Township Council Work Session
The Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon was convened at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2013, in the Vernon Municipal Center, 21 Church Street, Vernon, New Jersey. The purpose of this Work Session was to discuss the 2013 Municipal Operating Budget.
Statement of Compliance
Adequate notice of this work session was posted on the Township website and on the front door of the Municipal Building in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act, N.J.S.A. 10:4-6.
Salute to the Flag
The Council President led the assemblage in the salute to the flag.
Roll Call of Members
Present were Council Members Eddie Dunn, Daniel Kadish, Brian Lynch, Dick Wetzel, and Council President Patrick Rizzuto. Also present were: Mayor Vic Marotta, Business Administrator Jerry Giaimis and CFO Bill Zuckerman.
Open to Public Comments
No one from the audience wished to speak.
Closed to Public Comments
The Council President closed the meeting to public comments.
Discussion on the 2013 Municipal Operating Budget
Council President Patrick Rizzuto noted the reason for this work session was to discuss the preliminary budget for the coming year.
Mayor Vic Marotta thanked Jerry Giaimis, Bill Zuckerman and all the department heads for working on the budget. Mr. Marotta noted that eight revisions have been made since the end of December, and reminded everyone that it is still a working document.
The Mayor discussed the impact of loss in assessed value of properties, employee salaries, and the 2% increase for union employees. Mayor Marotta suggested that any surplus from cash fund balance be set aside to be used in case of any increase in interest rates of current bonds or bans. A sinking fund or reserve fund would be a good idea to cover any increases in interest or any other emergency that may happen.
Mayor Marotta reported that 99% of taxes this year have been collected by our tax department and stated they are doing a fantastic job. The reserve for uncollected taxes is down dramatically. The Mayor also gave thanks to Council Member Wetzel and Council President Rizzuto for going out, taking pictures, and following through on vacant properties which resulted in some of these properties being sold to adjacent property owners.
Council Member Wetzel asked about police officers’ payment for college credits, and the allowance for police officers retirements.
Council Member Dunn inquired about the services for senior lunches, and the shared services item for MUA.
Council Member Wetzel asked about the increase in the amount for equipment. Mr. Giaimis explained that this is for leasing copy machines.
Mayor Marotta pointed out several items regarding the Road Department: snow and ice, road materials, and maintenance on trucks and equipment. A discussion ensued regarding the erosion of the underside of equipment and trucks due to the salt and brine on the roads.
The Mayor discussed the CAD system in the police department and stated that this system is not a worker-friendly system. He advised that a change will be made within the first quarter of this year.
Council Member Wetzel stated he would like to see an increase of $500.00 into the Historic Preservation Commission budget, which would go up from $1,500.00 to $2,000.00. Mayor Marotta stated that the Commission asked for $1,500.00, however, he had no objections to the increase and will put in a Mayor’s change.
Council Member Kadish stated his concerns regarding the future needs for fire trucks and emergency vehicles. Mayor Marotta stated he will report further after his next meeting with the fire departments.
Mr. Zuckerman handed out a Summary of the 2013 budget to the Mayor and Council which listed appropriations of the proposed operating budget. Mayor Marotta gave a synopsis of Mr. Zuckerman’s report.
Council Member Brian Lynch moved to adjourn this Work Session of the Township Council of the Township of Vernon. Council Member Eddie Dunn made the second; all were in agreement. The work session was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Deputy Municipal Clerk
Minutes approved: February 25, 2013