Wednesday, December 15, 2010

City Auditor Warns State Has Tough Rules for New Budget Game

City Introduces Bond Ordinances for Millions More
Auditor Warns of Governor's Wishes for No Exceptions 2% Cap
Debt Service Would Have to be Met from Taxes or Cuts
35 Cops Could Go from Payroll

 Reporters' Notebook - Corrections, spellings, clarifications welcome

Asbury Park Council meeting Dec 15, 2010 – Henderson, John Loffredo, Ed Johnson, Kevin Sanders, Jim Bruno, Steve Kay, Clerk all present

Workshop - (Executive Session ran past 6 pm - , click calendar date 12/15/10 for agendas)

City Manager Terry Reidy introducing David Kaplan, city's auditor:

Lot still to be ironed out in Trenton with state budget matters in flux. Sent layoff plan down to Trenton this wk as you know req’d us to pass $804k emergency approp last yr

Primer on what we see happening in 2011

David will take us through a slide presentation/ what laws are how it concerns city

Kaplan -

First slide, cap laws – were two kinds: relevant to appropriations and levy cap laws – approp one still in effect/ tried to limit appropriations that are in control of city – such as supplies – capital improvements etc outside control/items funded by grants are outside the cap. Don’t know if w/ hav changes to approp-type cap / levy cap limits & approp in tax levy/ was 4% last yr, 2% this yr/ as per Gov Christie wanted no exceptions. legislature said too hard to do that/ are some exceptions in the law now, not been changed yet/ best guess w/ their interpretation…debt svc and costs will remain outside the levy cap for now/ health ins costs over 4% are included - / 16.7% inrs this yr, not all if increases are as much as 30% w/ be outside cap

TR - City gov had discretion before/ not now, each town’s voters w/ have the say now/ so if the 2% levy cap means hv to lay off 20 cops and fireman, if they exceed the levy cap, can only save half the jobs. Now we need referendum/ ask pub if appv exceeding cap for this reason…Much necessary to do this - Really an education process, residents say don’t wnt to vote for that because taxes w/ go up/ you have to explain that police protection may reduce crime may imprv public safety, values go up, etc.

Kaplan – referendum process still proceeding, so stay tuned for that one/ we’re $2mn over levy cap now/ 2% levy cap impos to deal w/ unless …changes…applied for $13.3 or more last yr/ shortage on cops has to be made up this yr/ 1.4 in bank, used 1.3 this yr w/ be lucky to hv $300k, pensions and health costs risen again/ no way state w/ provide what is in 2011/ so what do we do...

First is to raise revenue, is possibility from major sources – 2 are being investigated as we spk and w/ be in plc next yr/--Kaplan doesn't name these two --

Second: cut costs, reductions in staffing levels, outsource functions done in hse/ extend benefit reductions thru contract negotiations/ shared svc agreements, long term plan for debt reduction.

As of now inaction is not an option, need to act whether referencum or not/ formalize and implement cost reduction plan immediately, wait for DCA to formalize their rules/ every town facing the same things. Old Game over stuck w/ some tough rules in new game.

TReidy – regionalizing expenses dramatically reduce costs, still on table, we’re still advocating for , shared svcs too,

Giv u sense of whats ahead for us/ bigger policy issues need to present to gov body, police chgs on reduction/ incrs revenue – bring bk to you jan or feb/ we’ve been really on this/ everything’s in motion/ read the stories every day/ lot of this is like being on the inside and waiting for the dust to settle/ as soon as anone…inaudi ble, off mic

Brian Grant – pavers in CBD

Primarily the weather, street trees, try to complete before spring 11, concrete if we pour now, rock salt for street would totally destroy concrete for sidewlks, recommending , street lites prob // use ? as a fill in meantime/ haven’t graded off yet/ instead of completing option, paver colors originally gray, but so much concrete now wd rather some contrast, new autumn, a reddish paver, muted color blnd in w/ what hv now. After install fdns and street lights// present to PBd mon nite, like color, and recommendations

$2 sf/ concrete is $4 sf, but if hv contractor install 6 – 8$ SF/ cdn’t hear what the substitute was/

Pour bases in concrete…

Next item – springwd av constructions/ met w/ ms Campbell lst thurs nite, sim concerns raised at prev council mtgs, revised format from legal to letr size/ first pt of contact, second pt w/ be…??

