MINUTESOF THE BOROUGH OF MADISON MAYOR AND COUNCIL PUBLIC WORK SESSION
October 23, 2000 - 7:00 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. The Clerk read the statement pursuant to the Open Public Meetings Act:
"In compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act of the State of New Jersey, adequate notice of this meeting of the Council was provided by distributing the Annual Meeting Schedule to the Madison Eagle and Morris County Daily Record, posting a copy on the bulletin board at the main entrance of the Hartley Dodge Memorial, and filing a copy in the office of the Clerk, all on January 3, 2000. Copies of said Notice were made available to members of the general public."
The Clerk called the roll and the following acknowledged their presence:
Mayor John J. Dunne
RESOLUTION TO PERMIT DISCUSSION OF SUBJECTS
IN EXECUTIVE SESSION
Council Member Coviello moved:
RESOLVED, that the meeting be adjourned to an Executive Session to consider the following matters:
CONTRACT MATTERS (3)
Date of public disclosure 60 days after conclusion, if disclosure required.
Seconded: Council Member Kerkeslager
RESOLUTION TO REOPEN PUBLIC WORK SESSION
IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBER
Council Member Coviello moved:
RESOLVED, that the Public Work Session be reopened.
Seconded: Council Member Kerkeslager
ITEMS OF DISCUSSION
10/23/00-107 HARTLEY DODGE ADA - FUNDING.
Mr. Allison recommended introducing an ordinance appropriating $1,916,034 from the General Capital Improvement Fund and $400,000 from the General Capital Fund Balance for this project to renovate the Hartley Dodge Memorial building for ADA compliance.
Cost estimates developed by the project architect, Herbert Githens, were submitted. Unexpended balances from other capital ordinances will have to be cancelled in order to fully fund this project. Mr. Allison advised that Mr. Kalafut will prepare an agenda recommendation proposing these ordinance cancellations for the meeting of November 13. With Council's approval, this project will become a part of the twenty-year capital plan.
After lengthy Council discussion it was moved by Mr. Coviello, seconded by Mr. Peck and unanimously carried to continue this item of discussion until the next meeting to allow Council time to receive and review additional information from the Borough Engineer including updated drawings and a more detailed breakdown of the "Estimate of Probable Cost" Summary. The following roll call vote was recorded:
Yeas: Mr. Coviello, Mrs. Holden, Mr. Flemming, Mr. Kerkeslager, Mr. Peck
Nays: N o n e
Absent: Ms. Attonito
Council reconvened the Public Work Session at 8:28 p.m. after the Regular Meeting.
7/10/00-72 SHADE TREE ORDINANCE.
Mayor Dunne explained that the public is not normally invited to speak at the Public Work Session. He asked that individuals wait to be recognized by the chair.
Mayor Dunne gave a brief background on why Ordinance 33-2000 was drawn up and introduced on July 24, 2000. Ordinance 33-2000 was tabled at the Regular Meeting this evening. The ordinance before Council tonight is significantly modified from Ordinance 33-2000. The ordinance number will be changed.
This ordinance has not yet been made public, as it is a Council work product. Mayor Dunne read definition changes and other changes being proposed for the ordinance.
Council discussion included requests for certain changes in the proposed ordinance: change "may" to "shall" in the portion of the proposed ordinance dealing with bid specifications; add a sunset provision at which time this ordinance would be up for review; provide for services of a forester or other professional; add and define professional guidelines to be followed; add provisions about shade trees to Madison's Master Plan.
A petition was delivered to Council signed by more than 1,300 residents asking Council to establish a Shade Tree Commission. As Council Liaison to the Shade Tree Authority, Peter Flemming asked Council to established a Shade Tree Commission.
Comparisons of the two versions will be made available on RoseNet along with a comparison to a generic Shade Tree Commission ordinance.
Mayor Dunne invited the public to speak on the shade tree ordinance.
Doreen Wright, Woodland Road, asked what the problem is that Council is trying to solve with this ordinance.
Mayor Dunne explained that this process began with the need to restructure the Public Works Department and put the Superintendent of Public Works into a management role. While doing legal research on the ordinance, it was determined that the present ordinance contradicts State Statute.
Penny Garman, Vice Chair of the Shade Tree Authority, spoke of the many reasons why Madison should have a Shade Tree Commission and asked that the 1,300 petitioners be heard.
Eugene Zipper, Greenwood Avenue, asked about penalties under the proposed ordinance.
Cathie Coultas, member of the Parks Advisory Committee and member of the Board of Trustees of Friends of Madison Shade Trees, was encouraged by what she heard this evening and asked Council to look at the Shade Tree Authority versus a Commission versus an Advisory Board, and felt that in the beginning the Shade Tree Authority should have been contacted about this.
Mayor Dunne said hard copies of comparisons will be made available, and the comparisons would also be made available on RoseNet within a few days.
Dick Armstrong, Pomeroy Road, asked Council to step back and define the problem, and move forward to a logical conclusion with the people who are involved.
Eric Sandberg, Redmond Drive, member of the Shade Tree Authority, asked if the authority in a Shade Tree Commission is permissive, not mandatory, and spoke about the control Council would exercise over a Commission.
Steve Walldorf, Winding Way, gathered signatures for the petition requesting Council to establish a Shade Tree Commission which he felt would maximize the Shade Tree's ability to receive grant money.
Chris Hepburn, Glenwild Road, is frustrated that so much time is being spent on this issue, asked Council to have a representative from a town with a Shade Tree Commission speak at a meeting and asked Council to explain to the public if Council does not want a Commission, why. She spoke about a Commission being accountable to Council.
Anne Leahy, Winding Way, asked if the power of the Downtown Development Commission and the Environmental Commission will come into question.
Stephen Wells, Green Avenue, asked about and was advised that under the proposed ordinance, in the event of a disagreement between the Shade Tree Advisory Board and the Department of Public Works, the Shade Tree Advisory Board would have the final authority. He voiced concern about the residency requirement under the proposed ordinance.
Greg James, Cedar Avenue, spoke of liability issues and the "name" problem regarding the Shade Tree Authority. He asked if the name of the Shade Tree Authority could merely be changed to the Shade Tree Advisory Board.
Larry Bruce, Laurel Way, spoke of the petition signed by over 1,300 people asking for creation of a Shade Tree Commission, and asked Council to respond to the will of the people.
Robert Garman, Dogwood Drive, said our system works best when people cooperate. The process so far has not been a good one. Had the volunteers been consulted, this problem would not have occurred. He felt this has to be put behind Council to concentrate on other pressing issues.
George Hayman, Madison Avenue, spoke about Council "fears" of a Commission but has not heard Council speak of any "fears" about how an Advisory Board would function. He supports the creation of a Shade Tree Commission.
Dick DeBiasse, spoke about logic, accountability and common sense, and felt that the Shade Tree Commission would be accountable to no one.
Skip DeBiasse, Park Avenue, felt that this was a political and emotional issue, and is against the creation of a Shade Tree Commission.
Mary McCann, Green Hill Road, spoke about what she perceived as taking an employee, looking around and creating a job for him, and that doing so is poor policy. She asked Council to leave the Shade Tree Authority as it is.
Vince Licari, Chairman of the Shade Tree Authority, thanked everyone for working so hard on this issue and said he recognized the valuable leadership of all the Council Members.
There was no further public comment, and Mayor Dunne announced that this issue will be listed on the November 13, 2000 Work Session Agenda.
There being no further business to come before the Council, the Open Work Session was adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
cc: Mayor & Council
Approved on December 11, 2000 (MS)