The next Common Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 26 at 7:30PM. Once again, members of Common Council, Mayor Radest, and city staff will be participating electronically in this meeting. For this and all future electronic meetings, members of the public will be able to comment by video or audio conference with access codes and instructions posted on the city website.
Every Common Council meeting is broadcast live on HTTV Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 36 and 34. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City of Summit YouTube Channel.
In addition to the usual reports from the Mayor, City Administrator, and Council President, the Summit Office of Emergency Management will report on its COVID-19 response.
The focus of the May 26 meeting is the 2020 municipal budget. As you may recall, council introduced the municipal budget on March 24 as the health emergency was beginning. The Governor’s Office extended the deadline for passage of the municipal budget until the end of May. As a result, council deferred the vote on the budget to allow more time to evaluate the fiscal implications of the health emergency and to amend the budget to reflect these changed conditions. The City Administrator will give a presentation on the 2020 Municipal Operating Budget Amendments at the May 26 meeting. These amendments reflect the adjustments made to revenue and appropriations in response to conditions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a lean budget that preserves the excellent services that Summit residents expect. The amended municipal tax levy shows an increase of 0.14% (as compared to the introduced tax levy increase of 0.75%). The amendments can be viewed in the online agenda packet.
The procedure that will be followed for the adoption of the budget is somewhat confusing, but it is the process that council is obligated to follow under state law. The public will have the opportunity to comment at two public hearings over the course of two Common Council meetings before council votes to adopt the amended budget.
After the presentation on amendments to the budget on May 26, members of council will be permitted to ask questions on budget amendments. Members of the public will not be permitted to ask questions or comment on the amendments until the following meeting on June 9 when council will hold a hearing on the budget amendments.
Council will then hold the public hearing on the 2020 Municipal Operating Budget, which includes the city’s Capital Plan, as introduced in March. Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the introduced budget during this hearing. Council will not vote on the budget as originally proposed at this meeting, but will defer the vote until June 9 when council can vote on the budget as a whole, including amendments.
As required by state law, the budget amendments will be introduced by resolution at this meeting, but the public hearing on these amendments will be held at Council’s next meeting on June 9. On that same date, council will vote on the municipal budget as a whole.
Council will also hold a public hearing on the 2020 Special Improvement District budget. This budget funds the management of downtown Summit by Summit Downtown, Inc (SDI). The bulk of SDI’s income comes from Special Improvement District assessments of downtown businesses.
Council will hear a single resolution from the Administrative Policies Committee to establish a procedure for public comment at virtual Common Council meetings. If adopted, these are rules that will govern this meeting and all future virtual meetings.
After the two budget hearings, the Finance Committee will introduce eight resolutions. The first resolution will introduce amendments to the 2020 Municipal Operating budget to be voted on after the June 9 hearing. Second, council will vote on the 2020 Special Improvement District Budget. Next, the Finance Committee will introduce a pair of resolutions to authorize emergency temporary appropriations to fund the Municipal Operating Budget and the Sewer Utility Budget until those budgets are adopted on June 9. Council will also vote on resolutions to (1) authorize the city to set a schedule of tax payments to the Board of Education; (2) amend the payroll to reflect retirements, promotions, and new hires; and (3) authorize Andrew Bartolotti, as the incoming Police Chief, to manage the Police Department Petty Cash account. Finally, council will vote to authorize the Tax Collector and City Treasurer to issue estimated tax bills for third quarter of 2020. Once the State of New Jersey passes its budget and tax rates are certified, the city will reconcile its tax bills for the fourth quarter.
The Safety and Health Committee will introduce three resolutions. The first will confirm the appointment of a police captain to fill the vacancy created by Captain Andrew Bartolotti’s appointment as Police Chief. The second resolution will authorize the Police Department to accept a generous donation of $1200 from Temple Sinai as a token of appreciation. The final resolution will authorize the submission of a grant for the Police Department to the United States Department of Justice Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program for the purchase of new body armor. The grant amount requested is $2,462.50 and requires a 50% match.
The Community Programs and Parking Services Committee will introduce a single resolution to extend temporary parking rules in the Central Retail Business District through June 30. Time limits will be enforced and illegal parking will be ticketed.
Lastly, the Law and Labor committee will introduce two resolutions to authorize annual license agreements for sidewalk cafes at Summit House Restaurant on Springfield Avenue and Bar Bacoa on Maple Street. A final resolution authorizes the extension of sick leave with pay for an employee of the City Clerk’s Office.
To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to cityofsummit.org/AgendaCenter.
Next Common Council Meeting: Tuesday, June 9, 2020.