Planning Board Re-org Minutes 1/6/2011



JANUARY 6, 2011

Mr. Lepore started the meeting with an affirmation of the Open Public Meeting Act and the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Pledge of Allegiance was lead by Anthony Lepore.

Mayor Fiamingo made a motion to take a short adjournment in light of the fact that a few members of the Planning Board as well as the Borough Engineer and Planner may have thought the meeting starts at 7:30 instead of 7:00, seconded by Sal Candarella

Roll Call: Anthony Lepore, Anthony Pugliese, Madonna Bogus, Kathi Fiamingo, Sal Candarella, Rudy Cammarota, Antonio Cuppari, Arthur Manee, Mr. Murphy. Rich Picero arrived at 7:25. Mr. Sica were absent.  

Motion was made by Tony Pugliese, seconded by Madonna Bogus to pay the Recording Secretary. All in favor.

Mr. Lepore turned the meeting over to Mayor Kathi Fiamingo.


The following officials were sworn in by Mayor Fiamingo:  Antonio Cuppari Class IV Member, 3 year term to 12/31/13, and Rudy Cammarota, Mayor�s Designee, 1 year term.


Only class 4 members are eligible to run as Officers.

Motion was made by Mr. Candarella to nominate Mr. Lepore as Board Chairman, seconded by

Rich Picerno.  All in favor. 

Motion was made by Mr. Candarella to nominate Mr. Picerno as Vice-Chairman, seconded by Tony Lepore.  All in favor.

Motion was made by Mr. Candarella to nominate Ms. Bogus as Secretary, seconded by Mr. Lepore.  All in favor.   

Mayor Fiamingo turned the meeting over to Mr. Lepore.

Vote for Recording Secretary

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo to nominate Mrs. Janet Murphy as Recording Secretary, seconded by Mr. Candarella.  All in favor.  

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Vote for Board Attorney

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo, seconded by Mr. Picerno to nominate Mr. Nicholas Giuditta as Board Attorney.   All in favor.

Mr. Giuditta was sworn in by Kathi Fiamingo.

The Mayor welcomed Mr. Giuditta as the Planning Board Attorney and said she knows he will do a fantastic job for the Planning Board.�

Vote for Town Planner

Motion was made by Mr. Lepore, seconded by Mr. Picerno to nominate Mr. Kevin O�Brien as Town Planner.   All in favor.

Mr. O�Brien said it has been a pleasure working with the Planning Board because they are a very hard working Board who does the best they can for the Borough.

Vote for Board Engineer

Motion was made by Mr. Candarella, seconded by Mr. Lepore to nominate Mr. Rich O�Connor as Board Engineer.   All in favor.

Approval of the 2011 Workshop and Regular Meetings Calendar

Mr. Lepore asked everyone if they preferred to have the Regular Planning Board Meeting on December 15, 2011 or December 22, 2011?� All members preferred December 15th.� Mr. Lepore said they will continue to have no work session in July or August. He said if they feel in May or June that they need one they can advertise for a meeting at that time if needed.

Mr. Lepore suggested they change the time for the work session meetings from 7:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.�� Everyone agreed.

Comments for the Good of the Board

Mr. Lepore said there should be a dress code for the Planning Board Meetings.� He asked that members not wear sweatshirts because they are representing the town.�

Mr. Lepore welcomed everyone back and wished them a Happy New Year. He thanked everyone for their vote.�

Mr. Candarella said their general plan for the Master Plan is to have a committee meeting and then present it to the Planning Board for comments and then go to the public meeting in February.�

Mr. Lepore said they need to discuss the Master Plan before the public meeting.

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Kathi Fiamingo said she did not think they could do that without advertising the meeting. She asked Mr. Giuditta to comment. Mr. Giuditta said it would be better to advertise it as specifically addressing those issues.

Mr. Picerno said they are going to questions and comments from the public and what happened a couple of weeks ago got out of hand.� He suggested in order to keep control of the meeting, comments be held to five minutes and everyone should only be allowed to come to the mike one time. He said if we do not keep some kind of order we will be back in the same spot that we were last week.

Mr. Lepore said he did not think the crowd will be as big at the next meeting.� He said there was a lot of misinformation out there before the last meeting.� He said he saw people leaving half way through the meeting once they found out what was going on.� He said the next time the public will be restricted as to the amount of time they can speak and also they will only be able to come up once.

