View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

                        May 13, 2009                         

 

A Special Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was held on Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey.

 

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT

Notice is hereby given that Special Meetings of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury will be held on Monday, May 4, 2009 and Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM at 1715 Route 46, Ledgewood, New Jersey.  The meeting of May 4th will be held for the purpose of discussing the 2009/2010 School Budget with our professionals.  The Township Council will meet jointly with the Board of Education at the meeting of May 13, 2009.

 

Adequate notice of these meetings of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public Meetings Act as follows:  Notice was faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on April 29, 2009; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on April 29, 2009.

 

ROLL CALL (Present):  Councilmen Gary Behrens, Martin Schmidt, Richard Zoschak and Mayor Kathy DeFillippo

 

Mayor DeFillippo stated that Councilmen Fred Hall and Tim Smith are at 72 Eyland Avenue waiting for the meeting to convene at that location.

 

Also Present:  Christopher Raths, Township Manager; James Bryce, Township Attorney?s Office, Thomas Ferry, Auditor from Ferraioli, Wielkotz, Cerullo & Cuva                  and Janet Rieth, Deputy Township Clerk

 

Absent:  Deputy Mayor Jim Rilee

 

At this time the Board of Education opened their meeting.

 

Mr. Zoschak made a motion to adjourn the meeting to the Gymnasium at the Recreation Center, 72 Eyland Avenue, Succasunna, NJ 07876.  Mr. Schmidt seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call:

Mr. Zoschak ? yes       Mr. Schmidt ? yes

Mr. Behrens ? yes        Mayor DeFillippo ? yes

 

Motion carried 4 - 0

 

At 8:10 PM Mr. Zoschak made a motion to return to the meeting.  Mr. Schmidt seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call:

Mr. Zoschak ? yes       Mr. Schmidt ? yes

Mr. Behrens ? yes        Mr. Hall ? yes

Mr. Smith ? yes            Mayor DeFillippo ? yes

 

Motion carried 6 ? 0

 

Mayor DeFillippo stated that Deputy Mayor Rilee will not be attending the meeting due to a death in his family.

 

At this time the Board of Education reconvened their meeting.

 

REPORTS OF COUNCIL LIAISON REPRESENTATIVES, COUNCIL COMMITTEES AND NEW BUSINESS/OLD BUSINESS

 

New Business:  None

 

Old Business:  None

 

 

PUBLIC PORTION

None

 

MATTERS REQUESTED/REFERRED BY COUNCIL MEMBERS, MANAGER, ATTORNEY OR CLERK

A.  Review of 2009 School Operating Budget

 

Mayor DeFillippo advised that, during the public portion, each resident will be given 3 minutes to speak.

 

Tom Ferry, of Ferraioli, Wielkotz, Cerullo & Cuva, explained the process of how the Council arrived at the $551,050.00 to be cut from the School Budget.

 

Dr. Rossi, Superintendent of Schools, on behalf of the School Board, offered condolences to Deputy Mayor Rilee and his family.

 

He further stated that he is recommending that the Board accept the $551,050.00 figure.  He will speak with the Finance Committee to discuss where the money should come from in way of recommendations that will not include any cuts to core academic programs, any cuts to students or extra curricular activities, or any cuts to sports and the Board will not seek any fees to participate in any of these activities. 

 

At this time Mayor DeFillippo opened the meeting for public comments.

 

The following residents made statements pertaining to the School Budget:

 

Maria Holz, 9 Stowe Court

Kerrin Garripoli, 23 Ridge Road

Lawrence Millus, 7 Cornell Drive

Matthew Sherman, 4 Atlantis Drive

Ralph Castriotta, 21 Salmon Road

Robert Kluska, 274 Emmans Road

John Ciccarelli, Morgan Drive

Mark Tayler, 12 Walker Avenue

Dennis Wine, 4 Holly Drive

Stephanie Shumm, 50 Henry Street

Elizabeth Heddy, 7 Fox Chase Lane

Bruce Hopper, 100 Main Street

Mike Lopez, 15 Kurt Drive

Louise Kubala, 30 Radcliffe Court

Colleen McDonald, 61 Vail Road

Marty Murphy Quinn, 14 West Maple Avenue

Lisa Quilty, 17 Grover Street

Michelle Danielson, 17 Bass Drive

Tamara Hageneder, 23 Barbara Drive

Fran Day, 74 Orben Drive

Gregg Montgomery, 7 Marla Terrace

James O?Rourke, 3rd Grader

John Sandstrom, 65 Eyland Avenue

Linda Dodd, 360 Berkshire Valley Road

Leann Hill, 300 Emmans Road

Rachael Adell, 606 E. Vail Road

Jim Scahill, 46 Vail Road

Dave Vanhorn, 103 Lazarus Drive

Dan Zimmer, 17 Alward Lane

Maureen Scahill, 46 Vail Road

Maureen Milde, Toby Drive

Tom Shuman, 616 E. Vail Road

Diana Lafemina, 15 Conkling Road

Kathy Formica, 7 Long Ridge Court

 

At this time, Mayor DeFillippo closed the public portion and turned the meeting over to the Board of Education for their comments.

