Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors Minutes

April 14, 2004


MINUTES WERE APPROVED at the regular meeting April 28, 2004. MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF 4/14/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 4/14/04 regular meeting with the following changes: under Members’ Comments, the discussion of Mrs. Goren’s motion should read “Mr. Harris said he prefers not to do this as the editorial writer would always get the last word. However, he felt that the news reporters had reported his and the Board’s remarks accurately;” under Community Comments, the sixth paragraph should end “…a work session agenda in May,” and the second sentence in the ninth paragraph, concerning Mr. Wall’s remarks, should read “Because his group believed there was a defect in the notice given for the election a lawsuit will be filed concerning this,” and the third sentence should be struck. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.


The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on Wednesday, April 14, 2004, in the Township meeting room at 8:00 PM. In attendance were Supervisors: Chairman Richard Weaver, Vice-Chairman Scott R. Harp, Secretary/Treasurer Anne Goren, Member Thomas Jirele, and Member Raymond Goodnoe. Also present were: Planning Commission Chairman Shawn Ward, HARB Secretary Ethel Hibbs, Township Solicitor Stephen B. Harris, Township Engineer Gerald Smith, Police Chief Martin Duffy, and Township Manager Robert M. Pellegrino.

CALL TO ORDER: Chairman Richard Weaver called the regular meeting to order at 8:00 PM with a moment of silence. He asked those present to hold in their thoughts Mr. Pellegrino’s mother-in-law and Judy Setar, a valued Township employee, both of whom passed away recently.

INVOCATION: Given by Reverend David Cramp of the Newtown United Methodist Church. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ADDITIONS AND CHANGES TO THE AGENDA: Mr. Pellegrino asked that the Kosacci preliminary plan be removed from the Planning Commission report and put on the 4/28 agenda at the request of the applicant, and that an item relating to signing mylars for 103 Valley Way be added to the Engineer’s report.

SPECIAL ACTIONS: None.

MINUTES, BILLS LIST, AND REPORTS

MINUTES

WORK SESSION OF 3/15/04: Mr. Harp moved to approve the minutes of the 3/15/04 work session with the following corrections: The spelling of Joe Swerk’s name should be corrected in the list of those present and under Shuttle Bus Study; the first sentence of the 12th paragraph under Council Rock North Little League Presentation should read “…former Township personnel…;” and the second sentence of the second paragraph under Traffic Calming should read “He discussed ways to alleviate…” The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe and passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.

REGULAR MEETING OF 3/24/04: Mrs. Goren moved to approve the minutes of the 3/24/04 regular meeting; the motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously, with Mr. Harp abstaining.

BILLS LIST FOR 4/14/04: Mrs. Goren moved to pay bills totaling $266,335.99. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele asked for a clarification of several payments on page 2. Mr. Pellegrino explained that they were grouped together because they were credit card charges.

Mr. Goodnoe said he will abstain because the list includes a payment to his restaurant.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously, with Mr. Goodnoe abstaining.

Mrs. Goren moved to make interfund transfers totaling $4,613.86. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

REPORTS OF COMMITTEES, BOARDS, AND COMMISSIONS

PARK AND RECREATION BOARD: No report.

SYCAMORE STREET COMMITTEE: Committee Chairman Vince Lombardi reported on their 4/13/04 meeting. The Committee received reports on road closings in the Sycamore Street area and the work of the Water Company and the general contractor. Tri-State Engineers reported on their plans for streambank improvements on Sycamore Street.

PLANNING COMMISSION: Commission Chairman Shawn Ward reported on their 4/6/04 meeting, at which they discussed the Act 537 Plan Revision with Mr. Gormley of the Sewer Authority and Mr. Finger of Gannett Fleming, the Authority’s engineering firm. A concerned resident of Gaucks Lane also participated in the discussion. The Commission recommended approval of the revision and recommended that the Township notify all residents of the affected areas and coordinate this work with that of the Water Company.

