SALEM COUNTY BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS
JUNE 16, 2004 MEETING MINUTES
At 7:32 PM, Director Charles R. Sullivan opened the meeting with a moment of silence followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Director Sullivan stated Open Public Meetings Act compliance.
On roll call, the following Freeholders were present: Lee R. Ware, Beth E. Timberman, Bruce L. Bobbitt, R. Benjamin Simmermon, Jr., C. David Sparks, Jr., Susan A. Bestwick and Charles R. Sullivan. A quorum was present.
Motion was made by Mr. Ware that the reading of the Minutes of May 5, 2004 and May 19, 2004 meetings be dispensed with and that the Minutes be received, approved and recorded in the Minute Book. Mr. Bobbitt seconded his motion. The motion to accept the minutes carried by hand vote of 7/0.
Motion made by Mr. Ware to waive the rules, which was seconded by Mr. Bobbitt. The motion was carried by a hand vote of 7/0.
Keith Campbell gave a presentation on the Salem Main Street Downtown Revitalization Master Plan
A proclamation was read honoring Mr. Jay Williams for his restoration of the Salem County Court House cannon. Freeholder Ware presented the proclamation to Mr. Williams who gave a short history of the cannon.
A citation was read honoring RaDisha Richardson as Recipient of the 2004 NJAC Partnership in Educational Excellence Scholarship.
INTRODUCTION: Ordinance No. 2004-02
Ordinance Providing for Capital Improvements of the County of Salem, State of New Jersey, Appropriating the Aggregate Amount of $557,402.47 Consisting of an Amount Currently Appropriated in the County of Salem Adopted Budget Which Will be Reserved in the County of Salem General Capital Fund. Mr. Ware moved for introduction of this ordinance with Mr. Bobbitt seconding his motion. The motion for introduction of the foregoing ordinance carried a roll call vote of 7/0. Director Sullivan said that consideration for passage of Ordinance No. 2004-02 would be held on July 21, 2004 following a public hearing.
Frank J. Cianfrani, Chief, Regulatory Branch, US Army Corps of Engineers Ė Public Notice to solicit comments and recommendations concerning issuance of a Department of the Army permit for work located at the following areas:
Delaware Bay at the Lewes Terminal of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, Sussex County, DE
Main Channel, City of Brigantine, Atlantic County New Jersey
Devils Reach, Cape May County, New Jersey
Governor James E. McGreevey, Commissioner Susan Bass Levin, Acting Director Carl Nittinger, New Jersey Historic Trust Ė copy of the 2003 New Jersey Historic Trust Annual Report
Paul Wermuth, Esq., Department of Health and Senior Services Ė letter acknowledging receipt and acceptance of Salem Countyís Peer Grouping Allocation and Spending Plan for 2004
Kristi Izzo, Secretary of the Board Ė notice of public hearing the Board of Public Utilities has scheduled wherein interested parties may present comments for the record
Ira G. Megdal, Cozen OíConnor Attorneys Ė notice of filing of proposed rate increase and public hearing; and Board of Public Utilitiesí Suspension Order dated January 26, 2004
Francis W. Hoeber, New Jersey Juvenile Justice Disparities Inquiry Steering Committee Ė status report of the juvenile justice disparities inquiry
John W. Trimble, Jr., Mason Point Meadow Bank Association Ė copy of the April 1st minutes
Dante Rieti, Cumberland/Salem Workforce Investment Board Ė notice of WIA Allocations for PY 2004-05 and notice of Workforce New Jersey funds for Program Year 2004-05
New Jersey Juvenile Justice Disparities Inquiry Steering Committee Ė notice of the Attorney Generals Working Group on Curbside and Station House Adjustment Policies
Borough of Oakland, Bergen County Ė resolution encouraging the utilization of the Ignition Interlock Program
Cape May County Ė resolution seeking a moratorium on any further discharges of VX Nerve Agent Waste Disposal into the Delaware River
Pennsville Township Ė resolution requesting County Freeholders to authorize the County Engineer to conduct a traffic study to determine the feasibility of placing a traffic signal at the intersection of Hook Road and Pittsfield Street
Woodstown Borough Ė 2 resolutions:
1) resolution opposing A2073/S1558 for the award of counsel fees to a prevailing plaintiff for any claim that arises from an alleged violation of "any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the constitution or laws of this state" and
2) resolution requesting Governor McGreevey and the State Legislature to implement a state sponsored financial aid program for military reservists and National Guard members deployed in the global war on terror (GWOT)
For the Month of March
For the Month of April
Veterans Services & Interment
For the Month of May
Emergency Services Staff Meeting
Ranch Hope Population Report
Weights & Measures
Cultural & Heritage Commission April 22nd & May 20th Minutes
Inter-Agency Council 2003 Annual Report; May 12th General Membership Minutes & Board Minutes
Library Commission May 19th Minutes
Office on Aging Advisory Council May 18th Minutes
Utilities Authority April 27th Regular Meeting Minutes
WIB May 26th Agenda with handouts
Motion was made by Mr. Ware that the Correspondence, Departmental Reports, and Committee/Commission Minutes be received and filed with Mr. Bobbitt seconding his motion. The motion was carried by a vote of 7/0.
