TOWNSHIP OF LOWER MAKEFIELD

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

SPECIAL MEETING

APRIL 5, 2006

 

 

A special meeting of the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Lower Makefield was held in the Municipal Building on April 5, 2006 for the purpose of conducting interviews for vacancies on various Township 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/Treasurer

                                                Grace Godshalk, Supervisor

                                                Pete Stainthorpe, Supervisor

 

Others:                                     Terry Fedorchak, Township Manager

 

 

CHERYL KASTRENAKES

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Ms. Kastrenakes is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.  He asked if she had anything to add apart from what was presented in her resume and cover letter.  Ms. Kastrenakes stated she feels Park & Recreation is what gives the Township a sense of place and what makes Lower Makefield special which is why she is interested in serving.  Mr. Santarsiero asked what she sees as some of the challenges. 

Ms. Kastrenakes stated there are issues with the fields including use of fields, shortage of fields, etc.  Mrs. Godshalk asked if she is involved in any of the organizations, and

Ms. Kastrenakes stated her children are in soccer and have also participated in baseball.  Mr. Caiola asked if she felt there was anything lacking in the Recreation Program, and Ms. Kastrenakes stated when her children were younger, she had wished they had a larger summer program.  She noted the Northampton Summer Program which offered a large, daily program; and while a fee was charged, it was less than that charged by private camps.   Mr. Stainthorpe asked what she felt was the best way to fund the recreation programs.  Ms. Kastrenakes stated the taxes are already high because of the School taxes.  She stated she does feel there should be user fees as those using the facilities should also have to pay, but the preservation of open space and availability of the park land to the residents are a benefit to everyone and everyone should bear the burden.  Mr. Caiola stated they also have openings on other Boards such as the Planning Commission and the Zoning Hearing Board.  He noted her degree and experience in Planning and asked if she would consider something other than Park & Recreation.  Ms. Kastrenakes stated she would consider this and she might also be interested in the Economic Development

 

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Board.  Ms. Kastrenakes stated she did serve for a short period of time on the Planning Commission in another Township before moving.

 

 

 

MEGAN DORKO

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Ms. Dorko is interested in serving on the Disabled Persons Advisory Board.  He asked if she had anything additional she would like to add aside from the cover letter and resume she submitted.  Ms. Dorko stated she applied after attending a meeting of the Board and has been attending meetings on a regular basis and enjoys working with the Board.  She stated currently they are working on a brochure to hand out at community events such as Harvest Day to give the Board more visibility in the community.  She stated as a graphic designer she was in charge of this and worked with another member on this project which is almost complete.  She stated at their last meeting they also discussed implementing a logo, and she is designing this for the Board. 

She stated she has been able to bring her experience as a person with a disability to the Board as well.  Mr. Santarsiero asked what other goals she sees for the Board going forward.  Ms. Dorko stated they would like to make sure that community/commercial properties in the Township continue to be or are made accessible to the disabled.  She stated she would also like to see them bring a sense of understanding to the community to help them feel more comfortable with people with disabilities and help break down barriers.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if the Township should be doing more outreach in this respect, and Ms. Dorko stated this could be incorporated into the Disabled Persons Advisory Board’s goals.  Mr. Smith asked what could be done in the short term to make it better for people with a disability.  Ms. Dorko stated she has never felt that anyone in the Township has treated her badly; but as a society, education and outreach could help people better understand each other and work toward acceptance.  Mr. Smith asked if there was anything in the Township that needed to be done structurally.  Ms. Dorko stated at the Disabled Persons Advisory Board’s meeting they have discussed the Kohl’s Shopping Center and the fact that the curb cuts around the shopping center are inconvenient the way the crosswalks are set up and where the curb cuts are located. 

Mrs. Godshalk stated the road through the shopping center is very difficult for anyone to cross over from the parking lot.  Ms. Dorko stated everyone she has met on the Board is very committed and she was very happy that there was such a Committee in the Township.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated he is the Liaison to the Board and Megan came to a meeting in January as a resident and is already doing projects.  He stated when Kohl’s was built, they did not have a Disabled Persons’ Advisory Board, and if they had there probably would not have been the problem she is noting because they would have reviewed the Plans and known the curb cuts were not well placed.  Mr. Smith stated the

Township is considering the Edgewood Village development and hopefully the Disabled Persons Advisory Board will have input into this. 

 

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RICHARD CYLINDER

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Cylinder is interested in serving on the Planning Commission.

