents currently pay for this expense. It is a mechanism that will enable the
      Township to bring the budget within the four (4%) percent CAP. Stated that without this
      proposal, the Township Committee would not be able to bring the budget within the CAP without
      crippling municipal government in all departments at all levels. Stated that the ordinance
      establishing a sewer rate structure is scheduled for introduction on May 25, 2010;
   Discussed the dedication of a portion of Myrtle Street in memory of Kurt Petschow. Feels it is a
      great tribute to Mr. Petschow’s contributions to Cranford.


On motion of Commissioner Dugan, seconded by Deputy Mayor Garcia and passed, the Township
Committee adjourned at 8:40 PM.

                                                                Respectfully submitted,



                                                                Tara Rowley, RMC
Date: May 11, 2010                                              Township Clerk

				
DOCUMENT INFO