Commission Meeting



LOCATION: Committee Room 12
State House Annex
Trenton, New Jersey
DATE: May 20, 2002
9:00 a.m.


Paul Josephson
(Representing Governor James E. McGreevey)
Senator Walter J. Kavanaugh, Chair
Senator Bernard F. Kenny Jr.
Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski
Charlene M. Holzbaur
Maureen Adams
(Representing John E. McCormac)



Edward R. McGlynn, Secretary
Robert J. Shaughnessy Jr., Counsel

Meeting Recorded and Transcribed by
The Office of Legislative Services, Public Information Office,
Hearing Unit, State House Annex, PO 068, Trenton, New Jersey


David Warrington

Private Citizen 2

Matthew Dice

Private Citizen 2

Martin Razzano

Private Citizen 2

Michael Stanton, Esq.


Ocean City Board of Education 3

Gerald Coecoran, Esq.


City of Ocean City 3

Michael Dattilo


Community Services

Ocean City 3

Donald E. Dearborn, Ed.D.


Ocean City Public Schools 3

Robert N. Garrison


Ocean City Board of Education 3

Reverend Gregory Johnson


Ocean City Board of Education 3

lmb: 1-22


SENATOR WALTER J. KAVANAUGH (Chair): Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the May 20 State House Commission meeting. We've met the Open Public Meetings Act. We have a quorum.

We'll have a roll call.

MR. McGLYNN (Commission Secretary): Assistant Treasurer Adams.


MR. McGLYNN: Director Holzbaur.


MR. McGLYNN: Assemblyman Wisniewski, subbing for Assemblyman Impreveduto.


MR. McGLYNN: Senator Kavanaugh.


MR. McGLYNN: Sorry.

Mr. Josephson.


SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

It's very good to see that the Commission members are more punctual than they have been in the past. (laughter) It's nice to see because I think it's a responsibility to those members to remember that you are the people that are paying our salaries, and we shouldn't inconvenience you because you're here taking your own time. Some of you are doing it as attorneys and others -- you're just reps. But we really should always start on time. We call it 9:00. We start at 9:00.

Note the presence of Senator Bernie Kenny.

So we're ready. Could we have a description of today's meeting.

MR. McGLYNN: Yes. The first and only matter on the agenda this morning is from the Department of Environmental Protection that concerns the Sixth Street Recreational Complex, Block 500, Lot 1, in Ocean City, Cape May County. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, on behalf of the city of Ocean City, requests approval to dispose of 4.8 acres of existing parkland to the Ocean City Board of Education, for the construction of a new high school, in exchange for 4.8 acres of replacement land and $552,000 cash compensation and replacement of existing recreational facilities.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. Thank you.

On this sign-in sheet this morning, there's a number of names. I would just call the name and ask if you care to testify or whether you are just here to be for or against, so we have that. Because this thing has been-- For a long time, it's been reviewed by local government and the individuals. We here are just concerned as far as the transfer of the lands.

So, I'll start with Daniel Warrington.

D A V I D W A R R I N G T O N: (speaking from audience) David Warrington.


MR. WARRINGTON: David Warrington.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: David. And you're here--

MR. WARRINGTON: I just have a concern on one of the issues that I want to make it brought forward to your group. I'm not sure how the school board has worked it in, but I'm not for or against anybody. I'm concerned with one of the issues.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: You're a home owner?



M A T T H E W D I C E: (speaking from audience) That's me. I'm a home owner as well. Is there going to be a discussion or--


MR. DICE: --or how long is this meeting going to take?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: I hope not too long. What we'll do is-- Are you for the project or against the project?

MR. DICE: Neither. I just have a couple questions.


Marty Razzano.

M A R T I N R A Z Z A N O: Right here, sir. I'm also a home owner. Again, we're just concerned about some different issues about the--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. Well, the three of you can come up together then.


UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER FROM AUDIENCE: That's me, sir. I'm just here, sir, on behalf of my brother.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: You're the driver. (laughter)



Michael Stanton.

M I C H A E L S T A N T O N, ESQ.: (speaking from audience) I'm the Solicitor for the Ocean City Board of Education.


Gerald Coecoran.

G E R A L D C O E C O R A N, ESQ.: (speaking from audience) I'm the attorney for the City of Ocean City. I'm here to answer any questions that you have.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Are you on the clock now?

MR. COECORAN: Always on the clock, sir. (laughter)


M I C H A E L D A T T I L O: (speaking from audience) I'm the Director of Community Services for the city.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: David Dearborn, is it?

D O N A L D E. D E A R B O R N, Ed.D.: (speaking from audience) Don Dearborn, Superintendent of Schools, Ocean City.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. It's obvious you didn't go to parochial school, because I can't read your writing. (laughter)

Bob Garrison.

R O B E R T N. G A R R I S O N: (speaking from audience) I'm the architect for the Board of Education.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: And then DEP and Reverend Gregory John--

R E V E R E N D G R E G O R Y J O H N S O N: (speaking from audience) Johnson. I'm the President of the Board of Education for the City of Ocean City.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Condolences. (laughter) I'm only kidding.

All right. Can we bring up David Warrington, Matt Dice, and Marty Razzano. If they'd come up in the three seats. Come forward.

When you speak -- if you push the button to red, you can be heard and if you'll speak into the separate microphones for the recording equipment. (referring to PA microphone and recording microphone)

Start with whomever. Just identify yourself and speak. Try to just limit, we--

MR. WARRINGTON: Testing, can you hear me?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: No, use that one. (referring to PA microphone)

MR. WARRINGTON: Oh, this one here?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Well, they're both on, but the big one is the amplification.



MR. WARRINGTON: Okay. My name is Dave Warrington. I'm from Ocean City. I'm a lifelong resident of Ocean City, and so I'll start off.

I just wanted to read you a brief letter that I sent into the Green Acres quite some time ago. It's basically-- I'll read the article, if that's okay? Can I do that?


MR. WARRINGTON: It's very short. Okay. One of the issues that was brought up for review when we had our last Green Acres meeting was that there was going to be 51 parking spots on the parcel of land that's going to be dedicated for faculty parking for the Ocean City High School teachers at the old high school site, which will have eight tennis courts. This is going to be one of the two parcels of land that will be returned to the Green Acres Commission for recreation once the high school is complete, whether it will be two to three years.

I strongly believe that the parking spaces should not count as part of the land exchange, because they're not going to be used for recreation. They're going to be used for the high school teachers 10 months of the year, and we'll get that back possibly in the summertime for the 2 months. So I don't believe that that should count as the land exchange.

The current parking lot which is owned by the Green Acres Commission, which is on the block, that's the land right now that they're going to be building the high school on. The signs that are posted before entering in the lot clearly state that it's used only for recreation only. However, there are some students and teachers who use this lot to park their vehicles there. But anyone throughout the school day, after the school day, on weekends, can use this lot to enjoy the recreation facilities throughout the year, not just in the summertime.

If the Green Acres Commission is going to accept the Ocean City School Board's request proposal, I would recommend one of the following scenarios. The 51 parking spots for the faculty should be either eliminated -- this could allow for one or two more additional tennis courts, a basketball court, an additional playground to be built. The other scenario would be to keep the 51 parking spots but not count them as part of the land exchange. This would allow the Green Acres Department to do additional recreation spots in the city of Ocean City.

I would also strongly recommend that the money that is used to purchase the additional land, set aside for recreation -- the $551,000 -- that would be used to buy land in Ocean City, not just to upgrade the additional recreation equipment.

What I'm really asking for is that the Commission makes this exchange fair for everyone in the community, not just the school board. You know, 51 parking spots to me may not -- to a lot of people may not sound like a lot, but in a city like Ocean City, where the land is at a very big premium, there's hardly any recreation space, to me that's a big thing. We could put an extra playground, a basketball court there.

