Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Spotswood school board asked to improve its executive session minutes

Update:  The school board's attorney responded on February 19, 2014.  Click here.
 January 29, 2014

Donna Faulkenberry, President and members of the
Spotswood Board of Education
105 Summerhill Road
Spotswood, NJ  08884
(via e-mail only to Board Secretary Mark Resnick at mresnick@spotswood.k12.nj.us)

Dear President Faulkenberry:

While I appreciate the fact that the Board posts its nonpublic (i.e. closed or executive session) minutes on its web site (most public bodies do not), I think that the minutes themselves fall far short of the "reasonably comprehensible" standard required by N.J.S.A. 10:4-14.  As an example, please see the Board's April 23, 2013 nonpublic meeting minutes here

First, they are not even labeled "Minutes" but rather as a "Resolution for Executive Session." 

Second, they contain some boilerplate language followed by the only substantive portion which reads, in its entirety, "The Board discussed a contractual matter."  Do you think that the "reasonably comprehensible" language in N.J.S.A. 10:4-14 requires, at a minimum, the identities of the parties to the contract under discussion?

Third, the minutes do not disclose the "time and place" of the meeting or "the members present," as required by the same statute.

Would you please seek the advice of David Rubin, who I believe is the Board's attorney, and discuss the adequacy of these minutes at either your February 4th or February 18th meeting?

I would very much like to receive a response from the Board regarding 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

cc. David B. Rubin, Esq.
(via e-mail only to rubinlaw@att.net)

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