The Commission reviewed a revised final plan for lot 21 in the Newtown Business Commons and recommended approval, with several conditions and waivers. Four JMZO amendments were reviewed; one was tabled and the following recommendations were made:

Mr. Harp asked what the resident’s concern was about the Act 537 Plan. Mr. Ward responded that Gaucks Lane was in the study area but Gaucks Lane residents did not receive the survey that was part of the Act 537 planning process.

Mr. Harris said the next step is for the Board to act on the three JMZO amendments on which the Planning Commission made recommendations.

Mr. Harp moved to direct the Solicitor to communicate the Planning Commission’s recommendations to the Jointure. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Jirele said he would like to see the ordinances before voting on this motion. Mr. Harris said he would distribute copies before the next meeting.

Mr. Harp and Mrs. Goren withdrew their motion.

CONDITIONAL USE – NEWTOWN OFFICE PARK – NEWTOWN-YARDLEY ROAD AND FRIENDS LANE – TMP# 29-10-99: Douglas Terry, attorney Don Marshall, and engineer Curt Rittler were present to discuss their request for approval for 80,560 SF of D-1 Office Use and D-2 Medical-Dental Use in four buildings to be constructed on an approximately nine-acre site in the O-LI District. Mr. Weaver opened the hearing and Mr. Terry was sworn in.

Mr. Marshall summarized the project and said the applicant is seeking approval for 50% D-1 Use and 50% D-2 Use. He referred to the 3/18/04 Planning Commission letter recommending approval and said the applicant agrees with the conditions outlined in the letter. Mr. Terry affirmed Mr. Marshall’s statements.

Mr. Harp asked about the number of parking spaces to be provided. Mr. Marshall said 470 are required; the plan shows 504 spaces, but six will be removed on the east side and five will be removed to allow for traffic improvements recommended by the Township Engineer, leaving a total of 493 spaces.

Mrs. Goren asked about the size of the parking spaces. Mr. Marshall said the applicant received Zoning Hearing Board relief to allow 9’X18’ spaces except for some that are close to the building. At Mrs. Goren’s request he agreed that there would be double striping between the smaller spaces.

Mr. Jirele asked what types of medical uses are anticipated. Mr. Terry responded that he expects a variety of uses, but no laboratories or emergency acre facilities. He said that the medical uses would not be restricted to any particular building.

Mrs. Goren asked about the row of parking spaces along Newtown-Yardley Road. Mr. Marshall said the applicant is seeking to keep those 125 spaces in reserve.

Mrs. Goren said she is concerned about the lack of green space along Newtown-Yardley Road. Mr. Marshall said that there would be a buffer of at least 20’ between the parking lot and the ultimate right-of-way even if the reserve spaces were installed. He also said that the applicant plans to berm the road frontage.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to grant conditional use approval for 50% D-1 Use and 50% D-2 Use for Newtown Office Park, subject to the following conditions:

  • Hours of operation will be 6:00 AM to 12:00 midnight Monday through Saturday
  • There will be a maximum of 402 employees on site
  • 493 parking spaces will be provided
  • The smaller parking spaces will have double striping between them
  • There will be no noxious environmental effects
  • No hazardous materials will be used or stored on site
  • Only UPS-type deliveries will occur
  • The applicant will comply with all applicable Zoning Hearing Board decisions
  • The applicant will pay all costs of the review

    The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

PRELIMINARY PLAN – NEWTOWN OFFICE PARK – NEWTOWN-YARDLEY ROAD AND FRIENDS LANE – TMP# 29-10-99: The same representatives were present to discuss the plan for the development described above.

Mr. Marshall said the applicant completed a traffic study and the Township Engineer issued a 3/10/04 letter addressing traffic issues for this development, Tudor Square, and the Newtown Business Commons as a whole. He said the Engineer recommended significant road improvements, including dedication of the full right-of-way on Newtown-Yardley Road, an access driveway with a right turn in lane, a through lane, and a left turn lane, boulevard-like improvements to Newtown-Yardley Road, a turning lane along that entire frontage, and improvements to Friends Lane. He added that the Engineer recommended a traffic signal at Newtown-Yardley Road and Friends Lane, which the Planning Commission agreed should be funded by the applicant’s traffic impact fees. The applicant has agreed to pay for all other improvements.

