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Mayor Ronald R. Jones
Annual Message 2006
Excerpts from the Mayor's 2006
I would like to take this time to wish everyone a Happy New Year and welcome to our 2006
Reorganization meeting and my State of the Borough address. It is the Mayor's
responsibility to address the residents annually and to give a report of the State of the
2005 again continued to be a very good and productive year for the Borough of Hasbrouck
Heights and I am happy to report that the state of the Borough is in fine shape and
looking once again to the coming of a new year with new opportunities and Goals to make
2006 as successful as 2005.
Once again I can explain the reason for our successful year of 2005 is due to the hard
work and dedication of the Council, all the borough employees, and the willingness, and
unselfishness, of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights residents who have either served on
many of the volunteer boards or who have supported our efforts to make Hasbrouck Heights
the best that it can be. As your Mayor I am extremely proud, humbled and very thankful to
each and every one of you for sharing your time and talents with this beloved Borough.
I would like to congratulate Councilman Justin DiPisa for his re-election to the council
and also congratulate, and welcome, Councilwomen Maryetta Saccomano for her election to
this council. I look forward to working with both of you this coming year and the years
I would also like to take this time to personally thank Councilman Andrew Link for his
dedication to this Borough and wish him well in his future endeavors. I thank you for all
that you have accomplished for this fine Borough, Andy, and I know that all the citizens
of Hasbrouck Heights thank you and wish you well. We will always be indebted to you and
your family for the sacrifices that you have made over the years of your incumbency.
I ask of you Andy to please stay active in our town's future. I as Mayor need your wisdom,
guidance, and friendship. I wish you and your family God's blessing in the path that you
now choose to follow.
Before I read some of the highlights of the year
2005 I would like to take the time to personally and individually thank Councilman Andrew
Link, Councilman Justin DiPisa, Councilman Ron Kistner, Councilman Tom Meli, Councilman
Leonard Introna, and Councilwoman Carol Skiba , Borough Clerk Ro Sees, CFO and
Administrator Mike Kronyak, Borough Attorney Ralph Chandless, Police Chief Mike Colaneri,
DPW superintendent Bob Heck, now on retirement, Acting DPW superintendent Bill Spindler,
and Fire Chief Joe Bob Taylor for all their support through out the year. It is certainly
encouraging to know that when people work as a team, together for a greater cause, that
the team can accomplish its goals, and move forward toward their individual dreams for the
Borough of Hasbrouck Heights.
Now let me share with all of you some of the
highlights of the year 2005.
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS FOOD PANTRY
The Hasbrouck Heights Food Pantry was officially opened on April 25 and has continued to
be open on a weekly basis every Monday (with the exception of holidays which fall on a
Monday, then it is open on Tuesday) from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. There are now 18 volunteers who
graciously donate their time and talent to insure that this happens. Thank you all very
much for all your time and efforts.
Special thanks to all who have kept the shelves
stocked throughout the year or made donations for the holidays. Gifts of cash, Shop-Rite
gift cards, grocery items, turkeys, gifts for all ages and toys were donated by the
Friendly Neighbors, Corpus Christi Church, First Reformed Church, St. John's Episcopal
Church, United Methodist Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts,
Euclid and Lincoln Schools, the Contemporary Club, Karen McDowell and the Corpus Christi
Rosary Society, Claire and Bob Derco, Amy, Dorothy and Patrick McCarthy, Bank of America,
John & Phyllis Bonnacolta, Al and Louise Vereeken, Carolyn DePascale, Euclid Lodge 136
F&AM, Kearny Federal Savings, Jerry Breen, Judith Bonanno, Michael Corcoran, Euclid
School and Mrs. Gant's Class, Borough employees, Connie Margagliano, and Corpus Christi
Brownie Troop 1180.
The recreation department has had another great year! By implementing multi-generational
programs that are the backbone of strong communities.
Each program has a purpose, from building character and responsibility through youth
sports to allowing volunteers to feel connected to its local government by assisting in
many of our recreation programs.