PAYMENT OF BILLS & CLAIMS
Motion was made by Mr. Ware that all Bills and Claims, when properly signed and audited, be paid and charged to their respective accounts. Motion was seconded by Mr. Bobbitt, which was carried by a vote of 7/0.
Motion was made by Mr. Ware that the Treasurerís Report be received, filed and made available to the public. Motion was seconded by Mr. Bobbitt, which was carried by a vote of 7/0.
Director Sullivan requested consideration of resolutions in block by committee with Board concurrence.
ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE Ė Sullivan, Ware, Bobbitt
R.2004-266 Finance Resolution Cancellation of Check (check # 035952)
R.2004-267 Resolution Authorizing Renewal of the Commodity Resale System
R.2004-268 Resolution Authorizing the Freeholder Director and Clerk of the Board to Execute Collective Bargaining Agreement between the County of Salem Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Salem County Prosecutor and the Salem County Prosecutorís Superior Officers Association
R.2004-269 Resolution Authorizing the Freeholder Director and Clerk of the Board to Execute Collective Bargaining Agreement Letter of Agreement between the Communication Workers of America, Local 1085 and the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders
R.2004-270 Resolution Authorizing the Freeholder Director to Enter into a Farm Lease Respecting Property Owned by the County of Salem
Mr. Ware moved for adoption of these five resolutions with Mr. Bobbitt seconding his motion. On roll call, the motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
BUILDINGS & GROUNDS COMMITTEE Ė Sparks, Sullivan, Simmermon
R.2004-271 Resolution Authorizing Execution of Contract with the Department of Veterans and Military Affairs in the Amount of Ten Thousand ($10,000) Dollars for the Provision of Transportation Services for Veterans for the Period July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005
R.2004-272 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($10,000 Ė Veterans Transportation Program)
R.2004-273 Resolution Awarding a Contract for Supplying and Delivering Janitorial Supplies and Coarse Paper for the County of Salem and the Salem County Cooperative Purchasing System (Wholesale Janitor Supply Company, Inc.)
R.2004-274 Resolution Authorizing Contract to Provide a Roof on the Social Services Building (McMullen Roofing, Inc.)
Mr. Sparks moved for adoption of these four resolutions with Mr. Simmermon seconding his motion. On roll call, the motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
COUNTY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE Ė Simmermon, Bestwick, Timberman
HEALTH & SOCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE Ė Bestwick, Timberman, Ware
R.2004-275 Resolution Authorizing a Professional Services Agreement between Visiting Physicians Associates of South Jersey and the Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders for Provision of Medication Management to Salem County Senior Citizens
R.2004-276 Resolution Supporting the Recommendation of the Inter-Agency Council for Support of the New Jersey Child Care Reform Plan Called "A New Beginning"
R.2004-277 Resolution Amending Resolutions 2003-94 and 2004-072 for Re-Allocation of Funding for Sub-Acute Detoxification and Residential Drug and Treatment Services for the County of Salem
Mrs. Bestwick moved for adoption of these three resolutions with Mr. Bobbitt seconding her motion. The motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE Ė Ware, Bobbitt, Simmermon
R.2004-278 Resolution Entering into an Inter-Local Services Agreement with Cumberland County for Beds at the Cumberland County Juvenile Detention Center
R.2004-279 Resolution Authorizing a Contract to Provide Foodservice and Foodservice Management for the Salem County Correctional Facility (Canteen Correctional Service, Inc.)
Mr. Ware moved for adoption of these two resolutions with Mr. Bobbitt seconding his motion. The motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
PLANNING & TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE Ė Timberman, Sullivan, Sparks
R.2004-280 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($552,610 Ė WIA-Adult - $194,869; WIA Youth - $194,629; WIA Dislocated Worker - $163,111)
R.2004-281 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($3,000 Ė WIA Dislocated Worker)
R.2004-282 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($319,455 Ė WFNJ - TANF $225,529; WFNJ-CAVP & EEI $25,060; WFNJ GA/FS $68,866)
R.2004-283 Resolution Authorizing Application and Execution of Grant Agreement for the Department of Community Affairs Smart Growth Planning Grant
R.2004-284 Resolution Authorizing a Professional Services Contract to Ron Rukenstein and Associates to Undertake the Preparation of an Open Space and Farmland Preservation Plan under the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Smart Growth Planning Grant
R.2004-285 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($40,000 Ė State of New Jersey, Department of Community Affairs, Office of Smart Growth Ė Cross Acceptance Grant)
R.2004-286 Resolution Providing for the Insertion of a Special Item of Revenue in the Budget Pursuant to R.S. 40A:4-87, Chapter 159, P.L. 1948 ($1,391,648 Ė FY04 Homeland Security Grant Program)
R.2004-287 Resolution Authorizing the Filing of an Application for State Aid to Counties under the New Jersey Transportation Discretionary Aid Funds for Fiscal Year 2004
Mrs. Timberman moved for adoption of these eight resolutions with Mr. Sparks seconding her motion. The motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
ROAD & BRIDGE COMMITTEE Ė Bobbitt, Sparks, Bestwick
R.2004-288 Resolution Rejecting Bids for Quarry Stone, Rip Rap Stone and Quarry Blend to Various Locations throughout the County of Salem
R.2004-289 Resolution Authorizing Purchase from New Jersey State Contract Vendor "South State, Inc." for the Salem County Road and Bridge Department
R.2004-290 Resolution Awarding a Contract for the 2004 Oil and Stone Program for the County of Salem
R.2004-291 2004 Beam Guide Rail Project Quaker Neck Road, County Road #657 and North Golfwood Avenue, County Road #642 for the County of Salem
R.2004-292 Resolution Awarding a Contract for the Alloway-Shirley Road, County Road #611, Phase 4 Alloway and Upper Pittsgrove Townships for the County of Salem
R.2004-293 Resolution to Approve Application for Motorist Solicitation Pursuant to Resolution No. 98-115 (Parvin State Park Appreciation Committee Ė revised dates)
Mr. Bobbitt moved for adoption of these six resolutions with Mr. Sparks seconding his motion. The motion for adoption of the foregoing resolutions carried a vote of 7/0.
