Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Matawan Council Meeting 5/6/08

Unlike this peaceful photo, the Matawan Borough Council meeting last night was far from quiet. Councilman Mendes' attempt to pass a Resolution without attorney review could have put the Borough in jeopardy had it not been for Mayor Buccellato refusing to allow it to be read. It appears when Mendes stopped, Councilmen Malley and Mullaney started bantering back and forth with the Mayor. Subsequently, Mullaney attempted to read the Resolution over the protests of the Mayor. Following a recess, Councilmen Cannon, Mullaney, Mendes, et al returned to the meeting. Mendes withdraw reading the Resolution. Realizing Councilman Mendes is inexperienced in such matters, Councilmen Mullaney and Malley should have known better. Councilman Cannon did not participate other than during recess speaking with Mullaney,Mendes, and Malley. Doesn't four council members in one place constitute a quorum?

Appointments - Councilman Mullaney attempted to move forward with some of the appointments and became adversarial when the Mayor reiterated his position to keep them on hold until a Borough Attorney had been appointed and could review the agreements. The Mayor mentioned something about attorney fees, asking Councilman Mullaney if he wanted him to continue, then the Democrats went silent. Makes you wonder what is going on. The Mayor requested a spreadsheet on attorney fees for the past few years from the CFO.

Speaking of attorneys, none of the appointments were made and are in review. Apparently, the Borough Attorney's agreement was received the afternoon of the meeting and there wasn't time to review it.

Here is what was accomplished:

Budget 2008 - Copy of the Primary Components of Tax Increase were made available to all who attended. Per year average municipal increase on homes assessed at:

Municipal tax portion:
$325,000. $234. $2,001.03
$347,200. $249.98 $2,137.71
$375,000. $270. $2,308.88
$450,000. $324. $2,770.65

This does not include the School Budget increase.

2008 Road Program - Per Councilman Cannon the road program will cost an additional $17.00 a year per household for a 1.4 million dollar bond.

Citizen's participation Grant - Fred Carr, Borough Administrator and William White, Borough Engineer will be presenting a request for a Grant to improve Clinton Street. We wish them the best of luck as the residents of Clinton Street deserve to have their Street improved. A question was asked if the grant would include sewer and water. The reply was no. Jerry Hourihan stated the water and sewer pipes are very old.

Recreation - The Appointment of a Part time Recreation Director and a Summer Program 2008 Assistant Director were made.

Approving of Funds for Flowers for Downtown Beautification
This will provide flowers for the pots along Main Street.

Survey Work - Authorizing Richard K. Heser, PC to provide professional services for surveying services.

Memorial Day Parade - the parade direction will remain the same as it has been for the last 50 years or so. It will begin at St. Clement Church and end at the Matawan Memorial Park.

July 4th Fireworks - The vote was even with abstentions, Mayor Buccellato cast the deciding vote to have the Fireworks. To be held on July 6th, pending written approval from a local church.

Sanitation - The dumpster still remains available at the DPW location (behind Key Auto Body) for the disposing of leaves, brush and branches. This is for residents only and proof of residence will be required.

Recycling - Matawan will be getting quotes for recycle bins.
Red Flex Program - A non-binding Letter of Intent will be sent to hold Matawan's place on the list for this program which provides photos of traffic violations. Further studies are being made as to the agreement and costs that may be involved.


Anonymous said...

I am going to make a point of coming the next meeting purely because I love Monty Python and these meetings really do seem to be more of a comedy of errors than an actual concerned effort for the better of Matawan. Cheaper than a night on Broadway, yet at least in the theatre every cast member works together for the end result. Sadly the same cannot be said for the council of Matawan which seems to be more concerned with thwarting the other's efforts than swallowing their pride for the greater good. The continuous improvement of Matawan becomes more and more whitewashed as the two parties piffle about like petulatant adolescents or puffed up comedy actors, like I said, I love Monty Python. Pass the popcorn....

matawan advocate said...

We started referring to a certain trio as Huey, Duey and Luey. It would be funny except these comedians are in charge of our tax dollars.

Being optimistic we keep hoping this nonsense will stop and progress will be made.

Let's see what happens with the appointment of the Borough Attorney. Has he given us the same rates as Pat Menna, Esq? We will have to wait and see.

Forget about the popcorn, we could have used a good stiff drink!

Anonymous said...

I hope the council really studies the red light issue. I know they have other more important issues going on. I travel to cities that have these traffic lights already. I am a firm believer they cause more accidents then they prevent. The lights that I have experienced have a short timed yellow light. This may be different in New Jersey where the yellow lights are timed correctly. At the lights that have cameras people panic (because they dont want to get a ticked) and they stop short on a yellow if the person behind them is close, the first car can be rearended. I've seen many close calls. Our town is planning to put themselves on a list with the company who sells the lights. It sounds to me like the company is usings sales tackticts like car salesmen use. The company will set up the cameras and so all the work with the tickets. Its supposed to be easy revenue for our town. I dont thinks they are doing this out of the kindness of thier hearts. They are in it for the money. I think when things are too good to be true, there is a reason. I think that they set up people to get tickets collect the revenue, and share alittle with the people who "hook them up" I am a very safe driver, I got one ticket in 30 years. A sign that said red permitted after stop was taken down, after 20 years of my driving at that corner, and I wasnt preparred. An officer sat at the light pulling everyone over knowing that people would not notice the sign taken down. That was in another state, where in my opinon they set you up to fail, a state that has these camera lights. I agree that the corner of 34 and Broad has had its share of accidents. But at the same time from what I have observed at camera lights I think that it may cause more accidents. I think someone should look into the statistics, from sources other than the company that is trying to sell us on the idea. Im all for safety and I cant believe how some of the people drive around here. I live on a busy street and when im backing out of my driveway people actually speed up instead of slowing down. I would love to see them get a ticket and I understand our police are doing the best they can. We have great officers in Matawan, and I know that they could use the help these lights could possibly offer. Please study this, it is easier before the lights are installed because once they are up im sure if the town didnt like them and we decieded not to use them anymore. We would owe the company money I'm sure they are covered by some fancy contract (like the ones that come with Copy machienes where you owe them for years to come).

matawan advocate said...

anonymous, have to agree with you. At the last meeting we were informed that we must provide some kind of study from the Borough Engineer. Well,that is not going to be free. Depending on how detailed the study must be it could be a nice piece of change.

You are also correct in your remarks about bigger problems in the Borough. Per Councilman Cannon, the Redevelopment of the Transit Village must be put on the back burner as money is not available. We also have to make a decision on the Water Filtration Plant. The Beacon Study of Main Street Report (which was lost originally) paid for with tax dollars, to date has not been implemented. It might go unused as the Council wants to appoint a different Engineering/Surveying Company.

We will continue to keep you posted.

Thanks for your comments.