He asked if there was anything additional he would like to add besides what he included in his resume and cover letter.  Mr. Cylinder stated he has been in the planning profession for fifty years.  He stated his most recent work was for the Newark Board of Education as a consultant and the East Orange Library doing a comprehensive plan for the library system.  He has also done work with public housing.  In Bucks County he was with the Bucks County Planning Commission for nine years and was responsible for putting together the first comprehensive plan.  He feels he can contribute to the Township as he knows a lot about the history of the planning of the Township.  Mr. Santarsiero asked

Mr. Cylinder what challenges he see from a planning perspective going forward, since the Township is almost completely built out.  Mr. Cylinder stated he feels they should keep the transportation working by improving the road system and feels this should be part of an ongoing process.  He stated he understands there are problems with widening the roads and the impact on houses and driveways facing the roads.  He also noted the Matrix project.  He stated he feels they need to look at the regulations for the Township including the Subdivision and Land Development requirements and they need better control and better review.  He stated the original Matrix project was very poorly laid out in his opinion, and he was disappointed that such a plan could go through.  He stated there has been a history of this kind of thing happening in the Township and adjacent Townships as well.  He stated he taught with Bob Moore at the Community College and they used the Goodnoe’s Plan as an example of poor design.  He also noted the Edgewood Village Plan which he feels is a very difficult situation.  He stated a close friend of his owned land in Edgewood Village and recently sold it to a developer.   He stated this is a very important issue, and he does not feel it should be under estimated especially relating it to the shopping center.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked if he is in favor of the Edgewood Village Plan, and Mr. Cylinder stated Edgewood Village is worthy of protection and it is a good idea to want to do what they want to do, but the physical execution will be difficult to become a workable development when completed.  He stated he feels the advisory Boards should tell the Board of Supervisors what they think and should not tell them what they think the governing body want to hear.  He stated he understands that the Board of Supervisors are the elected officials, and once a decision is made, it is made.  Mrs. Godshalk stated Edgewood Village is one plan that the Board of Supervisors did not know much about when the plan was being made as the consultants and different advisory Boards put it together and then brought it to the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Cylinder stated he is concerned with the circulation, and once they can handle the traffic and parking, they can then discuss other things.  He stated some of the issues raised by the residents at the special meeting on Edgewood Village were very good.  He stated this is why he feels it will not be easy.  He noted a number of similar “Village” projects throughout the Country and some of them were successful, while others were not. 

 

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ROBERT SMITH

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Smith is interested in serving on the Economic Development Committee.  He asked if he had anything additional to add aside from the cover letter and resume which he submitted.  Mr. Smith stated he has been a resident for two years, and he feels it is time to give back to the community besides the activities he is involved in with his family.  He stated he was advised about the Economic Development Committee by a colleague who had attended a Township meeting.  He stated he has lived in other areas in the Country and served on other Boards such as an Arts Center Board and Environmental Committee Board but always focused on the economic development portion.   He stated he was interested in the Arts Center as a driver of a downtown revitalization.  He stated the Board must try to maintain the character of the Township which draws people to live in the Township while at the same time trying to keep the tax rate low.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if he has any idea on how they can do this.   Mr. Smith stated the regions are interdependent; and he feels they should find out what is going on in neighboring communities, County, and regional areas to make sure that Lower Makefield is part of the larger plan.  He stated Lower Makefield could benefit if people who do not live in the community, still shop in the community.  He stated another way would be to use arts, recreation, and other institutions or infrastructure within the Township to build upon.  He feels the first thing the new Committee needs to do is to have discussions with the Chambers of Commerce, County Planning Boards, etc. and find out the regional picture.  They could also talk to some of the businesses moving into the Township to find out how they can maximize what they are already doing.  Mr. Ron Smith stated the Board of Supervisors is considering low-impact development, and he asked if he feels economic development and low-impact development are compatible.  Mr. Robert Smith stated he hopes so.  He stated the nature of the community with nice subdivisions and preserved open space in between is one of the draws to the Township.  He stated he is not anti-development but feels the lower the impact the better.  He stated he would like to see the character of the community remain close to what it is today and to keep the taxes as low as possible.    Mr. Stainthorpe asked what type of businesses or things he would envision trying to draw to Lower Makefield that would impact the economy of the Township.  Mr. Smith stated while he is not a professional in the field, when he thinks of economic development, he thinks of jobs and ratables; and in a Municipality that is almost completely built out, there may not be room for ratables, and they will have to maximize the projects that are already coming in.  He stated they should also try to keep existing facilities used to their maximum.  He stated they should also consider where people coming to work in the Township are going to spend their money.  He feels the challenge is how to create new ratables/employment opportunities where there is not a lot of room.  He stated he feels Edgewood Village will be a great combination of historic preservation and creating a focal point for the community.  He feels the first order of business is to try to understand the big picture of economic development and see if there are ideas regionally they can latch onto.  Mr. Stainthorpe stated the Township is “dry,” and asked how this impacts economic development.  He

April 5, 2005                                                                    Board of Supervisors – page 5 of 7

 

noted there have only been liquor stores in the Township in the last year and a half and this is a special exception to the Pennsylvania Law that allows a Supermarket to have these.  He stated none of the restaurants have a liquor license and there are no beer distributors.  Mr. Smith stated he does not find it inconvenient to have to leave Lower Makefield to have to go to a beer distributor in another community.  He is not sure how much economic development would come from an increase in those establishments.  He feels they should ask the restaurant owners if they feel a liquor license or a limited wine and beer license would be of benefit to them.  He feels the Board should reach out to the target communities to find out what they want.  Mr. Ron Smith asked Mr. Smith if he has an interest in any of the other Boards in the Township.  Mr. Smith stated he would not turn down any reasonable request although he would not be interested in the Budget Commission.

