Newtown Township

Board of Supervisors

Minutes of July 28, 2010

The Newtown Township Board of Supervisors met on July 28, 2010 in the Township meeting room at 7:30 PM. In attendance and voting were Supervisors: Chairman, Robert Ciervo, Vice Chairman Matthew Benchener, Secretary/Treasurer Jerry Schenkman and Philip Calabro and Michael Gallagher, members. Also present were: Joseph Czajkowski, Township Manager and Jeffrey Garton, Township Solicitor.

Call to Order: Chairman Robert Ciervo called the regular meeting to order at 7:30 PM with a moment of silence. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comment: Resident Catherine Leiden of 12 Harvest Mews in the Brookside development said that she has been having a very difficult time with her neighbors, three young people who are renters. She said that they do not maintain their property, leave their trash in bags outside and make loud noise late at night. She has attempted to work with her homeowners association, which has not been supportive, has reported the problem to the Township codes department and has telephoned the police when the noise was particularly intrusive late at night. She is asking the Board to support her by either forcing the property owners to make sure their tenants comply with the covenants of the homeowners association or pressuring the homeowners association to force compliance with the covenants and bylaws. She provided photographs of her townhouse and the home next door, showing the front, rear and side of the townhouse at 11 Harvest Mews. She noted that two of the tenants are members of the Township Fire Department.

Dr. Ciervo asked whether each homeowner is responsible for care of his own lawn.

Mrs. Leiden said that each homeowner must maintain his own lawn, but in recent weeks the grass has not grown. The trash hauling firm has provided very large, unsightly receptacles, which the neighbors should bring in after pick-up, but they do not. She read from the bylaws a section stating that if a homeowner fails to maintain the exterior appearance the homeowners association “may” do the work and charge the resident.

Mr. Gallagher noted that the maintenance of the exterior is subjective and that the bylaws state that they “may” not that they “will.” The Board agreed that the wording is vague on enforcement.

Mr. Calabro said that this is private property and a matter of opinion what is considered “maintained.”

The Board encouraged Mrs. Leiden to run for election to the Board of Directors of her homeowners association. If her neighbors are in agreement about this matter she should gain their support and become a member of the Board.

Mr. Schenkman said that if the trash is left out and is attracting animals, it could be considered a danger or a health hazard. This could be reported to the County Health Department. He said that as an individual, Mrs. Leiden did have the right to take her homeowners association to court and ask a judge to force the association to enforce the covenants.

Mr. Czajkowski said that he would contact the property management company to encourage it to enforce the covenants and the police would continue to cooperate if the neighbors are making disturbances late at night.

Minutes, Bills Lists and Reports

Bills: Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize payment of bills totaling $275,896.07. Mr. Gallagher seconded.

Discussion of motion: Mr. Gallagher noted a check to the Bucks County Planning Commission and asked whether this would be reimbursed by the County Open Space Planning Program.

Mr. Czajkowski said that the application is being prepared for reimbursement.

Dr. Ciervo asked about a charge by Begley Carlin and Mandio for “pensions.”

Mr. Garton said that this is for work done on an amendment to the firefighters plan, the review of the RFP for pension managers and for review of the draft pension investment policy.

The motion passed 5-0.

Mr. Schenkman moved to authorize interfund transfers totaling $200,000. Mr. Gallagher seconded and the motion passed 5-0.

Old Business

Mr. Benchener reported that he is working on a Patrick Henry Resolution which will be ready for review at the next meeting.

Dr. Ciervo announced that the Board had briefly met in executive session prior to the meeting to discuss personnel.

Mr. Garton asked the Board to remain for an executive session to discuss matters of personnel, real estate and litigation.

The meeting adjourned at 8:15 PM.


Respectfully Submitted:
Mary Donaldson, Recording Secretary



Joseph S. Czajkowski, Township Manager

Robert Ciervo, Chairman

Matthew Benchener, Vice-Chairman

Jerry Schenkman, Secretary/Treasurer

Philip Calabro, Member

Michael Gallagher, Member