Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Haiti Report from Marilyn, Trees, Snow Removal, Credit Card Payments, Noise Top List

Asbury Radio's Reporter's Notebook:

At the first Council Meeting of March, the council and audience heard a first hand report on the Haitian Earthquake from recently returned Marilyn Schlossbach and Mark Steiner. A memorial is planned for Sunday (See more below).
City council Meeting – 3/3/10 –
City Considers Taking Payments via Credit Cards
Boxing Ring Costs $260,000 to Build
Noise/Nuisance Ordinance Introduced
Present: all except Kevin Sanders
Sue Henderson, Deputy Mayor John Loffredo, Mayor Ed Johnson, James Bruno

Donald Sammet, dir of redevelopment and planning for city is looking into creating an historic preservation ordinance to be part of the zoning ordinance. Ex of how historic elements have impacted developers is Sachman Enterprises credits for restoring the Steinbach building.

Garrett Giberson, “public maintenance Superintendent” – Central Business District (CBD) Tree Planting Discussion:
Handout for council – 7 pt criteria / low maintenance, clean, no fruit – 8 of old Bradford pear trees hv come down since july – by nature not city. One fell during 4th of july parade. 18 ft trees…quite a few have, he refers to handout to council. Audience doesn’t have copy. Beautiful trees no doubt but brittle and limbs falling. 2 pub hrgs in march of ’03, reviews that year and mtgs. Plan review chamber of commerce. Decision then was to remove trees and Bradford pears not to be recommended for replanting. Sept 09 concept dev by hyer and gruel, at time engineer asked for comments. He used Trees for NJ Streets as ref. It’s been a rigorous process from 02 till the present.
Mayor Johnson: spkg to people in town mst upsetting is not so much saving trees at end of their life, but the sense of beauty, the hard part medicine to swallow.

GG: Be done in 315 days, blk by blk approach

Mayor – can save any?

GG – some of smaller, other species of pear trees that don’t hv weaknesses of Bradford, younger trees root system may be stronger
Bruno: is there a tree sanctuary somewhere?
GG – don’t think so
Mayor – understand first phase is Lake Av and work into CBD. Is it possible to phase, one of concerns businesses have also in summer lack of shade, is it pos to begin process to ensure trees stay up in summer. Hate to see a summer town w/ no trees. Ask people to come down…
City manager Reidy: may be possible trees planted blk by blk after construction on the bloks completed.
Mayor: don’t want us to end up 2 yrs for now, replace trees and hv no funding. We were going to hv to chrge the businesses, but now it’s going to be the stimulus money, we’re not going to assess the prop owners $25k each. Want to do it now while we hv the funding.
Bruno: Do we hv the funding now?
Reidy: ref to Obama money…(cdn’t hear)
GG – state planted 30 on top of other plantings, 100 in VFW area.
SH: know your concern. Can people plant their own? Sustainability to recycle and reuse.
GG – probably not going to get a contractor to save trees for replanting. Should be recycling though, firewood.
Mayor: or mulch
GG – we actually have two sites for distributing mulch for free

City atty, Fred Raffetto – noise ordinance – our ordinances are unenforceable, office prepared sound ordinance, which introduced pending now. Members of biz commun seeking to promote redev efforts, mixed use dev residences in close prox to entertainment biznesses. Danger put biz out of biz. Nuisance code provides more discretion to municp officers. Agreement was to pursue a nuisance code. Ord before you this evening was reviewed by noise subcommittee. Would repeal rules re noise ordina/ code, police and health can enforce and citizen can file complaint in munic crt/ w/ not supplant rights of individuals to lodge complaints with county health. First route for rep of city to use nuisance code. Hopefully nuisance code can balance interests… Can be introduced tonight or
Reidy: audience members who vol on noise comm.. thanked them. Think sev’l issues that were resolved by citizens coming to table together.
Agree w/ introduce nuisance ord tonight.

