“Foodstock Update by John Swisher, Borough Auditor and one of the founding members of Foodstock.”



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The Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold was held on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

Mayor Higgins stated that the notice of the time, date and location of the meeting had been provided pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 231 of the Laws of 1975 (Open Public Meetings Act).
Councilman DiBenedetto opened the meeting with the Salute to the Flag, followed by a moment of silence.

ROLL CALL


PRESENT MAYOR J. NOLAN HIGGINS

PRESENT COUNCILMAN MICHAEL DIBENEDETTO

PRESENT COUNCILMAN RONALD GRIFFITHS

PRESENT COUNCILMAN KEVIN KANE

PRESENT COUNCILMAN GEORGE SCHNURR

PRESENT COUNCILWOMAN SHARON SHUTZER

PRESENT COUNCILMAN JAYE SIMS

Councilman Sims offered a motion to accept the minutes from the Executive Sessions April 21, 2014 and May 5, 2014 and was seconded by Councilman Griffiths.


On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 5 on the Agenda as follows:

“Foodstock Update by John Swisher, Borough Auditor and one of the founding members of Foodstock.”

Councilman Schnurr stated Foodstock is a grass roots community effort that was formed to assist the needs of our less fortunate community members who are struggling to put food on their tables on a daily basis especially in this economic environment. This effort began in 2010 in central New Jersey and has since collected over 76,000 pounds of food and $35,000 for area food pantries.

Councilman Schnurr introduced John Swisher.
Mr. Swisher stated for five years we’ve been collecting food for local area food pantries such as Open Door here in Freehold and Lunch Break in Red Bank. We started this just out of the blue, my brother, Bob Swisher’s daughter was going to school and she was looking for a community service project and decided to raise food for local food pantries. That first year we were trying to raise 2,000 pounds and actually raised 6,000 pounds. In the following years we raised 13,000 pounds.; 23,000 pounds; 36,000 pounds and this year we are hoping to raise 50,000 pounds of food.

Mr. Swisher read their mission statement, which is, “To facilitate the movement of food from those who’ve been abundantly blessed to those that are in need and to inspire future generations to do the same.” We collect food through schools, neighborhood drops, sporting events, businesses and the main event is on Saturday, October 18th from1:00 PM – 7:00 PM at 20 Randolph Road in Freehold Township.


Mayor Higgins read Item No. 6 on the Agenda as follows:
“Presentation by the Memorial Day Parade Committee to Larson Ford and Freehold Jeep and Chrysler.”

Councilman Schnurr stated tonight he has with him Tim Rohan from the Marine Corp. League who is also on the Memorial Day Parade Committee. One of the things that really helps our parade is by having very nice cars for the dignitaries to ride in. The committee wanted to formerly acknowledge their efforts and presented them with a plaque.

Mayor Higgins read Item No. 7 on the Agenda as follows:

“Resolution of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold Honoring Alison Schwerthoffer on the Completion of her Gold Project for the Girl Scouts.”

Councilman Schnurr asked Alison Schwerthoffer and her parents to come to the front of the room and he read and presented the Resolution to Alison.
Lynn Reich thanked Alison for all of her work on the community garden. She also thanked Jeanne Patterson for all of her work on the community garden, as well.
Councilman Griffiths offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman DiBenedetto:
RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD HONORING ALISON SCHWERTHOFFER ON THE COMPLETION OF HER GOLD PROJECT FOR THE GIRL SCOUTS.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.


Mayor Higgins read Item No. 8 on the Agenda as follows:
“Proclamation received by the President of the United States Declaring the Month of October, 2014 as National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.”
Councilwoman Shutzer stated she is the liaison to the Alliance Against Substance Abuse. The President has set forth this Proclamation because everyday in our country thousands of young Americans start using drugs or alcohol for the first time. Preventing substance abuse before it begins is the most effective way to eliminate the damage caused to victims and their families. There are 680 local coalitions across the country which work hard to education our children and our residents about the dangers of substance abuse.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 9 on the Agenda as follows:

Public Hearing: Application of Comcast of Monmouth County, LLC for the Renewal of its Municipal Consent to Own, Operate, Extend and Maintain a Cable Television and Cable Communications System in the Borough of Freehold.”