I have a picture here, if I could bring that to you real quick. (submits picture)

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Could you just -- coming through the gate.

MR. WARRINGTON: Yes. Coming through the gate, that's where the new high school is going to be built.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Left or right side?

MR. WARRINGTON: This is going to be on the Sixth Street side.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: What is Sixth Street, left or right?

MR. WARRINGTON: Left or right as of where?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Looking at the picture, on the left-hand side there's some cars parked.

MR. WARRINGTON: Well, on that parcel right there, there's parking spots on the right, the left, and the back. The school is going to be covering the whole land there, that one parcel. That just one small part of the entire parcel.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: What's the purpose-- What are you showing me these pictures for?

MR. WARRINGTON: Why I'm showing you the picture is because that's the parking lot where the city -- where the teachers now park their cars on occasion, during the school year, and the students. My point is, anybody can park in that lot throughout the day. It's for recreation only. The city, I believe, however, feels that when that lot -- when they build the school there, they're building 51 parking spots on the other side of Sixth Street.

What I'm saying is when they put the spots over there, that shouldn't be counted towards recreation. We're going to have eight tennis courts on that new lot. Once the old high school is torn down, they're going to build eight tennis courts, and that in my opinion, we would only need approximately 20 parking spots. The city is currently proposing 51 parking spots for recreation, 51 parking spots set aside for the teachers of Ocean City. That wouldn't benefit our area, because that would only be used two months out of the year. We'd only get those spots back in the summertime for two months, the faculty parking spots.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: The replacement parcel--

MR. WARRINGTON: Is going to be across the street from that lot.

MR. RAZZANO: Where the old high school is.

MR. WARRINGTON: Where the old high school currently exists.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: There's two replacement parcels?

MR. WARRINGTON: Yes. The main one will be across the street. The other one would be by the intermediate school.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. All right. Thank you.

Next, Matt Dice.

MR. DICE: I'm just curious, is this panel -- are they going to respond to that question at a later time or--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Could you identify yourself, please?

MR. DICE: Matthew Dice, D-I-C-E.


MR. DICE: I'm still not sure of the forum, like, regarding the questions.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: We'll respond -- possibly there will be interplay as you're talking or at the end, we'll respond to your questions.

MR. DICE: Would we have at a later time after -- before the end of the meeting to possibly respond to anything that's brought up?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: We'll just give you a general review, but this is not a debate.

MR. DICE: Right. Just comments.


MR. DICE: My -- the only question I really have is regarding-- I don't know if you have the site plan there. There's a couple of tennis courts that are going to be-- I mean, not tennis courts, basketball courts. They're going to be moved. I guess my question is, are those basketball courts part of the 4.8 acres?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Very possibly we can answer that right away. The architect is here.

Mr. Garrison, 4.8 acres, about the basketball court, you heard the question?

MR. GARRISON: (speaking from audience) Yes, I did.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. This is a difficult time here we're having this morning.

Robert Garrison.

MR. GARRISON: If I speak into this microphone-- My name is Robert Garrison. I'm with Garrison Architects. I'm the Architect for the Ocean City Board of Education. As I understand the question, is the two basketball courts that we're constructing, are they part of the 4.8 acres? And the answer to that question is no.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Do you have a question to that, Mr. Dice? The basketball courts--

MR. DICE: No. My question was, are the two existing basketball courts part of the 4.8 acres?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: The two existing basketball courts?

MR. GARRISON: The basketball courts that exist there now are part of the 4.8 acres. We're replacing those basketball courts in two different locations.

MR. DICE: I heard someone behind me say no. I'm not sure what--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Mr. Garrison is the architect -- I take him as the expert.

MR. DICE: Okay.


