TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

SPECIAL MEETING

MINUTES – MARCH 1, 2006

 

 

A special meeting of the Lower Makefield Township Board of Supervisors was held on March 1, 2006 at the Municipal Building for the purpose of interviewing candidates for vacancies on various Boards and Commissions.   Mr. Santarsiero called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.  Mr. Caiola called the roll.

 

Those present:

 

Board of Supervisors:               Steve Santarsiero, Chairman

                                                Ron Smith, Vice Chairman

                                                Greg Caiola, Secretary

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Manager

 

 

DAVID GORDON

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Gordon is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.  He noted the covering e-mail and resume received by the Board.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if he had anything additional to add, and Mr. Gordon stated his family owned a summer camp in the Poconos with which he was intimately involved until he went to Law School. 

 

Mr. Stainthorpe asked if Mr. Gordon is familiar with what Park & Recreation does, and Mr. Gordon stated he is generally familiar with what they do.  He stated he has lived in the Township since 1990 and has two sons eight and ten-years old, and through them he has been actively involved in sports.  He is also a member of the Township Pool.  He has been very involved in YMS for years and has knowledge of issues involving Macclesfield Park including the lights and user fees.  Mrs. Godshalk asked his position in YMS, and Mr. Gordon stated while he has not been on the Board, his first three years were spent as an Intra-Mural Director and he played an active roll in running the Pee-Wee Program.  He has been a Travel Coach since then and coordinated the Academy Program.  He does regularly attend the YMS monthly meetings.  Mr. Caiola asked if he is involved with PAA, and Mr. Gordon stated he is only involved as a parent, by choice, as he wanted his sons to be coached by others in PAA.  He stated Mr. Greg Morrow, who is actively involved in PAA, is one of his best friends; and he has helped him in the past with projects.  Mr. Smith asked about his involvement with the Pool.  Mr. Gordon stated he is an active user of the Pool and both of his children swim for LMT.  He stated his older son also swims for PAC so his family is actively involved in swimming both

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summer and winter.  Mr. Smith stated the Pool is now part of the Park & Recreation Board, and they will be investigating the potential of a “bubble.”  Mr. Gordon stated he is aware of some of the general issues with regard to the “bubble.”  He stated he is also involved in a wrestling program, and he plays an active role with that Club as well. 

Mr. Santarsiero asked if Mr. Gordon feels his involvement with any of these activities would be an impediment to him if he was on the Park & Recreation Board, in making decisions that would be in the best interest of the Township but may not be in the best interest of one or more of the sports organizations.  Mr. Gordon stated he feels his involvement is an advantage as being involved in so many different programs, he has a feel for what the true needs are of the community and he would therefore be in a better position to be part of Park& Rec and make decisions.  He stated his allegiance would be to the Township and what would be in the best interest of the Township.

 

 

DENNIS WYSOCKI

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Wysocki is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.  He stated they did receive his cover letter and resume and asked if he had any other information to add.  Mr. Wysocki stated he would consider himself to be a solution finder as opposed to a road-blocker.  He stated he has been involved in a number of the major sports organizations in the community and oftentimes he has been a go-between between them to make them more harmonious.  He feels he will also be able to represent the perspective of the Park & Recreation Board very clearly to the individual sports memberships if he is on the Park & Recreation Board.  He feels he has a good sense of what the needs are of the organizations.

 

Mr. Smith stated Mr. Wysocki served on the Board of YMS and he knows him very well.  He stated during this time they have had many discussions including the fact that if he were on the Park & Recreation Board, he must be able to serve the entire Township as opposed to one individual organization.  Mr. Wysocki stated he does understand that this would be an expectation and his responsibility is to serve the greater entity.  He stated he faces this everyday at his work as well.  Mr. Stainthorpe noted from reading his resume, that he has been with the same company for twenty-five years which he feels is an accomplishment.  He asked if in his role as Director of Global Sources, is he required to travel; and Mr. Wysocki stated he does travel periodically but does not feel his travel would be a major impediment.

 

 

KEVIN KOPP

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Kopp is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.

