Monday, May 24, 2010

Reporters' Notebook: Council Meeting May 19th, 2010

Addition: Paul Fried responded to our request (see below). Paul and his wife live on 7th Avenue and have a food catering service. Check out the menu at He is out of the real estate business for now and has no current business relations with Metro Homes' Geibel. Let's try this with the new planning board member...
Reporter's Notebook - Corrections, Additions, Clarifications Welcome -
AP Council Meeting -- May 19, 2010

City Still Faces Doubling Property Tax
Waterfront Boardwalk Agreement Approved
Washington Avenue Redevelopment Plan Proposed
Budget Cuts Reviewed

Dog Licenses Go Up
Parking Fee Revenue is Up
One-Way Streets Proposed

Break on Sewer Fees

Whole council present: Susan Henderson, Deputy Mayor John Loffredo, Mayor Ed Johnson, former Mayor Kevin Sanders, former Deputy Mayor James Bruno
Clerk Steve Kay
Board Appointments:
Zoning Board of Adjustment -- David Otley, Aternate #1 and Paul Fried, Alternate #2. Otley is a financial officer for YMCA, in Red Bank. He lives on Third Ave. According to Asbury Radio’s records Fried had a business relationship with Metro Homes in 2005. Metro Homes is owned by Dean Geibel, developer of the stalled Esperanza. We are told Fried is no longer working with Geibel. We’d like confirm this and additional information directly with Fried, if he will contact us.
Planning Board: Glenn Wilson - please contact us with your details.

Workshop –
Will be followed by open comment on waterfront MM retail agreement.

Couple asking permission for fence: approved.

Items from City Engineer – Brian Grant
City Mgr Terry Reidy -
Trial agreement for new parking meters –
Evaluating diff meter mfrs, second generation of meters…met w/ sev’l mfrs, like permission from gov body to try alternative digital parking systems, integrated technical systems ITS, they’re confident we’ll want to go ahead once we do pilot for 6 mos.
Mayor – this will address issues of dollar bills
Grant – not a trigger mech on the bill, which causes jams on a lot of bills, hoping from mech stndpt w/ represent solution to that
Mayor – machine at shop rite snaps up the dollar bill
Grant – also credit card processing, we hv real/time processing/ sometimes uses a cell based signal, which tks sev’l minutes to authorize/ newer model can appr’ve right away and chk later, wherein some payment risk is introduced which we’d hv to absorb loss
Mayor – what’s timeframe?
Grant – run on diff oper system/ w/ try out in pkg lot so they’ll serv whole pkg lot/
Bruno – how much?
Grant- $11,500 to $13,500 Smaller footprint. Lkg to hv solar panels, higher speed modem, wd req 110 elec. Hookup

We’ve lost revenue on parking…How Much?

[Explanation from Grant 5/24/10] So far this year we’ve made over $48,000 in receipts versus $4,500 in 2009 when we turned meters off for the winter and part of spring. All fees are reported weekly and are available from the city.

A.R. Note: In 2010, the City turned meters back on shortly after Christmas holidays. We noticed though that the parking lots, which belong to Madison Marquette, were not staffed and so allowed free parking throughout the winter. Opinion: While we’d like to see an end to the city having to compete against free parking. Paying $10 to a lot attendant to park in order to have lunch discourages us and maybe tourists as well.

Commerce Dir. Tom Gilmour – on lost rev for pkg authority…street vending during large events in city/ trying to figure out how to structure pkg regulations to mk avail pkg to large vehicles and get more revenue in bargain/ we’d rent pkg spaces to vendors/ wd designate certain areas, prob side streets to the west -- first, second, third avenues/
Mayor – concern I have is…
Grant – vendors with more history with city wd get premium spots
Mayor –new pizza plc opening up can jst see where pkg cd cost him customers…(?)
Off mic
Reidy – not getting a warm welcome let’s move on
Grant – next item cabanas and storage lockers on beach, for future if potential for offering
Reidy – this is something we’ve talked about over the last 4 or 5 yrs, jimmy you said this is something we’ve had in past
Bruno – don’t understand why it doesn’t go before the committee first/
Reidy – with more and more people coming to the beach, something not in conflict w/ Madison Marquette
Bruno – ques we can’t we hv popups on beach and sell stuff on the beach/ we used to sell hotdogs on the beach – not clr whether they said you still can or can’t
Mayor – I’ve heard it would be grt to hv showers on beach…baby steps
Grant – streets on West Side improvements to on southwest/ putting streets back online, not wide enough to accommodate current traffic/ wd council be opposed to changing streets to one way?
John Loffredo – I think it’s a very good idea
Grant – we’ve been shifting curb line, like on Monroe street, to save the trees
Bruno – was there a traf study done?
Grant – this is my recommendation on it.
Reidy – police, etc. studied it
Bruno – can I see the report on it.
Grant –
Bruno – so we’re going to do this w/out a traffic study from a traffic engineer
Mayor – we shd check w/ residents to see if they want it
Grant – there’s no traf study when change street signs, no req’t/

