VWeb Past News   Winter/Spring 2000

Rec Bd Meeting 3/15 - Public Input Sought Re: Town Park Planning
The Vernon Recreation Board will meet on March 15, 7:00PM at the Muni Bldg., to start the planning of the town park. The RecBd has cordially invited all township residents to attend (and to put their 2¢ in regarding the future park's rec/sports uses).

Ice Hockey/Roller Hockey Players and Figure Skaters of Vernon, Unite!

Police Chief ¡Sí!  Public Safety Director ¡No!
for now

3/14/00 At last night's standing-room-only meeting , the Vernon TC nixed the Public Safety Director payroll title and asked the township manager to select a Police Chief from the Vernon PD ranks.

VWebsters estimated that almost 200 people jammed the Municipal Bldg. for the meeting, a turnout occasioned by the reading of the salary ordinances which would have created the Public Safety Director post.

Public Safety Director Ordinance On Tap at TC Mtg. 3/13/00

3/12/00 The first public hearing re: the proposed Public Safety Director ordinance will take place tonight at the regular TC meeting, 8PM, Muni Bldg.

The People's Park

3/9/00 On March 15 at 7:00 PM the Vernon Rec Board will meet in the Muni Bldg. to discuss design/development of the Town Park slated to be built on Maple Grange Road.

The Rec Bd is urging all interested residents to attend the March 15 meeting and to contribute rec/sports ideas for the 180 acre park.

LaCrosse fields galore! Many,many bike trails and tennis courts! Skateboard-o-rama! Bridle paths!

Vernon Civic Association "Appalled" at TC Opposition to
Land Preservation Measure

3/7/00 Last month the Vernon TC formally opposed New Jersey State Senate Bill- S777 and , the VCA said, took official steps to prevent Vernon from receiving certain Green Acres funds (used for land preservation).

In a press release dated March 1, the VCA claims that (a) the TC didn't ask for any input from town boards in this matter and (b) the move was motivated by TC concern that possible Vernon Marsh (wetlands) preservation might interfere with future sewer construction.
The VCA also announced that they are beginning a campaign to get an open space trust fund referendum put on this year's ballot.

Click here for Full text of March 1, 2000 VCA Press Release

Flap Re: Public Safety Director

3/3/00 The Vernon TC has approved the introduction of ordinances which would eliminate the position of Police Chief and create a Public Safety Director position.

The State and County Police Chief Associations,warning of low morale, oppose the Public Safety Director concept, and Vernon Deputy Mayor Janet Morrison voted against the introduction of the salary ordinances.

As a rule, public safety directors are the executive heads of police and fire departments and emergency communications in their locality, plus they may have administrative authority over corrections,building and traffic departments, licensing, animal control, weights and measures, etc. The PSD position is usually filled by a highly credentialled law enforcement veteran.

Many towns and cities across the nation now have professional public safety directors and public safety departments. In some gov't circles it is felt that productivity and professionalism of emergency service operations are increased as a result.

Local objection to the public safety director concept seems focused on the belief that it would (a) overlook qualified applicants from the VPD ranks or (b)introduce politics into the adminstration of the police department.

Anyone who thinks the Police Chief position is preferable because it is based on merit, or not political, has never worked in any police department in the living world.

2nd Glenwood Mtn.Rd.Tower App Gets ZB Torpedo

3/3/00 Vernon resident William Gennaro's request for a second hearing re: a proposed Glenwood Mtn.Rd. cellular tower (including free use for town police/emergency communications) on his property was rejected by the town Zoning Board this week. Residents in the ZB meeting audience applauded the decision to decline a hearing of the revised plan.

VPD Chief Johnson Retires
Town may retire PC position, create Public Safety Director instead

2/29/00  Vernon Township Police Chief Kenneth Johnson retired today. A dinner to honor Johnson, on the job since 1975, will be held May 6 at Hidden Valley. The dinner will also honor the Department's administrative clerk, Carol Schroeder, who retired today as well.

In a related development, at Monday's TC meeting a salary ordinance was introduced which would abolish the township's Police Chief post and establish the new position of Public Safety Director, a civilian position.

Judge : TC Was Wrong, Carol Gunn-Kadish Was Right

2/29/00  A Superior Court Judge has ruled that Carol Gunn-Kadish was properly appointed to the Vernon Township Planning Board on December 27,1999.

The legal flap was precipitated when, in Jan.2000, the newly elected TC took the position that the appointment was tainted by conflict of interest and therefore ousted Gunn-Kadish from the PB.

According to the judge, it did not matter that her husband (outgoing councilman Dan Kadish) took part in a vote to appoint Gunn-Kadish to the Planning Board. The position was a mayoral appointment and not dependent on a council vote at that time, although the rules have since changed .

As of January, board members are no longer appointed by the mayor. They are appointed by a vote of the TC.

VWebster Wins Big!

2/26/00  special VWeb report from Margaret (Margaret's Finds and Freebies)

VWebster and Highland Lakes resident Richard Williams has just won
the Daily $10,000. Prize on iWon.com  !!

Williams is *very excited* and says he will use his winnings to "pay bills, help the family, and take a vacation."

He has been entering the iWon ( btw, a site recommended on M's Finds & Freebies) contest since October.

Congratulations, Richard!!! Three cheers from all your VWeb neighbors!!!

