Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Washington Council (kind of) improves transparency

On January 11, 2011, Jason Braff of the Pascack Valley Community Life reported that the Washington Township Council (Bergen County) agreed to begin using a new form of resolution to go into closed session.

The Township's prior resolution, the New Jersey Libertarian Party's proposed resolution and the resolution that the Township is now using are on-line here.

The new resolution is better than the old one because it reveals the specific item of litigation and one of the specific land acquisition matters that were privately discussed. Yet, it vaguely discloses that "contract negotiations" were privately discussed without disclosing the parties to the contracts or even how many contracts were discussed. And, it stated--without more--that "personnel" matters were discussed.

In sum, Washington's new resolution, while better than the old one, is a half-hearted attempt to improve its compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act.

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