He noted the cover letter and resume received, and asked if he had anything further to add. Mr. Kopp stated he feels his resume speaks fairly strongly about his work in

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Park & Recreation and environmental education.  He stated he has worked in County and State Parks, in the City of Trenton for the last ten years working with non-profits, and has formed his own environmental education company.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked for more information about his company.  Mr. Kopp stated he found there is a niche market for what he likes to do.  He stated many non-profits have one or two educators on staff but they may not feel comfortable in front of an auditorium full of kids and this is what he likes to do.  He stated he works with an Association in Pennington – the Stonybrook Millstone Watershed – and has developed an auditorium program about water and watersheds which he provides for them.  He stated he also does family sing-alongs on weekends and works with after-School programs quite frequently.  Mr. Smith asked if he is familiar with the Five Mile Woods, and Mr. Kopp stated his home backs up to the Woods.  He stated he has done teacher workshops at the Woods in the past, working with Mr. Mellon who was the Naturalist at that time.  Mr. Smith asked if he has an opinion with respect to the deer problem.  Mr. Kopp stated there is a human/deer issue and there are also complications in the Five Mile Woods with the impact of the deer on the vegetation.  He stated there are a number of options on how to deal with this problem.  He stated at the Bowman Hill Wildlife Preserve, they fenced it off and there are now no more deer problems in that area.  He stated at other locations there have been limited hunts.  Mr. Smith asked Mr. Kopp if he also applied to the Environmental Advisory Council, and Mr. Kopp stated he did.  Mr. Caiola noted there are a number of people applying for a limited number of positions on the Park & Recreation Board and asked if he would be interested in serving on the EAC if he were not selected to serve on the Park & Recreation Board, and Mr. Kopp stated he would be interested in the EAC as well.  Mr. Santarsiero stated they are going to consider this evening the expansion of the EAC which would result in four vacancies on that Board.  Mr. Smith stated he feels the EAC will have a lot of impact on the Township in the next few years and noted there is also a lot of interplay between the different Boards in the Township so that by being on one Committee it would not limit his interest in the other Boards.    Mr. Santarsiero stated the EAC currently meets once a month but it is possible that they will be taking on additional responsibilities so it may necessitate more frequent meetings, and Mr. Kopp stated he did not feel it would be a problem.

 

 

TONY BUSH

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Bush has indicated he is interested in the Planning Commission and the Economic Development Committee.  Mr. Santarsiero stated there is also an opening on the Zoning Hearing Board and asked if he has an interest in this,

but Mr. Bush stated he does not.  Mr. Santarsiero stated they have interviewed Mr. Bush in the past with respect to the Planning Commission.  He asked if there is anything beyond the e-mail or resume submitted which Mr. Bush would like to add.  Mr. Bush stated he was a member of the RAM Executive Board and was involved in the negotiations with the Township and Matrix which will hopefully lead to a resolution

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shortly.  He stated this sparked his interest in the Planning issues in the Township.  He recognizes that there is not as much land left to be developed, but still feels there are very important issues to be considered.  Mrs. Godshalk asked about his opinion of the present Master Plan and Zoning Ordinance.  Mr. Bush stated he is not familiar with all the details of the Master Plan.  He stated he has looked at the Edgewood Village Plan and is generally familiar with the Zoning in the Township.  Mrs. Godshalk stated because there is so little land left for the Zoning they have, it is important to hold what they have. 

Mr. Bush stated he does have knowledge of how much land is remaining in the Township and has an interest in preserving as much as possible of what remains of the open space to the extent that it can be preserved.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked what he sees as the role of the Economic Development Commission.  Mr. Bush stated he was present at the public meeting when that Commission was discussed and knows that the Commission’s role was not necessarily narrowly defined and it was indicated that the members of that Commission would have some say in narrowing the scope of it.  He stated if appointed to that Commission he recognizes he would be only one voice out of five, but feels the Commission could attempt to help bring business or expand existing businesses in the Township and do something good for the Township tax base.  He stated in his work he has seen how Townships in New Jersey have done things like this and he is not in favor of some of the practices they engage in.  Mrs. Godshalk asked if he feels that in order to bring in economic development he would be adamantly against re-zoning any of the vacant land for industrial or commercial.  Mr. Bush stated before they would do any kind of re-zoning, they would have to look at the specific land and everything involved.  He feels it is in the Township’s interest to preserve as much open space as possible.  As a general matter, he would be against re-zoning open space for those purposes, but stated he could not say “never.”  Mr. Santarsiero stated there is a difference between undeveloped land and land that may not be used any more that was previously developed and those may be different situations.  Mr. Caiola stated the Board is going to consider having the Environmental Advisory Council reviewing plans and asked his opinion on this and if he feels it is too cumbersome or is worthwhile.  Mr. Bush stated at some point he is not sure that there are too many Advisory Boards reviewing things although he feels it does help to have additional people looking at projects, but noted it could slow down the project  or impede development.  Mr. Smith stated they recently had a special meeting with regard to Edgewood Village and asked his feelings on this project.  Mr. Bush stated he was present at the meeting; and he feels this is a good idea, although he feels much of this depends on the private developers and their ability to move the project forward.  He stated the developers present at the meeting seemed interested although they indicated they  needed more time.  Mr. Santarsiero asked which position he would prefer – Planning Commission or the Economic Development Commission, and Mr. Bush stated he would prefer the Planning Commission but would be happy to serve on either.

