Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Elk Township passes Open Public Meetings Act policy.

On December 14, 2011, as part of a ruling in an Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) case, Superior Court Assignment Judge Georgia M. Curio ordered the Elk Township (Gloucester County) Committee to "implement an effective [OPMA] policy . . . within sixty (60) days." Mayor Philip A. Barbaro and the Committee adopted the policy on March 1, 2012 and a copy of it is on-line here.

The majority of the policy summarizes the OPMA and doesn't add any additional protections to the public's interest beyond what is provided by the OPMA itself. The policy does, however, establish an e-mail usage policy. It also requires closed meeting minutes to be a "general summary of the matters discussed" and states that an "advisory body" is subject to the OPMA if it "has the power to eliminate options available to a decision-making body."

The policy applies to the Township Committee as well as the Township's land use boards and other agencies and boards of the Township.

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