 

Dr. Rossi stated that the objective of the Board during the budget process was the continuation of an initiative which had begun prior to his arrival.  In order to meet this objective, the Township needs quality teaching and support staff.  Dr. Rossi further stated that he made the decision to split Mr. Hade?s position, which has provided benefits for the district.  

 

Mr. Moschella, School Board President, stated that this is a service driven process and a huge portion of the budget is salaries.  He explained the negotiations process and stated that the salary guide is not competitive at the bottom, but they are competitive at the top.

 

Mrs. Miller, School Board Vice President, stated that the major reasons for the budget being voted down were the teachers? contracts, which includes the increments for the paraprofessionals and the additional administrative position.

 

At this time Mr. Moschella turned the meeting back over to the Council for their comments.

 

After discussion with the Council and the Township Attorney, Mayor DeFillippo requested a motion to reopen the public portion.

 

Mr. Zoschak made a motion to reopen the public portion of the meeting.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call:

Mr. Zoschak ? yes       Mr. Smith ? yes

Mr. Behrens ? yes        Mr. Hall ? yes

Mr. Schmidt ? yes        Mayor DeFillippo ? yes

 

Motion carried 6 - 0

 

The following residents made statements pertaining to the School Budget:

Ralph Nappi, 29 Ford Road

Chris Rogers, Landing, School Board Member, speaking as a member of the public

Chris Martin, 16 Ferromonte Avenue

Maureen Castriotta, 21 Salmon Road, School Board Member, speaking as a member of the public

John Moschella, 49 Henry Street, School Board President, speaking as a member of the public

 

Mr. Zoschak made a motion to close the public portion.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call:

Mr. Zoschak ? yes       Mr. Smith ? yes

Mr. Behrens ? yes        Mr. Hall ? yes

Mr. Schmidt ? yes        Mayor DeFillippo ? yes

 

Motion carried 6 - 0

 

Mr. Schmidt stated that he feels residents are afraid there will be cuts to programs, which the Council is not recommending.  He feels that the $550,000 is a very fair amount.

 

Mr. Smith explained the process that the Council used in coming up with the $550,000 to be taken out of the budget and reviewed the list of possible items that could be removed.  He further stated that he feels that this is a tough year to be adding a new position and that $375,000 of the total amount could come from terminating the second assistant superintendent and several other administrative positions.   He also does not feel that positions should be filled when someone retires.  Mr. Smith agreed with many residents in that Roxbury needs a shared community vision.

 

Mr. Zoschak stated that, in his opinion, the School Board did a disservice to the children in granting a high raise to the teachers. In the economic times we are in right now, these types of raises are not merited.  Mr. Zoschak further stated that, in searching the State?s Education web site, he discovered that Roxbury teachers have a 93% attendance rate as opposed to the 97% to 99% of other districts.  This means that 7 out of 100 teachers are absent every day.  He feels the Board could have done better and the voters sent the Board a strong message in both voting down the budget along with replacing two incumbent Board members.  Mr. Zoschak stated that he will be voting no on the resolution.

 

Mr. Behrens stated that the teachers? contract and the second administrator caused the budget to be voted down.  He feels that more should be taken out of the budget and that the   administrative staff could be cut.

 

Mr. Hall stated that he feels students get an excellent education in Roxbury. He further stated that, over the last ten years, a total of $3.3 million dollars have been taken out of school budgets and  the State must find a better way to get budgets passed and to change the system to address failed budgets.  Mr. Hall would like the Township and the Board of Education to work together more on shared services.

Mr. Hall stated that he wanted to clear the record regarding statements made about compensation of the Township?s auditing consultant. Mr. Hall stated that our consultant was paid $175 per hour up to a maximum of $6,000 for work relating to the review of the Board of education budget. He did not receive a stipend based on the amount of money reduced from the budget.

Mayor DeFillippo stated that there was never a discussion of cutting teachers or extra curricular activities. She thanked everyone who sent emails and made phone calls to Council members.  She further stated that this is a difficult time and we have to balance the pain of  the economic crisis and educating our children.

 

INTRODUCTION AND ADOPTION OF RESOLUTIONS

09-147             A Resolution of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 18A:22-37 Certifying to the Morris County Board of Taxation an Amount for General Fund Expenses and for Debt Service to be Raised by Real Property Taxation to Provide a Thorough and Efficient System of Education for the Roxbury Township School District for the Fiscal Year 2009-2010

 

Mr. Schmidt made a motion to adopt Resolution 09-147.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

 

Roll Call:

Mr. Schmidt ? yes        Mr. Smith ? yes

Mr. Behrens ? no         Mr. Hall yes    

Mr. Zoschak ? no         Mayor DeFillippo ? yes

 

Motion carried 4 - 2

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

None

 

ADJOURNMENT

At 10:45 PM Mr. Hall made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Mr. Smith seconded the motion.

 

All In Favor ? yes

 

Submitted By:

 

 

____________________________

BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk

MINUTES APPROVED BY COUNCIL:

DATE:                        June 23, 2009

ROLL CALL:            Mr. Schmidt ? yes        Mr. Zoschak ? yes

                                    Mr. Hall ? yes              Mr. Rilee ? abstain

                                    Mr. Smith ? yes            Mayor DeFillippo - yes