Reidy – lst mtg mayor asked where are we in analysis of depositing city’s money. First time in history of ap finance officer put together inform form and asked for rates and related svcs info from the banks in area. Use of credit cards was one item.
Christine Paulin – acting CFO – 4 bnks got request 1.125 to qtr percent variable in rates. Feder’l gov giving only 1.25 at moment. City wanted new svc for community, use credit cards for certain svcs for the city/ asked what fees, etc. wd be involved. One had cap on what wd chg if over in a month/ one said wd waive fees. These fees do not include using the property tax fees/ just beach badges, pkg, court fees now. Use either or both of 2 banks that wd give us cap.
Mayor: I know there’s a utility that chg u to pay online, outrages me and I don’t use it. Paid $5 to use it. Should we lv it up to resident to decide pay fee or not.
Reidy: mst time if use ccd they chg you a fee $5 or … If you’re paying $1k …. What you’re recommending tonight let us get into the credit card bizness then we’ll see…not saying no to that. This took a while to work thru come back w/ thee recommendations. It’s like dealing with CIA to ask bank what they’re going to charge for ccd transactions. Varies large or small amounts/ fees up to a certain am’t for x transactions/ Some vague, we’ll let you know when you get there. We’re going to be rigorous in examing the infom.
Mayor: Like the little kid w/ the pony…
Reidy: Yes (laughter)
Mayor: if use for fees, w/ it be ready for beach office on bdwk
CP: W/ go back to 2 who gave proposal and w/ let you know by next council mtg.

James Famularo, Asst City Mgr: update on boxing facility – Gannon was lowest bidder to construct vibrant physical center/ if not for elevator wd’ve been completed by Dec 09. Elevator del’d from Midwest, which was also hit by snowstorms/ tk time to get up and running/ behind about 4 wks/ w/ hv installed next week/ second phase is put proper equip’t in fac. Cost so far $260,000 – city contributed $170k, Interfaith Neighbors put $90k in/ $14k remaining w/ use to buy equipment. John Loffredo did ask about the boxing facility’s appearance/ it’s Bishop blue and black right now. We got donation from cameo bar of equipment/ Kevin Johnson fought heavyweight championship on HBO and he’s offered to sign it for us and visit the kids. Grand Opening prob w/ be End o f month or first wk in April for grand opening, which w/ be small bcz mst eq’t won’t be in there then

Rev Sony, Marilyn Schlossbach (co-owner of Langosta Lounge and soon to open new restaurant with a papal theme in old Mattison Park), Mark Steiner, who owns Agency NJ,
…, were in Haiti last week- here to giv update
First off wnt to thank everyone here to allow me to be ambassordor of sorts of everyone back home/ “lifechanging experience” different perspective on community, wld live in and way do bizness in my community”
We had a conve here about cd we mill our trees and send to Haiti/ bldg has no restrictions on concrete/ rebld lkg at wd be steal and wood/ problems there so overwhelming/ seeing from sony’s eyes 40 yrs ago when he was a child, hills green, abundance…
Before quake they were starving, had nothing/ how do we go forward? Keep people donating/ very resilient people, kind and welcoming, see them get dressed from work or church from a tent or car/ these are wkg people living in tent camps, everyone struggling/ our job we’ll show film that we shot/ what it feels like to be in port au prince/ all they wnt to do is getingot their uniforms and go to school and learn English/ they see a great future in obama/ how to keep this going, overwhelming feeling not pull us down/ visited orphanage they hope to rebld. Hope people w/ go there one day to help/ thank council allowing me to be a voice for this community. (no applause)

