TOWNSHIP OF STILLWATER
January 17, 2023
SPECIAL MEETING – Budget
The meeting was called to order at 4 p.m. by Mayor Chammings. Mayor Chammings stated adequate notice of this meeting has been provided according to the Open Public Meetings Act, Assembly Bill 1030. noting the meeting date, time and place were duly published in the New Jersey Herald, posted at the Town Hall, official website, Stillwater Facebook page and advised those present that this meeting was being held in compliance with provisions of P.L. 1975, Chapter 231, Sections 4 & 13.
Mayor Chammings led the public in the salute to the American Flag.
Roll Call: PRESENT: Mrs. Delaney, Mr. Barta, Mrs. Rumsey, Mr. Scott, and Mayor Chammings.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: held in Town Hall
After the reading of the following Resolution to enter into Executive Session, a motion was made by Mr. Barta, seconded by Mrs. Rumsey and carried by roll call vote to adopt the resolution permitting the Committee to go into Executive Session at 4:05 p.m.
WHEREAS, Section 8 of the Open Public Meetings Act, Chapter 231, P.L. 1975 permits the exclusion of the public from a meeting under certain circumstances; and
WHEREAS, this public body is of the opinion that such circumstances presently exist.
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Township Committee of the Township of Stillwater, in the County of Sussex and State of New Jersey as follows:
1. The public shall be excluded from that portion of this meeting.
2. The general nature of the subject matter to be discussed is as follows: Personnel, contract
3. As nearly as can now be ascertained, the matter or matters to be discussed at this time will be disclosed to the public when such matters are resolved.
By a motion made by Ms. Rumsey seconded by Mr. Barta to resume public session unanimously carried by voice vote.
Mayor Chammings said this budget meeting will discuss salaries.
CFO Tammy Leonard said it really comes down to what percentage the Township Committee was going to give the non-contractual employees. The DPW employees received 3% with steps which converts to 3.25%. The difference between 3% and 3.25% will be less than $1300 and 3.25% would keep all employee increases the same.
Mrs. Rumsey is in favor of 3.25%.
Mr. Scott said he was in favor of everyone receiving the same yearly increase and it has been done fairly as long as he has been on the Township Committee.
The Township Committee agreed with the 3.25% for all non-contractual employees.
The CFO noted the Recycling Coordinator’s salary has always been paid from the budget and she would like to pay for the salary from the Recycling Trust.
Mayor Chammings said she would like to freeze the township committee salaries at $4821 (the amount received for 2022). The rest of the township committee agreed to freeze their salary.
The Township Committee looked at General Administration. Mrs. Leonard said after all discussion last year the Clerk 1 salary will be split between General Administration (75%) and Construction Department (25%).
Mayor Chammings asked if there should be any funding left in the building department budget could those funds be used to hire someone to purge and/or scan building department documents.
Mrs. Leonard said since they are not this year’s documents take any funding left over from 2022 to purge the old files. There is about $3000 to put toward purging from 2022. Mayor Chammings also asked about the Clerical line. Mrs. Leonard said if the Township Committee funds the line it can be used. Mayor Chammings said she would like to leave $5000 in the line to purge/organize the files making townhall more efficient. The Township Committee agreed to having $5000 in the clerical line.
The next section discussed was the Municipal Clerk. Mayor Chamming noted the clerk’s hourly rate is $42.29 per hour for clerk and registrar. The clerk is also a qualified purchasing agent and receives a $3000 stipend. Ms. Knott said she hopes someone else becomes a QPA or the township will revert to a bid threshold of $17,500 instead of $44,000.00
The clerk has requested the deputy clerk be made full time for 2023. Mayor Chammings is not in favor of this move at this time. Mayor Chammings said the township must budget for health insurance even if Mrs. Martin declines the insurance. Ms. Knott stressed Mrs. Martin could really use the time to learn the many facets of the clerk position. It is the pivotal position in the township. And most of what is done on a daily basis is not in the text books of the class. The clerk is not only the secretary of the governing body but holds many other positions i.e. elections official, records custodian etc.
Mrs. Delaney asked Mrs. Martin about her prior employment and her schedule for finishing the municipal clerk classes. A discussion was held regarding the change from having a receptionist to a deputy clerk.
Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Scott if he wanted to suspend the conversation.
Mr. Scott said he likes hiring from within and with the clerk leaving he feels Mrs. Martin should be full-time. Mrs. Martin is learning the job so when the clerk leaves someone is here who knows the position. The township has invested time and money in training Mrs. Martin. Mr. Barta agreed with Mr. Scott.
Mrs. Martin added most surrounding municipalities have full-time deputy clerks and learning under the current clerk will create a smooth transition.
Mayor Chammings said the deputy clerk position conversation will be continued again at another meeting and wanted to get in some other items that could be easily decided before the regular township committee meeting at 7:00 p.m.
There were no discussions needed for the CFO, Tax Collector, Tax Assessor, Zoning Officer and Crossing Guard salary and wages.
Mayor Chammings said the Construction Official recommended the Building Secretary receive $1000 merit raise. Mayor Chammings said Stillwater has never given a merit raise and asked if the secretary’s job description has changes and/or if she has added duties. Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Scott and Mr. Barta to ask the Construction Official when they meet with him Wednesday afternoon. Mayor Chammings noted the secretary often works late in order to meet with the inspectors in person to go over files. Mr. Barta said he would like to see the secretary get the raise.
The Zoning Board of Adjustment and Planning Board secretary’s salary was not discussed because Mayor Chammings said both boards will be interviewing candidates for the position the next evening.
Mayor Chammings noted the Fire Sub Code Official position will be decided. Both Mr. Bizik and Mr. Murphy wrote memos to the township committee regarding there position. Mr. Murphy was here earlier during executive session and Mr. Scott and Mr. Barta will meet with Mr. Bizik tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. in town hall to allow him time for discussion.
Mayor Chammings said she put $1000 in the Deputy OEM salary/wage line. All township committee members agree with the $1000.
In Streets and Roads salary and wages the mechanic stipends will be removed from the budget ($3500) because a full-time mechanic has been hired. The CFO would like $50 to remain in each mechanic line and the township committee agreed.
Mayor Chammings asked Mr. Hawkins if he wanted to continue to be the Recycling Coordinator. Mr. Hawkins said in light of all his new responsibilities he has someone else in mind to take over that position. Mr. Hawkins said the candidate is excellent with numbers. Mayor Chammings told Mr. Hawkins to submit his resignation letter and ask the candidate for a letter of interest to be appointed at the next meeting on February 7, 2023. The committee agreed to raise the recycling coordinator’s stipend to $1912 reflecting the 3.25% increase other positions will receive.
Environmental Commission secretary salary was good with no other discussion.
Mayor Chammings noted the Animal Control Officer was much less expensive than the shared services with Newton but feels a discussion with them would be beneficial for next year.
The clerk said the Recreation Commission Secretary salary is very low for the amount of work required in her opinion. Mayor Chammings said the salary for the recreation secretary can be looked into further and discussed again with the Deputy Clerk and Building Secretary positions.
Mayor Chammings called for a motion to close the budget meeting so that all can take a break before the Township Committee meeting
There being no further business, Mr. Barta made a motion to adjourn the Meeting at 6:22 p.m., seconded by Mrs. Rumsey. In a voice vote, all were in favor.
Lynda Knott, RMC
Stillwater Township offers residents a Recycling and Convenience Center for household trash and recycling.
Residents are able to view property tax information and make payments through the online system. You may find a property by entering the property’s location or block, lot and qualifier.
Stillwater Township posts all information about bids and proposals for township projects on a dedicated page.