Thursday, March 5, 2009

Permissible uses of OPMA "personnel" exception

In two recent letters, I've questioned the propriety of the Hanover Township (Morris County) Committee's use of the exception in the Sen. Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act that allows "personnel" discussions to take place in closed session. (See N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b)(8). My letters are on-line here.

My basic contention is that a public body can discuss and evaluate SPECIFIC EMPLOYEES in executive session but cannot discuss budgetary matters, such as the need to make cuts in staff that will affect SPECIFIC POSITIONS, without the public being in attendance.

John Paff
Somerset, New Jersey

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