Discussion on "Farmland Preservation, Open Space Planning, Town Center Revitalization and Our Quality of Life". Director Sullivan made a commentary statement (copy attached)
Deputy Director Ware made a motion "to authorize the Clerk of the Board, Freeholder Director and County Bond Counsel to work together to develop an ordinance to authorize this Freeholder Board to bond for funds for Farmland Preservation, Open Space Planning and Recreation to be introduced at the July 21 Freeholder meeting. The bond would be financed by the two cents ($0.02) that voters authorized in November of 2002 and that a separate category would be placed on the tax bill for that purpose." The motion was seconded by Freeholder Timberman. A discussion followed which is attached hereto as a transcript. The motion for adoption of the foregoing carried a vote of 7/0.
Freeholder Timberman made a motion "to authorize the Clerk of the Board, Freeholder Director and Bond Counsel to work together to develop an ordinance to authorize this Freeholder Board to bond for funds to support Town Center Revitalization to be introduced also at the July 21 Freeholder meeting. The purpose of this is to join together the initiatives that are necessary to make our vision for Salem County successful in all regards. While we continue to make significant strides to preserve our rural heritage, open space and farms, we also must support our town centers so that they can thrive and attract the growth that Salem County is experiencing. We need the towns to prosper for they are the areas that provide the most significant source of funding for our preservation plans." A discussion followed which is attached hereto as a transcript. The motion for adoption of the foregoing carried a vote of 4/3 with Mr. Simmermon, Mr. Sparks and Mrs. Bestwick voting nay.
Director Sullivan asked the minority party Freeholders to explain their statements that the county tax rate was increasing as was suggested by their recent letter to the editor that the county tax rate was actually increasing. Freeholder Sullivan stated that the county Treasurer verified that the budget adopted did not include a county tax rate increase. Freeholder Sparks and Bestwick made statements supporting the letter and refuted what the County Treasurer stated in the budget documents, but declined to explain how they arrived at their conclusion.
PUBLIC COMMENT There was no public comment.
R.2004-294 Resolution Authorizing the Exclusion of the Public from a Meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Salem. At 08:58 PM, Mr. Ware moved for adoption of this resolution with Mr. Bobbitt seconding his motion. On roll call, the motion for adoption of the foregoing resolution carried a vote of 7/0.
Director Sullivan reopened the meeting at 09:13 PM.
MOTION TO ADJOURN Mr. Sparks moved for adjournment of the meeting, with Mr. Ware seconding his motion. With the motion properly moved and seconded and approved by all seven members, the meeting adjourned at 09:14 PM.
Freeholder Director Statement
June 16, 2004 Freehold Meeting
Under unfinished business, I would like to read a statement and a charge to the Freeholder Board. On discussion on farmland preservation, open space planning, town center revitalization and our quality of life. After last Thursdayís forum that we had well attended and successful.
"Fellow Freeholders we are on the verge of making significant decisions that will evermore affect the quality of life for the residents of Salem County. Over the last several months this board has been urged to consider bonding for monies that would be used to augment the funding already in place to support farmland preservation. We would be remiss if we acted solely as if this were our sole pool to assist us in sustaining the quality of life that we all value here in Salem County. Over the last several months we have commissioned a study, listened to our constituents with the needs that they have within their diverse communities, read letters from interested parties, met with planners, auditors, bond counsel, held a work shop amongst ourselves to discuss these positions. Most recently most of us attended a public meeting hosted by Preservation Salem and the Salem County Agricultural Development Board to open further dialogue and further the vision for the future. The time has now come for us to act. The decision to bond is not to be taken lightly. It will affect the financial stability of our programs for sure, but it will also affect the pocketbooks of Salem County Taxpayers. Furthermore, I remind you that any proposal to bond monies must be a bipartisan effort since a super majority vote must be obtained. This means that at least five affirmative votes are needed in order to authorize the issuance of bonds.