Grant – I put in a change order for add’l $1k, from EIT money for Major consultant
Sewer connection fee ordinance/ anyone hav q’s on it? Shd city be charging add’l fees for existing bldgs w/ set fees on them/ need to ck case law thru City Atty Fred Raffetto.
Mayor – why mvg curbs for trees, is this something applicable to downtown?
Grant – Not really, we have more flex in residential areas…

Redev Dir Don Sammet – Washington Ave designated redev area in 2000, plan never adopted / hired michilain group…content of draft plan presented to council to review and pass to planning bd. Man and woman introduced by Sammett off mic/ cdn’t get names/ Names: George Williams and Michele (sounds like) Delasport – joined w/ another firm edgecomb grp for architectural work/
Read comments by staff planner/ comfortable w/ everything read, mny chgs w/ be made aft PB hrg, but wnted your opinions
Hsg auth bd members gave input as well as residents and stakeholders, then did a mini charette / Council is referred to handouts they’ve been given. Audience has none.
Stakeholders felt investment in community not made over time and impediments to walking in community. Did demographic analysis:
Lower income levels compared to rest of city
Lower owner occupancy
Higher single mother families
Supported residents’ concerns
Plan formed based on their input/ plan is to move from simple to more aggressive steps
Need for infrastructure improvements
Area includes hsg auth prop, some not included in redev area/
PB instructed to investigate jug at prospect av, but it didn’t meet qual for redev area
Areas along Monroe and… not in redev area/
Census data used is from 2000
Recommend use of more owner occupied communities
Townhouse style cd be replicated throughout where there is room for deve.
He describes the housing styles in the area/ some lk like single but on entering multi units inside/
Area is Prospect on one end and ridge on the other.
Existing multi-fam struc can be rehabbed
In redev area or not housing auth who is his client/ recommendations are to clean up what already exists, all in R1a district/ people wanting to fix wd need to gain appr’ls from city
Mixed use comm’l district/ each district to hve set of standards
3 phases – 1. preservation, rehab and infill
2. vacant lots/ no eminent domain is required/ priv sector dev.
Each schema in plan gives some overview of what is expected so that readers can get a sense…
Approp density, sustainable amenities,
Bruno – prices?
Spkr – going to provide some price pts for hsg auth.
Bruno – can they get $ help
Michelle – w/ be affordable hsg eligible
Bruno – and mixed income that’s good
Michelle – Tower building w/ be used to address affordable hsg/
DS – do need PB review and comment so unless severe objections I’d suggest you do that.
Apprv’d by council to pass on to PB.

Dog license $11.20 if spayed or neutered and $14.20 if not. To increase $2.
Mayor – can we make the dif steeper?
Bruno – how many licenses do we have
Clerk – about 180 licenses issued
Bruno – can we do something thru code enforcement, a box when person gets CO if person has a dog they ck box?
Any place in town, can we ticket them if they don’t have a license? Asked of City Pol Chief Kinmon – no can’t ticket for lack of an out of town license.
Kinmon – req second and Langford no stopping and standing/ $30 identification card fee for bars/
Bruno - did police dept appr’v those one way streets?
CK -Yes
Bruno- Did you chek it w/ traffie expert
CK -No
Bruno - Report issued?
CK- No
Bruno - Any issues raised
CK- No
Bruno – don’t know why we get a 3 pg report on a single req for a handicapped spot and nothing to change these streets.
Mayor – when are we going to see atten for people flying thru traffic lights and stop signs/
Chief – fines hv been increased for littering, traffic violations, been in plc cpl of months
Last yr close 20k pkg and moving violations / 12 more spec police for summer so will be doing more/
Bruno – pedestrian signs for 5th and Kingsley?

Chief – I’ll ck w/ our traffic officer.

Christine – interim CFO
Wesley and Sunset Lake boat rental renewal / rehab on Wesley so water levels too low/ perhaps sunset lake, w/ see which sign is allowable there.
DS – no specific sign restrictions…
CFO – sunset is deep enough

City Atty FRaffetto: sewer fee question / our existing ord not consistent w/ state law/ new language w/ clarify that existing user w/ not hv to pay add’l fee automatically, a dec to be based on a add’l flo and only then if larger pipe is req’d wd an add’l fee be applied.