We also cited maintenance item/ left few holes open/ safety concern, addressed following dwy/ today paved dewitt to sprinwd, mckinly place – applying blankets to keep ground from freezing/ any improvement do for contractor/ get area buttoned up/ met w/ sisters academy, come to accommodations for Christmas concert/ close spwd ave bet dewitt and ridge, major storm damage/ sister Marylou not completely happy but reached accommodation. Hoping to resume next Wedn.

Focusing on concrete curb and paving…wd like to immobilize Christmas thru jan. if don’t hv concrete sidewks like to stabilize/ school by Ridge, apt bldg on ridge, come bk mid jan finish off/ final grading and landscaping on borden av, sched for t’w grade and fix up landscaping/ everything currently working on w/ be based.

Sanders says too long a break..

Grant invites Sanders to come out and see we’ll discuss there.

Housing authority presentation:

Mark Holmes Exec Dir of the AP Housing Auth, introduces Carl Accettola (CA), former supv for HUD in NYC/ asset to the APHA / very excited about the Boston Way plan, sev’l mtgs w/ staff and residents, everyone very excited about this/ phones are inundated w/ calls / pop very excited about all constru sp’wd etc. Key is communication w/ residents, answered all q’s / everyone very happy, said first time anyone ever came and spk to them/ PNC Bank discussed budget and banking, opening up ckg accounts/ write a ck instead of money orders/ said 5% of amer w/ never buy home or want to buy a home/ bring residents info options on home ownership/ vouchers pay mortgage for 15 yrs/ they can establish credit – thru payments of gas and elec bills/ prop sits in midsts of transportation center/ everyone s/hv safe healthy envir w/ services / can share more details w/ hsg process/

CA: I'm Monmouth county resident self, colts neck, pleased to be in Asbury, wonderful plc, falls in line w/ overall plan of sustainable dev/ HUD realizes not efecctive to put money in …recently had park study done, code and prop stds, cost w/ be $17mn, total dev cost $27mn/ key component of process / giv everyone …process, after demo app’d, no one left out in cold, vouchers to go anywhere in the country for 30% of their income// costs city of ap nothing/ all applic process comes from fed’l grant $/ in no way going to impact city of ap budget/

Ed Johnson – when? …demo permits

Carl Accettola (a former HUD employee, is no longer affiliated with HUD, he is a consultant to APHA)

– ASAP \applic 4 mos, like to see it start in summer, however, demo not going to tk plc until adoption…???... places to move…

MH – section 8 vouchers / some vouchers w/ go to residents right away/ setaside some for early residents to mv process along.

EJ – what in plc if resident chooses to stay in AP

MH – there are a small numb who hv asked if they can stay in public hsg. We said sure/ voucher is good for 60 days we can extend to 120 days…I’m a licensed realtor myself/ we’re going to do everything we can ourselves. Whether it’s second av or Montana/

AC – one of my grt passions in life, is to mk sure all amer get fair hsg, include din that wd be that disabled people hv same accessibility, 5 story wk ups in boston way just didn’t afford that/

MH – you really can help us/ city mgr been really helpful in discussing various possibilities, I’ll be mtg w/ james famularo…some residents relocating to wash av, so / I get a little aggressive, I mov a little fast, but I’m not going to be satisfied unless everyone has hsg.

EJ – how many people

MH – 96 households/ hv to pay the rent, be a good resident, if you’re not, not going to live here/ still hv to obey rules of HUD.

Tom Gilmour – next yr we will hv an acctg of how much is made in spec events fees.

Interfaith Neighbors Team presentation –

Paul McEvely, Heather….,

Announce new program conceived by and run by youth corp members /

youth member Quahmel McMillian is spkg, not on mic/ something about soup and coffee for people sleeping rough... We came up with this to help community/ (He refers also to Karim Berry, another youth corps member in the chambers and Brendan Ward, an intern from Monmouth University working on the project.)

McMillian - we will set up on sprwd and atkins in that area/ I’d like to thank Wachovia regional fdn, for grant to help us get started. After I graduated the youth prog I went to culinary school so …/ like to thank frank’s deli, marilyn schlossbach, Harvey construction Mon thru Thurs 4:30 to 6:30/

Paul - by the new home of the future senior center/ w/ be interfaith van there, temp lighting, apprec help from tony nuccio/ cdn’t do this if not for passion of youth to help people in neighborhood.

EJ – asked for email version hat we can put out/

SH – asked if cd put it on the big sign on the Main St.

Steve K – do we want to keep mtg sched/ so wk session wd go directly into pulbic instead of waiting until 7.

JL – I think people shd attend the work session.

4 – 6 exec, 6 – 7 worksession/ 7 public session

SH – after listening to depressing report on everything going to occur next yr, I’d like to thank the youth corp for picking up my spirits for the holiday

JBruno – merry Christmas, kwanza, everthing, happy holidays and happy new year and what I wnt for Christmas I want..

KS - jst like to wish everyone happy holiday

EJ – congratulate everyone who partook in kwanza/ wish everone happy holidays

TR – want to thnk everyone who comes to these mtgs, to keep gov honest/ all staff who get up everyday to mk

3 items will be brought from exective session so that council can vote on them:

Resolution to submit ordinance introduced at special mtg this wk, 12/7, $250k, for possible litigation costs in connection with iStar, to finance board of DCA to review bond ordinance

$3 million for senior center

Another Bond Ordinance for $1,465,635 Mn introduced: $247,635 to cover severance liabilities in retiring employees, $394,000 workers comp cases, and $824,000 for police arbitration.

Ordinances will be heard on the bonds at Jan. 5th meeting.

Resolution to allow Extension of option and sale agreement lake Group AP LLC, strip of land on lake adjacent to kennedy park.

Mayor Ed Johnson called several people to the front of the chamber to be honored:

Honorees, Lorraine Stone

Gertrude Fay Hudson,

Tyrone McAllister

Tora Jordan,

Atilla …

Ebony Towns

Akeen Robbins

(names came too fast, missed quite a few)

Loffredo announces Mayor Johnson is also on the list

Students of AP academic achievement.

Public Comment Portion:

Bernard Gorsey – long branch plus many addresses in Asbury park

Been in Asbury before all you gentleman…wnt to congratulate you very pleased w/ the progress you’ve been getting since I haven’t been around. (laughs) I hv several projects, will keep under hat so competition doesn't hear, wnt to meet w/ city to share my ideas/ let’s get to wk on and mk some taxes for the city/ next yr the chanuka bush

Steve weider – 602 5th

Like to wish everyone happy holidays…despite fact my landlords hv’nt been maintainin bdgl properly/ cpl police officers, one S. McCarthy, been nasty and harassing to me/ McCarthey called me a racist after yrs of trying to help poor people…then came out to complain I was too loud when had a meg of 8 people…when he complained of loud tv, neighbor turned tv off before officer came/ Lost 150 hrs of sleep since summer/ why is police officer protecting a man know…bez he’s been there sev’l time for drugs…chief k

Timothy Jones – commuty svc leader/ need to know who to spk w/ doc procedure/ legal proceedings concerning the city? plans to sue city...

TR- Start w/ city mgr

Rita Marano – 8th ave

Few wks ago u had emergency appropriation $650k to pay for the retirees. Tonight going to do again? is it the same appropriation?

TR – yes, is same am’t, bonding allows us to spread out the payments so doesn’t boost tax up in one yr

RM - What's $3 mn for?

TR – same am’t of money jst financing it thru county so get better rate/ the $3m is for senior ctr building/

RM – how much is budget for next yr

TR – not discussed/ jst new laws, caps, guidelines hv to live w/ terms of presenting budget/

RM – hope next yr will hv balanced budget

TR – we’d love that

Jerry Scarano – LB

We hv tow truck fees, etc. when we hv drug raids is there some way to pass off fees on landlords/ think they shd hv to pk up the fees…Instead of having to layoff police officers

NOTE – Chief Kinmon confirmed 35 layoffs of police have been proposed to Trenton tocut budget costs out of 93 officers.

TR – Chf Kinmon wks closely w/ county when prop is confiscated portion comes bk to city/ if u could link fact that I’m a landlord and facilitating drug use in bldg can take the bldg/ but don’t know if they’re complicit.

Denise Richardson – ridge av

Jst listened to Lucas closing for 3 wks, big company, can’t believe…Weather? I’m sure will be better in Dec than Jan.

EJ – think that’s why this wedn they’re going to poor final layer and w’re going to meet and get involved in this.

DR – after what went thru

BG – lucas has contract to wk 566 days, lot of employees immigrants go home to families. They intend to finish job in those days or early

JB – incentive to finish early

BG – no incentive to do that/ fixed price contract

Duanne Small – 1304 mattison

Do w hv policy that when someone bids on contract their status is checked / majority of wk is being done by people who don’t live here and undoc wkrs. I’m a contractor myself, if I hire someone illegal, it is taking place here/ city shdn’t allow it/ serious prob in this city/ we need to do something about it/ as brian jst mentioned they give them weeks to go back to their own countries. What’s going on w/ these license plates, 8 cars over there w/ out of state tags. Landscape company trk registered in nj, but when he gets off wk his veh is registered in md. Understand it has to be done immediately, Johnson.

TR – we’ve had this conversation, chif discussed w/ you/ when someone is pulled over officer notes it/ pt is fact still see plates out there doesn’t mean our pol dept isn’t doing its job/ one thing to come to mic and make accusations/ we do go after people who live here and hvan’t changed registration. Illegal aliens…saying city is engaging contractos who have illegal workers…u say u know that is going on, in private you tell me who is doing that and we will investigate.

Pam Lamberton – happy holidays everyone

At last metg lots of people clamoring for city pol review bd anyone signed up for it?

EJ – got list here w/ one name on it. People who stood at mic and hav not signed up for it. Be a part of this process and be on board.

PL – other part of it is to be part of the solution…wd encourage people if open to it, take second step in civic participation,

EJ – how do you spell your name


Myra Campbell – ap

We had a mtg w/ city, hope we mv forward w/ some of suggestions brought up/ I present pictures that a full bus went down Eliz Ave, not realizing street cut off at Springwood, disappointed w/ that becz I was told there wd be some notice/ point people assigned to tk care of this problem/ want to ensure that as we go along w/ wk has to be done concerned about hlth and safety of people involved in …I enjoy coming here and talking to you and want to wish all of you a happy holidays.

Approvval of minutes from prev mtgs – all yes

Dec 1, minutes, yes

Spec mtg sanders out/ all expect absent yes

Raffles – Mt. Carmel Churchurch and PTA yes

Institutionalizing the 4 – 6 pm hours every council meeting w/ be for executive sessions…

Budget transfers for current fund…$308,000

Items of revenue : mmarquette $175k contrib. to police

Special Police $16,482

$3mn for cap budget for senior center

Monmouth county improvement authority

Extenstion of option

$1, 465,000 spec emerg notes for city of AP

Bond ord of $250k approved

Bus driver…introduction

Trash Hauling Contract -Low bidder 2 yrs, 3 yr option, DeLisa Disposal $420k a yr

TR - Great price, lower...

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