Mr. Bellina, Borough Administrator, stated we have reached that phase in the renewal process when it’s time to have a public hearing based on the application that was submitted by Comcast a few months ago. Upon the conclusion of this public hearing we will go into the municipal ordinance phase and have that introduced and acted upon by the residents through another pubic hearing. Mr. Bellina introduced Rob Clifton of Comcast to explain the application.
Mr. Clifton, Senior Director of Government Affairs for Comcast Cable, stated we are now ending the three year federally mandated renewal process. The current Certificate of Approval will expire on April 11, 2015. The COA is a document that a cable operator needs in order to operate a cable television system here in New Jersey. The Board of Public Utilities will issue that after municipal consent has been given and once the application has been reviewed by the Board for compliance with State and Federal law. Upon the close of the public hearing the town has 30 days to issue a consent ordinance or a resolution of denial. Mr. Clifton asked for questions from the public and governing body.
Councilman Sims stated that he knows from speaking to some of the residents that one of the chief complaints is they’ve called and they are put on hold for long, extended periods of time.
Mr. Clifton stated that has been a problem and an announcement was made last week that a new head of customer care was being brought in nationally to address that problem. Right now Comcast has three very large call centers here in New Jersey.
Councilman Schnurr asked if Comcast has considered adding more customer call centers.
Mr. Clifton stated there has been talk of expanding the call centers that they currently have already in Monmouth Junction, Jersey City and Voorhees, but they will not be adding new ones.
Mayor Higgins asked for public comment.

Tom Baldwin, 3 Vought Avenue, stated his home is a half a block away from a Comcast generator and this generator runs day and night during a power outage even after the power has been restored.

Ann White, 48 Bond Street, stated she feels the billing is very inconsistent and then because of the inconsistency you have to call them and it is hard to get through. She also had a 12 month promo and it was changed to a 6 month promo for no apparent reason.
Mr. Clifton asked for both of their names and addresses and he will look into it.
Bob Taylor, 13 Kiawah Avenue, asked what would happen if the Borough does not renew. The entire town is already set-up with Comcast. Also is there talk about Comcast merging with Time Warner.
Mr. Clifton stated Comcast is in negotiations with buying Time Warner Cable. This will not affect your service with Comcast. Time Warner does not serve the areas that Comcast does. If the town did decide not to renew, Comcast would appeal to the Board of Public Utilities and they would bring us into mediation with the town.
Councilwoman Shutzer offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman DiBenedetto:
RESOLUTION TO CLOSE THE PUBLIC PORTION.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 10 on the Agenda as follows:
Introduction of and Authorization to Publish Ordinance #2014/13 of the Borough of Freehold, in the County of Monmouth, New Jersey Amending Chapter 10 (Traffic), Schedule 2 (No Parking) of the Revised General Ordinances of the Borough of Freehold.”
Councilman Sims offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilwoman Shutzer:

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold that an Ordinance entitled “ORDINANCE #2014/13 OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD, IN THE COUNTY OF MONMOUTH, NEW JERSEY AMENDING CHAPTER 10 (TRAFFIC), SCHEDULE 2 (NO PARKING) OF THE REVISED GENERAL ORDINANCES OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD,” be, and same is hereby approved on first reading; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Clerk be and she is hereby authorized to publish said Ordinance in the Asbury Park Press and that same shall be further considered for final passage after public hearing at a meeting held on November 3, 2014 and that during the week of said meeting copies of the Ordinance shall be made available at the Clerk’s office to members of the general public who shall request same.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.

Mayor Higgins read Item No. 11 on the Agenda as follows:


Resolution of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold Approving Subordination, Non-Disturbance and Attornment Agreement Re: Eight Real Estate Company, Inc. and KMK Hospitality, Inc.”

Councilman DiBenedetto offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:


RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD APPROVING SUBORDINATION, NON-DISTURBANCE AND ATTORNMENT AGREEMENT RE: EIGHT REAL ESTATE COMPANY, INC. AND KMK HOSPITALITY, INC.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 12 on the Agenda as follows:

Resolution Awarding a Contract for the Purchase of One (1) Trailer Mounted Light Tower.”

Councilman Kane offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilwoman Shutzer:
RESOLUTION AWARDING A CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF ONE (1) TRAILER MOUNTED LIGHT TOWER.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.


Mayor Higgins read Item No. 13 on the Agenda as follows:
Resolution Authorizing Freehold Borough Officials to Submit a Grant Application to the State of New Jersey, Department of Transportation Trust Fund Authority Act, Fiscal Year 2015.”
Councilman Sims offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING FREEHOLD BOROUGH OFFICIALS TO SUBMIT A GRANT APPLICATION TO THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TRUST FUND AUTHORITY ACT, FISCAL YEAR 2015.
Councilman Sims stated in the past we’ve been awarded this grant and it has helped us to resurface some of out streets in town.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 14 on the Agenda as follows:

Resolution Authorizing Professional Engineering Design Services for Capital Improvement Projects with William T. Wentzien, PE.”