Gilmour: events// handed out sheets on add’l events
Berkeley hotel – Carnival for terminally ill children/ close street from sunset to kingsley in front of hotel for an event 5/23
RFK Events 7/10 bradley and atlantic park, up to 7000 people
Alice In Wonderland – wnt to create large sand castle on our beach to promote movie, this weekend.
Bruno – should be app’d pending events mtg on Tuesday
Ride is called Euro Bobble Madison Marquette’s event.– set up and run 5/29 thru July on second av green acre space, where the second av beach club eventually goes//
SHenderson – AIDS Walk – on Sunday, had entertainers here and there, are they special events?
Gilmour – I think they are, it’s nice to have music on beach/boardwalk but shd file for special events permit.
One item, freedom of speech - individual cd come to bdwlk evry Tues, north of 6th ave or sunset pav and if individ wanted amplification equip’t would have to bring and use special area, if not not nec.
Matters to be introduced by council -
Mayor – inaudible –
Reidy – something about drains…
Interfaith neighbors, artscap, city, bruce arbit brought grant opp from ford fdn - $400k – a planning grant for artists’ facility or space/ perfect opp to used on West Side maybe in…
ArtsCAP will be applying for but helps to include support from council w/ application.
Fred drafted grant application.

Public Comment on Proposed between City and Madison Marquette for Boardwalk Retail and Pavilion Development and Maintenance–
Following is a special comment period in response to citizen requests...
Duanne Small,1304 Mattison Av, –
Jobs and training component?
Tom Hastie, Esq – agreement for construction projects req local labor (thru hsg dept, 20% local employees is goal) and bldg supplies.
DS – will you ck to see if American citizens.
TH – no
DS – needs to be, that creates poverty and poverty creates crime
TH – obligation
Mike Ferguson –
Month ago you explained reconstruction of west side, at public session here in ten mins can ask that q, right now it’s just the agreement bet madison Marquette.
(Didn’t get gentleman’s name. He had been taking movies of proceedings )
I’m OSHA qualified $110Mn
Asbury Tower, I built that building…yrs ago and they didn’t hire one person from community. I talked to mayor and nothing gotten done/ When we’re doing something again in community/ I’d like to see jobs in community…he’s going to build 10mn 7mn we’ll get nothing, you know, fireman, I’m keeping it real/ mk sure they hav union qualified contractors.
Marano – Rita –
Going to knock down sunset pavilion
TH can do
RM -And 5 yrs to bld on it
TH – yes
RM – can bld pkg lot
TH – no has to be recreation
TR – absolutely not a pkg lot
Werner Baumgartner – 402 5th Av
Bruno – welcome back
WB – thank you, helluva document got here /
270 pgs?
WB – Asbury partners went into bankruptcy
TH – Asbury Partners llc still in good standing, membership has been taken over
WB – means easements held by city on behalf of public…my knowledge of plan was there were no easements over the …maybe you meant over the green acres
TH – no it is actually over the pavilions, the ramps, over the pavilion prop
WB – the building boundaries define the actual parcels. I’m suggesting shd be looked a little closer
TH – shakes head no
WB – building at south end of boardwalk is the central steam heating plant – not a power plant
Pg 22, encroachments, anticipated elevator and stair structure on 5th ave pavilion, surprised and dismayed being added to it/ currently is a stair case and elevator on the property, no need to build outside the bldg when can envelop within the building.
In orig agreement was deal that new lighting fixtures wd be put up.
TH – that’s in section 2
WB – ugly cobra lights w/ be used?
TH – supplemented or replaced
WB -- Sunset av pav pg 31, Demolition for recr / Berkkely is struggling to survive/ pavilion was build to be connected to the hotel. Success of Berkeley is tied to success of city/ there was a bridge on the second floor to g over the ave and onto the boardwalk, wd behoove city to demand negotiation to demand link from second flr to pav because that is the linchpin for bringing commerce to both/
TR – Madison m and Berkeley ownerw dicussed w/ city 3 times/ to werner’s pt don’t disagree w/ bus pt, but it’s a business pt now between both developers/ and think both realize it wd benfit both but matter of them coming to gether to see how wd wok
Mayor – is this something that cd still happen with the sunset pavilion.
WB – it’s a design pt not an historic pt. I’d like to see an insert in plan it shd be encouraged/ not say oh well it can be a recreational /
City is stating on CH city is relieving mm from further responsiblility for restoration and repairs to CH, anyone can see, I’m shocked, that it is far from repaired/ the owner bought for great discount from city in order for city to get landmarks to be resotred.
TH – don’t think anyone’s walking away…old agreement dint’ put on Asbury partners and now MM to completely rehab that building/ see Werner
Bruno – Shipo have any guidelines?
DS – that was for all the exterior wk that had to be done/ there was a list / reviewed every improvement done in that bldg, as well as the historic trust/
WB – all they do is approve and document the wk that’s been done, doesn’t mean there isn’t more needed to be done/ terracotta is falling off and cracks in walls
TH – gazebo survives becz agreementw/ Partners, but reserved it/
WB – I strongly recommend give up on that, gazebo no room for…
Section 2 – easement encroachment agreement for CH. I’m happy you followed my advice and did include…but they can close the arcade completely during and after shows. Before and after shows is exactly when people are wkg thru… it’s not in the public’s interest/
Bruno – it’s for safety purposes
WB – Demised premises – a purchase option of $10,
TH – existing lease w/ Asbury partners was deficient for green acres/ no other biz terms in that lease are changed/
WB – that’s how much they pay/ purchase price $10
TH – it’s a lease
WB – no it says purchase
TH – (goes to his copy is looking up that section)
WB – there are 3 exhibits missing from the report, since this is a legally binding doc I think u should probably fix it.
My biggest disturbing factor – the casino is nowhere to be mentioned here/ what is the adaptive reuse
TH – our goal was to hv a tight enforceable agreement. With casino, bcz is such great bldg and requires so much investment, any agreement that says snap your fingers and improve this bldg…w/ not be approved. You saw that w/ the partners, it became so illusionary… better way is wait til they hav a plan, does refer to sev’l come bak when you have a plan…instead of creating a situation which we knew wd never be performed.
WB - …I know wv’l people in ocean grove and overriding q is when r u going to fix the casino, study showed linchpin to whole recovery is the millions of tourists to south of us, who come up the og bdwk and see main impediment , boarded windows, puddles on the terrazzo floor, arcade is a front dr to ap’s beachfront to millions of dollars/ put windows back, fix terrazzo flr and then sure a grand plan for later/ main entrance is a deterrent…applause!!!

