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Scotch Plains Management Corporation Discusses Suspending Yearly Fee

Mayor Kevin Glover has suggested the Scotch Plains Management Corporation suspend the Special Improvement District fee paid by downtown businesses.

 

Mayor Kevin Glover has suggested that the Scotch Plains Management Corporation suspend the Special Improvement District’s fee for this year.

Glover stated that he is dedicated improving the downtown however, there needs to be a more firm plan of action on the table. At the Jan. 29 Council Meeting, Glover said that he has questioned what the value of the SID has been.

The Alternative Press reported that Glover stated that it was time to take a step back and see what to do with the SPMC and figure out who it should be benefiting.

Each year, businesses that are designated as part of the SID pay a $400 fee, which was supposed to go towards improving downtown Scotch Plains, now Glover is looking to have the SPMC suspend the fee for 2013.

“The real question is what should our downtown look and feel like?” Glover asked at the Jan. 30 meeting.

“We have a lot of folks who drive through here everyday, but they just don’t stop. We need to get them to see what we are doing right and use that as an anchor to encourage others to come here,” he was quoted saying on The Alternative Press. “Our downtown just needs some focus.”

Glover used the example of President of the Business and Professional Association, Lisa Mohn’s success in putting together the Summer Farmer’s Market, as he often does, to exhibit a way downtown has drawn in people from other communities.

“We need more things like this to draw people,” he was quoted saying in The Alternative Press. “I really feel that we need to make some robust changes and things have been slow to happen due to many changes of SPMC board members and personnel.”

The firm overseeing the SPMC resigned earlier this year and the board had accepted their recognition, Glover said. Also, the SPMC has chosen new officers for 2013.

He added that the SPMC is preparing a $0 based budget, but they are still working with enough funds to operate for the rest of the year.

Councilman Bo Vastine voiced his concerns at the council meeting that the Mayor and the SPMC do not have the authority to suspend the yearly payment, stating that it was originally voted as an ordinance.

As of right now, the actual decision to suspend the fee has yet to be voted on, it is just being looked at.

In the meantime, SPMC Chairman Domincik Verdick and Mohn said the SPMC are working hard to do great things for the township. Mohn said they are working on things like a beautification committee and publication committee.

Tom Russo February 01, 2013 at 09:35 PM
I was recently elected Treasurer of the Scotch Management Corporation. Respectfully, neither the Alternative Press, nor the Patch was present at the meeting of the SPMC on January 30. This story is not accurate.The SPMC did not vote to suspend the SID assessment. Mayor Glover indicated that he wanted to have the assessment suspended and intended to propose that to the Council. There was discussion about the assessment. However, the Board did not vote nor, in my opinion, was there a consensus to support the Mayor's plan to suspend the assessment. The Board is well aware that the power to suspend the assessment rests with the Council.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 09:46 PM
Hi Tom, Thanks for this information that is why I credited The Alternative Press and not myself since I was not there. I will make the changes. I was at the council meeting where he did discuss this so I will just leave that information and what you have provided. Thanks for the heads up. Is the other information correct, despite the voting issue?
Nicole Bitette (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 09:50 PM
Hi Tom, Thanks again. I made some changes so let me know if you still find anything to be incorrect.
Tom Russo February 01, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I am not sure what is meant by a zero-based budget. Obviously, we are preparing a budget that anticipates that the Mayor and Council may suspend the assessment and the SPMC would then have to work with only monies on hand and previously owed.
Nicole Bitette (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 09:56 PM
Hi Tom, Okay, that is what Glover mentioned at the council meeting, I believe he means basically what you said, that you are not anticipating new funds coming in and only working with previous monies.
Bo Vastine February 04, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Nicole, At the last Council Meeting...The Mayor said that he had met with the SPMC Board and that they had agreed and voted to suspend the annual payment for the year. It would appear, according to Tom Russo, that this is far from true and perhaps The Mayor overstated reality. Also, I have reviewed the ordinance regarding the SPMC, and I have spoken with legal sources, it is pretty clear that The Mayor...nor the SPMC has the authority to dissolve the SPMC or suspend the payment without majority vote from the governing body. As I stated previously...the suspension of payment might ultimately be the result, (and the SPMC Board should have a strong voice in that decision) but it would appear that the new Mayor was/is confused as to his authority to unilaterally act in this or similar cases.

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