Mr. Picerno asked who was on the Revision Committee? �Mr. O�Brien said the Mayor, Sal Candarella and Mr. Lepore are on the Revision Committee. Mr. Picerno asked if the Revision Committee were going to put some things together based on the discussions that were heard at the last public Master Plan Meeting?

Mr. O�Brien said the Revision Committee is going to make proposals for the Master Plan and then come to the Work Session Meeting in February with the proposed revision for their input. He said after the Planning Boards input there will be a final document and that will be put on the web site and copies will be available and that will be what we will talk about at the end of the month

Mr. Picerno said that since the last meeting he has done a lot of research and he has gone up and down the Boulevard taking pictures of the different dwellings as to who has apartments and who does not and who has parking and who does not. He looked at some of the recreation things people talked about as well as trucks delivering to the different establishments.� He said he has quite a few documents that he would like to talk about because if the issues are not talked about at the meeting then we look like we have not done our due diligence.�

Mr. Picerno said he wants to explore every opportunity of what the people of the town had to say and how he feels about things because it is not a personal issue it is a town issue and we need to be sure it is done right.� He said so far everything has been done right and that Mr. O�Brien did a phenomenal job.�

Mr. Pugliese said the people were given to many statistics and that is where the people were getting lost.� He said the people need to hear more plain talk.

The Mayor said there were a number of people that had legitimate concerns and there were a number of people there to rebel rouse and make it a political issue. Mr. Picerno said you could tell the concerned citizen and the politicking that was going on because there was a distinction between the two.� The Mayor said they did have the same concerns and they legitimately need to be addressed. She said she knows she will get an argument from some people that you don�t

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plan and zone according to what people are concerned about but we do have to take it into consideration.�

The Mayor said Kevin O�Brien did a wonderful job explaining and answering people�s questions but she said some of the people did not want to hear answers.� She said there were certain people that were not interested in answers and there were a lot of people who were misinformed but there were also a lot of people who were concerned.� She does not want the public to think that they do not believe that their comments and interests were not legitimate but there were definitely people at the meeting who were just there to stir the pot and make political statements and get the campaign started seven or eight months earlier than it needs to be. She said Mr. O�Brien took a lot of kicks and slams and he did a fantastic job with the plan and the manner in which he handled the meeting and she thinks everyone on the Board feels the same way. Mr. O�Brien said it is always good to know the Board has his back and he appreciates that.� The Mayor gave cudos to Rich O�Connor who has always been and continues to do good work for us.�

The Mayor welcomed Mr. Giuditta as the Planning Board Attorney and said she knows he will do a fantastic job for the Planning Board.�

Mr. Candarella asked Mr. Giuditta to comment on the fact that their Work Sessions have varied over the past six years and he said they used to open up the plans, talk about them, ask questions but over the years it has changed and now they are to the point where they cannot specifically talk about the applications. Mr. Giuditta yes that is true and �detailed discussions can only happen when the applicant is present and you can�t do that at a work shop unless you notice it.� He said you cannot discuss pending applications in detail at the work shop. Mr. Candarella said that basically at the work shops �Madonna will say we have this many applications and these people are going to be heard and it�s almost a waste to show up.� He said ten years ago we were able to open up the application and talk about it. Mr. Picerno asked what are we allowed to do at the work shop?� Mr. Guiditta said about the only thing you can do is memorialize resolutions. Mr. Guiditta said, for example, in Cranford they have the work shops a half hour before the Regular Meetings.� He said the Board does not do a lot of substative things in that half hour work session. He said at the Work Shops they review correspondence, memorialize resolutions and sometimes they talk about general legal concepts if something is new.�� He said you would think from a learning standpoint you would want to be able to do that at the work shop but the problem with that is that you are doing that out of the presence of the applicant and potential objectors.� He said basically if you are discussing an application the applicant has to be noticed and the objectors have to have the right to talk about the application. He said legally it makes sense but practically it doesn�t always make sense.�

The Mayor said there are two alternatives, either you have work shops and notice people that you are going to talk about their applications in an informal/formal way or you can have the work shop meeting one half hour before the Regular Meeting.�

Mr. Picerno said maybe if there are a lot of things on the Board that they really need to talk about they can stick a work shop meeting in the middle of week at some point with enough notice.

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Mayor Fiamingo said it makes sense to have the work shops at 7:30 and the regular meetings at 8:00.� She said we have enough faith and confidence in our secretary who in concert with Rich and Kevin and Tony can determine what matters should be set on the agenda.

