September 2016 Monthly Meeting Minutes

04 Oct 2016, Posted by Yolanda Foley in Minutes
Meeting Minutes

7:10pm – Call to Order – President Oona Moore

  • Kudos to the board, invite community members to participate on board. It is important for all to participate and volunteer to continue to make this a strong community.
  • Some of the achievements of these past two years: updated bylaws, established events committee, established art curator position, strengthened board connection, etc.
  • As a community, you can be active by getting on the mailing list, bringing neighbors to meetings, participating & bringing solutions to the table, getting on a committee, or making donations.

Officer / Committee Reports

Treasurer Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • All accounts in good standing, no outstanding bills
  • Boogie in the park and the White Party – community builders, broke even on the events

Construction /Development Committee Report – Tom Ogorzalek

  • Montgomery Gateway Redevelopment Plan (328 Montgomery) – new use applied for. Application is tabled for a special meeting because there was insufficient information architectural plans.  Will try to align more closely with the 1938 photograph of the façade.  Owners were invited once again to come to VVPA meeting to address concerns (prior invitations were not accepted).  Community members are encouraged to attend planning board meetings to your voice concerns.

o   How does this impact the 2 week opening for this property that is advertised?  There is no COO for this property!

o   Designated area “Commercial reuse area” within a historic zone.  NOT a commercial district.  Big difference as it impacts noise, etc.

  • Dixon Properties is redeveloping a church. They came to the VVPA and worked in community input into the design.  As a result the project was approved easily.  This is the type of development-community relationship that is healthy.
  • Master Plan kickoff meeting – to help look at city as cohesive whole to look for larger vision for the city. Community input welcome.

o   Any redevelopment plan in place remains, a revised master plan doesn’t supersede the existing redevelopment plans.  The master plan outlines the City’s goals, with a vision to get there.  Redevelopment plans will have to work within the confines of the master plan.

o   Theoretically we should see minimized redevelopment plans after the master plan is in place.

Events Committee Report – Eric Carter/Marlene Sandkamp

  • Successes this summer: Films in Van Vorst, White Party, Boogie in the Park
  • Upcoming Events: Halloween in the Park (on 10/31 from ~4pm-8:30pm in Van Vorst Park), Poltergeist in Van Vorst Park (possibly?) – stay tuned for details!, Winter Holiday Party in the Barrow Mansion, possible NYE party.
  • JC Arts & Studio Tour – VVPA participating with Barrow Mansion on Oct 8th 5pm – 11pm and Oct 9th 5pm – 11pm.  Art exhibit, sale, music, wine tasting courtesy of JC Wines.  Looking for volunteers to help out!
    • Bike JC tours go to various studios throughout the city – will encourage participants to stop at Barrow Mansion
  • Taste of Hudson (October 6th) – Exchange Place – $50 includes small plates and drinks, profits go to Boys & Girls Club of Hudson County.
  • 4th St. Halloween Party – October 27th

Election Slate

  • Looking for new members to get involved, plenty of support from community and current/past board members
  • Elections slate will be presented in October, vote will be held in November

New Business

  • Friends of Liberty State Park Halloween Party – “Terminal of Terror” (in the train terminal in LSP).

Guest Speakers

  • Pam Andes – discussed honoring Dr. Medrano, a well-known doctor who had a practice for over 50 years on Jersey Ave. by naming a street after him
    • Business located on corner of York St. & Jersey Ave since 1971.  This office became a center for community networking.  He was a pillar of the community that helped neighborhood children, gave second chances to many people.  Community would like to honor him by a street dedication.  Need 75% of the people on the block to approve.  Petition coming – be on the lookout if you’d like to sign.
    • Reopening his chiropractic practice – soft opening this Sunday.
  • Captain Scerbo – Tabled
  • Kim Jeblick – reintroduced Maximum Motion Fitness
    • 25 year resident of JC, in business for 13 years (original studio on Montgomery St. then 340 Grove St., now expanded to Charles & Co building (262 Grove St.).  All invited to come for a personal tour and to enroll as new or returning students.
    • Offer classes (yoga, zumba, pilates, toning, etc.), Personal Training, traditional Gym equipment (weights,  machines)
    • Would love to get involved w/ JC Arts / JC Fridays.
  • Bret Schundler – discussed property tax reval and the school funding implications
    • Former Mayor Schundler was also Former NJ Commissioner of Education
    • 60K units under construction or approved (some may take up to 10 years to build out).  This impacts extra need for schools, but the final impact is a function of whether or not people want to raise families here.  Will there be seats available when the extra population increases?  Can expansion keep up with population growth?
      • Charter school alternative options make people want to stay here, but county has expanded programs it offers and the schools are getting better.
    • NJ Law – state is legally obligated to build school facilities for Abbott school districts (32 districts).  At best, each district may get a new school every ~7 years.
    • School funding reform act would be required to change to impact property tax in JC.
      • This law was passed at end of Corzine Administration.  Essentially, a model developed with a budget projection to fund education.  Inputs: wealth of community and financial wherewithal to fund that education.  State covers the balance.
      • In theory, the growth of ratables in the City generally increases the community’s overall financial wherewithal which would up the community’s contribution and decrease the state’s burden.  However, a second bill was passed with essentially a hold harmless provision which recognizes that communities shouldn’t be punished (financially penalized) for its growth, so local taxpayers are held harmless for the contribution they are responsible for.
    • The Reval is definitely going to happen and will definitely increase some property taxes.  However, this will not increase the overall levy (so the City doesn’t get more money); rather, the Reval is essentially determining / redistributing who is paying what share of the City’s levy.
    • For illustrative purposes, let’s assume that on average since 1989, property values in JC have risen 300%.  And, let’s assume that since 1989, your property value has increased by 600%.  The Reval will take into account the disproportionately increase in the VV Park area and therefore the share you are paying will be increased.  May also affect property values and also impact gentrification as some who do not have surplus discretionary income may be forced to leave/sell.  Upon appeal to county tax board, you may get reduction.
    • Prop 13 – Can we effectuate this in NJ?  Will be difficult to get rest of state to get on board with this.  Hard to pass state legislation on a municipal issue.
    • Abatements/PILOTS – money not getting to schools
    • Levy and how you divide it:
      • Pilots – relates to the total size of pie; Reval has to do w/ carving up the pie.
      • If city controls spending, your share may increase, but if it is on a smaller pie, that may offset your increase.
    • What can community do?  Could ask Fulop to have assessor do proactive reassessments (small districts) – look at sales in small districts to adjust the average market change.

Adjournment – 9:00 pm

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