Thursday, January 30, 2014

Somerset Freeholders questioned on closed meeting practice

January 31, 2014

Hon. Patrick Scaglione, Director, and members of the
Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders
(via e-mail only to Quick@co.somerset.nj.us)

Dear Director Scaglione and Board members:

In response to my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request, I obtained the minutes of five of the Board's recent nonpublic (executive or closed) meetings.  For your ready reference, I have placed those minutes on-line here.

Several of the matter discussed do not appears to fall within any of the N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b) exceptions.  As you are aware, the Open Public Meetings Act requires all Board discussions to be held in public unless one or more of the N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b) exceptions, construed strictly against closure, apply.  Following is a list of some of the topics that I believe could have been discussed with the public in attendance.

For each, I ask that you either agree that the Board ought to have discussed the topic in public or provide a justification as to why the topic was discussed in private.
  • Police Academy (10/22/13)
  • Green Brook Flood Control (11/26/13)
  • Solar Renewable Energy Credit Market (12/10/13)
  • 2014 Somerset Patriots Fireworks schedule (12/10/13)
  • Transportation Services (12/10/13)
  • Hiring process for for Sheriff's Officers (12/10/13) (Note: N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(b)(8) allows private discussions regarding specific employees.  This appears to be a discussion about cost concerns associated with hiring delays.)
  • E-cigarette smoking policy (01/14/14).
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter.  I look forward to your response.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment