Tag Archives: Council

Election Time 2015, Vote Tomorrow


Last year, I did a blog post on the 2014 elections.  At the time I listed the accomplishments from the incumbents, and thought I would do the same this year, for those in office and running for re-election.

a) Flood mitigation – No then and no now

b) Cut Spending  – No then and no now

c) Brought back business on Bay Ave? – I’ll give them a few businesses opening, Porcini, the T-shirt shop, the Tailor.

d) Limit the time constituents have to speak at council meetings, so they don’t have to hear about not accomplishing important things, – Yes and still in effect.

e) Vote in a Resolution that all volunteers(regardless of when/how they volunteered) must add a disclosure on Facebook as an intimidation tactic so that they don’t have to read about their short comings on Facebook? – Yes, Ms Ryan was suppose to work on rewording the ordinance as to not to include volunteers, but that has not transpired.

New:

f) Web Site Committee – Stalled

g) Newsletter – Stalled

h) Clam Plant Lease, spent money on consultants but no New lease has been signed to date.

i) Borough Hall/PD out of trailers – Nope

j)  Tilt-up Memorial on Snug Harbor Beach – Yup, and without proper notifications to surrounding residents.

k) Community Center – complete as of Sunday, however the end cost of the repairs was at approximately $800,000 and FEMA covered 90%.

I also blogged about what had been accomplished 2 years after Sandy, take a look now we’re 3 years in..

So Tomorrow remember this when you Vote..

Do You Know Who Is Running For Highlands Council?


Want to Find Out And Ask Them Questions?

When/Where:

Candidate Forum Monday 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Henry Hudson High School

Agenda:

– Each candidate will give a 2 minute bio;
– There will be 4 questions that will be asked of each candidate to start the forum, which they will have prior to Monday night.
-the 4 most popular question requested by the public will be provided to them hopefully on Friday.
– They will have one minute to answer each question. (10 seconds will be the most overtime they will have, Rosemary Ryan the moderator will have someone timing this)

Break

– the Moderator will then start asking the questions from the box and ask until 8:25.
– The candidates will have a 1 minute closing statement.

How to Ask Questions:
– There will be index cards at the check in table at the high school. Each person (audience) will be able to write down one question and drop it into the clear box that will be at the door.

****If you cannot make it and would still like to send a question, PM Rosemary Ryan on Facebook or email her at roryan720@gmail.com

You can also post questions on the Borough of Highlands Facebook Page (Please note you will have to join that page to post a question)

Any questions PM’d, emailed or Posted will be added to the box at the Forum for the running Candidates to answer.

There should be a video tape made available after, for those who can not attend.

Sewer Bills And Council Seats


On the 17th Highlands Council Meeting, during the public portion section. It was asked if all the council were up to date on their Highlands Sewer Bills and stated if they were not, it wasn’t right. Especially after Sandy when so many people were displaced and still required to pay Sewer bills for properties that were not habitable.

Previously, it was indicated that there was no way the town could waive any sewer fees because our I&I was the same, and the town’s bill had to be paid.

So doesn’t it seem unreasonable that if the town “must” pay their “town” sewer bill, and regular Joe residents must pay “their” bills, that the individual council members must pay “their” bills.

BTW – you can now pay your bill online. Makes it even easier..

5 Things From The Highlands 8/20 Council Meeting


5There are MANY things going on in town. The following are just 5 Highlights, to see everything you’re going to have to watch the video:

To view the full meeting click here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/highlands-meetings

I.  R – 14 – 145/146 Declarations of Clam Purification Appointments (All the terms ended May 31) Before assigning new appointees, the CP committee was supposed to provide a report. Which they to date have not. So technically there isn’t a full committee but they need a report from the full committee in order to re-appoint certain members of the committee.   For those that didn’t realize, the Borough of Highlands actually “owns” the clam purification plant in town and receives rent from the business that is there. Although, the lease was written a long time ago and very inexpensive. It was up for renewal in 2015. Whether it auto-renews at the same rate or we renegotiated the rental receivables is still up in the air because “we don’t have a report from the clam purification committee.”  And to be fair most of our committees don’t seem to meet regularly.  – End all be all , council pushed this back until September meeting.  I personally would rather see action than inaction here, there is potential increase in rental revenue at stake.  Even more irritating, there were 2 members of the Clam Purification Committee at the council meeting. (Francy & Nolan) No excuses on why no meetings and why no report and what the heck is going on.

II.  Finance Report (From CFO) An audit started last week & constant Reviewing of the Budget is occurring, preparing for delinquent 2013 taxes, CFO recommended considering online tax sale to save money. The 3/4 qtr sewer bills were mailed out and they were due on Aug 11 with a 30 day grace period.