There are four broad base recreation categories in Hasbrouck Heights, they are as follows:
Senior Programs, Youth Programs, Adult Programs, and Multi-generational events/programs.
First, Senior Programs benefits anyone who is 62 years and older who resides anywhere in
the United States can come and participate in our senior center activities. Youth Programs
benefit every child male or female ages 6- 17 that reside in Hasbrouck Heights. Adult
Programs benefit anyone 18 an older that is a resident of Hasbrouck Heights or a former
member of our community. Multi-generational events, such as "Town Day" and
"Halloween in the Park" benefit the entire community. I consider these events as
a chance to showcase what our community offers to its resident's families and friends.
Monthly activities in the senior center are designed to attract a wide variety of our
community's senior population. There are two important objectives first, "improve
quality of life" with Health & Wellness and also "quality enjoyment of
living" which means having specific things to enjoy and look forward to doing.
* HEALTH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMS CONSIST OF;
1. Weekly Aerobics
2. Weekly line dancing
3. Weekly Yoga
4. Monthly Guest Speakers
5. Free monthly health exams (joint program with Bd. of Health)
6. Bi-Annual "Life Line Screening Program for Early Detection"
7. Student Assist Seniors Program (S.A.S.P.) will be explained under multi-generational
8. Senior Olympics practice and competition
* QUALITY ENJOYMENT OF LIVING PROGRAMS CONSIST OF:
1. Weekly movies
2. The Senior Picnic (organized and run by Ro Sees funded by Recreation Dept, and
3. Seasonal Theme Parties (Halloween Costume Party10/05,)
4. Fun Bingo
5. Weekly social afternoons
6. Annual Senior Olympics
NEW SENIOR PROGRAMS TO LOOK FOR IN 2006
* Billiards and bridge club
YOUTH PROGRAMS- through the many
youth programs the recreation department has something to offer all the children of our
community. Through their athletic programs they try to help children establish a sense of
responsibility and good sportsmanship while helping them build character. They also
develop a sense of pride by representing our community on our traveling teams. Our
community's recreation center has been able to provide children a place to go on weekend
evenings to meet new friends, play games, interact with our volunteer chaperones, and
realize that the recreation department is very proactive in helping children stay active
and social with their community. This center is an extremely important tool for children
to learn proper socialization skills outside of a classroom or home and one that we can
all be proud of.
* RECREATION YOUTH ATHLETIC PROGRAMS
1. Wrestling- boys from 1st - 8th grades
2. Youth Basketball boys and girls 1st
3. Traveling Girl's Basketball
4. Traveling Boy's Basketball
5. Track & Field 5th
7. Traveling Softball
* RECREATION YOUTH ACTIVITIES
1. Summer Camp- 6yrs. - 13 yrs.
2. Recreation Center-6th - 8th grade
3. Summer Day Trips
4. Theme parties and social nights at the recreation center.
5. Employment opportunities- 14yrs and up, as a camp counselor, referee, scorekeeper.
6. Volunteer opportunities- senior center, wrestling tournament scorekeeper, and c.i.t.
7. Counselor in Training Program- allows 14 year old children to register as a volunteer
counselor at summer camp where they are supervised by experienced counselors in all
aspects of the summer camp responsibilities.
NEW YOUTH PROGRAMS TO LOOK FOR IN 2006
* Annual ping pong tournaments
* New trips, and theme days for summer camp.
ADULT PROGRAMS- the recreation
department is looking to add to our current list of adult programs in 2006. The department
offers an adult volunteer coaching program, which is essential to the success of our youth
athletic programs. With most of our adult programs we try to establish some type of
fitness workout through fun team sports.
1. Adult volunteer coaching program
2. Adult coed volleyball
3. Adult basketball
4. Men's flag football
5. Adult table tennis tournament
6. Community chaperone opportunities
NEW ADULT PROGRAMS TO LOOK FOR IN 2006-
* Adult yoga classes
* Adult aerobic classes
* Adult art club
* Men's basketball tournament
MULTI-GENERATIONAL EVENTS/PROGRAMS- are events that the entire community can enjoy and participate in. Events such as
"Town Day" and "Halloween in the Park" are successful examples of an
entire community enjoying a specific day organized by our recreation department.