 

 

 

 

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JOHN LAPTCHKA

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Laptchka is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.  He asked if he had anything additional to add besides his resume and the e-mail message which was received by the Board.  Mr. Laptchka stated he is currently involved with Municipalities in New Jersey dealing with joint insurance funds and is involved as a Safety Director for multiple Townships involved with taking care of Public Works Departments and Parks & Recreation.  He would like to become more involved in Lower Makefield and assist with respect to parks and playgrounds.  He stated he is a Certified Playground Safety Inspector in New Jersey.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated they have a number of facilities currently and there is land set aside for future facilities.  He asked what he feels the Township needs are going forward.  Mr. Laptchka stated he has been in the Township since 1994 and his son has been involved in basketball, baseball, and Lacrosse.  He realizes how important recreation is to a community.  Mrs. Godshalk stated other than Kids Kingdom, they only have a few pieces of equipment throughout the Township and she feels that they need more facilities for the tot age.  Mr. Laptchka stated there needs to be an actual age separation – one from two to five, and the other from five to twelve. 

He stated they should have separate equipment designed for the two to five year olds and there are specific guidelines regarding spaces between equipment, etc.  Mrs. Godshalk stated it appears that they have overlooked the five to twelve year old group other than the active organizations.  Mr. Santarsiero agreed noting they do not have a skateboard park or other activities that do not require the organizations.  Mr. Laptchka stated with regard to skateboard parks in dealing with the Municipalities in New Jersey, there are a number of these Parks; and he is involved in the inspection of these parks in order for them to be able to receive insurance.  He stated there are guidelines they need to follow, and he would be able to help the Township in this regard.   Mr. Smith stated

Mr. Laptchka’s credentials are excellent.  He asked if he has an interest in any of the other Boards such as Planning Commission or Zoning Hearing Board.  He noted there are eight people applying for the Park & Recreation Board for only three slots, and he would like to see if there is anything else he is interested in.  Mr. Laptchka stated while he has not considered this, he would be interested in finding out more about these other Boards.  He stated he would like to be able to give back to the community.  Mr. Santarsiero stated they made a decision a number of months ago to install lights at Macclesfield Park on some fields.  He asked how he would view balancing the needs of Park & Recreation against how those needs might impact nearby residents.  Mr. Laptchka noted what he did when reviewing skate parks in New Jersey and stated they established hours of operation and requirements on lighting.  He stated they must appreciate the fact that you do not want people in the Parks beyond a certain point in time.  Mrs. Godshalk stated most of their Parks say “dusk” except where there are lit fields which are supposed to be turned off by 10:00 p.m.  Mr. Laptchka stated they do not usually ask for or recommend that there be lighting at night for the skate parks.  He stated this would depend on how the Township felt with regard to monitoring or to having a Police presence.  He stated they must also consider the potential for people to congregate at these locations and they must

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have consideration for the neighbors depending on how far away the locations are from residences.