June 16, 2004 Salem County Board of Chosen Freeholders Meeting
LW: "I would like to make a motion to authorize the Clerk of the Board, Freeholder Director and County Bond Counsel to work together to develop an ordinance to authorize this Freeholder Board to bond for funds for Farmland Preservation, Open Space Planning and Recreation to be introduced at the July 21 Freeholder meeting. The bond would be financed by the two cents ($0.02) that voters authorized in November of 2002 and that a separate category would be placed on the tax bill for that purpose."
BT "I second the motion."
CS "I have a first and a second, any discussion on that motion? Freeholder Bestwick"
SB "I donít understand. Tell me again what you just said Lee. Where do you want this money and bond counsel and two cents?"
LE" We are authorizing the Clerk of the Board to prepare a resolution for the next meeting to bond for Farmland Preservation and Open Space.
SB "For how much?"
LE "For the two cents that the taxpayers authorized
CS "Whatever the two cents will behold. First of all Bond Counsel will submit different scenarios according to up to the two cents the constituency has already agreed that they would be willing to fund."
SB "You are going to bond $700,000?"
SB "Ok well then explain what
SB "Youí re going to repay it with the two cents?"
CS "We are going to repay it. We will bond in the area of $5 to $10 Million dollars. Whatever happens to be the right figure to coincide with the two cents that that the county taxpayers have said that they are willing to foot."
SB "So youíre going to pay for the bond with the two cents?"
SB "Ok that is what you said there"
CS "For Farmland Preservation and Open Space"
SB "Ok now I heard you say recreation?"
LW "That is open space"
CS "That is part of open space"
SB "Well we just, just right now we voted to hire our planner to put together an open space and farmland preservation master plan together. What is the mechanism that we are then going to have if we bond this figure for open space; what is the mechanism to decide what projects will be; will be recognized as valid projects when there is no mechanism in place right now to do that?"
BT "Can I address that?"
BT "I think that is part of the plan. Weíre going to have to develop that. I think that Ron our planner would be the logical person to help us figure that out."
SB "Right and I agree with you, but its timing. Now I just spoke to him on this. When are you planning to do this bonding? I mean what is the"
CS "Freeholder Ware said that we are going to introduce the ordinance on the 21 of July."
LW "At the next meeting"
SB "Alright so you have sixty days from there correct? Iím going to"
CS "Well no then the August will be for public hearing and final adoption. And then ten days after that it becomes effective.
EV "Twenty Days"
CS "Twenty Days?"
CS "Twenty Days"
SB "So sixty days"
CS "Ok but in the meantime everyone will get all of the information as we gather it."
SB "Ok so we vote on this in sixty days. What do we do with this Monday, this money since we donít have the mechanism in place for open space and recreation?
EV "All you are doing is authorizing the bond. You donít have to actually take any money, borrow any monies until your mechanism is in place. Or the issue has always been whether or not any of the farmers are going to step up to the plate and want the money. I mean just because you are going to pass an ordinance that says you can bond doesnít say that you have to borrow the money. That is not what they are asking."
SB "Well my understanding of bonding though is that you have to have a reason to bond and you have to have"
CS "We have the reason."
SB "No I know. You have to have a time, thereís a time factor on some of these bonds as to what the projects are. And so Iím just talking about a timeline. Iím certainly not opposed to this. Iím worried about doing this at the right time. Because there are projects, and you know as well as I do because you get the calls too, you know everybody when they know money is coming around everybody has a project. So and Iím not saying they are not valid. Cause there is lots of valid projects out there. But Iíd like to be able to go out there and say this money will be available in six months, nine months, a year, two years ten years. You know where we are with that?"
CS "We are as Freeholder Ware said, we are going to introduce on the 21st whatever amount seems to be agreeable with at least five members of this board and we will adopt it in August and then we will work towards what we are doing. We are not putting off any longer what we plan on doing. As far as Farmland Preservation and Open Space it all goes in together.
BT "That is what the recommendation is."
BS "Chuck, there is a mechanism to decide how the farmland is purchased or how that money will be used. But it got a little confusing last meeting when we added the PIG grants in two municipalities. So that will kind of have to be sorted out, I guess. Right now the County Ag Development Board makes the decisions and does the rankings and decided who gets funded."
CS "They still will, with our assistance"
BS "But will we still partially be involved with these PIG grants?"
BS "Ok so thatís got to be worked out I guess."
CS "Itís one of the reasons that weíre going to. Weíre suggesting that we bond it rather than the Improvement Authority so that you donít have one more loop in the circle that you have to get over. And we want our Ag Board to be controlling this and then of course we control the Ag Board."
BS "If we were involved with say like Pittsgrove with a PIG grant would the Ag Development Board still continue to purchase land on their own while Pittsgrove is purchasing Farmland on their own? Would they be kind of double dipping with county money? That is something else that has to be worked out Iím sure."