SH: organized a day, this Saturday, for 2010 Census kickoff , 2 – 4 Thurgood Marshall – dance academy, drummers from Asbury Tower,
DEP been withholding a lot of grant money/ we put app in and got $450k grant/ one of projects put in got ok on install nj dep appr’d, treatment device at end of Comstock st., huge pipe that flows into Deal Lake by HS, this will keep solids from flowing into lake.
JL: took tour w/ engineer by lake today…
Eve Silver, Community Liaison - Memorial for Haiti Saturday – events all day, noon movie at Showroom, all day events at Paramount (followed by Oscar Shorts). Memorial is jt effort of AP and Neptune at 6 pm/ mark stiener and Marilyn at 5 PM will explain about their trip to Haiti. Sense of purpose and …movie at paramount at 12/ click shore4Haiti
Wkshop adjourned/
Public session
James Henry: asked status of Kevin Sanders
Reidy says Councilman Sanders had operation, both knees replaced. Very rough time, mvg him to rehab sections.
James Henry – Wishes Sanders well.
Vernice McGriff – compliment snow people. This is area where don’t get snow, at some pt we did coordinate, got people put all cars on one side and switch bk and forth/ think need put some rules out in writing, snow plow going here so move cars there/
Bruno – reverse 911
Reidy – thanks w/ pass that on
Resident from Cookman Ave – noise/ nuisance ordinance…hope it w/ let all live harmoniously downtown/ also know sammet wants to change ord to allow drinking establishments on upper floors/ not fair to people who’ve invested already, and dev who continue to invest in condos/ hasn’t been enforced very well/ shouldn’t hv left/ signif prsentation shdn’t hv lft before public comment.
Reidy – not his style wdn’t hav left knowing… this is a conversation we’ve been having for past cpl yrs. Entertainment music, all that plays in the city. Wasn’t a knee jerk reaction, oh they wnt to put this in (entertainment on upper flrs – prob refers to Upstage new owner ) it brought an opp to examine this/
Resident – six mos ago Don said it wasn’t a good idea (put entertainment on upper flrs)
Rita Marano – spec officer giving tkts in middle of snowstorm, shd exercise some discretion/ he said you, Reidy, ordered it.
Mayor – anything else bef respond?
Reidy – I get that it sounds crazy. Here’s why did it: first snowstorm chaotic out there, not enforcement to mk easy for plows to get thru strs. Etc. reviewed w/ principals. Unfortunately, police dpt’s tool is to enforce the law/ if snow covered or alternate side/ w/ second storm, we used rverse 911, pls get car off streets…when did enforce it better results / streets clr/ part is an education process need to mv cars, comply w/ law or get summons/
Rita: One day he ticketed every car and street sweeper didn’t even come.
Bruno – you missed his pt for plows to come by
Rita: but plow didn’t come by
Patrick Durkin – stars redev area, updated picture, rough in, sheet rock in plc now/ house mkg great projecress, tues getting sided. But interesting news on Av A affordable hsg alliance broke ground on all of their 4 houses/ construction underway on our partners as well / we using local plumbers, buying windows siding from siding depot ap, min of 20% of local labor and mat’ls/ we do not hire any laborers on these jobs who wk for interfaith neighbors/ there’s a misperception sometimes what the skills are needed. Typically they’re on the job less than one week. We’ve gotten bids from local contractors, still need a list from city on who local contractors are.
Joe Woermer – third av, trees nice bit of democracy in town/ often public underestimate the work of the council on projects, think it was good comuni and wkg together for plan w/ trees. To SH fantastic news on storm system.
Denise Richardson - Ridge Av – complaint thurgood marshall, wire hanging from pole, called DPW, someone pulled up and later two others but weren’t there for the wire/ called 5 times/ asked employee to call on his phone to DPW. Someone from school told her he called 3 wks to complain/ the wire he felt was electrical. Called Giberson he said it’s been snowing for 3 wks/ she disputed that. He agreed it could be electrical. Wd tk care of in next cpl of days. She wasn’t satisfied. She threatened to go to mayor, giberson sasy tell him I said hello. Gave Terry a call and went to see him. He was out. Seemed to me an I don’t care attitude, serious and he just blew me off. I volunteer from my heart and w/ do anything you gentlemen ask me to do/ to pay someone to wk in your city w/ an attitude like that you hav a problem.
Reidy: I’ve already apologized to Ms R. I w/ follow up.
Chief Keddy says wasn’t electrical.
Reidy – doesn’t matter we didn’t know that. When call city shd be a response.
Resident & Cookman Merchant – CBD w/ be wonderful improvement. It’s been a very bad season for us downtown. Terrible idea to tear up cookman in july and august, such a prime season for making money for merchants. Proposal other resident mentioned/ wonder if we cd hold mtg w/ downtown merchants and residents w/ don sammet. Jst hope doesn’t mean there’s going to be… (cdn’t hear)
Mayor – are some hard facts require we follow timeline but everyone trying to lessen impact.
Jerrry Scarano – heavy rain and snow/ maybe when do title transfer for houses code cd ensure wkg pumps for houses. Sump pumps inspection, cheaper in long run. NJMonthly, March issue, List of Best Places to Live AP is 561 out of 566, we shd find out why ap did so bad and how we can respond. How we went from 538 last yr to 561, someone needs to explain/ city needs to do something. Hurts real estate values. (No response from council)

End of public session –
App’d minutes last mtg
Payroll – $1,314,371. 37
Bill resolution $848, 548.11 for two weeks
All approved –
Reappointments – deal lake comm.. SH reappointed, all yes
Wesley Lake, dir of pub wks or designate/James Henry, trish lesinski, etc. all yes
Ltr from J Henry, since appt’d planning bd resigning from taxi comm.. w/ lv when filled
Reappoint Donald Moliver to do city appraisals /fees up to $45k approved
Resolution as per Don Sammet – directed planning bd to take action according to state statute (#)
Ordinance – transfer of Av A lots, all yes
Ordinance – introduction of revised nuisance ordinance concerning noise, yes
Public hrg regulation of licenses alcohol control Mamosa Act, says Mayor, all in favor aye. Allows alcohol to be sold at 10 AM on Sundays
Decision on Bids for Reval carried forward – bids rec’d on 1/14/10
Proclamation read by JLoffredo equality for persons w/ developmental and intellectual disabilities / honoring the Arc of Monmouth County
Meeting Adjourned --
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