5 minute Break—

Open Session –
Public Portion –

Joyce Stolaroff – cookman ave re. tables outside restaurants, wlking my city licenses dogs the other day and so much taken up by tables had to wlk in street. Like to know when be start being addressing again.
Chief – plans to address shortly. Usually instruct the businesses about the restrictions and …
Bruno – Grand Av bridge six of 8 are out.
Duanne Small – saw mention of a garden…
287 G Status – sheriff has now authority to check for immigration status
Mayor – want to place pots on tennis court and wk w/ young people to grow them and sell at farmers’ mkt/
DS – opp here is spec funding of garden is to hire young people to wk on garden
Also, out of state registration…
Rita Marano 8th ave –
Budget w/ be introduced tonight, can you tell us about it?
Mayor - Has been all over newspapers and will tk about it tonight.
RM - $41k to Scotland, what did he do that’s worth that?
TR – mst fes paid to Scotland is reimbursed thru developer agreement.
RM – but its’ not in that part of the bill, this was included in ours.
TR – they handle bond counsel, developer agreements, excellent law firm, guide us thru mst dif decisions and saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars.
RM - You sound like their pr person
Louise Murray –
Are tables on our right of way? If anything ever happened, who’s going to be responsible for that? If they’re falling down on our property.
Clerk – submit an insurance policy and rent the space from us.
Mike Ferguson – Washington Ave. – redevelopment efforts going on in AP, when are people of AP going to get involved in the work. They’re tearing apart AP st by st. when are we the citizens , me a union wkr, qualified, certified to rebld my community.
Mayor – we are involved, had SRO jst few wks ago, council app’d $250,000 thru Asbury Wks to wk w/ community to help them get training program for Asbury residents. Our residents involved in training and building new bldgs and infrastructure, end up w/ people licensed and trains to go forward and work in those trades.
MF – are you calling this Lukus group to be sure they’re hiring?
Mayor – I can’t tell them to hire you individually
MF – there’s bunch of Portuguese people doing the work, not anyone from AP.
Mayor – There’s not one sir.
MF – DS agrees the union job is the sewer work being done by the Lukos group. You’re blowin smoke up my ass right now.
Mayor – I’m not going to sit here and let you disrespect me. We’re doing more than any other council has ever done to be sure AP residents get jobs in this town.
MF - union was based here. We were trained by them only 7 or 8 of us, none of us are getting any.
TR – Lukos job, you say you’re qualified I don’t doubt that. DS made challenge months ago what are you going to do for young brothers and we got $250k to …
MF – hold on you’re taking me some place I don’t need to go.
TR – I’ll check this job tomorrow and if there’s a violation of fed’l law I’ll follow up on it.
MF had about 10 minutes to talk.
(Another Man) I went thru the union, he’s holding his union card, I’ve got 18 hrs of video, those workers came out of Staten Island, with Blade out of Jersey City, They’ve got a big problem, you don’t want to get me fired up. I built the Senior Tower 40 yrs ago. Now I’ll see you there tomorrow.
Steve Wider –
Problems on Cookman, should offer deal to swap condos with one end of Cookman so people who want the quiet can go to the quiet end. Make one end 3 ½ blocks all commercial. Like to see AP become city of entertainment.
Duanne Small - June 28 cousin is in major game, would you like to buy tickets I’d like to see council there.
Werner B - - right of way, I don’t hv a prob with that, you should have. One of public assets you’re charged with is protecting public space. Point is it’s illegal, there’s no personal right for a private property owner to build outside his property line. For you to allow that to happen is a disservice to the community. Part of beauty of AP is its design. Everytime allow bld outside property line encroaching on the public neighborhood’s value. Bell goes off, keeps beeping unlike with the union workers.
Small is back w/ the tickets.
Gerry Scarano –
Thinking about greeters at the train station cd be handing out emails / cd hv [“Charlie”? Trolley?] Take people from train to beach/ those people could get emails about events.