 

 

EDWARD JASIEWICZ

 

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Jasiewicz is interested in serving on the Economic Development Committee, Traffic, or whatever else the Board feels he may be suited to.  Mr. Santarsiero asked if he has anything he would like to add aside from what was in his cover letter and resume.  Mr. Jasiewicz stated he has lived in the Township for thirteen years and feels it is time to give something back to the community.  Mr. Santarsiero asked the challenges that face the Township with respect to economic development.

Mr. Jasiewicz stated they will need to find out what the Supervisors’ short term and long term goals are for the Township and try to have the Economic Development Committee focus on those issues as opposed to going off into a direction the Supervisors may not be interested in.  He stated he also feels it is important to build a coalition among the Township to try to avoid problems in the future.  He stated it is important to give people an opportunity to speak on their concerns.  He stated he has done this in his consulting work in New Jersey.   Mr. Smith asked why so many pilots live in Lower Makefield, and Mr. Jasiewicz stated it is less expensive than living in New Jersey because Lower Makefield does not have as high property taxes or a personal income tax.  He stated pilots also do not have to go to work every day so they are not commuting every day on a train, etc.    Mr. Stainthorpe asked if he has a preference on which Board he would like to serve, and Mr. Jasiewicz stated he does not and is here to help.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked what he feels are the major traffic issues, and Mr. Jasiewicz stated he feels it is the infrastructure – as the roads, bridges, etc. need to be fixed as they have not kept pace with development.  He added that he did do some searching on the Internet and stated HUD Grants or other Grants might be available to the Township which they could pursue. 

 

 

JEFF SHANKS – Mr. Shanks was not present this evening to discuss his interest in serving on the Sewer Authority.

 

 

April 5, 2006                                                                    Board of Supervisors – page 6 of 7

 

 

JACK MORRISON

 

Mr. Morrison apologized for his absence last month as he was unable to attend his scheduled interview since he was on an airplane and unable to contact the Township.

Mr. Santarsiero stated Mr. Morrison is interested in serving on the Park & Recreation Board.  He asked if Mr. Morrison had anything to add aside from what he included in his resume.  Mr. Morrison stated he has been working with the Park & Recreation Board for approximately six years primarily as the head of PAA.  He stated he attends most of the Park & Recreation meetings and has had great relationships with the people and enjoyed working with them.  He stated he likes their approach in trying to find win/win situations for everyone.  He stated recreation is one of the major topics in the community and he feels it is great that they are moving forward and he would like to be part of that process. 

Mr. Santarsiero asked him what he sees as the major challenges over the next few years.

Mr. Morrison stated he feels the major challenge is the need for fields.  He stated the Township has grown significantly.  He stated he feels the fields they have are for the most part adequate and the Township and the user groups have done a great job in trying to maintain the fields but he feels there is a dire need for additional recreation facilities in the Township due to the increase in population.  He stated the Township is a young group and a transient community and most of the residents have young children who are playing sports and using the facilities.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked how they should pay for these additional fields.  Mr. Morrison stated he would have a meeting with all the user groups present to find out their needs and work with Ms. Liney and her staff and build all the fields at one time.  He stated if this involves an additional tax increase, he feels most of the residents would accept this if it was explained properly.  Mr. Caiola asked about maintenance of those facilities going forward and if there would be a need for a user fee.  Mr. Morrison stated he does feel there should be a user fee although he does not necessarily agree with the amount.  He stated he feels the various organizations should pay something for the upkeep.  He stated he also feels the organizations may want to work with various corporations to fund some projects to offset costs to the Township. 

Mr. Stainthorpe stated he would assume that Mr. Morrison has traveled to other communities in his role with PAA, and he asked if there are other Townships which have particularly good recreation programs.  Mr. Morrison noted Montgomery, New Jersey on Route 206, above Princeton, which is a beautiful complex.  He stated he feels the complexes in Lower Makefield are okay.  Mr. Stainthorpe asked what he would add to Lower Makefield’s facilities to improve them, and Mr. Morrison stated he does not feel they are being maintained as well as they could be, recognizing that the Township is limited in their resources.  He feels the Park & Recreation Department needs additional resources to maintain all that they have to maintain.   Mr. Caiola noted the Montgomery complex is new and that Township is not as large as Lower Makefield.  Mrs. Godshalk stated she feels it is difficult to compare a Township of that size with a new complex to Lower Makefield, and Mr. Morrison agreed.  Mr. Smith asked if the lights which have been installed recently are a “band-aid” for the need for additional fields.  He also asked where a 90’ field should be placed.  Mr. Morrison stated minimally they need one

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additional 90’ field.  He thanked the Board of Supervisors for the lights that have been installed at Macclesfield Park.  He stated this will help with field allocation and is a win/win situation.  He stated they do have to address the 90’ field need.  He stated currently there are two 90’ fields, but there are a number of user groups using them. 

Mr. Smith asked if the lack of an additional 90’ field is preventing PAA from doing certain things, and Mr. Morrison stated it does impact Tournaments and practices.  He stated they do not have enough time to go through the repetition needed in baseball.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 6:30 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully Submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Greg Caiola, Secretary