To the Editor:
In March, the DCA issued official guidance regarding NJ Public Meetings during the Pandemic. All towns were to provide the public with the opportunity to attend virtual Public Meetings. The DCA Advisory offered at least 10 different ways for a Township to conduct Public meetings with Social Media, remote PC applications, or meeting apps like ZOOM. Within the guidelines the advisory did not say the Township should, may, or could offer the public the ability to attend or comment…it stated the Township must provide the opportunity.
- Local units must ensure that the public retains the ability to attend and provide comment at public meetings. Therefore, local units should provide instructions to the public regarding how to access a remote meeting and the procedures for commenting through whatever equipment or medium is utilized.
For the second public meeting in a row the Barnegat Township Committee has not provided that opportunity to the residents, instead it has instructed them through Legal Notice, to submit written questions via email…they even changed the meeting time from 6:30 PM to 10 AM.
It is interesting to note that the Barnegat Township Planning Board is in compliance with the DCA virtual meeting guidelines; so why doesn’t the Barnegat Township Committee comply? Why are they restricting the public’s ability to comment?
This is another example of a lack of transparency by the Barnegat Township Committee and they should take immediate action to comply with the DCA guidelines so that the residents of Barnegat may attend virtual Township Committee meetings in real-time.