Council business
Liquor license transfer fast lane to 208 bond st, app’d by police dept. ---all yes
700 Emory St. Teretha Jones to 700 cookman, Richard Yorkowitz/ 75% for food service.

$39, 800,000 Budget introduced – State gov not announcing yet any of monies to special “Transitional Aid” to municipalities, we have to back into that, 2009 we got $10,500,000. But haven’t heard from Trenton so in this budget no aid is anticipated.
Some communities hav furloughed employees, we’ve had no raises in 3 yrs in AP
A.R. checked with payroll. No one has received a raise in AP since 2007. This includes City Manager Terry Reidy. AR is checking with Reidy to see if he declined contractually agreed to increases over these years.
Public Comment June meeting following mtg passage.

Working w/ people who wanted to retire but couldn’t, $350k of people retiring now. Is included in this budget and w/ be felt next yr.
Aggressive generating add’l revenue/ million more in combo of rev and cost savings.
Estab pkg ulity - it made in receipts $275k for 2009
Beach rev in 2009? [ Waiting response from Giberson.]
Revenue from Police dep and court, over $1mn, represents a half million jump
According to governor, Effective May 22, any muni that doen’t hv contracts where employees pay their benefits, employees w/ be req’d to pay 2.5% toward benefits
Ambulance billing up $400k over prior year.
O/T gone down/ depending on state aid w/ hv to lk at more cuts.
Horizon gave us 31% increase for employee health benefits next yr/ retirees, too, there’s already $1.5mn increase in 2010
Pension 2009 – deferred contribution to pension plan, $1.7m, is back in budget this yr. So that’s somewhat out of city’s control.
Revenues have gone down from all other state aid, energy aid, homeland security, utility aid decreased by $1.2Mn.
UEZ aid gone down
Pilot (abatements) adjusted down so payments down in 2010.
Just a snapshot of what city is facing and what we’ve tried to do.
One thing is clr isn’t one city in state of NJ that can solve rev shortages by themselves. Seriously considering consolidating services. AP appears to be only city going to Trenton to decide how this is being considered.
Impact of not having $10 mn means tax rate w/ double, but that won’t happen, because w/ likely get some State aid. If we fail to introduce the budget then we can’t be eligible for state aid.
All voted to introduce.
Agreement between city and MM –
John Loffredto - Q – wk needed to be done on CH, who signs off on that? I was part of all of that going to Trenton, when do we say this is enough?
TR – nothing in original agreement MM is required to complete. Hv to meet all the codes allow bldg to open/ restoring to what it was in 30s not a requirement.
Bruno – apologized to Werner B/ taken 2 yrs to get this done, times are tough we have to get this done/ I vote yes.
All yes
Resolution to approve grant from Ford Fdn – all yes
Move boat rentals to Sunset lake – all yes
Sewer - appr’d,
Budget – resolution – state req’d City to introduce city budget on April 30th. The state appr’d extension but needed this resolution stating we didn’t introduce it on time.
Taylor Bros - $18,000. A.R. waiting for clarification from City on purpose of payment.

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