Multi-generational programs are programs where the youth of our community can assist our
senior citizens or where our youth can learn from our adults, it is that interaction
between generations that can build strong communities.
1. Town Day
2. Halloween in the Park
3. Students Assist Seniors Programs (S.A.S.P.)
NEW MULTI-GENERATIONAL EVENTS IN 2006-
* Seniors chaperones for after school programs
* Mixed generation billiards, cards, chess, and checkers
* Recreation Family Nights
I want to thank at this time Rob Brady. Rob is a true inspiration on how best to make
recreation the best that it can be for our residents of all ages to learn and enjoy their
lives. You are definitely an asset to Hasbrouck Heights. Keep up the good work.
Under the supervision of the Board of Trustees, headed by Peter J. Gallo, Jr. and
Direction of Michelle Reutty its Director, the Library's services continue to grow-and so
do the fans of the Library.
Last year they circulated over 88,000 items. An average of six hundred seventy-five people
used the computers every week. And over 50,000 people walked through the doors of the
library to use one or more of the library services.
They have greatly expanded the collection of DVDs and will continue to grow their music
collection of CD's. 2006 will see a collection of Books-on-CD. Also available to borough
residents as of January 1 is the ability to download recorded books to their personal
computers, and upload to a CD or an MP3 player. Book titles selected will be a diverse
combination of fiction, non-fiction, language instruction, and plays and literary
Their programs have expanded as the public has requested. In 2005, 6,884 people attended
250 programs given by The Library. 2006 will see us re-instituting books discussions and
beginner computer classes.
By popular demand, Reference Librarian Melissa Singlevich has had to offer the Knitting
Instruction Classes taught by Gina DeFlorio three times! The Crafts to Share Club and the
Clutter Club both draw large, faithful audiences. Melissa was responsible for the Frank
Sinatra tribute, in addition to the very popular eBay programs.
The Young Adult Programs continue to be of great interest. Under the supervision of
Assistant Director Mimi Hui, this year saw the initiation of a continuing book discussion
for Young Adults, and an innovative program that paired teens and adults in a craft class.
Children's Library Rosalie Nickles has added more children's programs as more and more
children are signing up for them. She now has programs and services for children and their
caregivers from birth to middle school. (The middle school has "discovered" the
Library and has made us their favorite place after school.)
The Library has received the following grants:
1. Per Capita State Aid $ 11,000 Used for Operating Expenses
2. DCA $ 16,000 14 Wireless Laptop Computers
3. Bergen County Division of Parks $ 900 Digitization of the Observer
4. New Jersey Council on the
Humanities $ 700 Library Speaker Programs
In addition, the Library has received support from the Friends of the Library, presided
over by Susanne Kepsel which finances all children's programs, all young adult programs,
and all refreshments for all library programs.
The Friends' Endowment Fund, whose mission is to provide for the Children's Room and to
keep the Library on the cutting edge of technology, this year paid for the technical
support for the wireless system, as well as additional seating for the Children's Room.
In conclusion, the Library continues to provide the community with outstanding public
I want to personally thank Michelle Reutty and her entire staff for such a fine and
professional service that they offer to our residents and children. Michelle, Great Job
and thank you again.
The Flu Immunization program was continued. 220 residents received their immunizations.
The Registered Environmental Health Specialist provided by the Bergen County Department of
Health Services provided thru the month of November, 1,099 inspections.
The Annual Dog Canvass was conducted again this July and a total of 50 dogs were found to
be unlicensed... After follow up, a total of 1,003 licenses were issued. The record
broken, the most issued in 30 years.
Unfortunately, the City of Garfield chose to discontinue working with children requiring
immunizations from Hasbrouck Heights before entering school and preschool immunizations.
The Boro and the Board of Health will seek another provider to continue this mandated
service to the residents whose health insurance does not cover well baby visits.
