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HomeMy Public PortalAbout1999/05/10 An Informal Meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Carteret was called to order by Mayor James A. Failace at approximately 7:04 P.M. in the auditorium of the Middle School, 299 Carteret Avenue, Carteret, New Jersey. Upon individual roll call, the following were noted present: Councilmember Patrick Crilley " Jack Fazekas " James Mancuso " James O'Brien " Remy Quinones Noted absent was Council President Stanley Gutowski. Also noted present was Borough Attorney Craig J. Coughlin. Mailed to The Home News Tribune, The Star Ledger and posted on the bulletin board on May 6, 1999. To discuss school budget and local municipal budget. Upon MMS&C, by Councilmembers Quinones and Fazekas and unanimous affirmative vote of the five (5) Councilmembers present, the meeting was recessed so the governing body could attend the wake of Officer Gary Guiliano's father. Upon MMS&C, by Councilmembers O'Brien and Fazekas and unanimous affirmative vote of the five (5) Councilmembers present, the meeting was called to order at approximately 7:20 P.M. Upon individual roll call, the following were noted present: Counci1member Patrick Crilley " Jack Fazekas " James Mancuso " James O'Brien " Remy Quinones Noted absent was Council President Stanley Gutowski. 1 Also noted present were the following: Superintendent Dr. Gary Vitta, Assistant Superintendent Robert Eckert, Board Secretary Ken Weinheimer, School Board Members S. Bonaventure, F. Grigni, M. Amistad, D. Cherepski, Y. Delgado, F. Parisi, L. Mangieri, L. Aleksandrich and L. Marchica. MAY 10, 1999 INFORMAL MEEITNG PRESFNI srATEMFNf OF MEEITNG N<JITCE PURPOSE REX:ESS MEETING RESUMED ROIL CAIL MAY 10, 1999 DISCUSSION Dr. Vita said they were here today to go over the 1999 - 2000 school budget. It is a budget he and the Board feels is a good budget and they worked very hard on it. He spoke of the increasing enrollment and that the population of Carteret is growing. The projected enrollment is 3,290 students, which is a huge increase over the previous years. They are trying to keep the classroom sizes down. He continued to speak about the projected school year, the facilities and the staff. They can't remain stagnant. They have to advance technologically. They owe it to the children of the borough. They need to emphasize academics. Mandated by the state is elementary world language in Minue and Columbus Schools. He went on to explain the curriculum. Over 100 educators in the district attended workshops to make them better teachers. They are introducing a locally mandated summer reading program this summer. They need to lower the enrollment in the remedial courses. They need more honor and advance placement courses. They need an after school SAT program. The state has mandated that a pre-school program for four year olds be implemented and developed. It's a costly item and probably something good for the children of Carteret. They have to provide their teachers with the mechanism to learn the latest techniques. He presented a slide show explaining what was needed and the cost of each program. He said a budget cannot remain stagnant ifthey are going to move ahead. Mayor Failace introduced Gary Higgins and Annette Giordano from Lerch, Vinci and Higgins, the Borough Auditors. Borough Auditor Gary Higgins went over the budget item by item. He had a question on miscellaneous revenues. He asked why the budget revenue was only for $50,000 when it was $109,000 the previous year? Mr. Weinheimer said it was put in to protect the Board from any fluctuations that might be relevant to interest rates, but also that it has to do with banking services. They have gone out for proposals for banking services. Borough Auditor asked about appropriations on TAB II. He asked if there was any background on reclassification? Mr. Weinheimer said the Board office has evolved and they are looking at classification to follow the proper gap to better show costs. Mr. Weinheimer answered all of the Borough Auditor's questions. Councilmember Crilley asked if it was safe to assure a 3 % increase for negotiations? He said 3% is a fair number. - They discussed teacher, staff and administration salaries and a number of slots. Mr. Weinheimer said the number of staff is added into the account. 2 Borough Auditor Higgins said the rationale supports three. Mr. Weinheimer said there are four. Contingency staff plus three. Councilmember Crilley said that was not how it was in the rationale. He asked why it wasn't on there? Mr. Weinheimer said new staffing didn't list contingency. Councilmember Crilley asked what the justification of the contingency was? Mr. Weinheimer said program needs and financial capability. There were some staff additions this year. They hired aides. The numbers were not known when the budget was sent to the Borough Hall Councilmember Crilley talked about the staffing. Mr. Weinheimer said creating a budget for 1999-2000 because of new orientation and new staff. There is a reclassification of salaries and they built in responsible increases. Mr. Weinheimer and Councilmember Crilley discussed at length, monies for staffing. Borough Auditor Higgins went through the budget line item by line item. Any questions he had were answered by Mr. Weinheimer. They discussed general supplies and how the budget suffered in the past in that area. They wanted to improve supplies available to the teachers. Borough Auditor Higgins asked about Class Room Aides? Ms. Eckert said since the budget was done they have added two library aides, one kindergarten aide and special education associates for Carteret High School. They continued discussing each line item and the numbers. Special Education services were discussed, as were the maintenance of buildings. Mr. Weinheimer said they had a more skilled staff and were doing in- house improvements to the buildings. They were trying to do as much internally as they could. Transportation was the next issue brought up. Borough Auditor Higgins asked if the contracts were encumbered? Mr. Weinheimer said some costs were not yet encumbered Borough Auditor Higgins said there was an increase of $370,000. Mr. Weinheimer said there was a $100,000 differential. 3 Borough Auditor Higgins asked what the rational was for the increase of28%? Mr. Weinheimer said there were four additional routes to respond to additional students. MAY 10, 1999 DlSCUSSI┼ô Continued MAY 10, 1999 DlSCUSSI┼ô Continued Borough Auditor Higgins questioned the Health Benefits. Mr. Weinheimer said it is Blue Cross Blue Shield Horizon and there is a 12% increase. Borough Auditor Higgins asked about the food plan and asked if they were using the full $10,000 this year? In prior budgets it was not expended. Mr. Weinheimer said in 1999-2000 it was variable. There will be one full lunch period at each elementary school. He assumes there will be a deficit. Borough Auditor Higgins asked why there were rationales for some lines and not others? Mr. Weinheimer said he will have to provide that data. Borough Auditor Higgins asked what the justification was for the final line, which was improvements to the learning center for early childhood? Mr. Weinheimer said the Board looked into up front savings. They are committed to use savings for down payment for a primary learning facility. Borough Auditor Higgins asked what the amount for the new facility? Mr. Weinheimer said they don't know. They are trying to find out what the obligation is. They have to have something in place by January 2000. Mr. Weinheimer said the work schedule is tight. The County Board of Taxation has to receive the budget by May 19, 1999. The Board of Education has a meeting scheduled for May 18, 1999 and needs to take action at that time. He told the Council he will answer whatever questions they have and will get them the data that they need. AWOURNED There being no further business or discussion, upon MMS&C, by Councilmembers Mancuso and Fazekas and unanimous affirmative vote of the five (5) Councilmembers present, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 9:35 P.M. Respectfully submitted, ~OA< £~. SUSAN E. JAC Assistant Municipa rk 4