DR. DEARBORN: (speaking from audience) Can I speak? I'm going to try and help Matt out.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: This is something--

DR. DEARBORN: Don Dearborn, Superintendent of Schools.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Just let me say one thing here. The State House Commission is not here to go back and forth. That's been done. You people down in Ocean City have discussed it. We're just here as far as the transfer of land, that's all.

MR. DICE: Okay.

DR. DEARBORN: In response to the question, is the two basketball courts that are to be constructed at Sixth Street -- are not part of the 4.8 acres.

MR. WARRINGTON: The three courts are not, right.

DR. DEARBORN: The three courts that are presently there -- now you have to look at that context -- that are presently there are within the 4.8 acres that we're getting. The replacement of the two, back on the back, near the community center, are not part of the 4.8 acres.

MR. DICE: Right.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. Thank you.

The next gentleman we have is Matty Razzano.

MR. RAZZANO: Marty. Marty Razzano. I'm also a full-time resident of Ocean City. I guess my concerns are the exchange of the land and whether or not the exchange is going to be fair as far as value goes. Are we, the residents, going to be the ones that are going to have to bear the brunt of the cost of any--



SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Well, the thing is, there's appraisers. There are things that licensed appraisers -- that appraise the land and on the transfer and the replacement value lacked 552,000. So that's being replaced by cash so that the people of Ocean City are getting an equal transfer that meets the requirements of Green Acres.

MR. RAZZANO: Okay, can you just clarify where that cash is coming from or who is going to be responsible for that?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Do we have someone? Yes.

The Superintendent. I think he's going to cut his salary and give you the money. (laughter)

DR. DEARBORN: Senator Kavanaugh, I'm going to tithe.

The $552,000 is not coming from the $40 million of the bond referendum. The $552,000 is coming from what we call fund balance. The district has presently $1.2 million in fund balance in which 552 will be in a check to the City of Ocean City for that.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay, thank you.

We next move -- skip the driver -- and we go to Michael Stanton. You care to speak? (witness declines from audience)

Mr. Coecoran, no.

Mr. Dattilo, no.

The Superintendent has spoken.

Mr. Garrison has spoken.

Reverend Johnson. We always have to hear a man of God to say a few words to lighten up these proceedings.

REVEREND JOHNSON: I'd like to thank everyone for this opportunity to be here this morning. We wrote several letters to the Committee Chairperson and legislative delegation from the 1st District in support of this meeting. I'd like to just briefly state that this referendum was passed two-to-one by the citizens of Ocean City to construct a new high school with the swap of the land exchange, which we have agreed upon. We are presently going to replace the tennis courts, basketball courts, and construct a new Ocean City High School.

The education of our kids like most of you probably, and are familiar with, is very important to all of us here today. We would like to start building the school as soon as possible, because any delay from this point on will cost the taxpayers of Ocean City additional dollars for the construction of the new Ocean City High School. We have several letters from contractors that we can offer you either today or send it to your attention at a later time in support of. Delaying this project will only cost the taxpayers additional dollars.

In Ocean City, we share the facilities between the city and the school board. There's nothing new about parking lots or recreation facilities. We're the American greatest family resort, and in that resort we share a lot of our facilities together. We make it comfortable for tourists, when they are there during the summer months, as well as the year round residents that will benefit from the construction of the new Ocean City High School.

So, on behalf of the Ocean City Board of Education, our superintendent, Dr. Donald Dearborn, our mayor, and city solicitor, and the complete staff of Ocean City, I would like to say to all of you God bless you and thank you very much.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: How about beach badges? (laughter)

REVEREND JOHNSON: We just increased the cost of our beach badges, but we'd be more than happy that you would purchase one early and on time. (laughter)

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. You'll be a winner. (laughter)


SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. Thank you, Reverend.

Any comments from the Commission? (no response)

Hearing none--

We've heard there was a concern by Mr. Warrington, Mr. Dice, Mr. Razzano. I understand, is one of you or all of you -- the rooming house that is in that area?

