[NOTES] COLLINGSWOOD BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MEETING 3/4/2019

Collingswood Senior Community Center Ballroom- 2nd Floor

3/4/2019 7:00 pm

The Complete Agenda May Be Seen Here

Ordinances for this meeting:
First Readings

1657- Readopting Ordinance 1207- Autorizing to Implement the Granting of Tax Abatements and Exemptions

  • Ordinance 1657 – 1207 which is a tax abatement for property improvements. The Second reading will be on April 1st
  • There were ordinances approving long term tax exemptions.
    The Lumberyard will also have a transfer that is included in the resolutions having 2nd readings next month
  • Next month will have second reading of PILOT for Parkview to the new owners

Second Readings

No Second Readings At This Time

Presentation:

From the Commissioners to the Collingswood Fire Department for the rescue of a pet dog that had fallen through the ice into the Cooper River.

Resolutions:

  • Authorizing the Auction of Municipal Vehicles and Equipment
  • Appointing Tara Riley as Violations Clerk
  • Appointing Madalyn Deets as Coordinator for Collingswood Senior Community Center
  • Approving an Increase to the 2019 Temporary Budget
  • Authorizing and Appropriation Reserve Transfer
  • Approving Salary Resolution
    • Recreation Secretary
    • Senior Community Center Coordinator
  • Approving a Shared Services Agreement for EMS and Fire Protection Services

Community Highlights:

Com. Lewandowski spoke about the James Beard award-winning restaurants in town

Special Events Around Town:
Don’t miss out on Makers Day March 22nd and 23rd 

The Green Festival is on April 11th 

Commissioner Leonard spoke on activities for Arbor Day and the Green Festival

Get Up Collingswood later this month (March 27th)

 the Army Navy Band is coming to Collingswood on March 14th

Congratulations to the Collingswood Odyssey of the Mind Teams for their wins!

Highlights From the Board of Commissioners:

The Board of Commissioners had available a draft of a Resolution to Legalize and Control Short-Term Rentals (like AirBnb) in the Borough of Collingswood. Click Here to See the Draft.

All of the Commissioners shared their thoughts on the resolutions. (Leondard, Lewandowski, and Maley) See the video(s) below for full details- starts around 28:00 into the streams.

Commissioner Leonard shared her thoughts on Short-Term Rentals including that she did not feel that a corporation like AirBnb has our town’s best interests at heart.

Commissioner Lewandowski shared his opinion that Short-Term Rentals could cause a problem for annual rentals hurting families.

Mayor Maley shared his thoughts that people would not be able to rent their home year-round

Mayor Maley had said that he will email and reach out to the members of the community that were interested in the AirBnb/ Short Term Rental Issue. Please reach out to the Commissioners via their Collingswood email addresses to be part of the first public opinion opportunity to help shape the resolution.

Highlights From Public Comment:

  • A resident said thanks for the work being done on the short term rental issue. Encouraging the Commissioners to speak with a range of ages/ needs of more residents aside from who may usually come to meetings or approach them. The resident also spoke to the benefit of the Commissioners to consider the chicken pilot program.
  • A child from town (my daughter) shared her suggestion for another spot where a trash can may be placed at Knight Park Playground and an idea for promoting Leave No Trace in our parks
  • A resident asked where resolutions are on the website for the Police and Fire station
  • A resident is asking about the copy of the resolutions for the Short-Term Rentals. The Commissioners have some disagreement at this point so they want to still work on the wording before having the first reading.
  • I had asked about a safety inspection from our risk management company Connor Strong for a playground safety inspection. Mayor Maley said that those should be completed on a rotating basis. I said that I would follow up with a request for the reports.
  • Another resident wanted clarification on a topic from last month’s meeting and wanted confirmation that the leadership isn’t interested in privatizing the town’s water.
  • Another resident asked where the Board is standing on moving forward on Backyard Chickens.
    The Commissioners each shared their thoughts on a pilot program for backyard chickens.

Meeting Minutes

  • A resident asked which month meeting minutes? (October, November, and December 2018)
  • Another resident asked about the timeliness of meeting minutes.
  • Another resident shared a concern with how meeting minutes being delayed hurting the relationship between residents and the Board of Commissioners. Also stressing how Working Sessions could help.

Transparency

  • Commissioner Lewandowski shared that the discussions outside of Commissioner Meetings are informal.
  • Commissioners talk with their departments, clerk, and lawyer to work through issues.
  • A resident asked for clarification about opportunities about discussing resolutions before they are approved.
  • A resident asked to clear up a question from the last meeting regarding Political Caucus that was referenced by Mayor Maley and how it relates to the WALSH act and OPMA. Mayor Maley insists that Team Collingswood is a political team, therefore, are allowed to meet under Political Caucus. Another resident asked to expand on the idea of those discussions.
  • Commissioner Lewandowski shared his thoughts on how he disagrees that there is a lack of transparency and said that residents are also meeting, leaving government out of the conversation. Commissioner Lewandowski asks how we can build trust. The resident then points out how meeting minutes could help rebuild the trust. A resident pointed out that a working session meeting could keep ideas on track.
  • Mayor Maley shared his thoughts on how things do get heated between meetings and at Board of Commissioners Meetings.
  • A resident points out that the minutes help residents know what is going on and to have the opportunity to participate in the resolution process. And that hopefully we can have discussions and working sessions can help with that.
  • Another resident brought up that she loves being in Collingswood and wants a better working relationship between residents and the Board of Commissioners.

The Next Meeting of the Collingswood Board of Commissioners will be Monday April 1, 2019 at 7:00pm in the Collingswood Senior Community Center on the second floor in the Ballroom.

Watch The Live Stream(s)

 

 

This post is postdated. Originally published to this website on 3/7/2019