Another successful Health Fair was held in September and enjoyed by over 200 residents who
took part in the activities and enjoyed a delicious hot lunch provided by Wellington
Health Care Center. The goal of the Health Department is to continue the Health Fairs and
continue to grow each year with additional local professionals who will provide testing
and information to the residents.
The year 2006 should bring electronic transmission of all vital records (births, marriage
and death) directly to the State of New Jersey for permanent recordation.
The year ended on a sad note with the passing of former Board of Health member, James T.
Walsh. Jim, a true friend of mine, and to all who worked with him, was the Chief Inspector
for the Bergen County Department of Health Services and provided much input in the
management of the local Health Department and always made Hasbrouck Heights, his home
town, his top priority. He will be missed by all who knew him and worked with him.
I want to thank Marilyn deRussy and the entire Board of Health, under the guidance of
their President Lou Castellito, for your efforts through the year.
The Building Department has issued over 900 permits.
Permits this year consisted of BUILDING - 649
ELECTRIC - 293
PLUMBING - 261
FIRE - 121
ELEVATOR - 1
TOTAL VALUE OF CONSTRUCTION $16,033,348.00
TOTAL PERMIT FEES COLLECTED $ 222,065.00 plus Zoning Compliance, CO.'s and Contractors
Property Maintenance has done numerous inspections to insure compliance was achieved. When
necessary legal action was taken.
To better serve the community in 2005 some of their accomplishments have been:
1. To work with the Borough Officials to change the Zoning Ordinances on Driveways and air
conditioner placement to alleviate the need of appearing before the board for a variance
for many residents.
2. A more timely review of plans to enable residents to begin work when they desired.
3. Increasing hours has given the Department the opportunity to be a presence on job sites
to insure that work is commencing in compliance with zoning and building ordinances.
4. Inspections on a daily basis now, which has eliminated having to ask the residents to
stop their work to wait for an inspection.
All of these steps have made homeowners happier with this department.
It is our goal to continue to keep this department running efficiently. We continue to
examine ways to increase revenue and help the residents of Hasbrouck Heights.
Special thanks to Nick Melfi, Dorothy Bernice, and Edmund Carter for all their efforts
during the year.
Heard 19 cases. Scheduled two meeting a month for applicant's convenience. Reviewed and
recommended approval for at least five land use ordinance changes. Implemented driveway
widening standard details for inclusion in the Borough's standard construction details.
Continued for the better part of half the year to rehear the AT&T Cellular One
application on orders from the Mayor and Council.
I would like to thank Hank Dobbelaar, Chairman,
and all the members of the planning board for their dedication and volunteerism and for
agreeing to extend the meeting dates to make it more convenient for the residents of our
Borough when making applications.
The fire department has had a very active year responding to the following calls for
EMS Calls --- 1,070 Fire Calls --- 590
We must all remember that these are volunteers and sacrifice a great deal of time away
from their families.
Equipment received in 2005
2 Pro-Pak Foam units for engines
New 4x4 Chief's Truck
8 sets Turnout Gear
A Foam Crash Truck from Port Authority that will be given to HHFD in January or February
Goals for 2006:
30 New air packs
One more 4x4 Chief's Truck
New 4x4 Ambulance
I want to thank Chief Taylor and his entire department, and the entire Chief's and
officers that served before them, for the dedicated service they have given to our Borough
and its residents.
2005 was a very active and busy year for the Police Department. The Department answered
over 10,000 calls for service.
Traffic continues to be one of the department's toughest challenges. They are constantly
looking at ways to improve traffic flow, improve pedestrian safety and manage parking
AAA recognized the department with their awards of excellence for our efforts. (One of
only a few in North Jersey)
Working with Bergen County Road Department, NJ Transit and NJ DOT, we were able to change
the traffic patters at Williams and Boulevard and Baldwin and Boulevard to eliminate 2
lanes of traffic through the intersection.
Additional handicapped parking was added near Lincoln School.
The department's Honor Guard was busy attending
many Borough events as well as County and State Police Memorial Services. The members of
the Honor Guard volunteer for this assignment.