Mr. Marshall said the applicant is seeking to keep 125 parking spaces in reserve, and requests the waivers listed in the Planning Commission’s 3/18/04 letter. He noted that the Commission recommended that the park and recreation fees be calculated on the basis of the footprint of the buildings rather than the total square footage of all the floors.

Mr. Harp asked for a clarification of the request for a waiver of Section 402.3.B and 402.3.C. Mr. Marshall explained that the applicant is requesting a waiver of only the requirement to show existing features within 400’ on the plan.

Mr. Marshall said the 10/10/03 Pennoni letter specified a traffic impact fee of $351,950, but the Engineer later revised it to $303,140.71. The applicant agrees to pay the difference between this amount and the cost of constructing the traffic light. Mr. Marshall said the engineers would need to work out the exact amount that will be credited for the signal construction.

Mrs. Goren asked that the traffic signal at Friends Lane be coordinated with the existing signal in front of Headley so that appropriate breaks in the traffic are created. Mr. Marshall said the engineers would work this out.

Mr. Harris asked about a previously reviewed development with the same name. Mr. Marshall said it was for the same site and will not be built.

Mrs. Goren said she would like to see a substantial area of green between the parking lot and Newtown-Yardley Road. Mr. Rittler responded that the distance will be 50’ from the edge of the proposed widening to the reserve parking spaces. The distance from the ultimate right-of-way to the reserve parking is 20’. Mr. Rittler said Newtown-Yardley Road on the west side of the entrance to the site will have four lanes: two through lanes, a shared left turn lane, and a right turn lane into the site which will terminate at the entrance.

Mr. Marshall said the applicant agrees to turn off the parking lot lights at 10:00 PM every evening, except for safety lighting.

Mr. Jirele asked if the reserve parking area on the east side could be moved to the west side of the site. Mr. Rittler agreed to this change. Mr. Jirele said he would also like to see more trees on the Newtown-Yardley Road frontage. Mr. Rittler and Mr. Marshall said this could be done.

Shawn Ward said the Planning Commission’s understanding was that the applicant’s engineer and the Township Engineer jointly planned the boulevard concept. The Commission deferred consideration of traffic issues to final plan review.

Mr. Jirele asked if a green medial strip is planned for Newtown-Yardley Road. Mr. Rittler said it is not, but it could be installed, with breaks for left turns.

Mr. Jirele moved to grant preliminary approval to the Newtown Office Park plan, subject to the following conditions:

  • Compliance with all applicable Zoning Hearing Board decisions
  • Compliance with the 3/10/04 Traffic Engineer’s letter, the 10/10/03 Pennoni Associates letter, the 9/30/03 Boucher and James letter, the 9/3/03 Emergency Services letter, and the 9/19/03 Bucks County Planning Commission letter
  • All required permits and approvals will be provided
  • Financial security will be posted
  • A park and recreation fee of $52,000 will be paid
  • A traffic impact fee of $303,140.71 will be paid, subject to a credit for the cost of installing a traffic signal at Newtown-Yardley Road and Friends Lane; engineering and permitting costs will be paid by the applicant
  • The frontages of Newtown-Yardley Road and Friends Lane will be bermed to the extent possible, with landscaping approved at final plan stage
  • Water and sewer service agreements will be provided
  • A note will be placed on the plan and added to the conditional use approval that lighting in the parking lots will be reduced to safety lights at 10:00 PM every night
  • The ultimate right-of-way of Newtown-Yardley Road and Friends Lane and additional areas will be dedicated for a road-widening plan developed in consultation with the Township Engineer, with the understanding that the area beyond the ultimate right-of-way will not count against the applicant in the calculation of the impervious surface ratio
  • Newtown-Yardley Road will be widened to include a left turn lane across the frontage and a deceleration lane into the site
  • Friends Lane will be widened from Walker Lane to Newtown-Yardley Road to include a right turn lane
  • The applicant will construct a traffic signal at Newtown-Yardley Road and Friends Lane, and the costs will be credited towards the traffic impact fee
  • The reserve parking now shown on the east side will be shifted to the west side of the site along Friends Lane
  • The applicant will provide additional traffic information requested by the Township Engineer
  • The applicant is permitted a conditional reduction of up to 125 parking spaces that will be built if the Township determines it is necessary
  • The applicant will pay all costs of review