 

 

MICHELLE STAMBAUGH

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Ms. Stambaugh is seeking re-appointment to the Historical Commission.  Ms. Stambaugh stated she has enjoyed serving very much and has served two terms.  Mr. Santarsiero stated a majority of the Board knows Ms. Stambaugh very well and is familiar with the work she has done on the Historical Commission.  He asked what she feels are some of the challenges for the Historical Commission going forward.  Ms. Stambaugh stated moving forward with the Edgewood Village project will be a challenge but an exciting one; and they would like to keep it moving forward at a realistic pace, working with the developers and the other Boards in the Township.  She stated short term she would like to get the press out and educate the community.  She stated she would also like to establish tighter communication with the other Committees within the Township including Elm Lowne and determining a long-term plan for the Patterson Tract.  She stated they have an excellent group of volunteers on the Historic Commission including historians, land planners, and real estate people so there is a broad mix.  She stated her background is history, art, and marketing.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he admires her work with the Commission, and he feels she has brought a more professional presentation to the Historic Commission.  He asked her opinion on preservation at any price versus demolition.  Ms. Stambaugh stated she would never say she wants to see an old house taken down.  She stated she herself owns an older home and is able to see a gem in the rough.  She stated she does feel that they have to be realistic.  Ms. Stambaugh stated she also feels the Ordinances need to be tightened up, and the people who own older homes need to be stewards of the property.  She stated if there is a problem with a property which cannot be resurrected, she would still like to see that the materials that can be salvaged be used in some fashion.  Mr. Caiola asked if she feels that they can obtain Grant monies for this purpose.  Ms. Stambaugh stated there is some potential for this.  She stated she feels they need to tap into other possibilities such as funding through Foundations.  Mr. Smith stated he did serve as the Historical Commission Liaison and stated that the Board of Supervisors would like to have suggestions in the future of what revisions need to be made to the Ordinance. Mr. Santarsiero stated he served as the Liaison to the Zoning Hearing Board last year; and because they are dealing with certain issues all the time, they have ideas of what revisions need to be made to the Ordinance, and the Board of Supervisors would find it helpful to hear from the people who are specializing in specific areas to provide the Board with input. 

 

 

 

 

 

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RAE PINCHUK

 

Ms. Pinchuk was present and stated she would like to be re-appointed to the Historic Commission.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if there is anything she would like to add to what she had already submitted.  Ms. Pinchuk stated she feels she brings a business component to the Commission.  She stated she has been on the Board for three years.  Mr. Smith asked what she sees as the challenges facing the Historic Commission, and Ms. Pinchuk stated she feels Edgewood Village is prominent on their Agenda.  She stated they would also like to update the list of historic properties and make sure that they are protecting them.  They would also like to consider language to be included when these properties are sold to protect them in the future and that they are protected legally.  Mr. Smith asked what the Township could do better to assist the Historic Commission.  Ms. Pinchuk stated she would like to see them share in their caring for the historic structures.  She would like to see laws passed that would protect these structures as has been done in other areas. 

Mr. Smith asked if Zoning has done what they can do to assist the Historic Commission.

Ms. Pinchuk stated issues were raised prior to her tenure and she feels they will be raised again.  She stated there seems to be some question as to the limits of Edgewood Village.

Mrs. Godshalk stated they really do not have any laws as far as the homes, but the developers do have to show the historic homes on the map and it is really working one by one with the developers as to whether they will save them.  She is not sure what the Ordinance could do to require what must be saved.  She stated if it is found to be worth saving by the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors, then it is put on the Plans that it must be saved.  Mr. Smith stated he would like to have the Solicitor discuss what they can add to what is already on the books to put some “teeth” into enforcing preservation.  Ms. Pinchuk stated she is concerned about the properties that fall into disrepair and then coming to the Board advising that it must be condemned and taken down when they deliberately allowed the property to fall into disrepair.

 

 

NORMA WOOD

 

Ms. Wood stated she would like to be re-appointed to the Elm Lowne Committee.

Mr. Santarsiero asked what she sees as some of the goals for Elm Lowne going forward.

