Minutes of the February 12, 2014 Meeting

of the Consolidation Study Commission

Board of Education Conference Room

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Cedar Avenue, Scotch Plains


The meeting was called to order at 7:06 p.m. Mr. Parisi read the Open Public Meetings Act notice and called the roll. Those present were Mr. Juckes, Mr. McCarey and Dr. diBattista from Fanwood, and Ms. Dreikorn, Mr. Lange, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Wiener and Mr. Parisi from Scotch Plains. Mr. Arthur, alternate from Scotch Plains and Ms. Hoynes, alternate from Fanwood were also present. Dr. Saltzman and Mr. Molenaar were absent, as was Mr. Nagy, alternate from Fanwood. Per the bylaws, Ms. Hoynes was eligible to vote at the meeting.

In addition Eugene McCarthy attended for the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, a non-voting commission member.

Mr. Thompson and Mr. Juckes moved and seconded approval of the minutes of the January 8, 2014 reorganization meeting, which were unanimously approved by those in attendance at the January meeting.

Mr. Parisi invited Mr. Lange to update the Commission on his funding efforts. Mr. Lange reported on his contact with particular private funding sources and his desire to continue those efforts. Mr. Parisi thanked him for doing so. Ms. Dreikorn reported to the Commission on her research into crowd sourcing. The Commission discussed her findings and next steps. All agreed that a presentation needs to be created as a first step. Mr. Parisi and Mr. Arthur agreed to assist Ms. Dreikorn in creating that.

Mr. Parisi then updated the Commission on the letter to legislators, slated to be sent within the next week. He also mentioned that he was trying to schedule a meeting with a legislator to discuss the Governor’s comments in his State of the State address wherein he mentioned making more tools available for consolidation studies. Mr. McCarthy directed the Commission’s attention to a pending bill, revised S-1, as potentially having some traction on that issue. Mr. Parisi next stated that he was in touch with a director of a private foundation and was scheduling a meeting with him for later in February. He then discussed the 501(c) issue and its associated costs, having spoken to an attorney who specializes in the field. The Commission understood that the matter can be accomplished if need be, but as yet the need has not surfaced. Mr. Parisi then led a discussion on an insurance quote received from The Hartford, which did not include errors and omissions coverage. The Commission decided to hold off on responding until other outlets are heard from that may include that coverage. Mr. McCarey mentioned that he might have some contacts to pursue on this issue.

The meeting was then open to the public. Michael Lewis from Fanwood asked if the Commission had received his email about potential help for non-profits, to which Mr. Parisi responded that he neglected to check the Commission email before coming to the meeting but promised to do so promptly. He thanked Mr. Lewis. Frank Festa from Scotch Plains then asked the Commission to submit the consolidation question to the voters without first conducting the study. Mr. McCarthy explained the process to him. There being no further public comment, that portion of the meeting was closed.

The next Commission meeting will be March 5, 2014 at the Board of Education offices, at 7 pm. It was being scheduled on the first Wednesday of March to accommodate Mr. McCarthy’s schedule. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned on motion made, seconded and unanimously approved at 7:55 pm.