BS "The only thing would be a recreation. Whoís going to decide how the money getí spent? Would that be another board?"
CS "We are"
BS "We are? As the Freeholders are?"
CS "We are"
BT "Can I speak to that Chuck?"
BS "Letís think about this"
CS "We donít want to get the cart ahead of the thing. Letís think of the overall picture. Weíre going to bond to protect farmland preservation and the time is. We have exhausted all of our and have done all weíve supposed to do. Now is the time to either do it or get off the pot. Do you know what I mean?"
BS "I know what you mean."
CS "But to get down to details. We are not at that avenue yet. No money gets released until this Board as a whole releases it. Itís that simple. Iím not going to be able to give you any absolute details like that."
BS "I donít want Joe Blow from Pennsville deciding how heís going to spend recreation money. Now I would think that that mechanism would be in place, You know when we bond, this structure should be set up to decide how itís going to be spent or who decides through our oversight I guess. It can be done."
CS "Yes it can. Freeholder Sparks did you have something?"
DS "Yes. A couple of new terminology issues have arisen and itís not solely farmland preservation anymore. Lee mentioned a couple of other things. Very generally open space and then recreations as an addition. Now, we as a whole, have never talked about recreation although I know we all receive letters from Pilesgrove Woodstown wanting to buy some more property. Obviously itís farmland, which throws you a curve ball. Before I take a vote in affirmative, I want a very clear and concise explanation of what open space means. As far as this ordinance.
DS "I am not going to ever vote in affirmative to tear buildings down to create open space for people that screwed up in the past and want to develop open space within the confines of their organizations, their townships, their cities. I donít think that is where this money needs to go. And I know this is timely and I know this is a sense of urgency because as we sit here and develop plans farmland gets a little bit more expensive and the dollar to spend against bonding gets more expensive. So when you start down here, you get increase in fee for bonding, increase in land value. Weíve got to gap that pretty darn quick before it gets out of control. So that echoes with comments made at previous meetings that itís time to get off our butts and move. That was two years ago. Weíve got to move. But I need a real good understanding and summary of what open space is. Weíre not going to go out and develop it. Itís got to be already open and this Freeholder Board needs to agree what that is going to be. So be sure the terminology is clear."
CS "Just as a clarification, the referendum, the non-binding referendum, already included open space in it. It said farmland preservation AND open space."
DS "It said open space. However there is no group yet assembled to develop the protocol on what really means to us in Salem County."
CS "But I agree thatís why we have people like Ron Ruckenstein to describe it.
DS "We are not going to tear down this courthouse or parking lot to make a park out of this bond issue. That ainít going to happen."
CS "Your point is well taken. I agree with you. Weíre not going to get in the business of tearing buildings down to create open space."
DS" If you havenít, you will be. There will be folks, Keith Campbell and the like, that will be knocking on your financial door wanting money to do stuff and you know what they are going to call it? This is open space. Get ready for it. Iím just warning you."
CS "We have something for that too."
DS "I know we think we are all smarter than the average bear, but there are a lot more bears out there than us."
CS "We do have something for that too. But this is also, you know, quality of life. But your point is well taken and we do appreciate it and we will get down to the specifics when we start spending the money and getting the money. Freeholder Timberman."
BT "Well I was just going to answer where I think Sue was going with. I would like to see some sort of advisory board, even if it does fall to the Freeholders to make the decision. That we have protocol set up that Mr. Ruckenstein could help us with and then an advisory board review that protocol when someone is looking for open space and then the final decision rests then with us.
DS "To qualify for that money."
CS "But the over all picture is first that we canít do anything unless we have the availability of funds to do it."
CS "And thatís what basically what we are trying to start. Now to get down to the details, we do have time to do that. We can work on that together collectively. Now is there any other discussion on that?"
SB "I have a question. How come now, why have you decided not to go through the improvement authority?"
CS " Thereís a couple of reasons. Weíve met with Bond Counsel and weíve met with the auditor and their advice to us was that you didnít want, and I mentioned it earlier, it would be putting one more step in the, for to have control over how the money is spent. In other words, right now, we bond the Freeholder Board will have control over the money directly to the Ag Board if we did it the other way, it could and the Ag Board is right in making this statement that they feel the IA would be able to dictate to them the priorities and how the money and when it is spent. The one down side of doing it ourselves versus the Improvement Authority is the idea that we should be putting a down payment down, but we were advised by Counsel, Bond Counsel and the Auditor that it is a pretty simple process to have that wavered for that amount of money. What that would do they would waiver it and put it in your"
SB "Oh yea I know it will cost you. Itís like anything else; you just add that into your mortgage payment."
CS "Yes, No No. It would be in there it would actually be cash money for you cash available to you."
SB "Well it will cost depending on how much about $700,000 that you would have to come up with."
CS "If you did $7 million it would cost you $350,000. Itís 5% to be exact. Ok Alright. Any other discussion?" I have a motion and a second all those in favor please signify by raising your right hand.