MR. WARRINGTON: I have a rooming house that's in that area. It's a guest and apartment house.

MR. RAZZANO: I also own one, sir.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. How many parking places do you have for your properties?

MR. RAZZANO: We don't have any, sir. We have free parking on the right side of the street and meter parking on the left side of the street.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Just a moment, would you just give your names so the--

MR. RAZZANO: My name is Marty Razzano. Currently, there's free parking on the right side of Sixth Street and metered parking on the left side of--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Which you use for your rooming house?

MR. RAZZANO: Most of the time, the free parking is taken up by vacationers that have come to the island. So, if my guests do happen to find a spot, they're lucky. We do point them in directions where there are free parking available in the city, but the majority of the parking in Ocean City is metered. There are a few areas where you can park free, but you would have to walk quite a distance to get to my--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: A question to you and to, I guess, Mr. Warrington. As far parking, how did you get licensed if you didn't have-- Like in our planning and zoning board, they wouldn't allow unless you had -- how many rooms, you had to have one and a half parking place per room. Do you have any--

MR. WARRINGTON: When our buildings were built, like with-- The building that I own, it's been in our family since 1945. I'm the third generation of our family to actually run it.


MR. WARRINGTON: I work a full-time job, but when they were built years ago, that wasn't one of the requirements.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. So what you're telling us or what the only thing that you say is that this will be a hardship?


MR. WARRINGTON: Well, basically, my guests aren't going to park in a metered spot. They're going to try and find the non-rates, but I have a few parking spots for my guests. The rest will find their own spots. But the main point being is if you count the land space-- If you count that parcel of land that it's going to be deemed for faculty parking, that shouldn't count as towards -- as a total project, because it's not going to be used for recreation. It's going to be used for faculty parking there 10 months out of the year.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Hold on. And I say, and I don't want to get into a debate, but--


SENATOR KAVANAUGH: --just to clear that point. Is there someone here who can--

Superintendent or someone?

MR. COECORAN: (speaking from audience) I can do it, Senator.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Okay. Come forward, identify yourself. We've got only a few minutes, but not that we're busy people, but we have scheduling we have to keep.

MR. COECORAN: Thank you. My name is Gerald Corecoran and I'm the attorney for Ocean City. I also live there. Presently, there are 120 parking places on the site to be diverted. Seventy of those places have metered parking and 50 do not. The 50 that don't have meters are primarily used by employees of the city for the recreational complex in that area. What we're proposing to do is to create 102 parking places across the street. So we're actually going to lose 18 parking places.

Now, under an agreement that we have achieved with the Board of Education, during the school year, 51 of the 102 spots will be allocated to the Board of Education and the remaining 51 to the city of Ocean City. We do that because we recognize during the school year the students and the faculty, who don't have their own parking lot, park all over the street. We encourage them to park on the city lot, but we're not always successful. Our thinking is if we allocate half of these spots -- 51 -- we will encourage the Board of Education to use those. The other 51 will be open to anyone who wants to use them. Our fear is without that allocation, the students and the faculty will occupy the entire 102 spots, and the residents, who might want to use the tennis courts or other facilities there, won't have the ability to park off the street.

We also recognize that during the summer season, when the school is closed, all 102 parking places will be available to the public. This area is one block from the beach and the boardwalk and one block from the largest amusement arcade area in town. It is in desperate need of parking. I don't think these gentlemen would dispute that. So we think we need the parking. I think what they're saying is that the school shouldn't be able to use half the spots during the school year. If they really don't want the school to do that, our concern is that the reality is the students and the faculty will use the entire lot unless we allocate it somehow. And that's why we've chosen to do that.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. A question? Is this a sending district?

MR. COECORAN: Yes. We're the receiving district.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Say that again?

MR. COECORAN: We're the receiving district.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: You're the receiving. Okay. With your students, are there any restrictions? If you're a sophomore or a junior, you can drive to school? Do you have busing?