The following waivers are granted:

  • Section 535.8 (partial) – to not require buffering on the easement on the Third Federal side of the site
  • Section 402.4.M – to not require that a landscape architect prepare the plan
  • Section 402.3 B & C – to not require that existing features within 400’ be shown on the plan
  • Section 516 – to not require additional improvements on Walker Lane
  • Section 514.2 – to allow parking in the front yard

The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe.

Discussion of motion Mr. Goodnoe commented that for security reasons, the parking lot should not be totally shielded from the road.

Mr. Jirele’s motion passed unanimously.

MEMBERS’ COMMENTS

ARBOR DAY: Mr. Weaver announced that there will be an Arbor Day celebration at Pickering Field the morning of 4/23/04. There will also be a tree-planting ceremony at the Municipal Complex from 10:00 AM to noon.

FIRST FOURTH: Mr. Harp reminded residents that the fifth First Fourth celebration will be on 7/10/04.

GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMISSION REFERENDUM: Mr. Goodnoe asked Mr. Harris to explain how the Township addressed its advertising responsibilities regarding the referendum that will appear on the 4/27/04 ballot.

Mr. Harris described the requirements of the law. He said the instructions provided by the state and the Board of Elections were ambiguous regarding one of the three requirements; there is no indication of how the Township should provide 30 days’ public notice of the referendum. Mr. Harris said the Township received an e-mail on 3/30/04 from a member of the group advocating for a government study commission which said the question would be on the ballot; however, the Township did not receive official notice of this from the Board of Elections until 4/5/04, in a letter dated 3/30/04. The Township will be in compliance with the other two requirements by advertising the question twice within 30 days of the election and posting a notice.

Mr. Harris said he suggested to the resident who e-mailed the Township that the question should be moved to the November ballot to avoid challenges to the results of the referendum; Mr. Harris said only those who petitioned to put the question on the ballot can make this decision. The resident responded that his group did not want to move the question to the November ballot, so Mr. Harris proceeded to advertise the referendum.

Mr. Goodnoe said the Township has known since January 2004 that the referendum would be on the ballot, and should have been aware of the legal requirements for providing notice.

Mrs. Goren said she contacted PSATS and was told that the Township cannot give public notice until officially notified by the Board of Elections.

Mr. Jirele said the referendum was discussed at the 3/24/04 public meeting, and perhaps that would satisfy the requirement.

Mrs. Goren moved to direct the Solicitor to write to the local newspaper explaining the sequence of events, which he just described. The motion was seconded for purposes of discussion by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Harris said he would prefer not to do this, as he feels the news reporters will report his remarks accurately. Mrs. Goren said she would like to see a rebuttal of an editorial column, which implied that the Township’s actions were calculated.

The motion failed 1-4, with Mr. Goodnoe, Mr. Harp, Mr. Jirele, and Mr. Weaver voting “nay”.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS

Frank Mendicino, a Township resident and candidate for the study commission, said he agreed that the local paper usually reports events accurately. He said he would like to see the question moved to the November ballot because he does not want the results challenged. He said he received a letter from the Board of Elections dated 3/26/04 informing him he would be on the ballot on 4/27/04.

Paul Meechan, a Township resident and candidate for the study commission, said it is difficult to determine who has the authority to decide whether to move the question or leave it on the 4/27/04 ballot, as there were over 600 names on the petition. He pointed out that the Township newsletter had an article about the referendum before the official notice from the Board of Elections. He asked that the Supervisors defend the results if there is a challenge.