SB "What whatís the motion, oh you read it? Ok"
CS "Yes. 7-0 any other?"
BT "Mr. Director, I would like to make a motion to authorize the Clerk of the Board, Freeholder Director and Bond Counsel to work together to develop an ordinance to authorize this Freeholder Board to bond for funds to support Town Center Revitalization to be introduced also at the July 21 Freeholder meeting. The purpose of this is to join together the initiatives that are necessary to make our vision for Salem County successful in all regards. While we continue to make significant strides to preserve our rural heritage, open space and farms, we also must support our town centers to that they can thrive and attract the growth that Salem County is experiencing. We need the towns to prosper for they are the areas that provide the most significant source of funding for our preservation plans."
CS "I have a motion"
LW "I Second the motion"
CS "I have a motion and a second, any discussion? Freeholder Simmermon, I know you are Simmermon not Timberman"
BS "I never minded that, I always that that was good. Mr. Williams slipped earlier in the evening. Where does this money come from?"
CS "Where does this money come from? From the taxpayer. Where all money comes from."
DS "This is another bond or the same one we just passed?"
CS" You canít bond for Farmland Preservation money and use it for Town Center Revitalization so you have to separate it.
BS "So you this second bond, now we know where the money comes from for the first bond, the people voted on it, now where does this money come from?"
CS "My thoughts are, and it is purely my thoughts. My thoughts are Ok if we bond for the Farmland Preservation for X amount of dollars forget what it is, and you use the two cents that is going to that, it would take the two cents that we would normally be putting towards Farmland Preservation, we would no longer have to do because it will be distributed among the 15 municipalities and Iím sure you are not talking about the same level of funding with it. Less than a cent would be able to fund it. And thorough the efficiency of this Freeholder Board we will be able to fund it."
BS "So that would be an automatic"
CS "Donít say it would be an automatic tax increase cause it might not be. It may be. But it might not be too."
BS "Ok. Have you thought about going to the voters similar to what we did with Open Space and Farmland to see how they feel about being taxed like that?"
CS "Well I think, unfortunately you and Freeholder Sparks missed the meeting the other night and they stood up there, several municipalities stood up and declared just that representing and they were speaking for their municipalities."
BS "Iím talking about the voters"
CS "We have heard it all along that in Freeholder Timbermanís motion said that for the most part the people that are paying the rate and freight are from those municipalities that are not being able to take advantage of Farmland Preservation. We want it all. We want our cake and eat it too. Which was the theme of the other nights meeting."
BS "Would the money be distributed evenly between the municipalities that donít participate in Farmland Preservation?"
CS "Be distributed evenly? No. They wonít even see it. It is in what we will strike as the tax rate."
BS "How do you know who gets the money? Whoever asks for it or asks for it first? How do you set that up? Salem has already asked for some, we heard that tonight, but you know would Woodstown be going to get
CS " Well there are a lot of ways of doing it. They can apply to us just like we apply to the state through grants. "
BT "Can I speak for what I see?"
CS "Sure, Freeholder"
BT "From hearing from different people who have come and supported Open Space and Farmland Preservation they are saying "Keep us Green and we believe in the town centers. We want the development to stay in the towns. "But when you look at the towns like Elmer, Woodstown, they have needs that they canít fix and thatís why a lot of the business is leeching out into the townships. So I think it is like a puzzle that has to come together. In order to keep development out of Pittsgrove, we may need to help Elmer beef up on some of their problems and the same with Woodstown and the same with some of the other towns. They canít be more attractive to developers and economic growth if we donít provide a little stimulus for them. And I donít see it being the same money or the same amount of money, because we have a Farmland Preservation program ready to go. The Ag Board is already taking applications. This is going to have to be set up similarly with those kinds of structures. It canít be I need a fire truck therefore if I apply and Iím going to get it. Weíre going to have to decide what qualifies. "
BS "One problem I see with it is we know from experience that in a good year we get possibly 600,000 or 700,000 new dollars to add to our the money that we can spend. Now Leeís resolution we just spent that. Thatís our new money coming in.
CS "We didnít spend it"
BS "Now we are going to start falling behind every year if we start spending more money than we have coming in. Thatís before we pay our employees, the insurance, the college they need $400,000 by the way we just heard that. So how long can we continue to spend more money than we bring in? Doesnít that scare you a little bit?"
CS "It always scares me because it is the responsible decision that we have to make. But the responsible decision is not to stay status quo. The responsible decision is to go out and seek new businesses, new opportunities, revitalize your town centers, you can do that. Here is one scenario that is just a thought. That you are going to have to approve or disapprove. Beef up that revolving loan account ok where each one of the towns, municipalities that donít have FLP want to beef up their towns like Penn Grove, Salem whatever and we make available to them a very low interest loan. You know and actually can actually make money on the money that we have bonded.
BS "Uh Huh, that makes more sense"
CS" We could bond it at two and one half or three cents and loan it at a measly 4 cents and do two fold make some money and help the town centers. Thatís all we are trying to do. We just do not agree that we should be caretakers; we should start being proactive and that is all we are trying to do. Yes sir Freeholder Sparks."
