BOARD OF TRUSTEES Free Public Library of Berkeley Heights Ignores OPMA

February 14, 2017
It seems that the transparency issue is widespread, not only with the Town Council itself but also with Board OF Trustees for the BH Library.     Recording public meetings is a right afforded to us by NJ Common Law.   However, the Berkeley Heights Library Board of Trustees do not think this applies to them.      I attempted to document and educate the public by broadcasting our towns committees.
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Mayor Woodruff's Answers Question on $28M Bond Ordiance

February 10, 2017
A resident asks Mayor Woodruff how does he know that the taxpayers in town want to more than double the town's debt by voting on a $28,000,000 bond.   The Mayor smugly answers that he doesn't.      A must watch!   https://youtu.be/OdmMdVZmcpQ
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YMCA

February 7, 2017
Why are the negotiations with the Y being all done behind closed doors? At first they invited the Y back into executive session to negotiate, until they were told that is illegal. Then they said that they would prefer to have one on one negotiations with the towns lawyers. OPRA requests return no document on any offers from the YMCA. For tomorrows meeting they have arranged executive session to discuss the Y. This entire dealing is being done behind closed doors, why such secrecy?
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Berkeley Heights Town Administrator sends cryptic msg about the Sunshine Act

January 30, 2017
It seems that the town has taken the time to read the Berkeley Heights Sunshine Act John Bussiculo wrote: Joe Sordillo has reasons why we couldn’t use it. I replied:  Can I have clarification of Joe's reasons? John Bussiculo replied:  Will be discussed at the next meeting. Not really sure why they cant provide the reasons now, if there is a technical issue with the Act, we can discuss and work out the kinks.
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Misuse of Public Resources

January 29, 2017
During the Jan 24, 2017, Town Council meeting, the Council decided not to address the Berkeley Heights Sunshine Act even though they had ample time, 10 days,  to review the document prior to the meeting.     The Mayor seemed to state that they were already transparent so why do they need to read an act about transparency.   Rather than having a public and transparent discussion about transparency,  they chose to release a statement on the Berkeley Heights Website.
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Council Looks to Reduce Transparency

January 23, 2017
During the Jan 24, 2017's Berkeley Heights Town Council meeting the Council will present changes to the Berkeley Heights Code seeking to close the door on committee meetings.    Why? It is very peculiar that they really don't want the tax payer involved in any way in these Mayor Appointed Committee meetings.     They first tried to introduce an ordinance to stop the recording of these meetings but people in town voiced their disdain and the council backed off.
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Berkeley Heights Sunshine Act

January 19, 2017
Berkeley Heights Sunshine Act Based on recent incidents where the Berkeley Heights Town Council has chosen to hide and confound important information that would provide the town with valuable insight,  I would like to present the Berkeley Heights Sunshine Act.    This Ordinance is an extension of the Open Public Meetings Act.   The sole purpose of this Act is to increase the level of transparency in Berkeley Heights.
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PILOT = No Taxes For Berkeley Heights Schools

December 28, 2016
I would like to present this article for everyone on this list to read in their time off. It is short but very very important. It is a quick overview of PILOT ( Payment in Lieu of Taxes ). Why this is important for Berkeley Heights is that the town seems to be throwing the PILOT term around quite a bit and what we need to realize is that the SCHOOLS get $0 from typical PILOT deals. From the article: What are major arguments *against* tax abatements? --Departure from Equitable Tax Principles.
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Faulkner Act - Mayor-Council-Administrator

December 4, 2016
In accordance with a ballot question that was passed in November 2005, Berkeley Heights switched from a Township Committee form to a Mayor-Council-Administrator form of government under the Faulkner Act or OMCL ( Optional Municipal Charter Law ). There are 4 categories of municipalities under the Faulkner Act. The Mayor-Council-Administrator form that was chosen by Berkeley Heights is the least common of the 4, in fact only 3 municipalities in NJ have chosen this category: Berkeley Heights (2007), North Brunswick and West Millford.
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Zero-Based Budgeting

November 18, 2016
Zero Based Budgeting and the Budget Process: After watching the Novembers issue of the Mayor’s Roundtable I am a bit concerned about some of the discussion that was on there.   This was mostly about two issues:   zero-based budgeting and the budget process.   Wikipedia definition of zero-based budgeting.   Wikipedia defines zero-based budgeting as the following ( from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-based_budgeting ) “Zero-based budgeting...
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