Councilman Griffiths offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman DiBenedetto:
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS WITH WILLIAM T. WENTZIEN, PE.

Councilman Griffiths stated this Resolution is for engineering work on Avenue A and Avenue C.


On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 15 on the Agenda as follows:
Resolution of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold Approving a Person to Person and Place to Place (Expansion of Premises) Transfer from Colonial Spirit Shoppe, Inc. to Norkash, LLC, Liquor License No. 1315-32-007-009.”

Councilman Griffiths offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Schnurr:


RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD APPROVING A PERSON TO PERSON AND PLACE TO PLACE (EXPANSION OF PREMISES) TRANSFER FROM COLONIAL SPIRIT SHOPPE, INC. TO NORKASH, LLC, LIQUOR LICENSE NO. 1315-32-007-009.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.


Mayor Higgins read Item No. 16 on the Agenda as follows:
Resolution of the Borough of Freehold, County of Monmouth, State of New Jersey Establishing a Fund Balance Policy.”
Councilman Kane offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:

RESOLUTION OF THE BOROUGH OF FREEHOLD, COUNTY OF MONMOUTH, STATE OF NEW JERSEY ESTABLISHING A FUND BALANCE POLICY.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 17 on the Agenda as follows:
Resolution Recommending Changes to Personnel Manual and Policies.”
Councilwoman Shutzer offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:
RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING CHANGES TO PERSONNEL MANUAL AND POLICIES.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.


Mayor Higgins read Item No. 18 on the Agenda as follows:
Resolution Memorializing Review and Discussion of the 2014 New Jersey Best Practices Inventory.”
Councilman Kane offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:
RESOLUTION MEMORIALIZING REVIEW AND DISCUSSION OF THE 2014 NEW JERSEY BEST PRACTICES INVENTORY.
Councilman Kane stated we’ve done our annual exercise with the State of New Jersey for our best practices reporting. We are at a 92% score, which is very good. There are a couple questions that we answered “no” due to contractual situations that we are currently in.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.

Mayor Higgins read Item No. 19 on the Agenda as follows:

Resolution Confirming Personnel Appointments/Actions:

a. Appointment of Gretchen Gilroy as Municipal Court Clerk, effective October 6, 2014.

b. Resignation of Susan B. Taylor as a member of the Freehold Borough Planning Board, effective October 6, 2014.

c. Resignation of Anthony DiFlumeri as a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, effective October 6, 2014.

d. Resignation of Sheryl Mott as a member of the Human Relations Committee, effective September 17, 2014.

e. Medical Leave of Absence to George J. Rayack, Crossing Guard, up to Ninety (90) Days, effective October 1, 2014.

f. Appointment of Rut Lineswala as a member of the Freehold Fire Department’s Juniors Program, effective October 6, 2014.

g. Resignation of Nancy Forman as Tax Collector, effective December 31, 2014.”
Councilwoman Shutzer offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman DiBenedetto:

RESOLUTION CONFIRMING PERSONNEL APPOINTMENTS/ACTIONS NOS. 19A – 19G.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.

Mayor Higgins read Item No. 20 on the Agenda as follows:
“Resolution Approving the Following Applications:

a. Freehold High School Homecoming Parade, 10/11/14, 1:30 PM, beginning at Rita’s Ices and ending at Freehold High School.

b. Block Party, 10/11/14, Stillwell Place, 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM.

c/o Xenia Gramata

c. Canning, Freehold Borough Youth Government, 10/19/14, 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM, at the intersection of Main Street and South Street.

d. Our Lady of Guadalupe Procession, 12/7/14, 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, beginning on Throckmorton Street and ending at St. Rose of Lima Church.

e. Raffle License No. 28-14, Freehold Boro Music Parents Association, 50/50, 11/1/14 to 5/6/15 at the home football games, school plays and musical, 2 Robertsville Road.”

Councilman DiBenedetto offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilwoman Shutzer:


RESOLUTION APPROVING APPLICATION NO. 20A – 20E.

On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; Councilman Sims abstained from Item No. 20C; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.

Mayor Higgins read Item No. 21on the Agenda as follows:
“Approval of Bills.”
Councilman Kane offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:
BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Freehold that the bills on the attached list in the amount of $2,421,292.86 be paid as presented.
On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 22 on the Agenda as follows:
“Acknowledgement of Correspondence from Henry Stryker, OEM Coordinator, Regarding the Monmouth County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan Update.”
Mayor Higgins read the correspondence into record.
Mayor Higgins read Item No. 23 on the Agenda as follows:
“Clerk – Late Communications.”
There were none.
Mayor Higgins opened the meeting to the public.
Al Michenfelder, 30 Jackson Street, stated Racer’s Club will be starting up again on December 6, 2014. He was excited to report that two of his former members from Group 5 just got married and one of his former members, Mike Blum will be helping him teach a class. There were two model cars donated and he thanked the various businesses for their donations. He also asked if Freehold Fit Club would be coming back to town.