The DARE Program again did a great job educating
the children of all of our schools K-12 on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and violence.
Sports world trip was held in January and was a success.
8th grade swim party was held in June at the Swim Club.
The Jr. Class was shown the effects of drinking and driving utilizing golf carts and
goggles that give the effect of being drunk.
5th grade parent's night was held and well attended.
The police department actively peruses all grants. In 2005 the following grants were
A 9-1-1 mapping program to be integrated with cell phones.
$17,800 9-1-1 equipment grant to purchase equipment to handle cell phone calls routed to
$6,000 for exercise/weight training equipment confiscated from drug dealers.
$20,000 from the Federal Government and $2,800 from NJ for bulletproof vests.
$5,000 NJ Highway safety for drunken driving enforcement details.
$5,000 state equipment grant for night vision equipment.
$5,000 for DWI arrests.
Our Community Policing Programs have continued and we are always looking for ways to
improve our relationship and be part of our community.
Special Olympics beefsteak, Polar Bear Plunge and Torch Run with our Department raising
over $25,000 and being #2 in the entire state.
Citizen's Academy was continued with trips to Medical Examiners Officer and a crime scene
program. This was well attended and all had fun and learned more about what Police
Officers deal with.
Jr. Police Academy was held for our 8th graders. The Jr. Academy was shown on NJ Network's
8th grade Washington trip was chaperoned and the BADGE program continued.
Our 10th Annual Bike Marathon was held with 200 children participating. This is a total
community effort with the Police, Fire, DPW, and Board of Ed and business community
Patrol and the Detective Bureau continue to do an outstanding job.
Big League Card Program:
All Officers received new cards to be handed out to the children of our community. Thanks
to Comm. Ron Kistner and Linda Brandle the children will have the opportunity to collect
these cards by approaching and asking each officer of the department.
Equipment: In 2005 received:
2 - 2005 police cars for marked patrol
New bulletproof vests replacing ones that were to expire
30 - DOT approved traffic safety vests
Active shooter team equipment.
Chief Colaneri, I thank you and your department for their professionalism and for their
volunteer work. The Council and I are very proud of your department and I know you are as
well. Keep up the good work and thank you again.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Robert Heck has retired from serving the Borough as Superintendent and I am sure will
enjoy his retirement with his wonderful family. Bob will be missed at the department. We
wish him a healthy and happy retirement.
The Department has acquired a new tree truck and
front-end loader, which was delivered on December 12, 2005. This equipment will help to
aid Woodland Park.
The Department has instituted maintenance for the
mechanical systems, which include HVAC filtration cleaning, and emergency generator
Storm Water Regulations
The Public Works Department is still in the process of complying with the statewide
requirements of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Storm water Regulation
Continue to maintain main sewer line cleaning and are focusing on problem areas. The
Department will concentrate in a pro-active manner to ensure proper flow throughout our
system. They will also continue to inspect the Borough pumping stations
I want to thank retired Superintendent Bob Heck
and Acting Superintendent Bill Spindler, and their entire department, for all their
efforts in 2005. Their removal of Snow during the lasts storms again ensures us that
Hasbrouck Heights DPW are the best. I would also like to especially thank the Sanitation
crews for their hard work.
The Municipal Building continues to be used by
many organizations for various meetings and gatherings. Very often every available room is
occupied and we still have more requests for meeting space.
These meeting rooms in Borough Hall are being well utilized by the many organizations in
town, affording them a rent free space to conduct their business in a clean and appealing
environment. Girl Scouts, Brownie Troops, Boy Scouts, Little League, the Soccer
Association, Junior Football, Community Awareness Access to All Committee, Republican
Club, Democratic Clubs, Chamber of Commerce, FOCAS are just a few of those groups who meet
regularly. The Junior Woman's Club, Recreation Department and Mayor's Celebrations
Committee have held special events that were able to be held in a safe and secure
environment. It is great to see that this building is being used to such an extent and I
am sure it's use will continue to grow.
