Hopatcong 2020 Reorganization Meeting – Highlights & Video Coverage

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On January 2, 2020 the Borough of Hopatcong held their Reorganization Meeting for 2020, which included Senator Steven V. Oroho presiding over the oaths for the Mayor, and two Councilmembers of Jennifer Johnson and Brad Hoferkamp.

Additional swearing-in included the new Hopatcong Fire Department Chiefs and the appointment of the various boards, commissions, committees and agencies of the Borough as detailed in section V below.

The meeting can be best summarized in the following five categories:

  • Swearing-In of Elected Officials and Officers
  • Approved Resolutions
  • Public Comments
  • Mayor’s Comments
  • Appointed Positions & Council Committees

I. Swearing-In of Elected Officials and Officers:

BCM 01 02 2020 MovieFull Video of MeetingWhile the Mayor and Councilmember Hoferkamp were returning to their current positions, Councilmember Jennifer Johnson is now entering her first year on the Council and already assigned to several committees. The meeting also saw Councilman John Young appointed as Council President for the year of 2020.

Swearing-In:

  • Mayor Michael Francis for a term of four years
  • Councilman Brad Hoferkamp for a term of three years
  • Councilwoman Jennifer Johnson for a term of three years

Fire Department Officers for 2020:

  • Chief: Shaun Poland
  • 1st Assistant Chief: Steve Kucevic
  • 2nd Assistant Chief: Wade Crowley

Additionally, John Young appointed by the Council to be the President for the year 2020

II. Approved Resolutions:

The following Resolutions were approved by the newly reorganized Borough Council.

  • 2020-14, Authorization for a Petty Cash fund
  • 2020-15, Approval of the Current Temporary Budget
  • 2020-16, Approval of the Sewer Temporary Budget
  • 2020-17, Approval of the Water Temporary Budget
  • 2020-18, Authorization of Professional Service Contracts
  • 2020-19, Broker of Record for Health Services
  • 2020-20 Authorization for the Risk Management contract

III. Public Comment:

A resident brought to the attention of the council of a sinkhole that was discovered on December 15, 2019. Police dispatch has been advised, and the water department has also investigated for a leak and done was found. While possibly the resident’s responsibility, the resident pointed out several areas of past construction in the area that may have created the problem.

IV. Mayor’s Comments:

The following were the Mayor’s comments that closed the meeting as he talked about the love and pride that he has for Hopatcong. He ended by thanking our wonderful residents who give so much to our community. You bring a spirit of support and volunteerism that makes Hopatcong a very special place to live. It is the people in our community that give so much that make Hopatcong a very special place to live.

I would like to start by thanking people that make our town great. I love the Borough of Hopatcong and the Community Spirit that makes our town so special. By Community Spirit, I mean.... taking pride in our community.

Our staff works diligently every day to foster Community Spirit.

Tonight, I would like to recognize the diverse team of talented people that work together to build pride in our community and make our town an amazing place to live, work and play.

Our Borough Council is a diverse team of talented people that work together to make our town a better place to live.

Our Administration under the leadership of Ron Tappan has shown just how efficient a town can be run. We continue to explore shared services to keep the cost of government at an acceptable level.

Our Police Department under the Leadership of Chief Brennan is well respected throughout Sussex County for their professionalism, their successful

collaborations with neighboring police departments and their strong stand Against Drugs. Our Police serve the community with a high Standard of Excellence that makes a difference in our lives and in our safety

Our Fire Department is one of the best trained around and their equipment wins trophies in many categories. Our firefighters respond 24 hours a day 7 days a week in a highly professional and efficient manner. They are a very important part of our community and are always ready to contribute their time and labor for the good of the town.

Our Office of Emergency Management and Cert Team are always there for us in case of emergencies. We depend on their readiness to help us through the toughest of times.

Our Ambulance Squad responds to our medical emergency’s day and night with courteous and professional service.

Our DEP under the leadership of Pat Mason is the most dedicated group of workers that I have ever seen. They continue to exceed expectations, especially during snow and ice events.

Our Senior Center under the leadership of Cathy Millian has expanded and is now the largest senior nutrition center in Sussex County. As our Recreation Director, she has revamped the entire Summer Camp Program and added more fun-filled activities for the children guaranteeing its continued success.

This year we opened the Hopatcong Community Wellness Center located in the Walgreen’s shopping center.

A special thank you to Councilwoman Dawn Roberts our Gold Star Mother who is the Director and the "Heart” of the Wellness Center. Under her leadership, the center hosted numerous events that benefited our community. Just to name a few: Coffee with a Cop, Meet the Mayor, Health information events include vaping, Narcan training, monitoring for blood pressure, hearing and more.

Dawn also connected with County Services. Project Self-Sufficiency services are now available at the Center along with meetings and programs from The Center for Prevention.

The mission of the Hopatcong Community Center is to enhance the quality of life of our residents by

caring for people, strengthening the bonds of community and creating opportunities for renewal, growth, and enrichment. In order to inspire a healthy and active community, we will build partnerships and connect with organizations that offer social programs that empower residents to stay active and improve their health and well-being.

This year we started the first annual giving tree that was a huge success giving our needy children a memorable experience of Christmas.

The monthly pop up market that works as a food pantry, continues to fill a need for residents who require assistance with food supplies.

The 2019 Federal Safe Streets to school grant to pave and improve sidewalks on Durban Ave. and Flora Ave. has been completed

The Municipal Animal Shelter has been completely refurbished with a new roof, new windows, new heating, and air system, plumbing and electrical upgrade and all new animal enclosures that include isolation areas for dogs and cats. These upgrades will significantly improve the facility and enhance the quality of life for animals in our care. Our

adoption rate is very successful. Thank you to our animal control officer, Gianna DiMateo.