Christine Gregory, 42 West George Street, stated she was so happy to live in a small town. Last week when she went out of town her mailman noticed she hadn’t picked up her mail and he after a few days he started worrying and contacted Councilwoman Shutzer and she contacted the police department. She also thanked Sharon O’Connor who works in Code Enforcement who called her supervisor at Nordstrom to see if she was at work. She also thanked Police Officers Warner, Perski and Ciampa for responding to the call from Councilwoman Shutzer.

Barbara Oliver, 71 Center Street, asked why the school couldn’t use the old police station property rather than renting classrooms in Freehold Township.
Mr. Bellina stated that property was sold in 2006 to a private investor who was going to turn it into a day care center for adults and they went bankrupt. The bank has acquired the building and they maintain it.
Councilman Griffiths stated a few months ago he took a tour of the building and his opinion is he wouldn’t put anything in that building. The mortar is crumbling, there’s a crack in the foundation which goes all the way to the roof. There are holes in the roof and holes in the second story flooring. Renovating that building would not be worth it.
Carol Lida, 27 Bennett Street, thanked everyone on council for all they did to make our Senior Appreciation Day a success. She was a little concerned because they didn’t have the participation from the seniors that they expected. The senior bus was running but maybe next year we can work harder on getting them to participate. She also stated the Latino Festival was wonderful.
Mayor Higgins thanked Ms. Lida and the Human Relations Committee. It was a very nice afternoon.
Mr. Baldwin stated during the recent storm the power went out for about 8-9 hours. Normally with a storm like that the power would be out for a few days. He thanked the governing body and JCP&L for all of their work in the Borough. Mr. Baldwin asked if a police director was hired yet.
Mayor Higgins replied no.
Mr. Baldwin read a prepared speech.

“I can’t for the life me understand why hiring a police director is necessary. This would be an added burden on the tax payers of this city. I am sure this position would command a six figure salary or a very high five digit salary. It could also be a conflict between the position of chief of police who we know is professional and has years of experience. I also think that it could also make the position of the chief more difficult. A police director would not necessarily be a police officer who has a thorough knowledge of police work and experience. As I understand it, the director would be an appointed position who would serve at the pleasure of the mayor and council. Although I have a great amount of respect for the present mayor and council, I do not think this is a wise position to take at this time. Right now I do not think that changing the make-up of the police department hierarchy is warranted. It is very difficult to serve two masters. The police department is not broken, so I don’t see any reason to fix it. From all I’ve heard Chief Robert’s has done and is doing a great job. At this point in time, he does not need anyone looking over his shoulder. There are procedures in place in case they are needed if there was an issue with the police chief and the police department. Leave them alone.”

Councilwoman Shutzer offered the following Resolution and moved its adoption, seconded by Councilman Griffiths:

RESOLUTION TO CLOSE PUBLIC PORTION.


On roll call Council Members DiBenedetto, Kane, Griffiths, Schnurr, Shutzer and Sims voted its adoption; opposed none; abstain none; absent none. Mayor Higgins declared the motion adopted.

Mayor Higgins asked for council comments.

Councilman Schnurr stated he attended a few events these last couple of weeks and one was the Senior Appreciation Day, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Councilwoman Shutzer and I attended the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the 7-Eleven on South Street, this building turned out to be very nice. He asked Councilman DiBenedetto to extend his thanks to the HPC. He also attended the Latino Festival and the food was great!

Councilman Schnurr stated the Memorial Day Parade Committee is holding a fundraiser at San Marzano on October 21st. The Memorial Day Parade Committee is establishing by-laws for the committee and when they are finished and voted on he will have the borough attorney look at them. The Land-use Committee has undertaken a site plan review for the CVS parking lot which will be the same parking ordinance as the Market Yard Lot.

Councilwoman Shutzer stated tomorrow at the Freehold Elks on East Main Street from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM, flu shots are going to be administered. It will be $20.00 for everyone, seniors will be for free. On behalf of the Freehold Alliance Against Substance Abuse, it was noted in their newsletter that Kathy Andrejco, Substance Abuse Counselor at Freehold Township High School, was named as the volunteer of the year for our alliance and she advanced to the State and was named Volunteer of the Year for the State, as well.

