[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. [kind of implies I'm not a member of the public-- would have been better if the mayor had said "to the public in attendance".] 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. [I wonder if the mayor has ever responded to a member of the public [in person] with the line "you are way off base" ... them is kind of fighting words and I don't think mayor--avoid conflict at all cost--Kraft would normally risk such challenging degrading rhetoric.] 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. [And what objective independent observer has provided that emphatically stated "fact"?] All the deer that have been hit have died within a few moments of being hit... [You just stated that at least one didn't die immediately. I only know about three people in town and one of them has a next door neighbor who had a arrow shot dear collapse in their front yard. Maybe that's just aberration, an improbable coincidence, or maybe your a emphatically stated facts are just made up BS.] the hunters are skilled they shoot down from above and the kills are not instant put very close to it. [Strange that that we could have the most skilled deer hunters in the world-- do better than the national average by hundreds of percentage points-- Yet our uniquely exceptional hunters have no national fame. I think maybe some fact verification is in order and I will suggest the town provide me the fair opportunity to videotape a few exceptional Mendham Cullings just so we all can see how long "close to an instant" is..] 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 [The easy answer is to contain the deer away from homes and to quit wasting time "hunting" fish in a barrel .] .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 [arrow in the pancreas... fence in the face... yes the arrow sounds like a lot more fun. ] the number of deer that die in trapping is like 50 percent of the deer... they very rarely survive. [This nonsense, is the real giveaway that the mayor is getting his information straight from the hunting lobby (the Mayor's use of the word survive). Apparently there was some experiment done were there was an effort to "relocate" deer and during this "one experiment" it was found that 50 percent of the deer did not survive the "relocation" (capture and transportation) Containing deer in large fenced areas for humane disposal is not the same experiment and every honest person with some common sense knows that.]

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 [So a least you're willing to concede slaughtering cattle with a bow and arrow is illegal.] ... the council doesn't have jurisdiction in this area.... this is a hunting game commission issue and a state law issue. [You are setting public policy regarding how animals will be killed on public land and you refused to honestly answer a question regarding how that policy conflicts with the existing law... if you can't take the accountability heat get out of the policy making kitchen.]

[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. [So when somebody talks about a farmer's herd-- the correct assumption is to think he means the farmers deer herd. A b C D...]

oh yes they can do that

and it's quite common

but again it's not our jurisdiction

[Haverkost]: we just do it. [jurisdiction.. semrisdiction.. right!]

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. [As I understand it The Story Time Lady was made a full-time position in anticipation of the library's merging-- I also believe there was also a separate administrative post created to oversee transition. maybe next time I'll just ask how much the library budget has increased over the past three years.] 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 decreasing in use... [Can you provide some hard figures to give that baby talk mush some meaning?] in fact many people go to that library to access the Internet because they have services that are not available to the individual [I can get some big ass broadband for $1.5 million -- As for the "exclusive services" they are likely already paid for with public money-- and they could be provided to every resident in their home by simply negotiating a new contract with the service providers. To a large extent these exclusive services are provided to libraries because so few people access them through the library that the service provider can afford offering the service at a cut rate.] ... 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 [you may have noticed Mr. Mayor that when your newspaper is delivered in the morning, the car doesn't say Star-Ledger or New York Times what it says is poor guy trying to eke out a living-- I think quite obviously a bookmobile service can be provided without buying a bookmobile-- a couple of trips a day to the county library and a few pickups and drops offs at a few dozen homes (probably an exaggeration) would likely impose less mileage and wear and tear on the vehicle than newspaper delivery-- that's the fact! Your fiction has all the "trappings" of being all straw.] ... 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. [Why not a non-binding referendum to honestly test public support for the two different approaches. My $50,000 approach against your millions of dollars approach.]

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. [Your answer is a spit in the face to every citizen that believes they have a right to public information relevant to the function of "their" government. When accountability cost nothing and a politician is unwilling to provide it the only rational conclusion is corruption! You have defined yourself with this unsatisfactory reply.]

anyone else have a comment to that? [no no ...keep covering-up sounds good to me.]

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 [Apparently the mayor still doesn't understand that message boards are posted to by people other than the person who provides the message board. His attempt to put someone else's words in my mouth... looks a bit malicious when you consider the simplicity of the question asked and suggestion made. ] ....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 [oh come on Mr. Mayor, that's absolute the nonsense and you know it. In the first place such incidental purchases (under $2,000) are not covered under any bidding legislation. In the second place there is no law or regulation against a private business providing a discount to whomever they please (as long as civil-rights legislation is not violated) you know relevant laws are intended to prevent corrupt officials from accepting favors but there's nothing to stop a town from accepting a favor or donation from anyone. ]

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... [So the policy is basically what ever you feel like. Real policy, developed by real public servants, dedicated to the best interest of a town-- would know that all travel by employees has an expense in time, fuel, insurance, maintenance, and depreciation. Real policy would have incorporated in it is simple equation that makes it easy to pretty precisely judge if extra miles can be justified by a net savings.]

[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 [Bingo-- lawsuit gold! I hate to disappoint you Mr. Haverkost but that Constitution you took an oath to doesn't define a rights endowed citizen as a taxpayer or property owner. Than of course there's the simple fact that all "lesser human" renters like myself do pay property taxes, obviously like all other expenses (maintenance etc.) the cost is incorporated into the rent (market value). You wanna think me some kind of human garbage, that is your personal privilege-- but when you bring that bullshit to your government office violate your oath to the Constitution and compromise a core American value. I live here damn it... you don't have to like it personally ... but you have no business giving me cause to think my government doesn't, or that it is not going to respect my rights as a person living here. ]

[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 [I wonder if it's the same bill list we get... the one that makes no comprehensible connection between who got paid and what they got paid?] , 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. [What you are constrained by is petty belligerents... There is nothing else stopping you from making the reasonable suggestion at a Business Association meeting that it might be worth exploring the possibility of creating incentives for the Borough to keep most all government business purchases local. It just makes good business sense for the town and the local businesses.]

[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....