[Mayor]: That covers the Mayor's items... I would like to move on to public comment ...I would like to take care of one item that was sent to was by mail first, then we will open the floor to the public. A person with disabilities cannot make the meeting and has sent a couple of questions.

First question:

regarding the deer issue:
Realizing that most deer do not die quickly from an arrow hit-- and that perhaps as many as 50% of animals hit are not recovered.

Do the members of the council believe that hunting deer with a weapon as crude as a bow and arrow is an acceptably humane, and is overall the most efficient, method of addressing the problem of deer overpopulation?

For the record the person writing this is very far off base. In three years of hunting deer ...approximately 50 deer a year deer was hit and not immediately recovered and it was recovered the next day. All the deer that have been hit have died within a few moments of being hit... the hunters are skilled they shoot down from above and the kills are not instant put very close to it. Secondly we use bow and arrow because that is a acceptable method of hunting near homes don't hunt with shotguns next houses... we did that ..we looked into trapping, that is something this individual has suggested, trapping turns out to be one of the most inhumane methods that they can come up with the number of deer that die in trapping is like 50 percent of the deer... they very rarely survive.

Second question relative to deer: If a local farmer were to "cull his herd" using a Bow and Arrow for the "fun of it". Would members of the council oppose the prosecution of that farmer for animal cruelty?

Number one, a hunter... the farmer doing that would be in violation of a lot of laws not just cruelty to animals... the council doesn't have jurisdiction in this area.... this is a hunting game commission issue and a state law issue.

[Blakeslee]: mayor I a have a little knowledge about that can apply for special licenses to cull deer on their property for the purposes of protecting agriculture.

oh yes they can do that

and it's quite common

but again it's not our jurisdiction

[Haverkost]: we just do it.

Regarding the merged library the person has a question. Considering all expenses (extra staff, engineering, etc.) can council provide an approximation of how much money the Borough has already spent on "preparation" for this project?

Number one, there has been no extra staff hired. Most of the work has been volunteer except for the engineering or the existing staff. The best estimate I have quickly, because this only came in late Friday and I didn't get a chance to review it, we probably have not spent greater then $50,000 over a three-year period.

Number two:

Accepting that for as little as perhaps $50,000 a year the Borough could hire a bookmobile to "home" deliver and retrieve materials from the extensive County Library Resources. How do members of the council justify spending over $1.5 million on an edifice that will cost over $200,000 annually to maintain, to provide what will be, in many respects, less convenient or complete services.

Number one: for the benefit of the individual the usage of the library including the Library of the Mendham and the Township has been increasing in use not decrease in in use... in fact many people go to that library to access the Internet because they have services that are not available to the individual... the $50,000 for a bookmobile doesn't really fit because you would probably have to spend that much to buy a vehicle let alone maintain it, staff it, you're talking a significant cost to do that... and the actual library use... what we're finding today that between movies, books, and the Internet services available it continues to be a very popular service and one that the citizens are asking for.

Regarding voucher information: Currently the borough's administrative staff claims it does not retain any electronic/computer data that provides a viewable connection between service providers and the amount they were paid. Having such electronic information available seems a very rudimentary essential of coherent accounting and I would request that the council address the issue with administrative staff.

I will only address that in one sense. The accounting is done according to accepted according practices and according to state law ...we follow that and we intend to follow that.

anyone else have a comment to that?

On a related note... has the council established any policy regarding Borough employees making an effort to keep "Borough" purchases local? ... I would suggest that it may be possible to negotiate a discount with local providers that would enable the Borough to keep tax dollars within the local economy.

I only know from reading the individual thinks we shouldn't go to Home Depot and buy things. that the employees are wasting time wandering around Home Depot as opposed to working....we do buy a good amount from Home Depot

[Blakeslee]: we do as a matter of fact I would say that it's a good mix.... we buy let's just take an example as regards to hardware stuff ...we do buy stuff from Mendham hardware we do buy from Mendham plywood occasionally... I also know we buy from the Mendham Garden Center... what he's suggesting regarding negotiating a price probably would not pass muster with the state...

[mayor]: would violate bidding laws

Blakeslee: would probably violate the Public Contract Law

we do buy from Home Depot for what reason?

Blakeslee: Typically because there are very often things there that we can't get in some of the other stores and because their prices may be better than some of the local stores...

[councilperson]: ...on those particular items

[Blakeslee]: I mean right I look at the vouchers, and there are times that we do,

[Haverkost]: (whispered) why even answer he doesn't pay taxes

[Blakeslee]: There are times that we do buy locally and Mike and Lt. can talk about those times but there's other times when we get stuff from outside of town that we can only get from outside the town

[Haverkost]: (whispered)....irritates me, I don't think...

[councilperson]: I think if you look at the bill list [unintelligible].. I only say this because I read it before coming over here, there's your point Ralph, there's the garden center even Robinsons drug store there's hardware I mean as long as I have been sitting here I've seen many local purchases come from many local businesses.

well I think for the benefit of the public, as well as this individual, there are laws that that cover what we can negotiate and what we cannot negotiate.. negotiating contracts requires a bid process... not just a simple thing, you have to have a list of what you need ...many of these purchases are what is needed that day... because they need a 2 x4, they need a bucket of nails, they need a caulking gun, you can't negotiate those in advance ...state law just doesn't allow it. We are constrained by the rules and regulations of the state of New Jersey.

[Blakeslee]: and I think also everyone recognizes too that it is in our best interest to keep the local businesses afloat

Mayor: absolutely

[Blakeslee]: but by the same token we also have to balance that with paying attention to costs and availability

Mayor: exactly

Moving on I open the floor to the public....