Councilwoman Shutzer thanked the Human Relations Committee for all of their hard work on Senior Appreciation Day which turned out wonderful. She explained to Ms. Lida that in working with senior citizens they have minds of their own and if they feel like doing something they will and if they don’t they won’t. We offered everything for them and the bus went to each location three times. It was a wonderful day and everyone who attended enjoyed themselves.

Councilwoman Shutzer also welcomed the owners of 7-Eleven. The grand opening day was a rainy, nasty day and we stood around and waited for the ribbon cutting, but they forgot the ribbon. There was tons of food and it was a good time.

Councilwoman Shutzer thanked Mayor Higgins for meeting with the 21st Century 4th and 5th grade students on October 2nd, after school at the Freehold Learning Center. This Friday, October 10th, the 4th graders from the Freehold Learning Center will be visiting Borough Hall and the firehouse.

Councilwoman Shutzer stated she attended a luncheon with Chinese educators who are touring the neighboring towns and schools and they were very impressed with our schools and our student’s behavior.

Councilman Sims had nothing to report.

Councilman Kane thanked everyone for attending the meeting. Normally we have the prestigious McGackin Award presented at tonight’s meeting in October. The committee got together and they want to have the past winners get together and nominate and vote and then we present the award to the person. They’ve decided that next year they would like to present the award in a Mayor’s Ball or a gala and turn it into a fundraiser for the Freehold First Aid. This is a work in progress so it delayed this year’s nominations. They’ve decided to have the 2013 and 2014 winners at the November 3rd meeting and going forward starting next year there will be an event to award the 2015 winner.

Councilman Griffiths thanked the Human Relations Committee for all of their work on the Senior Appreciation Day. It was a truly generational event and he also thanked the Coasters for the cars they brought and for donating the surfaces to create a dance floor that will be used at future events, as well as, at Olde Freehold Day. The Human Relations Committee accepted Sheryl Mott’s resignation with regret, she is a tireless worker on the very many committees that she is on in the Borough.

Councilman Griffiths stated the Shade Tree Commission will soon be spotted on your streets looking at trees. They are starting to do the eye tree inventory with Bill Brash, a certified arborist. This will be used to build up the data of inventory of our trees and that data will help us in planning tree removal, as well as, tree plantings.

Councilman Griffiths stated the Innovation Committee has completed most of their customer and stakeholder surveys and compiled data regarding website content, social media and the user friendly systems that they like. They are in contact with a handful of companies and will be assessing these potential contractors. We hope they will be making a presentation to the governing body before the end of the year.

Councilman Griffiths explained as a member of the Finance Committee, that the Best Practices, which is mandated by the State, is a process that each year there are at least 50 questions that must be answered. This year 14 of them were new and they have to be answered in a certain way, which sometimes is not necessarily the right way, but the way the State wants it. If you don’t then you can lose State aid. The questions are long, some are over 200 words and many have multiple questions within a question. The reason he objects to this process is because if they were concerned with improving municipal government, they would give us the Best Practices at the beginning of the year to insure that we would incorporate those practices. They instead give them to us at the end of year and ask if we met these practices retroactive requirements during the past year. He feels this is done to take away State aid. One of the questions #28 stated: the lack of policy could lead bond rating agencies to downgrade your municipality’s bond rating. This, from the State that has the bond rating of the State downgraded 8 times in the last 6 years. Item #16 requires us to be better than the State, which for us is easy. This year we had 4 questions that we answered negatively, 3 were collective bargaining agreement items, so we will be working on them in the next collective bargaining agreement negotiation. The bottom line is we have not ever, and we will not lose any State aid because of this ridiculous process called Best Practices.

Councilman DiBenedetto thanked Anthony DiFlumeri for his time on the Historic Preservation Committee. His knowledge, commitment and his love for this town will be missed. Our Borough-wide yard sale is coming up. He asked Rich Gatto, Downtown Freehold to give an update on the upcoming events.
Mr. Gatto stated there are two more concerts left and they are on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. The Rotary Club is hosting the Dine Around on October 28th and October 29th from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM with the proceeds going to the Freehold First Aid and Emergency Squad. The Pub Crawl is on Thursday, October 30th at 8:00 PM. The Spooktacular events are also coming up all through the month of October. The P.B.A. is having a fundraiser this Thursday, October 9th from 6:00 PM -8:00 PM at the American Hotel, it provides the financial support for their programs such as the Unity Tour, Santa Train and National Night Out.
Mayor Higgins thanked Captain Dispenza for filling in for Chief Roberts this evening.
There being no further business to discuss, Councilwoman Shutzer moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:19 PM, seconded by Councilman Griffiths with all in favor.
Respectfully Submitted,


TRACI L. DI BENEDETTO


BOROUGH CLERK



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