06 Jan Workshop Highlights 12-31-2018
On behalf of the Council, we would like to share with you the highlights of the 12/31/18 Borough Workshop Meeting that was attended by 14 individuals.
- Mayor Fox attempted to change the official newspaper, deleting the Cape May Herald and replacing with the Leader. Other commissioners saw no reason to change. Donna Frederick expressed strong statement about need to stay with Herald.
- Monthly meetings will now be held on Wednesdays at 3PM. The explanation for the change has to do with what is best for the officials and WWW borough employees. Just call the office at 609- 522-4845 for detailed explanation. A request by the CTWWW was that this decision be re-visited if and when the Friday furlough is lifted in March 2019.
- Borough Workshop Meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month at 9:00AM.
- CTWWW requested permission to LIVE Stream the meetings over the internet in order to reach additional taxpayers. That was approved and details will follow on how to be part of the meeting as soon as possible.
- RFPQ’s will be handled in Oct and Nov 2019 for the budget year 2020. It is clear that the officials were not well versed on the procedure in place for awarding contracts. There was significant confusion during this discussion as the CTWWW had submitted a request that RFPQ’s be done in October 2018. The officials did not recall this request, thus the repeated suggestion that the meetings to follow Robert’s Rules of Order, which allows for a consistent review of old business.
- The municipal auditor has been authorized as Bowman & Company and they received over $43,000 in 2018 due to legal services. Their new contract is for $39,000.
- There is a temporary budget and it is 26.25%, which can be increased if the budget is not finalized for an extended time. A CTWWW representative confirmed that this actually means that approximately 26% of each of last year’s budget line items can be spent as of January 1, 2019.
- The CTWWW requested a copy of the Cash Management Plan for the fourth time to see where our money is invested. CFO will be contacted again.
- Two taxpayers requested being added to the planning board. Commissioners Fox and Golden are on the committee and will review resumes as positions become vacant to review qualifications. The committee is scheduled to meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00PM as needed.
- Vendor contracts were requested by the CTWWW. Specifically solicitor labor and software.
- Ladies Auxiliary will not pay the $100 fee to rent/use the borough hall, per Mayor Fox the Ladies Auxiliary is a borough organization and exempt from the fee.
- Flood valve was purchased in May. No one sure where it was used. Maybe Neptune Avenue?
- Emergency repair on Poplar Avenue for $11,250.00 Not sure why this was needed?
- The October water bill was increased from $300 per qtr to $800. No explanation available. Official Maxwell to follow up with CFO, Elaine.
- Budget procedures for excess spending were questioned. Why wasn’t a red flag raised regarding the water bill and other excesses? WWW paid CMCMUA an additional $67,000 for excess flow for 2017 (paid in 2018). WWW administration stated that it was only $44,000. The CTWWW Finance person had the correct numbers in hand. They were $107,621 per quarter plus an additional $67,000. Officials looked as though they had no knowledge of this difference and had no response. This is important as we get billed each year for this.
- And finally, the topic of the sewer budget and the designation of fees to each taxpayer became energized due to the frustration on the part of the attendees as to the lack of an informed explanation by borough officials as to why it is not a usage-based system.
There was also an important discussion regarding the camera system needed to check the sewers for leaks and such. The commissioners said it was too expensive (their estimate was for $90,000) and said it wasn’t in the budget. One suggestion was made to rent one and another suggestion included the assistance of an engineering company, Remington and Vernick, previously hired by the borough.
Again, there are many unanswered questions to important topics and of even more concern is the confusion of the officials when asked about these issues. This is why the CTWWW has to continue to grow and remain active moving forward.
We would like to re-emphasize that the CTWWW is a 501 (C) (4) non-profit organization committed to improving the community of West Wildwood through decisions that are transparent, ethical and in the best interest of all taxpayers. All donations are photographed and deposited in a bank account by CTWWW Directors.
The next Borough Meeting is Wednesday, January 9th at 3:00PM. It is our goal to have it live streamed, as well as to distribute minutes of the meeting.
If you or your family members have any questions or thoughts, please email us. Your voice, your attendance at meetings and your financial support matter. Thank you for all three.