Mr. O�Brien said that over the last couple of years they have gotten to the point where what Madonna is doing with Janet and Rich and himself is keeping the ability to review for completeness and to then schedule matters when they are ready to go.� That removes it from the Board which should not be talking about them anyway and it is almost an administrative function at this point.� He said as long as Madonna is supervising the work then the staff will take care of the rest of it. The Mayor said she is in total agreement.

Mr. Candarella said the attendance at the work sessions is dwindling because people feel it is a wasted hour because we cannot talk about the applications.

Mr. Lepore said that from our previous discussion they should reconsider the calendar and change it to workshop to 7:30 PM and the regular meeting at 8:00 PM and have them both on the same day.

Mr. Picerno asked if the work shop would only be for the members of the committee?� The Mayor replied it would be a regular work shop meeting with all the Planning Board members the only difference will be instead of meeting two days per month, they will meet one day per month.� Mayor Fiamingo said we will also get the benefit of having the attorney at the work sessions so that if there is an issue we do not have to wait until the next meeting for an answer.

Mr. O�Brien asked if the Planning Board would like to consider a cut-off time, he said many boards have a cut off time for the end of the evening, either a meeting end time or a new testimony cut off time. �Mr. Lepore asked Mr. Giuditta what do they do in Cranford and he replied that the By-Laws say there should be no witnesses after 10:30.� He said he has been the attorney in Cranford for about 4 years and he does not recall the meetings ever going past 11:00-11:30 P.M.� Mr. O�Brien suggested they do a meeting cut off instead of the witnesses cut off and say meetings will end at 11:00.�� The Mayor asked how would they go about implementing that, should it be in the By Laws?� Mr. Giuditta replied yes.� Mr. O�Brien said you can also make the announcement on the agenda.� Mr. Giuditta asked approximately how many applications do you have per meeting?� Mr. Lepore said it varies, sometimes they have one or two and other times they have four or five.� Madonna said the most they ever had was four applications.� Mayor Fiamingo said Mr. Giuditta is suggesting we can take out the whole part about memorializing resolutions out of the regular meeting and put it into the work shop sessions.

Mr. Lepore asked if they will have to open and close each meeting? Mr. Giuditta replied yes.� Mayor Fiamingo asked if they generally have it in the same room and are they both open to the public?� Mr. Giuditta said no the work shop is held in one room and the regular meeting in another room and they are both open to the public.

Motion to change the Work Session Schedule

Motion was made by Kathi Fiamingo, seconded by Rich Picerno to eliminate the Planning Board Work Sessions held on the first Thursday of the month and to schedule them on the same day

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as the Regular Planning Board Meeting.� The Work Session Meetings will be held at 7:30 P.M. in the Council Room and the Regular Planning Board Meeting to be held at 8:00 P.M.� in the Court Room. All in favor.

Mr. Picerno said on the nights of the Planning Board Meetings when he goes into his bin to see if there is any last minute paperwork he notices that some of the bins are full.� He said that when the bins are full it means that the Planning Board members are not picking up their work which means they are not going out to research the property and are just thumbing through the applications when the meeting starts.� He said it can�t always fall on the same three or four people and they need everyone�s input because there are going to be things that others are going to miss and someone else is going to pick up.� He said we have to get those bins cleaned out, visit the sites and understand what the people are looking for.

Madonna said her bin is constantly filled and it will always be like that.

Mayor Fiamingo asked that the By-Laws be amended regarding the 11:00 P.M. deadline as opposed to the having the last witness at 10:30 PM.

Mr. O�Brien asked if the Planning Board had adopted By Laws?� Mr. Lepore replied yes.

Mr. Cuppari asked if anyone knew about the situation with the cell tower?� Mayor Fiamingo responded by stating it is not a Planning Board issue.� She said the Turnpike Authority proposed a cell tower in the backyards of people who lived on Fairfield Avenue.� She said they are working on making that not happen.�

Mayor Fiamingo said they need to schedule a Special Planning Board Work Shop Meeting to provide the proposed revisions to the Master Plan to the Planning Board for their comment and review, prior to the February 27th meeting.�

Mr. O�Brien proposed the meeting to be held on February 3, 2011.� The Mayor said everyone needs the time to have the opportunity to review, discuss and agree or change the plan.

New Business


Comments by the Public

No comments.

Adjournment   The meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Motion was made by Mr. Picerno to adjourn, seconded by Ms. Bogus.  All in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen J. Moschitta

Temporary Planning Board Recording Secretary

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