Minutes of the September 11, 2013 of the Consolidation Study Commission
Monday, October 14, 2013 • 10:09pm
Minutes of the September 11, 2013 Meeting of the Consolidation Study Commission
Board of Education Meeting Room
Cedar Avenue, Scotch Plains
The meeting was called to order at 7:05. Mr. Parisi read the Open Public Meetings Act notice and called the roll. Those present were Dr. diBattista, Mr. Juckes, Mr. Molenaar and Dr. Saltzman from Fanwood, and Ms. Dreikorn, Mr. Lange, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Wiener and Mr. Parisi from Scotch Plains. Mr. Nagy and Ms. Hoynes, alternates from Fanwood, were also present as was Mr. Arthur, alternate-designate from Scotch Plains. Mr. McCarey was absent. In his absence, Ms. Hoynes was entitled to vote.
In addition Eugene McCarthy attended for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, a non-voting commission member.
Ms. Hoynes and Dr. diBattista moved and seconded approval of the August 14 meeting minutes, which were unanimously approved by those in attendance at the August meeting.
Mr. Parisi updated the Commission on discussions concerning the fiscal agent role, advising that Fanwood declined, Scotch Plains said that it could not supply the personnel and Union County had to better understand what the Commission was seeking and then seek its own approvals. Mr. Parisi stated that in his opinion the Commission could no longer wait to act. He proposed a banking resolution for the Commission to consider, administering its own fiscal needs rather than turning the issue over to another party. Dr. Saltzman made a motion to authorize Mr. Parisi and Dr. diBattista to open a bank account at an institution of their choosing, with both of their signatures required on withdrawals and checks, Mr. Wiener as the only authorized Commission member to reconcile the account and Dr. Saltzman as the only authorized Commission member to act as administrator of the account to inform the bank of any changes to this resolution. Dr. diBattista seconded the motion and it was passed unanimously. Mr. Parisi then informed the Commission that Courage to Connect NJ sent an email to him acknowledging its $5,000 contribution in writing and affirming that it was for unconditional use by the Commission. The Commission then discussed whether insurance would be necessary for the Commission. After discussion, the Commission decided that Mr. Parisi, Mr. Wiener and Mr. Lange act as a committee to meet with an insurance broker or brokers and report back to the Commission at the October 9 meeting.
Mr. Parisi then introduced Marc Pfeiffer, potential consultant to assist the Commission in issuing the RFP in compliance with state bidding laws. He informed the Board that Mr. Pfeiffer agreed to provide his services for no fee other than reimbursement of his expenses. Mr. Parisi invited the Commission to interview Mr. Pfeiffer. Ms. Hoynes then moved to retain Mr. Pfeiffer as consultant to the Commission for issuing the RFP in compliance with state bidding laws. Mr. Thompson seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
The Commission then discussed the RFP text as last updated by the RFP committee. After discussion, Mr. Lange moved to authorize the RFP committee to finalize and issue the RFP with Mr. Pfeiffer’s assistance provided there are no material changes from the draft presently before the Commission. Mr. Juckes seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.
Mr. Lange then provided the funding committee report. Dr. Saltzman added that she has been allowed access to the directory of foundations available at her university. She intends to use it to procure information about foundations that may be candidates to fund the Commission’s work.
Mr. Parisi provided an update on public outreach. At the Commission’s last meeting Ms. Dreikorn and Mr. Juckes agreed to be the sole content creators for the Commission’s Facebook page. Mr. Parisi informed the Commission that the page has been in use and Mr. Juckes has posted notes about the Commission’s agenda and minutes and provided links to the Patch blog so the public can view Commission agendas and minutes. Mr. McCarey posted those items on the blog. Mr. Arthur mentioned that a Facebook group might be more effective and Mr. Molenaar indicated that using such a group together with Twitter is an effective way to post information. Mr. Juckes agreed to look into this for the Commission.
The meeting was then opened to the public. Michael Lewis from Fanwood asked whether the RFP would be available to the public once issued. Mr. Parisi answered yes and then thanked Mr. Lewis. There being no further public comment, that portion of the meeting was then closed.
There being no further business Dr. Saltzman and Dr. diBattista moved and seconded a motion to adjourn, unanimously approved. The meeting ended at 8:05 pm. The next Commission meeting is October 9, 2013 at 7 pm at the Board of Education offices.
The Commision was formed in June 2013. It is charged with overseeing a study, by an independent contractor, on the benefits and costs of consolidating Fanwood and Scotch Plains into one municipality without either losing its identity as a community.
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