The reconstituted Council elected Councilwoman Peggy Malkin as the new Council President and Acting Mayor. Councilman Murray and Councilwoman Filepp were appointed to fill the unexpired terms of Michael Ticktin and Jill Lipoti, respectively, which have one year remaining, while Councilwoman Parrott was appointed to compete the term of Stacey Bonna.
By law, vacancies for terms with at least a year remaining are filled only until the results of the November election are certified by the Monmouth County Board of Elections, but a vacancy in a term expiring at the end of the current year is filled until the end of the year. Thus, Councilwoman Parrott will continue in office by virtue of her appointment until the end of 2017, while Council members Murray and Filepp hold office by virtue of their appointments only until shortly after this Election Day, November 7. At that time whoever is elected to the unexpired terms will take office, as will the Mayor who is elected then.
Given that half of its members are new, the reconstituted Council reorganized its committees. The committees are now as follows, with the first member named being the chairperson:
Administration: Maureen Parrott, Michael Hamilton, Peggy Malkin
Community Development/Code Enforcement: Robin Filepp, Maureen Parrott, Joe Trammell
Environment, Health and Safety: Nick Murray, Robin Filepp, Peggy Malkin
Finance: Peggy Malkin, Michael Hamilton, Joe Trammell
Public Works: Michael Hamilton, Robin Filepp, Nick Murray
Utilities: Joe Trammell, Nick Murray, Maureen Parrott
The Council appointed Ira Karasick, Esq. as municipal attorney, replacing Richard Shakley, who had resigned. Mr. Karasick had served as municipal attorney prior to the appointment of Mr. Shakley at the beginning of the Yeshiva controversy in 2005, and Acting Mayor Malkin said that the decision to hire him to serve until the end of 2017 was based, at least in part, on his being familiar with Roosevelt from his prior service.
Also at the October 11 meeting, the Council passed a resolution authorizing a contract to City Connections, LLC, a company that serves many other municipalities, for a Borough website. At the October 23 meeting, Councilwoman Parrott announced that the new website, at www.rooseveltnj.us, is now in operation and anyone wishing to receive emails of any items posted on the website can sign up online to do so. Also at the October 11 meeting, the Council received the 2016 audit and approved submission of a grant application and execution of a grant contract with the New Jersey Department of Transportation for improvements to Nurko Road and the Elm Court project.
Councilman Michael Hamilton, chairman of the Public Works committee, reported on October 11 that the Council was seeking a public works maintenance employee. The job pays up to $25/hour for up to 24 hours a week. He encouraged local residents to apply. As of the October 23 meeting, several applications had been received.
At the October 23 meeting, the Council passed resolutions renewing the agreement with Monmouth County for transportation services for seniors (SCAT), authorizing a shared services agreement with Monmouth County for the cleaning of storm drain inlets and authorizing an agreement with Jan Bilyk, doing business as Whisper Acres, for animal control services.
Councilman Michael Hamilton reported that the new roof on the Borough Hall was almost completed. He also stated that Roosevelt residents could now dispose of computers and televisions by dropping them off in Hightstown at a dumpster at 156 Bank Street between 7:00 AM and 2:30 PM, Monday through Friday. No one is there to assist in putting the items into the dumpster, however. Computers and televisions are the only electronic items that can be dropped off.
Councilman Joe Trammell, Utilities committee chair, reported that new equipment, including chlorine and pH measuring devices and new valves, had been received and were being installed in the water plant. He also reported that generators at the plants had been repaired and would be checked four times a year.
Councilman Nick Murray, Environment, Health and Safety chair, reported that there was a need to appoint a new Office of Emergency Management (OEM) director. The OEM director is required to be a resident of the municipality, to have at least a high school diploma and to have completed, or to complete within a year of taking office, courses providing the knowledge needed for the position. Councilman Murray also reported that the Environmental Commission, of which he is a member, had voted to recommend renaming the Roosevelt Woodland Trail in memory of Ron Filepp, the late husband of Councilwoman Robin Filepp, who quietly devoted great effort for many years to the ongoing maintenance of the Woodland Trail, walking it regularly and doing whatever work needed to be done to keep it safe, passable and attractive. Municipal attorney Karasick is going to prepare a resolution renaming the trail as recommended. Mr. Murray further reported that Roosevelt had received Bronze Level certification from Sustainable Jersey for meeting a long list of environmental and cultural goals and would be among the municipalities recognized for its accomplishments at the November conference of the State League of Municipalities.
Acting Mayor Malkin and CFO George Lang reported that Roosevelt had scored 88% on a Best Practices Worksheet prepared for municipalities by the Division of Local Government Services in the Department of Community Affairs. Of 25 questions, Roosevelt was found to be in compliance with 17 and not in compliance with three, with five being inapplicable. (The three with which Roosevelt was not in compliance were as follows: timely receipt of the audit--because certain potential litigation settlement issues were not resolved soon enough; the need for a written policy not to compensate non-union employees for accumulated sick leave after a certain date; and proposing the annual budget no later than February 10 and adopting it no later than March 20.) A municipality that receives a score below 80% can be penalized by a reduction in State aid, but that has never been a problem for Roosevelt.
Environmental Commission chairman Eitan Grunwald told the Council that he and his wife would soon be moving from Roosevelt and that he would therefore soon have to resign from the Commission. He expressed his appreciation for having had the opportunity to serve the community for many years and urged that a suitable replacement be named. He noted that, in conjunction with the forest management grant that the Borough had received, he and Councilman Murray had attended classes to meet the requirement that two residents of the community, at least one of whom is an official, must receive appropriate training, and that another person will now have to receive that training as well. Acting Mayor Malkin and others expressed appreciation for all the fine work that Mr. Grunwald has done for the community for so many years and expressed the views of all that he will be greatly missed.