Mr. Harris said if there is a challenge, the defendant would be the Board of Elections, not the Township. However, the Township could petition to be a party to the case.

Shawn Ward, a Township resident and a candidate for the study commission, said he does not support the establishment of a study commission. He also said the Township cannot advertise the referendum before receiving official notice from the Board of Elections. He feels the election is already tainted and the question should be moved to the November ballot. He said an action will be filed tomorrow on behalf of several residents seeking an injunction to prevent the question from being on the 4/27/04 ballot.

Shelly Warren, a Township resident and a candidate for the study commission, said the Township should have been familiar with the requirements. She suggested that the discussion at the 3/24/04 public meeting constitutes notice, and the question should remain on the April ballot.

Nancy Crescenzo, a Township resident, asked about recycling bins for the meeting room; Mr. Pellegrino responded that they have been ordered. She asked about an environmental committee; Mr. Weaver responded that it will be on a work session agenda in the next few months.

Ms. Crescenzo also asked if the Township will consider establishing a nominating committee. Mrs. Goren responded that when the Township had such a committee it filtered out many citizens’ resumes. Mr. Weaver said it may not be necessary to fill the vacancy on the Economic Development Commission, since most of its work is done. Mr. Jirele said he would like to see the Board develop an explicit process for nominations in which all Supervisors have time to review all resumes submitted.

Ms. Crescenzo said she is concerned because Mr. Harp missed most of the meetings of the Park and Recreation Board in 2003. Mr. Weaver said all members of boards and commissions are volunteers and may not be able to attend every meeting.

Bill Wall, a Township resident, said he resigned from his position as Alternate on the Zoning Hearing Board because there were objections to his candidacy for the study commission. He said he lost his position on the ballot anyway, and a lawsuit will be filed concerning this. He said the Township will be named as a party to the suit.

Mr. Jirele suggested the Board meet in executive session for matters of threatened litigation. Mr. Weaver said the Board will meet before adjourning the public meeting.

REPORTS OF OFFICIALS

CHAIRMAN: No report.

OTHER BOARD MEMBERS: No reports.

MANAGER

PLAN EXPIRATIONS: Mr. Pellegrino said there were no plan expirations needing to be addressed by the Board.

MEMBERSHIP IN SOUTH CENTRAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (SERT): Mr. Pellegrino provided copies of materials relating to SERT, including Police Chief Duffy’s 4/6/04 memo in response to Supervisors’ questions about costs. In his memo Chief Duffy estimated that the additional costs of participating in SERT will be between $8,000 and $12,000. Mr. Pellegrino said there also will be an annual membership charge of $ .10 per resident, or $1,800 for the Township.

Chief Duffy stated he supports joining SERT. He explained that it operates only in very unusual situations. The Township currently has five officers trained, and they would need some updating of their training. Mr. Pellegrino added that ten area municipalities are currently members of SERT.

Mrs. Goren moved to advertise the adoption of an ordinance authorizing the Township to join SERT. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Goodnoe said he supports joining SERT but had some questions. In response to his questions, Chief Duffy stated that SERT operates differently from the Central Bucks group that the Township decided to leave. The chief of police in the municipality in which the incident is occurring is in command. Any discipline of an officer that might be necessary is done by the municipality that employs that officer. The group is governed by a board that consists of the police chiefs of the member municipalities, and the chair rotates among them. Chief Duffy does not anticipate a reduction in service to Township residents.

Mr. Jirele asked if participation in SERT will have any effect on the Township’s contract to provide police services to Wrightstown; Chief Duffy said Wrightstown will be covered by Newtown Township’s membership as part of their contract.

Mr. Jirele asked why the Township plans to train five officer when most other municipalities have two or three officers in the program. Chief Duffy said having five will guarantee that the Township will always have at least two officers ready to respond to a situation.