In September an ordinance was introduced in the amount of $600,000.00 for the construction
of a parking lot and pocket park adjacent to the Municipal Building. After great
consideration this ordinance was withdrawn and a new ordinance was introduced in December
which reduced the scope of the project and reduced the cost by $200,000.00 to a total of
$400,000.00. This scaled back version will provide for approximately 35 parking spaces as
well as the cul-de-sac and pocket park, $54,000.00 of the cost will be funded by an Open
Space Trust Fund Grant. A parcel of land the size of a building lot will be left
undeveloped and for future use. However after our last council meeting in December 2005
the ordinance was defeated without explanation. So it's back to the drawing board again
and will be brought up at our next work session. This project must move forward in 2006.
Other Ordinances have been adopted to provide funding for the following:
Acquisition of Gear and Equipment for the Fire Department and Police Department in the
amount of $45,000.00 funded by a Local Domestic Preparedness Grant.
Improvements to Woodland Park in the amount of $40,000.00 funded by a Statewide Livable
Acquisition of New Laptop Computers for the Library in the amount of $16,000.00 funded by
a Statewide Livable Communities Local Library Grant.
Acquisition of a New Front End Loader and Roll
off Truck for the DPW $250,000.00.
Acquisition of 2 Four Wheel Drive Vehicles, 1 for the Fire Department and 1 for Fire
The following streets were paved:
The following grants were either utilized in the 2005 operating budget or have been
awarded this year for use in 2006. Grant Funds are used to pay for services that would
otherwise have to be funded by tax dollars:
Municipal Recycling Assistance Program 6,623.51
Governors Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse 11,500.00
Clean Communities Program 9,991.78
Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund 10,228.19
Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Fund 2,683.79
Recycling Tonnage Grant 5,817.18
Extraordinary Aid 150,000.00
Municipal Homeland Security Aid 70,000.00
Body Armor Fund 5,955.03
Grants are also sought for the funding of Capital Projects. These grants help us complete
large projects, which do fall within the operating budget, without incurring additional
debt. The following projects are either completed or in progress as a result of grants
received or awarded in 2005:
Construction of a Basketball/Roller Hockey Park 67,493.00
Acquisition of Police and Fire Gear 45,000.00
Acquisition of Computers for the Library 16,000.00
Improvements to the Comfort Station in Woodland Park 48,375.00
Improvements to Woodland Park Open Areas 40,000.00
In addition to the above, the Mayor and Council have already applied for grants to fund
projects such as:
Improvements to Madison Avenue
Improvements to Division Avenue
Acquisition of Gear and Equipment for the Fire Department
Improvements to the Comfort Station in Woodland Park Phase 2
Acquisition of a New Senior Citizen Bus
Tax Collections and Tax Rates
The 2005 Collection rate is on target to meet prior year collection rate of 98.89%. This
collection rate has been very consistent and stable over the 10 years and is anticipated
to continue to be stable.
Revaluation of Real Property
The Bergen County Board of Taxation issued an order requiring the Borough to revalue all
real estate for the 2006 year. The Borough hired the company Appraisal Systems, Inc. to
complete the revaluation. A representative of the company was present at the December 13,
2005 meeting to give a progress report and they indicated that post cards with your new
property value for 2006 should be received the last week of December. We will hold
hearings in the Borough Hall in January of 2006 during which your value and property
record card can be reviewed with a representative of Appraisal Systems. Please remember
that when you receive your new value do not multiply it by the old 2005 tax rate, a new
rate must be calculated using the new 2006 assessed valuation of the entire town.
Multiplying your new value by the old 2005 tax rate would greatly overstate your 2006 tax
At this time I want to close by thanking you for
your patience with me while giving this report. I know it was lengthily but it is
extremely important that every resident is kept well informed with the working of its
On closing I ask God to Bless and protect our Emergency service personal, Police, Fire,
EMS, as they often go into harms way in responding to emergency calls. To Bless, protect
and watch over all our residents young & elderly alike. To Bless and protect all our
United States Service men and women who have served before, and who are now serving and
protecting our Freedom, and may God Bless the United States of America.