New Highland Lakes P.O. Gets Thumbs Up

2/15/00 The plan for a 4,830 sq.ft., 2½ storey Post Office in Highland Lakes has been approved by the town Planning Board. The new building, which will have 42 parking spots, will go up on Breakneck Road next to Our Lady of Fatima R.C. Church.

DD OK'd To Open
2/24/00 Dunkin'Donuts is now slated to open this Saturday, thanks to an agreement reached between owner Vernon Merritt and the town's Planning Board.

The awning will be completely purple instead of orange and purple.

More RE: A&P Glamour Makeover
Owners of the Vernon Valley Shopping Plaza will revamp,remodel and generally beautify the A&P and adjoining stores within a year, the town Planning Board was told, provided an as-yet-undisclosed wastewater treatment plan makes store renovations possible.
The Towers of Vernon

2/15/00 An application is before the Township Zoning Board which would allow Sprint Spectrum to build a cellular tower on Lake Pochung Road property owned by Reginald and Jennifer Phillips. Residents in the vicinity of the proposed tower site voiced their objections to the plan at the TC meeting on Monday, arguing that the commercial tower should not be erected in a residential zone.

A petition signed by 269 residents was presented in opposition to the planned siting of the 150 ft., 9-antenna tower.

A moratorium on cellular tower proposals was suggested, and town officials said they would work to get a cellular tower ordinance in place.

2/16/00  The ZB heard further testimony last night re: the Sprint tower. About 100 people were present at the ZB meeting, at which Sprint representatives said that the Lake Pochung road site was the only suitable site for their company's purposes. Members of the public questioned Sprint's engineering analysis and generally argued that the highly visible commercial tower would be a blight on the landscape.

The ZB will now hire a radio frequency expert to further examine the veracity of Sprint's claims. Hearings on the proposed Sprint tower were adjourned to next month.

Meanwhile, the TC has not yet chosen a township location suitable for construction of the long-awaited police/emergency communications tower.

Item No. 256342209 on eBay
2/13/00 Hidden Valley Resort is currently being auctioned on eBay. Reserve price is $3.9 mil. Bidding ends Feb 18.

The all-seasons resort, second largest ski center in NJ, has been on and off the real estate market for the past decade.

The eBay description says, "140 Acre NJ SKI/TENNIS AREA w/Golf Potential" and mentions that, among its 4-season amenities,"the Resort holds a State of New Jersey Broad "C" liquor license, and is contiguous to an additional 90+ acre parcel designated as "Upper Plateau" with possible uses that include additional housing, an executive 9 hole golf course, or other sport activities."

2/19/00  No cigar. Match bid ($3.9m)withdrawn, remaining bids too low. Stay tuned - meanwhile, offline sale still possible, HV owners said.

Judge Rules Against DD

2/11/00  Superior Court Judge Reginald Stanton didn't see eye to eye yesterday with Dunkin'Donuts owner Vernon Merritt, who asked the court to make Vernon Township give DD a certificate of occupancy.

The Vernon TC won't give DD permission to open because of the store's awning which, in their view, does not comply with the resolution approved by the town planning board 3 yrs. ago. Merritt,representing himself in court, argued to the contrary. The judge sided with the TC's Planning Board lawyer.

Town officials object to the DD's lighting, and to its awning's color and size, and have repeatedly commented that that the awning "can be seen from half a mile away." The location of the half-mile-away vantage point has not been specified.

Can you see it from your house?

Legends '99 Taxes Paid

2/8/00 Legends Resort sent in its full 1999 tax payment with interest, total $412,597.59. The payment arrived via Federal Express delivery Friday morning at the office of Jo Prisco, Vernon tax collector.

Local officials attributed the better-late-than-never payment to Prisco's tireless collection efforts.

Legends' payment notwithstanding, Town officials noted that residents might well expect another property tax rate increase this year, owing to the continued impact of late tax payments and lost revenues.

What Color Is Your Awning?
2/1/99 Vernon Merritt, owner of the Dunkin' Donuts on the corner of Rt.94 and Church St., has turned to the courts in an effort to get a certificate of occupancy from the town so the DD can open. The town has not granted the c of o, claiming that Merritt has not adhered to the resolution approved by the Planning Board three years ago.

The TC's main objection seems to be the appearance of the Dunkin Donuts awning. Two months of discussion and negotiation between Merritt and the town gov't concerning the awning's "look" have been unavailing.

The case is to be put before Superior Court Judge Kenneth MacKenzie on Feb. 10.

Sewer Plan Proceeds Apace

1/28/00 While the town mulls over the planning of its own sewage treatment plant, a temporary Vernon wastewater treatment system via the Sussex County Municipal Authority (SCMUA) Upper Walkill plant is foreseen. This measure might allow the town center and Mountain Creek development plans to unfold in our lifetime.

The TC will be asked to approve a $29,000. escrow agreement with SCMUA. The agreement is in the hopper for the TC's Feb. 14 meeting.

Voting on Valentine's Day! Will future Vernon historians refer to this as the Sweetheart Sewer Agreement?

Monster Snowstorm

1/26/00 For the benefit of outtatown VWebsters: over a foot of the cold white stuff was dumped on Vernon as a result yesterday's record-breaking snowstorm.

Hats off to the road crews and plowzillas who worked around the clock to keep the roads passable hereabouts.

Plan That Park

1/26/00 The TC has approved the hiring of a planning firm, Melillo & Bauer of Point Pleasant NJ, to work on the master planning of the $2.1 mil town park on Maple Grange Road.
The town ordinance calls for the park to be built within the next 15 years.


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