Mrs. Goren’s motion passed unanimously.

CODIFICATION SERVICES AGREEMENT: Mr. Pellegrino referred to his 3/31/04 memo which outlines proposals received from Penns Valley Publishers and Keystate Publishers for the codification of Township ordinances. Mr. Pellegrino recommended that the Township execute a contract with Keystate Publishers based on their fees, their performance timeline, and their commitment to provide an electronic format with browse and search features that can be posted on the website. He said the contract period would be three years. Costs vary from year to year, but would probably be about $2,500.

Mr. Weaver said the Jointure is satisfied with the services they receive from Keystate.

Mrs. Goren asked if the Township will retain the copyright on its ordinances; Mr. Pellegrino said it will.

Mr. Goodnoe asked if the Township had any ordinances on line now. Mr. Pellegrino responded that it does, but not with the browse and search features. Mr. Goodnoe said he believed the Township’s present provider had committed to this service. Mr. Pellegrino said he will research this.

Mr. Harp moved to enter into a three-year contract with Keystate Publishers for the services described in Mr. Pellegrino’s 3/31/04 memo. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

SOLICITOR

UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE ORDINANCE – AUTHORIZATION TO ADVERTISE: Mr. Harris said the ordinance would establish the Uniform Construction Code as the Township’s building code and establishes a Building Code Board of Appeals. Under state law it must be adopted before 7/9/04. Mr. Harris also provided a 3/30/04 letter from Dave Sander outlining factors to be considered in appointing the Board of Appeals, including the suggestion that the Township investigate establishing a joint board with other municipalities.

Mr. Harp moved to advertise adoption of the Uniform Construction Code Ordinance. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele.

Discussion of motion: Mrs. Goren asked how the Board of Appeals will differ from the Township’s existing Codes Committee. Mr. Harris responded that it will be more structured. He said the Codes Committee discusses and mediates issues, and would continue to serve a valuable function. Mr. Goodnoe added that the Codes Committee deals with issues in addition to BOCA issues. Mr. Harris said appeals will probably be rare.

Mr. Harp’s motion passed unanimously.

JMZO 2004-4 – SPECIAL EXCEPTION/CONDITIONAL USE CONSOLIDATION: Mr. Harris provided a copy of Mr. Sander’s analysis of the ordinance, and noted that the Planning Commission recommended the ordinance should be returned for clarification. He said the ordinance does not change what is addressed through the special exception and conditional use processes.

Mr. Goodnoe said he was present when the Planning Commission discussed the ordinance, and Commission members found it difficult to understand.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to send the ordinance back to the Jointure for clarification. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

ACT 537 PLAN REVISIONS – LINTON HILL AREA: Mr. Harris said that the Planning Commission recommended that the Act 537 Plan Revisions be adopted. The Commission also recommended that notice of the pending revision be given to residents of all affected areas and that the Township coordinate this work with that of the Water Company. He said the Township must act on the plan within 60 days of the Planning Commission’s recommendation.

Mrs. Goren said she supported the Planning Commission’s recommendations, and would like to see a public meeting at which residents can comment and ask questions. There was general agreement that the meeting should be separate from the Board’s public meetings.

Sue Beasley, a Township resident, asked the Board to clarify the distance at which a homeowner will be required to connect with the public sewer. Mr. Goodnoe said connection will be required if a home is within 150 feet of the sewer line. Mrs. Beasley also asked the Board to advocate for water lines for homes on Linton Hill, as the development of the Gray Tract will affect wells on that road.

ESCROW RELEASE #5 – NEWTOWN CONGREGATION OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES: Mr. Harris said this project is under the supervision of Carroll Engineering, which has approved the public improvements and recommended releasing the remaining escrow funds in their letter of 3/31/04. He said Carroll Engineering raised a question about the dedication of the area between the legal right-of-way and the ultimate right-of-way between Stoopville Road and Linton Hill Road. Mr. Harris said he has determined that ownership of these roadbeds remains with the original owner of the development, so the congregation is not responsible for their dedication.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to release $19,135.70 in remaining escrow funds for the Newtown Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as recommended in Carroll Engineering’s 3/31/04 letter. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Goren and passed unanimously.

