BOT Meeting recap 6-11-12

brief unofficial recap of the June 11, 2012 BOT meeting

The following is a brief unofficial recap of many items that occurred or were discussed at the June 11, 2012 BOT Meeting.  Official minutes will be posted online at www.southorange.org when they are available or the video can be viewed on-demand at southorange.org/videoViewer.asp

Note:  Trustee Gould arrived late and did not participate in any of the votes


  • Adam Loehner gave a monthly update on activities at Seton Hall


Public Comments

  • Lisa Fellen - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • Dan Lipow - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • Meg Persicetti - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • Ryan Saurborn - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • Lori Sauer - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • ? - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School
  • Marilyn Wright - requested access to  the SO Pool for MW students that attend South Mountain School

It was agreed that this topic would be placed on the agenda of the June 25 BOT Meeting for discussion.



2012 Municipal Budget

Resolution 2012-143 to amend the budget, passed 5-0

Resolution 2012-144 to read municipal budget by title, passed 5-0

Resolution 2012-145 to adopt the 2012 municipal budget, passed 4-1 (I voted no)

2012 budget results in a tax levy increase of 1.75% and a municipal tax increase of $83.34 on the average assessed house. (County and School tax increases are above and beyond that)  Full municipal budget details can be located at http://www.southorange.org/budget/budget.asp


Ordinances on Second Reading

Ordinance 2012-08 Approving a revised charter, failed 2-3 (Trustees Bauer, Davis Ford and Levison voted no)

Editorial Note: A process that began in September 2009 with the formation of a Charter Review Committee is now essentially completed with no agreement on ANY changes to the Village Charter which will now stay exactly as it has since 1977.  The "revised charter" that was voted on at the meeting consisted largely of housekeeping items, such as making the Charter "gender neutral" and bringing many provisions in line with State Law.


Ordinance 2012-09  Establishing a historic preservation commission - a meeting is scheduled for June 18 by the planning board to discuss this further.   Ordinance has been tabled by the BOT until then.


Ordinances on First Reading

Ordinance 2012-10 Bond Ordinance for $2,681,0003, passed 5-0


Consent Agenda

9 items on Consent Agenda, passed 5-0

Resolution 2012-154 passed 4-0 (Trustee Bauer recused herself)



EOWC - Newark alleged that lead counsel had a conflict;  In order to keep moving things forward, Village Counsel request that SO claims be severed from Newark claims which is being considered by EOWC

Village Hall - still reviewing plans for trailers with the architect.  Seton Hall was expected to provide a specific proposal for use of their building on SO Ave, but has not done so.  In the meantime, we are moving ahead with plans for staff to be housed in trailers during the renovation and expect to go out to bid for the trailers in July.

Village is considering adding in geothermal as an option for the plans for Village Hall

Single stream recycling - Administrator and DPW are finalizing a mailing this week with all of the details, which is expected to be sent to every household next week

Now that the Budget is adopted, the Tax Collector is not planning to send estimated tax bills, but will send actual tax bills for the 3rd quarter. (saving money by eliminating the extra mailing)


Finance & IT

  • Provided recommendation to have Capital Budget passed in January, so projects can get underway earlier in the year
  • Recommendation for "311" software will be forthcoming



  • Established goal to have merit pay policy be put in place for 2013
  • Recommendation to introduce an Ordinance regulating selling of used gold and having a requirement to keep records of the transaction for 180 days.


Planning and Zoning

  • Next Meeting June 20


Public Safety

  • Residents attended the meeting to share an update on their request for a traffic light at Raymond and Scotland Rd, which was approved by the County.  They are now working on this with the County since it is their jurisdiction.
  • National Night Out 2012 - We would like to proceed with this event, but need to confirm that funding is available.  Village Administrator to confirm that current grant funds can be utilized.
  • Aerial Ladder truck for SOFD is scheduled for delivery in December
  • Best Practices study with SOPD is still underway with ICMA and we expect to have a completed report in July.



Public Works

  • Discussed transition of DPW responsibilities downtown to the SID



  • Planning a meeting on Chyzowycz field




Central Business District Redevelopment Plan -  Sterling Properties has requested a modification to the Redevelopment Plan to alter the zoning to permit a medical office on the ground floor in their building.  The Redevelopment Plan initially prohibited this use, but was amended in 1999 with Ordinance 99-20 to allow it.  The Plan was further amended, after review and approval by the Planning Board, and unanimous approval by the current BOT to rescind that use in 2008 with Ordinance 08-20. (and was reinforced in the Vision Plan in 2009) Planner is coming to the Planning and Zoning committee to discuss and the Development Committee is looking at it.

Editorial Note - Personally, I think this is "spot zoning" and sets a terrible precedent to modify zoning for a single property based on their particular need.



Park Regulations & Signage - Administrator will work with Counsel and Kate Schmidt to follow-up on getting the signage updated

Pay to Play Ordinance - Trustee Bauer recommended a modification to our Anti-Pay to Play Ordinance which would prohibit someone who had a reportable campaign contribution from acting on an application that is before the Planning Board or Zoning Board.  This will be discussed at the next Legal Committee

River Greenway Master Plan - to be discussed on June 25


New Business

Trustee Gould requested a  follow-up from Village Counsel on his research into the Board of School Estimate to see if there is a way to change the way we pay for the schools that is more equitable - Village Counsel shared the difficulty he is having completing research on the topic.

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Amy June 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM
It seems there are many open store fronts and offices in south orange. Why is the town buying/renting trailers if they could put the money back into the community (e.g. Landlords pockets) and take space that currently sits vacant (and makes the town look bad). I don't own property downtown, this suggestion doesn't benefit me financially.
Michael Goldberg June 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Amy - Thank you for your question. An analysis was done by our Interim Administrator last Fall and all options were explored, included renting space downtown. At the time, the conclusion was that would be much more expensive than renting trailers.


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