III.   Bonding capacity is limited to 3 1/2% of the net town evaluation (What the town is worth), Right now we’re at capacity and we have $ 2 1/2 million away from our cap. The real concern (according to the new CFO, you know one of the highest paid NJ employee) is any new projects, i.e. new municipal building, a new police station, repairing the current crappy sewer system, repairing the community center, add any other project here could put us over our cap.  What is a bond, its kind of like a credit card and our limit is based on what the town is worth. So based on everything we’ve borrowed, we’re almost at our limit with only $2 1/2 million to spare.  (If this doesn’t scare you, it should)  Our CFO suggests that we need to re prioritize our projects. (You can listen to 35 min to 45 min mark)

IV.    Two Minute Rule was discussed in executive session, the following points were brought up there-

   a) There have been times were they go around the room more than once asking for public input. (Of course this was before they put the 2 min rule in play.)

   b) Sometimes in the past it was just informal and people just spoke out.

   c) Maybe if its less people, letting speaking longer is an option and if there is a ton of people the 2 minute rule will take effect.

       Net/net – the lawyer needs to do some investigation and they pushed off until September to make any decisions. (Shocker) Oh and by the way *we* as in the town tax payers have to pay for him to do this research. This should be a no brainer and a decision made, then move on. If you ask why? Look at point #3.

V. Also in the public portion it was brought up about the APP.com article stipulating that under current policy that predates Sandy, FEMA will credit disaster-stricken communities for the free labor that volunteer firefighters, first aid squad members as well as private individuals and volunteer groups provided, and for other “donated resources,” such as free meals, bottled water and cleaning supplies. Highlands has yet to collect the hours or a donated resource list or started the paperwork.

According to the council, “we have not missed out on this yet”, however, it wasn’t explained when the drop dead date for the application actually is and why this information needed to be submitted was not collected yet.

Are The Extra Workshops Helping Sea Bright Recover?


In a recent post on Word at the Shore Sea Bright Officials highlighted the importance of improving the borough’s riverfront and access to it. It went on the outline how they are currently in the permitting process with DEP and how a landscape architect is donating services for a landscaping plan for a proposed new park.

Which got me thinking how is Sea Bright doing it? What do their council agendas/meetings look like and how are they different than ours. So I looked. One of things I noticed is that in 2014 they added workshopssb mun web site to their monthly meetings.

Are they legally “required” to have these meetings, probably not. However these are the topics discussed at their extra meetings: (Taken from March 2014 WorkShop)

BOROUGH OF SEA BRIGHT WORKSHOP

MARCH 13, 2014 (THURSDAY)

1.Municipal Parking Lot(Chief Sorrentino)

2Public Assistance Projects, FEMA and Insurance Updates (N. Sherman)

3.Dune systemupdate (Verruni/Mayor Long/Murphy/Philpot)

4.Cell Tower (Kelly)

5.Beach Pavilion (Kelly/Verruni)

6.Firehouse update (Verruni/Sherman)

7.Police Building update (Chief Sorrentino)

8.NJ Maritime Resources/Beach sand (Murphy/Verruni) enc.

9.Director of Public Safety (Verruni)

10.Appointment of Safe Evacuation Committee (Mayor Long)

 

To put things in perspective, here is our agenda for the next meeting this Wednesday June 18

 

TBT: How’s the Council Doing NOW?


A year ago I did a poll on how residents thought the Council was doing with Sandy Recovery, I wanted to do a re-poll and see how you’re thoughts have changed?

2013 poll

Poll Results April 2013

 

Who’s Running in the May Highlands Elections?


voteIts “NOW” final we have candidates for the upcoming May elections for 2 council seats. (ah-hem)

The following people are running:

Chris Francy

Doug Card

Larry Colby

Ricky O’Neil

Rebecca Kane

John Urbanski 

Pick 2 Candidates:

How do you think the Highlands Town Council is Doing?


Ok, so I stole the idea for this poll from Sea Bright 411, but I thought it was applicable to Highlands as well..

Highlands Council Meeting To Be Streamed Tonight


THANK YOU CAROLYN

For those of you who can’t make the council meeting tonight at the High School, an attempt to stream it will available here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/highlands-meetings

The meeting starts at 8pm, the agenda is as follows:

Consent Agenda:
1.  R-13-84 Resolution Establishing Policy Re: Video Recording of Mtgs
2.R-13-85 Resolution Appointing Sewer Plant Operator
3.R-13-86 Resolution Approving Scaturro Sewer Easement Deeds
4.Payment of Bills & Supplemental Payment of Bills
5.Minutes: March 6, 2013 Regular & Executive Session
WORK SHOP MEETING
 Committee Reports:
1.Finance
 2.Public Safety
 3.Administration
 4.Library
 5.Highlands Business Partnership
 6.Shared Services
Public Questions