ENGINEER

ESCROW RELEASE #1 – PLATINUM EXECUTIVE SUITES: Mr. Smith said a revised letter was distributed to the Supervisors tonight showing the correct balance of escrow funds remaining after the proposed release of $193,489.88 is $126,216.

Mrs. Goren moved to release $193,489.88 in escrow funds for Platinum Executive Suites. The motion was seconded by Mr. Harp and passed unanimously.

AUTHORIZATION TO SIGN MYLARS – 103 VALLEY WAY: Mr. Smith said he recommends signing the mylars for this project.

Mr. Goodnoe moved to authorize the signing of mylars for 103 Valley Way. The motion was seconded by Mr. Jirele and passed unanimously.

OLD BUSINESS: None.

NEW BUSINESS: None.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS (CONTINUED)

John D’Aprile, a Township resident, said he supports the government study commission and feels the Township has met the legal requirements for notification of the public. He also said that the Supervisors’ six-year terms are too long, and suggested that committee bylaws should specify attendance requirements for members.

Mark Byelich, Chairman of the Newtown Area Republican Committee, said his group voted to not take a stand on the referendum, but he does not support it, nor does the local Democratic Committee. He supported having a ruling on the challenge before the election.

Del Purscell, a Township resident, said there is a need for a better form of government, particularly so that there is proper oversight of expenditures and budgeting.

Shelly Warren encouraged the Board to defend itself against claims that legal requirements were not met.

Karen D’Aprile, a Township resident, said the petition was presented to her in the context of changing procedures, not as a way to get rid of people. She said she agreed that six-year terms are too long.

Charles Weiner, a Township resident and candidate for the study commission, said the Township has met the legal requirements, and he asked that the Board defend itself if a lawsuit is filed. He said he was the person who e-mailed the Township on 3/30/04.

Nancy Crescenzo said she helped to circulate the petition because she supports the democratic process.

Glenn Beasley, a Township resident, encouraged the Township to defend itself against the potential lawsuit.

EXECUTIVE SESSION: At 11:40 PM the Board met briefly in executive session for matters of threatened litigation.

POTENTIAL LITIGATION: The Board reconvened at 11:55 PM. Mr. Weaver announced that if there is a challenge in court the Board wishes to defend their position that the Township has met legal requirements for public notice. He also said that Mrs. Goren recused herself from the decision because her husband is a member of one of the groups involved.

Mr. Jirele moved to direct the Solicitor, in case of a court challenge, to defend the Township’s position that legal requirements for public notice of the referendum have been met. The motion was seconded by Mr. Goodnoe.

Discussion of motion: Nancy Crescenzo asked if Mr. Harris will appear in court tomorrow when the petition is filed. Mr. Harris said he will become involved when the hearing is scheduled.

Mr. Jirele asked that the motion include instructions to the Solicitor to petition the court to make the Township a party to the suit if it is not named.

Mr. Jirele and Mr. Goodnoe amended their motion to include Mr. Jirele’s suggestion. The motion passed unanimously, with Mrs. Goren abstaining.

ADJOURNMENT: Without objections the meeting was adjourned at 12:00 midnight.

 

Respectfully Submitted:

 

___________________________
Gretta Stone, Recording Secretary

 

Minutes Approved as submitted __________ as corrected___________

 

Attest: _____________________________                                          ___________________________
           Robert M. Pellegrino, Manager                                                     Richard Weaver, Chairman

 

                                                                                                               _____________________________
                                                                                                               Scott R. Harp, Vice-Chairman

 

                                                                                                                _______________________________
                                                                                                                Anne Goren, Secretary/Treasurer

 

                                                                                                                __________________________
                                                                                                                Thomas Jirele, Member

 

                                                                                                                ___________________________
                                                                                                                Raymond Goodnoe, Member