Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seeking better compliance with the Open Public Meetings Act, one municipality at a time

When I visited southern New Jersey last week, I attended a Deerfield Township (Cumberland County) Committee meeting and made some suggestions as to how the Committee could better comply with the spirit and intent of the Open Public Meetings Act.  Today, I wrote to Mayor Spatola and the Committee members to thank them for their attention and to suggest changes to the Township's code that will help them implement my suggestion.  My letter follows.  Readers may wish to send similar letters to their own local government bodies and school boards.
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December 10, 2013

Hon. Frank R. Spatola, Jr., Mayor and members of the
Deerfield Township Committee
736 Landis Avenue
Rosenhayn, New Jersey
(via e-mail only to kseifrit@comcast.net)

Dear Mayor Spatola and Committee members:

It was my pleasure to address the Committee during the public portion of its December 4, 2013 public meeting.  I hope that my comments and suggestions on how Deerfield Township could go above and beyond in its Open Public Meetings Act compliance were taken to heart.

In order to aid you in implementing my suggestions, I have made available here a PDF version of my recommended changes to § 5-10 of the Township Code which regulates conduct of Committee meetings.  As you can see, my suggested language strengthens the Committee's commitment to the principles embodied within the Meetings Act and, if adopted, would make Deerfield a model for other local government agencies to emulate.

I ask that you please review this matter at your December 18, 2013 meeting.  And, I would appreciate it if you would let me know how the Committee decides to act on this matter.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

John Paff, Chairman
New Jersey Libertarian Party's
Open Government Advocacy Project
P.O. Box 5424
Somerset, NJ  08875
Voice: 732-873-1251
Fax: 908-325-0129
e-mail: paff@pobox.com

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