DS "I justÖ you are all prepared with these two resolutions and ordinances that you put on the floor simply because you read it and we werenít aware of it that you were going to do it. And that is fine. I donít think you thought about this one enough. Beth you need to go do your homework. You canít do an interest loan with municipalities, they have no collateral. The public owns the municipalities they donít have any collateral like a business that if they donít repay we go take their building or you know their shovels and hoses. So, um, here we are talking about something all together different. We are talking about a funding mechanism to help out towns that either canít, havenít been successful or for some reason wonít help themselves. If the state felt as benevolent as you seem to think Salem County wouldnít have a problem. Weíd be getting Bergen County money down here. Weíd be getting all of those Hudson County dollars down to Salem County if you want to bail out responsible municipalities charged with the same responsibilities that we are at the county level to run their businesses locally. And to do their economic development on dollars they create. We can have mechanisms, we can help, but going out on a financial limb I have a real, I donít have a good feeling about that unless I need to learn one heck of a lot more. I intend to vote no on this simply because I just donít think it is a good idea based on what I heard.
CS "Well first of all let me clarify that when I wasnít saying, if you were listening to what I said about loan was the business to encourage business to come in not the municipality."
DS " I listened to what you said and you just canít do what you said. Ok business is fine, but business is not municipality. That mechanism is now not set up to fund any new business; it is existing businesses designed to grow and increase their employment. Thatís it. You got to read the fine print. Thatís all that moneyís for. Now if you want to re-develop a new plan with new money in our fund then thatís fine, but you ainít there yet. And you canít do anything to fund municipalities. The County canít fund municipalities, governmental to governmental. That doesnít work either."
CS " We know that and we are not attempting to do that."
DS "I donít think you know as much as you think you know."
CS " I do know that weíre at aÖ at the border, we need to do something."
DS " What? What? No, no, no, youíre hearing.
CS " Are you fine with what things are as they are right now?
DS "Yes, yea I donít think the ship is rumbling, it ainít sinking."
CS " Nobody said it was sinking. "
DS " I mean I donít understand why you would react to folks that say whoa wait a minute, youíre giving all this money to farmland preservation, you ainít giving us a dime, we want our fair share County. Cough it up. We ainít doing too good here. The heck with the farm, include us. Donít give it all to them. We want ours. Come on that, thatís school yard stuff. Iíve heard that for fifty-five years. If you want to go under that pressure and you want to dole out dollars just because people come to a meeting and speak their peace then that is fine. It needs to make sense. And I donít think County government ought to be running over and stepping on toes and doing what municipalities are elected to do for their own."
CS " Well I just think you need a little vision. Anyone else?"
DS " Well I think you need a little common sense."
CS " I have it. "
DS "and possibly a little more courage than you seem to have."
CS "Iíve got a lot of courage. "
BS " Chuck listen, I agree itís been a tough road. Once we kind of opened that door, when the seven mayors came in it seems like as soon as people hear weíre going to go bonding, it seems like weíre seeing it all over the place. But we do have to do it right, because itís not our money as the old people on Pilesgrove used to remind me itís not our money.
CS "It certainly isnít. Yes, itís taxpayerís money."
BS "Before I would vote on something like that I would like to see something set up where there would be a match. Now I think that most of farmland preservation weíre talking about PIG grants weíre given twelve and one half percent somebody else is coming up with the rest. You know thereís a lot of things to be done before you just say yes weíre going to bond for cities.
CS " I agree with you. I agree with you."
BS " Well youíre asking us to vote on it pretty soon. So.."
CS " I think you are mis-interpreting what everything we are saying. Weíre not saying that we are going out for this loan. We are saying that we can make this money available. Now if thereís not a good plan in there you donít pay an ounce of interest, you donít borrow the money, you donít bond it, you donít have it, itís not there. But if a plan comes up, make it available to them. If itís there and you agree with it you have a right to vote for it. If you donít than I mean thatís the only time Freeholder Sparks was right was saying that if you donít agree you donít agree. It doesnít matter.
BS " Well, youíre asking us to vote on it pretty soon. So.."
DS " Thatís the only time Iím right? Pretty judgment dude"
CS "But you have a right to your opinion. But you do have to admit that you know itís not time to be sitting on our hands being status quo. You already admitted that everythingís fine with you. Everybody and every
DS "Thatís right. I was elected to run Salem County. Not Elmer, not Salem City, not Penns Grove or Carneyís Point. I know where my charge and responsibility lies. You all seem to want to go out and fix everything. Spending all this money.
CS "Thatís not what we are doing. Although we would love to be able to do that. We need a lottery to do it. But are you saying that we as the County receive nothing from the State of NJ?"
DS "Oh yea we do, but ."
CS "You say the state of NJ receives nothing from the Federal Government? Donít we, arenít we all in it together trying to share with each other and help each other?
DS "Yea, yea."
CS "Ok thank you. Freeholder Timberman did you have something?"
