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Democrats Return To Their Old Ways

Returning to their old ways of doing business is bad for Springfield

Mayor Amlen announced at the final township committee meeting of 2012 and the reorganization meeting that the Democrats are returning to their old way of doing business by excluding the public as much as possible from public discussion.

He announced that next year’s township committee meetings are going to be held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 7:30pm. However, he announced a return to the working group meeting on the 2nd Monday at the firehouse.

It is at these so called working groups meetings the public is deterred from attending.

1. Why can't they hold the working session prior to or during a regular meeting?

2. The working group meeting location is not in town hall. They could easily conduct the working group meeting in town hall in either the committee conference room or the Kenneth Faigenbaum Committee Chamber and Municipal Court where the regular meetings are held.

3. The meeting is held on the 2nd floor of the firehouse which requires you to be buzzed in by a member of the fire department and to park in the back of the firehouse as opposed to parking in front of town hall and just walking in the door.

4. The working group meetings will not be recorded for broadcast on the public access channel for residents because the meeting room isn’t equipped for recording meetings.

The working group meeting allows the Democrats the opportunity to discuses all the issues with minimal interruption from the public. Public attendance usually is sparse or non-existent at this working group meeting due to the location and having to be buzzed into the firehouse. This will expedite the regular township committee meetings because they discussed the issues behind the scenes out of public view and just vote on resolutions or ordinances.

Former Mayor Shehady, Jerry Fernandez and myself did away with these working group meetings and we proved we can conduct township business in full public view, demonstrating a complete open government. Democratic Mayor Keffer brought the working group meetings back in 2011, but they were conducted in full public view in the Kenneth Faigenbaum Committee Chamber and Municipal Court. However, these meetings just morphed into becoming 3rd and 4th regular township committee meetings each month and did not yield any greater productivity than having the meetings twice a month.

Residents should weigh in now to keep the meetings in the Kenneth Faigenbaum Committee Chamber and Municipal Court where the public can easily attend and where the meetings can be broadcast live over the internet and rebroadcast on the public access channel.

Email Mayor Amlen to have the meetings at Town Hall in full pubic and recorded for the Public Access Channel

Mayor Amlen: david.amlen@springfield-nj.us

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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