We are moving into 2020 with a financially stable budget. We will continue to review and evaluate each department in order to enhance the efficiency of services while keeping expenses stable this year while working to achieve a municipal zero tax increase.

Our Bond Rating remains at Standard and Poors Global Rating to an AA+. This is important because it shows just how well our finances and budgets are being managed. It also shows that we have a Very Strong capacity to meet our financial commitments. There are very few towns in New Jersey that have AA+ratings. We continue to pay down our debt obligations with the goal to have minimum debt obligations in the future. Thanks to the leadership of our CFO, Lorraine Rossetti.

2020 will bring the installation of a solar field on the borough landfill property that will generate much-needed revenue to the borough. The Borough is leasing the landfill to AC Power at a rate of $15,500 per installed megawatt.

Also, in 2020 the Federal and State grants totaling $700,000 for the River Styx street beautification that includes streetlights, sidewalks and crosswalks will begin.

We have been working hard to resolve the cyanobacteria problem in the lake. I have made proposals to the DEP and also traveled to Trenton to appeal to the State of NJ for help with our lake. So far nothing has been finalized but I will continue to work with the Mayors of Mount Arlington, Roxbury and Jefferson and also the Lake Hopatcong Commission and the Lake Hopatcong Foundation to make our lake better. We cannot allow another season like we had last year. I remain dedicated to this cause.

Before I end my speech, I would like to give a big “Thank You“ to all of our wonderful residents who give so much to our community. You bring a spirit of support and volunteerism that makes Hopatcong a very special place to live. It is the people in our community that give so much that make Hopatcong a very special place to live.

I am very proud to serve as Mayor of Hopatcong and what we have accomplished in the last few years together. I look forward to continuing our vision, establishing new goals to improve the entire community and making Hopatcong all that it can be and a better place to live.

As the new year unfolds, I invite everyone to put aside their differences and join together so we can continue to build and foster pride in the community WE ALL CALL HOME...Hopatcong!

V. Appointed Positions & Council Committees:

The following are the appointments that were made to the different positions and the councilmembers' appointments to the committees.

Land Use Board:

  • Mayor Francis, Class I with a term running through 12/31/2020
  • Ronald Tappan, Class II with a term running through 12/31/2020
  • Richard Schindelar, Class III with a term running through 12/31/2020
  • Alan Gilbert, Class IV with a term running through 12/31/23
  • Robert Duncan, Class IV with a term running through 12/31/23
  • Judith Kracht Alt. #2, with a term running through 12/31/21

Board of Health

  • Michael Francis, Full Member with a term running through 12/31/22
  • Bradley Hoferkamp, Full member with a term running through 12/31/22
  • Jennifer Johnson, Full Member with a term running through 12/31/22

Recreation Commission

  • Marshall Speizer, Full Member with a term running through 12/31/24
  • Bruce Feinburg, alternate with a term running through 12/31/22

Environmental Commission

  • Jen Barone, Full Member with a term running through 12/31/22
  • Robert Rehe, Land Use Rep, with a term running through 12/31/22

Lake Hopatcong Commission

  • Dan McCarthy, Member with a term running through 12/31/20

Appointed Council Committees:

Finance

Hoferkamp, Schindelar, Francis

Police

Johnson, Schindelar, Francis

Fire

Schindelar, Francis, Smith

Ambulance Squad

Hoferkamp, Johnson, Smith

OEM

Schindelar, Young, Francis

DPW and Grounds

Young, Francis, Hoferkamp

Water/Sewer

Schindelar, Hoferkamp, Francis

SWAC/PAC

Smith

Open Space

Young

Environmental

Schindelar, Young

Recreation

Young, Schindelar

Land Use Board

Schindelar

Real Estate

Schindelar, Young, Hoferkamp

Redevelopment

Smith, Schindelar, Francis

Hopatcong Market

Francis, Hoferkamp, Smith

Senior Citizens

Hoferkamp, Roberts, Schindelar

Sussex County League of Mun.

Schindelar, Smith, Francis

Municipal Alliance

Young, Roberts, Francis

School Liaison

Hoferkamp, Johnson, Francis

MSA

Schindelar

Hopatcong Community Center/Wellness center

Sylvia Petillo, Pat Hoferkamp, Lisa Hirshfield, Dawn Roberts, Mike Francis

2020 Clean Communities Committee

  • Michael Francis, Mayor
  • Ron Tappan, Business Administrator
  • Patrick Mason, DPW
  • Steve Millian, Coordinator

Emergency Management Council

  • Michael Francis, Mayor
  • John Young, Council Representative
  • Rob Auer, Captain, Ambulance Squad
  • Shaun Poland, Fire Chief
  • Patrick Mason, DPW
  • Ron Tappan, Administrator

FIREWISE COMMITTEE

  • Kevin Bourke, Chairman
  • Shaun Poland, Fire Marshal
  • Michael Francis, Mayor
  • Ryan Smith, Council Representative
  • Ron Tappan, Business Administrator
  • Bernie Kotchkowski, Fire Safety Inspector
  • Frank Steinberg, Fire Safety Inspector

Dock Committee

  • Michael Francis

Senior Citizenship Advisory Committee

  • Michael Francis, Mayor
  • Ida Brown, Chair
  • Bradley Hoferkamp, Council Liaison
  • Ron Tappan, Administrator
  • Cathy Millian, Recreation Coordinator
  • Henry Schmidt
  • Marie McQueen
  • Michelle McCroy
  • John Campbell
  • Fred Sampson
  • Sal Fiorentino
  • Pat Hofmann
  • Betty Castoro
  • JoAnne Curtin

 

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