BT "I just am thinking more along the lines of this being more appropriate to bond through the improvement authority. I mean theyíre, that would make more sense, I think, than to let the county bond for it. Well I could see. I mean if we were going to bond perhaps that would be through a different mechanism."
CS " Sure. Well the idea is whether or not you want to introduce or not and then you can come out with the details. So thereís a motion and a second on the floor is there any other discussion?"
SB " Yea Iím a little befuddled here because itís an awful lot of money. That weíre talking about right now and I have no problem with Farmland Open Space, recreation because there was a referendum and 70 % of the people said they want it so itís our job to find the funding mechanism to do that and to do that in the most cost efficient way. That is our responsibility. Our other responsibility is making sure that we do live within our means. And with all due respect, you spent six million more dollars this year than you did last year but guess what we got to come up with this six million dollars again next year and forever. So Iím a little concerned about where weíre going to come up with another seven hundred thousand or three hundred and fifty or a penny or two without knowing how the people of Salem County feel. Because I donít know. I hear a mayor stand up, I hear a couple of people stand up, but I donít know what sixty four thousand people are saying. So and if they want to do this then fine. We will have to find a way to do it, but our responsibility right now is to what the voters of this county have stated. And you know I donít want to put Bethís idea down or your idea down, but Iím getting shaky hands over doing two ordinances, three ordinances in one night and not quite sure..
CS "Weíre not doing any ordinances tonight and we may not be doing them.
SB "Well you know we did the ..
CS "Weíre merely asking for to go out and introduce where you can in open dialogue and you can come up with your questions and you can
SB " You can have an open dialogue by just brining this to the table. You are now opening dialogue by allowing us an opportunity to go back and talk to people. I don Ďt know whether or not we have to go through the formality of voting on the adoption or introduction of an ordinance we donít even know what the amounts are on these ordinances."
SB "We donít know how much they cost."
CS "Not yet"
SB " So can we put it off for, my vote would be to, to, I would, I will abstain until I feel as though I have more information because I doní t want to say it is a bad idea."
CS "You can always to that after you introduce."
SB "Why canít I do it now, I can abstain now. "
CS "Yes but I mean but you are not obligated to do anything. What you are doing when you introduce an ordinance is you are giving the public their rightful just hearing. You open, then you, the next time you open a public hearing for them to voice their opinion. And the newspaperís going to print it and say hey look theyíre going out and asking for millions of dollars, spending it foolishly
SB "Chuck howÖI donít. First of all Iíd like to know how many people are normally here when we adopt an ordinance. When we dial up the sixty five million dollar budget we get one or two to attend."
CS "Itís the process, Freeholder"
SB "I understand that, but you know, I want to know when I get a phone call because the paper has printed that weíre going to spend millions of dollars I want to know what the details are and I donít have any details now. "
CS "You will have."
CS "Before you spend it and before you ok it. Weíre merely saying should we go out and introduce and open up discussion, meaningful discussion, not haphazard discussion."
SB " We did not have to do that when we went, when we talked about Farmland Preservation. We did not have to do an ordinance. We went out and did just what we did."
CS " Weíve been talking about this for two years farmland preservation."
SB "No weíve been doing farmland preservation for a lot longer than that."
CS "Letís talk about town centers this is way different."
SB "This is completely different"
DS "Itís really ironic that you got a pillar of society of Salem County come in and give a very lengthy but targeted presentation right prior to this. Good prep job. I got to hand it to you dude you set it up nice."
If we had our way we would, if Salem City had their way Mr. Director, in all respect about the revitalization of Salem right now there would be a nine story glass jail in the parking lot right behind this building.
CS "Which should be."
DS "Thatís a matter of opinion. But the majority then with the vision they had is to move it out and out it in the proper place so people would at least in Salem City have a place to park their cars."
CS" Well weíre trying to run a county here and you know we would appreciate if.."
DS" Just quit trying to run the townships."
CS " If you jump on board. I donít want to run them, but we certainly are here to help if we can."
DS " And I think that mechanism is going to be skewed. I have a problem with that."
CS "You know like I say the thing of it is."
DS "Iím not Mr. Director Iím just intending to vote no on this resolution letís go."
CS" We can introduce and then you can have you do your deal, because we cannot bond it without you but we can certainly introduce without you."
DS "Madam Clerk, just to be clear for the record, there is a resolution on the floor, a motion on the floor to move top go towards an ordinance."
CS "Yes and thatís all. Thatís all we are doing."
DS " For funding town centers."
CS " And that is all it is."
DS "Beth would you read it or re read that?"
BT "Yes." BT restated the motion.
DS " No that is fine."
CS "Any other discussion? All those in favor please signify by raising your right hand. Opposed. 4-3 in favor"
CS= Director Charles Sullivan
LW=Deputy Director Lee Ware
SB=Freeholder Susan Bestwick
BB=Freeholder Bruce Bobbitt
BS= Freeholder Ben Simmermon
DS=Freeholder David Sparks
BT=Freeholder Beth Timberman
EV=County Counsel Elaine Voyles