Ms. Wood stated when they acquired Elm Lowne they primarily wanted to save it as they really loved the house and the grounds.  She stated so many historic buildings are being taken down and this is one they can hold onto.  She stated they do have a Fundraiser every year and with those proceeds, they are able to do a few things at Elm Lowne.  She stated those on the Committee clean, paint, and garden to preserve it and feel it is shaping up.  She stated it is used quite often by groups and for parties.  Mr. Caiola asked what she feels could be done to make it more profitable.  Ms. Wood stated she feels they are working toward obtaining more funds particularly with the barn project.  She stated it is more expensive to maintain a home when it is historic as it must stay in keeping with the era.  She stated they have had the Tasting Party as their primary Fundraiser, and this year

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they are discussing a Flea Market/Sale function so it would not be as much work for the Committee.  Mr. Smith stated there are also openings on the Historical Commission and asked if she would be interested in this as well, and Ms. Wood stated she would be interested in serving on the Historical Commission as well.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked how the property and grounds could be be made more accessible to more residents in the Township. Ms. Wood stated it is accessible now, and they do have groups using it.  She stated she has been present when future brides and mothers come in to look at the property as a potential site and she can see when they leave that it is not what they are looking for as it is an old house.  She stated anything they can do to bring it up to date will help, but they are lacking funds.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the grounds are lovely and asked if it should be opened up to the public as a Park.  He stated possibly they could stock the lake with fish and make picnic benches available.  He stated he would like to see it be used by the people in the Township.  Ms. Wood stated she does feel the Committee members would be willing to explore this.  She noted the Girl Scouts have used it and have had sleepovers there.  Mrs. Godshalk stated a number of people do drive in and walk around the grounds.  Mr. Santarsiero stated he feels they are considering something that is more purposely designed for passive recreation which is something that the Township does not have a lot of. 

 

 

JACK MORRISON

 

Mr. Morrison was not present for his scheduled interview this evening.

 

 

GRACE GODSHALK

 

Ms. Godshalk stated she is unavailable to be interviewed at the next scheduled meeting of March 15 as she has a planned vacation.  She stated they could interview her this evening for re-appointment to the Elm Lowne Committee.  As the next individual scheduled to be interviewed this evening had arrived, the Board decided not to interview Mrs. Godshalk this evening. 

 

 

LISA GRAYSON ZYGMUNT

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Ms. Zygmunt is interested in serving on the Environmental Advisory Council.  He asked if there was anything she would like to add beyond what was contained in her resume which they received.  Ms. Zygmunt stated there is not.

Mr. Smith stated she has listed on her resume that she is the Manager of the Stormwater Financing Initiative.  He stated they have stormwater problems in the Township, and asked what she sees as the challenges for the Township within the next several years in this regard.  Ms. Zygmunt stated the problems facing Lower Makefield are not unique

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and are being faced by most communities in Lower Bucks County.  She stated most of the Municipalities did not meet the reporting requirements.  Mr. Caiola stated Lower Makefield was one of the few that did.  Ms. Zygmunt stated the real problem is in the implementation of what they will have to do to meet the requirements in terms of infrastructure, maintenance, new development, etc.  She stated they also need to find the funds to do this and she is involved in helping Municipalities assess their capacity and looking at joining with other Municipalities in the area.  Mrs. Godshalk asked the names of some of the companies she has represented in her seminars and meetings. 

Ms. Zygmunt stated her clients range from companies such as Georgia Pacific to environmental non-profits like the Sierra Club.  She stated she has also worked with corporate association groups.  She stated some of her clients are focused on specific EPA programs.  She stated some are National organizations.  Some of the work she has done has been for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.  She would like to do more work locally.  Mr. Caiola stated they are considering expanding the Environmental Advisory Council to include more members and also giving them greater responsibility including looking at Plans.  He stated it could involve more than one meeting a month. 

Ms. Zygmunt stated she feels environmental issues should be considered as part of the entire community.  Mr. Smith asked if there are things the Township could do to help in flooding situations.  Ms. Zygmunt stated she is not a technical expert.  She stated she does feel there are a number of problems, some of which are local and many of which are upstream.  She stated Lower Makefield may also be causing problems downstream.  She does feel there is an opportunity to educate the community not just from a water quantity perspective, but also from a water quality perspective.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked what she sees as other environmental issues facing the Township beyond stormwater management.  Ms. Zygmunt stated water quality has been a major part of her work for a number of years.  She stated even if the water quantity issues are addressed, they will still have water quality issues that need to be addressed. 

 

 

There being no further Interviews, the Board adjourned at 7:00 p.m. to go into Executive Session.

 

                                                            Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

                                                           

                                                            Greg Caiola, Secretary