MR. COECORAN: We have busing.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Is it necessary that these students drive their own cars?

MR. COECORAN: It's not necessary, no, but many, many students do.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: But is there any way-- In our area, we have high schools -- but because with the problem, we've gone around and restricted it to seniors only in our high schools.

MR. COECORAN: I'll defer that to the superintendent.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: I don't want to get into that discussion, because it's up to you, but--

MR. COECORAN: I don't know what the restrictions are.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: --to resolve the issue, I don't see where these kids can drive their Beemers and the rest of them to school. (laughter) You know, I used to drive an old Model-T Ford. I walked a mile and a half to school, and it was good. My granddaughter, just 17, bought a new car. She's driving to school. She walked everywhere else, but it's ridiculous. But if that's the problem, I think that you have to look at your residents, long-time taxpayers, and give them some relief. It seems that -- I understand here in a very short period of time they're losing parking, but really not their parking places.

MR. WARRINGTON: (speaking from audience) We're losing recreation is what we're concerned with.

MR. COECORAN: We're not losing any recreation, Senator. Right now, there are 14 tennis courts and 3 basketball courts which are on the diverted piece. As a result of this exchange, there's going to be 14 tennis courts and 4 basketball courts. We're picking up 1 basketball court, a brand-new high school, and as a result of that, the city has an agreement with the board where we're going to be able to use many of the common areas in the new high school which we can't do now. There's going to be more availability for senior citizens, for students, for younger people in this new facility than we have presently.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Change is difficult for many people.

MR. COECORAN: I agree.

MR. WARRINGTON: Senator, I have one quick question. A lot of people on our block that pay taxes, heavy taxes, don't have parking. There's a gentleman down the street from me, he just revamped his whole place. It's costing him half a million dollars. He doesn't have one parking spot for his facility, let alone they're planning to set aside 51 parking spots for the faculty of Ocean City, and they're getting paid to work there. To me, that seems to be a conflict. See, what I'm really thinking, my guests do not park at the spots. I'd like to see an extra playground there, an extra basketball court. I can't see setting aside 51 parking spots for eight tennis courts. That would mean that if four people played on each course, right, they play doubles and they all drove their own car, they would only need 32 spots. Why do we need 51?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Because you have employees.

MR. WARRINGTON: But it's supposed to be for recreation. The signs on the thing, they're going to be for recreational only -- 51 spots, 51 spots for the faculty. That's what he's proposing right now.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Well, this is the debate that I think you've had many times at Ocean City. It's not for us to resolve. I wish you well.

MR. COECORAN: Thank you.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: Thank you very much.

Any questions? (no response)

Read the motion.

MR. McGLYNN: The motion would be--

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: We make some people happy and some people sad.

MR. McGLYNN: The motion would be to approve the request of the Department of Environmental Protection, on behalf of the City of Ocean City, to dispose of 4.8 acres of existing parkland to the Ocean City Board of Education for construction of a new high school in exchange for 4.8 acres of replacement land, $552,000 cash compensation, and replacement of existing recreational facilities.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: As the motion is read, is there a motion to the discussion?

MR. JOSEPHSON: So moved.


SENATOR KAVANAUGH: It's been moved and seconded.

Roll call, please.

MR. McGLYNN: Assistant Treasurer Adams.


MR. McGLYNN: Director Holzbaur.


MR. McGLYNN: Assemblyman Wisniewski.


MR. McGLYNN: Senator Kenny.


MR. McGLYNN: Mr. Josephson.


MR. McGLYNN: Chairman Kavanaugh.


MR. McGLYNN: The motion carries.

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: All right. Thank you very much. That's it.

MR. JOSEPHSON: Motion to adjourn?

SENATOR KAVANAUGH: It was moved by Paul.

MR. McGLYNN: Paul, you moved it?


And now, my chief of staff will start my car, and I'll get out of here. (laughter)

Thank you.